Jesus was our trip planner at Kuoda and he was so good at working with me to get the perfect itinerary for our family, he considered all we wanted to do and was flexible with their typical offerings to incorporate what we wanted to do, like stay at the Treehouse Lodge near Iquitos. (which I would use their offering instead if I didn’t want to stay in a tree house, there’s a reason why they have specific places they offer!) He answered my numerous questions and offered off-the-beaten-itinerary items for some down days, like the Christmas Eve market in Cusco, which was a fun way to spend a rest day, although the main square wasn’t too picturesque that day & you had to go the next morning for good photos.
On the ground in Peru, Kuoda held our hand the whole way, sometimes we felt silly that they showed up at the airport to walk us across the street to the hotel, but it was really nice to know someone was always looking out for you and watching that your flights were on time. They worked quickly with us when our flight from PEM to Cusco was cancelled, booking us alternate transportation, changing our itinerary so we could still do the things we missed that day, and picking us up in Cusco at 2 am to transport us to our hotel in Ollantaytambo. Jason was always available at an instants call to work out anything else and answer questions, they were flexible in adapting as we went…when we arrived in Lima and decided to do the Larco that day & get the airport hotel for day use on our departure day, they quickly adjusted and accommodated our change….what a fantastic company and staff!
Their guides were superb…Luis was our guide in Cusco/Sacred Valley/Machu Picchu & he knew so much about Incans our minds were fried by the end! lol! We really learned a lot and enjoyed our time with Luis. In Puno, Manuel was really knowledgable and friendly as well as flexible to waiting longer in Taquile for what you wanted to do.
Their special arrangement restaurant/home in the Maras/Moray region and the family meal at Taquile as well as their cooperative with a weaving community are little touches you won’t find elsewhere & really set this trip apart with Kuoda.
They use amazon expeditions in the puerto maldonado area & they are excellent and just as service oriented as Kuoda. They typically use someone else in the Iquitos area other than Tree House & I would go with their recommendation here unless you just want the tree house experience like we did. (this experience was good, but not the top notch that we got at other Kuoda selected lodgings)
Lodgings- El Albergue in Ollantaytambo and Palacio Manco Capac in Cusco were both spectacular, comfortable, cozy, El Albergue had superb food, Palacio was ok, both were nice views or walk to town. The Puno hotel was a step down from these, but moreso because it was larger & Puno is not quite as nice of an area, this hotel was still good, though. Dazzler Lima was excellent and restaurant was good, the independent tour companies they used for our cooking class & culinary tours were also excellent.
Just like with other countries that we want a full service company from, I did my research and comparison in advance, Kuoda was competitive in price but was the best ‘listener’ to what we wanted, we weren’t disappointed and would highly recommend them and will be using them again for future trips to South America.
(oh yes, I would add binoculars & extra batteries for flashlights to the packing lists for the jungle, we were prepared with that, but the jungles don’t have binoculars to share and some don’t have extra batteries to sell…they do sell mosquito repellant though)
Thank you Kuoda for a fabulous trip!!! (you can look at our reviews for specific lodging, tour, site information)