I think in the process of finding the perfect holiday in Peru, I managed to email around 30 different tour companies and agencies. In the end, my girlfriend and I decided to choose Peru Gateway Travel, not based upon price, but upon customer service, instinct, and information given to us.
The prices offered to us by Peru Gateway were certainly not the cheapest, paying $374 per person for the itinerary that we wanted. For this we received the following:
Day 1: Lima City Tour.
Day 2: Cusco City Tour.
Day 3: Machu Picchu Tour (travelling Backpacker Class).
Day 4: Maras Saltmines and Moray Agricultural Site Private Tour.
Day 5: Sacred Valley Tour.
For the same itinerary, we were quoted as cheap as $247. Although we were offered as cheap as this, the majority of the other tour companies either failed to respond to our emails, were unable to arrange the itinerary that we wanted, or if they could arrange the itinerary, they seemed more interested in taking our money than providing sufficient information about the different tours. Peru Gateway also impressed me with the speed in which they replied to my emails, questions, and queries, in which everything was answered fully and in great detail, something that many of the other tour companies couldn’t manage.
While the cheapest price of $247 was tempting, the price offered by Peru Gateway Tours included all airport transfers, which we worked out would have saved us in the region of $60, compared to this cheapest price, which only included the tours mentioned above. To have everything arranged before leaving for Peru and through the same company was certainly a weight off my mind, and allowed more time for enjoyment when in Peru.
I am not saying that the other tour companies aren’t worth using, as that would be a rather large lie. Almost all of the other tour companies I contacted were both friendly and helpful, but as we wanted an itinerary specific to our own desires, many of the other tour companies do not cater to these demands, only offering set itineraries that cannot be changed. Therefore, if you need an itinerary that is more flexible to your demands, Peru Gateway is a good place to start and can offer tours and accommodation throughout the country, not only in the main tourist areas of Lima and Cusco. We decided to book our accommodation separately, as we wanted to stay in recommended hostels we found through the Internet.
Going with our gut feeling and instinct and choosing Peru Gateway was definitely for my girlfriend and I, and our experience an excellent decision, as the tours we had were more than satisfactory. The only tour that didn’t meet my expectations was the Cusco City Tour, but that had nothing to do with Peru Gateway and more not being able to understand the English of the guide we were given.
Upon arrival in Peru, we were met by one of the company’s representatives, who gave us a list of emergency contacts should anything go wrong. The tour representative also outlined our tour once more and made sure we knew everything we needed to know before leaving us at our hostel. It was lucky that we were given the emergency contact numbers, as our return flight from Cusco to Lima was delayed for 4 hours, and all it took was a simple phone call to their offices to inform them of this and our airport transfer was rearranged and waiting for us as expected when we finally touched down.
Like I have said, although there are cheaper options available, I was happy paying the extra for the quality of service received and would recommend Peru Gateway Travel to anyone who wants a hassle-free trip, with everything taking care of for you, and also if other tour companies can’t offer you the tailor-made tour that you desire.
More information can be found by visiting their website www.peru-explorer.com. They can also be emailed on firstname.lastname@example.org, or reached by phone at +51-1-4443027, +51-1-4443031 and +51-1-4443032. Their address in Lima is Av. Jose Pardo No. 601 Dpto. 701-702, Miraflores, if you decide to pay them a visit once in the country instead. They also have a sister company that takes care of all the tours in the Cusco region. They are called Orquidea Travel and have a website at www.orquidea.net. I didn’t use the latter website, though, for booking my itinerary.