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Anita  
#1 Posted : Sunday, November 16, 2014 12:00:00 AM(UTC)
Anita


Posts: 19

Happy to say it was amazing! Please feel free to message me if you have questions on this trip and deciding if you want to go or not. UserPostedImage
Pictures don't do it justice and I had to resize these pictures because they are too large.
[justify]The tour guide was amazing (we became facebook friends) and the people on the trip were awesome as well. I got really close to some of the people on this trip. The last night, we exchanged emails, and now some of us are planning a little reunion in New York City. We are all staying in contact with each other. This trip has exceeded my expectation.[/justify]
[justify]And to re-read my former post asking who else was going on this trip, happy to report I loved my group!!! ::shocked::::wink::[/justify]f5eb240b-bfbf-4ccf-b63b-6463f64c82f4.JPG6f82d87e-7fa7-406b-a06b-e9530ce85c45.jpgc701a704-c504-420f-8d34-908ff6181519.JPGf5eb240b-bfbf-4ccf-b63b-6463f64c82f4.JPG6f82d87e-7fa7-406b-a06b-e9530ce85c45.jpgc701a704-c504-420f-8d34-908ff6181519.JPGf5eb240b-bfbf-4ccf-b63b-6463f64c82f4.JPG6f82d87e-7fa7-406b-a06b-e9530ce85c45.jpgc701a704-c504-420f-8d34-908ff6181519.JPG
Anita J Tse
Anita  
#2 Posted : Sunday, November 16, 2014 12:00:00 AM(UTC)
Anita


Posts: 19

More Pics!32079e84-99f9-4ae3-9c2a-ca377ae762fd.JPG4d7d3384-d927-40c9-90b6-989e5029f6ae.JPG2690facc-0afc-43fd-a5cc-fa2625b3bebd.JPGa3536798-a0fa-4351-b9fe-b26042ca113e.JPG780b481a-29b9-4e03-9a06-6ea846be399c.JPG32079e84-99f9-4ae3-9c2a-ca377ae762fd.JPG4d7d3384-d927-40c9-90b6-989e5029f6ae.JPG2690facc-0afc-43fd-a5cc-fa2625b3bebd.JPGa3536798-a0fa-4351-b9fe-b26042ca113e.JPG780b481a-29b9-4e03-9a06-6ea846be399c.JPG32079e84-99f9-4ae3-9c2a-ca377ae762fd.JPG4d7d3384-d927-40c9-90b6-989e5029f6ae.JPG2690facc-0afc-43fd-a5cc-fa2625b3bebd.JPGa3536798-a0fa-4351-b9fe-b26042ca113e.JPG780b481a-29b9-4e03-9a06-6ea846be399c.JPG
Anita J Tse
Mary F  
#3 Posted : Monday, November 17, 2014 12:00:00 AM(UTC)
Mary F


Posts: 40

Thank you for posting your photos, Anita. it sounds like it was a fun trip. We are planning to do a similar trip next August, but adding Ecuador to the Peru segment. 
Did you upgrade to Plan A? What did you think of the hotels, whether you upgraded or not... and do you have any tips on the optional excursions? We tend to really enjoy historical sites and museums, but havenT been as keen on the city tours/ meals with entertainment. Any feedback would be appreciated!
Mary 
15-day Kaleidoscope of Spain
Sept 2013
13-day Turkish Treasures, Sept 2014
17-day Ecuador and Peru, Aug 2015
18-day Kaleidoscope of South Africa, Sept 2016
Italy and Sicily, April 2017
Israel and Jordan, October 2017
Annual spring trip to Akumal, Mexico
Anita  
#4 Posted : Thursday, November 20, 2014 12:00:00 AM(UTC)
Anita


Posts: 19

 
Hi Mary,
 
I did not upgrade to Plan A. I was with the Plan B group. I thought the hotels ranged from average to decent. It wasn't a run down hostel or anything like that, so you don't have to worry. I would rate the hotels from 3, 3.5, or 4 stars the most. The only hotel that wasn't that great was in Sacred Valley in which the bed sheets had a stain. But other than that, the hotels were of decent quality. They had soaps, enough towels, nice beds like any hotels etc. Although the hotel in Lima, the water was way too hot even if you turn it on hot for just a bit. I can upload pictures of the hotels later when I have time and you can get a feel for Plan B's hotels' quality.
 
Overall, I don't think it would have made the trip any different or better had we upgraded.


