Our Travelers' Reviews In Their Own Words
Direct from our Travelers
Staci, time has literally flown since we got home from Peru. Thank you and the staff at SA Luxury for arranging an amazing experience for us. Your recommendations were perfect. We continue to talk about all our experiences as we freely share pics and stories with family and friends. The staff was exceptional with their knowledge and attention to detail. We had so many pleasant surprises as we explored Lima, Cusco, Moray, Mara, Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. We had no idea that Peru had such diversity in cultures, terrain and climates. Your recommendations significantly surpassed expectations. The accommodations in the Inkaterra hotels in Cusco and Machu Picchu were perfect. My husband can't stop talking about the accommodations and service! We really appreciate your customized touches in planning this trip with our hunting trip to Córdoba, Argentina. All arrangements were perfect. We look forward to our next adventure with you.
- Gene and Lisa G. (Azle, TX)
Photographed at Machu Picchu
Our trip to Lima, Cusco and Machu Picchu was phenomenal, and we thank you for your work and efforts. We would recommend SA Luxury Expeditions to family and friends, and would encourage them to work with you. There were no shortcomings on the trip. Kristy and I have been so used to trips were it is nonstop travel and touring, and we come home and we need to recharge and relax. This trip was an excellent blend of sightseeing, but also allowed us to relax. The best day of the trip, besides our visit to Machu Picchu, was the drive through the Sacred Valley, including stops at Maras, Moray and Ollantaytambo. It gave us the opportunity to visit some interesting Inca archaeological sites, and interact with some beautiful people. For restaurants, in Lima were loved Maido, and in Cusco we loved Limo and Cicciolina. Attached is a photo of Kristy and me at the peak of Huayna Picchu. We would recommend that if able, people do this hike. While extremely dangerous, it does provide the best views of the ruins at Machu Picchu.
- Jason and Kristy C. (Holbroken, NJ)
Photographed at Huyna Picchu
Staci, a large THANK YOU to you and all your associates at SA Luxury Expeditions, the guide (Freddy) , driver and Allison were fantastic. The logistics were seamless, tours breathtaking and accommodations perfect.
- Howard G. (New York, NY)
Photographed at Sacred Valley
South America is an amazing continent and I had been dreaming of travelling around it for many years. After much research on various tours I could do and travel companies, SA Luxury was my firm choice in assisting me with putting together my trip. Staci Steele was my main contact and is incredibly knowledgeable, friendly and patient. She went back and forth for several months in communications with me, tirelessly providing information, checking out activities, guides and accommodation, to tailor my personal trip of two months around South America. No question was too much trouble, and being able to put together my own itinerary with selection from their portfolio of accommodation and activities based on my personal timetable, was invaluable.
I started in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, travelling to the Amazon and Machu Picchu in Peru, down from Atacama to Patagonia in Chile, and up through Argentina before crossing into Brazil and then home via Rio de Janeiro. As a single female traveller with only a beginners understanding of Spanish, I was concerned with security as well as wishing to travel comfortably and ensure I maximised my experience with all the must-see's of each of the countries I visited. All the stress of transfers and making flights was looked after as I had an ambassador in each city meet me from the plane, deliver me to and from my hotel or cruise and provide knowledgeable day tours, and manage any changes to my itinerary as the trip progressed. When a flight was delayed causing me to miss a transfer, I was potentially going to loose an entire day in one of Patagonia's luxury lodges – one of my trips' splurges and I had been looking forward to it for weeks.
I emailed Staci from the airport and she immediately rearranged emergency transfers that involved two people driving me through the night for five hours to make sure I didn't miss the next days' activities. I slept in the transfer vehicles and was able to do an amazing mountain hike in the morning, horse ride across the pampas in the afternoon and the all-inclusive meals were out of this world! I was overwhelmed with how quickly and efficiently my trip was put back on schedule and crisis averted. Staci also checked in with me every week or so just to see if there was anything I needed and to check on quality of the hotels and tours. SA Luxury' fantastic customer service allowed me to leave the organisation to them and focus on the amazing experiences of each place and activity, and truly soak it all in.
I highly recommend Staci and SA Luxury to any traveller wanting to visit South America. They have so much knowledge of the countries and best places to stay, guides and activities. You won't miss a thing!
