Trip Reviews for Peru

The latest reviews by travelers who booked their trip on kimkim
Teresa

Peru in 10 days, Peru - Jun 24 - Jul 8, 2018

Traveler: Teresa W. - Local specialist: Clara Gies

Clara and her entire team were outstanding to work with. They went above and beyond expectations to insure our trip unfolded without a hitch. We had an air travel problem that left us stranded, so a team member came and picked us up, and took us to temporary lodging. Behind the scenes, Clara took care of the chain reaction from the problem, so the trip continued along smooth for us--without a wrinkle in our general enjoyment. Her team also fixed a problem that I created. It was a misread of... read more

Clara and her entire team were outstanding to work with. They went above and beyond expectations to insure our trip unfolded without a hitch. We had an air travel problem that left us stranded, so a team member came and picked us up, and took us to temporary lodging. Behind the scenes, Clara took care of the chain reaction from the problem, so the trip continued along smooth for us--without a wrinkle in our general enjoyment. Her team also fixed a problem that I created. It was a misread of the itinerary in which I had wash done that I would have not been able to pick up. Her team picked up the wash and had it ready at a hotel in time for me to avoid losing a significant amount of my clothes. Our experience with Clara as our travel agent was excellent. She picked well thought-out details that enhanced our experience. Most of all, we could count on her to be there when we needed her. Bravo Clara, and thank-you for the stellar planning of a memorable trip to Peru!

Caro

Group: lares valley trek & sacred valley touring , Peru - Jul 5 - Jul 12, 2018

Traveler: Caro H. - Local specialist: James M

I could not have asked for a more amazing experience on the Lares Trek! Our guide Daniel was phenomenal - it felt like traveling with a good friend. He was incredibly knowledgeable about the land, the history, and the people, and he kept the pace of our journey challenging yet rewarding. Our porters were lovely and our camp cook was an absolute artist. I couldn't believe the meals that were being served to us; they were easily worthy of very expensive restaurants in the US, and here he was... read more

I could not have asked for a more amazing experience on the Lares Trek! Our guide Daniel was phenomenal - it felt like traveling with a good friend. He was incredibly knowledgeable about the land, the history, and the people, and he kept the pace of our journey challenging yet rewarding. Our porters were lovely and our camp cook was an absolute artist. I couldn't believe the meals that were being served to us; they were easily worthy of very expensive restaurants in the US, and here he was cooking them up on a camp stove! The accommodations for the nights we weren't camping were also wonderful. I can't speak highly enough of Nunu Hotel in Lamay! Throughout the entire trip, Daniel made sure that we were doing things we wanted to do at the pace we wanted to do them, and he made optional itinerary change suggestions that really improved our experiences as well. I already want to go back and do another trek with this amazing crew!

James M, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Caro, I'm really pleased you enjoyed the trip I planned for yourself & Kristin. It sounds like it was an ideal way to celebrate your hen-do! Hope to see you back in Peru, best James

Ronald

Peru adventure, Peru - Jun 27 - Jul 4, 2018

Traveler: Ronald P. - Local specialist: Stephanie Guerra

Marseille in lima was great however she never showed the catacombs.

Alexandra in cusco was fantastic

Jose was a little stiff at first but got better

Ausangate trek - 5 days, Peru - Jun 21 - Jun 30, 2018

Traveler: JOhn H. - Local specialist: James M

Amazing trip to Macchu Picchu with incredible history lesson by Luis! Trek around Ausangate was spectacular! Great food and better people!

James M, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi John,
We are really happy to hear you had an spectacular trek. Thanks for sharing the pictures what a nice weather you guys had, very lucky !!! Also love to see Francisco (our horsemen) in the pictures he is the nicest person !!
Hope to see you back in SouthAmerica soon.
Mayra

Northern peru possible highlights?, Peru - Jun 20 - Jul 1, 2018

Traveler: Sally B. - Local specialist: Martina Capel

We had an excellent guide, Jhon, and driver, Dantes. They made us feel safe, gave us local insight into the regions we were traveling and taught us a lot about the history and current events of the areas. The sites were diverse and marvelous. Our favorites were Kuélap and Cumbe Mayo but the other sites we saw were not far behind, such as the Sarcophagi of Karajia or Huaca de la Luna. We had a local guide for the Museo Reales de Sipan who did a wonderful job shepherding is through the museum... read more

We had an excellent guide, Jhon, and driver, Dantes. They made us feel safe, gave us local insight into the regions we were traveling and taught us a lot about the history and current events of the areas. The sites were diverse and marvelous. Our favorites were Kuélap and Cumbe Mayo but the other sites we saw were not far behind, such as the Sarcophagi of Karajia or Huaca de la Luna. We had a local guide for the Museo Reales de Sipan who did a wonderful job shepherding is through the museum in the limited time we had. The scenery is beautiful and every meal somehow was better than the last. Phima, Jhon and Dantes went above and beyond in their advice, recommendations and assistance for the trip.

Martina Capel, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Sally and Eliza,
Thank you so much for your kind review. I am very glad that you enjoyed your trip to Northern Peru and that you liked Jhon and Dantes :)
Thank you for visiting the North and I hope you had a wonderful time in the South as well.
Warm regards,
Martina

Tarin

Colca canyon trek - 4 days, Peru - Jul 7 - Jul 9, 2018

Traveler: Tarin F. - Local specialist: Clara Gies

The tours themselves were not bad but the specialist Clara should be avoided at all costs. Slow to respond, repeatedly failed to answer questions (or gave me incorrect information), and provided misleading descriptions (ex. My 2 day "kayak trip" was about an hour alone in a kayak with a guide and no group before being dropped off to travel by motorboat the entire trip). She sent me a list of things I'd need a long time after I'd left home, 2 days before the trek, so I couldn't get any of them. Please, please do not book with Clara.

Nancy

Machu picchu/peru trip, Peru - Jun 28 - Jul 7, 2018

Traveler: Nancy H. - Local specialist: James M

Kimkim did not reply to emails. This was frustrating. James switched to Haley three weeks before the trip - we were not happy to have our specialist changed at the last minute without warning. We were disappointed in several aspects of the trip - neither James or Haley properly dealt with the following:
1. Informing us of luggage restrictions within Peru and our trip in particular
2. Informing us of the need for extra Peruvian currency in the small towns (and I asked about cash in... read more

Kimkim did not reply to emails. This was frustrating. James switched to Haley three weeks before the trip - we were not happy to have our specialist changed at the last minute without warning. We were disappointed in several aspects of the trip - neither James or Haley properly dealt with the following:
1. Informing us of luggage restrictions within Peru and our trip in particular
2. Informing us of the need for extra Peruvian currency in the small towns (and I asked about cash in advance)
3. Asking for and providing our seating preferences on domestic flights (no one wants a middle seat)
4. Informing us of the schedule/activities available at our resorts so that reservations could be made in advance to include limited enrollment tours and activities
5. The Inca Trail from the 104km point to Machu Picchu. This trail is very difficult - I was completely under-informed about the rigors of this hike (and I called and asked about it). James/Haley should understand their client base and plan accordingly -

Bottom line, I paid Kimkim/Quechua Treks a large sum of money and neither company met expectations.

