We are fortunate that the most wonderful people take our tours, and Ariel was no exception. In addition to being a total sweetheart, this guy was always ready to laugh. Ariel took a break from his busy schedule of suntanning over the holidays in beautiful Puerto Rico to talk with us about the trip.
Zoom: What was your favorite part about the trip?
Ariel: The connections I made with other like-minded travelers and the overall experience of visiting a beautiful country with a magnificent group of people.
Zoom: What did you think of the food in Peru?
Ariel: The food was spectacular. I got the opportunity to try one-of-a-kind dishes that you would normally not find anywhere else. The traditional food as well, in upscale modern restaurants or more traditional settings was delicious.
Zoom: A lot of people want to go to Peru so that they can see Machu Picchu. Did Machu Picchu live up to its expectations?
Ariel: Machu Picchu exceeded my expectations. You can see pictures or documentaries about it but the experience of actually being there and seeing the architecture and planning it took to build does not compare. It is truly a magical place.
Zoom: If not for Machu Picchu, would you have reason to go to Peru?
Ariel: Every country has one specific destination that makes it special and though for certain Machu Picchu is that for Peru, I would definitely visit it again just for its incredible diverse geography, beautiful cities, gastronomy, and its people and culture.
Zoom: What surprised you about Peru?
Ariel: I was surprised when visiting Peru by its diverse architecture, especially when visiting cathedrals and city centers. The history is quite remarkable as well. I was not expecting its culture to be so mysterious. So many gaps exist in understanding the Incas’ vast empire, language, and customs that still fascinate historians all over the world. I actually purchased a tapestry with an Inca calendar that no one has been able to figure out. I still look at it with amazement.
Zoom: How do you think this trip would’ve been different had you not been with a gay group?
Ariel: Being with a gay group makes the trip fun. I have not laughed so much for so many days if it had not been with a gay group. When traveling with like-minded people conversations are more meaningful. We all share experiences that a non-gay group might not have. I also saw how everyone had each other’s backs. We took care of each other and made sure everyone was taken care of. I have not experienced this with tours with heterosexual groups. It feels a bit colder.
Zoom: Did you make new friends on the tour?
Ariel: I most definitely made new friends on this group that I know will last a lifetime.
Zoom: You have another upcoming trip to India with Zoom Vacations. What made you decide to take this upcoming trip?
Ariel: India has always been a bucket list destination for me. It is challenging to plan a trip like this with a group of friends. With Zoom all you need to do is say yes. They will take care of everything for you, make the trip special and you get to meet a great group of gentlemen to experience this with.
Zoom: What are you looking forward to about the tour to India and the Maldives?
Ariel: I am looking forward to India’s colorful landscapes, music, food, and culture. For the Maldives, I look forward to relaxing in one of the most beautiful places in the world.
Zoom: What would you tell someone who is considering taking a gay group trip with Zoom Vacations?
Ariel: Book it. I have never taken an international tour on my own and I do admit I was nervous at first. I decided to go after some good friends told me about it. I spoke to Joel Cabrera, one of the founders and he answered all my questions. I felt so comfortable booking it that now I don’t imagine doing a tour any other way. My friends have been to both Peru and India with Zoom so now we are planning where to go next.