Holiday review by Mr. Jan Bek
Name: Mr. Jan Bek
Date of trip: 10/05/2019
Number of people: 2
Loved the achievement of getting over the 4,200m Dead Womans pass on the Machu Picchu trek without mountain sickness. Great train journey back from Machu Picchu to Ollantaytampu with entertainment and fashion show from the railway staff - hillarious - also the scenery wasn't bad either! Really enjoyed the snorkelling (more than the shore trips) on the Galapagos cruise and seeing sharks and sealions swimming all around us. Watched a massive pod of Dolphins play in our bow wave for about half an hour.
Very varied trip with the Trek, Cloud Forest and Galapagos cruise making it seem like three holidays in one.
Rory answered all our questions and managed the Peru Tourist board mix up over the permits to minimise disruption to us which was appreciated. I'm glad we were only a party of 6 tourists rather than the larger group originally planned. The Vamoos app seemed to work well and gave me the assurance that I had all the documentation without having to worry about paper copies (although of course I did have some). All went well and I didn't have to worry about the little details like getting from the airport to the hotel etc.
Chino Apaza on the Trek was really excellent - very personable and managed the rescheduling of our trip due to the farmers strike very well and had a back up plan.
Jose in Cusco was very chatty and gave us a good tour of the city with a great talk about the Inca civilisation and architecture.
All guides were happy to take photos of us and shared their views of their own country with honesty.
Social & Environmental Responsibility:
Hopefully the use of qualified local guides and porters does bring some money into the local economy. We did use a farmers field on the Machu Picchu Trek one night which hopefully meant the money went directly to the farmer. Its' a shame they use buses to move people up to MP from Aguas Calientes rather than something more environmentally friendly - like a funicular or cable car
The places you stayed
Very convenient being just a short walk across from the airport.
Very close to the main square and just a short walk from the local food/fruit/flower market. A bit cool in the corridors (May 2019), You can see some of the city rooftops from the upstairs restaurant aty breakfast.
Great place to unwind after the trek. Quite upmarket for such a small town based around servicing the tourist trade from Machu Picchu. Just off the main square and amongst the little streets selling gifts and silver items.
The hotel had beautiful gardens with lots of exotic shrubs and flowers. The room was quite spacious if a little dated.
In the old town area of the city and near the main square with a few restaurants nearby. Lovely covered courtyard where you have meals. Boutique style with interesting furnishings and pictures. Our room didn't have a window looking out at all but we did have a second floor with a living room and the en-suite. Very helpful and friendly concierge.
Nice to meet Richard (the owner) and see him taking an interest in the guests and also a group of 16/17 year old Quito school kids who were doing some field work. I was fascinated by the varietry Hummingbirds on the feeders and the weasels/olingos in the back garden.
Nice boat if a little bit old. Ideally suitable for the purpose although I'd go for one of the state rooms just for the extra storage space, The top deck of the boat does roll a bit more. Easy to get on and off the "pangas" because of the twin catamaran hulls and wide steps at the back. Auxilliary generator for lights and air-con ran for all the time that the engine wasn't running which was a bit noisy.