James M, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Nancy, I think we covered most of the points of your review, much of it was down to your failure to refer to much of the documentation and information provided over an extensive and lengthy trip planning process. It's a shame you felt it necessary to leave your review, but we're pleased to hear the set-up of the operation and overall trip planning execution went as expected. Best James

Bob

Machu picchu/peru trip, Peru - Jun 28 - Jul 7, 2018

Traveler: Bob H. - Local specialist: James M

Rolfi (Guide) was exceptional. His knowledge of the places we visited and his personality made for a memorable experience. He is easygoing, has a great sense of humor and was extremely flexible when we needed/wanted to make adjustments to the schedule. He was our guide when we arrived July 1st and our friend when we left July 7th.

Juan Carlos (driver) also took great care to make sure we got everywhere safely and even though his english is limited, we were able to have some good... read more

Rolfi (Guide) was exceptional. His knowledge of the places we visited and his personality made for a memorable experience. He is easygoing, has a great sense of humor and was extremely flexible when we needed/wanted to make adjustments to the schedule. He was our guide when we arrived July 1st and our friend when we left July 7th.

Juan Carlos (driver) also took great care to make sure we got everywhere safely and even though his english is limited, we were able to have some good laughs.

Of course, we enjoyed the major sites/cities Rolfi took us to: Machu Picchu, Cusco, Ollantaytambo, etc. What we enjoyed most with Rolfi was when he took us off the "traditional tourist path" to local food and goods markets, restaurants, street food vendors, etc.

I would recommend anyone traveling to Peru to make sure Rolfi is their guide!

Where we do have issue is with the Kimkim - Quechua Treks relationship. We feel there are some areas where the trip could be enhanced - some of the little things that separate the good tour companies from the great tour companies. We paid Kimkim to connect us with a tour company and expected that company to be thorough in communicating all options, opportunities, etc. Naturally, these are issues specific to us and our travel experiences but I am certain many would have similar comments, namely:

1. When arranging the intra-country flights and train schedules, you should ask if travelers have a seating preference. On all internal flights, one of the seats was always a middle seat - very uncomfortable. You should have asked our seat preferences

2. Additional with number 1 above, you should advise price difference for various travel classes. Most people would not be opposed to a minimal upcharge for an upgraded, more comfortable class of travel

3. For meals that were included (we had 2 lunches at restaurants with Rolfi), we understand that alcoholic drinks are extra. However, you could include in the package pricing non-alcoholic drinks. It is one of those "little things" - if you charged me $5 - $10 more a day when we had a restaurant included meal and we could get water, tea, coffee, soda and not have to pay out of pocket, just makes sense. For the amount we paid for the trip, another $10 - $20 would not have been the difference between going and not going

4. With hotels you recommend, you should include an activity sheet for that property. We would have liked to know in advance all the available excursions @ Inketerra Pueblo Machu Picchu and Inketerra Amazonica, especially about the bear project excursion or at the Inketerra Pueblo. We missed out on a couple things we would have included. Knowing in advance helps planning for stays at the properties.

5. You should provide more specifics about baggage limitations for certain internal flights and limitations (train) for going from Ollantaytambo to Machu Picchu. Had we both done the hike from 104KM, there was no arrangement for bags to get to the hotel

6. We were advised we did not need much local currency almost everything was included. There were many places that took neither US dollars or credit cards so you need to review how you communicate the issue of cash needs.

Hoping these suggestions are helpful in improving your communications with future travelers. Overall, it was a fabulous experience. Rolfi is a tremendous asset to the company!

Please feel free to email or call if you would like to discuss any of these points further.

James M, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Bob, thanks for your review, we're glad you enjoyed the tour we put together. The rest of your review is largely inaccurate as all the information was supplied in a very long & extensive trip planning conversation. Hope to see you back in Peru, best James

Vinita

Peru in 10 days, Peru - Jun 24 - Jul 8, 2018

Traveler: Vinita N. - Local specialist: Clara Gies

Fantastic travel planning by Clara and her team on our 15-day trip to Peru. They went above and beyond by helping us rearrange and rebook our schedule when our flight from Cuzco to Puerto Moldonado was cancelled because of weather conditions. They even helped up pick up our laundry and have it delivered to our hotel! I can't say enough good things about them. They helped make our trip to Peru amazing in every way.
We highly recommend them.

Lima, Peru - Jun 30 - Jul 3, 2018

Traveler: Dilia G. - Local specialist: Clara Gies

Clara planned a perfect getaway for the few days that we were there. A sightseeing excursion that included lunch and a Pisco sour tasting, a bike ride through the city and then a ride to an ancient ruins sight. It was perfect for our time there.

Peru 2018 vacation, Peru - Jun 15 - Jun 26, 2018

Traveler: Leanne C. - Local specialist: Steve Wilson

We were in great hands with our guides Aldo (Sacred Valley) and Yuri (Jungle)! We enjoyed their knowledge of the history, animals as well as what was likely to change given current environmental threats. Since our teenage boys moved quite a bit faster than their parents, they spent a lot of time ahead with the guides on some hikes. The notorious hard-to-please teens were also thrilled with this trip. They really enjoyed the mountain biking and the bits of knowledge they gained along the way in both parts of the trip. We'll be back to Peru!

Steve Wilson, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hola Leanne,
Thank you for writing a review - I'm delighted that your whole family had a ball in Peru with Aldo and Yuri. Designing and running trips that fit for both parents and teens is a fine art and I'm glad we've succeeded - when the teens are thrilled that tells me we did a great job - yay!
Drop us a line when you're keen to explore Peru again, we'd love to help you explore another region of this wonderful country!
Kind regards, Steve, Aspiring Adventures

Peru 2018 vacation, Peru - Jun 15 - Jun 26, 2018

Traveler: Jeff C. - Local specialist: Steve Wilson

Our guides, Aldo and Yuri, were absolutely awesome. They were both very focused on giving us a good experience and sharing the best of their country with us. All of the food we had on the trip was either very good or excellent. Peruvians definitely care about the quality of their food. Yum!

The one area for improvement would have been a little better information on appropriate clothing and expected whether. Our packing list suggested 3 pair of shorts and 2 pair of long pants. We never wore... read more

Our guides, Aldo and Yuri, were absolutely awesome. They were both very focused on giving us a good experience and sharing the best of their country with us. All of the food we had on the trip was either very good or excellent. Peruvians definitely care about the quality of their food. Yum!

The one area for improvement would have been a little better information on appropriate clothing and expected whether. Our packing list suggested 3 pair of shorts and 2 pair of long pants. We never wore shorts in the Sacred Valley and even though it was warm enough in the jungle for shorts, we chose long pants much of the time because of the bugs. So, we definitely would have been better prepared with more long pants and less shorts.

Steve Wilson, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hola Jeff,
How fabulous that you enjoyed experiencing Peru with Aldo and Yuri! We take great care in designing the various meal options on each trip so I'm delighted that you loved the Peruvian cuisine - yum alright!
Thank you for your feedback about the packing list, it's super important to me that we get the small details like that correct. I agree with you that pants are the best option when in the jungle. I've taken a look at the list we created for your trip, and it actually says: "2... read more

Hola Jeff,
How fabulous that you enjoyed experiencing Peru with Aldo and Yuri! We take great care in designing the various meal options on each trip so I'm delighted that you loved the Peruvian cuisine - yum alright!
Thank you for your feedback about the packing list, it's super important to me that we get the small details like that correct. I agree with you that pants are the best option when in the jungle. I've taken a look at the list we created for your trip, and it actually says: "2 trousers, 2 shorts", which sounds about right to me for the length of your trip. Perhaps it was a bit cooler that normal while you were in the Cusco/Sacred Valley area? For future similar trips I think we'll keep the recommendations at 2 pairs of shorts but increase the number of pants to 3. Zip-off pants are a great option to cover all bases too, so we might specify them to help save weight.
Anyway, thanks again, I appreciate the comments!
Kind regards, Steve, Aspiring Adventures

Sacred valley & lares valley trek - 6 days, Peru - Jun 9 - Jun 14, 2018

Traveler: Sean K. - Local specialist: James M

I highly recommend using this site to plan your trip. It saves a lot of headache and hassle and definitely worth the extra free for some piece of mind. They picked really authentic places that were very high quality, but not crowded by typical tourists. The Lares Trek + Machu Picchu plan was a very good combination for us since it provided a nice challenge through the trek and an amazing experience with the historic world wonder. If you are hesitating, look no further for an easy to use method of booking your next trip.

