Fantastic trip!! Everything went exactly as planned - having the logistics taken care of really helped us relax and enjoy our vacation. All of our tour guides were friendly and knowledgeable. The hotels were outstanding. Our experience on the Inca Trail was unforgettable, and the Galapagos were fascinating. Thank you!!
Review by Pavlyk Mahula1 month ago
From the first phone call till the post trip review this group is a 5 star operation. Corey Jay handled everything in a professional and careful manner. Hurricane Dorian almost ruined our plans and Corey was on top of the situation.
A special shoutout to our guide Dimas who was always on time and very considerate of all of our needs. A treasure trove of information and a passion for his history. The accommodations were outstanding and our driver Santos was incredible!! Thank you SA Expeditions for making our trip so special!!
Review by Veraf1 month ago
Shaina, our planner, was in constant touch with my husband, who planned my surprise 50th trip for a total of 7 days in Peru. He felt he had someone with him constantly throughout the planning stages that made it less intimidating. Prior to our arrival into Peru, she helped us make dinner reservations for the days we didn't have meals included into our package.
Our first night on arrival was an overnight in Lima at the airport Wyndham. We were met by a SA rep who walked us to our hotel and provided our luggage tag & boarding passes that made it very convenient. Hotel room was clean & the staff were all friendly. Their breakfast buffet spread was extensive and well-prepared. We walked over to the airport terminal the next morning for our flight to Cusco - very convenient.
Upon arrival in Cusco, we met our driver, Ciro, and guide, Alfredo and they were with us for the next 5 days. We stayed at the Aranwa Boutique, Sacred Valley for 2 nights. Its a beautiful spa resort located near the Urubamba River and there were alpacas, peacocks, macaw parrots roaming around the property. The spa is a must-go with a rejuvenating water circuit treatment prior to your spa treatment. Likewise, do take the time to visit the little church & gorgeous orchid garden. The employees in the restaurants (breakfast & dinner) were genuine, kind & friendly and the food & beverage selections were delicious. We almost tried the guinea pig but never got to it. Over those days we visited the Sacred Valley, Ollyantaytambo, Maras, Maray.
We then got onto the train to go to Machu Pichu via the Vistadome.
The hotel we stayed at was the Inkaterra El Pueblo - beautiful property, room and friendly employees. Machu Pichu was a hike that you need to be prepared for with good shoes, a hat, sunscreen & water. There were more higher trail options for an even better view of the Machu Pichu from higher elevations.
We took the Vistadome back to Cusco and stayed at El Mercado in this ancient city. We arrived late into the city & had a later dinner at Cicciolina - it was a wonderful restaurant, with great selections and the food was divine! El Mercado's room was quaint, clean & the employees were all very friendly.
The next day was a tour of the city that included the market & Museo de Sitio Qorikancha - a must see.
The next morning we travelled back to Lima & spent the day on a city tour which included Museu Larco - beautiful grounds, the best museum in South America. It also has a great cafe that is covered with flowers everywhere, quite an oasis & great food! Our guide, Ruth, was very knowledgeable & took us on a fun guide of the city. Traffic was terrible but her narrative of the city kept us occupied. We were also at the Plaza de Armas & went to the Church of San Francisco to see The Catacombs. We had the rare opportunity to see services for St. Rose of Lima that occurs annually & it was beautiful. We were dropped off at the airport at the end of the tour about 4 hours prior to our flight.
All in all, SA representatives took great care of us from start to finish and they were all very knowledgeable and friendly. We would recommend them to anyone planning a trip.
Review by BlueElixir1 month ago
We all have expectations of our dream bucket list experience. Planning the details create high expectations. Dreaming of unique and special experiences only enhance the bucket list destination. Selecting SAE to plan our experience to Peru was the first and most important decision. Our initial phone conversation with Tom Carroll began a series of suggestions, questions and decisions. Planning all the details with Tom resulted in a perfect journey to Peru. From the very first contact with SAE guides and driver in Lima, to airport transfers to Cuzco, tours in the Sacred Valley, a train ride and two tours of Machu Picchu, and finally tours and airport transfers in Cuzco SAE representatives were always present, on time, cordial, and professional. Johan was our tour guide for most of our journey. My wife dubbed Johan a walking historical professor of the Incan empire. Johan is not only well versed in his profession but passionate as well. Ever, Percy our two other tour guides provided their own unique skills. Not to be outdone was Robert our driver. In Peru the skill of navigating the terrain and traffic is not to be underestimated. Perfection executed and experienced in a mysterious and magical destination. Thanks Tom, Angela and Carey.
