Ancient Peru & Machu Picchu

11 days Nature & Wildlife
Lima is home to excellent museums that showcase the achievements of Peru’s oldest cultures, but the country’s main draw is the chance to uncover the very sites where the ancient Inca once thrived. Ascend into the Andes and explore the plazas of colonial Cuzco, the Inca sites in the Sacred Valley and the legendary Lost City of the Incas at Machu Picchu.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Tour group size: 18 - 35 travelers

Tour pace: You will walk for about 2 hours daily across moderately uneven terrain, including rocky ground and unpaved trails, at high altitudes.

Celebrate New Year's Eve in Lima on a special winter departure of this tour.

See itinerary

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Your tour includes

  • 9 nights in handpicked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 3 lunches, 4 three-course dinners with beer or wine

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Guided sightseeing and select entrance fees

Map of tour of Peru

Lima 3 nights Hotel info

Day 1: Flight & arrival in Peru

Board your flight to Lima and arrive later this evening.

Day 2: Sightseeing tour of Lima

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

View the pre-Columbian art on display at the Larco Museum, then follow a local guide on a tour of both the modern and colonial quarters of Lima. 

• See the city’s cathedral, Plaza de Armas and the Church of San Francisco, which houses a museum of religious art and 16th-century catacombs

• Enter the Huaca Huallamarca archaeological site

Later, get to know your Tour Director and fellow travelers at a welcome dinner.

Day 3: Free day in Lima

  Included meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a full free day in Lima or add excursions.

Optional Excursion - Nazca Lines $449pp* Details

Travel from Lima to the town of Pisco where you’ll board a flight to one of the world’s greatest remaining mysteries, the Nazca Lines. Visible only from the air, the Lines are massive geoglyphs (geometric designs made of rocks) in the desert, preserved for over 1,000 years in one of the driest places on earth. You’ll take an aerial tour of the region, learning about the many theories behind the Lines’ origin. Lunch is included. Please note: This optional requires advanced booking and payment at least 20 days prior to departure. The travel time to Pisco is approximately 3.5 hours each way. This excursion may not be appropriate for travelers prone to motion sickness. All travelers will need to report their weight to the pilot before takeoff, and passengers over 250 pounds may be required to pay a surcharge.

Must be booked 20 days before departure

Optional Excursion - Traditional Peruvian Dinner $65pp* Details

At tonight’s dinner in Lima, get a taste of the traditional flavors of Peruvian cuisine. Start the evening with a cooking demonstration and learn to make classic ceviche and a pisco sour, the national drink of Peru. Then, enjoy a delicious buffet dinner with a wide variety of regional specialties, including ceviche (non-fish-eaters, don't worry—there's plenty here for you, too). For some dinner entertainment, enjoy a traditional folklore show featuring indigenous dances from around the country.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $75)

Cuzco 3 nights Hotel info

Day 4: Flight to Cuzco

  Included meals: Breakfast

Travel to the airport this morning to fly to Cuzco, where you’ll have free time to acclimate to the elevation as you explore on your own.

Day 5: Sightseeing tour of Cuzco

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Follow a local guide on a sightseeing tour of the magnificent capital of ancient Peru.

• Stroll through ruins at Kenko, the “red fortress” of Puca Pucara and Sacsayhuaman, which was once completely covered in gold 

• Stop to view the Cristo Blanco, a towering Christ statue outside the city

• Admire La Merced Church, Plaza de Armas and the Convent of Santo Domingo, built by the Spaniards where the Inca temple of Quirikancha stood

Day 6: Full-day excursion to the Sacred Valley

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

A local guide leads you on a full-day sightseeing tour of the Sacred Valley of the Incas, nestled between Cuzco, Machu Picchu and the surrounding Andes Mountains. 

• See the famous ruins of Ollantaytambo, once the royal estate of Emperor Pachacuti

• Stop in Urubamba to enjoy lunch with the group

• Visit several local market towns, including Pisac

Machu Picchu 1 night Hotel info

Day 7: Sightseeing tour of Machu Picchu

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Take a train to Aguas Calientes, passing through the verdant valleys that lead to the Lost City of the Incas. 

• Tour the ruins of the ceremonial center, cultivation terraces and guard house

• Visit Funeral Rock, the Main Temple, Temple of the Three Windows, Chamber of Ornaments, the Sacred Plaza and the Intihuatana stone

• Choose to hike to the Temple of the Sun and explore the ruins on your own

Cuzco 2 nights Hotel info

Day 8: Return to Cuzco

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Spend a free morning near Machu Picchu or add an excursion to return to the ruins.

Rejoin the group for lunch in Aguas Calientes before taking a train back to Cuzco.

Optional Excursion - Machu Picchu: Return Visit $89pp* Details

After experiencing Machu Picchu for the first time with your tour group, take the opportunity to continue exploring the Lost City of the Incas on your own the next morning. The Peruvian government only allows select visitors into Machu Picchu each day, but purchasing your return ticket in advance from Go Ahead will guarantee you reentrance to the site any time after 6 am on the day of your excursion. Please note: It’s possible to purchase return tickets to Machu Picchu directly from the Peruvian government while on tour, but tickets are limited in availability, and you may experience long wait times. The only way to guarantee reentrance to Machu Picchu is by purchasing your tickets in advance. Due to limited quantities, we require at least 45 days advance notice to obtain tickets on your behalf.