- Deirdre M. (New Zealand)
Photographed at Machu Picchu
Staci, yes we are settling in from that wonderful trip. The accomodations were great! The Marriott in Lima was the perfect location for a few nights; the other hotels (especially La Casona) were spectacular. And all the food was wonderful-even my son's foray into guinea pig! The "Marco's" were very good guides, kept us entertained and imparted a lot of information we never would have learned. The folks who picked us up and delivered us to the airports were also very good and helped to get us oriented. We think the horseback ride was so much fun, in depth look at some villages, frankly those were the absolutely best horses I have ever ridden. And everyone else who had not ridden much were very comfortable since the horses were so responsive. It would have been nice if we could have done a bit of trotting etc but Marco and his horse seemed to have a "male v male" issue so he was led by one of the trainers. In short, all of your people could not have been more accommodating to our needs.
- LaDonna S. (Fairfield, CT)
Photographed at Sacred Valley
Our tour was really successful in every way, and the relaxed pace and timing was really the way to do it. Machu Picchu is quite remote and hard to get to, so taking time to get their in stages makes for a more enjoyable experience. For those who can afford it, your choice of accommodations would be hard to beat. All the hotels really took care of us, as you would expect from 5-star resorts. The pick-ups, drop-offs, logistics and coordination was all very seamless. It was nice to be able to relax and not really worry about anything, knowing that you had already figured everything out. We very much enjoyed Marco. As I have done on other tours, I made the effort to make a personal connection with him and my group. We invited him to all our dinners and lunches when he was available, and enjoyed his company. The boys were amazed by the experience, and I think it will be something they never forget.
- Roger H.
Photographed at Machu Picchu
My wife and I took the opportunity of travelling to the World Cup in Brasil to and tour the South American highlights. Based on Trip Advisor feedback we contacted SA Luxury Expeditions for assistance in arranging our itinerary and travel. Right from the time we initially approached SA Luxury Expeditions they (Kristina) were incredibly responsive and helpful. We knew the highlights we wanted to see but their local knowledge was invaluable in translating our wish list into a practical itinerary. Our actual travel arrangements were wonderful; the hotels were all excellent, the guides knowledgeable and personable and the logistics ran like clockwork. The thoroughness and attention to detail of all the arrangements left us completely free to enjoy our trip.
- Steve & Donna K. (New Zealand)
Photographed at Machu Picchu
My husband, 23-year old son and I just returned from a truly spectacular and informative journey through Cusco and Machu Picchu, and we wish to express our deepest thanks to everyone at SA Luxury Expeditions who contributed toward our remarkable vacation.
From the moment we stepped off the plane in Lima and were met by the smiling, charming Allison, every aspect of our trip was perfectly choreographed, smooth and professional. More important, thanks to the encyclopedic knowledge, patience and graciousness of our guides, we learned much about not only the ancient Incas and their timeless legacy, but also the contemporary culture of the Andes people and their dedication to keeping alive many of the ancient crafts – notably the magnificent woven goods.
In particular, we wish to acknowledge the ever-genial virtuoso Fernando, who provided us not only exceptional insights into the facts and theories governing the Inca culture and the breathtaking sites on our itinerary, but also details of modern life for Cusco residents, the pivotal role of Catholicism in contemporary society, geology and cosmology, and other subjects. Fernando was unfailingly affable, gracious, informative and respectful throughout our intensive three days together. It is no exaggeration to say that Fernando's tutelage transformed our journey into an unforgettable experience. SA Luxury Expeditions has an outstanding ambassador in the modest Fernando, and we were delighted to be matched with a guide of such expansive knowledge, compassion and stamina.
Finally, our half-day tour of the cosmopolitan economic and political powerhouse of Lima, led by Julia, provided a fascinating counterpoint to our travels in Cusco and Machu Picchu.
- Nan, Doug, & Nathaniel C. (Peoria, IL)
Photographed at Huyna Picchu
I can tell you from day one until the day we left Cusco, that our experience was a magical and wonderful. SA Luxury Expedition is truly and exceptional tour company. Please pass on our thanks to Marco for taking care of Wilbur and my postcards. I'm sure Wilbur received a wonderful send off at Macho Picchu by Marco. Thank you for everything.