As for optional tours, I have to go one by one:
 
Larco Herrera Museum- It was decent and I enjoyed it. Some nice displays of indigenous jewelry and the outside was very nice. But my friend didn't really enjoyed it too much. Some people decided to take/split a taxi to the museum the same time as the optional tour and met us there and did their own stuff/at their own pace as it was cheaper.  Was it worth $45? Probably not. I would suggest you go, but on your own not through Gate 1 unless you really want the extra commentary by the tour guide. 
 
Dinner Show at Lima- I have to say this was kind of terrible and I was really disappointed. It sounded good on paper. I would say skip this one. There was another dinner show similar in Cusco (I think that one is included), so it's kind of repetitive and that was the better one in terms of food. They had this dance with blowing out the candles and had this exact dance in the Cusco dinner show. Someone on the forum mentioned it before, but the food was bland, lots of options, but not really a good meal because it was a buffet. The dancing entertainment was ok, I've seen better to be honest. They had this very annoying disco laser lights flashing throughout the show, so it was very hard to take pictures. Towards the end, they had someone dressed up in a monkey suit, and not sure how this was an indigenous dance? But our group just made fun of it, someone mentioned, did they run out of ideas and decided to go to iParty and purchase all these Halloween costumes? 


Dinner with a Local Peruvian Family- We opted out of this, but I heard the food was decent and the daughter of the family showed her drawings and started singing. So I don't have an opinion whether it was good, ok, or bad.


Maras & Moray- This was definitely worth it and besides Machu Picchu was my favorite thing that I did. Basically they take you through the salt mines and then at the Moray are the crop circles that you get to visit. You get to go all the way down and it was really neat. Going through the Andes between the rides was beautiful We also made a stop in the middle of the road to see some sheep and a Shepard. I thoroughly enjoyed this day. 


Highlights of Cusco & Behind the Scenes- We did the combo. It was ok. The shaman met us in the hotel in the basement of some function room and performed his ritual. There was no fire, dancing, or him chanting hymns. It was more of him telling us his "ingredients" and saying a few words. Each one of us had to go up and get blessed. But at least I can say I had a picture with a local shaman.
  
Going to the local markets was worth it. Probably due to our tour guide. He guided us to each station in the market and used his own money to buy bread and different fruits for us and we sampled them. On an added bonus he came back from a florist stand and got all the women in the tour a single red rose. It was a nice icing on the cake. Again, not sure if all tour guides do this or he wanted to make it special for us.
 
Cusco cemetery was ok too. Interesting to see how they are buried. There was a little boy that met us there and he cleaned the cemetery and he showed us what he did. My friend didn't like it as she doesn't like these stuff and was a little bit creepied out.  


The "cooking class" happened at a restaurant in which we ate in afterwards. The dish that was made was served to us. It was disappointing because I would not consider it a cooking class in which everyone could participate and made their own dish, but more of a demonstration. Only 1 volunteer was allowed in the group to assist the chef.


The Colonial Cathedral was very good. It was interesting to see Peruvian Catholics versus Roman Catholics. For example, in the Cathedral, Jesus Christ is always wearing a skirt. No pictures inside allowed, but to see all the gold and the leafing at the alters was amazing.


Sacsayhuaman was really nice. Nice view of Cusco city from atop and on the way down you can see some alpacas and could take a pic or two for a small fee if you happen to pass by. It's basically a fort but the walls were amazing and to see the work they put in piling the stones was a feat.


Temple of the Sun was the last thing we did that day and we had to walk about 10-20 minutes here from the Cathedral. Very crowed, and it's in the city, so it not some offbeat path in which there was a stand alone temple. If I didn't know before, I would have thought we were in any regular building/place. It was almost like a portion of the temple (or what's left of it) was inside of a modern museum/building. There was a garden and some exhibits to see, but I would consider it more of a museum type of thing than going to an actual (ruined) temple. 


Sillustani Tombs- This was the last thing we did and we did this after going to Lake Titicaca in the morning. I was very tired by this point but I signed up for it, so I was not really in the mood to go. By this time after seeing Machu Picchu, Sacsayhuaman, Raqchi, and other ruins, I didn't need to see this. Although the view from the top was beautiful though. It took maybe 10-30 minutes to get to the top but by the 9th day and doing stuff in the morning, I needed a rest. 


Hopefully this was helpful to you or anyone else reading this. But overall, it was an amazing time ::bashful:: and I hope anyone going here will have the same experience as I did.   
 