Must be booked 45 days before departure

Day 9: Free day in Cuzco

  Included meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a full free day in Cuzco or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Traditional Peruvian Cooking Class & Dinner $105pp* Details

On this culinary excursion, learn to prepare a traditional Peruvian meal from the expert chefs at one of Cuzco’s top restaurants. With the beautiful Andes Mountains as your backdrop, use locally sourced ingredients to create two authentic dishes, as well as exotic cocktails made with pisco, a Peruvian brandy. Afterwards, enjoy a delicious dinner in the restaurant.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $115)

Optional Excursion - Incan Traditions: Moray, Maras & Chinchero Village $95pp* Details

Spend an afternoon learning about the roots of the Sacred Valley. Start in Moray, the site of famous Inca ruins that feature large circular terraces used for agricultural experiments. Then continue on to Maras, known for its patchwork of terraced salt-evaporation ponds that have been used since pre-Incan times. Finish your day in the quaint village of Chinchero to visit a local cooperative of families known as the Balcon del Inka. Here, artisans will demonstrate their traditional weaving and dying techniques and even give you a chance to try your hand at spinning on the loom. Afterward, enjoy dinner before heading back to Cuzco. Please note: This excursion is seasonal and runs from April through October.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $105)

Day 10: Departure

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Fly to Lima this morning to relax in a dayroom before boarding your flight home tonight or early tomorrow morning. If you are continuing on the tour extension to the Amazon, you’ll spend tonight in Lima.

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 11: Arrival at home

Arrive home today.

Add The Amazon Starting from $899 pp

Please note: Extension is not available on all departure dates.

One of South America's most important natural wonders, the Amazon is the biggest forest in the world and home to the single greatest concentration of life on the planet. Hike through a part of this stunning landscape, take a boat ride to an indigenous Yagua village and visit a former Franciscan mission town.

Lima 1 night Hotel info

Day 10: Flight to Lima

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Fly to Lima this morning and settle into your hotel.

The Amazon 2 nights Hotel info

Day 11: Flight to Iquitos & Yagua village visit

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Fly to Iquitos this morning to begin your adventure in the Amazon.

• Board a boat for a scenic transfer to your Amazon jungle lodge, keeping your eye out for the elusive pink dolphins

• Take a short river cruise to a Yagua Indian village to see local crafts and watch a piranha fishing demonstration

Day 12: Rainforest hike

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Take an invigorating hike in the rainforest reserve surrounding your lodge or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Amazon Canopy Walk $155pp* Details

Go deep into the Amazon with a treetop walk. The day starts with breakfast under the palm-thatched roofs of the ExplorNapo Lodge on the Napo River. Next, hike to the spectacular Canopy Walkway for a bird’s-eye view of the rainforest, taking in the lush plants and wildlife along the way. Afterward, enjoy lunch and a visit to the ReNuPeRu Ethnobotanical Garden. A local shaman will explain how the 240 plants cultivated here are used for healing.

Must be booked 20 days before departure

Day 13: Local school visit & departure

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Stop in the former Franciscan mission town of Indiana to visit a local school. (Please note: The school visit is only offered when classes are in session.)

Then, fly to Lima to board your overnight or early morning flight home

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 14: Arrival at home

Arrive home today.

How's the weather?

  • Lima, Peru
  • Cusco, Peru
Temperature Precipitation
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Passport & visa requirements

  • In order to enter Peru, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport with an expiration date extending at least six months beyond the date of reentry.
  • We recommend having at least two blank passport pages for entry stamps.
  • Upon arrival in Peru, you will receive an Andean Immigration card that you will need to present when visiting Machu Picchu.
  • There is no visa required for U.S. or Canadian citizens.
  • If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact each country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.      

Tour pace

  • You will walk for about 3 hours daily across moderately uneven terrain, including rocky ground and unpaved or slippery trails, at high altitudes.
  • Travelers should be healthy enough to participate in all included walks without assistance. Adding optional excursions may increase the total amount of walking on your tour.
  • You should feel comfortable managing your own baggage at times, as well as getting in and out of trains (and ferries on the tour extension).
  • If you have any mobility concerns or physical restrictions, please contact our Customer Experience Team.        

Transportation & arrival information

  • Round-trip flights booked through Go Ahead arrive in and depart from Lima. A Go Ahead representative will meet you after you clear customs in Lima. Please remain in the arrival lounge, as the representative might be escorting one of your fellow travelers to the bus at the time of your arrival.
  • Transfers to and from the airport at your destination are included for travelers who have purchased their flights through Go Ahead. Travelers who purchase their own flights may request airport transfers with Go Ahead for an additional cost.
  • A round-trip flight between Lima and Cuzco is included in the price of your tour. (The tour extension also includes round-trip flights between Lima and Iquitos, in the northern Amazon).
  • All other included transportation on this tour is by PeruRail and private motor coach.      

