I got an email from one of the guys at Kumuka telling me why I should go and why its so enjoyable
Nah, I've made my mind up. It's not worth that amount of cash. The tour I was thinking of costs €1080 + $555 + whateever extra activities I would want to do, etc..+daily expenses.
And thats just for 21 days in Peru and a bit of Bolivia.
No no no no no.
Got a brochure from Kumuka in the post yesterday -was waiting to tempt me when I got home from work last night.
Just when I had made my mind up that I absolutely definitely completey decidedly NO WAY was laying out that amount of cash, Lo and Behold, there was a leaflet to tell me that if I book before the end of the month, theres 25% off the cost of any South American tour.
This brings the cost of the tour to about €800 ...what to do...
Dont know what the Kumuka Tour you are planning to do offers you exactly but heres a rough breakdown of what I did in Peru and Bolivia and how much it cost me.
Peru - £500 (sterling)
3 days in Lima
3 days in Huacachina (including sandboarding and trip to Ballestas Islands which had amazing wildlife)
1 day in Nasca (including flight over Nazca Lines and trip to ancient cemetery)
2 days in Arrequipa
2 days in Colca Canyon
5 days in Cusco
4 days on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
2 days in Puno (including trip to islands on Lake Titicaca)
Bolivia - £350
2 days in Copacabana (including trip to Islands on Lake Titicaca)
4 days in La Paz ( including mountain bike trip down worlds most dangerous road)
3 days in Rurrenabaque (including flights back to La Paz)
5 Days in the Jungle and Pampas
3 days in Potosi (including silver mine tour)
3 days on the salt plains of Uyuni
This included all expenses (copious amounts of alcohol, gifts, food, excursions, internal flight from rurrenabaque to la paz). I would say that the main advantages of doing the trip independently are that you have more flexibility in terms of how long you spend in a place (theres nothing worse than being dragged away from a fantastic city like Cusco after just 2 days!!), where you go and who you spend your time with. You meet some wonderful travellers while in South America and since most people are following similar routes you tend to bump into them at various places along the "gringo trail".
If you travel with Kumuka there will be a massive mark up on all the excursions that you book while travelling with them (eg jungle trips, mountain biking, trips to islands etc. I know this because I compared the prices in the Kumuka brochure to what I actually spent.
I would defintely recommend doing the trip on your own. You will meet a lot more people, save a lot more money and see a lot more sights.
If you have any questions regarding your trip, feel free to ask me!!
I'm looking at doing a Kumuka tour but only the one from La Paz to Lima (through Inca trail, etc). The reason i'm even thinking about paying extra to do it through a tour company is because I don't speak any Spanish and reckon it would be near impossible (and highly stressful) for me to get around otherwise. Is this correct?
That was my worry as well - not a word of Spanish. I'd stick out like a bit sore tourist, but I'm thinking I might try to learn a important words and phrases on-line before I go. There's only a certain amount of any language you actually need to function as a tourist.
"Where is the bus station?"
"How much is that?"
"Why are you staring at me like I have two heads?"
Plus, it seems that there are pretty well-defined backpacker routes in many of the South American countries and the probability of being alone all the time is very low.
I'm still a bit undecided myself on the whole tour issue....