Friendly Planet Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Amazing Peru’

Like Friendly Planet Travel on Facebook to enter to win a free trip to Turkey!

LIKE US AND WIN: Enter our Facebook sweepstakes for
a chance to win three amazing trips!

In the first three months of 2012, we gave away three amazing trips through our Win the World Facebook Sweepstakes — one to South Africa, one to Peru, and one to China. After the excitement of Phase I, and a one-month hiatus to catch our breath, we’re ready to launch Phase II of this amazing program!

Yes, that means the Friendly Planet Travel Win the World Facebook Sweepstakes is back on with three more trips for a winner and the guest of his or her choice over the next three months. The first trip up for grabs? A getaway for two to the crossroads of Europe and Asia — Turkey — on our Best of Turkey program, valued at more than $5,000.

So how can you win? Since it’s the start of Phase II, we’re wiping the slate clean. If you entered your information between the months of January and March, you must enter your information again to be entered in Phase II. The good news is that once you’ve submitted your name, you’re in the running for all three giveaways!

As in Phase I, you can earn extra entries into our sweepstakes by inviting your family, friends, coworkers, Facebook friends, and anyone else who would love to win a free trip to enter. For every entry into our sweepstakes from your referrals, you’ll get an extra entry for yourself.

Our Win the World Sweepstakes will give travel aficionados a chance to escape to an exotic destination with included flights, great hotels, some meals, and plenty of escorted touring, all the great features travelers expect from Friendly Planet. The winner will experience visits to Istanbul, Cappadocia, Antalya, Pamukkale, and Ephesus. Check out the detailed itinerary for our amazing Best of Turkey tour on our website to learn more about all that the winner will see.

I’ve written in detail about what travelers should expect while visiting Turkey, so if you want to further explore the facets of this destination, check that out. After the Best of Turkey tour, we’ll be giving away our A Taste of Ireland tour on July 1, and our Taj Mahal Express tour on August 1.

But if you don’t enter, you won’t win. And if you don’t help us spread the word by referring your friends, you won’t get extra chances to win. What are you waiting for? Visit our Facebook page, like us, and fill out the form to win one of three marvelous trips.

Oh, and here’s an important tip. If you already like our page, just be sure to fill out the form again to enter Phase II. Refer your friends for more chances to win, and then be ready on June 1 when the next drawing will take place. Maybe I’ll be calling you to tell you that you’ve won!

The Friendly Planet Travel Winner’s Circle: Amazing Peru

THEY LIKE FRIENDLY PLANET: Liking our Facebok
page won Lillian and her husband a free trip to Peru

We just announced the third winner of our Win the World Facebook Sweepstakes, where Shari Ashley and a guest will go on an all-expenses-paid dream vacation to China. All the excitement made me want to check in with Lillian Mayes, the winner of our Amazing Peru trip.

Friendly Planet Travel blogger Caitlin reached out to Lillian to see if she’d be interested in letting our blog community hear what winning was like, and she agreed. So we set the call up, and jumped on the phone. Lillian filled Caitlin in on where she’s traveled before, what she likes to do, and what she’s most looking forward to seeing when she travels to Peru
Listen in on their conversation below. You can also right click on this link, and select “save link as” to download it to your computer, so you can save it to your mobile device and can listen on the go.

Thanks for taking the time to speak with us Lillian. We’re looking forward to hearing about your trip to Peru when you come back!

Announcing the winner of Friendly Planet Travel’s FREE trip to Peru

Here we are at the second drawing of our “Win the World” Facebook sweepstakes. If you’ve been following the blog, you heard our interview with Jamie Bartlett, winner of the South Africa giveaway. So you know what it sounds like to win one of these trips.

This time, the winner of our Amazing Peru tour will get an all-expenses-paid trip for themselves and a guest to see all the wonders Peru has to offer. We randomly selected our winner on March 1 from over 13,000 entries and just got in touch with her.

That’s right, Lillian Mayes from Colorado is the winner of our Amazing Peru tour. Congratulations!

Want to be our next winner of a free trip for two to China? Enter on the Friendly Planet Travel Facebook page. We’re giving away a trip per month until the end of June! If you put your name in the running in January or February, your name is automatically entered for our next giveaway to China. But you can increase your chances of winning by referring your friends on Facebook. For every friend you refer who enters, your name gets entered again — you could have your name in there 100 times, or more! So what are you waiting for? Good luck travelers!

Win an all-expenses-paid trip to Peru on Friendly Planet Travel’s “Win the World” Facebook giveaway

I can’t tell you how excited I was to make the call to Jamie Bartlett, the first winner in our “Win the World” Facebook giveaway. Hearing the excitement in his voice as I told him that he’ll be going on a 14-day trip to Cape Town and Johannesburg was a highlight of my year (even if the year is only six weeks old).

