Craig and I have known about Peru for as long as we can remember. I recall doing a book report on Machu Picchu in 4th grade. The pictures just captivated my imagination. So we decided to investigate trips to Peru. Craig found Adventure Life on the web. He had some very informative and friendly e-mail communication with Mary, and we decided on the 17 day Panoramic Peru tour. We decided we wanted to investigate whether or not any immunizations were required for the trip. I found the Lahey Travel and Tropical Medicine Clinic online. They are located in Burlington, MA. I called in December and left my information on an answering machine. About a week later , they called me back to schedule our first appointment. Our first appontmnet was on Jan 23. We met with Dr. Ooi, who was very knowledgeable about travel medicine. We gave her our itinerary and she recommended several immunizations. She gave us each a typhoid shot and a Hepatitis A/B shot, and Craig also got a tetanus/diptheria shot. Our next appointment was on February 27. We got our second round of Hepatitis A/B shots, as well as yellow fever shots. Craig got a MMR booster, and I got a Tetanus/Diptheria shot. Our final appointment was on June 1. Craig and I got our final Hepatitis A/B shots, and she prescribed some medicines as well. She gave us Cipro for traveler's diarrhea and Diamox for altitude sickness. We were told to only take them if necessary. The Lahey Clinic was great; very well-organized and expert in their field. It is a very easy, efficient process, and we highly recommend them if you are traveling to a foreign country that might pose health risks.
The trip we booked includes a variety of different destinations, some coastal, some desert, and some highlands (Andes mountains). It includes Machu Picchu, Colca Canyon, and even a homestay with an indigenous family on an island in Lake Titicaca. Not knowing how altitude would affect us, we didn't choose a trip included a 2 or 4 day hike of the Inca Trail. Looking back, we wish we had had the chance to do the Inca Trail. We did some hiking on the trip, and it left us wanting more. Oh well, there's always next time!
We also lucked out on this trip, because noone else signed up for the same time period. The tour had a minimum of two travelers, so the trip went as scheduled, and we wold up with private guides. This was wonderful, as we had lots of individual attention and became quite close friends with our guides. Because this trip was so long and varied, we have split it up into three distinct sections. Page 1 covers the first week of the trip with our guide Carlos. Places include Lima, Pisco, Nasca, Arequipa, and the Colca Canyon. Page 2 covers our trip to Lake Titicaca. There we visited the man-made Uros Islands, Taquile Island, and spent the night with a local family on Amantani Island. For this section of the trip, we were with Henry. Page 3 covers the end of the trip with our guide Vidal: Puno, Cusco, Sacred Valley, and Machu Picchu.