Our Travelers' Reviews
- Bill, Marissa, Julia & Natalie R. (Scarborough, Maine)
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.
* Photographed at Moray Ruins in Cusco
- Marilyn and Don, (Delray Beach, Florida)
Gina Alman from South American Expeditions planned our most INCREDIBLE and FASCINATING five week journey to Peru and Ecuador in May, 2015. Together we detailed the kind of trip we wanted and then Gina set it in motion. Her attention to detail is beyond extraordinary. She worked diligently and spent many hours on the phone with us to insure that our trip would be exactly what we wanted. Machu Picchu was on our bucket list and it was an awesome experience to witness one of the great wonders of the world!!
Gina is extremely knowledgeable, delightful, committed to please, and completely understand how we like to travel. And our trip turned out to be even more spectacular than we anticipated!!! It was packed with adventure, luxury, education, and philanthropy. We enjoy bringing children's books with us and bringing these books to local communities. Gina researched and arranged for us to meet with a gentleman in Cuzco who has built 200 schools in Peru. Mr. Meekes met us and brought us to visit children in Cuzco who were part of his HoPe Foundation. It was one of the most rewarding days of our trip (see photo at Biblioteca Kallpanchis)!!
We have traveled all over the world and there is no question that SA Expeditions goes beyond your expectations in meeting your destinations, budget, style of travel, and customizing your trip to be the very best ever!
* Photographed at Cuzco
- Tasia, Harley, Shane, Molly (Maryland)
The trip was great – We were a little nervous about how everything would work but everything went very smoothly. It actually set a new standard for what I would want on a vacation. I felt a little spoiled because everything was taken care of and I didn't have to worry about anything – just enjoy. Everyone we met was very professional, solicitous, helpful and informative. The hotels you recommended were great. We loved all the hotels. I don't think we would change a thing. In fact, I think the schedule worked well. We went to Cusco, the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu at the beginning – which kept us pretty busy. Then we went spent 3 days and 2 nights at the Hacienda Concepcion in Puerto Maldonado which was very nice because everything was right there and even though the jungle activities kept us busy, we had a time to relax a bit in the very nice cabana – I rested in the hammock looking out on the jungle scenery. I also want to give a special shout out to Marco, who was with us for 3 days. He is terrific, very easy going and really made our trip through Cusco, the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. He was also great on the Huayna Picchu Hike. Having him as a guide on the hike was very comforting. Then on our drive back to Cusco, he stopped so we could get a view of the stars and milky-way.
Thank you for putting together this wonderful family trip for us. I would definitely recommend SA Expeditions and would use it again for my travels to South America.
* Photographed at Sacsayhuaman