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  The Chatter Box : Travel
Messages 1 2 

Machu Picchu by jamesblud on 15 October 2004 5:38pm
Hi everyone,i'm currently looking to organise an expedition to Ecuador,Peru and Bolivia, and was wondering if anyone had any ideas or tips on what to visit especially or to look out for. James
Re: Machu Picchu by zak on 17 October 2004 1:25am
This may help for Peru http://www.enjoyperu.com/
Re: Machu Picchu by jamesblud on 18 October 2004 5:51pm
Thanks for the website Zak its been very useful,i'm trying to lead a trip to Machu Picchu.The problem i'm having is how to contact the tour guides directly in Peru without having to go through a Company in the UK.So that i could take a group to Peru and then meet with the tour operator for the Inca Trail when we arrive,after arranging it of course. If anyone knows how, i would be grateful to hear from you. James
Re: Machu Picchu by chris1979 on 27 October 2004 11:48am
Hi James,

Try this agency called SAS Travel: http://www.sastravelperu.com/

I trekked the Inca Trail with them last year and had an excellent experience. They are a very reputable local agency recommended in all the guidebooks. Yes, they are a bit pricier than most but the service is first class: our guides were excellent, the safety and comfort of the trekkers was always their top priority and the porters were treated well.

Definitely include Bolivia in your itinerary. Travel is harder than in Peru (poor roads and frequent delays) but the rewards are greater. In my experience Bolivians were more friendly and hospitable to tourists - pleased to see you rather than pleased to see your money. In Bolivia I visited La Paz, Rurrenabaque (a rainforest town), Sucre, Potosi and the Salar de Uyuni. All were highlights as far as I'm concerned!
Re: Machu Picchu by KELLY_B on 27 October 2004 1:15pm
Hi James. I went trekking through Peru and Bolivia last summer. I booked the Inca Trail through a company called Inca Wasi whilst in Lima. I can highly recommend this company, they were very professional and the guides were brilliant.

There is so much else to do in Peru than just the Inca Trail...you must go on a jungle trek in Iquitos! However I will warn you not to leave any belongings for 'safe-keeping' at the travel agent. When me and my brother returned from the trek we discovered that the travel agent had had a mysterious 'break-in' and all my brothers £4000 worth of travellers cheques had been stolen. Luckily they didn't steal his passport so none were cashed, but American Express took a week of 'investigating' my brother before re-imbursing him!

Arequipa is a beautiful city, especially the monestry in the centre which is like a city within a city. Whilst there try and visit the Colca Canyon to view the Condors aswell.

Puno may not be the most attractive city but Lake Titicaca is most definately worth a visit. Try and book a visit across to Amantani Island where you can stay the night with a local family. We were treated to a night out 'Amantani' style which involved dressing up in the local gear and dancing around a big campfire to panpipe music - crazy, crazy, crazy...

The Nazca Lines didn't prove to be as memorable as I'd hoped but worth seeing just so you can tick it off the list. The in-flight sick bag may come in handy!

We only spent a week in Bolivia so didn't get to see as much as i'd have liked.
The witches market in La Paz was a weird experience!
If you like to live life on the edge I can highly recommend mountain biking down the most dangerous road in the world. Definately something to brag about!

Have fun!!
Re: Machu Picchu by infinity on 25 November 2004 1:45pm
I'll be touring South America from Feb next year for 12 weeks, doing the Inca Trail sometime in April/May 2005.

I just can't wait!
Re: Machu Picchu by Godfather on 25 November 2004 1:59pm

You'll have the time of your life :)

Re: Machu Picchu by infinity on 25 November 2004 2:36pm
I'm counting the days :))
Re: Machu Picchu by JF on 8 December 2004 11:37pm
Oh god, the plane ride over the Nazca lines! I've never turned that colour before or since.

Don't miss the Uros Islands on Lake Titcaca.

And definitely, absolutely, buy some Arequipa chocolate. Your taste buds will never be the same again. Makes the stuff they sell over here taste like what it is, rubbish.
Re: Machu Picchu by Treelooney on 11 January 2005 1:00am
I am in Bolivia right now! I have just journeyed overland from Quito, the capital of Ecuador, with Dragoman. I have said goodbye to the rest of the group as I´m flying home in two days (God willing) but what a trip it´s been. Highlights:

(i) White water rafting in Banos, Ecuador. Very exciting experience.
(ii) Swimming in a large rock pool underneath a 40-metre waterfall in the Ecuadorian rainforest, having scaled a 60ft sheer drop, holding on to tree roots and rocky handholds to get there.
(iii) Camping on the beach at remote Puerta Inca, Peru, falling asleep to the sound of Pacific waves thumping ever and again on to the shore, long after midnight.
(iv) Eating Guinea Pig for Christmas Dinner in Arequipa, Peru (my favourite Peruvian city).
(v) Hiking the awesome Inca Trail to Macchu Pichu in Peru. High level of fitness required! On the third day, a mighty vista of mountains and valleys, the river twisting and turning like a ribbon far below, clouds tumbling from valley to valley, and mile upon mile of puma-haunted jungle as far as the eye can see.
(vi) Swimming in Lake Titicaca (Bolivian part) at Copacabana.

I am currently in La Paz, a fascinating city, built in a vast natural bowl, with amazing street markets. There is no way you can give the correct altitude of La Paz, as it varies from 1500 metres to 3800 metres above sea level.
No real downers on this trip, but a couple of bits of info for you:
(i) Cusco, Peru is fine, but a bit touristy. Great base for the Inca Trail though.
(ii) Much of Peru is arid desert, at least near the coast. This does not detract from the good bits. Peru is a must for serious travellers.
Best wishes to you.
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