Baggage allowance

  • Airlines have varying weight restrictions on baggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage; be advised that you are responsible for any such costs.
  • Contact your airline for detailed information regarding baggage size and weight restrictions for your flight, but please note that Go Ahead travelers are restricted to one checked bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other transfers, which may include train connections or flights.
  • One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 total inches (length + width + height).
  • Make sure you label your baggage and keep valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on bag.
  • You will need a small overnight bag (such as your carry-on bag) for your stay in Machu Picchu, as most baggage will need to be stored in Cuzco.

Clothing & packing tips

  • We recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered. Comfortable, casual clothing and a sturdy pair of walking shoes are a must for sightseeing. 
  • A lightweight jacket is recommended, as the temperatures will change with the elevation throughout your tour.
  • A sun hat, sunglasses and rain gear will help you stay comfortable in all types of weather.
  • Long pants, long-sleeved shirts and insect repellent are recommended for some activities, especially in the Amazon on the tour extension.
  • Binoculars are handy for a closer look at local wildlife and scenery.
  • You may want to pack dressier attire if you plan to visit a high-end restaurant or attend a special performance.
  • It is preferable not to visit churches or other religious sites with bare legs and shoulders (and entrance may be denied on this basis).           

Health

  • At least 60 days prior to departure, check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and entry requirements, or visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website at cdc.gov.
  • Please be aware that you will be traveling at altitudes as high as 12,000 feet above sea level. These high altitudes can sometimes cause difficulties for travelers who have heart problems or respiratory ailments. If you suffer from any of these conditions, please speak to your healthcare provider regarding any potential health risks.
  • Even healthy travelers may sometimes experience altitude sickness, a temporary condition featuring symptoms of headache, fatigue, nausea and light-headedness. Until your body acclimates to the higher altitudes, we suggest that you stay hydrated and limit your intake of caffeine and alcohol.
  • Take proper care with sun exposure, as the sun can be especially strong in some of the regions on this tour.
  • Drink bottled water only. Refrain from ingesting tap water, including when brushing your teeth.
  • Avoid eating fresh fruits and vegetables unless they’re cooked or washed in clean water and peeled.
  • If you have medication that you take daily, be sure you have enough for each day of the tour and any possible delays encountered.
  • If you have dietary restrictions and/or food allergies please notify Go Ahead at least 30 days prior to your departure by logging in to My Account and updating your traveler info. To update this information closer to your departure date, please call our Customer Experience Team.           

Cuisine

  • Peruvian cuisine reflects both the country’s indigenous cultures as well as European colonial and Pacific Rim influences. Staples include grains, like quinoa, maize and rice, as well beans, potatoes and meat. Ceviche, traditionally raw sea bass marinated with lime and chilies, is a national dish. Adventurous eaters may want to try cuy, or roasted guinea pig that’s cooked over an open fire. You can also raise a toast with Peru’s famous pisco, the delicious (and sour) white-grape brandy.     

Electricity & air conditioning

  • Peru operates on 220 volts and uses Types A or C plugs with two flat pins or two round pins, respectively.
  • We recommend packing a universal adapter, as well as a voltage converter if you plan on using your own hairdryer or other device without a built-in converter.  
  • The strength of the air conditioning in some hotels in this region may not be as strong or as cool as what you might be used to in the U.S. or Canada. When air conditioning is available, it is usually regulated seasonally and controlled centrally by the hotel.
  • Your hotels may provide hairdryers, irons and other small appliances. However, these amenities cannot be guaranteed.          

Connectivity

  • Wi-Fi is available in most hotels, though some charges may apply. In more remote locations, internet access may be limited and is not guaranteed.
  • There is no Wi-Fi on any of the motor coaches
  • Please contact your mobile service provider for information on roaming charges.  

Time zones

  • Peru is five hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), the same as Eastern Standard Time (EST). Peru does not observe Daylight Saving Time.
  • On the tour extension, Iquitos is 1 hour behind EST.
  • When it’s noon in New York City, it’s noon in Peru from March through November and 11am from April through October.    

Currency

  • You will use the Peruvian sol in Peru.
  • Better rates of exchange are usually available overseas, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive.
  • We strongly advise that you take debit/bank cards and credit cards, which can be used to withdraw cash at local banks as needed.
  • You can use most debit/credit cards at ATMs on the international networks Cirrus and Plus, but make sure to check with your home bank about withdrawal fees.
  • Inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.
  • International banks and businesses primarily accept debit and credit cards that work with the EMV chip system. If you do not already have at least one debit or credit card with a chip in it, we strongly recommend requesting one from your bank prior to your tour.       

Tipping

  • At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity in local currency. Please keep current exchange rates in mind.
  • We recommend tipping the equivalent of $7USD/CAD to $10USD/CAD per person per day for your Tour Director and the equivalent of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver.
  • If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD/CAD per local guide.
  • Tips can only be paid in cash.      

