My husband and I recently returned from our vacation arranged through Kuoda Travel. On the travel documents that they gave us it is titled “Amazing Peru Adventure” and I must agree that it turned out perfectly and was truly a trip of a lifetime!
Machu Picchu has been on our bucket list for a long time. Having read the great reviews on Trip Advisor we contacted Kuoda well in advance of our time frame to travel. Jesus Ramos was our travel planner. I went over the details with him over the phone and he planned our entire itinerary. We tweaked it a little bit and changed a few of the hotels and then waited patiently for our date to travel.
We can’t thank Kuoda enough for how flawless the arrangements were and on how well they treated us! Most of the time we had a personal driver and guide with us. Our hotels and most meals were included and pre-arranged. Our guide was Ofelia. She is lovely and a very knowledgeable guide and it was nice to get to know her. Jose David was our driver and Jason Ayerbe was our customer service coordinator.
We arrived in Lima very late at night, so we stayed the first night at the Wyndham Hotel right across the street from the airport. The following morning it was back to the airport, and we flew to Cusco where we a had lovely lunch at a restaurant called Limo. It was really great! Before we could feel the affects of the high altitude we were whisked away to the Sacred Valley where we stayed two nights at the Belmond Rio Sagrado. It is a lovely hotel right on the river with beautiful grounds and mountains surrounding you. We stayed here two nights and toured a museum where they have llamas and alpacas and weaving demonstrations, visited the Inca ruins at Moray, the salt pans, and the agricultural terraces. We also had lunch one day at the home of a lovely woman who is a gourmet chef. Her home had a spectacular view. This turned out to be a a real treat!
Next we checked out of our hotel and took the Hiram Bingham train to Machu Picchu. I highly recommend taking this train. It was a great experience and so much fun. Enjoy a beautiful lunch as the train rides through the scenery of the Sacred Valley and at the back of the train drink Pisco Sours and dance to the music (three guys playing guitars and singing).
When we arrived in Aguas Calientes we then took the bus up to Machu Picchu where we checked in to the Belmond Sanctuary Lodge and met again our guide Ofelia, who was waiting for us. We toured around Machu Picchu with our expert guide. Ofelia left us that afternoon, we stayed overnight at the hotel and were able to enter the gates of Machu Picchu the following morning to explore a little more on our own. The Sanctuary Lodge is the ONLY hotel up at the top, so this was also a very special experience to stay there. It’s a very small hotel with around 30 rooms.
When we left Machu Picchu we took a different train (Vista Dome) to Ollantambo and our driver was again waiting for us, to drive us back to Cusco. There we checked in to the Belmond Palacio Nazarenas for two nights. This was an amazing hotel…our favorite of the trip. The hotel and our room were amazing! We toured around Cusco with our guide…went to the San Pedro Market and walked around the town. We also visited some local ruins at Sacsayhuaman. Before we checked out of the hotel Mery Calderon paid a surprise visit to us while we were having breakfast. She wanted to introduce herself to us and she gave us a beautiful gift, a frame made by a local artisan. I have already framed our Machu Picchu photo!
We next flew to Lima where we had three nights at the Belmond Miraflores. Kuoda planned a foodie tour for us which was a lot of fun! We also planned another tour to visit the Peruvian Paso horses at Casa Hacienda Los Ficus. We did this on our own, as someone had recommended it, but it could have easily been arranged by Kuoda.
I usually do a lot of research and make our own vacation plans, so I was a bit nervous about how this would turn out, leaving everything to a travel agency. But I never could have planned all of this as well on my own, and I am so glad we used Kuoda. Our vacation was truly special and magical. I highly recommend them to anyone considering a trip to Peru. You will not regret it.