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lawgirl

Has anyone been on the Celebrity Machu Picchu land tour? Questions....

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Hello. I posted this on the Celebrity board, but thought i would post here too.  We are booked on Xpedition with the Machu Picchu land tour after. (It is not this year, so i hope they figure out the Xpedition issues).  We are debating whether to do the MP/Sacred Valley with Celebrity or book a private tour.

 

For those who did it with Celebrity, can you answer some questions please?

 

1.  How many people were in the tour group? 

2. Did you feel other passengers  were prepared for and able to do the itinerary in MP and the Sacred Valley?   We aren’t super fit, but we can do the stairs, hiking, city tours etc.  I have heard on some cruiselines (not X) that some passengers sign up for things outside their level of comfort, which affects the entire group and how much can be done.

3. did you feel that a 1/2 day in MP was enough? I was thinking of a private tour because I thought it would be nice to stay in a hotel near there to get 2 days or parts of 2 days.

4.  Overall, were the included tours, lunches, lunch at art collectors house, lunch at Wayra ranch, the equestrian show etc enjoyable? 

 

I guess I was wondering if, for $6000 pp, you felt it was worth it? I like the ease of Celebrity doing everything, and I know a private 6 or 7 night tour will be priced similarly or more. I also know some people do everything on their own, but it’s alot of flights, buses, trains, tickets, etc, plus hiring guides, booking fun events, etc.  so i would likely use a tour operator, or Celebrity.  Just wanted thoughts from those who have been, before I decide which way to go. Thanks! 

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3 hours ago, lawgirl said:

$6000 pp,

Before I faint, does that include your cruise?  I'll wait for your reply before I comment.  Whew 🙂

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No, it  doesn’t include the cruise.  The Galapagos cruises with Celebrity, Seabourn or Nat. geographic are very expensive. Even for the lowest level room, it’s about $6500 or more per person for just the 7 day cruise part. That doesn’t include air or hotels before and after.  We are booked on an 11 day, with hotels before and after, plus tours and dinners before and after.  That’s $8500 pp.   If someone can find a 7 day cruise to Galapagos on a nice ship, three days in Quito, travel to Peru, and 7 days in MP and Sacred Valley for $6000 pp I would be absolutely shocked.  That would be 17 days of hotels, guides, food and pretty much one of the most expensive cruises you can take for $6000.... I can’t imagine that exists unless it’s on a small ship, with budget hotels and large group tours.... 

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11 hours ago, lawgirl said:

No, it  doesn’t include the cruise.  The Galapagos cruises with Celebrity, Seabourn or Nat. geographic are very expensive. Even for the lowest level room, it’s about $6500 or more per person for just the 7 day cruise part. That doesn’t include air or hotels before and after.  We are booked on an 11 day, with hotels before and after, plus tours and dinners before and after.  That’s $8500 pp.   If someone can find a 7 day cruise to Galapagos on a nice ship, three days in Quito, travel to Peru, and 7 days in MP and Sacred Valley for $6000 pp I would be absolutely shocked.  That would be 17 days of hotels, guides, food and pretty much one of the most expensive cruises you can take for $6000.... I can’t imagine that exists unless it’s on a small ship, with budget hotels and large group tours.... 

Sorry, I was wondering if $6k was for MP alone!!!!!

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15 minutes ago, clo said:

Sorry, I was wondering if $6k was for MP alone!!!!!

I know it seems so expensive! I totally agree!  The $6000 pp is just for the land part.... for the flights from Quito to Peru, then 7 nights in Peru, including all hotels, Tours, internal flights, trains, most meals.  Covers Lima, Cusco, Sacred Valley and MP.  This whole trip is soooo expensive.  I know one can do a shortened version of Peru and Galapagos maybe 10 or 11 days total, on a less expensive cruise (only in Galapagos 3 or 4 nights), in basic  hotels, with basic tours (no flights, food, etc) for $7000 or $8000 pp.  I have seen that on websites. The Celebrity trip is way more money, but it includes everything, kind of top notch, and is 16 nights/17 days.  