- David & Karl (Palm Springs, CA)
Photographed at Machu Picchu
Thank you so very much for our wonderful first experience in South America. We both love culture, and absolutely love getting out of the U.S., so it's difficult to pick one highlight. One of our favorites was the FOOD of Peru, oh my goodness - we wish we could eat like that every day back home. But otherwise we loved the Amazon, the entire experience that was the Inca Trail (again - food FAR exceeded our expectations, it was amazing), traveling to see the different cultures that lived outside of the urbanized areas (we saw this on the bus ride from Cusco to Puno, and then in Puno traveling out to see the Unos people and those on Taquile Island), Lake Titicaca itself, and the "cat park" in Lima.
The guides and representatives were incredible. The knowledge about the cultures, history, and fluency in English are unmatched, (for us to date anyway!) We were braced to be flexible. We knew we had a tight schedule, and neither one of us is fluent in Spanish so we expected some challenges - but there were none. Everyone was kind, knowledgeable, and on time. (A change from what we are use to in Africa, lol.) Our favorite hotel was the one in Cusco, followed by the Amazon lodge.
The Inca Trail was once in a lifetime. It was by far the most physically challenging thing I've ever done (day 2)... Jeremiah was basically running up the mountain. But I wouldn't change a single thing (except maybe a slower hike on the last day to take in the sunrise a little more, we booked it to beat everyone to the Sungate - we did that "normally two hour hike" in 45 minutes). The views were breath-taking.
Thank you once again for a wonderful experience, we know who we are using the next time we return to South America!
- Sarah & Jeremiah P. (New Berlin, WI)
Photographed at Rio de Janeiro
The four of us just returned from a FANTASTIC trip to Peru! We could not have asked for a more perfect Peruvian adventure and it's all thanks to SA Luxury!!! When our group decided on doing a hike to Machu Picchu we assumed that we would be camping along the Inca Trail, but once we discovered that there is a lodge to lodge trek we were sold! Our total trip was 10 days, with 2 days in the Cusco area to acclimate and the other 8 hiking the Salkantay Trail to Machu Picchu.
For one of our acclimating days in Cusco we arranged to do the day trip to Choquechaca through SA Luxury. We were initially hesitant to book it because it is such a long day, but we are sooooo glad we finally agreed to it. Going to this remote Andean village, that has been virtually non-visited by tourists, was absolutely incredible! The Sincha family was so friendly and very welcoming to us. We enjoyed learning about their culture, how they make textiles and even got a chance to go inside one of the their 1 room houses that has no running water or electricity. It really was so fascinating. We could not imagine a better way to kick off our trip. We HIGHLY recommend it if you have the time.
Some of the highlights of the Salkantay Trek included hiking to the Humantay Glacier Lake, hiking above 15,000 ft over the Salkantay Mountain Pass, enjoying a traditional Andean “thanksgiving” dinner to celebrate the harvest (aka Pachamanca), and of course….Machu Picchu, including our final hike of the trip up Huanyu Picchu on the last day. One of the nice parts about hiking the Salkantay Trail is that there were relatively few other hikers on the trail with us. This is a big contrast to the 500 hikers that depart on the Inca Trail each day! The lodges were the same way. With the exception of the first lodge, our 12-person group were the only guests at each mountain lodge. The accommodations were very nice and the food was plentiful, delicious and beautifully presented. Our 2 guides, Manolo and Whilder, were very knowledgeable and we always felt safe and well cared for. In addition, there were always 2 horses with us that carried medical supplies, oxygen & water, and were available for us to ride on them if needed (luckily, no one on our trip needed to use them!).
As for the fabulous SA Luxury staff, we had a great experience with everyone we worked with. Kristina was wonderful in helping us make our international and domestic flights, accommodations at El Mercado in Cusco, booking the Salkantay Trek and inviting us to be the first tourist group to visit the remote Andean village of Choquechaca. She was super organized, timely, thorough with her responses, and ever so patient with answering our many questions about travel logistics and health concerns about how to avoid altitude sickness. Allison greeted us with a smile at the Cusco airport, escorted us to our hotel and even sat with us in the patio to have some tea and review our itinerary before she left. She provided us with her contact info in case we needed her for anything while we were there, which was very comforting to know that there was someone local that could help us if we needed it.
