Holiday review by Mrs Annette Loehr Happe
Name: Mrs Annette Loehr Happe
Date of trip: 27/06/2015
Number of people: 2
It was our fifth day in the Amazonian rainforest, so we were already quite experienced in walking the jungle paths. It had been raining a lot during the night and cleared up now. The forest was quiet, nothing special to spot even for our expert guide Ines. While she watched up Tom looked on the moddy ground and suddenly found jaguar tracks coming towards us. What a pitty! The jaguar must have come straight forward to us, but before we were there! We decided not to turn around and continued our way. A bit later, another track, this time walking in our direction! Sharp pattern of lines, so pretty fresh after that passed rain! And quite big ones! As Ines said, it must be a large animal. Cautiously we followed the tracks that stayed on our path, 50 m, 100 m, 200 m, 400 m - then they disappeared. There was a small river close to the path and a rotten tree over it to the other side. The jaguar had probably crossed it! But during the next hours in the forest, everyone was looking back and to the sides a lot more intensively than before :) Amazing: spending 3 hours with the weaving women of a cooperative near Cusco - weaving ourselves and eating locally cooked food Gorgeous: the train ride from Cusco to Puno: 9 hours just looking, sitting in the open last wagon and enjoying the Altiplano Challenging and unforgettable: the 4-day-Inca-Trail to MachuPicchu
We enjoyed an extraordinary trip in this versatile country: Amazonian rainforest, wildlife, people in their daily life, in-depth look into life of weaving women, people's life on the islands and peninsula of the Lake Titicaca, (too) short view of the cities of Lima and Cusco, intense visits of the Inca culture, physical challenge of the beautiful 4-day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, amazing views of the Altiplano by 9-hours-train trip, our guides, very different accommodations, some of them particularly charming.
Paul is great in proposing, planning, always very fast in exploring and including our additional ideas. It was a pleasure to communicate with him! Thank you, Paul!
As we had different guides in different places we got additional knowledge on Peruvian people: Nancy living with her family in Lima, similar to our lives in the cities, caring for good education of her children; Ines in the rainforest, funny, however reluctant, honest, interested in foreign countries; William in Cusco and the Sacred Valley, also experienced, helpful in day-to-day need; Francisco on the Inca Trail, very friendly and intelligent, jokily, having a very good feeling for the time we'd like to walk on our own and when there is the moment to join and motivate us for the actual stage; Henri at the Lake Titicaca, deeply rooted in the culture and the area, partly working as stage director, telling more than the usual touristic aspects on request.
As far as we know the guides came from the area where they worked, they were all knowledgeable and reliable and dead on time (if you prize that). As we passed different times which each guide the description can't be complete, we say "thank you very much" to everyone. We never felt any danger of criminality, even not on our own in Lima (Miraflores), Ollantaytambo and Aguas Calientes.
Social & Environmental Responsibility:
This trip especially opens our eyes. For the Peruvians it may mean more income by tourism in general and tips in particular. The porters for example feed their families in remote villages by their hard work. With a good regimen the foreign money can maintain rainforest and more. On the other hand people in such a threshold country watch our gear and work for having a mobile. In the fields you can see families working together and we learnd that in Inca-times it was a rule to help one's neighbour and that a comunity helps the beighboring. I am not sure, but I hope that Peruvians will follow that principle which is not so common in our societies.
The places you stayed
Modern building, close to the centre of Miraflores, walking distance to the ocean, businesslike modern rooms, view from our rooms only onto a small rock garden, breakfast-room with view to the street. Next to weaving and souvenir shops. Nice staff.
Spacious rainforest lodge, bar + dining area in the center, really busy in the evening like at an after-work drink, rooms quiet, possibility to use wellness area above, nice employees great canopy tower of 25 m
Remote cosy lodge in the rainforest, very familiar atmosphere, very friendly staff, very clean in spite of minimal two showers per day and guest, no problems with large community-bathrooms. TRC is offering a lot of paths and short boat rides, great wildlife in day- and nightwalks, relaxing hammocks. Great!
Nice colourful buildings and garden, a large living room with a fire in the evening and picture books, candle-light atmosphere in the restaurant, international tourist groups, kind staff if help is needed.
Extraordinary! beautiful arrangement of slightly different houses with balconies or large windows. Great restaurant and additional rooms with style incl a bar around. Wonderful meals! Feeding of birds in the morning is amazing, the hummingbirds and orchids, too. You have to book a tour early enough (one day before usually), staff was rather impersonal (not so in bar and restaurant).
Good hotel at the shore of Lake Titicaca. Nice staff, good room with view on the garden. We benefited from the own landing stage to leave by boat the next morning :)
Being part of a local house, a simple guesthouse was constructed for visitors, with a huge livingroom for guests only, offering a heater, two large rooms on the 1st floor, with brilliant view to the Lake Titicaca and on the village. Bathroom downstairs, with shower, colourful, basic and clean. Local food with potatoes, vegetables, tomatoes, chicken, tea in company of our guide. Unfortunately we didn't got much contact to the family; only on our way back to the boat I spoke a while with Juanita, our host mother, about her family. It's more a B&B than a homestay. (We had meals and walks with our guide at AmantanÃ. He showed us a tiny cafÃ© and told us stories about the recent past. Local people are in general quite shy, we got the impression they wouldn't propose anything to us in self-initiative.)
Stylish old building inside and outside, also nice bedrooms with old furniture and fan. Lively area around, close to different restaurants. Nice professional staff.