Archive for the ‘Ollantaytambo’ Category

Peru – Day Three

After river rafting and lunch, we started our first ruin tour.  Ollantaytambo.  This by far was the most continual climbing that we did all week.  It certainly made the rest easier, but all the while thinking how much worse could it get!

Looking up from the bottom.

The stairs we would have to go to get about one-third of the way up. Continue reading

Peru Photos – Day Two

I should start out today saying the days noted are not the actual day one, day two, etc.  Today is day two of photos.  Over the course of the 8 day journey, I took just under 3000 photos.  Some weren’t so good, but a lot of them are great pictorials.

On to today’s photos!

Here are our chariots for the week (as our guide Ernesto called them). Continue reading

The Disney Difference

Over the last week, many of you have followed along with me on my journey to Peru with Adventures by Disney®.  I was offered this opportunity by Disney to learn more about what Adventures by Disney is and offers its clients.

On the first day we were asked what we were most excited about on the adventure.  My answer was to find out more about the Disney difference.  Let’s be honest, an Adventures by Disney trip is not a cheap vacation.  Many of my clients have asked why they should pay so much for a trip. I have learned about Adventures by Disney and the Disney difference in online workshops and brochures, but experiencing it makes all the difference.

Over the week, some of the travel agents attending discussed the difference in prices between Disney and some of their competitors.  We found that you cannot simply look at a tour of the same number of days/nights and even maybe the hotel choices to decide which is better.  You need to look at all aspects of the tour.  While some will offer the same quality hotels, same touring options, it’s the extras that really make up the difference.

Some will also say “I can do this for less on my own”.  Again, I will say look at everything to see if it really does save you.  My guess is that you won’t save much, if anything, on your own and the hassle you will experience will not be worth the savings.

Every day we had a bus, driver and tour guide for our group.  Since we had 38 people on our tour, we had three vehicles except when in Lima.  We always rode in the same vehicle so we got to know our guides, driver and other participants very well.  It made us all feel comfortable and we had a great time.  One morning we were touring and the vans got very muddy.  By our afternoon tour, less than two hours after getting dropped off for lunch, the vans were clean again, inside and out!

Each time we got in the van, we were offered bottled water. The first day it was raining, we were each offered a poncho.  We got to know our guides as well as our other adventurers.  At the end of the trip, we all shed a few tears, remembering everything we experienced – the joys, the triumphs, the pain and some sorrow.  We all felt like we made some new friends.  At the end of the tour, we exchanged business cards and email addresses.  We’ll be sharing a Shutterfly site with all of our pictures.

There were little extras that we noticed everyday.  When we went to Ollantaytambo, there was no one at the ruins when we got there.  We climbed to the top without fighting the crowds.  We found out later that this was because the ruins were not open when we arrived but Disney is allowed to enter the park early.  When we left there were hundreds of people there.  When we went to Moray, there was only one other bus there.  Many times we were the only ones at places or there were very few others.  It certainly gave us the feeling of being exclusive!

Other Disney differences included our visit to Seminario.  We had the opportunity to meet Pablo Seminario.  While this is never guaranteed that he will be there for every ABD tour, Pablo will not meet with other group tours, only Disney.

Every day there was an example of how Disney does it better.  I was thoroughly impressed.  Please ask me about your favorite destination with Adventures by Disney and I will be happy to talk about the Disney difference for you too.

Over the next week, I will be doing more photo summaries of this trip and we will be offering some special discounts on select trips to Europe and Costa Rica, plus some special incentives for booking with your favorite agent at Travel On A Dream.

In the interest of full disclosure, nearly all expenses associated with this trip were paid by Disney. 

Oh My Guide, We Survived!

We were told early on by our guides that instead of saying “Oh My God” we should say “Oh My Guide” so that’s what it is today.  This morning, we went to breakfast with an amazing view of the Andes Mountains.  We had our buffet breakfast then got ready for today’s adventures.  We were going river rafting and to one of the area’s Incan ruins.

Today was very sunny and pleasant.  We had been expecting rain nearly every day so this was  a pleasant change.   Because this tour is during the rainy season, Disney typically does not offer this and we had to make slight modifications.  The Urubamba River is very high so the normal 2-3 class rapids are much higher.  We therefore were going a different route than normal.  This would be 1 class rapids which was quite alright for us.  We didn’t need to wear wetsuits which was also a bonus.  The sites on the river were amazing!  This was spectacular and absolutely magnificent.  We went down the river for about 1 ½ hours which was about 10 miles.

Afterward, we had a few snacks before getting in our bus to go to Ollantaytambo.  Here we had a fabulous buffet lunch with many chicken dishes, trout sushi, quinoa and cured alpaca meat.  It was much cooler up here than in the river.  After our fabulous lunch we went to the ruins at Ollantaytambo.  I am amazed at the heights we climbed and the things we experienced here.  Pictures will follow when I return from this trip but it was incredible!  My heart was racing, my thighs were burning and I really thought I would die but I made it to the top!  What was amazing about this trip is the few people that were at the ruins when we were.  As we were leaving, we looked up and saw 3-4 times more people at the site.  Disney certainly has planned this day well so we aren’t in a crowded place!

The hardest part of this day though was coming down the mountain side.  The steps were very uneven and at times very steep which made footing extremely critical.  Once we made it back we were told that tonight we would be on our own while the Junior Adventures had a movie night.  We started off the night with a couple cocktails in the bar.  This is something you have to be mindful of as alcohol affects you more when you are at higher altitudes!!

We got together with some new friends and had a fantastic dinner.  We were able to dine in the wine cellar!  The food was great and the conversations were equally as enjoyable.

Tonight we need to sleep well because tomorrow we will be visiting Moray and the salt mines!  This has truly been an incredible adventure so far.  I highly recommend visiting Peru and doing it with Adventures by Disney.

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