Purchasing excursions on tour

  • Most optional excursions will be available for purchase while you are on tour.
  • Your Tour Director will only accept cash (in USD only), Visa or MasterCard as payment for excursions.
  • Please be advised that if you pay for an excursion by credit card while on tour, it may take up to three months for your card to be charged.
  • Some optional excursions may only be purchased in advance. See page four of your tour itinerary for more information.

See what our travelers say about this tour—all reviews are authentic and unedited.

Have you been on tour with us? Visit My Account to submit a review.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 10/27/2016

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: ON

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Peru

This was our first experience with Go Ahead Tours and we would certainly choose them again for our next guided tour. After a long plane ride it was nice to see the smiling face of our tour director, Edwin, waiting for us. From that point on, all we had to think about was enjoying the experience and we did. Edwin did everything to accomodate our needs. He even arranged side tours for individuals who wanted to shop or explore somewhere different. He was familiar with all our destinations and knew everyone. He kept us well informed wherever we went and filled each destination with local knowledge. Peru is a must see for everybody's bucket list. The only problem we had was on one leg of our flight, we were not seated together but Delta took care of that, for a fee.

 

Hi Donna! We’re thrilled that you had such a wonderful time in Peru. It’s great to know that your Tour Director’s warmth and assistance added enjoyment and value to your experience. We agree that Peru should be on everyone’s bucket list! We’re also glad to learn that Delta assisted you with your seating arrangements. Thank you for taking the time to share your experience. We hope to welcome you on tour again!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | December 05, 2016

4 / 5

4 / 5

Tour Date: 10/6/2016

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: CO

Tour Director: 4 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Machu Picchu is amazing!

Machu Picchu is an amazing place -- and Peru has a surprising number of other Inca ruins including salt flats, pyramids, religious buildings, etc.. This tour also included historical sights and Peruvian history, evenings of music and dancing, and several dinners featuring Peruvian food. I would say it was a well rounded trip and, as in past trips, we couldn't ask for a nicer, more friendly and helpful group of travelers and tour guide. I do have two suggestions: First I recommend an entire day should be planned for Machu Picchu -- it's the highlight of the trip for most people and deserves a whole day. We spent only 2 1/2 hours at MP (on the guided tour) because we were exhausted after leaving Cusco on the bus at 5:30 AM to take the 3 1/2 hour train ride. We arrived in the town of Machu Picchu about 11:00 AM and then waited in a long line to take the shuttle bus to the sight. After the tour, most of the group had little energy to explore on their own. Also, the return shuttle bus had an hour long line. A few in our group did return the next day but that was a rushed visit since we were scheduled to leave on the train mid afternoon. A better plan would be to make the trip to MP in one day followed by an entire day devoted to MP and return the next day to Cusco. Unless this is changed, I could not recommend this trip to a friend. Second, most people on our trip had altitude sickness and other illnesses. A strong warning of what to eat or drink might be helpful as well as suggestions not to pet the dogs, use insect repellent, and dress for cool/cold nights at the high altitudes -- and hotels and restaurants serving our group might also benefit from food guidelines. I have traveled and lived in 3rd world countries and know there are hazards people don't expect.

 

Dear June, Thank you very much for your thoughtful review. We’re glad that you feel this is a well-rounded itinerary, as there is much to see and do in Peru! We’re also glad that your group grew close and that your Tour Director was helpful. We appreciate your feedback on emphasizing Machu Picchu more in this itinerary, and we will be sure to communicate that to our Operations team. While we understand that Machu Picchu may be the highlight for some travelers, we strive to show the other numerous wonders of Ancient Peru in this itinerary, which can be challenging within a limited time frame. Also, we’ve received a fair amount of feedback from travelers in the past that have liked the fact that they aren’t forced to spend the whole day there, but instead have another opportunity to go on their own if they wish. We regret that this aspect of the tour didn’t meet your expectations, and we thank you for this valuable feedback which we will use for evaluation of this tour. Regarding altitude sickness and other illnesses, we recommend in our materials to consult with your healthcare provider if you have any concerns about your well-being on this tour. We explicitly state that altitude sickness is a possibility on this tour, as travelers will go as high as 12,000 feet above sea level. Regarding food consumption, we suggest that travelers only drink bottled water and avoid eating fresh fruits and vegetables unless they’re cooked or washed in clean water and peeled. We also mention in our Clothing and Packing Tips that layering is important and that insect repellent is a smart item to bring along. We appreciate your suggestion to avoid petting dogs, which is probably a good rule to adhere to when traveling abroad in general. Again, we thank you so much for your constructive review. We’re glad that you enjoyed the well-rounded nature of this tour, and we hope to welcome you on tour again.

