, I must say that we are very satisfied customers.  We very much enjoyed the luxury of being met, being driven hither and yon, being treated in a valued manner.  Sonia, Alex, Hernan, Eyner….your choices could not be better.  Our guides were knowledgeable and informative and it appeared to me, that they love their country, which in turn taught me a new respect and care regarding Peru.

I particularly liked the manner in which you chose a gradation of getting used to the altitude and climate by choosing areas of lesser altitude and building toward Cusco’s high altitude.  Bill developed a cold, however, that has little to do with our health in general.  We were healthy and in good shape throughout our trip.  You chose local native’s homes as lovely examples of middle class life.  They were welcoming and lovely as well as informative regarding their lives and their interests.  We very much enjoyed these visits.

The women of the village town you took us to could not have been more welcoming and gentle in their teaching us of their culture through food, implements, and crafts.  We were welcomed with flowered chains and offered benches covered in textiles.  We made sure to purchase items from each lovely seller.

Machu Picchu was almost a dream. I felt as if I was in a National Geographic movie rather than there in real life.  The fact that our husbands were able to make this particular rigorous trek was due to Eyner’s gentle care as well as respect and understanding as to when help was needed or not.  He took very good care of us on both days of climbing.

We enjoyed Maras and Ollantaytambo as well as the very lovely Rio Sagrado area and hotel.  The people who are employed there are genuine and were very very kind to us.  The rooms were beautiful and the site itself a pleasure for our eyes.  The Inkaterra was a beautiful venue.  There were a couple of things that may have been due to being so busy.  Kathi and I climbed Macchu Picchu the 2nd day.  We arranged for someone from the front desk to help Bill and Richard to breakfast.  This did not occur which made it a bit difficult to navigate the steps for both since Richard is blind and Bill’s vision can be problematic.  Bill got someone from the dining room to help.  They were kind enough to come outside to help. It appears this happened twice in terms of help.

It might be wise to mention to guests that the Inkaterra is jungle like, thus full of Mosquitos.  Also, that sitting areas are not enclosed.  We were prepared for Machu Picchu and Mosquitos, but not the hotel and I would say at least Bill and I have several somewhat severe bites.  The restaurant was lovely and the staff serving were quite nice.

Oh, the J.W. Marriott was a wonderful way to begin our trip. Bill and I had a room that was mostly windows and enjoyed a spectacular view.  We all really loved the concierge services on the 24th floor as well

For me, the pièce de resistance was the Palacio Nazaranes.  Greeted with bouquets, treated with care and friendliness, we were shown our room, and I think I was in heaven.  The manager had sent lovely cheeses with tasty jams to enjoy as we unpacked.  We liked the idea of enjoying the minibar without being nickeled and dimed so to speak.  The breakfasts were filling, tasty, elegant, and with a harpist, who could ask for more.  We met William, the art restorer, and enjoyed his restoration of the courtyard wall.  We also met the manager who was most welcoming and happy to have discussions on the restoration as well as other topics.  Oh yes, I really did like that satin bathrobe.

By the way, I very much enjoyed the main food market which Eyner took us to.  It was informative to see how similar we are in our approaches to fresh foods.

The Amazon portion of the trip was Bill’s dream.  He so enjoyed sailing on the Pucate River, Marañon River, Ucayali (spelling?) River, and of course the Amazon River.  We typically had 2 full trips per day viewing mammals, birds, even piraña fishing and touching a cayman.  We loved visiting Porto Prado and meeting the teacher, parents, and the cute children.  Having been a former teacher, I was pretty excited.  Children took pictures with my cell, they sang to us, they repeated our names, and I was able to teach them a game called Duck Duck Goose.  Really, really a wonderful visit.  We also bought items from each of the families.  It felt good to know items were made with local products and natural dyes.  We even met a young artist from Holland staying in the village.

Karmelita, the cruise director could not have been more helpful.  Luis, Juan, Moises, Omar, Luis from the dining room, and Aquiles were all very nice. Their manners are impeccable and they even, after 3 days got to know what we wished to eat, or skip, and what we enjoyed drinking whether it was decaf or wine.  The rooms were comfortable spacious, and the stewards were exemplary in straightening, cleaning and forming new animals daily using towels.  From turtle eggs, to manatees, to pink dolphins and tarantulas, it was quite a learning experience.  We loved the idea that Aqua helps local communities as well as the Picaya Samira Reserve.

Thank you Jenny for arranging a trip we will always remember and value.  Please thank Meri for our drinking mugs.  I cannot wait to have my first cup of coffee tomorrow in our new mugs.

I will send some photos.

Best,

Ruth