James M, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Sean, we are glad you enjoy your trip and that you found it easy to plan your trip with us and KimKim. It was our pleasure to help you.
You can always try KimKim for your next Adventure!!!
Mayra

Group departure - salkantay trek to machu picchu - 5 days, Peru - May 30 - Jun 6, 2018

Traveler: Marianne H. - Local specialist: Steve Wilson

Aldo, our local guide, was a wonderful, knowledgeable leader and kept the many pieces of our trip in order while also making sure we were all safe and comfortable and that we learned about Peruvian history, culture and natural resources. I cannot speak highly enough of his skills and what a special person he is.
Our chef, Jonah and his assistant Eduardo, also made this trip memorable. The food that they provided for us could have been served at any top-rated restaurant in the world. This was... read more

Aldo, our local guide, was a wonderful, knowledgeable leader and kept the many pieces of our trip in order while also making sure we were all safe and comfortable and that we learned about Peruvian history, culture and natural resources. I cannot speak highly enough of his skills and what a special person he is.
Our chef, Jonah and his assistant Eduardo, also made this trip memorable. The food that they provided for us could have been served at any top-rated restaurant in the world. This was such a delightful and unexpected part of the trip - and they managed to do this three times a day using a kitchen that had to be transported by horseback!
The hiking was strenuous, especially the uphill portions climbing to over 15,000 feet. It challenged all of us on the trip but with Aldo’s help and support from each one of the six people in our tour family, we all conquered the difficulties and were exhilarated by the adventure.

Steve Wilson, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Marianne

Yep, Aldo, Yohan and Eduardo are incredible... by sheer goodwill they turn what could be a difficult experience into an unforgettable adventure - exhilarating for you, and for us too, to receive a series of reviews like yours for what was clearly a very special trip!
Thanks so much for your review - we hope to see you again someday!
PS - Thanks for the photos you posted here - there are some real beauties!

Group departure - salkantay trek to machu picchu - 5 days, Peru - Jun 1 - Jun 5, 2018

Traveler: Kyong C. - Local specialist: Katy Shorthouse

This was a great trip from start to finish. Aldo, the guide, was a pure delight to spend 4 nights and 5 days with. He covered every detail and more; bring hot water bottles to each of us as we were sleeping at 14,000 feet in the Andes to stay warm, bringing coffee or tea to each of us before we got out of bed. The highlights for us were to reach the summit of the Salkantay trail at 15,200 feet, the coffee plantation where we picked the coffee beans, roasted, ground and made coffee and... read more

This was a great trip from start to finish. Aldo, the guide, was a pure delight to spend 4 nights and 5 days with. He covered every detail and more; bring hot water bottles to each of us as we were sleeping at 14,000 feet in the Andes to stay warm, bringing coffee or tea to each of us before we got out of bed. The highlights for us were to reach the summit of the Salkantay trail at 15,200 feet, the coffee plantation where we picked the coffee beans, roasted, ground and made coffee and camping by the mineral hot springs, soaking our tired bodies. The food was gourmet dining, the two cooks were splendid. Manchu Picchu was a day to remember with Aldo providing a tour. I would recommend this trip to anyone, I still have that vacation glow!!!!!

Katy Shorthouse, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Kyong
I'm so glad the Salkantay trek lived up to your dreams and you're still glowing from the experience!
Aldo told me the coffee was a highlight... he really enjoyed this trip with your group!
You've been such a pleasure - all the best to you and Mike!
Cheers
Katy

Lares trek + 2d inca trail, Peru - May 16 - May 19, 2018

Traveler: Chris L. - Local specialist: Kristy Tizon

My entire trip to Peru was incredible thanks to the help of Kristy and the rest of the Miski Travels team.

Kristy is an incredibly organized and smart professional. Her deep relationships with the local vendors in the area is an immediate value-add for her clients. In addition, her english/spanish translation is invaluable for english-speaking travelers. She was able to organize everything from travel, entertainment and restaurants to trips outside of Lima such as the famous Manchu Picchu... read more

My entire trip to Peru was incredible thanks to the help of Kristy and the rest of the Miski Travels team.

Kristy is an incredibly organized and smart professional. Her deep relationships with the local vendors in the area is an immediate value-add for her clients. In addition, her english/spanish translation is invaluable for english-speaking travelers. She was able to organize everything from travel, entertainment and restaurants to trips outside of Lima such as the famous Manchu Picchu tour and Paracas.

I highly recommend those traveling to Peru to leverage the expertise of Kristy and the Miski Travel team. Their high-touch service is worth every penny.

Kristy Tizon, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Chris! Thanks so much for booking your trip with us and for your kind words. We are so glad you had a wonderful time in Peru and hope you left with some great memories. We hope you come back to visit again! :)

Christine

Group departure - salkantay trek to machu picchu - 5 days, Peru - May 30 - Jun 6, 2018

Traveler: Christine J. - Local specialist: Steve Wilson

I truly cannot say enough good things about this trip and the people involved in the experience. Before the trip, we coordinated with Steve and Katy and our questions were answered and last minute additions handled promptly and easily. I definitely recommend reading all of the information sent carefully and sticking to the packing recommendations. If you are a high information person, definitely call to get the scoop on when meals are, when you are stopping, etc, if you like that kind of... read more

I truly cannot say enough good things about this trip and the people involved in the experience. Before the trip, we coordinated with Steve and Katy and our questions were answered and last minute additions handled promptly and easily. I definitely recommend reading all of the information sent carefully and sticking to the packing recommendations. If you are a high information person, definitely call to get the scoop on when meals are, when you are stopping, etc, if you like that kind of detail.

The trek itself was incredible. We had the amazing Aldo as our guide and he is such an incredible guide and person. He answered our endless questions, had solutions for any issues that came up (altitude sickness, cold temps, fatigue, etc) and kept an endlessly positive attitude throughout. Our chefs, Johan and Eduardo could not have been nicer or more helpful, and the food was beyond expectations. I kept saying that they need to write a cookbook to sell! And they worked with my food allergies too, so I knew I was in good hands. We even had two horsemen who managed the pack horses, the luggage, and the emergency horse for the times when altitude, fatigue, and body injuries were a little too much. Having them there was great peace of mind. Everyone worked so hard and with smiles on their faces and jokes for all.