 

Given that this trip is so costly, I just wanted feedback on whether the land part is worth it the cost or was it “packaged” or crowded.  I have done the cruise part on Celebrity and despite the  high price tag, we thought it was worth it. 

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1 minute ago, lawgirl said:

I know it seems so expensive! I totally agree!  The $6000 pp is just for the land part.... for the flights from Quito to Peru, then 7 nights in Peru, including all hotels, Tours, internal flights, trains, most meals.  Covers Lima, Cusco, Sacred Valley and MP.  This whole trip is soooo expensive.  I know one can do a shortened version of Peru and Galapagos maybe 10 or 11 days total, on a less expensive cruise (only in Galapagos 3 or 4 nights), in basic  hotels, with basic tours (no flights, food, etc) for $7000 or $8000 pp.  I have seen that on websites. The Celebrity trip is way more money, but it includes everything, kind of top notch, and is 16 nights/17 days.  

 

Given that this trip is so costly, I just wanted feedback on whether the land part is worth it the cost or was it “packaged” or crowded.  I have done the cruise part on Celebrity and despite the  high price tag, we thought it was worth it. 

As you know, we've 'done' MP but not Galapagos.  I haven't 'embarked' on THAT research but am leaning towards something like Nat'l Geo.  But that's a subject for another thread 🙂

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I'm sorry but $6000 for 7 days on land in Peru as a group tour is absurd. You can do much better booking on your own. There are tour companies out there that can arrange all of that as a private tour for far less money. A private 12 day tour of Peru (including 4 internal flights, nice hotels, transport, tours, guide, 2 days in MP, 4 days in the Amazon, etc) for a friend and me was less than $3500 each. We didn't have to worry about anything. We just showed up at the time they told us to and everything was taken care of. It was amazing. 

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2 hours ago, kinipela35 said:

I'm sorry but $6000 for 7 days on land in Peru as a group tour is absurd. You can do much better booking on your own. There are tour companies out there that can arrange all of that as a private tour for far less money. A private 12 day tour of Peru (including 4 internal flights, nice hotels, transport, tours, guide, 2 days in MP, 4 days in the Amazon, etc) for a friend and me was less than $3500 each. We didn't have to worry about anything. We just showed up at the time they told us to and everything was taken care of. It was amazing. 

I do appreciate everyone’s opinions.  But I contacted six separate tour operators. I guess I am just a terrible trip planner. All six are $6500 to $7000 per person for  a private 2 person tour for 6 or 7 nights. Every single one.  I am just stupid I guess... the only prices any less are group tours. I guess I could contact 6 more tour operators, but it’s getting exhausting. 

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Have the tour companies you tried all been US based? We tried a few local Peru based ones and had good options from all of them to pick from. The local places tend to be cheaper from what I've seen. 

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12 hours ago, kinipela35 said:

Have the tour companies you tried all been US based? We tried a few local Peru based ones and had good options from all of them to pick from. The local places tend to be cheaper from what I've seen. 

Yes. Actually none are in the US.  Two are worldwide “luxury” companies. The other four were all based just tour operators in Peru or South America.  They were ones recommended on TripAdvisor in forums. I guess maybe because there are only two of us? And we are asking for nice hotels, the nice train, private guides, all flights.  The suggested itineraries do contain a lot of activities and some meals.  But It is still hard to believe they want basically $2000 a day for two of us!  I am kind of at a loss.... 

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If you are comfortable with a small group, 16 at the maximum I would look at Overseas Adventure Travel (part of Grand Circle Travel headquartered in the Boston area)  Much cheaper and their tour  allows you time to get adjusted to the altitude, spend afternoon and next morning at MP and you stay at a hotel in the town near MP.

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7 hours ago, lawgirl said:

Yes. Actually none are in the US.  Two are worldwide “luxury” companies. The other four were all based just tour operators in Peru or South America.  They were ones recommended on TripAdvisor in forums. I guess maybe because there are only two of us? And we are asking for nice hotels, the nice train, private guides, all flights.  The suggested itineraries do contain a lot of activities and some meals.  But It is still hard to believe they want basically $2000 a day for two of us!  I am kind of at a loss.... 

