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Afterthoughts...
Machu Picchu By Train 2011

Machu PicchuMachu Picchu (Ann Umlauf)
In all honesty, I was completely put-off by the idea of traveling via tour operator, especially during peak season. As an experienced traveler who has backpacked several continents as well as lived overseas, I was highly skeptical. All I could picture was a scene I had witnessed all too often in foreign cities - people following around a leader holding a flag, like lemmings heading toward the cliff. I pitied the participants. Surely that wasn't travel, was it? It seemed impersonal and culturally devoid. It felt wrong.

That said, I decided to give it a try, and I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised. Our guide didn't carry a flag (thank god) and we weren't herded around in a large group. Rather we had a personally tailored experience that was only enhanced by Marco's assistance. He didn't orchestrate all of our free time or impose activities that weren't of interest to us. Instead, with his help, we were able to find, do and see things that we may never have known about otherwise. We were also able to experience a greater level of relaxation that comes along with letting someone else worry about the tickets/transportation/reservations, etc... Rather than wasting time figuring out basic logistics that come along with every trip, we got to spend our time genuinely enjoying our surroundings and the experience at hand. What a nice change. All in all, a fantastic experience that I would highly recommend, as it exceeded our expectations in every regard.

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