Recommended travel agent in Peru???

Sep 23rd, 2018, 10:59 AM
  #1  
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Recommended travel agent in Peru???

Hello Fodorites,

I am in the earliest stages of planning a trip in 2019. Can anyone recommend a travel agency based in Peru? These past 12 years we have had GREAT success in finding in-country agents via Fodors.

The travelers are: my wife and I, in our 60s. Independent travel (not with a group). No major hiking.

We were in Peru 13 years ago, and that was a turning point in how we pick travel agents. That was the last time we used a US-based agent. It was a near disaster (short version: 2 days in bed in Puno, with an oxygen mask...but other problems, too)

If it matters, we have already been to Machu Picchu, Urubamba Valley and Amazon (an eco-lodge out of Puerto Maldinado). So, wed like to see some other areas.

I know Fodors has various rules against advertising...and I support those rules. But recently I tried to just post an agencys website, and it was blocked. So, if anyone wants to email me privately, my email is [email protected]. But, at this stage Id really like to NOT hear directly from agencies.

Of course, I imagine that other Fodorites would also love to read your advice, too.

I am already really looking forward to another trip to Peru. Ive been a lot of countries, but this is one of my favorites.

Thanks!
nhulberg is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2018, 01:12 PM
  #2  
 
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>>I know Fodors has various rules against advertising...and I support those rules. But recently I tried to just post an agency’s website, and it was blocked. So, if anyone wants to email me privately, . . .<<

That seems really odd. We (Fodrites in general) post links ALL the time. There is no rule against it unless it looks like someone advertising and you being a member so long I don't think anyone would assume you were advertising. What thread was it on?

And just an FYI: there is no need to publish your e-mail address any more. The new format has a Private Message feature. You can ask people to PM you.
janisj is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2018, 01:26 PM
  #3  
kja
 
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I don't have a travel agency for Peru as a whole, although I worked with a few for specific day or 2-day tours. If you haven't seen it, you might take a look at my trip report, which includes many areas other than the Sacred Valley and Amazon.
Praise for Peru A report of my solo month in this amazing country
kja is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2018, 07:02 PM
  #4  
 
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Check out the trip report by Kathie from a few years ago. She used Paul Jones at TLA Travel, (Totally Latin Travel) based in Cusco I think. I am using him as well based on Kathie's recommendation - and good Trip Advisor comments as well. I have used many of Kathie's Thailand recommendations in the past. I am pleased with the trip planning portion so far but have not actually taken the trip as yet. Paul works with putting together an individual plan and keeps your hotel level and budget preferences in mind.
ellenbw is offline  
Sep 24th, 2018, 06:28 AM
  #5  
 
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Are you planning to avoid high-altitude locations this trip? I prefer not to use a travel agent from start to finish, but in Arequipa and vicinity I used Giardino, also. Perahps Arequipa will be okay altitude-wise for you. It is a bit lower than Machu Picchu (7600 feet). Not sure if you will want to go to Colca Canyon though.

For the Ballasteros and Paracas I used the agency located at the Cruz del Sur terminal. I'm sure there are other options. I was lucky in getting the daughter as my guide, she was great and they had a decent boat. In Nazca I just took a taxi to the airport and asked around for the next flight. The main drag is lined with travel agencies.

In the northwest coast, see kja's report. In Chiclayo I used a taxi driver (German Mena Rodgriguez) to visit the sites without a guide. Some of the museums such as the one for Sipan have English panels.

I could easily do a week or more in LIma. Did not have a good experience with a guide on one trip. Again, many of the sites have either English language guides or interpretive panels. For transfers, taxidatum or ask someone to arrange taxis for you if you aren't comfortable with doing that yourselves (or using the Metropolitano Rapid bus to go to downown Lima, which I prefer).

Last edited by mlgb; Sep 24th, 2018 at 06:32 AM.
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Sep 24th, 2018, 07:19 AM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by janisj View Post
>>I know Fodors has various rules against advertising...and I support those rules. But recently I tried to just post an agencys website, and it was blocked. So, if anyone wants to email me privately, . . .<<

That seems really odd. We (Fodrites in general) post links ALL the time. There is no rule against it unless it looks like someone advertising and you being a member so long I don't think anyone would assume you were advertising. What thread was it on?

And just an FYI: there is no need to publish your e-mail address any more. The new format has a Private Message feature. You can ask people to PM you.
Janisj, the rejection I got was for the Portugal forum. I submitted part of a trip report and got back what looked like an automated response that asked me to edit out the offending part.

re the Private Message feature..thanks! I never knew that.
nhulberg is offline  
Sep 24th, 2018, 07:23 AM
  #7  
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Thanks, kja and ellenbw. Will check it out.
nhulberg is offline  
Sep 24th, 2018, 07:50 PM
  #8  
 
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>>Janisj, the rejection I got was for the Portugal forum. I submitted part of a trip report and got back what looked like an automated response that asked me to edit out the offending part.<<

I've never seen something like that - most likely it had nothing to do with a link.
janisj is offline  
Sep 25th, 2018, 11:24 PM
  #9  
kja
 
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Originally Posted by mlgb View Post
In the northwest coast, see kja's report.
Thanks, mlgb!
kja is offline  
Sep 26th, 2018, 09:07 AM
  #10  
 
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The tourism infrastructure has improved considerably over the last thirteen years, so much so that I doubt you would really need an agent to arrange everything. Accommodation and transport are easily booked online and you can choose any tours you need with a local operator.

