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“Don't mind doing business with them again”
Review of SAS Travel Peru

SAS Travel Peru
Ranked #101 of 675 Outdoor Activities in Cusco
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: SAS Travel -Peru … A well-established quality Tour Operator with more than two decades of experience and expertise in the tourism industry, organizing a huge variety of Tours in Cusco and Peru, Adventures trips, Treks, Amazon Jungle Trips and Packages in Peru, highly recommended for MachuPicchu tours, Inca Trail to MachuPicchu hikes,short Inca Trail hike, alternative treks as Vilcabamba, Ausangate, Choquequirao, Salkantay, Lares Valley, Tipon, Huchuy Qosqo hikes… Extension tours to Colca canyon in Arequipa, the floating islands in the lake Titicaca in Puno or flying over the enigmatic Nazca Lines, Ballestas islands or Paracas reserve. SAS Travel Peru also offers excellently guided cultural tours of the Sacred Valley, South Valley tour, Moray, Salt-mines and combined Cusco City tour with Saqsawaman, Tambomachay, Qenqo, Pucapucara and the amazing Koricancha or for those who want a little excitement around Cusco there`s white-water rafting in the Urubamba River, mountain biking in Maras, Moray and salt-mines, horseback riding in the Sacred Valley or near Cusco, climbing, paragliding and more. Recognized and honored by the Regional Govt Tourist Ministry as: "2010 Best Inca Trail Tour Operator"
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Stroller parking, Stairs / elevator, Food available for purchase, Activities for young children, Lockers / storage
Reviewed July 23, 2013

Our family went with SAS for the Sacred Valley tour, Inti Raymi, 4D Inka Trail, Nazca Lines & Ballestas Islands.
We planned our trip 6 months ahead and went through 2 slight modifications. They advised and helped us along our decision-making process. Emails were responded within 2 days, except once when I finally have to Skype SAS. I appreciate how Robyn (one of the owners, I believe) was very accessible through Skype. Before our departure to Peru, she smoothed out a few kinks and were accommodative.
Accessibility: 5+ stars

During our trip (we went through airports, bus stations, and train station) we were never left stranded waiting for SAS to pick up, except once, in Nazca. The bus arrived 1 hour late and the guy showed up 15 min late (acceptable in Peruvian time, but worrisome to us because we thought the bus' impunctuality was causing the chain reaction of our missing the rest of our trip)
Coordination: 4 stars
Their staffs were very friendly, helpful, and accommodative. There were a couple of dudes in the office that can definitely work on their customer service. (From their attitudes & general lack of willingness to get off their computers make me think they could be the office managers)
Staff: 5 stars (except for those 2 dudes)
All the accommodations (i.e., train, buses & hotels) are very satisfactory - 4 stars
Sacred Valley Tour:
SAS packs a lot of things to do in this Sacred Valley tour. That looks like a good bang for your buck, but for me, on hindsight, it's not so great. (On hindsight, I'd rather spend more time at fewer sites). I started the day by being the one person everyone was waiting for (I was 10 min late). We had our first 'charity' stop at a 'strip mall' in Pisac which the guide told us was 'mandatory'. This was the Peruvian government effort to promote local craft school that helps/ trains ex-farmers acquire new skills. When we arrived at Citadel of Pisac, the guide spent 2/3 of our time there 'educating' us and gave us only the remaining 10 min to actually see & explore the ruins, and we did it on our own while he stayed put. Things did not become better as the day went. We stopped at silver artisans' shop to do another shopping before lunch. Then as we were approaching Ollantaytambo ruins, we were stuck in one-lane 2-way traffic. And we were stuck again on the same section when we left Ollantaytambo. The traffic condition made us miss our last destination, Chincero. As night fell, the guide directed us to weavers' community to do one last shopping. That's how most of our days was spent, stuck because of the lack of infrastructure and shopping.
Guide (Christian): 2.5 - 3 stars. He gave the impression of very minimal 'guiding'. Apart from a few factual mistakes (I looked them up & double checked), he spent a long time talking but somehow not much information was given.
Pisac is OK; I prefer Ollantaytambo. Of course they'll be dwarfed by Machu Picchu.
Bus used by SAS: 5 stars
The Sacred Valley tour: 3 stars overall for me (maybe different time, different group, could be better)
Inti Raymi: The festival itself is 5 stars (just google it!). This time we have better guide (Jose): 3.5 - 4 stars. We arrived 3 hours early because the group collectively agreed to not squeeze with the crowd to watch the procession. So we just watched the beginning of Inti Raymi with the ceremony at Qorikancha and the finale at Sacsayhuaman. Due to our early arrival, we got lucky because we had a chance to explore the site a bit. Again, the transportation bus is 5 stars.
Inka Trail:
No need to add anymore. The guidebooks and internet are all correct in describing the 'thrill' of the trail, the challenge of Dead Woman's Pass, the beauty of the scenery, the serenity of the environment, the good quality of the authentic food, and the amazing feat of the porters & cook. (It's a nice touch when the cook whipped up a birthday cake for one member of the group on his birthday). The final destination, Machu Picchu truly does not disappoint. It is much BETTER than all the pictures on the internet & magazines. And yes, psychologically it is more dramatic if you enter from the Inka Trail than the entrance gate. Our team was pretty tight too. Our guide, Hilbert, and his crews were supportive and understanding. On and off we had a few different people in the group falling behind or having challenging times (including the need of O2). Hilbert & Henry (co-guide) stayed with them throughout. Hilbert claimed to be a student of archeology, so his narration could be pedantic. But he is good. I just wished he spent more time showing us more features at Machu Picchu itself. I felt a bit 'jealous' and sheepish when I had to tag other groups surreptitiously in order to 'learn' more. Overall, the experience is 5 stars.
Hilbert: 4 stars