The trek is certainly challenging physically, especially with the altitude, so I recommend altitude sickness pills ahead of time, a few days in Cusco to acclimate, LOTS of water, and training! It also got to negative temps on the first night beneath the Salkantay mountain (holy gorgeous stars - we saw the Southern Cross!!!) and recommend warm clothing and even hand and toe warmers since they are easy to pack. Our wonderful team had hot water bottles for us for that night which made such a difference! Having a small day pack for rain gear, gloves, snacks (which were often provided) is very helpful as you are not with your bags generally during the day. I had a fanny pack and ended up putting most of my stuff in my mom's day pack. Renting the sleeping bags and mats was also nice since we didn't have to lug those around the airport. It is hard to imagine carrying all of my belongings on my back, so renting a mule was well worth it!

We kept joking that we would almost forget that the end of the trek was Machu Picchu, because honestly if we hadn't done that piece, it still would have been a memorable trip. It was certainly the icing on the cake!

The journey of the trek itself - from the Humantay Lake hike in the beginning to get our "sea legs", to summiting at 15,500 ft, to descending through plantations and jungles and small villages, to eating wild fruit (strawberries, passion fruit, limes) along the way, to the Cocalmayo hot springs, to the coffee plantation, to Machu Picchu (and Wayna Picchu if you are up for an extra 45 min steep ascent that is beautiful!), everything exceeded expectations, especially for the price. Aldo and his team at Aspiring Adventures truly made it easy to enjoy every moment and treated us to a luxurious camping experience. My mother and I carry with us memories of a lifetime and we will never forget it. Thank you to all, especially Aldo, from the bottom of our grateful hearts!

Steve Wilson, local specialist, responded to this review:

Christine - wow, thank you! Detailed reviews like these are so helpful for other travellers thinking of taking a trip, and so awesome for us to read! Knowing you experienced and appreciated little touches like hot water bottles and detailed gear lists, makes all the hard work we put in behind the scenes worthwhile! We try hard to exceed expectations and it means the world to us to know we succeeded. Thank you!

Kristen

Trip to peru, Peru - May 5 - May 23, 2018

Traveler: Kristen K. - Local specialist: James M

This my second trip as a solo female traveler using kimkim (last year was Nepal) and I have been astounded both times. I will definitely keep using their services for my big trips. I spent 99% of my time in the Sacred Valley - and the trip offered an amazing look into the culture, history and nature of the area.

First, James and I ironed out the basics... what is my general itinerary and where do I want to stay. He was great at making modifications and giving me a series of possible... read more

This my second trip as a solo female traveler using kimkim (last year was Nepal) and I have been astounded both times. I will definitely keep using their services for my big trips. I spent 99% of my time in the Sacred Valley - and the trip offered an amazing look into the culture, history and nature of the area.

First, James and I ironed out the basics... what is my general itinerary and where do I want to stay. He was great at making modifications and giving me a series of possible options throughout the country. Although I originally chose Peru to do a spiritual retreat, James was able to make sure everything around that experience made me comfortable - as well as confirmed with locals that the retreat I had chosen was reputable.

The number one resource they had for me was Rolfi, my guide that did everything from meeting me at the airport with Mario (another amazing human who drove us all around the valley). He made my travels unforgettable. It wasn't just his understanding of the Valley, but his passion for the history. My questions were his fuel and he made me feel always welcome. He even taught me a bit of Spanish which I worked on throughout the trip. I am forever grateful to Rolfi.

We built in the 3 day Lores Trek which blew me away - the views, Rolfi's love of local plants and flowers, the beautiful happy staff of cooks and muleteers... while not easy I was emotional many times overcome by the beauty. At summit, nearly 16,000 feet... I was exhausted, elated and overwhelmed by the experience. Although a shorter trek, I still recommend training for this - especially with lung capacity, balance and leg strength. I absolutely recommend doing it - not touristy at all, so it becomes a very intimate time with you, your thoughts and nature (I believe we crossed the path of another group only twice the entire trek).

Another thing to mention, as a solo female traveler, I was blown away at Quechua Treks desire to check in on me and make sure I was happy. At one point, I found myself feeling alone in a location they put me in. I was embarrassed to admit my discomfort (wanting to be strong and independent), but James, Rolfi and Mayra jumped on helping me change my itinerary and actually put me back in a place I LOVED called Nunus. If you can fit Nunus into your budget... you MUST go there - it's family-owned boutique casitas tucked in the base of the valley in Lamay. It's easy to go to the other local towns like Pisac (only one sole). I spent many hours relaxing there in the sun, reading in a hammock and taking in the fresh Andes air.

What else? There were so many things like going to Machu Picchu, Ollantaytambo, rock climbing, day hikes, town visits, celebrations... its a beautiful colorful culture with a love for music, dancing and color. I'm glad I stayed the entire time in that region. And it gives me incentive to come back to explore Lima, the Jungle and more of Cusco. Tell James or your guide what types of things interest you because the options are limitless in Peru.

Also, packing... I know you'll read it elsewhere. I packed light and purchased clothes (and two souvenir duffle bags) at the local markets, mainly in Pisac. Just know that you'll need everything from shorts to thermals. So, you should definitely bring camping items and clothing - because they aren't available in the Valley (outside the city of Cusco), and use the local markets to buy their colorful pants, tops and ponchos. If you like shopping, ask Rolfi about Chinchero - he showed me quite the find there where the ladies taught me about how they make their textiles and then I went crazy snatching up things for my friends and family back home.

You can find photos of my experience on IG @kknape

James M, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Kristen, thanks for your kind words. It was a lot of fun planning your trip, you're the kind of traveler that's a lot of fun to work with. Glad we got a chance to meet in the Valley when you were with Rolfi. Some of the pictures you took really capture the spirit of the valley. Come back again! Best James

Salkantay trek to machu picchu - 5 days, Peru - May 31 - Jun 5, 2018

Traveler: Alexie L. - Local specialist: Steve Wilson

Aldo was an amazing guide who went above and beyond all expectations!

Steve Wilson, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thanks for your review Alexie. Yep, Aldo is amazing, isn't he! We know we're lucky to have him!

Salkantay trek to machu picchu - 5 days, Peru - May 19 - May 25, 2018

Traveler: Jamie R. - Local specialist: Nicole and Bill Koch

We hiked the 5-day Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu in mid-May, 2018. Our guide, Ruben, was really wonderful - very friendly, enthusiastic, and kind, good English, a font of information about local cultures and the natural world, and just great company. Nicole was patient, helpful, and responsive in the trip selection and preparation. The trek itself was really beautiful and rewarding - it turned out to be a great choice and we're really glad we did it. We LOVED the small-group format (max. 5... read more

We hiked the 5-day Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu in mid-May, 2018. Our guide, Ruben, was really wonderful - very friendly, enthusiastic, and kind, good English, a font of information about local cultures and the natural world, and just great company. Nicole was patient, helpful, and responsive in the trip selection and preparation. The trek itself was really beautiful and rewarding - it turned out to be a great choice and we're really glad we did it. We LOVED the small-group format (max. 5 people) - and ended up being the only ones on the trip so Ruben was our private guide! We were very appreciate of having warm beds to sleep in (in modest lodging) because it got REALLY cold at night, below freezing at the highest elevation (bring many layers!!!). The food was quite yummy, sufficient, and we appreciated the local flavors. And in case you're wondering, the trip is a great value - you definitely get your money's worth!