 
Anita J Tse
Donna Marie  
#5 Posted : Thursday, November 20, 2014 12:00:00 AM(UTC)
Donna Marie


Posts: 239

I agree with Anita on all the optionals for the Peru trip.  However, I think it's very worth the small $$ to upgrade to A hotels.  Huge difference from what I saw when our bus picked up folks from the B hotels. Plus, depending on which trip you take, if you get the Inka del Palacio hotel in Cusco - VERY NICE - I think it's the best hotel in Cusco if I recall.  I loved that hotel.

Enjoy...
Upcoming
15 Day Spain (9/2017)
Completed Thus far with Gate 1...
15 Day Vietnam and Cambodia
10 Day Serengeti and Beyond: African Safari in Tanzania
15 Day Moroccan Allure
14 Day Israel and Jordan
15 Day Croatia Bosnia Slovenia and Venice
15 Day Turkish Treasures
9 Day Affordable Ireland
17 Day Peru and Ecuador
16 Day Classic Thailand with Phuket
11 Day Egypt with Abu Simbel and 3 Day Lake Nasser Cruise
10 Day Greek Islander Mykonos Santorini Athens
12 Day Enchanting Italy
9 Day Israel
gotta travel  
#6 Posted : Thursday, November 20, 2014 12:00:00 AM(UTC)
gotta travel


Posts: 128

Anita, thanks for posting the pics (they are amazing) and your review.  While not on our wish list to visit, glad overall you had a good tour.
LuvToTravelWorld  
#7 Posted : Friday, November 21, 2014 12:00:00 AM(UTC)
LuvToTravelWorld


Posts: 681

I agree with Donna on the hotels, the one in Cusco was magnificent!  
I enjoyed all the optionals, altho I couldnt take the family dinner due to I was sick as hell that day, and I didnt finish the walk for the tombs, sick.  
Other than that I even liked the dinners/dancing, look where you are when judging offerings.  These people are POOR. Its not NYC. 
I also loved the museum in Lima, but I love ancient cultures so it was right up my alley.  Different strokes for different folks.
I would rather go on the excursions than stay hanging around my hotel room.  But that's just me, I'm hyper.
All in all, it's a great trip, I loved the cemetery visit with the little boy, too.
Sharon ~ Florida, USA
LuvToTravelWorld
https://youpic.com/LuvToTravelWorld

Next: Vietnam&Cambodia 2017, Russian Cruise 8/17, Baltics 8/2017
Done (and rated): 
17 day Discovery China&Tibet 10/16 3 1/2*
Ethiopia, on own, & 10 day Tanzania 6/16 5*

10 day Copper Canyon and Mexico 12/15, 3 1/2*
11 day Guatemala/Honduras 1/2015, 4*
14 day Greece 9/2014, 3* 
7 day Dubai 2013 11/2013, 4* with
15 day Thailand, Angkor Wat, Cambodia 11/2013, 5*
11 day Ecuador and Amazon 5/2013, 4*
10 day Costa Rica w/ Tortuguero, 11/2009, 4*, & 2/2013, 3*
10 day Affordable Peru, 5/2012, 5*
15 day France, 9/2012, 3 1/2*
15 day Turkey , 9/2011, 5* 
15 day Egypt/Nile Cruise, 2/2009, 4*
Globus trips..... Scotland Highlands, Norway, U.K., Ireland, Alpine Countries, Italia, Spain, Morocco, Portugal
 Independently toured South America- Chile, Argentina, Iquazu
tansy  
#8 Posted : Wednesday, April 15, 2015 12:00:00 AM(UTC)
tansy


Posts: 1

Hi

Would your remember the name of the restaurant in Lima with the buffet dinner and show? 
Our friends like the idea of a show. You mentioned that Cuzco dinner that is included had entertainment.
More feedback welcome!
LuvToTravelWorld  
#9 Posted : Tuesday, April 28, 2015 12:00:00 AM(UTC)
LuvToTravelWorld


Posts: 681

Lima is a huge city it was dark, don't remember seeing any names at any provided meals. This is a great trip! As well as Ecuador.
Sharon ~ Florida, USA
LuvToTravelWorld
https://youpic.com/LuvToTravelWorld

Next: Vietnam&Cambodia 2017, Russian Cruise 8/17, Baltics 8/2017
Done (and rated): 
17 day Discovery China&Tibet 10/16 3 1/2*
Ethiopia, on own, & 10 day Tanzania 6/16 5*

