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Vamos Expeditions Adventure

A dream of 63 years to go to Machu Picchu made true

At the end of January 2024 during the low tourism season in Peru we were waiting for Mr. and Mrs Cohen (82 and 84 years old), an endearing lovely couple from the United States, married for 63 years with a dream to visit one of the 7 world wonders, Machu Picchu with Vamos Expeditions.

Shortly after they arrived to Cusco, something was cooking up in Aguas Calientes, the little town at the foot of Machu Picchu. A strike and blockade of the railway by a handful of protestors would stop the train traffic and the regular flow of our travellers during the next week.
While other travelers still were able to hike to Machu Picchu by alternative adventurous routes through the Amazonian access as a solution, this was not going to be an option for our older travel friends.

Unforeseen circumstances like this in Peru are not unusual once in a while and when this happens our whole team puts hands and hearts on deck to keep our clients safe and sound.

Our guide and staff stayed by their side and through our confidential network till far corners of our country and right from the site, we were able to hear and inform them on the latest news and communicate them about the latest changes while they were enjoying alternative tours.

As a business in Peru we are exposed to constant and often sudden changes and circumstances and being able to respond fast as a team and family is something we learned over the past 20 years. At the end everything went well and here you can read what our clients thought about the experience.

By Doris and David Cohen (USA):” Extraordinary service during unforeseen circumstances”

“There are not enough words of praise to describe how wonderfully well-served we were by Vamos Expeditions and their agent, Annelies Hamerlinck.

The easy part was when Vamos designed the perfect privately guided trip to Machu Picchu for me and my wife, both of whom are not young and have travel constraints: in particular, not too early starts in the morning, not too long bus or van rides, flexible tours that allow for rests. Working with Vamos throughout the planning process was a pleasure.

The challenging part came when we were in Peru ready to embark to Machu Picchu when the trains stopped running because of demonstrations by Machu Picchu ticket agents. We kept hoping that the trains would start again before our scheduled flight back to the U.S. but that didn’t happen. So we postponed our flight home for four days while Annelies worked liked crazy to rearrange hotel stays, guided local tours, local flights and other arrangements to help us reschedule our Machu Picchu trip. And it worked!! The disruption was settled and we made it to Machu Picchu the day before we departed Peru.

All through the rearrangement process we did not feel we were working with a bureaucrat at a travel agency, but rather with a close friend who really cared about us. We spoke to her at all hours, long after the office was closed. She offered every option she could come up with to make our extra four days comfortable and rewarding. And I’m sure the arrangements she made were costing her extra money, which she never mentioned.
The only regret we have about Annelies is that she works only in Peru. We would gladly hire her for any future travel we might consider anywhere in the world.

Turning next to our personal tour guide, Marisol. As I mentioned, we’re not young people, so the many stairs, hills, and uneven terrains we needed to negotiate to see all there was to see were really challenging. Marisol was a genius at encouraging us not to shrink away from the challenges and give each a try while at the same time giving us plenty of time and space to rest and slow down to conserve energy and renew our spirits. Her enthusiasm explaining the history, importance, and cultural significance of what we were seeing made it feel that this was the first time she had ever taken anyone on these tours, while it was probably the hundredth. She carried our backpack (over our objection), used her connections with guards and rail conductors to get us the best seats and best views of everything, and, like Annelies made us feel that we had a close friend showing us her favorite places. She went out of her way several times during our extended time in Cusco because of the rail disruption to ferry us around, show us alternate attractions and make us feel that the disruption to our original plans was not a disappointment, but, rather, a great stroke of luck. Thank you, Marisol! “

Date of experience: January 29, 2024

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