18 Sep 2015 - 06 Oct 2015
Contiki the explorer review September 2015
This tour is amazing I don't know where to begin - yes you probably look at the this tour and say it's expensive I thought the same but believe me for what you get is good value for money yes you could probably do it cheaper if you organised it yourself taking overnight buses & staying in hostels but this tour you get it all accommodation, transport (a few short flights but better then 12hours on a bus), breakfast everyday Peru was basic food but Argentina & Brazil a hot breakfast every morning (just no bacon if that's a priority to you) great tour manager, local guides and the best thing is they will help you communicate unless your fluent in Spanish & Portuguese you will struggle so they help also the best thing is you feel safe. I never felt unsafe while with the group they tell where to go & which areas to avoid.
This tour you will join the adventure tour which has already been traveling together for a week, there is multiple Peru trips and people will go in Cusco before the jungle lodge & then in Lima after the jungle lodge then you will head to Argentina where you will and the rest of your group will meet the people traveling on the Argentina & Brazil tour.
If you can do the inca trek I'm glad I did it it took a while but I finished and I'm no means fit but it's just an amazing feeling when you get to the top. Be sure to pack bug spray and put lots on as there are these little midgy insects and they make you itchy as anything so stop itch cream would also help.
Tips: currency bring lots of US dollars as you will get a better exchange rate over there rather than in Australia and it's easier to exchange money rather then having to find an atm that will accept your card or as many of the Americans on tour found out the bank but a hold on their card even though they had notified the bank prior to leaving the US thus resulting in high phone bills having to call their bank multiple times & no money and you don't risk your card being skimmed. Also it's easier to pay optionals in US dollars as the local rates change so much.
Altitude sickness: I joined in Cusco and had 2 days before I joined the group I drank lots of water & that is the key and water is really cheap depending on where you buy it but you could get 2.5 litres for 5 Peruvian souls and eat light, some people on tour did take altitude sickness tablets and I found these were the people who got sick needing the doctor to come this may have just been a coincidence but definitely take it easy drink lots of water & avoid alcohol. The altitude affects everyone differently and they have hot water & coco tea & leaves in all the hotels in Peru.
Take gastro stop (lots) you will need it at some point on the tour or someone else will this is guaranteed and a basic first aid kit. Now let's talk about the toilet paper situation in South America this can seem a bit odd but you are not allowed to flush toilet paper so you have to put it in a bun next to the toilet so my tip to avoid the awkwardness of sharing with a stranger and dealing with the toilet situation - take little plastic bags such as doggy bags and put the paper in there.
Just be aware that in South America they eat late so buy some snacks and by late I mean you usually don't meet for dinner until 8/8:30
this tour was mid September so end of the winter some people found it cold but I thought the weather was quite warm even got sunburnt in Cusco.
But in saying that this tour was absolutely AMAZING the people, the sites and the experience go with an open mind.
Review written Jan 2016event 0.3
18 Apr 2014 - 06 May 2014
Great intro into South America. Peru is full of culture, Argentina is more like a Spanish European town, and Brazil is beautiful and something else. This tour joins with a few that have already been together for a week (if not longer), which would have been nice to know before hand. Optionals were poorly organized and many that were advertised were not actually available to do, and it was obvious Contiki is still working out the kinks. I'm glad I got to see and do everything that I did, had a blast but would be the worst tour of the now 4 that I have done.
Review written Jun 2014event 0.3