Planning your Peru adventure.
By far the most important part of any tour of Peru is in the planning, a well-planned tour will avoid disappointment and give you a realistic expectation of what to expect and cost. The first place to start is, when do you travel, how long do you have for your holiday and what is your budget? There is so much to see and do in Peru, researching each destination will enable you to maximise your time seeing and doing what you wish most, you want to enjoy every day you have.
International flights to Lima, Peru
Deciding who to fly with and from where makes a big difference to your experience and to the overall cost of the holiday, other factors you need consider is the length of the flights and any connecting flights along with the route you take. A cheap flight with 5-6 hour stopovers can be exhausting, a normal flight from the UK is between 12-14 hours so be aware of flights offering 22 hours as that is extra time spent waiting in airports. Stopovers can add to the cost with airport restaurants and bars costing far more than you expect and when added to the cost of the flight means you could spend more. Your departure airport is also important, not everyone lives close to a London airport, with a lot of the flights departing early morning it is often required to take a hotel prior to your flight adding again to the overall cost. A flight may look more expensive from your local airport with better flying times but in most cases it saves you money and stress. The main carriers including KLM, Iberia and British Airways, all fly from regional airports avoiding a lot of extra travel, time and cost, it is also easier flying to Peru via Europe than the USA.
Do you book individually each service or go through a specialist tour operator to Peru?
The main reason people book everything themselves is because they think it will save money, this may be the case offering some savings but often there are hidden costs and not everything is taken into consideration. Secondly the quality and reliability of each service will always be unknown, there are many reasons a service like a local tour can be cheaper; over crowded uncomfortable vehicles, bad guides who speak very little English or worse they are no longer there to give you the service. Hotels often give the less desirable rooms to hotel booking sites in order to clear them, you may will find yourself above a noisy kitchen or near reception and noisy with arrivals and departures of groups. Many parts are difficult to book online from the UK in advance, this includes Machu Picchu entrance tickets, the Inca Trail and train tickets, the last thing you want is to find there are no spaces or the trains are full.
Booking through a tour operator you have all the advantages and a set price agreed so you know exactly how to budget. Our company, Peruvian Secrets, has for 20 years been dealing with hotels directly, during this time we have built up an exceptional relationship which ensures our clients get good rooms and a trouble free service. High quality guides giving you a lot of personal attention means you learn so much more and can ask questions as you wish, you will find as they have worked with us for many years they know how to give you the warm welcome and best experience you deserve. As experts on every corner of Peru our advisers can give you far more up to date information but also we know of many experiences you will not find anywhere else. You may have a special interest in which case we can offer specific local guides and destinations to suit you personally, all this adds greatly to your holiday and makes it far more memorable. Just chatting and exchanging ideas with our advisers enables us to learn more about you and offer something maybe you did not consider!
Main reason why a Tour Operator to Peru is your best option
With so many elements to a holiday taking in multiple destinations often requiring reliable timings, any missed connection or local strike can mean disaster to your plans. Over the years there have been climatic reasons flights have not departed or local strikes have meant there is no transport to your next destination, without dedicated local support working for you it can lead to complete distress. A strike in Puno could have you stuck in the city for up to a week, that means no trip to Machu Picchu or worse still missing an international flight home. As an operator we have with every incident, managed to get our clients back on track, avoiding any disappointments to continue the tour.
In part 2 I will look at what to expect on arrival and throughout your tour of Peru.