It is true, for Peru as well as most other South American countries; one can easily find hundreds of Peru travel agencies on the web. Therefore the question arises, how to choose the Peru travel agency that you feel comfortable doing business with and who you can trust to create an unforgettable vacation to Peru. As with other online purchases, there are several options and possibilities and all of these have their own prices based on the required level of quality amongst other factors; for Peru travel agencies this is the same. You can for instance find agencies that offer all inclusive vacations to Peru, you can find agencies offering specialty trips in a specific region and you can find agencies that organize your entire packages according to your preferences.
Therefore the first task is to have more or less clear what type of vacation you are looking for and how much you would like to have organized. Often people want to travel more adventurously while heading off with making only the minimum of arrangements and therefore would only need to buy some tickets such as the entrances to Machu Picchu, trains and domestic flights in advance. Nevertheless this does mean that even though you have most days free to do what you want, you do have to be at certain sites at certain days and some planning ahead is required.
People coming to Peru and only having a limited amount of time and a large wish list, often are better off working with a Peru travel agency that organizes customizable trips based on their needs and preferences. This way you will not be wasting several parts of your day organizing the next day and therefore will be able to visit more in the same amount of time.
The second part of the planning is to look at the type of accommodations you may be looking for. In case you would be considering staying in low budget hostels or bed and breakfasts, you may be better off booking this yourself online as there are often online offers that provide cheap accommodations even without reservations.
For travellers staying in hotels in the 3 to 5* range they are often better off working with a Peru based agency as agencies based in the same country as the hotel can take advantage of confidential hotel prices that depending on the volume often range up to about 60% off the public (rack) prices. Taking into consideration the popularity of some cities and sites in Peru, it is also recommended to make reservations for higher end hotels as the popular ones do fill up quiet fast for the majority of the year especially in the high seasons. Therefore in this case it may be safer and less hassle to work with a locally based online Peru travel agency.
Taking the above into consideration and you now have decided that you would like to use a local Peru travel agency, how those one chose between the many options?
First of all have a look around and compare different websites and the amount and quality of information they offer.Chose two or three and start researching the information they offer, the packages they work with and the reviews they have on their website.
Try to find independent reviews for each of the agencies online (Tripatlas, Tripadvisor, Gogobot, etc…) and analyze these. Always be careful as it is always possible that the reviews are not necessarily unbiased and therefore it does not always mean the more the better.
Contact your Peru travel agencies of choice and see what the communication is like and their response times. How the level of English is, how is the actual knowledge of Peru and the details of your trip. Details such as train times, tour times and destinations and weather tips can give you a good impression of the actual knowledge and how up to date the agency is you are working with.
Most Peru travel agencies will send you a proposal and quote so the next step is to analyze the quote. How clear is the tour and descriptions, how transparent is their pricing and the items included and not included. Have they included flights? A good agency should provide you with elaborated information about the hotels, tours, excursions and of course an overview of what is and what is not included. This you can compare with other quotes to see which is the more transparent combined with the best quote. It is also worth to have a look at the Terms and Conditions that each Peru travel agency offers.
Before deciding on the travel agency to buy with, also consider the required deposit payment (deposit payments should not necessarily be over 30% of the entire package price) and the payment terms and options they offer.
If after this still in doubt, you can always write straight away to the agency and request some more information and reviews about the agency and their services.
Hopefully these tips will help in finding the best Peru travel agency for your vacation to Peru.
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