Travel Experience: The Galapagos & Peru
Celebrity Cruise and Condor Travel
Lenore and Tom got to see amazing wildlife, play in the water, and found so much adventure!
We took an excellent Celebrity cruise to Quito and the Galapagos. Celebrity was well organized and totally first class in every way. The food was superb and all of the excursions were wonderful. We saw lots of wildlife and enjoyed the snorkeling activities as well as the hikes on dry land.
We had a great city tour of Quito and couple of days to explore on our own, which allowed us to explore even more. I would highly recommend taking a cruise to the Galapagos. The ability to have the stateroom/bathroom amenities was lifesaving, as we had two excursions every day and were so hot and sweaty that we needed two showers a day! It was a terrific home base.
We stayed at the Hotel Casa Andina Premium in Lima/Miraflores which was lovely and had a great location. We also enjoyed our guide for our visit to the Museo Larco.
The experience in the Sacred Valley was again, wonderful. Out guide was great and even took us to Pisac and Ollantaytambo too. Afterward, we felt very rested at the Belmond Rio Sagrado Hotel, and enjoyed their food immensely. Probably the best food of the trip!
We had arranged a tour to see Machu Picchu that started at 6am. Which is awfully early to get up, especially since there was no breakfast service then. Thankfully, our hotel provided us with a breakfast box which we ate on the train. The train ride was scenic and we ended up arriving at Machu Picchu around 9:30am.
We had a two and a half hour tour, followed by lunch, then checked into the Sanctuary Lodge [hotel]. I was surprised at how crowded Machu Picchu was. Our guide told us that normally people who stay at the hotel usually arrive later, once the crowds thin out.
After a misunderstanding between two of our tour operators, an issue was resolved and we were provided a guide for the following day to hike along the Inca Trail to the Sun Gate.
(Photo: Inti Punku (Sun Gate), Peru)
At 9:00am we met our guide who provided us with walking sticks. He was so helpful throughout the entire walk, the trail was wet and slippery but he was right there to help us along. While we hiked, he told us so many things we didn’t know about plants, flowers, and wild life. He was so knowledge and helpful in every way. That hike was definitely the highlight of our Machu Picchu experience.
The Sanctuary Lodge was great! They upgraded our room to one with a terrace which was lovely! We enjoyed our afternoon there very much. The stay in Cuzco at the Monasterio Hotel was excellent. We had the same guide as we had in the Sacred Valley, who was just as wonderful the second time.
Condor provides very professional service. They were always on time meeting us and transporting us everywhere we needed to go. There were so many moving parts over the week in Peru that it was very reassuring having everything so well organized. So THANK YOU very much for setting up the trip to both the Galapagos and Machu Picchu.
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