 

I'm sure prices have increased since we went 2 years ago, but I can't imagine they went up by that much.  The luxury aspect might be what's doing it. We had nice hotels, very clean and comfortable with good breakfast offerings, but not luxury, as we were just there to sleep. $2k per day just seems crazy for a country where everything is so cheap, relative to other destinations. I do remember 2 of our city tours were "group tours" but our group was literally just us and 2 other people. I would think even if you did a few small group tours to help lower the price, it'd be better than a large group with Celebrity. Also, if you can get a private tour for the same price that you'd be paying for a group tour through Celebrity, I'd go with the private tour. It was especially nice to have the private guide in MP.  We did our tour with PeruForLess. They had great guides, drivers, and excellent customer service. It might be worth asking for a quote for a combo tour with some being small group and some being private like when you're at MP.

 

To answer one of your original questions about MP, it depends on what you want to do there. If you just want to see the main section of the ruins and not do any of the longer optional hikes, a half day is probably enough. We enjoyed spending 2 days and doing some of the additional hikes, like Huayna Picchu, Inca bridge, and Sun Gate. Also, the town is fun to explore and stay a night in. The benefit to a 2nd day is you'll likely get good weather on at least one of the days. We were able to see the citadel surrounded in clouds one morning and nice and sunny the 2nd day. Kind of cool to see it both ways. You could honestly just sit there for hours, enjoying the view, in awe. 

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I may have answered you post on the Celebrity site.

we did this on the Xpedition in July 2016.  Both the Galapagos and Manchu Picchu were excellent.  First class all the way.  We had 14 (I think) for Manchu Picchu.  We were in small very comfortable buses on land.  The train was wonderful.  We were 60 and 68 at the time.  Some were older then us but very fit.

 

We got to Manchu Picchu about 10:00 am and went with our guide until the buffet lunch.  We then had about 4 hours to explore on our own.  Then Tea in the Sanctuary hotel.  Some continued to explore during teatime.  Then the Hiram Bingham dinner train back.  The whole experience in Lima, the Sacred Valley, and Manchu Picchu was outstanding.

 

we have friends who own an adventure tour company in San Cristobal Galapagos Ecuador.  We were able to see them for a few hours when we were on that island.  We chose a cruise rather than their company to see more islands easier.

 

This is a YouTube video of our trip.  This video is about the travelers as much as the sites to document that we were “there.”

 

https://youtu.be/2ctjPVgERjU

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On 8/21/2019 at 7:52 PM, lawgirl said:

I do appreciate everyone’s opinions.  But I contacted six separate tour operators. I guess I am just a terrible trip planner. All six are $6500 to $7000 per person for  a private 2 person tour for 6 or 7 nights. Every single one.  I am just stupid I guess... the only prices any less are group tours. I guess I could contact 6 more tour operators, but it’s getting exhausting. 

About 25 years ago, we flew into Lima and then to Cusco.  We spent the night and took the train to MP.  Then back to Cusco for a couple of nights.  Then back to Lima for a day and home.  I have no idea why anyone would pay that kind of money.  I have no idea why anyone needs a tour of MP.  You just stand there, take it in, walk around, stand there again.  Are there really travelers who can't do that?

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On 8/23/2019 at 7:39 AM, Heartfelttraveler said:

I may have answered you post on the Celebrity site.

we did this on the Xpedition in July 2016.  Both the Galapagos and Manchu Picchu were excellent.  First class all the way.  We had 14 (I think) for Manchu Picchu.  We were in small very comfortable buses on land.  The train was wonderful.  We were 60 and 68 at the time.  Some were older then us but very fit.

 

We got to Manchu Picchu about 10:00 am and went with our guide until the buffet lunch.  We then had about 4 hours to explore on our own.  Then Tea in the Sanctuary hotel.  Some continued to explore during teatime.  Then the Hiram Bingham dinner train back.  The whole experience in Lima, the Sacred Valley, and Manchu Picchu was outstanding.

