Highlights of Peru holiday

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31 Aug 2017
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Vouchers
Not Accepted
Holiday type
Small group holidays
Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travellers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.
What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Simplicity
Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travellers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.

Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travellers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
Mythbuster
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travellers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travellers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
No.
Meet a group leader
As well as taking care of all the day-to-day practicalities, your group leader is the one who will turn your trip into an adventure. Leaders are extraordinary characters – the kind of person who has spent 14 Christmas days on the slopes of Mount Everest, runs marathons wearing tiger suits to raise funds for their conservation and thinks nothing of leading an overland trip in Sudan or Afghanistan. Fearless and inspiring, group leaders are as important as the destination itself.

Meet a local guide
No matter how experienced your group leader, they can never make up for the knowledge gained from a lifetime in the destination. That’s why many of our trips work with local guides around the world – who invite you into their homeland with pleasure. As well as doing crazy things like climbing Kilimanjaro 100 times, they also donate their time to local projects supported by travellers – such as rebuilding Sri Lankan villages following the 2004 tsunami.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Highlights of Peru holiday

Through our commitment to responsible tourism we have developed Planeterra, a non-profit organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of people and communities around the world through support of international charities, local organizations and community projects in the places that we visit on our tours. On this tour you may have the opportunity to visit the following Planeterra projects:

House of the People of the Sun
Inti Runakunaq Wasin (IRW) is Quechua for “House of the People of the Sun”. It is a non-profit organization based in Cuzco that acts as a haven for children and adolescents who live in extreme poverty. The home is open during the day and is run by a staff of volunteer teachers and social workers. Children are given the opportunity to voluntarily drop-in to receive help with homework, a warm meal and participate in a variety of classes and workshops that teach them valuable skills including jewelry making, leather working, cooking, music and English.

IRW currently rents a small house and supports 50 children through their programs. However, there are still many more children working and living on the streets of Cuzco. The goal of Planeterra together with IRW is to purchase a piece of land and build a bigger home in order provide support to more children and families.

Women’s weaving project – Ccaccaccollo Community
In January and March 2005, we developed and offered training courses to 123 people from four local communities just outside of Cuzco to work as Porters and Cooks on the Inca Trail. The women and wives of our cooks and porters from the Ccaccaccollo Community saw how we were working to provide jobs on the Inca Trail and approached us to ask us for support to develop a women's weaving project.

Three women from the Ccaccaccollo Community took part in a three month training course held by a local organization in which they learned ancient weaving techniques of the Incas including how to dye the wool using native flowers and plants. Each of the three women continued on to teach the rest of the women what they had learned and today 60 women have joined together to create the Ccaccaccollo Women's Weaving Project.

Beginning in April 2005, we began to visit this community as part of the Sacred Valley Tour where they have the opportunity to meet the women and learn about all the stages of the weaving process; from spinning the sheep wool, to dying the wool using natural dyes, and participating in a weaving demonstration. Travellers are also given the opportunity to purchase high quality textiles directly from the women who made them.

By working directly with the Ccaccaccollo community we and the Planeterra Foundation are encouraging men and women to be proud of their cultural heritage, and enabling them to benefit from tourism in a way that avoids negative social and cultural impacts while providing economic benefits.

2 Reviews of Highlights of Peru holiday

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 10 Jan 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The Inca trail with it's altitude challenge, great food, vistas and memorable porter feats stand out.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


The Absolute Peru package is about being outside; outside everyday comforts and the usual city sightseeing. So be open to a holiday full of memorable experiences.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Everywhere we went I was very conscious of the fact that we are directly supporting the local communities by eating in local markets, staying in local b&bs and generally transacting with locals.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


It was a great experience and I was surprised by the diversity offered by Peru; the cities being very different from the smaller towns and the towns being vastly different from the solitude of the Inka trail and the Amazon.

Reviewed on 06 Oct 2008 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Arriving to the Sun Gate at 6am after the Inca trail...and seeing the clouds moving away and revealing Machu Picchu! The homestay in the peninsula of Lake Titicaca was also the most amazing experience as was the bus ride from Puno to La Paz... those views of the Lake Titicaca were so beautiful, both on Peruvian and Bolivian side! Also riding the Worlds most dangerous road in Bolivia was super!!!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Remember that Peru and Bolivia are developing countries and hygiene and timekeeping are rather different there. Remember respect locals and their way of life too! Also, very importantly, take the Trip dossier with a pinch of salt as the company should update the trip dossier as the tour is not exactly what it says in the package, however, some things were much better than expected, some were disappointing.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


I felt it did! This company is one of the best companies and does a lot for the local people i.e. in the Inca trail their porters are treated very well and paid more than others, hence, everyone wants to work for them and also they had moved the homestay from the Taquile island to the peninsula to benefit local people there too!!

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Absolutely amazing!!! I would definitely recommend and would do it again if I could!

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