Monday, September 24, 2012

What to do for 10 days in Peru, September 2012

We just got back from a great vacation-a cruise on the Amazon, a visit to Machu Picchu, and a final stop at Iguassu Falls.

I am usually a DIY traveller-but there are times when a package tour is just what is called for.  If you are a large group where it would be a full time job to plan and execute an itinerary.  If you don't like the research and planning.  If you are travelling to an ecologically sensitive area and are not allowed in without a guide (the Galapagos or Angkor Wat).  Or if you are travelling to an unfamiliar culture, for me China and India for sure and in this case, Peru.

I booked the cruise through Rainforest Cruises.  When I started looking around for a an Amazon Cruise I could see that there are only a certain number of boat schedules and companies to book them through.  I sent off emails to a couple of them but got the best response from the folks at Rainforest.  They responded quickly and with the best information.  During the cruise we were also the best prepared.  The Amazon is filled with animals, but it is not a zoo, so you really should bring the recommended binoculars.  We ended up choosing a 5 day cruise on the Delphin II, which turned out to be amazing.  I am sure that other boats also do a nice job, but given the opportunity I would absolutely do this again with the same group.  The company has a good policy towards the environment and the crew could not have been better.

The Machu Picchu trip was booked through A&K and they provide airport transfers (those nice people holding a sign with your name on it), hotels and guides.  Everyone we met was professional and completely prepared.  The guides were knowledgeable and personable and we enjoyed all our time with them.  The schedule was busy, but I never felt rushed-we always had time to see everything.

Iguassu Falls was without a guide-we just stayed at the hotel in the park.

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