From start to finish, working with Kuoda Travel was a dream. We have never taken an ‘organized’ tour, as I don’t travel well in groups, so Kuoda’s customized, private tours are what got my attention. With-in hours of sending an inquiry, Celine reached out and did an amazing job of putting together details that would help to structure the perfect itinerary for our once in a lifetime trip.
We had decided we wanted to go 5 stars all the way, and Kuoda did not disappoint. Having said that, they were kind to point out that they did offer other alternatives, and there were many ways we could cut costs but still receive a top quality tour. No detail was left unturned, and the personal one on one service, was unmatched by anything I have ever experienced.
We started our trip in the Scared Valley with several day trips to villages and ruins such as Ollantaytambo and Pisac. Our tour guide, Eliacin was amazing. We were with him for a total of five days, and his knowledge of the sites, cities, and customs, were unmatched. He was also able to answer many questions that we had do give us a good idea of local customs and culture. Our hotel in the Sacred Valley was the Aranwa, which was fantastic. The staff, restaurants, and spa more than met our expectations.
One of the highlights of the trip was our visit to Machu Picchu. Due to logistics we took the VistaDome train up, visited the site, and then retired to our hotel, the Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel. We were given an upgrade to a suite, complete with our own private hot tub/pool. Machu Picchu….what can I say….It was the experience of a lifetime. Again, Eliacin did not disappoint. Having spent a great deal of his childhood at the site, Eliacin knows the ins, outs, and findings that government has yet to release to the public.
Our return to Cusco was via the Hiram Bingham train, which is a throwback to yesteryear, when luxury train travel was an event. Again, we were not disappointed. In Cusco, Eliacin introduced us to the colorful central market, then on to the Temple of the Sun. Cusco is an amazing, colonial town, with cobble stone streets, and colorful locals, with welcoming friendly smiles.
From Cusco, we took the Andean Explore train down to Puno to explore Lake Titicaca, where we were met by Antonio, who was our expert guide, showing us the wonders of the lake, starting with the floating islands of the Uros. Talk about a unique and amazing culture. From there we continued to the island of Taquile. Same lake, completely different culture. I cannot have imagined doing this tour without Antonio’s expert guidance.
Our final days were spent in Lima, where Omar, showed us the highlights of the city. Again, the knowledge that Omar shared about his city, was unmatched. We also had a free day in the city, were we walked around Miraflores and Barranco, where we discovered a wonderful little cobblers shop (Zapateria), that makes great quality, one of a kind shoes, on site!
Liseth, our host and coordinator for our trip, was based in Cusco, and ‘followed’ our trip, following up every evening to make sure everything had met our expectations. I had a small illness, and Liseth and the staff were on top of everything. We also had a small issue with our TAM immigration card and passport stamps that got wet and no longer legible. Liseth and Elician arranged everything and all we had to do was sign a few papers at the immigration office.
There are not enough words to express how amazing our experience was in Peru. I am quite sure the main reason for that experience was due to the quality of service we received from Kuoda Travel. They have taken customer service to the next level!