I received several helpful responses to a query I posted on the Rick Steve Travel Forum one month ago about tours to Machu Picchu and Easter Island. I had settled on the Road Scholar tour of Peru and Easter Island, and I booked it three weeks ago. This week I received a call from them, and they are cancelling the spring tours (I was slated to go in April) and wanted to switch me to the fall, when they THINK they can run the tour - not certain. Even if the tour does run, I cannot go in the fall, as my oldest is getting married. So, long story short, they refunded me, and I am now left figuring out if I can do Peru and Easter Island on my own, because other tours I've looked at at are either too expensive, or don't include the key sites that I'd like to see.
I am open to suggestions on how I might be able to do this on my own. And is it safe to do it on my own? I am interested in visiting Machu Picchu (lifelong dream), Rainbow Mountain, the Sacred Valley, and Easter Island (and I understand I'd need to get to Santiago for a flight from there). Any reliable hotel, local guide, tour suggestions would be very much appreciated. I am disappointed by Road Scholar, so I wanted to pass a long that caution as well, and the experience caused me to think of looking into more local tours and seeing if I could safely and reliably plan this trip on my own. I've planned our European trips on my own as well as Jordan and Israel, but never South America. And because of the altitude, family can't come with me, so I'll be soloing.
Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Thank you!