The holiday was wonderful and on the whole, I was extremely pleased with the 25 days we were away.
Value for money – I think we did well.
We mostly stayed in the Casa Andina Classic chain of hotels and they were consistent in what they offered. They were always well located, clean, the breakfasts tended to be the same (which did get a little repetitive), some were in better condition than others and all had free Internet facilities.
The best hotel we stayed in was in Ollaytaytambo – the Hotel Pakaritampu which was really nice.
The worst was the next night at Aguas Calientes at the Hotel Inti Punku, which was very clean, the staff were nice but the room was very small and dark and the hotel itself was pretty tired.
The tour companies in both Peru and Chile were very efficient. They were always at the airports to meet us and always had us back at the airports in good time. The individual tour guides and drivers were very good. They were helpful, informative and took their jobs seriously. The tours were all good and well thought out.
There were only a couple of negatives. The main one was on day 18 (10/10/10) when we left Ceiba Tops quite early in the afternoon for a 2100 flight to Lima. We had about 6 hours to just hang around a hotel lobby in Iquitos. We didn’t arrive at our hotel in Lima until well after 11pm. We were booked on a 0740 flight to Santiago and we told by the tour company that we would be picked up at 4am to go to the airport. A late afternoon flight would have been much better as we virtually had a sleepless night and a waste of money paying for a night at the hotel. To make things worse for us on this occasion the flight to Santiago was delayed and didn’t leave until 10.50am.
LAN didn’t have us in their system as having a connecting flight to Puerto Montt. Due to the lateness of the flight we missed our flight to PM and had to negotiate a later flight and to try and notify the guide waiting for us at the airport that we would be late. When getting our boarding passes for the flight back to Santiago on day 23 (15/10/10) LAN had us as “no shows” because we hadn’t checked in on the missed flight. This was resolved but could have been avoided if we’d been in their system as having the connection.
Whilst the private wine tour and lunch at the Matetic Winery on our last day (17/10/10) was absolutely wonderful it did go over the same countryside we’d been to the previous day. It was expensive for what was quite a short “full” day tour. We were dropped at the airport quite early for our 2310 flight.
In hindsight I think we both would have liked an extra day in Santiago as we saw very little of the city. To sum up, thank you again Biba for planning such a wonderful holiday. I am telling my friends to see you when planning for their next holidays.