I had been looking into coordinating a trip to Peru for my husband and me with a U.S. based travel agent when I came upon Kuoda. Lucky I did! From the first contact with the travel coordinator Tom, a Brit living in Cusco, I knew I had chosen well. I had wanted to see some “off the beaten track” locations such as Tipon and Caral, and Tom was incredibly patient in working with me and fine tuning all of the details to make sure that they were well thought out. He recommended a variety of hotels and itineraries, until we had found the right mix. His expertise helped us make the best decisions while figuring out the best approach to scheduling our trip.

Upon arriving in Lima, a friendly Kuoda agent met us and accompanied us to our hotel in Miraflores. With all of the airport transfers and excursions, we had both a driver and a tour guide. The drivers were excellent and very conscientious, which is critical in a country where driving is almost a contact sport.

The transfer to Cusco was seamless. We were pleasantly surprised that Mery, the owner of Kuoda, met us at the airport. There was a two day strike in the Sacred Valley region (which we were not even aware of). Some of the roads to the sites we were to see were likely to be blocked off. Mery and her team (twice!) rescheduled us so that we were able to see everything and not get stranded or need to sit in a car for hours during a roadblock. A special thank you to Liseth who called us daily to check in and made sure all of the reservations and travel plans were perfect.

The highlight of the trip, hands down, were the tour guides. We spent the majority of our time in the Cusco area and Macchu Picchu with Holger Davalos. He was not only a knowledgable tour guide, but also had an incredible depth of insight regarding Peruvian archaeology, anthropology, history, economy and current events. He was really more like a private professor and renaissance man. There was no question (and I tend to ask many) which he could not answer. His many stories and lovely demeanor really made our trip. He is very much a Peruvian and an Andean and is proud of his amazing heritage and fascinating country, and is able to convey this. He really made the stones of the Inca empire and the hard working and pragmatic nature of the warm Peruvians come to life. We left with a much greater understanding of Peru and its people than we ever imagined possible.

We also were fortunate to spend a day with Ofelia, and her lovely personality and desire to share her knowledge came shining through.

Kuoda arranged the most amazing hotels, and we were treated like royalty. We stayed at the JW Marriott in Lima, Monasterio in Cusco, Sumaq in Macchu Picchu and Inkaterra in Urubamba. Many of the meals were included, of which two memorable lunches were in the homes of local Peruvians.

I can not recommend Kuoda and Holger Davalos enough. I will recommend them to my friends, and if ever I have the good fortune to return to Peru, my first email will be to Kuoda.