My father, significant other, and I traveled to Peru in late May with a package through Kuoda.
My s.o. and other do not usually use travel agencies or tours when we travel. However my Dad had heard great things about Kuoda and invited us along to join on the trip. I am so glad we did! Kuoda really personalized our trip and maximized our vacation time.
We did a Lima, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, and Cusco tour over a period of 9 days.
We had never traveled to South America before although have been to Costa Rica many times. We can get around with our beginner/intermediate Spanish. My significant other and I are in our mid-late 30s.
Honestly, it was awesome to have the Kuoda team and they made our trip exceptional. They met us at the airport for every flight and arranged transportation to and from the airport. On our initial flight from Lima to Cusco, our flight had to turn back due to weather issues and go back to Lima. Jason from the Cusco team didn’t miss a beat, realized our flight was delayed, and had already booked us on a flight later that day by the time we landed in Lima again. This saved us a lot of time and stress of worrying about re-booking and getting on a flight that day. We missed several activities that the Kuoda team made up on our later schedule so we didn’t miss anything on our itinerary.
I think there is a strong possibility we would not have made it on a flight that day if Jason hadn’t made those reservations quickly for us.
Our tour guide Edward who showed us around the Sacred Valley, Cusco, and Machu Picchu was really more like a new friend than tour guide. He is from Cusco and it felt like he was just showing us around his neighborhood and backyard as he taught us about Peruvian history, culture, architecture, and food. Kuoda set up some unforgettable experiences for us such as a private group lunch in a chef’s home, and a private visit to see how a local community of women create amazing colorful textiles from sheep wool and local plants.
We also had a great last day of travel while we were in Lima. Our flight left late at night and we elected to do a half day tour of Lima that day after some debate whether it was worth it or not. It was fabulous. We saw a museum and had a lovely lunch at a place I never would have gone to and had a personalized tour of one of the oldest homes in LIma. It really maximized our last day and added to the trip.
It was also great having Edward because we literally just walked in to every museum or Incan ruin we went to as he had already paid our admission fee for us or paid quickly so we didn’t have to worry about it. He also guided us regarding the best places to shop, to make sure we got quality items at reasonable prices. Our drivers, Jose and Daniel were also great and we felt safe with them. Most of our meals were part of the package we had paid for also, so we also didn’t need to worry about those either. The food we ate was incredible- I know I could not have found better restaurants or options.
Machu Picchu was absolutely wonderful. Kuoda was able to get us permits to climb Wayna Picchu, the “small mountain” behind Machu Picchu. Only 400 people are allowed to climb this per day and permits sell out months in advance apparently.
Our hotels were 4-5 stars and the staff were always accommodating and went over the top to make sure our experience was optimal. Breakfast was usually included at the hotel, usually a buffet and they were wonderful. Kuoda has done their homework regarding hotels in the area and landed us in some great unique places.
Kuoda took care of us from start to finish and the trip we had with them was just incredible. We felt like family with them, and that they truly cared about us and our experience. The owner, Mery, even took the time to meet us on our last day in Cusco to introduce herself, get feedback on our experience, and give us a parting gift.
I cannot recommend this company enough and strongly urge those on the fence re: a travel tour to go for it- it really made our trip easy logistically and we were able to enjoy Peru in a unique and local way from the eyes of the locals. Thank you Kuoda!!