A thoroughly fascinating and inspirational journey through southern Peru. A wonderful experience, well organised with a good balance of activities but definitely a "full on" trip with almost every day full from start to finish.
- What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
Too many to pick one but for me the moments which stand out in my memory are:
1. the walks through the rain forest amongst the huge trees, the butterflies displaying colours I had never before seen in living creatures and the other wildlife witnessed at close hand
2. after trekking for four days along the Inca Trail, at last passing through the Gate of the Sun and seeing the panorama of the ancient city of Machu Picchu laid out before us
3. the visits to the native peoples of Lake Titicaca taking us back in time to ancient ways of life and cultures so very different from our own
4. to witness dawn from high up in the Andes with the sun appearing from behind the peaks creating an unforgetable display of light and colour
- What did you think of your group leader?
- Our group leader was very knowlegable in Inca history and made the visits to the Inca sites more interesting and meaningful. She spoke very reasonable English.
- Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
I am an experienced walker and trekker and completed Kilimanjaro (with Exodus) a couple of years ago but I found the Inca Trail tougher than expected. Almost everyone in our group of 15 suffered from altitude sickness to some degree so be prepared for this no matter how fit you are. What makes the Inca Trail challenging is the infamous steps which are energy sapping at that altitude.
READ THE TRIP NOTES : the notes for this trip are excellent and contain valuable information for potential travellers. I studied mine in depth well before departure and was well prepared for the additional items such as the amount of money required for tips, the necessity of paying airport taxes in person for each internal and external flight and specific equipment recommended for the various phases of the trip.
- Is there anything else you would like to add?
The local guides we met on each of the various phases of the trip were all very knowlegable, helpful and enthusiastic about what they were doing, especially those in the rain forest.
A word about food; the standard of the meals at Tambopata Lodge was very good indeed and here as on the Inca Trail trek the chefs went out of their way to cater for those of us in the group with particular dietary requirements. The quality and presentaion of the food produced by the trek chefs from a tent at around four thousand metres was frankly amazing, (but not unprecedented for Exodus).
However the trek snacks were of poor quality; a reflection not of the staff but of the country we were in; so I would recommend you take your own energy bars for this part of the trip.