Intrepid Travelers…

Years ago on an educational summer trip to Europe with high schoolers I learned the value of tour guides. Previously, I’d been a solo, do-it-yourself, independent kind of traveler. However, there’s a lot to learn and time is money and why not use the experts if they’re available? Furthermore, so many details are taken care of when one uses a tour company: hotels, meals, transportation, and package deals are often much cheaper than doing it a la carte. And, you get guides who have knowledge and insight that adds so much value to the travel experience. But not all travel companies are the same…

It was on a trip in China before we had kids that ML & I learned about “Intrepid” from our fellow travelers. But it wasn’t until we were on our world trip that we used them for a family tour in Morocco. That turned out to be a great experience for Charlie & Veronica since there were eight kids and six adults in the group. (I’ve got seven Morocco posts, but check out this one.)

So this summer, considering that we had not gone to South America and that Machu Picchu is a big bucket list item, we decided to book a tour with Intrepid. They have several itineraries, but we went with “The Sacred Land of the Incas.” Scroll down to see the map and the day-by-day activities.

Early on in that adventure, my computer glitched hard – the “Black Screen of Death,” and I’ve been unable to post until now. (In fact, it’s currently still in the shop by I’m using ML’s in the wee hours…) But the trip was outstanding! We had two nights in an AirBnb in Lima, Peru before the start, and three nights in another in La Paz, Bolivia after it ended. And we were able to do a one day tour in Panama City on account of a very long layover on our way home.

The Intrepid tour group was great: Giscard was our main guide throughout, but we had several other local guides in various places. In addition to our family of four, there were four New Zealanders (two military gals from the North Island, Kirstie & Charlotte, and a couple from the South Island, Andy & Paul), an Aussie doctor of Lebanese extraction, Vicki, and a fun-loving Londoner of Indian extraction, Mona. We became a pretty tight group and our kids really enjoyed the camaraderie.

This post is also a kind of Table of Contents: Lima, the Amazon, Cuzco (& Ollantaytambo), the Andes (Inca Quarry Trail trek), Machu Picchu (& Aguas Calientes), back to Cuzco, Lake Titicaca, La Paz, and the Panama City layover. Stay tuned…

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