I used Machu Travel Peru for the land portion of my one week Spring Break trip in Peru with my wife and 20-something daughter. I selected the hotels in Lima, Cusco, and Aguas Calientes based on Tripadvisor reviews. Machu Travel Peru booked the hotels, tours, tickets, and all transfers. PROs: Jonathan was an excellent host while we were in Peru. He made sure we were in the right place at the right time with the right tickets the entire week. He was able to adjust to local conditions as required (e.g., changing the start time of our Sacred Valley tour due to an impromptu public bus strike in Cusco). It was comforting to know Jonathan was looking out for us all week so we could focus on enjoying all the wonderful sights. It was good knowing that all the taxis/vans/transfers were safe. He also provided us with great restaurant recommendations, helped us find a safe ATM, etc. The cost of booking through Machu Travel Peru also made sense since the total price was approximately the same price of the hotels alone if I had booked the hotels directly. CONs: paying the initial 50% deposit and the remaining 50% was a challenge...I paid the deposit via credit card with a hefty service fee (still a good deal overall). The credit card site would not work for the remaining 50% so I did my first international bank wire transfer...but the receiving bank in Peru added service fees so I still had to pay some of the cost upon arrival in country (still a good deal overall). On 2/14/2013, the US Embassy in Peru issued a travel warning for U.S. citizens for Cusco (since rescinded). It would have been easier to cancel the trip if I had booked the hotels directly given Machu Travel Peru's cancellation policy (100% loss of price if cancelled < 30 days in advance). I learned that travel warnings from the US State Department are generally not covered by trip insurance (which I had purchased) unless you buy a prohibitively expensive "cancel for any reason" policy. Bottom line, we decided to proceed with the trip due to many factors. The reason this review is "Very Good" instead of "Excellent" is the Lima portion of our trip (Machu Travel Peru has a stronger presence in Cusco where Jonathan is located). The driver arranged by Machu Travel Peru picked us up from the Lima airport late at night then took us to the wrong hotel (luckily I was paying attention) and then got lost taking us to the correct hotel. Everyone makes a mistake, and I would have let it pass without mentioning it on tripadvisor, but this same driver was 25 minutes late taking us back to the Lima airport for our return flight to the U.S....web check-in and no bags-to-check helped save us. It was not an issue for us but note that Machu Travel Peru subcontracts out the actual tours. We did five tours: (1) Half Day Lima City Tour - Average; 12 people; little time was allotted for visiting some of the key attractions; for example, literally two minutes for the interior of the Cathedral; (2) Half Day Cusco City Tour - Excellent; 12 people; Julio was excellent; sites are impressive; (3) Half Day Machu Picchu Tour - Excellent/the best possible; just the 3 of us; Esmerelda was excellent; unforgettable; spent the rest of the day exploring Machu Picchu on our own; (4) Full Day Sacred Valley Tour - Very Good; 12 people; Picac and Ollantaytambo are excellent; buffet lunch was excellent; we enjoyed shopping for silver jewelry and home made blankets; and (5) Lima cultural dance/dinner night at Junius - Very Good; food and entertainment were great but the stage had a somewhat obstructed view at times. Overall, I am glad we used Machu Travel Peru.
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