Andean Travel Web Guide to Peru is a decent resource for identifying tour operators around the country.

As for other areas to explore, I would look at the north of the country, maybe Trujillo and Chiclayo, Chachpoyas and especially Huaraz which has some of the most stunning mountain scenery in South America.

Some photos and detail of our time in some of these places are on our blog @ https://accidentalnomads.com/category/peru/

Further south Arequipa and the Colca Canyon are pretty incredible too.
crellston is offline  
Sep 26th, 2018, 01:57 PM
  #11  
 
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Hi, if i hear any in that area I let you know.
sondrafast is offline  
Sep 27th, 2018, 01:23 PM
  #12  
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crellston,

Re "The tourism infrastructure has improved considerably over the last thirteen years, so much so that I doubt you would really need an agent to arrange everything. Accommodation and transport are easily booked online...." I realize booking is simple these days. What isn't simple -and why I want a travel agency in Peru- is figuring out where to go, based on my own interests, in what order to arrange the trip and how many days to allocate to each place. That is what I find sooo difficult.

If am simply trying to book a good hotel in, say, Arequipa, that's easy.

I did have a look at TLT in Cusco. That may be a good one.

THANKS all of you Fodorites. Lots of great tips these past few days. I love Peru, and you're all getting me excited about another adventure.
nhulberg is offline  
Sep 27th, 2018, 03:29 PM
  #13  
 
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You haven't really told us much of what your interests are, or your budget, but if you are thinking of going to the North of Peru, this is one possible company

https://www.perunorth.com/about-peru-north/

Or you could read kja's trip report!

The options for getting to Chachapoyas are a private transfer from Chiclayo, or Tarapoto, flying to Jaen (from Lima) see kja's report, or some long bus rides mostly in the dark!

It also isn't somewhere I'd visit in rainy season (which is usually starting in September and continuing at least through May) although I've been both months and it was just on and off rainy.

Last edited by mlgb; Sep 27th, 2018 at 04:15 PM.
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Sep 27th, 2018, 04:19 PM
  #14  
kja
 
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I agree that deciding what fits one’s interests, and how long to spend in any location, are the most difficult challenges in planning any trip. And that’s where I find guidebooks, trip reports, and trip planning threads particularly useful. I remain deeply indebted to people who take the time and energy to file detailed trip reports or blogs and who offer specific planning comments -- people like crellston and mlgb – because it’s the details that help me say yea or nay, and if yea, how much time.
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Sep 29th, 2018, 06:19 PM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by kja View Post
I agree that deciding what fits one’s interests, and how long to spend in any location, are the most difficult challenges in planning any trip. And that’s where I find guidebooks, trip reports, and trip planning threads particularly useful. I remain deeply indebted to people who take the time and energy to file detailed trip reports or blogs and who offer specific planning comments -- people like crellston and mlgb – because it’s the details that help me say yea or nay, and if yea, how much time.
kja, what an awesome trip report. I have gotten through just 2/3 of it so far. I’m going to take a couple of days off work to read it carefully ;-)

mlgb, thanks for the tip on www.perunorth.com. I checked it out looks like a possibility.

You asked about my interests and budget. First budget, because that is shorter. I don’t have any major budget constraints. I’m far more thrifty than my wife as to lodgings, so she wins on that.

Interests: when I read kja’s report, her interests are exactly the same as mine. A few: natural scenery, architecture, small villages, food, folk traditions. Kja’s report on Kuelap sounds like exactly my sort of place.

BUT before I go further, I have to explain about the travelers: my wife and myself. We are in our late 60’s. My wife is my great travel buddy, but we are very different. I have nearly unlimited energy; she tires easily. I have a serious case of FOMO (I think kja does too); my wife would rather relax. So, you can see that makes for some challenges.

One more piece of information. I have never experienced and sort of safety problem in my life, whether at home or traveling. My wife had a rather significant negative experience, which I don’t want to get into on this board. The result is: no unsafe lodgings in sketchy areas. And must be clean, with modern bath (last trip in Peru the eco lodge in the Amazon, with no hot water, was one of her favorite places...a bush is fine, but she can’t abide dirt).

A typical day for us is with me hustling out of the room early, alone, to see the sights. Often with a guide. Meanwhile, wife does...heck, I don’t know what she does, but she’s happy doing it. I come back for a late lunch and we goof around together in the afternoon. Although her max for walking is about 1/2 mile, she loves nature more than anyone I know.

