Andes & Amazon Highlights (Until October 2016) 2016 » Review by Bailey
This trip is amazing, and Clarisa is the best tour guide I could imagine. You start in Cuzco, and there are a couple things to be aware of: 1) you will be at an extremely high altitude, so get there a couple days in advance so you're not dying of altitude sickness during the tour 2) you'll be meeting with a group that's been traveling around S America together for weeks already. This was no problem for me, as the group was super inclusive, but a cliquish group would make it difficult. You'll get loads of knowledge about Cuzco from Clarisa, who grew up there, before moving on to the Sacred Valley, where you get a taste of the natural beauty of Peru. Plus you visit an alpaca farm! Try eating them later. This trip includes the optional Inca Trail hike. It is difficult, with about 8 million stairs, so fitness is required. However, if you want to test yourself, or if you love great views, it is entirely worth it. My legs may have killed the next day, but I wouldn't trade that experience for anything. Machu Picchu feels so much more rewarding after the trail. Then it's on to the rainforest, with an insane special stay (no walls and jungle sounds all night!) and fun inclusions. Do the cayman spotting, no matter how tired you are! The stars are not to be missed. Try catching a piranha with a couple great local guides. At the end, be prepared for a really difficult 'good-bye' to Peru. Overall? Perfect restaurant selections, great optionals, swank hotels, unforgettable landscapes, unique shopping, and sweet people (both locals and fellow travelers.) DO THIS TOUR WHILE YOU'RE YOUNG AND FIT!
Review written Aug 2014event 0.3