Does LL have any properties in Cusco, Peru or other locations close to Machu Picchu? Have friends who want to visit the fabled Inca mountain-top settlent and are looking for good accomodations in the area.
Have a look at the LL web site: Sacred Sites of the Incas - by Inka's Empire Tours. This is a tour group that specializes in the Inca's and the tours are offered through LL. You find their web site on the LL Home page.
There is a threat on Machu Picchu I came across. Saka51 writes "we recently returned from a 6 day LL package that was fantastic/each of the hotels are 1st class & the airport transfer service was top notch/ the folks at Peru experience/Orient Express can arrange train & plane & bus tix for you as you will need all 3 to reach Macchu Piccu. staying at the sanctuary is a must to see the site that opens at 6:30 otherwise you won't arrive before all of the crowds at 11 AM/couple of suggestions would be to upgrade your room at the sanctuary hotel to be on the side away from the bus turnaround & arrange for car pickup at PIsac, 1 stop b4 Cusco on the return which will save you an hour of travel. Also check your dates as they only have 2 sasons, dry & rainy. The LL package is excellent value & well organized. we thoroughly enjoyed the trip." You might want to check out that threat.
Came accross this excellent post on Machu Picchu, in case you are still interested.
"We have just returned from 8 days in Peru, using a Luxury Link auction package connected to the Inkaterra group. My husband and I bought the package at auction: three days in the Andean rainforest at the Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica, one night in a villa (one of several owned by Inkaterra) in the Sacred Valley, and two nights at the Inkaterra Macchu Pichu hotel in Aquas Calientes. Friends of ours bought the same package (on a "Buy Now" offer) and we traveled together. I cannot begin to say how fabulous it all was. Inkaterra is an organization dedicated to eco-tourism. The Reserva Amazonica is on the Rio Madre de Dios river, about a 45 minute boat ride from Puerto Maldonado (which is about a 1 1/2 hour flight from Lima, usually via Cusco.) They describe the lodge as rustic, but I'm saying, if that's rustic, give me more! Every room was an individual building. There was a central lodge for dining and another which served as a base for the nature outings. We were up most mornings at 5; we took a canoe trip on Lake Sandobal (we swam); we canoed down a tributary; we fished (I caught a fish...); The guides who were with us all the time were the most amazing young people, so knowledgeable and so dedicated to preserving the rainforest and advancing ecotourism. One young guide is writing a book on traditional medicines used by the rainforest people. Others are working on their theses for their university graduation. I really can't say enough about the amazing experience. Our visit to Cusco and the Sacred Valley was equally wonderful. Our guide and driver met us at the airport; they were both highly knowledgeable and personable. Our villas had our own cook/housekeeper. The food was fabulous. The setting magnificent. I think my only regret was that we only had one day in the Sacred Valley. On to Machu Picchu and the beautiful, beautiful Inkaterra Machu Picchu hotel and our trip to the ruins. I will recommend Inkaterra to all my friends--along with Luxury Link. We met other people along the way who were on similar packages. Maybe we'll meet up with them again on this thread!"
Thanx a million for forwarding the message from mavmagl on the Inkatera property at Machu Picchu. Terrific info that I'll pass along to my friends who're contemplating a trip to Peru soon and a visit to the fabled Inca "ruins". I made it there myself in October 2004 when I first flew down to peru to visit my sister and her family (the ones who used to live in Sarasota)in Lima. I flew on to Cusco, before my return home to North America, stayed in a small but wonderful little hotel just off the main square and very near the huge Spanish-built cathedral in the ancient capital city of the Incas for a few days, then boarded the train/bus combo for Machu Picchu. Thoroughly enjoyed the trip through the Peruvian countryside and was totally blown away by the Inca's incredible achievement in building their city in the clouds high atop the almost inaccessible mountains in remotest Peru. Machu Picchu ranks right up there with the pyramids, in my view, as rare and unique stone fabrications that have withstood the ravages of time. Simply breath-taking and awe-inspiring! Hope you make it there one day.
I have long been fascinated by the Incas and the Machu Picchu ruins but never made it down there. It is still on my list of things to do, and I am also checking this lead out for myself. However, for the moment we are concentrating on Europe visiting Italy again, this time with friends, next March. You and your wife seem to do a lot of traveling as well. Enjoy your travels and the freedom retirement provides. It's a wonderful state to be in...
Machu Picchu's truly a one-of-a-kind place in the world. Even the Aztecs and the Mayans, who also built and left behind monumental architectural marvels, pale in comparison to Machu Picchu and some of the other still extant Inca "ruins". Like the American archeologist Hiram Bingham, who discovered this fabulous treasure in the early 1900s, anyone who has the opportunity to stand in the middle of this amazing Inca settlement, perched high on a mountain-top (over 1000' above the Urubamba River, which slithers slowly around the base of the mount) can't help but to be mowed by the awesome accomplishment of the ancient inhabitants of Veru (the Inca name for Peru). I was flabbergasted when our tour guide stopped at the base of one of the inner walls near the central playing field and pointed to the huge slabs of stone (some of them as big as a Volhswagen!)that formed the wall. he asked if anyone in our group had a credit card handy. One woman in the front quickly pulled one out of her purse. The guide told her to try to wedge it sideways between the joints in the stone. Try as she might, she could not, even though there was no mortar between the slabs! The massive pieces of stone had somehow been so precisely cut aand fit togther like a jig-saw puzzle that the space between was extremely small. Another amazing feature was running water in some of the buildings. A sophisticated and still-operating system of aquaducts and stone channels brings ice-cold water to Machu Picchu from nearby and higher snow-coverd glaciers. The guide bid us all to sample the water. As we bent down to sip, he sadly noted that this is one of the few places in Peru today where it's safe to drink the water!
A great feature that I hope LL adopts would be to allow contributors to up-load their travel photos onto their posts, so that others could enjoy and benefit from actually seeing where participants have been.
Thank you for your excellent post. Your description makes me want to go there sooner than later. I have been impressed by the Myan and Aztec ruins in the Yukatan penninsula in the early sixties when few tourists flocked to that area and it was still quite unspoiled at the time. Some day, my husband and I will take a trip there.
As to your suggestion to allow pictures to be incorporated, I think this would be a great asset. Perhaps a LL Moderator or Site Editor would pick up this suggestion and comment on it.
Tulum is one of the Mayan temple sites in the Yucatan peninsula that I've longed to visit for quite a while. Haven't made it there yet, as our travels in Mexico have so far all been to thr west coast to exotic places like Puerta Vallarta and Ensenada. From what you say, the Yucatan seems well-worth taking some extra time to explore, not only for its coastal beach resorts along the Mayan Riviera and in Cancumn but also for the many inland Aztec and Mayan historic temple sites.
Yes, sure hope LL Mediators pick up on the idea of us being able to upload travel photos we've taken. This is a terrific featyre of another good travel info website called TripAdvisor.com