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | November 07, 2016

4 / 5

4 / 5

Tour Date: 10/6/2016

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: PA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 3 / 5

Pluses and Minuses

First minus: the schedule was too tight. One day we got up at 4:30 am, rode a bus for about 45 minutes, rode a train for 3 hours, had a half hour to get stuff organized, stood in line for 30-45 minutes, rode a bus for half an hour and arrived at Machu Picchu. Had fabulous tour with great guides, waited in line for about an hour and rode bus back to Aguas Caliente for lunch at 4:30 pm. (Notice: 12 hours since we got up!) Then dinner at 7. Exhausted! Hard to believe this is all in ONE DAY! Second minus: We stayed in Cusco and traveled over a particular mountain by bus 4 times. Once for tour of area, once to go to Sacred Valley, once to get train to MP and once for tour of other sites. Lots of time would be saved if we just went over the mountain once and stayed in a hotel there. Third minus: lots of people got sick. Hotels were refilling water bottles. Note: don't drink from a bottle that isn't sealed when you get it. Don't drink water that waiter tells you is filtered etc. First Plus: Our guide, Edwin, was fabulous and so were Percy and Socrates who were day guides. They knew their stuff, their English was perfect and they cared about our well-being. I cannot say enough about these men. We were taken to very interesting places, Sacred Valley, Moray, Weavers "factory", salt flats, Pre-Incan site in Lima, and of course Machu Picchu which is a world heritage site and unbelieveable in many ways - should be at the top of everyone's bucket list! I recommend that you go on a tour like this one - but look for something with more time at Machu Picchu and Aguas Caliente.

 

Dear Ann, We’re glad that a member of our Customer Service team was able to speak with you about your tour. We regret that there were a few aspects of your trip that didn’t meet your expectations. From a scheduling standpoint, this itinerary is quite ambitious, and in order to hit each stop, a schedule must be adhered to. There is a lot to see in Peru, and it can feel relatively fast-paced when working with a limited time frame, especially in and around Machu Picchu. Regarding your hotel, we regret that the location didn’t meet your expectations. We will be sure to share your feedback with our Operations team. We also regret to learn that some members of your group fell ill during the trip. This is, unfortunately, a risk when traveling. Fortunately, we don’t hear about travelers getting sick too often, and if you take certain precautions, it is possible to reduce the risk. In terms of the water bottles you acquired from your hotel, we are extremely surprised to hear such feedback. We have been operating tours in Peru for many years, and a number of our staff regularly travel on our own tours there. In all those years, never have we heard that hotels are allegedly refilling water bottles with tap water. We will be sure to share this concern with our Operations team so that they can follow up with the hotel about this matter. We appreciate your kind words regarding your Tour Director and local guides. We’re glad that their knowledge and passion for the region added to the enjoyment of your overall experience. Thank you for your willingness to share about your experience. We hope to welcome you on tour again.

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | November 03, 2016

3 / 5

3 / 5

Tour Date: 10/6/2016

Number of Past Tours: 8

From: AZ

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 3 / 5

More time needed for Machu Picchu!

This is my ninth trip with Go Ahead Tours--but it is the first time that I can't give a trip a 4-star or 5-star rating. While our tour director, Edwin, was outstanding, the physical demands of the trip were difficult. Although I was fortunate to not suffer from altitude sickness or gastrointestinal issues, many in the group did and a few became seriously ill. But my own main personal reason for downgrading the trip is the less-than-optimal amount of time spent at Machu Picchu. Specifically, we received a wake-up call at 4:15 a.m. the morning of departure from Cuzco to Machu Picchu Pueblo. Upon arrival at Machu Picchu itself, we only had a few hours to savor the experience before having to board the bus back to our hotel in Machu Picchu Pueblo. Since I had known ahead of time that there wouldn't be much time that afternoon at Machu Picchu, I had purchased a ticket for a return visit the following morning. But I was so exhausted from the previous day's travel, that I decided to forego that excursion and my paid-in-advance bus ticket. Since I'm guessing the highlight for most travelers on this particular trip was supposed to be Machu Picchu, I think the itinerary should be adjusted to allow more time there with a less taxing travel schedule to get there. For example, the group could leave Cuzco later in the morning, thus arriving in Machu Picchu Pueblo at the correct time to be able to check into the hotel (which we couldn't do with the current itinerary). This would allow for a relatively leisurely afternoon getting to know Machu Picchu Pueblo. Then the following morning, the group could board the bus early for Machu Picchu, arriving well before the crowds from the Cuzco train and allowing for almost a full day at Machu Picchu. If a day needed to be cut in Cuzco or Lima to accommodate this change in itinerary, that would be preferable to having such a rushed visit to Machu Picchu. Finally, I think potential travelers should be more strongly advised about possible problems due to altitude, rough terrain and sometimes unsanitary conditions.