Review by Tattoogirl1 month ago
The entire process from the planning of the trip to the guides during the trip was wonderful. Educational, prompt and the hotels were great! T
Review by Seaphase2 months ago
Was beyond expectations. We had a private guide and driver the entire week. They did a great job of avoiding crowds at all sites. Guide gave us much more about the culture and history, not just the structures. SA rep was very responsive and helpful. We won’t travel to South America any other way than with SA Expeditions.
I can’t say thank you enough for our experience ‘
Review by Wegue Costoff2 months ago
My family and I traveled to Sacred Valley and Amazon with the help of SA Expeditions. Jenny Byrne at SA Expeditions did a terrific job coordinating our itinerary and all reservations (flights, hotels, restaurants, entrances to hikes, parks,etc). She provided pre-travel packing guidelines that made sure we had exactly what we needed to enjoy our vacation. Jenny was prompt at returning my emails, answering my many questions prior to our trip and also during our trip.
Johan, our guide, provided us with extensive background of the people, region, culture and history of Cuzco, Sacred Valley, and all historical sites we visited. He did a great job explaining and engaging my teenage children - making sure they understood all we were seeing. He was fully committed to making sure we got the most out of our vacation. In addition to the many archeological sites, we visited the Textile and Weaving Center in Chinchero. We saw a demonstration of dying and knitting wool in the traditional ways. It's a great place to visit while supporting the local culture.
SA Expeditions also arranged an Amazon tour through Rainforest Expeditions for our family. We stayed at Posada Amazonas and had an incredible experience. Oscar, our guide, filled our short stay with many interesting sites and stories. His knowledge of the forest and animals was extensive. During every excursion, he looked for every opportunity to locate wild life and explain their impact on the forest.
I did not receive as much detailed information on the Amazon trip as our Sacred Valley trip. Being detail oriented, I contacted Rainforest Expeditions directly. As a result, I was able to get a detailed packing list and itinerary for our Amazon trip. If you plan to go to the Amazon ( highly recommended!) I would contact them directly for travel tips to the Amazon. For example, when traveling to the rain forest, you are only allowed to carry in a small duffel bag. I would recommend pre-packing your duffel bag, otherwise you are having to decide what you want to take into the Amazon rainforest at Rainforest Expeditions stop-over point before heading into the Amazon rainforest. We had a very short stay in the rain forest, and had to wait 2.5 hours at Rainforest Expeditions (not sure why the delay) before heading into the forest. Because I received a detailed itinerary, I knew we were suppose to have a canopy tour the afternoon we arrived. I did speak up and Oscar took us on our canopy tour and we had a night walk on the way back as a bonus. If I didn't speak up, we would not have had a tour that late afternoon. Oscar made it possible - Thank you Oscar!!
I would suggest you to take it upon yourself to know what's available in the rain forest and ask for what you want.
We are extremely grateful to have booked our family trip through SA expeditions! It's worth repeating that Jenny did an amazing job planning our trip to fit our needs and both our guides - Johan and Oscar - were knowledgeable and did a great job explaining all that we were seeing. A trip of a lifetime!
Review by Minnetonka2 months ago
Bucket List Trip of a Lifetime to Machu Picchu & Easter Island
Jenny Byrne from SA Expeditions helped us with an incredibly well planned and executed bucket list trip of a lifetime to Machu Picchu and Easter Island.
We were very impressed every step of the way with our itinerary, guides, drivers, accommodations and experiences.
All of the hotels were excellent and every guide and driver were knowledgeable, friendly, reliable, and most importantly - trustworthy.
Every step of the way went smoothly, and all we had to do was enjoy a wonderful family vacation together.
Many, many thanks to SA Expeditions, all of our guides, and to Jenny for all of her planning and help.
Review by Lonelai2 months ago
Excelent from beginning to end; creating an attractive itinerary, professionally responding to all questions, making any changes as requested, great guides and onsite operations and accurate and simple billing. It is maybe more expensive than other options, but their customer service, reliability and destination knowledge makes it worth it. Corey is awesome!
