It was welcome news to see "Back to Machu Picchu" (Feb. 19). I visited Peru with my Peruvian-born wife, Ysabel, in December, 1993. As it was the beginning of the rainy season, crowds were down. We didn't see many American tourists, but there were plenty of Europeans, Australians and Asians. The people were very warm, but fluency in Spanish is a must if you plan to travel without a tour.
We took the tourist train to Machu Picchu and stayed at the Machu Picchu Hotel. My brother-in-law made the reservations, saving us $30, as the government-run hotels charge more to foreigners than Peruvian nationals. The food at the restaurant wasn't very good and was overpriced. However, being close to a bed after a day of climbing the site was worth every penny. The ruins were beautiful beyond description. We climbed Huayna Picchu--the most strenuous thing I've ever done. I am 40 and out of shape, but it was one of those things I just had to do.
We also visited Lima, Pisac, Cuzco, Huacho, Iquitos and Pucallpa without any problems. We can't wait to return.
BOB & YSABEL BEBERFALL
Everyone should see Machu Picchu at least once in their lifetime, and I hope your article prompts people to pack their bags and do just that. So, when they are ready to travel, I would like for them to know that Aerolineas Argentinas has been flying between Los Angeles and Lima for more than 25 years. We offer nonstop service three times a week. No inconvenient transfer in Miami and a few less hours in the air.
ANA M. CRAVEN
District Sales Manager