On the day of our Choquechaca excursion, we had the pleasure of having Marco as our guide, as well as Nick, one of the SA Luxury co-founders. Marco was super charismatic and the perfect guide for us! He was constantly sharing little tidbits of Andean historical and cultural information and kept us smiling and laughing all day! The local families also seemed to really love him, especially the little kids that we came across. He is clearly very passionate about his job which makes him a superb guide. We felt extra special to have Nick join us, and it was really great to chat with him and learn about his love for Peru and for helping preserve the Sincha Family's heritage in Choquechaca. The mutual respect between him and the family was palpable and so nice to witness on this magical “time warp” of a day.
Muchas Gracias to everyone at SA Luxury. We highly recommend the trip that we went on and wouldn't even consider booking through anyone else! We look forward to working with you again in the future.
- Pete & Betsy C. (Morristown, NJ) and Doug & Rachel H. (Northampton, PA)
Photographed at Choquechaca
Just to let you know that we are home and had a wonderful time in Ecuador and Peru. We had exceptional attention from our guides and drivers. They were all very helpful and welcoming. We had a very busy schedule but that was the only way to cover the areas that were important for us to see and seeing Machu Picchu at the end of the trip was a nice way to end our travels, we were not disappointed!
The upgrade to the Inkaterra was very nice, thanks for arranging and this is one place that one could spend extra days as the hotel did offer extra excursions in addition to ones experience at Macchu Picchu....The other was the lodge at Colca Canyon, an extra day would be nice to unwind from the business of getting up early and onto the next destination. The condors were truly amazing they were graceful and powerful, we were so fortunate to have seen so many of them! Of course time and money always dictates one holiday plans but if neither of these two considerations are an issue then I would definitely recommend an extra couple of days to fit in the time at the above accommodations.
Thank you for planning our trip and answering all our questions leading up to us leaving for South America. A truly memorable experience.
- Ann L. (BC, Canada)
Photographed at Amazon
We have never been cared for so much on a trip as we were by everyone associated with SA Expeditions. My son and daughter-in-law were absolutely spot on about Harvey and Jose Luis. They were amazing, caring, knowledgeable, and personable. When we said goodbye we felt like we were leaving family. Allison met us at the airport in Cusco with her comforting "Mr. Ruger" sign and assisted us with check-in at Casa Andina Private Collection. She answered all of our questions and gave us an introduction to Cusco with suggestions for restaurants, and advice about where to go and where not to go. The day we left she held our hand through the check-in procedure at the airport and bid us a very warm farewell.
Gustavo, our guide on the Odyssey Yacht, and the entire crew treated us as if we were royalty. The staffs of the hotels we stayed at were very helpful and welcoming. Jorge, our driver in Quito was very pleasant and prompt, and a wealth of information about his city. Anna, our guide on the Lima city tour, expressed great pride in sharing her city with us. Albero, our driver in Lima, was quite competent in negotiating the traffic congestion throughout the city.
Simply put, it was a wonderful experience for us from beginning to end. I don't know if we will get back to South America, but rest assured if we do, it will be with an SA Luxury Expedition assisted tour.
- Paul R. (Crystal Lake, IL)
Photographed at Cuzco
In the past we had used another adventure type travel agent but this time decided to try something new. We surely didn't regret it. SA luxury Expidition was all we hoped for and more. From planning the trip and making great suggestions to their choices of hotels and transportation, everything was spectacular. I can't say enough about our guides. You expect them to be friendly and knowledgable but you don't necessary expect to actually strike up a friendship. We are already thinking about what other trips we might look into in the future with them.
- Edward H. (Miami, FL)
Photographed at Machu Picchu
The Peru trip and the lodge to lodge trek was all I could have wished for. Everything went without a hitch and had a really enjoyable time. the staff both from SA Expeditions and Mountain Lodges of Peru could not have done more to make it so. I wouldn't hesiate to book a further holiday through your company if I decide to visit South America again. Once again, many thanks!
