I enjoyed the feeling of flexibility of being in our own van. I did not feel ''packaged'' at all. Rather, I felt taken care of. I usually travel independently so this was somewhat new-and I've decided I like it! I would never have seen or learned the things the way I did if I were on my own with a guide book. I'm sold on using local guides in South America and treating myself to enjoying the views and getting my questions answered in depth instead of navigating the roads.