Re: Peru and Macchu Picchu
Hi rkwaranger. Thanks for the info. Just an FYI...the Orient Express Peru trip used to be offered on LL as an auction. It was wonderful and a great price. We all hope it comes back again.
Why did you have to be flexible with Peru Experiences? Was this a tour program or an individual program. Its nice that you highlighted some of the hotels. How did you do with the altitude situation...any sickness?
Re: Peru and Macchu Picchu
Altitude sickness hit mefrom midnight until 5 AM--I thought my head was going to explode. This was surprising because I didn't have a problem all day in Cusco and I never experienced problems in Ecuador(Quito and higher altitude levels) I had to be flexible w/dates because the Sanctuary Lodge can only accomodate so many people (it's the hotel located directly next to Macchu Picchu)--and it fills up quickly. I had the individual program but transfers were provided and a tour of Macchu Picchu for about 2 hrs.Departing Macchu Picchu I took the Vistadome trainback---had to take a van from the trainending point (small town you should visit if time allots)back to Cusco. Transfers were part of the deal. I was on the Hiram Bingham goingto Macchuand Vistadome coming back. By the way, on the train backthey had a mini fashion show with guys and gals showing off Peruvian articles for sale to kill some time.
I elected to stay at the Hotel Monasterio for a night to splurge....again, I was extremely disappointed and wrote to the Orient Group---and have not received an acknowledgement since. To be clearer about my disappointment w the Monasterio---we checked in---they asked us if we wanted dinner reservations-setup for 7PM---showed up---no reservation. Secondly, they asked if we wanted to attend a class/tour showing and explaining the artwork that's at the hotel--again we signed up-showed up at the appointed time and no one around. Desk staff didn't help and the "manager" wasn't professional--offered excuses only-they acted as if it didn't exist (we speak Spanish-so there wasn't a language gap)--that's not how you treat travelers paying $500 night----and because we had reservations for these events, we didn't see some of the sights and events that were going on in Cusco that day. When you set aside time for these "events" and they don't take place-it ruins the rest of your travels because it screws up your plans. ***Warning-changing money in Cusco***don't rely on the Calculator scheme-Cambio punches in the amount in dollars and multiplies by the exchange rate in front of you and hands you the currency. However, the calculator has a built in % that rips you off. For example, we changed $140 US to Soles-rate was almost 3 sols per dollar x $140 is 420 Soles--however, he handed back less than 380 Soles----However, we caught this almost immediately. Less suspecting travelers may fall for this because he punches in the amts using a calculator and shows you as he punches.in the amounts--