Client Info: - Bill, Marissa, Julia & Natalie R. (Scarborough, Maine)
Destination Name: Moray Ruins in Cusco
On a "snow day" last February we decided to plan a big summer vacation for our family of four (my wife, two daughters ages 13 & 9, and myself). We had the itch to do something adventurous and looked into Africa, Alaska, Thailand and the Galapagos Islands. All are on our travel list but the timing didn't seem quite right for any of them. When investigating the Galapagos, we stumbled into the SA Expeditions website, which is when we first considered going to Peru. The more we researched, the more it seemed right. We could see wildlife in the Amazon, which was our girls' #1 priority, and we could take in some history, culture and natural beauty during visits to Cusco and Machu Picchu (which is not only on the travel list, but also on the "bucket list").
We sent a message to SA and within minutes we were on the phone with Staci Steele. Staci was incredibly helpful in mapping out a trip that met all of our time and budget constraints while making sure to maximize our opportunity to see as much of Peru as possible. The trip and using SA were both huge leaps of faith for us, as we had never used a tour company and had only traveled internationally twice as a family (fairly tame trips to London and Costa Rica). Staci was incredibly patient in answering our never-ending questions, right up until the day of the trip!
SA added so much value to the planning process. Staci recommended that we spend a day in the Sacred Valley instead of going straight from Cusco to Machu Picchu, and that was an amazing experience that we would have missed had we planned the trip ourselves. She lined us up with a tour guide, Mary-Luz, who felt like a member of the family by the time we said goodbye. Every detail was accounted for. Whether it was being handed our boarding passes for our Amazon flight when checking into our Lima hotel, or having our bags waiting for us at the Aguas Calientes train station for our return to Ollyantaytambo (I could go on an on with examples like this), we never had to think about anything, we just had to follow the plan and enjoy ourselves. The trip was absolutely flawless and we were really blown away by the whole experience. We would not even consider using a different tour provider if (when!) we someday return to South America.
As for Peru itself, we fell in love with it. It is a beautiful country with beautiful people. The weather in July was fantastic and the culture and history were fascinating. We will return someday (maybe to do the Inca Trail!). Thank you Staci and SA Luxury expeditions for helping us pull of an once-in-a-lifetime experience.