A few caveats: we are in our 50's/60's and in good shape (we hike/work out regularly but are not "hard core fitness buffs". This hike was the hardest physical endeavor we've done - thank goodness we had beautiful, sunny, dry weather! We heard tales of misery about doing the hike in the rain (very muddy and slippery trails) and overcast skies - so I'd advise avoiding this trip during the rainy season November - April. There are a lot of loose rocks in many sections of the trail (though few steps, which we were thankful for) and several steep inclines/descents so hiking poles are a must! We had originally thought of also doing a bike trip, but are REALLY glad we decided not to, because we were worn out after the trek (diarrhea/sore bodies happen!) - we opted for cultural/historical tours through another great outfit, Unique Peru Tours. Oh, and make SURE you acclimate to the high altitude for at least 3 days before you attempt the hike, no matter how young and fit you are!

Thank you, Nicole and Ruben, for making this a wonderful, memorable trip!

Nicole and Bill Koch, local specialist, responded to this review:

Jamie thanks for the review! Your pictures are amazing and it looks like you had the trip of a lifetime! Please keep in touch and I will be sure to send you pictures of the kids I give the school supplies away to. Thank you for that thoughtful gift for the children of Peru!

connor

An experience to remember forever, Peru - May 17 - May 20, 2018

Traveler: connor m. - Local specialist: James L. Mackender

so this wasn’t just you’re average planned trip, I was in a bind from a last minute trip because i had broken up with my ex girlfriend, flights were paid for. looking online i discovered kimkim, so i thought i’d give it a shot. I was referred to james on kimkim, was the best trip planner i could ask for, he was very accomadating to my needs, even helped me out when i got to cusco for my shortened trek, trip to machu picchu, day tour to salt mines, moray and sacred valley! His team are very... read more

so this wasn’t just you’re average planned trip, I was in a bind from a last minute trip because i had broken up with my ex girlfriend, flights were paid for. looking online i discovered kimkim, so i thought i’d give it a shot. I was referred to james on kimkim, was the best trip planner i could ask for, he was very accomadating to my needs, even helped me out when i got to cusco for my shortened trek, trip to machu picchu, day tour to salt mines, moray and sacred valley! His team are very professional and handle everyone to their needs and wants in treks and tours around peru! also had met james personally as i was travelling alone, he’s a great planner as well now a great friend! i plan on returning soon and meeting up again with james!

James L. Mackender, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Connor, thanks for your comments. Was awesome having you here, and becoming friends. I'd love to see you back another year and hopefully we can plan some longer trekking routes together and get some surfing in! Keep in touch mate, best James

Peru - backpack inca trail to machu pichu, Peru - May 14 - May 25, 2018

Traveler: David E. - Local specialist: James M

The trip was just spectacular !!!! Since day 1, everyone was just amazing. Incredible knowledge from the guides in the Amazon and in Peru. We had as our guides Juan Carlos with Rainforest Expeditions in the Amazon and Mayra from Quechua Treks on the Inca Trail. Both guides were really fantastic and were essential in making our trip so great. KimKim took really good care of us, always communicated promptly, and connected us with some amazing locals. They were able to help us plan our trip with... read more

The trip was just spectacular !!!! Since day 1, everyone was just amazing. Incredible knowledge from the guides in the Amazon and in Peru. We had as our guides Juan Carlos with Rainforest Expeditions in the Amazon and Mayra from Quechua Treks on the Inca Trail. Both guides were really fantastic and were essential in making our trip so great. KimKim took really good care of us, always communicated promptly, and connected us with some amazing locals. They were able to help us plan our trip with everything we wanted and they made our trip extremely enjoyable. We were very impressed and will definitely use KimKim again in the future.

James M, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi David, thanks for your review, and taking time to mention the guides, they're a big part of the trip.
It was a pleasure helping you plan your trip, keep in touch, best James

Trip to peru, Peru - May 8 - May 21, 2018

Traveler: Christine B. - Local specialist: Kristy Tizon

Christy did a super good job accommodating all my special requests and last minute changes. We were supposed to fly into Lima but a delayed United flight caused us to miss our connection in Houston. I found a flight into Quito that put us there two days earlier than we planned to visit this city. Christy quickly fixed things, had a pick-up waiting for us at that new airport and had a hotel room waiting for us. Another memorable person was David who took us on an all-day food tour in Lima. He... read more

Christy did a super good job accommodating all my special requests and last minute changes. We were supposed to fly into Lima but a delayed United flight caused us to miss our connection in Houston. I found a flight into Quito that put us there two days earlier than we planned to visit this city. Christy quickly fixed things, had a pick-up waiting for us at that new airport and had a hotel room waiting for us. Another memorable person was David who took us on an all-day food tour in Lima. He has a great fun loving personality for a tour guide. He will teach you how to make a Pisco Sour and Ceviche, tour a market and have lunch with a great view of the ocean. Other tour guides in Equador and Peru seemed to want to tell us lots of details about each city, suburbs, and counties. Things like population and square meters. I'm not sure maybe they need to know such information to pass their Tour Guide Exam. We finally mentioned to one that we were more interested in learning about the culture, history, flora, and fauna. The tour got a little more interesting at that point.

Kristy Tizon, local specialist, responded to this review:

It was a pleasure meeting with you Christine! Thank you for traveling with us. Hope you left with wonderful memories of Peru and that we will see you back soon! :)

Birding tour and machu picchu, Peru - May 8 - May 19, 2018

Traveler: Constance M. - Local specialist: Katy Shorthouse

We were 7 members of one family , all over 55, who wished to go on a birding adventure in Peru. Katy Shorthouse of Aspiring Adventures listened carefully to our requests . She did an amazing job of meeting our needs and desires so in the end we had an exceptional trip. Our guides Nestor and Luis were wonderful, the food provided by chef Alex was fantastic, the accomodations were comfortable and the tour ran like clockwork. Katy provided personalised service at every stage of our trip. Both... read more

We were 7 members of one family , all over 55, who wished to go on a birding adventure in Peru. Katy Shorthouse of Aspiring Adventures listened carefully to our requests . She did an amazing job of meeting our needs and desires so in the end we had an exceptional trip. Our guides Nestor and Luis were wonderful, the food provided by chef Alex was fantastic, the accomodations were comfortable and the tour ran like clockwork. Katy provided personalised service at every stage of our trip. Both Manu National Park and Machu Picchu blew our minds.The Inca heritage in Cuzco was fascinating. If you are considering a guided tour to Peru, Aspiring Adventures will surpass your expectations.

Katy Shorthouse, local specialist, responded to this review:

Connie, it's a pleasure to work with appreciative people like you and your family! As you saw we love to work closely with our guests to develop an itinerary that's perfect for them, and all the hard work is more than worthwhile when we receive such lovely feedback. Come again any time!

Best treks to machu picchu, Peru - May 8 - May 16, 2018

Traveler: Natalie G. - Local specialist: Nicole and Bill Koch

We had already booked our flights to Peru, so we had very specific dates to plan our trip to Machu Picchu around. Nicole asked us what we wanted to do and worked around our dates to create a great itinerary. Each day of our trip was planned out for us, including accommodations and most meals. We were able to see Machu Picchu and even got to hike to the top of Huayna Picchu!

Nicole made sure that all of our last minute needs were met and even gave us recommendations for our time in Lima after our tour with KimKim.

Nicole and Bill Koch, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thanks for the review Natalie. It was a pleasure finally meeting you! Take care and safe travels!

sydney

Choquequirao trek to machu picchu - 7 days, Peru - May 8 - May 16, 2018

Traveler: sydney g. - Local specialist: Nicole and Bill Koch

They were extremely helpful when any traveling issues arose such as forgetting my passport or extending my stay in ollantaytambo and our guide was very knowledgeable about the Incan civilization and was able to tell us all about the places we were hiking through. The only thing I would have wished was different was that we could have spent more time touring macho picchu with the guide before getting to hike up the mountains.

