For those who know me very well, they would know that I’m not one to book a vacation and rely on a travel agent or booking company. I’m usually the type who would do a lot of research, and book things on my own, a la carte vs. getting a package deal.
However, time was not really on my side. I purchased our tickets to Peru (where we flew via Business Class and paid everything using points). Since then, we’ve had so many things that happened in our personal day-to-day activities which prevented me from doing the research on my own. It was already mid-March, and we still had nothing booked other than our airfare from LA to Lima, and Lima to Cusco and back.
It was time to call for help
I know my limits and it was time to call my lifeline. We decided to invite our very good friend, Giovanna, to breakfast back in March. Giovanna is Peruvian, and we explained to her our dilemma. We had no idea that she had connections with someone who owns a travel-booking agency located in Lima. Giovanna told us not to worry, that she would make the inquiry on our behalf.
We let Hawaii Happen
We explained to Giovanna that we were about four weeks away from our trip and we had nothing booked. Oh, I did book our hotel stays in Lima, but other than that, nothing related to the most important visit of all – Machu Picchu.
After a few days, Sandra Inti, from American Reps, emailed me around the third week of March. She asked and confirmed our travel days, and the days that we needed assistance with. We also got on the phone with Sandra via WhatsApp – this allowed us to talk without having to worry about long distance charges. From the moment that we spoke with Sandra, she gave us full confidence that she would take care of our needs.
In the midst of trying to book all of these things, we also went to Hawaii – the Big Island, for our Spring Break. It was also around the same time, while we were in Hawaii, when I was in negotiation for the delivery of my new Tesla Model 3. To make matters worse, it was also around the same time when we we had a major kitchen renovation at home. So as you can see, it was the perfect storm of events that made it extremely difficult to set aside some time and decide about Peru. We were glad to have decided to leave everything in Sandra’s capable hands.
A few days after we returned from Hawaii (early April), we reached out to Sandra and we were given a few different choices. Again, We had four full days in Cusco, and the fifth day was scheduled as our return flight back to Lima.
I followed quite a few tips and suggestions from other bloggers, and others who went to Cusco/Machu Picchu. There was a huge suggestion to take things slow upon arrival in Cusco due to change in altitude, to slowly make our way to Machu Picchu. It was basically taking Day One and Day Two around Cusco, then Day Three towards Sacred Valley to Aquas Calientes, and Day Four culminates with the visit to Machu Picchu.
Our 4-day Cusco and Machu Picchu Itinerary
After a few weeks of working with Sandra, and with all the changes and revisions that we made to customize our trip based on our needs, here’s the itinerary we ended up using.
The program included:
- Transfer in/out Cusco & Lima ( Hotel – Airport – Hotel Lima / Airport – Hotel – Airport Cusco)
- 03 nights of lodging in selected hotel in Cuzco city
- 01 night of loadging in selected hotel in Ollantaytambo – Urubamba
- Half day City Tour & Surrounding Ruins
- Full Day Machu Picchu in Expedition & Vistadome train
- Buffet Lunch in Machu Picchu at Ticuy restaurant (Sanctuary Lodge)
- Full day Excursion to the Sacred Valley
- Buffet lunch in Tunupa restaurant
- Entrances and guided tour in Spanish or English
- Services taxes
- Air tickets Lima – Cusco – Lima
- Personal expenses or additional tours
Sandra and her flexibility
If you know me and Nancy, you’d know that we tend to ask a lot of questions, and we tend to choose something one day, and then change our mind the next day. Over the course of two-three weeks while working with Sandra, she remained extremely patient, flexible, and open to our questions. She accommodated all our requests. The distance between the US and Peru was not a barrier. We remained in contact via email and WhatsApp. She was always very responsive.
Easy payment transaction
Once we decided on the package that we wanted to take, we had to provide her with our passport information in order to process our package. We had to go online to pay for our package deal. I called our bank first and informed them of the charge that I was about to make with American Reps. The transaction went smoothly.
The next step was to get the vouchers that we had to print so we had an idea who we’d be meeting to get on these tours. For instance, upon arrival in Lima, Sandra had arranged for a car service from the airport to our hotel in Miraflores. The voucher included the contact information of our driver.
Sandra, even without us asking her, remained in contact with us before, during, and after our trip. She wanted to make sure that we had everything we needed. Especially during the times that we need to be picked up to/from the airport, she stayed in touch ensuring that our car service was there to pick us up.
Finally met Sandra at American Reps
I’m a believer that when you’re good to people, they in turn will be good to you. Even before we left for Peru, we had every intention to visit Sandra in her office. Although we had very limited time in Lima, we made it a point to make time to visit Sandra before we left for the airport on our way back to Los Angeles.
I had this image of American Reps as one little office. I was wrong. It was a little building in Miraflores with a bunch of offices inside. I also learned from Sandra that they provide travel assistance not only in Peru, but to other parts of the world. I had no idea. We spent a good hour with Sandra.
She asked for our feedback as to how our booking process worked, and most of all, the value that we got out of the service.
We had nothing but great things to say about Sandra and American Reps. The package, the pricing, and most of all, the services provided by American Reps along with the different touring contractors were extremely reliable and impeccable. It was the kind of package that we needed. Working with Sandra took away all of our worries. All we had to do was show up to wherever destination we needed to visit. Our visit to Peru became headache-free with many thanks to Sandra Inti, and American Reps. Gracias, Sandra. Until next time.
If you need assistance with your trip to Peru, and to other global destinations, I highly recommend Sandra Inti and American Reps.