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1. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 11y

Hey everyone,

just wondering if anyone has ever travelled with Kumuka Tours in South America. A travel agent strongly recommended them to me. Ive been checking out their tours and they do look good, if a bit expensive.

www.kumuka.com

What's your general opinion on tour groups? Is the extra money worth it for the convenience or do you think it's better and less expensive to do it by yourself?

Thanks,

E

2. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5588 posts) 11y

I don't know these guys, but thought I'd give my general opinion on tours in groups. Depending on the time you have, I find them worth it sometimes. Not the city viewing type mind you, but the ones that take you off the beaten path, have you camping in different places and taking in sites that are tricky to get to if you don't have your own transport. Although if you have the time it could be cheaper to drive/make your way to all the spots on your own, you often find out there are all kinds of fees and costs that you don't know of. Not to mention you usually end up meeting all kinds of people that you wouldn't if you drove everywhere on your own...

Then again, it really depends on how much time you have and how relaxed you can be about taking in the sites slowly or having to do it all quickly!

3. Posted by FionaNZ (Respected Member 903 posts) 11y

Hey Ev,

I used Kumuka in Africa, for a 7 week camping overland & it was good, especially for all the national parks etc. We were lucky in that we did'nt have a full tour either, so had more room in the truck etc.. I too looked at a tour through Sth Am however, I find it hard to justify the money there.. you can do it much cheaper on your own!

Fiona

4. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 11y

Yeah, reading the brochure Sam it really sounds like it would be worth it for a few reasons:

a) they organise everything for you. travelling on your own you're much less likely to cover as much

b) you are with a group of ppl for about 8 weeks. (i suppose that could also turn out to be a bad thing....depending on the group )

c) I'm arriving in Lima and leaving from Santiago and one of their tours suits me perfectly. Start: Lima Finish: Santiago and takes in everything of note in between

Fiona, I was hoping to talk to someone who had used Kumuka!
I agree with you about the SA tours - the money is very hard to justify. I was doing my sums here yesterday and trying to realistically figure out how much the same type of trip would cost me by myself. Its very hard to know for sure when I havent been to SA before. But €2000-3000 for 8 weeks in Peru, Bolivia and Santiago sounds a lot!

I noticed from the site as well that most ppl seem to use Kumuka for the African tours.

Would you say there were any major disadvantages using Kumuka?

THanks,
Ev;)

5. Posted by areinstein (Travel Guru 2788 posts) 11y

Quoting samsara2

Fiona, I was hoping to talk to someone who had used Kumuka!
I agree with you about the SA tours - the money is very hard to justify. I was doing my sums here yesterday and trying to realistically figure out how much the same type of trip would cost me by myself. Its very hard to know for sure when I havent been to SA before. But €2000-3000 for 8 weeks in Peru, Bolivia and Santiago sounds a lot!

I noticed from the site as well that most ppl seem to use Kumuka for the African tours.

Would you say there were any major disadvantages using Kumuka?

THanks,
Ev;)

Ev, 2-3000 sounds like a LOT of money for 8 weeks in three countries (south american countries no less). I was checking out their prices for Africa and they looked somewhat reasonable but for SA America, you may only need $100-$150 (dollars) per week for Peru and Bolivia. I mean, you will be roughing it but it isnt that bad at all. Just like in SE Asia, you will find someone to tell you where to go, what to do, and where to take the buses everywhere. From Lima to Santiago in bus, I believe is $100 (awhile ago my sister did it). Now Chile is more expensive than Peru and Bolivia but even then I dont think you would get even close to spending 2000 pounds.

As long as you are ok with paying the extra money to avoid the hassles and just be comfortable, I guess it wont be that bad but since I know you will be on the road indefinitely, that would definitely be a place where I would save some of my money, only because it is possible. God, I wish I could travel with you through SA, I havent been to Bolivia or Chile yet...

6. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 11y

Hi again Anne! Yeah, I'm leaning away from it to be honest. Reading the site, the tours sound great but there isnt anything in them that I couldnt get to see myself. The cost probably outweighs the advnatges here...

I WISH YOU WERE COMING WITH ME TOO!! Hey, if you can swing the time off you know where to find me! I'd be delighted to have you along.

I'm flying into Lima on 06 Jan and I'm gonna work my way down through Peru, Bolivia, Chile and across Argentina. The plan at the moment is to fly out of Buenos Aries at the end of Feb and onto Auckland. (Unfortunately, I might have to miss Easter Island :( oh well..)

7. Posted by FionaNZ (Respected Member 903 posts) 11y

Ev I went through exactly the same process as you when I decided to look at going to Sth Am. I was worried about travelling alone & seeing as I had done a tour already, thought I'd look at another.. but I got a hell of a shock to see the pricing for Sth Am tours, when you add in the local payment & your personal spending on top of the price of the tour, its a killer So I then thought I had better look at going it alone, that's when I found TP and all the useful info & encouragement

8. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 11y

So Fiona, is the local payment extra onto the cost of the trip itself!!! I just assumed that's the amount of money that went to the local economy out of the price.

Yikes! That makes it very expensive.

Going to be forgetting about Kumuka, I think.....

9. Posted by areinstein (Travel Guru 2788 posts) 11y

I didnt realize either that the "local payment" was in addition to the price!!! Wow, that does make it very expensive.

Ev, I cant never get away for longer than a weekend between January and April uugggghhh...those are my busy REALLY BUSY times here at work. My boss would freak if I told him I was going to be away for a week. Boooo hoooo!!!!!!

10. Posted by FionaNZ (Respected Member 903 posts) 11y

Yes, its on top of the tour price its the money thats used for food, drink, bribes, ours paid for a Masai warrior to guard us overnight when we were there...

Definately go it alone Ev, you have a long way to go after that!