Our Travelers' Reviews
- Duncan & Russell (New York)
My husband and I have been very fortunate in that we've been able to travel a great deal throughout our lives. However, no trip or vacation has ever compared to our recently completed three week tour of Peru. From the moment that we connected with Staci at SA Luxury Expeditions, I knew that we were in great hands. Her knowledge of the area, the hotels and tours put her into a class by herself. During our three week tour EVERY single event, transfer, tour and hotel stay went without a hitch and like a perfectly oiled machine. Our hotels throughout the trip were some of the best that we've ever experienced anywhere in the world, with both the La Casona and the Casa Cartegena (both in Cuzco) being tied for the best hotels in our world of travels. LOVED Cuzco and we were fortunate enough to be there during June when there were tons of celebrations, parades and fireworks going on…we can't wait to return.
The Amazon cruise was beautiful (we did the 7 night) and the ship, staff and accommodations were out of this world. A great way to see the Amazon…and trust us, there's no “roughing it” here!
And the guides! Sol (our guide in Cuzco, the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu) and well as Josephine in Lima were simply amazing. Their knowledge and enthusiasm for the area was infectious and made you want to ask even more questions. The drivers were all courteous, friendly, and knew the area (and traffic!) beautifully. The transfers and transportation made us feel like VIP's as every single time we left an airport, city, or venue, there was our driver with a sign ready to assist with our bags and a helping hand. And the little touches, like water available in the vans, made the trip especially comfortable.
We looked at several companies before selecting SA Luxury Expeditions and we couldn't have been more happy. Thank you to Staci, Riva and the entire SALE staff for taking such great care of us. We can't wait to use you again for our return to Cuczo and for Iguazu Falls…it's never to early to start planning!
* Photographed at Amazon
- Sean, Carol and Anthony (Hawaii)
Thank you so much! We couldn't have put a trip this amazing together without you! All in all, simply put, amazing. I'll send along some photos when I get the chance to sort through them. 4sd cards at 8-64gb full of pics and video.
I think, we would've been happier in a hostal with laundry service post-trek. It might just have been that el Mapi was a little too uber-hipster for us.
The guidance for tipping was a little vague and in retrospect I feel badly because I think some of the people got shorted. All of the drivers and pickup people were very professional and great.
Highlights: Abra Salkantay. We were very happy we took the Salkantay trek vice Inca trail due to the shear numbers of people and amazing array of micro-climates. Cuzco was amazing, especially being there for Inti Raymi. Wayki trek was rugged and engaged enough that I felt like we were with just a group of guys who didn't distance themselves from us simply because we were the gringo tourists. I would use Wayki trek for everything. I would've liked to have Alfredo and his group the entire time, and knowing what we know now we would've spent even more time in the mountains with them rather than going to Lima. The locals were great everywhere. I really made some lifelong friendships. That was the prime highlight for me.
Trip of a lifetime!
* Photographed at Cuzco
- Jay and Heather DeLong, (Laramie, Wyoming)
We returned from our trip to Peru, visiting Cusco, the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, and Lima. The entire trip was outstanding. We stayed at the Lima Airport Hotel which was perfect for our late evening arrival and morning flight to Cusco. I would recommend others to stay there rather than in Miraflores if you are leaving Lima the next morning. It saves the 45 minute drives to and from Miraflores and the airport.
Upon arrival in Cusco, we were met by the representative and driver who took us to our hotel. We stayed at the La Casona Hotel which was top notch in every way. Their service is impeccable and the staff very friendly and helpful. We experienced no altitude sickness since we live at 7200'. Our first afternoon, we took the Marcelo Batata Cooking Class, which we scheduled on our own. The instruction covers everything from Peruvian food, fruit tasting, pisco tasting and drink making, and of course cooking. This was a great introduction to Peru and its food culture. I would highly recommend this to everyone visiting Cusco for their first time.
The next morning we were met by our guide, Juan Carlos and our driver Roddy. We had the same driver and car throughout our time in Cusco and the Sacred Valley. Roddy made sure we had bottled water in the car every day. We also did the Cusco Planetarium on our own, which was very informative. They covered the Inca sky beliefs along with current sky phenomena. Highlights included seeing the moons of Jupiter and the rings of Saturn with their telescopes. I would also recommend it for someone looking for something different to do in the evening. They pick you up and drop you off in Cusco. We were with a group of 3 other people. The planetarium is located near Sacsayhuaman. Our guide, Juan Carlos, was also with us the entire time throughout the Cusco area; including the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. Having the same guide throughout was a great advantage, since he could tailor his information more to our interests. Of note, Juan Carlos took us onto the Maras salt fields, rather than just on the outskirt path. We got to see firsthand and up close, some of the workers preparing their areas and they explained what and how they were doing it.
Machu Picchu is everything we've read about and more. We stayed at the Sanctuary Lodge, which was well worth the expense. We were there for two day; one full day with the guide and another without the guide. The guide also climbed Huayna Picchu with us. The advantage of the Sanctuary Lodge is we were able to leave the park, shower after our hike and have lunch in the hotel residents only area, then return back into the park. Our Lima guide, Sophia, was outstanding as well. When we arrived in early afternoon without lunch due to our flight, she made a reservation for lunch for us at the Museum Cafe so we had a table available when we arrived. She also made sure we arrived at Miraflores in time for the sunsetting over the Pacific.
Overall, the trip was everything we expected and more.
* Photographed at Huyna Picchu