Review by Haneffe2 months ago
From the initial contacts over the itinerary until the end of our trip (Inca Trail - Machu Picchu + Galapagos Islands cruise) all was handled very quick and professional.
The hotels in the different locations were in excellent locations and of high standard. All the guides were very knowledgeable.
This was a one of a Lifetime trip
Review by Zarek3 months ago
SA Expeditions were extremely easy to deal with and provided wonderful options for touring the Galápagos Islands as well as Quito at the end of our trip. The Treasure of the Galapagos was the boat we called home as we explored the islands, the crew was fantastic, friendly and extremely accommodating. Our naturalist, Fabian, really made each day and exciting experience, we could tell he truly loved his job and was proud to impart his knowledge of the islands including the wildlife and history.
The private tour we had in Quito was also top notch and our airport and hotel transfers went all as planned with friendly and professional staff to help us all along the way. I would highly recommend using SA Expeditions!
Review by Anop3 months ago
This was a wonderful trip for us, and our advisor, Corey did an outstanding job. The Galapagos portion of our trip on the Petrel was fantastic. In Peru we visited Lima and Machu Picchu which also outstanding, albeit at times a bit rustic. I would recommend paying up to get the best available hotels and transport, which makes the trip more enjoyable. SA's arranging for transport from/to airports and hotels was exceptionally good, and made things a lot easier. Be prepared in the Machu Picchu portion of there trip for some "rustic" experiences, which we were fine with, but some may not find as enjoyable. Overall, if I were to do another trip to South America I would definitely use SA, and in particular Corey.
Review by BobbiLe Ngonvoraraj3 months ago
From start to finish this was an amazing trip. The SA consultant, Tom Carroll understood my needs perfectly and put together the perfect vacation. He had good suggestions on how to tailor our trip. He also replied to every one of my emails quickly .
Every guide was early and personable. They were all very knowledgeable, flexible and eager to please. I would use this company again in a second. I just regret that they don’t cover every country in the world!
Review by Pubodee3 months ago
We cannot say enough good things about SA Expeditions after using them for our honeymoon trip!!! From the moment we started booking with Sara Hensel, she was knowledgable, attentive and accommodating to our needs. Everything was booked so well & organized, and we were so well taken care of and felt safe all along.
We went to Quito, the Amazon & the Galapagos Islands. As this was a lot of traveling around, it could have easily become stressful and time-consuming. However, SA Expeditions had everything set up for us! We had someone waiting to greet us and help us through our transportations. Jorge, our driver in Quito, was beyond excellent. We obliviously left our passports in the safe at the hotel and realized halfway into our drive to the airport. Jorge immediately pulled over and handled the situation, assuring us that it would work out, all the while with a back up plan just in case! His colleague, Lena, drove to the hotel to retrieve our passports and then met up with us to drop them off. Jorge got us to the airport in plenty of time for our flight! He remained calm and collective the entire time, assuring us that "these things happen" and "it could be worse."
During our stay in the Galapagos, Vicky was our tour guide and she knew so much about the islands, wildlife and history! We also had help from Andrea & Valencio, who were so sweet and helpful! If you ever go to Santa Cruz Island, visit their restaurant named after them!
I can tell you with NO hesitation that SA Expeditions is worth booking with! We will definitely be using them again in the future!
Review by Hav3 months ago
The multiple pickup and tranfers were timely and conducted by professional/kind people. From start to finish, each person who helped us with the transfer was timely and their vehicles were very clean. In Sta Cruz, Valerio handled the bus/shuttle and ferry transfers. We had nothing to worry. The cruise was impeccable: great crew, outstanding naturalists/guide, and food was outstanding throughout. I would especially commend our groups' guide (Omar Adrian). He was very passionate about the Galapagos, the flora and fauna. He was also very patient in explaining matters to kids and was very funny. We would do it again and would highly recommend it to others. Thank you SA Expeditions for arranging this "bucket list" trip.
Review by Senthilmurugan3 months ago
Our entire trip was first class. All SA contacts, guides, porters, chef were friendly and informative. The accommodations were first class. The guide for our Inka trail hike of 4 days was informative, friendly and just a good guy. The most surprising aspect was the chef on the trail. All of the meals were ones you would expect in a high end restaurant and yet he was making them while camping in the middle of nowhere. Overall a fantastic experience. I would suggest advising future clients who want to hike the Inka Trail that this is a difficult trail that requires endurance and dedication to complete,
Review by Priyaranjan4 months ago
This was a trip that we planned our life time. When the time came up (last year) I started researching different companies. I go down to 3. On think always turn me to SA, their Agent, Jenny Byrne was extremely professional and efficient. She will answer my questions immediately, even if I told her it was not a rush. I felt that she was working ONLY FOR US. If there was an accommodation that we were not certain of it, she will immediately send me other choices. She gave us even choices on the internal airlines.