 

Dear Karen, We regret to learn that the amount of time at Machu Picchu didn’t quite meet your expectations. Several hours at the site are built into the itinerary, but there are other opportunities for travelers to go on their own in addition to what is provided by Go Ahead. We regret that you were too tired the next day to go back on your own. Machu Picchu is an amazing and somewhat physically demanding experience, which requires a lot of energy. There are also a fair amount of crowds, some intense walking, and depending on the time you visit, it can be very hot. Therefore, many of our travelers in the past have liked the fact that they aren’t forced to spend the whole day there, but instead have another opportunity to go on their own if they feel they didn’t get enough the first time. We appreciate your suggestions for improvement to the itinerary, and we will be sure to share them with our Product Development team for consideration moving forward. Regarding altitude sickness, we provide information about altitude sickness in all of our materials. Our goal is to make people aware of the risk; however, we clearly state that is best to speak with your healthcare provider regarding any questions or concerns you may have. Depending on the health of a person, altitude sickness may affect us differently – and some are not affected at all. We regret to hear that some members of your group experienced symptoms. Our Tour Directors and local guides in Peru are expertly trained to know when the symptoms are coming on and what to do to treat the affects. Regarding the terrain, we describe it in our materials as ‘uneven terrain, including rocky ground and unpaved or slippery trails at high altitudes.’ This description is not to be taken lightly. We also state in our materials that you should be healthy enough to participate in all of the walks without assistance, meaning travelers need to be totally independent and capable of traversing the described terrain. Again, we regret that this tour did not meet your expectations, and we thank you kindly for your feedback. Please give us a call if you have any questions at 1-800-597-0350.

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | November 02, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 9/15/2016

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: PA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Awesome Trip!

This was our first trip with Go Ahead Tours and I would highly recommend booking with this company. Edwin was our tour director and he made our trip AWESOME! He was helpful, humorous and was very attentive to everyone in the group.

 

Hi Christal! Thank you for recommending Go Ahead! We’re so glad you enjoyed your tour. It’s also great to know that your Tour Director enhanced your experience, and we will be sure to share that with him. We hope to welcome you on tour again!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | September 29, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 9/15/2016

Number of Past Tours: 6

From: OH

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Wonderful Time in Peru!

Our tour director, Edwin, was amazing with his attention to detail, his knowledge of the country and its people, the love of what he does and his desire to assure everyone on our tour had a great experience visiting his country. The hotels were in excellent locations to the sites; the food was good and we were even introduced to some local cuisine. All of our excursions were timed well so we weren't rushed and we had time to shop if we wanted to. All in all, I'd say Go Ahead hit another home run with this trip, and we look forward to the next one. Thanks!!

 

Hi Susan! We're delighted to learn that this tour was another 'home run'! Thank you for the kind and thoughtful feedback regarding your Tour Director, as well as the itinerary. We will be sure to share it with our team. We hope your next tour is another home run!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | September 30, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 9/15/2016

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: GA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Very happy

This was our first GoAhead tour and we were very pleased. Edwin was wonderful, providing information and assistance with a professional yet personable manner. The local guides were good as well and we appreciated the smooth transportation arrangements. The only question we had was so much free time in Cusco. However, optional excursions were available so maybe it is our fault we did not sign up for them. We have no complaints and look forward to our next tour!

 

Hi Nancy! We’re delighted that you enjoyed your first Go Ahead tour! We appreciate your feedback on both your Tour Director and your local guides. Regarding the balance of free time and structured activity, we offer Optionals so that travelers are able to control the pace of their tour experience. Some travelers prefer more free time for leisurely independent exploration, while others prefer to include additional excursions designed and organized by our expert team. We thank you for your review, and we look forward to welcoming you on your next tour!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | October 11, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 9/15/2016

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: PA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Machu Picchu & more

The highlight of this tour was of course Machu Picchu. However, the other sights on the itinerary were also very interesting. Before leaving, I had thought the duration was a little long, but after experiencing the amount of climbing at higher elevations, the "days on your own" were much appreciated. So in hindsight, a good length for the itinerary. The tour director (Edwin) was superb. The group was always well informed, and he always took care to make sure any concerns were addressed.

1 / 1
 

Hi Ed! We can understand why Machu Picchu was the highlight for you, but we’re glad to learn you enjoyed the other sites included in the tour, too. It’s also great to know you feel the length of the itinerary was helpful in terms of acclimating to the higher elevations. Thank you for your feedback on your Tour Director. We will be sure to share it with him. Let us know when you’re ready to travel again!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | September 29, 2016

4 / 5

4 / 5

Tour Date: 9/1/2016

Number of Past Tours: 3

From: FL

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

A must see

Edwin was not just Tour Director he was a host. All the local guides and drivers were awesome. We took the Nazca lines excursion. If you are trying to get a bucket list completed, do this with a bucket. I had to use oxygen once in Cuzco. The hotel was very nice about bringing it to me. The group was awesome. The optional excursion to return to Macchu Picchu was not needed.We were given enough time to see it the first day. The food was fabulous. No matter what you do, you will feel the altitude sickness. Please take it slow and listen to your guides.

 

Hello! We’re so glad to hear you enjoyed your Tour Director, as well as all your local guides. You’re correct that some travelers may encounter altitude sickness, and we’re glad that you were quickly able to get help when you started feeling the effects. Our guides are experts on the signs, symptoms, and how to stave it off and treat it. Great advice to take it slow! Avoiding caffeine and alcohol can also minimize the likelihood of becoming sick. Thank you for your helpful review, and we hope to welcome you on tour again.