Jamie and a friend will be on their way to South Africa, all expenses paid, but we have five more tours to give away until July. The next one up? Peru, a $6,500 value! Wouldn’t it be nice if, instead of Jamie, it was you this time?

It can be! All you have to do to enter is hit our Facebook page and fill out the entry form. If you entered to win the Best of South Africa tour, don’t fret — your name is still in the running to be picked for Peru and our next destination, China. But if you haven’t invited all your friends to enter, you’re missing out on extra chances to win.

For every friend you refer that enters, your name gets added to the list again. You can increase your chances to win exponentially by telling your significant other, family, and everyone you know (over the age of 21, that is) to enter. It can’t get much easier than that!

Our Amazing Peru tour is one of our most visually beautiful and fascinating destinations. The winner of this trip will get to savor the sites, including Lima, Peru’s capital city; the Paracas National Reserve in Paracas; and Cuzco, capital of the ancient Inca Empire. The winner will be able to shop in local Peruvian markets for homemade goods; see ancient sights like Machu Picchu, a mystical stone courtyard thought to be the country retreat for Incan nobility; and plenty more, all while interacting with the locals and taking in the culture of Peru.

The winner of the tour, along with a guest, will get round-trip flights from Miami via LAN Airlines, including fuel surcharges, taxes, and fees; all ground transportation and transfers within Peru; and a deluxe hotel stay with a private bath. The prize package also includes 11 buffet breakfasts, two lunches, and two dinners; comprehensive touring, including entrance fees; a Ballestas Islands boat excursion (weather permitting); and English-speaking tour guides and directors.

There’s more where that came from! The full itinerary is available on our website, so you can start dreaming of the exact things you’ll do and people you’ll meet while traveling in Peru. But you have to enter on our Facebook page to qualify!

So what are you waiting for? Hop over to our Facebook page to enter to win a fantastic tour to Peru! Maybe I’ll be calling you in a month to tell you what you’ve won. :-)

What’s hot in September at Friendly Planet Travel

The unofficial end to summer is upon us, but we’re not about to close our doors early for the long Labor Day weekend at Friendly Planet Travel. We have several hot deals going on that I wanted to highlight for you. Right now we’re running a promotion where you get up to $70 off the departure dates below with a special coupon code by Sept. 6.

If you didn’t receive this promo in your e-mail then you’re not signed up for our Hot Deals newsletter. So sign up for it now to make sure you always get the discounted offers as soon as they come out. In the meantime, here are the deals that are burning up the last days of summer.

$50 off 15-day Best of India and Nepal, Nov. 22: Find out why India and Nepal continue to top the must-see lists of world travelers on this tour of Delhi, Kathmandu, Varanasi, Agra, and Jaipur now for $2,949 with coupon code IBI0910 (a $2,999 value).

$50 off 8-day Exotic Ecuador, Dec. 6: Discover the remarkable collection of landscapes, cultures, and wildlife on this tour of Quito, Otavalo, Banos, Cotopaxi, and the Amazon Rainforest now for $1,249 with coupon code ISE0910 (a $1,299 value).

$70 off 10-day Taste of China, Dec. 28: Tour impressive modern achievements within an ancient and incredibly rich culture in Beijing, Xi’an, and Shanghai now for $1,529 with coupon code ITC0910 ($1,599 value).

$70 off 8-day Pyramids and Petra, Dec. 4Embark on an inspired exploration of the pyramids of Egypt and the lost city of Petra in Jordan, one of the Seven New Ancient Wonders of the World now for $1,729 with coupon code IPP0910 (a $1,799 value).

$50 off 12-day Amazing Peru, Dec. 1: Get an unforgettable glimpse of the genius of the lost world of the Inca people and more when touring Lima, Nazca Lines, Cuzco, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca now for $2,229 with coupon code SAP0910 (a $2,299 value).

I know there’s a lot to choose from here, so pour yourself a cup of coffee or tea, find a quiet place to sit, and pick out your next destination. And once you do that, simply enter the coupon code on the first booking screen when booking online or give the code to your agent when you call 1-800-555-5765.

After Peru mudslide, Machu Picchu reopens today

I wanted to start the week off with some good news. But before I tell you, let me bring you up to speed on what was happening in Peru. A massive mudslide occurred on Jan. 26 that closed cities, suspended all transportation, shut down tourist attractions, and more.

Since then, the country has been working hard to repair the damage. On the top of the list was reopening Machu Picchu, which is among the most important and popular tourist destinations in this hemisphere. I’m happy to report that PeruRail will resume service to Machu Picchu starting today!

I’m looking forward to bringing travel back to Peru’s most spectacular site. When we first heard about the mudslide, we got very busy. Two of our tours, Amazing Peru and Peru, Ecuador and Galapagos were directly affected.

