We usually like to schedule our own trips and activities when we travel as we enjoy the process but when we decided to do our bucket list trip to Peru and Machu Picchu we thought a guided tour was best to keep the stress low and enjoyment high. We looked at three different operators but decided on Kuoda. What a great choice! They might not have been the cheapest but when you look on Trip Advisor their rankings are off the charts and I can attest the rankings are well earned. We had zero issues on our trip and everything was seamless. We were on a private tour with our family of four and did an adventure trip since we had two older boys with us (18 and 21). Their was never a time anyone was late picking us up, we always felt safe and well cared for and Kuoda always went the extra mile to make sure we had a great trip.
We even met the owner, Mery, in Cusco who checked in on us and gave us a gift to thank us for using her company. Nice touch! Kuoda picked great hotels, wonderful guides (most are free lance who contract with Kuoda and i think this attracts high level guides). They helped us from start to finish as the planning piece was great and we customized the tour to exactly what we wanted. It was a good mix of adventure activities and cultural/historical activities that let us experience the country.
We did the Paracas/Ica area first (Nazca lines, dune buggies, sand boarding and Ballestas islands). We then headed to Cusco and the Sacred Valley for hiking, white water rafting, mountain climbing, Ollantaytambo, market at Pisac, alpaca farm, mountain biking, salt pans and of course Machu Picchu. We then headed back to Cusco to tour they city and finally flew back to Lima for a day in the city since most flights out are late at night (1 a.m. for us). Mery and her team at Kuoda are top notch and I highly recommend them as well as going the private tour route rather than a cattle call group. You will have some group activities like the mountain climbing/zip lines but these are through separate businesses that Kuoda arranges with however these were still pretty small groups. If Peru is on your travel list definitely look at Kuoda to manage your trip!