When we decided to go to Peru I began researching tour companies so that I could get a feel for different sites in Peru that we could see for the 10 days we had to spend. I love to plan trips and began this one about a year before we were meant to leave. I do tireless amounts of research when we travel, spending days on the computer whittling down towns, places, and restaurants I want to go to. I was immediately drawn to Ancient Summit for a couple of reasons.
Nina has an amazing reputation in Peru (I swear she knows everyone and is beloved there) and she intimately knows the country and will work with you to plan YOUR perfect trip.
I liked the idea that we could customize our tour, but what sold me was the sample tour on the website showed a tour that introduced us to not only all the important tourists spots but also would provide us with the ability to get to know the country and the people who live there. And so with some hesitation, I sent our deposit. I say with some hesitation because I think it is important to address the issue that Nina and her travel company – Ancient Summit, do not appear on multiple websites and in many TripAdvisor . I do a ton of research on trips we can take and that was a concern for me. In this day of ever-present technology, I thought it concerning that there was not more of an online presence. This should NOT be a concern! Nina has an amazing reputation in Peru (I swear she knows everyone and is beloved there) and she intimately knows the country and will work with you to plan YOUR perfect trip. We also learned that she does not have a huge web presence by her own doing. She says she wants to only reach out to the folks who are looking for the private, customized experience they offer.
Our trip began with an extra day we scheduled in Lima, our tour guide was amazing and created a wonderful base of knowledge about the country and its history. We then moved on to the Sacred Valley, Macha Picchu, and Cusco. We spent 7 days in this area and could have spent even more time. Our guide was amazing and could not have been more helpful, caring, knowledgeable, funny, insightful, I could go on and on. He made our trip, he always knew the right place for us to take our picture, the answer to any question we had, and the best price on any crazy item I wanted to buy (he always knows a lady with good quality and good prices!). We owe much of the success of our trip to him and cannot thank Nina enough for pairing us with him. We will genuinely miss him and plan to keep in touch! Some of the highlights of our time in this area were the cooking class which was great in that we learned to cook traditional Peruvian dishes that were in most of the restaurants we ate in (it was very interesting to compare our efforts with the other takes on those same recipes in other restaurants). The trip we made to the school where Nina’s son Julio is a teacher was one of the memories I will treasure the most.
The children were so glad to have us there and it was very interesting to learn about their lives and what school is like for them. They were very inquisitive about our children and I was so glad to have gone to meet them. Our hike to Machu Picchu (One-day short trek) was incredible, we had the trail to ourselves and in the hours of hiking we never saw another soul. We had lunch at the top of ruins we passed while looking out over the area we had just hiked and it was truly magical.
The final day of our trip was back in Lima, where our guide (good sport that she was) put up with our hijacking our tour in order to go on a ceviche crawl around Lima.
Our only regret is that we were not able to stay longer, but the trip has created a desire to return to see more of Peru and to return to South America. We would like to thank Nina and her staff for all of their help in creating such a memorable trip. They made every step of the way completely seamless and there was nothing they wouldn’t do to make sure our trip was perfect, from restaurant reservations to coordinating taxis for our non-included meals, we always felt that there was someone there taking care of us. Regardless of what you are looking to see/do in Peru, there is no one (not even myself) besides Nina and her staff at Ancient Summit that I would trust to plan my perfect Peruvian adventure.
Julie and Sean Simmons 10th Anniversary Trip April 2016