 

we have friends who own an adventure tour company in San Cristobal Galapagos Ecuador.  We were able to see them for a few hours when we were on that island.  We chose a cruise rather than their company to see more islands easier.

 

This is a YouTube video of our trip.  This video is about the travelers as much as the sites to document that we were “there.”

 

https://youtu.be/2ctjPVgERjU

Thank you so much for responding!  It sounds very nice!

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13 hours ago, clo said:

About 25 years ago, we flew into Lima and then to Cusco.  We spent the night and took the train to MP.  Then back to Cusco for a couple of nights.  Then back to Lima for a day and home.  I have no idea why anyone would pay that kind of money.  I have no idea why anyone needs a tour of MP.  You just stand there, take it in, walk around, stand there again.  Are there really travelers who can't do that?

Thank you. I imagine much has changed in 25 years as so many more people travel and, of course, there are many more regulations in MP.  I also imagine that prices have changed. It’s great you got to see it when perhaps it wasn’t as crowded. I wish we could have afforded it 10 years ago when we did Galapagos. 

 

  I have traveled all over Europe, South America,  the Caribbean, Africa, etc. Africa is the only place I have used a travel agency to plan the itinerary and it was well worth it. I usually plan my own tours and trips without a problem.   Likely, i am going to use an agency or Celebrity again in MP, and I think it will be worth it, although I was hoping it wouldn’t be so crazy expensive!   There are plane trips, car service to Sacred Valley, train and buses to MP, hotels in 4 places, someone to handle luggage (since you can’t take it on the MP train), private guides in 4 different places, and all the experiences/lunches/ events.  I am fairly certain it would take me hours and hours to research and book tour guides, hotels, travel, etc.  i know i could do it on my own if we just wanted to go places and walk around ourselves.  But, we want to do unique things and private tours.  Of course i can plan that too,  but I work 60 hours a week and it might be time consuming. Thanks for your thoughts on MP. Sounds like you didn’t love it. Hopefully it will be worth the expense! 

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15 hours ago, clo said:

About 25 years ago, we flew into Lima and then to Cusco.  We spent the night and took the train to MP.  Then back to Cusco for a couple of nights.  Then back to Lima for a day and home.  I have no idea why anyone would pay that kind of money.  I have no idea why anyone needs a tour of MP.  You just stand there, take it in, walk around, stand there again.  Are there really travelers who can't do that?

 

Lot of rules for MP now because of the crazy number of people there. A guide is now required on your initial visit and there are timed entrances to the park.  We were allowed back in after lunch without our guide, but the first entrance in the morning he had to be with us. I'm sure there are people out there who find a way around this requirement, but we enjoyed having the guide for the first time through, then did our own thing afterward. 

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On 8/25/2019 at 9:59 AM, lawgirl said:

Sounds like you didn’t love it.

I don't know what I wrote to give you that impression and I sincerely apologize.  It was magical.  I'll never forget it.

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On 8/25/2019 at 10:54 AM, kinipela35 said:

ul

Lot of rules for MP now because of the crazy number of people there. A guide is now required on your initial visit and there are timed entrances to the park.  We were allowed back in after lunch without our guide, but the first entrance in the morning he had to be with us. I'm sure there are people out there who find a way around this requirement, but we enjoyed having the guide for the first time through, then did our own thing afterward. 

