Testimonials - Travel Agents
Dear Enigma Travel Collection,
I want to let you know that I have just had the absolute pleasure of a 'de-briefing' call with my clients this morning who have just returned from Peru, and have to let you know how totally and absolutely thrilled they were with the trip that you put together for them. In 25 years of arranging tours all around the world for my clients, I can say that I have never had travelers return from a trip any happier than these clients. Throughout a 17 day trip, they felt every day was only better than the one before, and were completely blown away with the country of Peru, the scenery, the geography, the culture and cuisine, and of course most of all, the people – not least of which were their guides whom they truly felt to be the most interesting, knowledgeable and caring people that they had ever encountered in any of their travels. I couldn't ask for any happier clients, and again, muchas gracias for taking such good care of them!
Tov Mason / President & Founder - Footprints Custom Travel / CANADA
We’ve been working with Enigma since 2005 and have found Silvia and her team to be exceptional partners. They’ve introduced us to the best guides in Peru, assist with time important on-site logistics including Inca Trail permits, and share our approach to make every one of our guest’s experiences in Peru a trip of a lifetime. We recommend Enigma with great enthusiasm.
President and founder of an award winning adventure travel company / USA
I had a difficult task. I had a group of 15 women who wanted to hike the Inca Trail for their 50th birthdays. They were used to luxury adventure and had all had been on safari in east Africa where the mobile tented camp experience is sometimes compared to a Four Seasons in the bush, or where Ralph Lauren is in charge of the tents.
The difficulty with the Inca Trail is that the Peruvian authorities in charge of the trail and monument highly regulate what you can bring onto the trail and where you can camp. The experience therefore is Spartan. Only 500 permits are issued per day for both visitors and support staff such as porters and guides. So all trekkers camp in the same designated spots, use the same few toilet facilities and are limited to 1 porter per person. I explained to my group that this would necessitate having a lean staff, minimal camp and dining facilities and a larger group experience (read shared bathrooms and sometimes crowded campsites) as all trekkers camp in the same few spots.
What I explained to Silvia at ENIGMA was that I really needed her to pull off a miracle and transform the experience in store for this group. We discussed food and she drew up a list of menus that would include fresh produce, home made jams, fresh bread all served on china not plastic and accompanied with some select wines from Peru and soothing herbal teas. Of course as the group was American the coffee in the morning had to be fresh filter made with real milk and cream. And we decided to have a massage tent and additional shower facilities made with large rubber bags filled with hot water and set up African style with a small canvas enclosure.
Since we could not use mules to carry additional equipment all this would take quite a few porters. We estimated 60 for our group of 15 clients and 5 staff. The authorities rightly limit porters to 1 per visitor. Visitor entry fees are very high and what operators pay for the porter entry permit is very low. So Silvia and I decided to pay the foreign visitor fees for 20 of our porters so that they then would be allowed to have a porter and we would then reach our goal of 60 porters. Everybody around us said that this would not work. Silvia however managed to pull it off by explaining that the rules simply govern the ratio of visitor permits to porter permits. She spent many hours at the Park HQ to secure our allotment. Once we had our permits in place I left Peru confident that Silvia and her ENIGMA team would complete the details and that when I returned with my group magic would happen. Of course I downplayed to the group the arrangements we so carefully made.
Needless to say it was not only the group that was surprised. Silvia had found a young chef from Lima who wanted to hike the trail and prepare fresh and healthy food; she found a small portable gas oven that met trail requirements and that could bake croissants every morning; she brought along two young women from Cuzco who set up their tent as an Andean massage center; staff were there to assist in cleaning the public facilities; lunches were served safari style with our group turning a corner while hiking and stumbling upon a picnic set up complete with washing area, seated table cloth service and a discrete canvas restroom stall with a chemical toilet (meeting requirements) that looked out over the Andean peaks. Our group was very comfortable, but what made me happy was to see that our group was able to fully enjoy their experience, to bond together as they had hoped and to never worry about their comfort and safety. The only problem really was that every other group on the trail who saw our set up came over to ask us how we were able to do what we did. Well, I suppose that ENIGMA didn't mind that attention!
Nathaniel Waring / Ex-President and Co-Founder Cox&Kings The Americas / USA