Nicole and Bill Koch, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Sydney, thanks for the review! It was wonderful hosting you and helping plan your trip. As for Machu Picchu, the new timetables for the site make if difficult to fit everything in, I totally understand. Safe travels and thanks again!

Angela

Ausangate trek, Peru - May 4 - May 7, 2018

Traveler: Angela I. - Local specialist: Fiama Alarcón

We had an amazing trip to Peru thanks to Fiama and Andean Lodges! We did a 4-day trek through the Ausangate Region with guides Luis and Bruno who were very knowledgeable about the local area and culture and made sure we were well taken care of. The lodges were comfortable and clean and the staff were very accommodating. If you're looking for something off the beaten path, a trek in the Ausangate region with Andean Lodges is it! Thank you!

Fiama Alarcón, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thank you for your comments. If you love the mountains and are looking for a place that can connect you with nature and local culture, Ausangate is the best alternative. And the comfort of our lodges is the perfect complement to this unforgettable experience. We are glad that you enjoyed your trip with us, hope to see you again soon.

Angela

Active & cultural trip to peru, Peru - Apr 29 - May 8, 2018

Traveler: Angela I. - Local specialist: James M

Quechua Treks did not disappoint! James, Mayra and Zac did an amazing job organizing our trip! This truly was a customized trip and they made it happen for us without any issues along the way. Accommodation, food, staff...all fantastic! Rolfi and Felix were our guides and both made our trip that much better! Everybody at Quechua Treks went above and beyond and made our trip that much more memorable. Thank you!

James M, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Angela, was a pleasure to have you both yourself & Alex with us, hope to see you again another year!
Please keep in touch, best regards, James

Deborah

Deborah's trip to the amazon, Peru - Apr 14 - Apr 16, 2018

Traveler: Deborah H. - Local specialist: James L. Mackender

I'm a traveler success manager at kimkim, and I booked part of my recent trip to Peru with James at Unu Raymi.

I had been itching to check out the Amazon rainforest, but knew that I wouldn't have a lot of time to explore during my recent trip to South America. James helped me plan a great 3-day trip to Huitoto Lodge; a beautiful, family-owned, remote lodge in the Tambopata region of the Peruvian Amazon.

Huitoto Lodge is situated on the bank of its very own oxbow lake, slightly removed... read more

I'm a traveler success manager at kimkim, and I booked part of my recent trip to Peru with James at Unu Raymi.

I had been itching to check out the Amazon rainforest, but knew that I wouldn't have a lot of time to explore during my recent trip to South America. James helped me plan a great 3-day trip to Huitoto Lodge; a beautiful, family-owned, remote lodge in the Tambopata region of the Peruvian Amazon.

Huitoto Lodge is situated on the bank of its very own oxbow lake, slightly removed from the powerful Madre de Dios river. This location affords the lodge a great amount of privacy, peace, and access to pristine jungle areas.

Each day, I had the opportunity to participate in different excursions with my guide, Efrain, including jungle walks, birding, fishing, and caiman-watching. In the downtime between activities, I enjoyed reading and relaxing in the peace and quiet of the lodge.

During my stay, I also had the pleasure of meeting the owners of the lodge, Flor and Gilberto. The two built the lodge together to share the beauty of the region with travelers, and to protect the land and its inhabitants in perpetuity. They take pride in providing great experiences for all of their guests. I should mention, Flor also helps out in the kitchen and is an excellent cook.

My favorite memory from my stay is of the boat trip I took around the island located in the middle of the oxbow lake. Efrain, Elmer (the boat driver), and I had the lake all to ourselves, so we had the opportunity to see an incredible amount of flora and fauna without interruption. On our way around the island, Efrain pointed out one spider monkey and two howler monkeys. He said that Flor and Gilberto had rescued these monkeys from illegal trafficking, and had given them a home on this island where they could remain free, but also protected from territorial monkeys in the mainland jungle areas. I loved seeing these monkeys playing in the wild!

I feel very fortunate that I had the opportunity to experience this unique lodge, and meet some of the passionate people behind its success.

James L. Mackender, local specialist, responded to this review:

Many thanks for your review of the lodge Deborah, it was great to be able to organise this trip for you. It's a great lodge in the Tambopata & I'm really pleased that Flor & Gilberto were able to host you also. There are a few routes we can do in the jungle that incorporate Huitoto Lake Lodge & it's a secluded place that offers a unique experience of the Amazon Jungle that we like to include as part of our trips. We'd love to show you more next time you're down this way! best regards, James

Salkantay trek to machu picchu - 5 days, Peru - Apr 9 - Apr 13, 2018

Traveler: catherine S. - Local specialist: Nicole and Bill Koch

My husband and I have travelled much of the world and we would put this as one of our top trips. The country was beautiful, the people were amazing.
Nicole helped arrange everything for us and it was a perfect combination of trekking and learning about the local people and their cultures.
Our guide Ruben was fantastic!! He catered to us and went above and beyond to help us and to make our experience as memorable as possible. As an experienced guide, we slowed him down but he waited... read more

My husband and I have travelled much of the world and we would put this as one of our top trips. The country was beautiful, the people were amazing.
Nicole helped arrange everything for us and it was a perfect combination of trekking and learning about the local people and their cultures.
Our guide Ruben was fantastic!! He catered to us and went above and beyond to help us and to make our experience as memorable as possible. As an experienced guide, we slowed him down but he waited patiently for us with a smile! All of the people we met along the way seemed very comfortable with Ruben and were very welcoming to us.
When we left Toronto to head to Peru both of us were a bit scared as to what was ahead of us for a trek, but we made it and Ruben helped us every step of the way.

I have suggested to my friends and family to do the same trek, it is a trip we will always remember and cherish.
thanks to Nicole and Ruben!!

Salkantay trek to machu picchu, Peru - Apr 9 - Apr 13, 2018

Traveler: John M. - Local specialist: James M

I and my wife joined my sister and her fiance on a visit to Peru 4/2018.

From the start, James at KimKim was always available to answers questions and helped us get set up with the travel plan and trek we wanted. He was in touch with us from beginning via phone even to make sure we were able to coordinate with Quechua Treks for what was needed: from contacts, to prices, to dietary restrictions! Thanks so much, James!

On the night before our trek, our guide Rolfi met with us to provide our... read more

I and my wife joined my sister and her fiance on a visit to Peru 4/2018.

From the start, James at KimKim was always available to answers questions and helped us get set up with the travel plan and trek we wanted. He was in touch with us from beginning via phone even to make sure we were able to coordinate with Quechua Treks for what was needed: from contacts, to prices, to dietary restrictions! Thanks so much, James!

On the night before our trek, our guide Rolfi met with us to provide our briefing for the trip. We immediately felt at ease with him and with the entire crew, whom we were introduced to the next morning (muleteers/porters/tent men Americo and Huaman, chef Edgar, assistant cook Donato, and Ronaldino our driver). The men were all very professional but down to earth. We all came to enjoy each other's company quickly and since my wife speaks fluent Spanish, there were no problems there. However, our guide, Rolfi, was fluent in English as well, and there were no communication barriers whatsoever. We were such a small group that everyone had a blast.

