Why book with Andean Trails?

Andean Trails has almost 20 years of travel experience, and here's a quick glimpse of what our clients think of us ...

Friends Debby, Jane and Rebecca booked with Andean Trails for a tailor made trekking and luxury tour of Peru. Here's what Debby had to say about their experience ...

 

What was it that attracted you to Peru?

As a keen hiker I’ve always wanted to walk the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. I was aware that the relatively small number of permits to do this sell out quickly, so it was just a matter of deciding when to go really, and then a bit of gentle persuasion to get a couple of friends to join me…

 

What sort of trip were you looking for?

Two of us had walked to Everest Base Camp in 2011, which took 3 weeks, so when we realised that the Inca Trail is just 4 days long we decided that we needed more of a challenge! We wanted something quite tough and remote, and the Ausangate Trek seemed to tick those boxes. We also wanted quite a lot of variety, rather than just a walking holiday, and the more I chatted to Kat at Andean Trails, the more I was able to tailor the trip to our precise requirements.

 

Why did you choose Andean Trails to organise your tour?

Andean Trails was recommended to me by a friend who lives in Edinburgh.  As soon as I realised that we would be able to make a tour that suited our dates and our ever-growing wish-list, it was clear that this was going to be the best company to book through. It’s also great to have somebody at the end of a phone/email who knows what they are talking about, and I liked the idea of booking with an independent and local company rather than one of the big businesses.


How was your holiday? (What did you think of Peru? Did everything go according to plan? What were the highlights?)

Our holiday was, in a word, fantastic! (In fact on the last night, we tried to make a list of our top 10 highlights, and were still going at 30!)

Peru is a stunningly beautiful place, and the people we met were all incredibly friendly, helpful, and passionate about their country.

The weather varied quite widely from scorching sunshine (in the Sacred Valley) to hailstones and dramatic thunderstorms (on the Ausangate trek). So did the scenery – from the scorched flatness of the Alti-plano to the frozen wastes and glaciers of the high mountain country, the cloud forests of the Inca Trail to the green and verdant flower-filled gardens in the Sacred Valley.  Oh and the islands of Lake Titicaca, which call to mind the Mediterranean.

Cusco is a fabulous small city – yes it’s full of tourists but that means there are loads of great restaurants, bars and cafes. It’s also the perfect place to do your Christmas shopping. Everybody wants to sell you something, but nobody wants to annoy you, so even the haggling is all done with smiles and laughter.

Our trip went smoothly from start to finish, in spite of being quite a busy itinerary, transfers all worked, tickets materialised when we were told they would, we stayed in a variety of excellently located and comfortable hotels, and were shown around by some charming guides, especially Jesus in Cusco and Andreas who took us to Sillustani right at the end of the trip.

 

Some highlights, in no particular order and this is by no means an exhaustive list:

Walking through herds of gorgeous wild alpacas on the Ausangate trek.

The cutest children ever.

Ceviche – our new favourite food.

Walking on the Inca Trail for a day without seeing another soul.

The first glimpse of Machu Picchu at sun-rise.

Sitting in the Plaza de Armas in Cusco, watching the world go by.

Arriving at the atmospheric, calm and beautiful site of Sillustani, and having the place to ourselves.

Walking for 5 full days without seeing a single Westerner – again on the Ausangate trek – such peace and remoteness is hard to find in the 21st Century, which makes it all the more valuable.

Hot springs.

The Salt Mines at Moray – stunningly beautiful, weird and wonderful.

Shopping for alpaca socks and jumpers.

 

Where next?

Patagonia  – can’t wait!

THANKS TO EVERYONE AT ANDEAN TRAILS FOR A TRULY MEMORABLE HOLIDAY!

Debby, Jane and Rebecca x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Neil and Julie Buckley booked with Andean Trails for a tailor made trip to Peru in the summer of 2011. Here's what they had to say about their experience ...
What was it that attracted you to Peru?

Outstanding mix of cultural experiences and mountain trekking. Plus a life long desire to see Machu Picchu!

What sort of trip were you looking for?

Active and reasonably independent, avoiding group tours but without the hassle of organising every detail ourselves.

Why did you choose Andean Trails to organise your tour?

When I made the initial enquiry by phone I felt confident that you understood what we were looking for and could organise it at a reasonable price. (You did not let us down.)

How was your holiday? (What did you think of Peru? Did everything go according to plan? What were the highlights?)

Brilliant - the best trip we've had in ages! No, everything did not go to plan due to strikes in Puno, so didn't make it to Lake Titicaca, but a last minute change to Sacred Valley was organised which we really enjoyed.

Highlights too many to list but include Colca Valley/Canyon - the suggested extra day here worked out very well as it gave us a chance to get a feel for the place; Monasterio de Santa Catalina in Arequipa was just gorgeous; Santa Cruz trek for fantastic mountain scenery and the best trekking food we've ever had (thanks Cesar; Inti Raymi for the spectacle; and of course the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu - recommend climbing Mount Machu Picchu for fabulous views in good weather. Just one complaint - too many photos!!!!!!

Where next?

Isle of Mull!

 

Punta Union Pass, Santa Cruz Trek

 

Cusco Day, Mount Machu Picchu

 

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Patrick Neale, and friends Tony and David, booked with Andean Trails for a tailor made climbing trip to Bolivia in July 2011.  Here's what Patrick had to say about their experience ...

I can only shower praise on the whole organisation. Julia was amazing, faultless. Norberto was great and the back up team were so kind and helpful. Angelica's cooking was terrific. As for the trip it was stunning. We were so grateful for the flexibility as there's no way we would have managed Sajama after Hauyna Potosi. The climbing was tough but really rewarding and the salt plains were sublime.  I can't decide what the best moment was as there were so many.  Most importantly I want to say how Julia was truly superb. She worked so hard and was devoted to our enjoyment. I will write to her soon.  So well done Andean trails. I want to take my sons back and climb Sajama.

If you need any recommendations do let me know. It really was a great experience,

What was it that attracted you to Bolivia?

We wanted to go somewhere that would be remote and not swarming with backpackers.  Nepal and Klimanjaro sound hideous to me. The size of the mountains and the novelty really appealed  

What sort of trip were you looking for?

Having climbed Ararat in 2007 we wanted a challenge. 

Why did you choose Andean Trails to organise your tour?

We chose Andean trails because of the customers service. After looking at a number of websites and sending off speculative emails we got a good feeling from Andean Trails response and then it was great to pick up the phone and be reassured that this was a creible outfit.  

How was your holiday?  (What did you think of Bolivia?  Did everything go according to plan?  What were the highlights?)

The holiday was superb. The climbing was tough but the rewards were terrific. The views and the achievement will stay with me forever.  Climbing Huayna Potsoi was a real landmark. But the six day trek was very special.

I loved La Paz and the people we dealt with (Norberto, Angelica and particularly Julia) were perfect.

Clambering into the cooks tent for a great evening meal at the Condoriri campsite was really great. 

Where next?

Probably Poland and with my partner Polly so it may have be without crampons and axes. But I am agoing to have to come back and climb Sajama sometime.

Thank you for such a great time.  Here's a link to a blog about our trip: 
http://www.wiseinvestment.co.uk/2011/08/a-long-way-gone-climbing-adventures-in-the-high-andes/



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