Most Inspirational Moment
Impossible to say, there are too many, but our first glimpse of Machu Picchu, indescribable in its beauty, size and location surrounded by stunning mountains and deep valleys would be one. Isla Genovesa, with its frigate birds, boobies, short-eared owls and huge density of birds and other wildlife would be another, together with. swimming in various locations with turtles, sea lions and stunning fish. including three hammerhead sharks (optional!). Mention must also be made of the waved albatross on Espanola courting, sitting on nests or flying along the cliffs, amazing..
Thoughts on Group Leader
We had three, in Peru, Quito and the Galapagos. All did an excellent job. Wilmer was warm, welcoming, enthusiatic and helpful as well as patient. Gloria in Quito again welcomed us warmly, was very knowledgable on the excellent tour and terrific in helping when one of our party injured themselves. Similarly David in the Galapagos gave us a terrific tour. He is both very knowledgable and passionate about the islands and their unique wildlife. He ran efficiently to time without ever rushing us and worked well with the captain and crew of the Cahalote. When snorkelling, with the help of the Panga drivers, he guided us well and ensured our safety. Because we were with David for a week on the boat he wins the prize but we cannot find fault in any of our guides.
Advice for Potential Travellers
Don't be surpised by the altitude in Cusco. Just take things slowly.
If you don't do the one day Inca trail walk and the weather is O.K., go up to Macchu Picchu that afternoon. Expensive but well worth it. It is quieter in the afternoon and it then gives you two sessions to enjoy this astonishing place at your own pace. The morning tour is excellent but only covers a small area.
If you snorkel in a swimming costume (i.e. not wet suit) be sure to wear a tee shirt - I didn't the first day, big mistake!
Mastercard works at ATM's almost always, debit and visa cards often don't, especially in the Galapagos. Preferably make sure you have plenty of dlooars for tips, drinks and small souvenirs, cards etc. before you leave Quito or even better, Peru.
If you can, go. This tour is all you could hope for and more and the advantage of being a small group, even on the boat, massive.