So, anyplace we go has to fit those needs. No bus rides. Private car only (whether driven by guide, or by me). It takes too long to get from place to place in Peru without flying. I think we had four internal flights last time. I really enjoy having a local guide.

Maybe somewhere in the north? But, I also imagine we will take some internal flights. Total time in Peru will be 14 days.

That’s the short version.
nhulberg is offline  
Sep 29th, 2018, 06:59 PM
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Some lodges in North Peru that you may want to look into...Chaparri (spectacled bear and white-winged guan rescue place owned by a famous Peruvian photographer), delightful cottages and feeders, plus trails. In addition to the rescue bears, there are tame pecarries and foxes, (some are rescues, saw one fox released who followed the cook back to the kitchen!) Some aquaintances who have been birding all over the world claim Chaparri as their favorite lodge.

Chaparri Eco Lodge: Chaparri Ecological Reserve - Peru 2017
https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Re...ue_Region.html

See kja's write up of the Kentitambo lodge in Leymabamba.

Also, although really founded as a birding company, you might ask Green Tours if you could arrange a private tour with Wilson Diaz. I'd try to include Chiclayo, Chaparri, then a private transfer inland perhaps to include Kuelap/ Gocta/Chachapoyas, Leymabamba (Kentitambo). You may also want to visit Owlet Lodge and Huembo, and the hummingbird feeders on the way to Tarapoto.

Owlet Lodge used to be great place to see tayras, but I read that they stopped doing the banana feeders. It looks a little basic (and the food was not memorable) but it was really quite comfortable. They have a number of trails onsite as well as feeders.. great hummingbirds and tanagers.

https://greentours.com.pe/blog/

Last edited by mlgb; Sep 29th, 2018 at 07:05 PM.
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Sep 29th, 2018, 08:58 PM
  #17  
kja
 
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I’m glad you are finding some useful information in my trip report! I provided much more detail than many people probably want in part to help people plan their trips. Feel free to add questions to that thread at any point.

I’m fortunate that my desire to take full advantage of every possible moment is not driven by fear (the F in FOMO), but by the desire to take full advantage of every delightful moment I have when traveling. To put it differently, my motivation is the pleasure I take maximizing what I see and experience, not the negative feelings of anxiety or worry if I don’t keep going. And my desire to see as much as I can meshes well with my dislike of just sitting. I know people for whom FOMO is a powerful driver, and am glad my position is a bit different. (I’m not saying that my approach is better or worse than anyone else’s – vive la difference! I’m just noting the distinction.)

Given the description of your wife’s preferences, let me offer some comments about the Kentitambo, which I loved: The lodge in which I stayed did not have a bathtub, but rather a shower that drained through a slated wood base that was above the ground. The hot water was sufficient for my needs, and was more generous than I’ve experienced in many hotels, but it is not limitless. Whether the bath would meet her definition of modern is something to which I cannot speak. I would certainly not characterize it as camping-style or rough. If you contemplate a visit to Leymebamba, I would encourage you to communicate with the Kentitambo’s owner by e-mail – I found her very helpful and informative and am sure she'd rather be clear about whether she can meet your needs than have you come and be disappointed.

Kuelap would likely prove a challenge for your wife if her limit for walking is mile. Chan Chan, too, and probably some (most?) of the other archeological sites that I visited in northern Peru. And some of the museums I visited in northern Peru and in Lima, and convents in Lima and elsewhere, probably entailed walking more than a 1/2 mile.

I love driving, and have driven in many countries. There is no circumstance under which I can imagine driving in Peru – it’s one of those places where knowledge of the roads themselves seemed critical from my perspective as a rider. Maybe you would experience it differently.

While our interests may be similar, my style of travel seems quite different than the style that suits you and your wife. (You seem to have worked out such a wonderful solution to your different approaches -- kudos!) I’m happy to answer any questions I can about the places I visited / things I did, but suspect that I won’t be at all helpful when it comes to how to do it.

Best wishes for your next visit to this fascinating country!

Last edited by kja; Sep 29th, 2018 at 09:02 PM.
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Nov 3rd, 2018, 01:02 PM
  #18  
 
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I'm back from a wonderful trip to Peru. My friend and I were very happy with our arrangements through Paul at Totally Latin Travel. As usual, Kathie's recommendations are excellent ones!
We were there for 12 days including travel there and back to the US. He uses Condor Travel for guides and drivers - I really enjoy having guides with me at historic sites - and we were happy with each of them, although our guide for the Sacred Valley for 3 days was our absolute favorite! And the guides/drivers ended up being amazing for us on the domestic flights (magically moving us to the front of very long lines, etc).
I hope to write a trip report soon to go into some detail about our trip - not the wonderful epic report of Kja's, but a few details for those interested in visiting Peru.
ellenbw is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2018, 01:43 PM
  #19  
kja
 
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Thanks for reporting back! I'm glad your trip went well. And for your compliment.
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