Great experience with Lorenzo Expedition and our tour guide DORIAN
My sister and I planned our trip to Peru 2 months prior to the trip start. We traveled late August to Mid September. When considering our trek to Machu Picchu we originally considered doing the "Original Inca trek" (4 or 5 days long and quite difficult). However, we changed our minds due to availability, price, and I had concerns about the difficulty level of the hike.
Below is a long review and details about our trip. Here is the quick summary of our experience: we really liked Lorenzo Expedition, they have great tour guides who are very responsive and make the experience enjoyable. I think it’s a very affordable trip, with great food, and a detailed itinerary. We absolutely loved our tour guide Dorian, he was very attentive, kind, informative, and quickly adapted to our personalities. The only downside is the “hike” felt more like a walk. We had a great experience and recommend Lorenzo’s.
More on our tour guide, my sister and I were the only ones on our trip, so we had a private tour guide by chance. We absolutely loved our tour guide Dorian, as mentioned above he is very kind, respectful, and attentive. I loved being able to talk to Dorian about Peru, the culture, and life in Cusco. I’m so glad we listened to all of Dorian’s recommendations. He was also great about offering to take photos of us. I would describe Dorian as more of a quiet guy which I appreciated, often time tour guides can talk non-stop and it can be quite exhausting. I had a wonderful experience and would definitely recommend Dorian.
My sister and I did the 3day/2night Trek to Machu Picchu in early September 2019. After doing quite a bit of research on different companies and reading lots of reviews we chose Lorenzo Expedition. The reasons: The video they made (wink), availability, price, easy to communicate with the company, reviews, and the information they had on their website.
The day before your expedition they host a meet and greet/orientation where you meet the other people in your party, your tour guides, and go over the details of your expedition. Out of the group of 8 people my sister and I were the only two that were doing the 3 day trek, the rest of the group was doing the 4 day trek because of this we were able to have a personal tour guide, Dorian.
Day 1: They picked us up from our Hostel and we drove about 1.5 hrs. before we got on the bikes. I absolutely loved the bike ride portion of the trek; the location was beautiful. You are surrounded by large mountains and lush greenery. The bike ride is primarily downhill which makes the ride easier and a bit more fun.
Lorenzo Expedition gives you plenty of padding and protection gear for the bike ride since you are biking on a road with cars. The Lorenzo Van that you drove in is driving slowly behind the group to ensure your safety, trade your bike if needed, or if you need to rest. I was at the end of the group; I would say that on average the group was about 3-5 blocks a head of me, but they never pushed me to go faster and van was always close by. I really appreciated being able to go at my own pace. Often, when doing group activity companies can be stringent about staying close to the group etc. Luckily, that was not the case.
Please note during the bike ride it is very difficult to take photos so I would recommend a GoPro on your helmet or your body. I regret not being able to film more of this experience.
After the bike ride, we went to a hotel, where the group doing the 4-day trek was spending the night. We rested for a bit and then had lunch. The lunch was delicious and nicely presented.
Next, water rafting. This was an additional cost but a fun small adventure that I would recommend. The river rafting was about two hours and is run by a separate company. The guides were fun, there were almost no rapids so don’t be to concern. I recommend wearing a swimsuit because you will get wet. The company provides helmets, boots, jacket and pants.
I would recommend river rafting just so that you have something to do unless you prefer hanging out at the hotel from 2 pm onwards.
After river rafting, my sister and I went with our tour guide, Dorian, in a private taxi to the hot springs and the hotel we were to stay at that night. It was about 1.25hr drive on a one-way dirt road. My sister and I felt a little uneasy at first because we are two women traveling with two strangers in the night on this sketchy dirt road, but Dorian quickly made us feel safe and comfortable.
We were quite exhausted from all our earlier activities and considered skipping the hot springs but Dorian recommended we go and said that we would really enjoy it. We are so glad we went. The entrance to the springs is not very nice but the springs are great. We went around 8pm or 8:30pm and there were not very many people and it was not loud at all. I believe there are about 4 large pools and two small waterfalls. It was a very relaxing and enjoyable experience. Unfortunately, this was our only Hot Springs experience in Peru but was a really great and needed experience.
The hotel we stayed out that night was one of the more outdate hotels we stayed in, in all of Peru. It is a small town so I’m not sure that there are any nicer options.
Day 2 began with ziplining, which is an additional cost. I was reluctant to zip line because a few days prior I had my first ziplining experience and it was unpleasant and long. Dorian, highly recommend we go and said that this company is really fun, and it would be a great experience. He was definitely right. The zip line course was extremely fun, with mini-courses in between, and lots of different positions to zip line. Well worth the money. I wish we could have hung out at the main office for the zip line because they have a cool set up with hammocks and are surrounded by beautiful mountains.
Later we were dropped at a train station and would begin our “hike” aka walk to Aquas Calientes. At the beginning of the walk, Dorian shared stories of the Incas, the different kings, and how Machu Picchu was “discovered”. Luckily, after an hour or so of walking, we stopped to have lunch. As always, the food was very tasty and there were multiple courses. It started to sprinkle so we ended up staying slightly longer at the restaurant. It was a cool restaurant with hammocks underneath the building structure.
Then we began the 2.5 hr walk to Aquas Calientes. It was a pretty walk along the railroad tracks, and you had beautiful views of the nearby mountains and at a few points, you could see Wayna Pichhu. During most of our walk, it was lightly sprinkling but luckily there were a few stands on your way to Aquas Calientes so you can buy water or in our case by a poncho. We stopped at a restaurant to use the restroom and buy ponchos but saw no other restrooms in the area.
We were able to rest in our hotel in Aquas Calientes before we went to dinner. We ate at an upscale restaurant with a preset menu to choose from. We greatly enjoyed this meal. The food was beautifully presented and very delish Dorian shared that the owner, Lorenzo, often travels to the different cities and checks out the hotels and restaurants that we will be eating at.
Day 3: Machu Picchu
My sister and I woke up early and lined up quite early at the bus stop for the first bus to Machu Picchu. Machu Picchu is stunning but very busy. Take your time. About a quarter of the way through you will be unable to turn back and must continue a one-way path. Please note, that there are security/employees throughout to ensure people are staying in the pathway and following the rules. Dorian met us shortly after our arrival and told us more about the history of Machu Picchu. He also assisted us in getting tickets to Waynu Picchu. Which we really appreciated. So glad we hiked Waynu Picchu, you have a beautiful view Machu Picchu and can take a break from the crowds. Dorian left us right before we hiked Waynu Picchu. There were smiles and hugs all around saying goodbye to Dorian. ( Don’t forget to tip your tour guides)
One note to Lorenzo Expedition, I think the tour guide should ride the bus with you to Machu Picchu. We had a bit of an issue meeting up with Dorian. I would not mind having the cost included in the overall trip package.