Andean Trails was started up in 1998. We have over 20 years of experience researching, travelling and putting together fabulous holidays.
Here is just a quick glimpse of some of our customers. Read what they have to say about travelling with Andean Trails.
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 Peru 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 of our Peru holiday, 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.
The Salt Mines at Moray – stunningly beautiful, weird and wonderful.
Shopping for alpaca socks and jumpers.
Patagonia – we 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. Here’s what they had to say about their experience …
Outstanding mix of cultural experiences and mountain trekking. Plus a life long desire to see Machu Picchu!
Active and reasonably independent, avoiding group tours but without the hassle of organising every detail ourselves.
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.)
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!
Isle of Mull, Scotland!
I can only shower praise on the whole organisation. Julia, our local guide, 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 Huayna 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 Kilimanjaro sound hideous to me. The size of the mountains and the novelty really appealed
Having climbed Ararat in 2007 we wanted a challenge.
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 credible 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.
Probably Poland and with my partner Polly so it may have be without crampons and axes. But I am going to have to come back and climb Sajama sometime.
Thank you for such a great time.
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We had an absolutely amazing trip and everything was perfect.
Highlights – there were loads of highlights. We loved Quito – especially the morning we went up the Teleferico. We could see for miles over the city to snow capped Volcanos beyond. Our Equador guide and driver were brilliant – Miguel and Memo. They went out or their way to make sure we saw as much as possible – we wouldn’t have seen or learned as much without them. We saw humming bird, toucans, tangers and a fantastic bird of prey sanctuary that wasn’t on the original schedule.
The Galapagos Islands were amazing. Again we saw so much and the guides were brilliant. They were so enthusiastic about their islands, the animals and conservation.
Accommodation etc – the hotels were all excellent. We loved the quirkyness of the hotel in Quito. The staff were very helpful and friendly. The Septimo Paraiso eco lodge in the cloud forest and the Hacienda Las Palmeras near Otavalo were great – the food at Las Palmeras was really excellent. The airport hotel was spotless and friendly but the set meal of Spaghetti bolognese wasn’t great to be honest. We ate in some lovely restaurants and the guides picked some lovely places to stop for food.
Sol y Mar on Santa Cruz was lovely too.
We loved Hotel Albemarle on Isabela. It was a perfect place to spend 5 nights. The rooms were comfy, clean with lovely balconies and views. There were some really good local restaurants, especially Coco surf, recommended by Tania, our Isabela guide.
The company that did our trip to Los Tuneles were fantastic. The guide was so enthusiastic and determined that we would see loads of wildlife. He took loads of photos with his gopro then downloaded them all for us for free when we got back. The lunch on the boat that day was chicken and rice which all three of my kids said was the best lunch they’d had all holiday. It might have been because they were all cold and knackered – they even took the hot sweet tea on offer.
I hope we benefitted the local communities. We enjoyed our trips to the coffee plantation and the chocolate factory and certainly brought plenty of chocolate and coffee back with us. I would like to think that the money we spent goes in someway to help conservation efforts and to keep the cloud forests and the Galapagos Islands as special and unique as they clearly are.
We picked Andean trails because you are based in Scotland and seemed to understand out requirements and came up with a perfect sounding itinary. Flying from Galsgow via Amsterdam worked well and for us was definitely the quickest and easiest way to get there.
Everything worked out perfectly. We had a totally brilliant time. I think it is all still sinking in...
L. Keany, UK, Aug 2019
» 4-day Ecuador Family Holiday
The highlight of the climb was the whole experience from meeting the crew to training on the glacier to getting as far as I did.
Hats off to the crew. They all did a great job - everyone of them. Osvaldo was great throughout the entire few days; Alex the cook made some great food with some of the other climbers in the high hut commenting about how good the food looked. Thanks also to the porter Adrian.
I thought the climb was pretty tough overall considering the altitude. Had to catch my breath a few times. Osvaldo was great though and went at a pretty steady pace with lots of guidance.
I chose Huyana Potosi because it was an achieveable 6,000m peak. I didn't summit but enjoyed the whole trip.
Mike Stringfellow, Aug, Aug 2019
» Climb Huayna Potosi in Bolivia
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