Peru was one of the best trips I have ever been on. A large part in that is due to Nina Fogelman and Ancient Summit, the tour company we used for our 10-day trip. I am in my late twenties and was traveling with my two adventurous parents. When planning our trip, we knew that we wanted to have an active vacation, see Machu Picchu, and experience the local culture. We also were not crazy about the idea of being in a tour group with others (which you’re not with Ancient Summit). From the very beginning, Nina was there to personalize the tour to meet our needs while also providing solid advice on the best way to organize everything. Nina has extensive knowledge on the Peruvian culture and people as well as connections throughout the country, allowing for opportunities that were off the beaten path.
Before the trip, I warned my parents that even if we have a company planning out everything for us we could still expect for things to not always go as smoothly as we hoped. However, I was very pleasantly surprised to see that Nina’s planning was so detailed, considerate, and flexible that this was not the case. And when I say detailed I don’t mean that we had every second planned out for us, or a strict schedule to follow. Rather, we had a team of guides and drivers that were so accommodating and knowledgeable that it ensured a smooth transition and the opportunity to have the experience we hoped for and more.
Some highlights from our trip include:
-Having lunch in the Sacred Valley with some of Nina’s close friends. We were served a delicious lunch with all ingredients from their organic garden followed by a tour of the garden and artist studio.
-Kayaking on a beautiful glacier lake surrounded by mountains. When we arrived, there was another group by the lake preparing to do yoga. They allowed us to join their group so my parents, Miguel and I all did a nice yoga session before starting our kayaking. It was little things like that that are not possible if you are in a big tour group!
-the experience of doing the 2 days Lares Trek. While it was a grueling hike because of the steepness and elevation (at least for part of it), it was worth the stunning views of mountains, lakes, and llamas and alpacas.
-Machu Picchu tour. If you are physically able, I highly recommend doing the hike up Huayna Picchu to get an aerial view of the site.
I truly could go on and on about all the little details that were such a delight along the way. For example, Nina called us at our hotel twice during our stay to check in and make sure everything was going ok. I would highly recommend planning your trip to Peru with Nina from Ancient Summit. In a very touristic destination, it provides you with the chance for a unique and memorable trip.
Patty, John & Liesl Driver, July 2014