Tour guide/ agency

Sep 27th, 2016, 10:10 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 75
Tour guide/ agency

Hi

We are looking to travel semi- independently to Cusco/ Macchu Picchu and Iguazu Falls ( both sides but flying in and out of Brazilian side). While looking at hotels I have noticed many have tour desk/ agency operation in the hotels.

While I know it is possible to book each aspect of our trip myself, I was looking at perhaps a more streamlined approach. Our time in these areas are limited so I would like to have our plans in place before we arrive.

But I am in a quandry on whether to book the hotel and use their tour sevices, contact an agency in those locations and get them to organise both or ,as I usually do, book each separately..

Do fellow fodorites have any recommendations for agencies they used in these town either attached to their hotel or independent businesses.

Thanks
Liz
brizzieLizzie is offline  
Sep 28th, 2016, 03:43 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 1,419
It is very simple to get around at the falls by taxi or public bus. There is little critical information about the area that you couldn't get in 5 minutes with a guidebook, in lieu of paying dearly for a private guide/tour. Just DIY.
SambaChula is offline  
Sep 28th, 2016, 12:33 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,249
Re Cusco/Machu Picchu --- we used a guide based in Cusco who was fantastic! We booked our air and he booked hotels and did our transportation and guiding. His English is excellent and we had such a great time with him. His name is David Choque.

http://www.cuscotoptravelperu.com/
Elizabeth_S is online now  
Sep 28th, 2016, 07:39 PM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 75
Thanks SC and Elizabeth S for your comments.

SC, if wanting to visit both the Brazilian side of the falls and the Bird park in the same day, would you arrange to hire a taxi for the whole time and have them wait or are there plenty of taxis in each location to take you from Bird Parkn to falls or the reverse.

Elizabeth, thanks for the link to David Choque. Do you recall the name of your hotel?

Liz
brizzieLizzie is offline  
Sep 29th, 2016, 02:13 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,249
In Ollantaytambo we stayed at Hotel Sauce - cute and a great view of the ruins

In Cusco we stayed at Hotel Munay Wasi Inn

At Machu Picchu we splurged and stayed at the Sanctuary Lodge

In Puno we stayed at Hotel Lemon

All the above (except Sanctuary Lodge) were recommended and booked by David.
Elizabeth_S is online now  
Sep 29th, 2016, 08:07 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 1,419
..."if wanting to visit both the Brazilian side of the falls and the Bird park in the same day, would you arrange to hire a taxi for the whole time and have them wait or are there plenty of taxis in each location to take you from Bird Parkn to falls or the reverse."

The bird park is right outside the entrance to the Brazilian side of the park. The local bus regularly/frequently passes by the bird park on the way from the park entrance to the town of Foz do Iguacu. Or you can easily get a taxi. The bird park entrance is right off the main road; it is not an isolated location. (You could even walk from the park entrance to the bird park, but it is very hot and humid, so riding is literally less sweat.) Therefore, it should be easy to get a taxi and not necessary to have one wait. It might take about 3 hours or so to walk the falls trail in the park, taking photos, and another 2-3 hours in the bird park.
SambaChula is offline  
Sep 30th, 2016, 07:00 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 17,648
I would book your own hotels and train tickets to Machu PIcchu, on Peru Rail's wegsite, without waiting to hire a travel ag3ency.

Some are able to buy the entry tickets online ahead of time,on the official machupicchu.gob.pe website.

I always prefer to do my own rsearch and book hotels over the internet.

IN Ollantaytambo and Cusco you should be able to get a comfortable, centrally located hotel for under $100 /night/room, or you can spend 3xthat if you want. the luxury hotels are in Urubamba. For seeint Ollanta and more train choices, #El Alber4gue is convenient since it's steps from the train depot. Accordingly it is very popular and often fully booked.
mlgb is offline  
Sep 30th, 2016, 01:23 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,249
I don't disagree with mlgb - we traveled to MP in 2004 and the ability to book and pay on the internet was much different then. And then, and now, it's really easy to travel around independently.

But..............David's hotel rates were cheaper than anything I could get online at the time (I checked) and he brought so much to our experience. So that's a consideration.

