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“Peru for Less” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Peru

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1 review
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Peru for Less”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2010

I recently booked a tour to Peru with the online agency PeruforLess.com. I exchanged countless emails with my personal trip advisor, Kristina Rudge, to arrange the perfect trip for my daughters and me. She organized everything: all of our flight/trains/transportation in Peru, all of our tours, all of our guides, all of our hotels, etc. Whenever you book something on line you always take a leap of faith. I have to admit, I held my breath when we arrived in Lima but there was a smiling face holding a sign with my name on it waiting for us. From that point on, it was clear that Peru for less was top notch. Everything was excellent: the guides were great, the hotels were fine, their advice was terrific (down to the great restaurants!). I would recommend them to anyone.
Having said all that, the mark of a truly great service is how they deal with the unexpected. Five days before we were to return home, we all got violently ill (from something we ate, I think). I called the local operations manager (his name was Nick) at 8AM. By 10AM, he had arranged for us to fly from Cuzco to Lima and then rebooked our flight home that night. Two hours later, another agent arrived to take us to the airport. They had already obtained all of our boarding passes so all we had to do was show up. We made it home safely. I had paid for our trip in cash which I was told bought me some travel insurance. Once home, I emailed Kristina to see if I was entitled to a refund. I have never made a claim for travel insurance but I have heard horror stories from my friends. Two days later she told me they had calculated the amount I was entitled to (more than fair) and would send the check. The check arrived three days later. I didn't have to argue with anyone, plead my case, or fill out a single piece of paper. The check just arrived. Peru for less made our original trip hassle free as well as dealing with the unexpected. I plan to rebook the part we missed with them soon. They are truly a class act!

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kelowna, Canada
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Wonderful Peru and Galapagos Trip - April 2010”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2010

This will be a fairly brief trip report because there have already been many great ones posted. I want to do a report for two reasons:
1: To commend Trip Advisor for the plethora of information that they provide travellors.
2: To recommend our hotels and our travel agency.

We chose three of the recommended agencies from Trip Advisor to get quotes and itineraries from. We decided to go with Pachamama and we were not disappointed! Their pre trip advice and planning and the eventual customized trip and guides were all first class. We were just the two of us, my husband and I, we like private tours because we can often see and do more than large group tours and we can do exactly what we want to do.

Our first night we spent at the Ramada Costa del Sol in Lima and found it perfect for an over night. They even have a second level walkway from the airport to the hotel. Booking through Pachamama saved us many dollars. In Cusco we stayed at the Rumi Punku - a converted Spanish home with courtyards and gardens that was absolutely charming. In the sacred valley, we stayed at the Illarimuy Hotel - a wondeful quiet haven. I wish we could have stayed there a week. They even have a yoga room. In Aguas Calientes we stayed at the basic Inti Inn, in Puno we stayed at the Puno Plaza - a good stay and on our return in Lima we stayed at the home of a famous Peruvian Artist, Victor Delfin. It is called the Second Home and overlooks the ocean. It was delightful! We enjoyed a perfect three nights there.

We really loved staying at the Rumi Punki, the Illarimuy and the Second Home. We enjoy the feeling of being in local cultural accomodations and not just box hotels. Again - booking through the local agency saves mega bucks on the hotels.

Our trip was perfect with one exception. We loved the visit to the floating islands of lake Titicaca but did not enjoy the hike up and down Tequila Island. I guess we are getting too old!

We also spent a couple of weeks in the Galapagos. We have a friend who lives there so she made all our arrangements. We stayed at the Angermeyer Waterfront Inn - it was awesome! Really first class. And the owner Teppy Angermeyer ever so entertaining. (Leonardo de Caprio and friends even dropped in for dinner one night) We did a 7 night cruise on the Guantanamera. The ship was not our first choice but was available when we wanted to go and it went to the islands we wanted to see. We had a good guide and good food and saw wonderful animals and birds and the crew treated us well - so even though the Guantanamera is perhaps not one of the more upscale ships - we had a good trip. We also went scuba diving with Scuba Iguana - a dive shop we can highly recommend. Saw lots of sharks, turtles, rays etc and an abundance of reef fish - but no Hammerheads.

