“THE BEST GUIDE SEVICE IN ALL OF PERU”
Mly wife and I just spent two weeks in Peru . . . eight of those days in the Sacred Valley and surrounding areas. We used Cusi travel for five different day tours. Our first contact with Cusi Travel was with Amy, their marketing director. She responded very promptly to our questions and provided lots of detail, suggestions, and helpful ideas to make our trip more enjoyable. She was a joy to work with.
We were fortunate to have Jose as our guide on all of our tours. He is passionate about what he does and that makes the time you spend with him informative, interesting, and memorable. Our first day tour was a visit to the Quechua community of Mahuaypampa to visit 2nd and 4th grade students who were learning English. We attended their classes and were able to speak to them and help them as they learned new words. My wife taught in elementary schools for over 20 years, so this was especially fun for her. We will never forget their enthusiasm and their smiles. Jose is active in this community sharing his time and resources with them.
On our second day tour we visited the ruins of Pisac, Ollantaytambo, Maras, and Moray in the Sacred Valley. We also visited the markets in Chincheros and Pisac. Jose has a wealth of knowledge about the ancient Incan people, which he shares with you on the tours. Our driver Angel was patient with us as we were constantly asking him to stop so that we could take pictures. In Chincheros we were able to visit the cooperative where they dye the different wools and make beautiful handmade items such as sweaters, scarfs, table runners, hats, shawls, and mittens. This is a “must see” as you are able to see what they use to dye the wools, and you can see them actually making some of the items they sell.
Our most memorable tour with Cusi travel was hiking the Inka Trail. We stayed in Urubamba at the Tambo del Inka. They have a Vistadome train that leaves exclusively from their property and goes to Aguas Calientes, at the base of Machu Picchu. We left the train at Marker 104 and proceeded to hike the Inka Trail for the next 8.5 miles. What an experience!!!!! Jose was able to share with us a comprehensive history of the trail, the ruins, and the important events that occurred in the area. We started at the ruins of Chachabamba and walked the Inka Trail to the ruins of Winaywayna, a hike of approximately 5 miles with an elevation gain of more than 1900 feet. Jose made sure that we drank plenty of water and he provided a great lunch for us. The views along the way were breathtaking. We were in the “cloud forest”. We are in our mid sixties but with Jose’s help we were able to make this climb. Don’t miss this opportunity.
We hiked another 3.5 miles across a saddleback to the Sungate, which looks down to Machu Picchu. Don’t forget to bring a camera with you. Jose is an excellent photographer as well. He helped tremendously with our photo taking.
Our next day tour was a full day at Machu Picchu. We left Aguas Calientes early in the morning, 5:30am, and took one of the first buses up to Machu Picchu. Our guide Jose shared his amazing knowledge about the ruins, the people, their beliefs . . . he really makes the place come alive and you can appreciate so much more what the Incan people were like and how intelligent they were and all that they accomplished. Our tour to Machu Picchu included our hotel stay in Aguas Calientes as well as our evening meal.
Our last day tour was in the Cuzco area. We visited Koriancha the primary Incan temple, which was built over by the Spanish. We were able to see many sites in Cuzco that most tourists don’t see, because Jose knows the city so well and takes you to places that are interesting but not visited by most tourists.
We also visited the ruins at Sacsahuyman, Kenko, Puca Pucara, and Tambomachay. One of the best reasons to go with Cusi Travel is the fact that Jose speaks Quechua, fluently. He can communicate so well with the local people. He actually taught us enough to be able to greet people, tell them our name, ask them their names, and to thank them. Knowing a few simple phrases opened up some of the most memorable experiences we had on our whole trip. I speak Spanish fluently, but being able to utter a few phrases in Quechua brought shocked surprise, huge smiles, and humor to many of our meetings with the people. Thanks Jose.
Since returning home my wife and I have spent time reminiscing about our trip. We have remarked several times that the main reason for so many wonderful memories was due to having Cusi Travel (Jose) as our guide. We learned so much . . . we were able to see so much
and most of all we were able to feel closer to the people. Each of the one day tours we took was well worth it.
If you want the best guides to guide you in and around the Sacred Valley . . . or you are more adventurous and want to do a day hike on the Inka Trail . . . book your tours with Cusi Travel.
You will make memories that will last a lifetime. We did.