Nazca Lines
The overnight bus to Nazca was an hour later than what's in our itinerary, and I couldn't be sure whether that was due to schedule change or typo on the itinerary. Of course the real concern was we would miss the rest of our tour. And it sure didn't help calming us down when no one was at Nazca bus station to pick us up. We were not given local contact number, and we didn't see any public phone to use in order to call SAS in Cusco. (We can't use station/ store phones to call long distance). Fortunately, the pick-up guy was just a tad late. The overnight Cruz del Sur bus was very nice - 5 stars.
The Nazca Lines themselves were a bit disappointing. Due to erosion and other ground activities, there are many 'other lines' on the ground that are distracting us or obscuring the figures. The figures are still all there, they are just not as easy to spot as we thought. SAS used MovilAir for this service. The plane & the pilots are fine - 4 stars. Overall experience: 3 stars

Paracas/ Ballestas Islands
This is a nice relaxing outing. We got to see the 'candelabra', smell the sea (& the guano), enjoy the company of boobies (they're birds :)), penguins, sea lions, etc. Our guide was very nice - 5 stars. The boat: 3.5 stars. The trip itself: 4 stars.

In the end, despite a few snags here & there, I don't mind doing business with SAS Travel Peru again. Based on our 10-day experience with the company, I can also refer SAS to others too.

Thank p l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 19, 2013

I had booked with SAS for the 4Day and 3 Night Inca Trail. It was an incredible experience and SAS did an amazing job. We had to booked the trip really far in advance in March to ensure we got the Inca pass and Waynapicchu pass.

The company itself did a fairly good job communicating back and forth up until the trek. There English was pretty good, but not exceptional. Once we got to Cusco, the day before the trek we had a briefing session that layed out the plan for the trip and made us a little more confident about our 4 days with them.

Once we began the trek they met us with their own bus and drove us out to km 82. Just before getting there they had a little breakfast for us that was better than most hostels!

I could go on for days about the Trek itself, but what I thought was amazing was the service along the Inca trail. At campsites they had tents and a dining tent set up when we arrived and tea and coffee on demand. The tents we stayed in were quite new and in general their equipment was well maintained. But the biggest plus of the trip was the food! They had a professional chef that produced the most amazing meals and I honestly think we gained weight throughout the trek even though we walked 46km!

We had two guides, one of which spoke fairly poor english. The other guide, Eder, was incredible. He was funny, knowledgable and really made the trip special for us. If SAS is reading this give Eder a raise!

However, this trip was not without the cons. While we personally didn~t get screwed, some of the other group members did. One couple booked an extra night in Aguas Calientes in a ^hotel^. It wasnt, it was a hostel and they were really disappointed for the price. Other members didn~t get the only train out of Aguas Calientes until the next morning! They had a flight to catch and it seemed liked it was pretty close. These problems stemmed from the fact that the office didnt speak the most amazing english and made these mistakes. So when you book with the company, and I recommend you do, be sure to tell them you expect to leave on the 4th day!

Overall, great trip. Good luck!

Thank GregToDiffer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 18, 2013

I booked a The Best of Cusco 4D/3N tour with my wife and 16yo daughter. I had read some of the previous comments about communication so was a little concerned about the arrangements.