All in all, Peru and the Galapagos were everything we hoped. We even hiked up to the Sun Gate at Maccu Picchu - not bad at all considering my husband is 75.

Thanks trip advisor for providing all the information we needed to put together this trip we have dreamed of for many years.

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Peru Expeditions”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2010

I just got back from Perú, spent with my wife 2 weeks there, machupicchu was the highlight, peruvian food was excellent and the 4wd expedition going inside the villages was a one time in life experience. All of these was possible because of Peru Expeditions, do not guess in trusting them.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
17 reviews 17 reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Condor Travel = FAIL”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2010

I'd like to start off by saying, the sites of Peru are absolutely amazing. In my head, only positive things could be said about this trip... had I not used Condor Travel to organize it. (I didn't use Condor by choice, I booked my trip through Latin Destinations... who I'm also holding responsible for my bad experiences). So, what went wrong?

- Condor's lack of communication: A month before my departure, I noticed that the train to Machu Picchu would only allow an 11lb bag/backpack. I called Latin Destinations who then responded that 2 possible scenarios may occur and to contact Condor right before my scheduled Machu Picchu trip to find out what they wanted me to do. I contacted them the night before and the morning we were suppose to leave for the ruins. When asked about what to do with my luggage, they said they'd call back with a response... well, they did call back... 10 minutes before their driver came to take us to the train station. I haphazardly threw in what I thought I would need in a panicked 10 minutes... as I didn't want to miss my train. On another note, I love how I received my 11-day itinerary on the last night of my trip. Great planning Condor!

- Condor's lack of logistical sense: By the time we drove to the train station, rode on the train, transferred onto the bus, and ate our "free" lunch, it was 2:00 PM before we set foot in Machu Picchu. By the time our guided tour ended, we had less than 1 hr to explore the ruins on our own. We stayed that night in Aguas Calientes and our return train the next day, didn't depart until 9:30 PM. That gave us the entire next day in Aguas Calientes to do NOTHING. There is nothing to do in that tiny little town. Instead, Condor could have booked us on an afternoon train and get us started on our 4 hr trip back to Cusco way earlier. If we had taken that 9:30 PM train (Which we didn't. We booked an earlier train costing us $22 dollars extra/person), we would have gotten into Cusco around 1AM! What kind of dumb planning was that? What a waste of time!

- Condor's lack of accountability: When I inquired about why specific details (i.e. what to do with my luggage that wouldn't be allowed on the train to Machu Picchu) weren't communicated to me earlier, they responded that it was MY FAULT for not adding transportation (from the Cusco airport to our hotel in the Sacred Valley) to my tour package and they they had no other way of communicating this type of information to me. Yeah bc phones, email, snail mail, and fax machines don't exist in Peru, right? The fact they blamed me for their inability to communicate is down right unprofessional. And this was told to me TWICE... by two different Condor customer service reps! This also tells me that bc I didn't fork over additional money to include their transportation services (airport to hotel, hotel to airport) that they could treat me like dirt! That attitude makes me think that they're just down right shady!

Luckily, the second leg of my trip to the Manu Wildlife Center was organized my InkaNatura, who was wonderful. They called 3x in one day: a call to let me know that an agent would be contacting me regarding my Manu trip, the agent's actual call, and a follow up call to confirm that the agent called! Wow, 3 calls in one day! I didn't know a tour company would actually do that! I was impressed.

So, all in all, Condor Travel was a huge disappointment. In addition, I can't say I'd recommend Latin Destinations as well. As they seem to only want to sell their products... no matter what the quality. Again, shady.

Condor Travel = FAIL
InkaNatura = PASS (big time!)

Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Rochelle, NY
1 review
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Peru Best Tours”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2010

Just returned from a 10-day trip with Peru Best Tours. A GREAT company! Mike Higham worked with us and perfected our trip. Lima, Puerto Maldonado, Cuzco, Aguas Calientes, Macchu Picchu & Puno. The transfers and guides went out of their way to help us and went above & beyond to make sure we were happy. Would DEFINITELY recommend this tour group highly!

Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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