The food prepared by our chefs, Edgar and assistant Donato, was out of this world, fresh, filling, healthy, and so good; there were hot drinks, fresh fruits, jams, vegetables, quinoa, bean bread, an abundance of tasty gluten free foods and snacks due to dietary restrictions, salads, potatoes of course, chicken, hearty soups, stir-fry’s, desserts, even a cupcake for my birthday made last minute; we agreed that we enjoyed our meals on the trek much more than the delicious food we tried later in Lima, said to be THE food capital. We got hot water and tea in the morning! Being used to “roughing it” on camping and backpacking trips, when I saw pictures of how our meals would be served at tables with nice table cloth, napkins, utensils, and camping chairs in a tent I thought we were going to be over-pampered but wow was I grateful for the comfort of a space like that after a long day’s trek. Edgar and Donato were with us during days 1-3 of our trek.

Ronaldino was a skilled driver, negotiating rough and narrow roads expertly, getting us to our starting point and meeting us later at different points of our adventure on day 3 and at the end on our last day to get us back to Cusco from the train. We thoroughly enjoyed our time with him and loved getting to know him a little! A very sweet guy!

Americo and Huaman were our muleteers and the entire crew helped quickly and efficiently set up and break down our camps. We typically started ahead of them on our treks while they finished packing up the horses and mules but before we knew it, they were passing us up, running ahead to meet us at lunch and the end of the days. Americo and Huaman were with us during days 1-2 of our trek. They were wonderful.

Rolfi our guide was the heart of the entire group, bringing everyone together. He never stopped cracking jokes, was a wealth of history and information to our million questions, constantly pointing out things to us as we trekked, and always had the best stories to share. Our group was interested in just about everything on the trek (fauna, history, culture, etc.), and Rolfi had something to each about everything we asked about. He was unendingly patient with us as we were perpetually, “National Geographic,” stopping to take photos of the beauty around us and as we huffed and puffed during our ascents. Rolfi was nothing but encouraging and great fun. I don’t think we ever ran out of good conversation. He was there with us from start to finish, ensuring that each of us were feeling well and enjoying ourselves, extremely astute to each of our interests, and we all learned a lot from one another. We loved him and could not have asked for a better guide! It was hard for us all to say farewell to everyone in our crew and especially to Rolfi.

The sights were unforgettable. Incredible microclimates with endless kinds of flora and fauna, butterflies, waterfalls, wild strawberries, racing clouds, tree canopies. Thousands of years old aqueducts and ancient Incan ruins, meeting local people along the way. We were awed by the numerous valleys, towering mountain ranges, glaciers, and our summit views. On our 1st night of camp, our bright view of the milky-way galaxy was incredible. We loved touring the coffee plantation, zip-lining and very much enjoyed the hot springs on our 3rd day. Our camping tents were perfectly comfortable. Our train ride on Peru Rail and accommodations in Cola de Mono and Aguas Calientes were also very nice. Machu Picchu and its history was unreal and climbing Huayna Picchu was totally worth it!

James M, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi John, your review backs up the great review from Laura. We're thrilled you had a great time & the photos prove it also! It was a pleasure to have you guys with us, and to know that our crew looked after you the way we love them to operate. It's quite rare to have a group as relaxed & easy going as yourselves so many thanks for making the crew part of your trek. I'll make sure they all know the review you've left for them. Please keep in touch, best regards, James

Group departure - salkantay trek to machu picchu - 5 days, Peru - Apr 9 - Apr 13, 2018

Traveler: Laura M. - Local specialist: James M

Salkantay Trek with Quechua Treks Peru to Machu Picchu, 5 Days, 4 Nights

After a couple years saving up for our dream adventure to Peru and Machu Picchu, my fiancé and I were finally able to take the time to plan our trip for the end of the rainy season in early April. My brother and his wife joined us as well and the four of us had an absolutely amazing visit to Peru! After a lot of research, we decided on booking a guided trek through KimKim with Quechua Treks Peru; this turned out to be... read more

Salkantay Trek with Quechua Treks Peru to Machu Picchu, 5 Days, 4 Nights

After a couple years saving up for our dream adventure to Peru and Machu Picchu, my fiancé and I were finally able to take the time to plan our trip for the end of the rainy season in early April. My brother and his wife joined us as well and the four of us had an absolutely amazing visit to Peru! After a lot of research, we decided on booking a guided trek through KimKim with Quechua Treks Peru; this turned out to be an experience of a lifetime, one to be so fondly remembered and that cannot be fully shared with others in words and photos. You simply had to be there.

From the start, James at KimKim was always available to answers questions and helped us get set up with the travel plan and trek we wanted. He was in touch with us from beginning to end and made sure we were able to coordinate with Quechua Treks for what was needed, from contacts, to prices, to dietary restrictions! Thanks so much, James! Mayra was also in touch with us from Quechua Treks and helped us along the way.

We arrived in Cusco in order to acclimate to the altitude for about 2 days before our trek. Cusco is located at over 11,000 ft and our Salkantay Trek would take us to almost 15,000 ft. On the night before our trek, our guide Rolfi met with us to provide our briefing for the trip. We immediately felt at ease with him and with the entire crew, whom we were introduced to the next morning (muleteers/porters/tent men Americo and Huaman, chef Edgar, assistant cook Donato, and Ronaldino our driver). As two women, my sister-in-law and I felt respected and never uncomfortable in a group of otherwise all men. My sister-in-law was the only one among us four who really spoke Spanish and while Rolfi our guide was very fluent in English, no part of the language barriers between us prevented us all from enjoying each other, constantly laughing, gesturing, translating for each other, cracking jokes, and learning from each other. I felt that everyone became family and I will never forget each of the wonderful crew members and the warmth they showed us. They took such good care of us.

The food prepared by our chefs, Edgar and assistant Donato, was out of this world, fresh, filling, healthy, and so good; there were hot drinks, fresh fruits, jams, vegetables, quinoa, bean bread, an abundance of tasty gluten free foods and snacks due to dietary restrictions, salads, potatoes of course, chicken, hearty soups, stir-fry’s, desserts, even a cupcake for my birthday made last minute; we agreed that we enjoyed our meals on the trek much more than the delicious food we tried later in Lima, said to be THE food capital. Hot water and tea in the morning! Being used to “roughing it” on camping and backpacking trips, when I saw pictures of how our meals would be served at tables with nice table cloth, napkins, utensils, and camping chairs in a tent I thought we were going to be over-pampered but wow was I grateful for the comfort of a space like that after a long day’s trek. Edgar and Donato were with us during days 1-3 of our trek.

Ronaldino was an excellent driver, negotiating rough and narrow roads expertly, getting us to our starting point and meeting us later at different points of our adventure on day 3 and at the end on our last day to get us back to Cusco from the train. We thoroughly enjoyed our time with him and loved getting to know him a little!

Americo and Huaman were our muleteers and the entire crew helped quickly and efficiently set up and break down our camps. We typically started ahead of them on our treks while they finished packing up the horses and mules but before we knew it, they were passing us up, running ahead to meet us at lunch and the end of the days. Americo and Huaman were with us during days 1-2 of our trek. They were wonderful.

Rolfi :) our guide was the heart of the entire group, bringing everyone together. He never stopped cracking jokes, was a wealth of history and information to our million questions, constantly pointing out things to us as we trekked, and always had the best stories to share. He was unendingly patient with us as we were perpetually, “National Geographic,” stopping to take photos of the beauty around us and as we huffed and puffed during our ascents. Rolfi was nothing but encouraging and great fun. I don’t think we ever ran out of good conversation. He was there with us from start to finish, ensuring that each of us were feeling well and enjoying ourselves, extremely astute to each of our interests, and we all learned a lot from one another. We loved him and could not have asked for a better guide! It was hard for us all to say farewell to everyone in our crew and especially to Rolfi.

