Family Trip to Peru - Jul 3 - Jul 14, 2019
Our local specialist, KATY from Aspiring Adventures, arranged our local experience carefully, based on our preferences as a party of 6 adults with various levels of fitness ability and 2 active children. She got us a trip to experience Peru from the Pacific coast to the Andean mountains to the Amazon jungle. She arranged for us to taste Peruvian local cuisine at luxurious restaurants, a farmer's house, an Amaru village house, a boat picnic setting, and a set-menu dining in a jungle lodge. She got us to experience local lifestyle by having us to stay at hostels, Amaru village house, and a jungle lodge. The Muresan family also appreciated our 'green' experience in Peru.
The Muresan family appreciated Katy's list of What to Expect When Traveling to Peru and List to Bring. Perhaps Katy can add:
1. Amaru, the village experience living, is super cold, so please bring seriously warm clothes to be comfortable.
2. Riding ATV is super dusty, so please bring a face mask to cover up, and a backpack cover/plastic to cover yourself and your backpack.
Other than those, Katy was spot on. Please bring gifts for your host families. Something small from your country. From Indonesia, we brought keychains. From the US, we brought t-shirts and keychains. They cost $2-5 a piece and will last a lifetime for your hosts and friendship.
Aldo Sanchez was our ultimate BEST guide! He was patient, quietly listening to our needs, courteously adjusting our trip based on our requests, happily taking our pictures as a group in 'Instagram-worthy' places :), and most importantly, very passionate and knowledgeable about his mountains! He did not push us to buy anything from any merchants. He did not force us to do anything we were not comfortable with. He also made all those hiking and walking a pleasure because he carried a book with him and he kept on stopping to tell stories about the places we passed as we were walking. He was like an audiobook. No suggestion to improve for Aldo. Keep up your great work and service, Aldo! Thank you for your service to our family.
The Muresan family found Wilhen, the cyclist guide, fun, and careful with ensuring our safety on the trails and road. He went as far as we wanted to, as fast as our kids pedaled, and was willing to take several breaks to give Elisa a break because she was running out of gas from not eating proper breakfast. Her fault totally. Luckily, Aldo got a piece of Amaru potato for Elisa to munch and get a little more energy. Thank you, Wilhen.
The Muresan family enjoyed paddleboarding with David at Lake Piuray. He was competent, patient, and more than happy to have fun with my extremely happy kids. Our kids are fish in disguise. I thought they were goofing around a little too much, but David encouraged them to have serious fun. The kids ended up feeling ecstatic, I ended up relaxing, and the car ended up being quiet because both of them fell asleep after our water activity. Thank you, David. Stay safe, keep traveling, and carry on.
The Muresan family had a great time in Amaru. We loved the welcome 'ceremony' when we arrived. We enjoyed working the field for Fredy's family, using the tools that the Inca farmers had been using for centuries. We loved the cooking in the ground procedure that we witnessed and graciously devoured. We admired the camaraderie amongst Fredy's neighbors, who came to help and showed us how devoted the women were to care for their children. We adored the view from hiking 4000 m hill near Fredy's house. BUT the chill was down to every single tiniest bone in our bodies. It was extremely cold during the night that when we had to pee, we almost decided to pee on ourselves to warm our bodies up. But no, we walked down to the toilets, like proper ladies and gentlemen, to release ourselves. What a reward we got. We looked up the sky and saw what the Inca people saw many centuries ago, with our naked eyes, the clear sky with beautiful formation of the stars and the milky way. It was one of our moments of: man, we were glad we had to pee in the middle of the night. Thank you for your hospitality, Fredy. I will send you the printed picture, as I promised.
We loved the Amazon jungle that we got to experience from Puerto Maldonado. Oscar's lodge was pleasantly clean, rustic, and relaxing. The architecture and landscape looked to be carefully designed for ultimate enjoyment of the city people like us. (Juan) Carlos the chef was strict with dining timetable, but we loved his creations, every single time! Oscar's staff members were courteous and very honest. Perhaps, at the bar, for people who don't drink, Oscar can add selling chips, candies, or small muncheries. We enjoyed the common rooms very much, playing games and getting to know other guests, while swinging at the strong hammocks and imagining a leopard or a snake or a monkey or even a sloth peeking to watch us, humans.
Yuri is a passionate and competent guide. We appreciated that even with his stomach problem, he still stayed upbeat and strong to help us enjoy our time in the jungle. He spotted many animals for us when we couldn't even see the creatures! He found the best place (spots) for us to enjoy the clay-licking birds of Peru, had a picnic breakfast, and walked to another spot to enjoy those beauties! He skillfully took us for long day and night walk through the Amazon jungle and to Condenado Lake. He caught 3 piranha fish with ease and graciously shared 1 with us at the lodge. We 4 are still jealous at Yuri for catching those piranha, because none of us could do that! We appreciated Yuri taking us to try to find an Anaconda (or two or a few) at Tres Chimbadas Lake. Yuri knew Reserva Nacional Tambopata very well and was always being green and environmentally conscious, at all times. Thank you, Yuri. Keep up your great service!
The Muresan family would also like to acknowledge the super boat driver Carlo! Carlo drove very smoothly on Tambopata River, without light, at 4 in the morning!, maneuvering through deep and shallow spots, and avoiding fallen trees! WOW! Carlo also managed to stop his boat, to show us a small monkey hanging on the top of a tree, and several families of Capibara, cleverly camouflaged amongst the mudbanks of the river. To top it all of, Carlo ALWAYS kept his boat clean and tidy, every time we got on board of it. You are the man, Carlo! Thank you for showing us a great time at your Tambopata River.
The Muresan family enjoyed the kayaking down the Tambopata River on the last day at the jungle. Next time, please consider arranging this activity to NOT be on the last day, so that we could dry our wet clothes and not bringing those wet clothes back to the US, in our suitcases, for 2 days.
The Muresan family had a glitch with Mayli. She was not able to answer any of my questions during our trip in Peru. She was not helpful and was incompetent at Cusco airport, prior to our departure to Puerto Maldonado. She needed more training to help clients with their airport experience. I wish we had Aldo sending us off from Cusco to Puerto Maldonado. He would have known what to do!
In conclusion, our trip to Peru was a blast! Thankfully, Mayli is just a little insignificant glitch. Our family had a once in a lifetime experience and will be sharing our reviews (minus Mayli) in Social Media, to promote Peru, Kimkim Travel, and Aspiring Adventures. Thank you.