- Andy M. (South Shields, UK)
Photographed at Lodge to Lodge Trek
Patricia and I were completely satisfied with our 16 day private SA Luxury Expedition to Galapagos, Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca. Specifically the M.V. Eclipse, its crew and activities were superb. We both enjoyed snorkeling among sea lions and turtles and watching blue footed boobies serenading each other with their mating dance. La Casona Inkaterra hotel and staff in Cusco were simply the best we have experienced anywhere in the world. The Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu were each extraordinary in themselves but made more so by our superb guide Marco who provided an understanding of pre Inca life as it thrived contemporary with the Terracotta warriors and Romans, and that Machu Picchu was abandoned during civil war rather than conquered by Spain.
SA Expeditions attended to and resolved our needs and was always available. We benefited from your well honed local experience, personnel and appreciation of our senior status. Our selection of your Superior Option delivered a tour that we have not matched anywhere in the world. Thank you!
- Ron and Patricia B. (Durham, NC)
Photographed at Machu Picchu
Thanks again for planning such a wonderful trip and for actually going to the trouble of meeting us. We had an excellent time and I can't say enough good things about SA Expeditions and everyone connected with it. All of the arrangements were perfect and the guides were great. And you were great about changing our travel plans when our flight in to Peru was delayed by a day. Thank you so much for taking all of the stress out of that little problem!
- Ellie L. (Roanoke, VA)
Photographed at Lima
I am finally sitting down to tell you about our fantastic trip to Ecuador including the Galápagos Islands, Quito, the Amazon, the Andes and Quenca to visit our exchange student and her family! From my first email to SA Expeditions I felt very comfortable organizing my trip with Staci! Staci answered all the questions that I had about our trip to Ecuador including our pick up at the Quito airport to the beautiful Marriott Hotel, the Quito city tour, Otavalo Market tour, Cotacachi town tour, Galápagos Islands for 4 nights, the city tour to some magnificent churches, cable car ride and both equators! This was our first trip to South America. The Galapagos Island few days was absolutely amazing! All the staff on the Galapagos Legend were fun, informative, helpful, organized and the whole experience was very educational. We were treated to the best hospitality from Gina our travel guide and Vladamir our van driver! Our family felt very safe at all times and really appreciated Gina's knowledge of Ecuador! When we said good bye it was like saying good bye to a best friend!
- Judy, Dale, Kelby, Keaton C. (Grande Prairie, Alberta, CA)
Photographed at Galapagos Islands
My daughter Sarah and I had a wonderful time on our trip to South America. Our hotels in Buenos Aires, Igauzu Falls and Rio de Janeiro were perfect from a location perspective with beautiful accommodations and excellent service. All 3 of our guides were outstanding – Claudia in Buenos Aires, Tatiana in Igauzu Falls, and Farid in Rio. We had the perfect combination of sightseeing and relaxing. Our guides helped us make the most of the sightseeing trips with their knowledge of each location and they were also very helpful in recommending restaurants and making reservations. I will definitely book a trip with SA Expeditions again, especially when going to a new location where I need a knowledgeable local guide. Thank you!
- Kathy and Sarah B. (Minneapolis, MN)
Photographed at Iguazu Falls
WOW! I haven't stopped talking about our trip to Peru since landing back here in Texas. It was without a doubt the most well put together trip we have ever made and I can't thank you enough for your first class service and response to each & every request we made of you, throughout the planning stages. It's no doubt a vacation journey we will never forget. The flights from Houston to Lima seemed short in comparison to some other out of country trips we have taken and the in-country hopper flights were fun and exciting as we peered out the windows at Peru's heaven bound alps. As we made our way from Puerto Maldonado up the Madre de Dios river we were astonished to discover such an amazing property located deep within the Amazon jungle and we will never forget our time spent with the lodge mascot & friendly Tapir named Sammy. Your selection of luxurious properties exceeded our expectations on every level. The drivers & guides that we met up with along the way were always super professional and courteous, not to mention well-informed and seemed to know the answers to all of our questions about the area. We especially loved our time with “Super Guide” Fernando for our city tour in Cusco and then the car, train and bus trip up to Macchu Picchu where he shared unbelievable knowledge about the Inca civilization. Finally, our New Year's Eve dinner at the internationally known Astrid y Gaston located in the Miraflores district of Lima couldn't have been any more amazing and yet our ocean view room at the hotel was perfectly situated for watching the New Year fireworks, a perfect ending to an amazing Peruvian journey. Thanks to your entire team and without a doubt…we will be back!
- Kristin B. (Austin, TX)
Photographed at Machu Picchu