If you’re wondering how Friendly Planet handled this force majeure, let me tell you what we did to accommodate our travelers. First, we immediately contacted our suppliers and made sure that there were no penalties associated with any of the options we were giving our travelers. Then we gave everyone four options to choose from.

Travelers could go on the same tour, but with an adjusted itinerary. The next option was to schedule a later departure date and receive a $100 credit to help with costs associated with changing domestic flights. Lastly, if travelers didn’t like either of those options, they could book any other Friendly Planet tour or, if travelers found none of the options appealing, they could get a full refund.

When situations such as these occur, we do everything possible for our travelers so they avoid incurring extra costs and experience as little inconvenience as possible. I put myself in their shoes. Telling them their tour is canceled because something happened that was beyond their control, and then letting them cope with the consequences themselves, is simply not an option for Friendly Planet.

In the case of Peru, I think we did a terrific job accommodating our travelers. Now that tours to one of the most stunning sites in the world is back in business, take a trip to see Machu Picchu. It’s one location everyone should see. If you want to experience it, book our 12-day Amazing Peru tour or the 15-day Peru, Ecuador and Galapagos tour.

Amazing Peru: Machu Picchu and the end of the road

As the last part of my Peru series, I want to tell you about one of the most amazing sights in the world: Machu Picchu.

FP_Peru9.JPGWe woke up early for our train ride to Machu Picchu, which was a very scenic and memorable experience on its own. Once we arrived at the base village, with the Urubamba River running right through its center, we took a bus to the top of the mountain.

Once again, this bus ride alone was amazing and the anticipation continued to build on this 25-minute ride on a road that snaked its way through the mountain. As the bus arrived at the top of the mountain, we took care of the admission formalities and began our hike to the actual site of Machu Picchu.

The terrain and steps just to get to a viewable height was difficult to navigate even for me, and as we got to the knoll for our first views, it was amazing. We were level with the clouds, and could see the entire site of the ruins from our vantage point.

FP_Peru15.JPGAfter some guided touring, my girlfriend and I explored for about an hour and a half independently. There were many different trails to investigate, each of them marked with the difficulty level. We were surrounded by thousands of people walking around in awe. Llamas were also plentiful, chewing the grass and keeping the site free of overgrowth.

FP_Peru16.JPGIt felt as if we were literally a five-minute walk from the surface of the sun, and I had the sunburn to prove it (even though I did use lotion).

Unfortunately, we couldn’t stay forever, and we made our way back to the bus which took us back down the mountain.

We were off to Puno. On our drive, we again experienced the vast differences in the regions of Peru. Some of the areas we traveled through were desolate. And some were roughly populated by humans who raise of llamas or cows. We also saw the ice caps on some of the distant mountains.

Once we arrived in Puno, we went out on Lake Titicaca and visited the floating islands of Uros. This island floats 30 meters above the bottom of the lake, and is made of woven weeds and naturally floating vegetable roots.

We continued on deeper into the lake to visit Taquile Island, close to the border of Bolivia. Again we saw many ice-capped mountains in the distance. On Taquile Island, there was a huge festival with music, drinking, and food. We ate lunch on the island, enjoyed the views from high above the lake, and eventually headed back to Puno by boat.

My Amazing Peru trip was coming to an end, and it was bittersweet. After 11 days on the road, I was happy to get back to my own bed, but I was sad to leave the beautiful country, friendly people, and wonderful scenery that I had the privilege of visiting.

If you have any questions about Friendly Planet Travel’s Amazing Peru trip, I’d be happy to answer them. You can leave them in the comments here, or send me an e-mail. And for some more photos of my incredibly journey, have a look at the Friendly Planet Travel Flickr page.

More Amazing Peru

Yesterday I told you a little bit about my recent trip to Peru with Friendly Planet Travel, and I have so much more to tell. When I left off, we were at the incredibly beautiful Ballestas Islands.

The next day we flew into Cusco. The high altitude began to take effect, but I chewed on cocoa leaves that I bought at the airport, which helped somewhat. After checking into a hotel in the middle of town, we had some time to relax and acclimate before taking a walking tour of the city.

During the walk, we visited an old Incan temple converted to Spanish. We continued to walk to what we were told is the “most important church” in South America.

After the tour, we stayed up and enjoyed some authentic Peruvian wine with our guide and some of our group members. Helpful hint: Wine in the hotel is about 8 USD per glass, but there is a store around the corner where you can get a bottle for 5 USD.

From Cuzco, we headed to the Sacred Valley, stopping at the Pisac market on the way to pick up some souvenirs. Then we were back on the bus for a drive to the Incan ruins of Ollantaytambo, located at the foot of a spectacular mountain. These buildings are what protected the strategic entrance to the lower Urubamba Valley, also known as the Sacred Valley.