Yes communication is a problem and things get down in 'Peru style'. Accept this and work with it and you should be fine.
I did miss some confirmation emails and I did need to ring their office (which only helped a little). However I took all of the copies of my booking with me including emails regarding the balances owing and everything worked out fine.

All the transfers worked fine, there was always someone to pick me up even when I varied the tour to catch the Vistadome train from Ollantaytambo to Cusco (which I would not recommend as the train does not go far before you are offloaded to cramped busses for the final 1.5 hours)

Tour guides were very good, especially at Machu Picchu.

I would use them again, just be a little patient with the communications, confirm everything and double-check with the office on arrival and everything should work out OK.

Thank Peter713
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 7, 2013

I started booking for my trip with Robyn at SAS travel 7 months before my trip. She was quite helpful in the planning process. Although she sometimes needed reminders to respond to my queries, she did always get back eventually. I also appreciated her willingness to accommodate a cancellation a month before the trip.

While some of the trips organized through SAS were okay, others left a lot to be desired. The Cusco day tour and Sacred Valley tour was fine.
The Huchuy Qosco trek which was supposed to be for 2 days, was cut short without any explanation and we were just sitting idle in Lamay on the 2nd day. The guide spent more time telling stories than sharing facts - some of which were obviously wrong (e.g. population of Lima is 30 million!).
The Colca Canyon tour, which SAS had promised would be a small group of 8-10 people, turned out to be a bus full of 30-32 people. There was supposed to be a half day trek included in the package. It never took place as the guide was busy dropping people to their various hotels in Chivay all afternoon.

What was most unpleasant was their complete disregard to any feedback or complaints. Robyn did not even bother to acknowledge my message about the Huchuy Qosco trek. At the office, they asked me to write a letter and said that there had been some confusion with the guide and he thought it was a 1 day trek and that was it.

SAS had also booked me on the Cruz del Sur bus from Arequipa to Lima. The ticket was handed over to me in Arequipa by a local agent (not SAS) and I realized that the name on the ticket was wrong. The local agent (Colonial Travels) apologized profusely then came with me to the bus station, paid to get my name corrected and gave me a box of goodies for the journey. Wish SAS had a similar approach towards their customers to make sure that all interactions end on a good note rather than take a 'now that we have your money, we don't really care' approach.

1  Thank anjanak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 6, 2013

In general, SAS is ok. And in general, people in Peru are not very organized, so SAS is probably better than others but set your expectations accordingly.

I did the Inka Trail with SAS in June 2013. I reserved my permit online, 6 months ahead, using their online payment system, which wasn't very straightforward. You fill a form and send some deposit. After I sent it, I received an email, saying that I need to provide my partner's info as well, and need to do it "immediately", so that they can buy our permits. Why don't they ask that info on the online form is still a mystery to me. After sending that info, they said that the permits are purchased. Great! Easy, huh?

Well, the next day, I got another confirmation email, but with another date! And from another email address! Took me a while but confirmed that the second email was wrong. Great! We went ahead and reserved our flights. Easy, huh?

Well, 10 days later, I got another email, saying that they didn't receive our initial deposit and couldn't buy the permits!!! Of course, I was pretty upset, so send them an email, asking for explanation. The next day I received an email saying that their last email was a mistake. That's where they lost half a star.

Once we reached Cuzco, we went to their store and they were nice and helpful. The night before we started the Inka Trail, we met with our guide, Edwin Yabarrena, who was very nice, helpful and informed.

The Inka Trail was great. The second day was very hard, so if money is not a big deal for you, hire a porter. The food was great (although I got diarrhea once). The other place where I cut another half a star was when the thing that they use as a light in the tent popped and burned the clothes of one of our team members. Fortunately, only her clothes got damaged but it could get much worse. They should find a better solution, that thing is dangerous.

Other than these couple issues, the whole thing was great. Our guide was good. SAS staff in general was helpful. As I said, the whole country is very disorganized, so my impression is that SAS is one of the best. Of course they're also expensive.

One last thing that was slightly annoying is; they sell t-shirts that would be a great souvenir. It says "I survived inka trail" etc. However, they sell it for a high price, which would also be ok, if it wouldn't be full of SAS advertisements on it! I wanted to get one but then found it too expensive to walk around like a billboard. Got one at the airport.

Over all, I recommend them because I think they're one of the best tour operators in Cuzco. Do not expect a service level you would find in a developed world, though.

1  Thank belgeler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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