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | October 05, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 8/4/2016

Number of Past Tours: 4

From: TX

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Peru 2016

Great trip Roberto was the best tour director, if I was just a few years younger would love to return and do the 4 day INCA trail. train was top notch and everyone should stay at the Hilton in Curso. was impressed that so many locals embraced there local costumes or clothing. Everyone should put on there bucket list. I even lost a few pounds doing all that walking. but made up for it with several massages that were less than $25.00. August was a good month too go. Pam

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 8/4/2016

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: NY

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Amazing

What a magical trip!

 

Hi Debbie! We're delighted to hear it. We hope to see you on the road again soon!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | November 21, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 7/7/2016

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: FL

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Amazing Peru

This tour was amazing! I enjoyed every second of this trip. Our tour guide Roberto C. was incredible. He earned every tour member's trust and confidence. Roberto was professional, knowledgeable, attentive and always had a plan B and a plan C. Even on free days Roberto was willing to take a group around to difference places. The passion and pride our guide has for his country was evident and contagious. He made every activity fun and exciting! I would 150% recommend this tour, especially if the guide is Roberto!

 

Hi Rossy! It’s fantastic to know that you enjoyed every second of this trip. We appreciate your feedback regarding your Tour Director and will be sure to share it with him. It sounds like his expertise and enthusiasm really shone through, and we’re glad to hear it. Thank you for your recommendation, and we hope to welcome you on tour again.

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | July 21, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 7/7/2016

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: MD

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Wonderful Tour

This was my first group tour which was highly recommended by someone I met purely by chance. So I really had no idea what was in store for my friend and me. From the beginning, everyone in the group was warm and friendly. I am a teacher and actually found that many in our group of 35 were/are teachers! There were families, couples, and many women travelling by themselves. The tour director, Roberto, was beyond excellent. He was on top of everything, running things smoothly, and there to help us at every moment. On "free" days, when others went on side tours, we had "Roberto Day" where he took us around the town we were in to show us something special. In Machu Picchu, while some chose to go up the mountain again, Roberto guided about 10 of us on a 5-hour hike through a botanical garden up to a waterfall which was near the source of the Amazon River. The food was excellent and more than we could ask for. The local guides were informative and helpful as well. It was not a relaxing vacation like one would spend at a beach resort. We were up every morning and ready to go after a complimentary breakfast in each city. The days were full of exciting, new adventures as Roberto shared his love of Peru and its culture with us. As this tour was recommended to me, I highly recommend it to you. The people of Peru are very nice, clean, and polite. We saw no trash on the ground and although tourism is a major source of revenue for the country, no one hassled us to buy their products which I have experienced in other countries. I asked others in the group who have travelled with Go Ahead Tours if all of the guides were as good as Roberto or if he was exceptional as I felt he was. It was agreed unanimously that he was indeed FABULOUS!!!!

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 7/7/2016

Number of Past Tours: 9

From: ON

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Fabulous Adventure!

This tour was amazing on every level. The itinerary suited me perfectly. I loved the balance of organized vs. free time, the amount of time spent in each location, and the sites and experiences along the way. Almost everything qualifies as a highlight, including seeing some of the city of Lima, the most intriguing and complex culture of Cusco, the train ride to and from Machu Picchu, the breathtaking scenery around that iconic ruin, so many unique spots in the Sacred Valley, and the wonders and exotic creatures of the Amazon! Our tour guide, Roberto, was a delight! He made sure we loved his country - every day held new surprises and experiences. He earned our trust and our affection as he taught us about the incredible diversity of Peru. Roberto is kind, energetic, intelligent and well-informed, full of fun, and unfailingly professional. He is also compassionate - after one bad night of gastro upset, he made sure I consumed electrolytes and water to rehydrate myself, and he talked to me about the probable cause (malaria pills which are unnecessary in that part of the Amazon). My family and friend group all loved him, including my 11 year old grandson, whose experience was very much enhanced as Roberto made sure he felt that he was a valued group member. I'm so pleased that I took this trip while I am still able to do lots of walking and some hiking. Altitude sickness medication did help some of us who needed help, though not everybody did. But forget the malaria pills! The scenery in the diverse geographical areas of Peru is almost unbelievably dramatic - some of our photos don't look "real". The people are lovely, the textiles and jewellery are beautiful, we felt comfortable and safe during the whole trip. Thank you for another experience of a lifetime! I've had many with Go Ahead, and this trip, for sure and certain, qualifies as one of them!

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 7/7/2016

Number of Past Tours: 4

From: FL

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Our Dream Trip

On behalf of my adult grandchildren, Gabriella and Michael, and myself, Maria, I want to congratulate and sincerely thank our guide Roberto Campos, on an amazing experience, care and knowledge he provided us during our visit to Peru. This is our fourth trip with Go Ahead and all the guides are very organized and knowledgeable. However, Roberto went above and beyond to make sure we were all comfortable and taken care of in every way. In so far as the tour itself it was definitely what we expected from GoAhead except our Nazca Line flight. Everyone of the 10-12 passengers in the small plane got nauseous. I think the pilot cut too sharp on the curves and we were all sick during the flight. My family and I could not hold the contents of our stomachs just like everyone else and I could not take pictures of the sights because of this. Everyone got out of the plane with a paper bag on hand. I think GoAhead should consider another pilot who flies these planes gentler. MachuPichu was a dream come true; Cuzco was beautiful. The Amazon was an extraordinary experience. The canopy walk made it even better. We were blessed with perfect weather throughout. And of course Roberto provided us with many extra experiences in the Amazon and Peru. Again Thank you Robert. God Bless you