Our Trip EXCEEDED OUR EXPECTATIONS BY FAR. The Hotels were all 5 starts. I have never being in a Palace (other than the Bilmore), but the Palacio del Inka Hotel in Cuzco is beyond explanation. The luxury, the attention, the free breaksfast buffet, the restaurant, the bedroom, the court yards (2 of them), all the sitting areas with magnificent (an many originals) works of art...it was just to stay there one week looking at every single place of the hotel. Every time we arrived at a place, we had an SA representative waiting for us with a car with a private chauffeur. The SA representative accompany us to the Hotel or the Airport and handle all our tickets...FIRST CLASS TREATMENT!!!
The Archipel I was very comfortable. The meals were delicious and the crew was incredible niece. The bartender Alejandro was all smiles and kindness. Our tour guide Franklin spoke perfect English and was extremely knowledgeable. We saw it all!!!! From giant Tortoises, to Dolphins, to giant and small Sea Lions, to all kind of birds and species, volcanoes, lava tubes, etc...The trips on the inflatable boats were were comfortable. We also went to a beautiful beach, snorkeling, kayaking, etc. Spectacular trip to Galapagos!!! Cuzco is an amazing city. Of course, as I mentioned before, we were in shock with the Hotel. It is very safe in there. We went to a restaurant and what are the odds's of finding somebody else from Tennessee!!! (Go Volt's). We had a PRIVATE tour guide for all our tours. His name was Alvaro. Very fluent English as well and a tremendous knowledge. The places that we visited were beyond explanation...The Sacred Valley of the Inkas, The Salineras, different towns and ruins...I was not expecting to see El Cristo Blanco (The White Christ), which is a replica of the one in Brazil...They have a lookout place there where you can see the entire City...All I did was cry..The Cuzco Cathedral can not be explained...you have to see it..We also went to a Monastery, which contains original Inka walls. What a great way of glorifying our Lord! The trip to Machu Pichu was very comfortable. The train ride was great and the views of the Andes incredible. The bus was also very comfortable. What can I tell you about Machu Pichu?...I doubt there will be another place in the world with that conservation and the most wonderful surroundings...Everywhere you look, the majestic Andes mountains were surrounding us. Our tour guide explained every single building..We had plenty of time to see it all and we did not find the place crowded at all. It is a desire of my hear, if God permits it, to go back to Cuzco with more time, to stay at the Palacio del Inka and visit all the places (of course Machu Pichu first) again...and there will be only one company that I will do it with..SA Expeditions and Judy Byrne. If you are planning this trip, don't delay. I wish you get all the blessings we did.
Thank you again Mrs. Byrne for your great help, cooperation, kindness, generosity, hard work and great advice. God bless you
Review by Nurgifari4 months ago
My mom and I traveled to Peru last month, and SA Expeditions planned the entire thing. The whole experience was amazing! They sent us a detailed itinerary even with a map of the airports we were flying into and where the representatives would meet us. It was perfectly planned. In addition, the guides were super friendly and knowledgeable. The accommodations were amazing. And we came away with some great memories. I would definitely recommend them for your next trip!
Review by Gati Loesche4 months ago
On our first trip to South America, my wife and I (both 60) were really impressed with all of our guides, accommodations, and sites visited. It all started with Amanda, who put together and exceptional itinerary based primarily on places we wanted to visit. Our guides and drivers were extremely knowledgeable, friendly, helpful, and punctual. Great memories and experience. SA Expeditions - thank you again for a tremendous trip to South America.
Review by LisaAnneGrace Cantarella4 months ago
Did a trip to Peru. It was great. The accommodations were first rate. All the tours had great guides. Would recommend SA.
