I’ll admit it.  I have a bucket list.  Not just some thoughts swirling around in my head of places I’d like to go and things to do, but an actual handwritten bucket list.  Last May, there was a particular destination on that list that I found myself becoming increasingly concerned that I had not visited yet – Machu Picchu.  Perhaps it was the flimsy rumors that the UNESCO site will be closing for “restoration” or the fact that I had not yet been to South America, but I decided that Machu Picchu HAD to be my next international travel destination.

Now, if you’re a reader of this blog, you know that I prefer to plan my own trips and typically loathe escorted travel through a tour company; however, there are certain circumstances when a guided tour is a great option.  For Peru, I chose to book the trip with Gate 1 because the cost of the trip was less expensive than we would have paid had we taken the trip solo.  I like Gate 1 for the simple reason that they are (almost always) the lowest priced company when you factor in international airfare.  For example, we traveled to Egypt using Gate 1 in 2010 – the 9 day trip, inclusive of international airfare, was about $1,200.00.  At that time, airfare alone would have cost us nearly $1,100.00 had we planned the trip on our own.  The Pros of using a company such as Gate 1?  Price.  Other than price?  Convenience.  Literally, most everything is already planned for you and you never have to concern yourself with logistics of getting from Point A to Point B.  If you are busy or get overwhelmed with planning complicated trips, a tour company is a great option.  The Cons? Everything is already planned out for you, meaning you have a lack of flexibility and freedom.  Additionally, Gate 1′s trips are jam-packed with early mornings and long days.  Regardless of which escorted trip you chose with them, you will probably be flat-out exhausted at least once due to the strenuous touring schedule.

Back to Machu Picchu – I chose Gate 1′s “10 Day affordable Peru (Miami Special)” and paid $1,700.00 per person from Miami to take the trip in the end of May.  Unfortunately, domestic flights from Atlanta to Miami were unreasonably high when we booked, tacking on another $259.00 per person for the domestic flight.

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Our itinerary was as follows:

DAY 1 – Depart the USA, Arrive in Lima.

DAY 2 – Lima

DAY 3 – Fly to Cuzco, then drive to Urubamba Sacred Valley.

DAY 4 – Sacred Valley

DAY 5 – Train to Machu Picchu, overnight in Cuzco.

DAY 6 –  Cuzco

DAY 7 – Drive through Raqchi with overnight in Puno.

DAY 8 – Puno

DAY 9 – Fly to Lima.

DAY 10 – Depart for the USA.

Have you traveled to Peru?  How did your itinerary differ?

This post is part of a series on Peru.  Click here to read my other Peru posts.

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