Wow.  Yeah, back then we just walked around to our heart's content.  I've read that there's a 'substitute' for MP that's not overridden with tourists. Yet.  I should get out some of my pix.  I remember that we carried in some kind of food (meat/cheese?) and sat on the agricultural side and had a picnic.  I guess those days are gone 😞 

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There are new rules at Machu Picchu limiting entrance to either morning or afternoon entrance.  From what I understand, if you are a morning entrance, once you are inside, they don't make you leave but if you need a bathroom or something to eat and leave the site, no re-entrance is permitted.  I don't know whether Manuel does private arrangements but two years ago, my husband and I took a 17 day small-group (16 persons) tour of Peru with him and had a wonderful experience  at an extremely reasonable price.  Perhaps he would be willing to set up the arrangements for your six days on land.  He is a Peruvian anthropologist and TA from Lima who now lives part-time in California. Contact info: Manuel Arboleda and website nawpaqexpeditions.com

Edited by lynncarol

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We took the Celebrity tour to Galapagos and MP in June/July 2018 and absolutely loved it. First class all the way, food/lodging/tour guides - which is certainly what you're paying for. 4- if not 5-star hotels. On the land portion, we had small tour groups with time on our own if desired. We found at 66 and 69, we were the most fit and found ourselves impatient at times with the slowness of the group hiking and having to stay with the tour guide. And we would have liked more time in MP, but we made the most of our time there by exploring on our own after the guide finished. Just take advantage of those opportunities. We did the same thing in Quito - we didn't want another sit-down lunch, so we asked if we could meet up for the cathedral tour, and off we went!

 

The Galapagos portion was magical. Even if you think you'll be cold in the water, sign up for every. single. snorkeling opportunity. You simply will not regret it.

 

Debbie

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Thanks Debbie! A fellow North Carolinian! I went to UNC Law! We were in the Galapagos in 2011. Cannot wait to return! It was our best trip ever, which is saying a lot since we have traveled extensively, including Africa, much of Europe, Baltic’s, Russia, Alaska, all of South America and I think most Caribbean islands...loved the Galapagos best!

 

We decided to do Peru and MP with a private tour company.  For a similar price to X, we were able to do 8 nights in luxury hotels with private tours.  It doesn’t include as many meals. But we get more unusual activities/tours and 2 days in MP. The main reason we did it was to get two MP days. I have no doubt X does things in a top notch way. There were a couple of cool things I wanted to do... trek with llamas, coca leaf reading, private cooking class. So hopefully it will be as nice as your trip!

 

thank you again for the excellent information! Happy travels!

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On 10/8/2019 at 6:36 PM, lawgirl said:

Thanks Debbie! A fellow North Carolinian! I went to UNC Law! We were in the Galapagos in 2011. Cannot wait to return! It was our best trip ever, which is saying a lot since we have traveled extensively, including Africa, much of Europe, Baltic’s, Russia, Alaska, all of South America and I think most Caribbean islands...loved the Galapagos best!

 

We decided to do Peru and MP with a private tour company.  For a similar price to X, we were able to do 8 nights in luxury hotels with private tours.  It doesn’t include as many meals. But we get more unusual activities/tours and 2 days in MP. The main reason we did it was to get two MP days. I have no doubt X does things in a top notch way. There were a couple of cool things I wanted to do... trek with llamas, coca leaf reading, private cooking class. So hopefully it will be as nice as your trip!

 

thank you again for the excellent information! Happy travels!


Can you share which tour company you have booked?  We are thinking about the Celebrity Galapagos cruise in the next couple years.

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13 minutes ago, hiccups said:


Can you share which tour company you have booked?  We are thinking about the Celebrity Galapagos cruise in the next couple years.

Hello! I don’t think I am allowed. The rules of CC are so confusing to me. I got in trouble for asking for an agency name. I know the moderators don’t want advertising, but it’s silly to me that people can’t exchange such vital info.  Believe me i was desperate to get agency names!!!   But I don’t want to get kicked off cc.  Sorry. 

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17 minutes ago, lawgirl said:

Hello! I don’t think I am allowed. The rules of CC are so confusing to me. I got in trouble for asking for an agency name. I know the moderators don’t want advertising, but it’s silly to me that people can’t exchange such vital info.  Believe me i was desperate to get agency names!!!   But I don’t want to get kicked off cc.  Sorry. 


Tour companies are allowed, but travel agents are not.  I've found most of my tour recommendations through CC.  It's been a huge help as we've planned all our cruises over the years!

Edited by hiccups

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