Review by Armo4 months ago
August 16, 2019
It is with pleasure that I write this review of our experience with South America Expeditions. I would first like to start with expressing my sincere appreciation to you for all of your hard work and patience as we made plans, changed plans and finalized plans. All of your suggestions were so on point, your organization was exquisite and your creative flexibility was a gift. You didn’t hesitate at all when halfway through the process we decided to add another person, our grand daughter Quinn, to the plan. Our subsequent time with her in Santiago and Valparaiso are now forever memories. Her 21st birthday celebration that you helped to organize was everything that we could have hoped for. Thank you so much for that.
I want to specifically talk about our two main guides, Jeremiah and Roberto. Jeremiah knows Buenos Aires and its environs like the back of his hand. He made sure our time in the city was rich with experiences. That being said, his personality and perception are his greatest assets. He is obviously very bright. He was welcoming, helpful and informative. We felt so safe and comfortable with him. As he showed us this remarkable city, he also cared about our personal safety warning of any perceived hazards or asking if we were comfortable with the weather. He constantly was pointing out some unique element of a neighborhood or suggesting restaurants and sights for us to explore in our free time. Jeremiah is a valuable asset to the company and he made our time in Buenos Aires unforgettable.
Roberto rescued us from the chaos of the Santiago airport and then kept a close and friendly eye on us as we made our way to Valparaiso. He gave us each the gift of a paperclip to attach our Chilean entry document to our passports; awesome, charming and very valuable.. Roberto was just great and we enjoyed our time with him immensely. From vineyards, to the winding street of Valparaiso, to the gondola in the hills of Santiago he supported our every move and anticipated our wishes. Important too was that he was fun to be with and we were so thankful for his presence. Roberto even took us as far as the security gates in the airport when it cam time to leave. Obviously he went above and beyond.
We loved our charming hotels but loved the staff at each even more. The staff at the Luciano hotel in Santiago was particularly caring and friendly. Everyone we met smiled and chatted and asked about how we were doing. Amazing.
I’ll end by saying that this trip was wonderful in every respect. Kim we really lay that success at your feet. What an asset you are to SA Expeditions. You helped two seniors (middle 70s) have a marvelous adventure. (Did I mention that Quinn and I went hang gliding☺ ) Thanks for everything. We will be back. Patagonia and Machu Picchu are still on our bucket list
Bill and Joan Murphy
Review by Aav4 months ago
I could not be more pleased with the trip arranged by SA. When five days before my 2 year planned cruise to Galapagos and Peru on Celebrity was cancelled by the Celebrity cruise line I jumped into action to achieve part of my dream. I found SA on line and they had very positive reviews. The entire trip to Lima, Cusco, Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu was arranged in two days and I left on my originally scheduled departure date. When my flight# from the US were delayed SA tracked the changes and still arranged for pick up and escort at the airport even at 4:30 a.m. arriving 6 hours late. When I arrived in Cusco I was met by my guide Martin
and spent the next five days with him and our driver. It was a totally private tour through the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu and Cusco. The hotels were high 4-5 star and beautiful. Martin was knowledgeable, considerate and a lot of fun. As a woman traveling alone it could have not been better. Returning to Lima I was picked up by Ruth my guide and driver. They were equally as knowledgeable and paid attention to every detail. Thanks to SA I had a wonderful experience. Jeanie my travel coordination did a fantastic job of putting together a high end trip with little time and stayed in touch throughout the trip to make sure it was running smoothly. I would recommend anyone looking for a South American adventure book work with SA. I certainly plan to use them again.
Review by Quirina4 months ago
SAE fulfilled all of their duties and more. Specifically Amanda was very accommodating to changes of schedule and always available to help with any requests. They pay attention to every detail. All moving parts are coordinated. All of the guides, drivers, hotel reservations were synchronized like a ballet. All permits and tickets were printed and handed to you along the way. Tours and activities were done in small groups, was personalized and very safe.
I will definitely use SAE again.
Review by Arkbot Hereins4 months ago
Great itinerary! The BEST GUIDE AND DRIVER EVER!!! Silver and Luis!
Review by Proctor4 months ago
We really enjoyed our time in the Sacred Valley. Our SA guide Marcial Cruz was so knowledgeable and personable that he definitely made our trip special. Traveling to Moray and Moras he had information that introduced us to the Peruvian and Inca culture that provided true insight into the history and the present. Our hike up to Machu Picchu was special day as was the following days hike up Huayna Picchu. SA did a fabulous job of booking accommodations and the food was outstanding everywhere we stopped - it was fresh, healthy and provided the fuel we needed to keep going. Cusco was and intriguing city.