Our Traveler Reviews
SA Expeditions is an intimate and experienced international team operating in South America. We have all lived in and traveled through the region in a professional capacity, giving us the first-hand experience and knowledge necessary to plan and provide the most reliable excursions in South America.
Understanding that an expedition to South America can be a significant investment, our mission is to make your experience unique and memorable. From the moment you contact us until you return home we work with you to develop your ideal trip. We know your guides, hotel representatives and drivers by name, and frequently communicate with them, tailoring the experience to meet your particular needs and interests.
In Their Own Words...
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