10 day Copper Canyon and Mexico 12/15, 3 1/2*
11 day Guatemala/Honduras 1/2015, 4*
14 day Greece 9/2014, 3* 
7 day Dubai 2013 11/2013, 4* with
15 day Thailand, Angkor Wat, Cambodia 11/2013, 5*
11 day Ecuador and Amazon 5/2013, 4*
10 day Costa Rica w/ Tortuguero, 11/2009, 4*, & 2/2013, 3*
10 day Affordable Peru, 5/2012, 5*
15 day France, 9/2012, 3 1/2*
15 day Turkey , 9/2011, 5* 
15 day Egypt/Nile Cruise, 2/2009, 4*
Globus trips..... Scotland Highlands, Norway, U.K., Ireland, Alpine Countries, Italia, Spain, Morocco, Portugal
 Independently toured South America- Chile, Argentina, Iquazu
dog_rescuer  
#10 Posted : Saturday, October 17, 2015 12:00:00 AM(UTC)
dog_rescuer


Posts: 2

Your pictures are amazing!!!  I hope for equally clear weather when we go in April 2016 :)  I'm glad to read someone's reviews.  I opted for Plan A hotels but opted out of the dinner show and dinner w/ family.  My husband and I are vegetarians so we might venture out on our own.
~Kelly~

Upcoming...
10 Day Affordable Peru (April 2016)
Completed with Gate 1...
7 Day Affordable Amsterdam, Bruges & Paris (March 2015)
9 Day Galapagos Islander (July 2013)
13 Day Turkish Treasures (September 2011)
Other places I have visited...
Mediterranean cruise on Golden Princess through Italy, Greece, Malta, & Spain (July 2002)
Australian cruise on Dawn Princess (November 2012)
Iceland and Svalbard, Norway (March 2015)
Odaly  
#11 Posted : Sunday, October 18, 2015 12:00:00 AM(UTC)
Odaly


Posts: 22

Thank you! Thank you!  Thank you!

Your pictures and reviews are awesome.  I've been so hungry for info from recent travelers as I leave on November 19th.  I have gotten some great input on the boards, but I just can't get enough.  

Your input on the optionals was helpful.  I generally do them all, but I may need to make some choices this time.

The one I have looked forward to the most has been dinner with the family.  I know you skipped it.  The other one was the cooking demo.  I've done that at a Thai restaurant locally and have always enjoyed it.

Thanks again for sharing with us!
Odaly ::beauty::
Coming up...Camino de Santiago followed by 11 day Crown of Spain (June 30, 2018 departure)
Been there. Done that... (highlights)
7 day Disney's Aulani in Oahu and 4 day Grand Californian in Anaheim May 2017
6 day Independent Ireland February 2017
Disney Fantasy October 2016
Camino de Santiago (SJPP - Santiago) Aug-Sep 2016
12 day Kaleidoscope of Peru November 2015
Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines Independence of the Seas July 2015
Disney Cruise Line Wonder February 2015
Princess Cruise Lines Regal Princess Inaugural Sailing November 2014
7 day Royal Caribbean Greek Cruise aboard the Splendour of the Seas (June 26) followed by Gate 1 9 day Enchanted Italy (July 4, 2014)
Disney Cruise Lines Magic January 2014
Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas August 2013
Gate 1 14 day Kaleidoscope of Spain in August 2012
5 days in Barcelona followed by 12 night Royal Caribbean Med Cruise July 2009
Lots of Caribbean cruises (RCCL, Celebrity, Carnival & NCL) in between and before....
Jo3  
#12 Posted : Thursday, February 25, 2016 5:18:54 PM(UTC)
Jo3


Posts: 0

Thanks for info and pics! Do you remember if after the Maras optional tour you went back to hotel and picked up others for the basic included tour to Ollantaytambo; or did your group continue on to Ollantaytambo? Also what time did you depart for Optional Maras tour and when did you begin the Ollantaytambo afternoon tour?

We are thinking on doin Maras on our own and wondering about meeting up with tour either there or at Ollantaytambo. Maras is on the way to Ollantaytambo, so going back to the hotel looks like one is backtracking. Do you remember what you did for lunch on this day? I think it would be nice to use time in Ollantaytambo, maybe lunch, and not on extra backtracking to hotel.

Also, did you take the altitude mess or have altitude problem? I have looked at the herbal one, can't use the diomex.
Kevin725  
#13 Posted : Wednesday, November 9, 2016 9:49:38 PM(UTC)
Kevin725


Posts: 0

Just curious. How did you post your photos?

They look great.

Thanks,

Kevin

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