The temple area is at the top of a series of steep terraces, which helped provide excellent defenses. Stone used for these buildings was brought from a quarry high up on the opposite side of the Urubamba river — an incredible feat involving the efforts of thousands of workers.

FP_Peru6_small.JPGThe complex, still under construction at the time of the conquest by Spain, was never completed. This was a very interesting sight, which was also discussed in the book that I read while on trip (and I’m still reading: “The Last Days of the Incas”).

After visiting the ruins, we had lunch in the small village below, and I also saw one of my favorite sites on the whole trip: a small monkey riding on a dog’s back! Even our tour guide said he had never seen anything like it. Looks like one of the town’s many strays was adopted … by a monkey.

FP_Peru14_small.JPGWe then headed back to our hotel in the middle of the mountains for the remainder of the evening with the anticipation of visiting Machu Picchu starting to build … which seems like the perfect spot to leave you today. So make sure you come back tomorrow to hear all about it!

Amazing stories from Amazing Peru

As many of you know, I just got back from an incredible two-week trip to Peru on our Amazing Peru.

FP_Peru9.JPG
While I was there, I kept Friendly Planteers back home abreast of our adventures through Twitter.

And of course, I took a ton of photos, a few of which I posted on the Friendly Planet Travel Flickr page. Now that I’m back, I can’t wait to tell you all about it. So keep your eyes here on the Friendly Planet Travel blog this week, because I’ll be sharing a new experience each day, beginning today!

During my two-week travel experience of Peru with my girlfriend Kelly, I truly got a sense of many different parts of the country and the different people that make up the unique Peruvian culture.

Starting with Lima, there was a great urban atmosphere that changed slightly as I traveled through the different boroughs that make up the city.
With English as my only verbal form of communication, and Spanish as the Peruvian language, hand signals and laughter were a universal way to correspond between nationalities; and I never felt uncomfortable or out of place.

As an American in a foreign country, I was still able to take public taxis, walk the streets at night, and thoroughly enjoy myself in Lima.
A bike tour of the city, facilitated by Bike Tours of Lima gave me a better sense of the history and different aspects that make Lima the city that it is now.

Driving south along the Pacific coast, from Lima to Ica, the landscape changed from urban to desert after only a few miles. Having never seen a desert before, I enjoyed the great views and the vastness, with constant views of the ocean along the way.

Just south of Ica, we visited the ancient city of Nazca: home of the famous Nazca lines.
I sat in the co-pilot seat as a five-person prop plane flew me over the Nazca Desert so that I could witness, first hand, the unique qualities that make these vast drawings, of unknown origin, such an attraction.

Further north, I visited the town of Paracas so that I could see the Ballestas Islands, a.k.a. “the mini Galapagos.” In a speed boat, a few miles off shore, I witnessed many different birds, seals, and even penguins. There were literally hundreds of seals, swimming, sunning, and sleeping amongst the thousands of birds and dozens of penguins. Besides the amazing wildlife, the islands themselves also had beauty and uniqueness as the current and waves splashed through the tiny caves and crevices.

FP_Peru3.JPG
For more incredible photos of my Peruvian adventure, don’t forget to have a look at the Flickr page. And stay tuned, because tomorrow I’ll fill you in on more of my trip to Amazing Peru.

Friendly Planet Travel: Live from Peru

Here at Friendly Planet Travel, our employees don’t just make it possible for other people to see the world, but they get out there and do it themselves. In fact, we encourage the members of our Friendly Planet Travel family to take advantage of the amazing deals we offer our customers every day.
That’s why it’s not unusual to have a Friendly Planet Travel employee sitting across from you as you eat lunch on the Yangtze Cruise in China, or riding along beside you on the bus from Quito to Octavalo in Ecuador.
On Monday, Zach, one of our Friendly Planet Travel employees, will be boarding a plane for our Amazing Peru tour. You can follow along with Zach on all of his Peruvian adventures (or, at least the adventures where he has Internet access) by keeping your eyes on @Zach_FPTravel on Twitter. Isn’t technology amazing?
Bon voyage, Zach! Happy Tweeting!
FP_Peru.jpg

About Peggy

Peggy Goldman is a specialty tour operator and travel expert, who owns and operates Friendly Planet Travel, a full-service company that specializes in tour packages to exotic worldwide destinations at affordable prices.   More about Peggy

Tour & Cruise Packages Our specialty for 30 years! Find one now:
choose a region Europe Mediterranean Asia Middle East Africa Central America Caribbean South America South Pacific
  • Follow Friendly Planet Share the love of travel
    • Facebook
    • Twitter
    • Pinterest
McAfee SECURE sites help keep you safe from identity theft, credit card fraud, spyware, spam, viruses and online scams