Whatever you do you'll have a great trip!
Elizabeth_S is online now  
Sep 30th, 2016, 05:33 PM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 75
Thanks Elizabeth S and mlgb for information re Macchu Pichu. I have been researching on line trying to put the various pieces together. I think I will try to put it together myself but thank you for recommending David. I will be confident in my choice if I go down that route. As you say, someone with such intimate knowledge of the region can often add so much.

Samba Chula, thankyou for your comments. I will focus my hotel research which is convenient to public transport so I have the choice of bus or taxi. Would crossing the border be easier if travelling by taxi?
brizzieLizzie is offline  
Sep 30th, 2016, 10:50 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 7,296
We crossed the border several times both by us and taxi. Whilst it is not especially difficult by bus, it is undoubtedly easier, less time consuming, if more expensive by taxi. The argentines seemed far more concerned re stamping passports than the Brazilians. The Brazilian booths were even manned on our second trip last month.

Most hotels and guest houses, at least in Puerto Iguazú, will arrange transport at reasonable ( and similar) cost. I assume the same applies in Foz and it's environs.

I too would book you train and entrance tickets to MP using the official websites. Pretty straightforward to use although many Americans seem to have problems using their credit cards for some reason. www.booking.com is my preferred site for hotels and guesthouse.

In Ollantaytmbo we recently stayed in La Casa del Abuelo Riverside which was excellent at around $50-60 per night. In Cusco we stayed at Niños Hotel. Nice and in a good cause but we did have a few noise problems when there.

Taxidatum were reasonably priced and mostly provided a good service although we did have a major problem when our driver went awol for an hour at the salinas en route on our trip from Cusco to Olly and we were stranded in the mid day heat!

Most hotels will book transport for you and some have links with guides and tours but commissions are always involved which clearly increases the price. IMO you don't really need the services of a tour operator or even a guide. It is important, whichever route you choose, to decide well in advance exactly what you want to see and do. There is a LOT to choose from.
crellston is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2016, 08:12 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 17,648
Be sure to Decide on you8 own how much time you want at Machu PIcchu..I have met numerous tourists who used an agent who booked the return tr5ip too early, leaving them only a few hours at MP. If you prefer to follow some3one around the site you can also hire at the entry, when you can be sure you can understand their spoken English (often aqenices use someone else to respond to email. There are also a numbe4 of good English language guide books...It's good to order them ahead if you are interested in the de4tails..it's a lot to absorb. Also resist any attempt to base you in Cusco.

btw The airport in LIMa has an office for Peru Rail.
mlgb is offline  
Oct 4th, 2016, 06:26 PM
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 75
Thank you crellston and mlgb for your additional advice both for Iguazu and MP.
I have been busily reading reviews and guidebooks to give me a better sense of what to see/do as our time is limited. Also wondering if better to head straight to the Sacred Valley and leave Cusco till the end - if this would help adjusting to the altitude.
Thanks also for information about Perurail at Lima airport but I hope to have all that booked before we leave home.
brizzieLizzie is offline  
Oct 5th, 2016, 10:03 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 1,419
"Whilst it is not especially difficult by bus, it is undoubtedly easier, less time consuming, if more expensive by taxi."

If you can ride the bus at home, you can ride the bus with no problem at the falls.
SambaChula is offline  
Oct 5th, 2016, 10:42 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 7,296
Your are welcome brizzieLizzie. Flying into Cusco and transferring straight to a hotel in the sacred valley would definitely aid the acclimatisation process as it is a lower altitude than Cusco. I would go opt from Ollantaytambo. As mlgb mentions, it is also the ideal departure point for the train to MP. Getting there is easy by taxi which should cost around 150 soles from the airport - best to ask your hotel to arrange or get a quote from taxidatum. Taxis at the airport are not always reliable or safe and you will need to bargain hard
crellston is offline  
Oct 6th, 2016, 06:44 PM
  #15  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 75
Thanks again for the additional info. I have decided to focus on locking in my flights at present to ensure I get the flights I want for the best price. Then I will get back to land arrangements.
brizzieLizzie is offline  
Oct 13th, 2016, 08:40 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,249
Cusco guide

[email protected]

or

[email protected]
Elizabeth_S is online now  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:04 AM.