4 / 5

4 / 5

Tour Date: 6/23/2016

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: OH

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Great trip

The Machu Picchu/sacred valley tour was fabulous. Our tour guide was Roberto Campos. He was always available and made sure our experience was great. Everything was well planned. My only suggestion is the GoAhead try to get cheaper flights for the tour.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 6/16/2016

Number of Past Tours: 6

From: NJ

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Outstanding Tour of Peru and Machu Picchu

This was our 10th tour with Go Ahead. This tour was quite involved with coordinating the local guides and sites in Peru; however everything went off without a glitch! Our tour director, Edwin, was so organized and efficient in addition to being so personable and funny. Our local guides, Abraham (Abbie) Huaman, Amalia, and William did a great job--very knowledgeable and friendly. Accommodations were excellent, and the food was outstanding. We had to leave earlier than the last dinner from the Jose Antonio Hotel in Lima, but Edwin made sure we had our full-course dinner an hour earlier. It is good to know that Ahead is doing its homework in planning and organizing its tours. Keep up the good work!.

 

Hi Pat! That’s fantastic that this was your 10th Go Ahead tour! We’re so glad it went off without a hitch. It sounds like your Tour Director and local guides did a great job of orchestrating all the logistics and making it fun and informative along the way. We will be sure to share your feedback with their supervisors. Thank you for your kind words about our planning and organization. We strive to ensure that all of our tours run smoothly, and it’s great to hear that this was your experience. We appreciate your valuable feedback, and we look forward to your 11th tour!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | July 12, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 6/16/2016

Number of Past Tours: 6

From: NJ

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Best Tour Director in Peru

Edwin was an outstanding tour director. He made us feel at home and was very personable and efficient. He went out of his way to assist us if we had a problem and had a lot of dialogue with all of us. He helped make this tour so enjoyable and stress free.

 

Hi Samuel! We're so pleased to learn that your Tour Director made you feel at home and well-cared for. It sounds like he had a very positive impact on your experience, and we're glad to hear it. Thank you for your review, and we hope to welcome you on tour again!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | July 01, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 6/16/2016

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: NM

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Ancient Peru and Machu Picchu

The trip was exactly as described and more. The Tour guides were all very knowledgable and pleasant. The goahead guide was superb, keep every one on point, on time and was a pleasure the entire tour, He is a Jewel! Will not travel international without goahead in the future. Thanks for a wonderful trouble fee tour.

4 / 5

4 / 5

Tour Date: 6/16/2016

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: AK

Tour Director: 3 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Bruce in Peru 6/16

Meals seemed "canned" on this trip. Too many hotel meals off the menu with the same foods over and over. I really wanted a particular food item across the street but kept getting interrupted. I know, speak up Bruce!!! But every situation calls for individual reactions/responses; in addition to your guides trying to give accurate numbers to those attempting to serve meals to the group as a whole to ensure everyone ate. Anyway, I appreciate the complexities of group travel, meals, and accommodations. All efforts are greatly appreciated. Good to excellent (and beyond) accommodations, except for the ants in my room in the Amazon. It would have been nice to have some sort of radio or TV in the room with at least local and/or informational segments/videos designed to help travelers such as I to better appreciate the area, culture, and other relevant data. I truly enjoy the service, attentiveness, and genuine care that your company provides. In addition, I cherish the relationships built during my tours. Bruce Merritt It is sooo much nicer to have one guide for the entire trip (as I had in Egypt and most of Thailand). Too many guides is akin to "... too many cooks spoil the stew". Every-time a new guide arrives, everyone has to start the "get to know you process" over again, which interrupts continuity, communication, and overall compatibility among travelers and the guide. Expectations differ, thus causing some friction.....

1 / 2
 

Dear Bruce, Thank you for your thoughtful review. We are glad to learn that there were aspects of your tour which you truly enjoyed, such as most of your accommodations, the service provided by our staff, and the companionship of your group. We regret that your meals and amount of guides did not meet your expectations. Regarding meals, the variety of offerings vary from destination to destination. In more remote, off-the-beaten path places, it can be challenging to provide different options at every meal, especially when there are staple, local dishes which are traditionally served. That said, we will be sure to share this feedback with our Operations team for further evaluation. We are also sorry that you didn’t get to try the particular food item you were looking for. We do encourage our travelers to take advantage of their guides and Tour Directors by disclosing what they are hoping to see and do. Their goal (and our goal) is to make your travel dreams come true! Regarding the amount of guides, it is actually quite common to have more than one local guide on our tours because each guide specializes in a region or specific site (there are, of course, some exceptions). We regret that you felt this was disruptive or frustrating, and we will be sure to let our team know internally. Again, we thank you for your detailed feedback, as it helps us to improve our tour and our services. We hope to welcome you on tour again!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | November 28, 2016

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