Peru/Ecuador - independent or pre arranged

Old Mar 7th, 2008, 03:27 PM
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Peru/Ecuador - independent or pre arranged

We would like to travel to the Galapagos and Machu Pichu. We don not speak spanish. We are debating weather to travel independently, or have our travel arrangements pre arranged before we arrive. We are aware that the later often cost much more. We are both (mother and daughter) extremely well travel and usually travel independently. Could fodorites who have been to Peru and Ecuador, either independently, pre arranged or on an escourted tour, please let us know what it was like to travel around.

Thanks in advance.
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Old Mar 8th, 2008, 06:01 AM
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I was just in the Galapagos this past week. Because the trip was work related, I had to go independently and could not be tied to the schedule of a tour. Yet, it occurs to me that an escorted tour is the easiest way to see the place. The logistics of going on your own, even though that's exactly what I did, aren't terribly easy.

MP is a different story. I've been there several times, again most all work-related, and couldn't be tied to a tour schedule. I did it independently, no problem. There's more of a middle ground there in that tour operators can put together a package that includes train ticket, shuttle ticket to the ruins, admission ticket to the ruins, and hotel voucher (if you're staying overnight), and services of a guide at the ruins (if you'd like). Someone is taking care of those nuts-and-bolts details for you but you can still be on your own.
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Old Mar 8th, 2008, 07:42 AM
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Jeff_Costa_Rica, thanks for the reply. Just to clarify, we will not be taking an escorted tour. We will either travel independently or on a pre arranged package, tailor made to our specifications.

We have never been to Peru or Ecuador, we usually travel independently and make our own arrangements before leaving home. When I started working out an itinerary for our trip I sent lots of emails, to hotels, Peru Rail, etc. I haven't got responses from all the emails, and we have quite a few holes in the itinerary. We are considering a pre arranged package, because we are on a tight schedule, and we simply don't have time to do spend a day or two extra in one place to see/do what we would like to. Also, we are concerned that it may be unsafe to travel by ourselves.

We are still trying to deceide what to do.
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Old Mar 8th, 2008, 08:43 AM
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My 26-year-old daughter and I went to Peru independently last October. We used Percy Salas as our guide in the Sacred Valley area, but did many things on our own. We enjoyed it immensely and found Peru easy for the independent traveler. Here's the link to my trip report:


http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...6&tid=35080146

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Old Mar 8th, 2008, 09:05 AM
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Lewis_Johnson and althom1122, thanks for the feedback.

Lewis_Johnson, I did contact travel to latin america, but I never heard back from them.

Karen, I came accross your trip report last month and I enjoyed reading it, there' so much helpful information in it.

I have quotes for pre arranged packages from a few different companies, that I have found on this forum.

I am concerned about prices. Most packages are about US$1,500 more per person, than making arrangements by ourselves. All package prices are between US$5,200 to US$ 5,800 per person. I have added up the cost of hotels and sightseeing, airfare, etc, I notice that we can make the same arrangements for US$4,200 per person. I understand that on a prearranged package we will have to pay more, but this will cost us at least US$2,000 more.

I am concerned that if I try to save the US$2,000 and we have problems (language problems, safety, food sickness, etc) we will regret this. US$2000 is alot of money to us.

What advice to fodorits have?

Thanks.
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Old Mar 10th, 2008, 07:33 AM
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ttt
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