The sights were unforgettable. Incredible microclimates with endless kinds of flora and fauna, butterflies, waterfalls, wild strawberries, racing clouds, tree canopies. Thousands of years old aqueducts and ancient Incan ruins, meeting local people along the way. We were awed by the numerous valleys, towering mountain ranges, glaciers, and our summit views. On our 1st night of camp, our bright view of the milky-way galaxy was incredible. We loved touring the coffee plantation, zip-lining and very much enjoyed the hot springs on our 3rd day. Our camping tents were perfectly comfortable. Our train ride on Peru Rail and accommodations in Cola de Mono and Aguas Calientes were also very nice. Machu Picchu and its history was unreal and climbing Huayna Picchu was totally worth it!

After this extraordinary trek, I felt changed, refreshed, and encouraged in many ways related to my personal life. I returned home feeling better about myself, the extreme physical challenges I faced, and my motivation to take the time to eat healthier and take kinder care of myself re-emerged. I left Peru gaining new perspective and new friends I felt sorry to part with. From the bottom of my heart, thank you Quechua Treks Peru and KimKim family.

Tips about this trek, during the end of the rainy season in early April:
The weather for us ranged from 30’sF at highest altitudes to 60’sF. Obviously, the weather will vary from year to year but during the trek, there are MANY difference microclimates you will travel through, with weather changes occurring even from minute to minute, from rainy, windy, sunny, freezing, very comfortable temperate, to humid and hot. You will always feel different based on whether you are moving or sitting still.

Our guide provided us each with a duffel bag the day before our trek that would mostly be carried on the mules to hold our belongings that we could mostly access at the end of each day only, until the next morning when we were back on our way; at times later during the trip, we were also responsible for hanging on to our duffels ourselves (carrying them to our hotels, the train, etc). The bags are meant to hold 7kg of your belongings maximum, which is completely manageable.

- General packing: while you are away on a trek, many people find that they are able to leave some things with their hotel/air bnb in cusco. I ended up leaving my main 42 L hiking backpack and souveniers I had picked up in Cusco to this purpose and taking just my 22L REI flashpack as my day pack, the rest stored in the duffel bag that was provided. They do keep your bags covered on the mules but it was advised to store the belongings inside the duffel in a trash bag or dry sacks just in case of heavy rains, so we did so.
- Clothes: clothes with merino wool mixed or tanks of polyester fabric are the way to go to prolong your laundry and to temperature regulate. For our trek, I did fine with 2 pairs of trekking pants, 1 pair of shorts, a merino base layer top and bottom for the cold evening/days, 3 tshirts/tanks, 1 merino bra, swim suit, 2 merino toe socks, 1 regular merino pair of socks. Toe socks are amazing, I did not get one blister. Merino wool socks are double-amazing, you really can wear them for many days without developing odor. I brought extra changes of things in case of dirt and/or getting wet from rain.
- Outerwear/Raingear: Umbrella. Genius Rolfi. He gave credit to a group of Japanese trekkers he led about 15 years ago. I did not have one and being a bit of a Seattle snob about umbrellas, wish I had. The weather changes are fast and often on the trek and there already is a lot of stopping to un-layer and re-layer jackets, hats, hoods, rain covers, etc. Having an umbrella would have reduced some of that :) My trekking pants dried very quickly from body heat even after getting soaked several times, and while moving I was not cold. Others in my group brought outer rain pants and that was helpful to them as well. I had one ultralight down and one fleece in addition to a base layer if needed for warmth and that was plenty. A headband to go over the ears, beanie, and a water-proof hat for sun and rain in addition to my light rain jacket/wind breaker. Sunglasses, of course. Rain cover for my day pack. Gloves. Small dry sacks and sandwich/freezer bags for some things just in case to extra protect some items in my pack.
- Shoes: To lighten weight, I was happy I went with Saucony Peregrine trail runners; these are not water proof but dry quickly while wearing from body heat and whenever I expected rainy weather, particularly the first 2 days, I went ahead and wore water-proof Sealskinz socks. For the most part, the peregrines stayed dry anyway. I also brought a pair of LL Bean Maine Hunting Shoes and a pair of flip flops to wear around camp and also at the hot springs for the flip flops.
- Other Equipment: I brought one trekking pole and this was helpful to me during steep ascents and especially descents. At Machu Picchu itself, they may or may not let you in with a trekking pole but if so you will definitely require rubber caps. Power adapter for when there was access. My 5000mAh external battery was perfect for keeping my phone charged for photos. Headlamp.
- Snacks: snacks were actually provided to us for the trail every day but we did bring some of our own such as jerky, chocolate/candy, peanut butter.
- Backpacks: My day pack was under 10 lbs not including water, while my porter pack was about 12 lbs. In my day pack/on me, I kept personal valuables like my passport, an extra pair of socks, my baselayer top, hats, gloves, sometimes my camp towel, snacks for the day, water, external battery for my phone, jackets and fleece, rain cover, some toilet paper, pain relievers like advil, first aid basics, insect repellant, sunscreen, sunglasses, trekking pole.
- Water: Camelback pouch, 2 to 3 liters size is plenty. You will get clean water refills every evening and morning. No need to bring water purifiers.
- Altitude prophylaxis/meds: acetazolamide is essential to help protect you from altitude sickness. Start 24 hours before you arrive to Cusco and continue for 1-2 days after your highest elevation. I also acquired the typhoid vaccine.
- First aid/bug repellant/sunscreen: lip balm, sunscreen, insect repellant (we really liked the Picaridin instead of DEET; it doesn’t leave a residue and a little bit goes a long way). Quechua Treks carries a first aid kit and oxygen tank if needed but I brought my own kit as well, including ace wrap, Zofran, some basic antibiotics in case of bacterial diarrhea, bandaids, advil/Tylenol/Benadryl/antibiotic ointment, leukotape in case of blisters, among other first aid basics of choice.
- Sleeping: My thin sleeping liner plus down quilt for 20 degrees F was plenty warm for the purpose of this hike. Quechua Treks provides the inflatable sleeping pads and for the first night or two comfy sleeping liners and pillow were also provided; however, I believe these got wet during a heavy rain and so I was glad to have brought my own liner. Earplugs were very nice to have.
- Toiletries/laundry: you may laugh, but having the Pstyle for the ladies was perfect, especially when we had to use that “Incan toilet” on the trail. At camp and at rest-stops on the trail, there were toilets. Bring your own toilet paper just in case. Aside from your personal toiletries, wet wipes were nice to have for extra clean up if needed and Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap (2 oz) was perfect for hand-washing a couple things along the way. I found that bringing a couple clamps/clothespins was helpful for drying out some clothes on the trail (hooked onto outside of my pack) or overnight. Camping towel.
- Money: If you have a debt card with no foreign transaction fee, withdraw money in soles at an ATM such as at the airport when you arrive in Cusco. In Cusco, while restaurants generally accepted mastercard or visa, pretty much everywhere else except for fancy stores only take soles. In Aguas Calientes, most of the shops in the market will take a credit card as well and will often accept small denominations of USD. Best to have denominations of 50 or less in soles while you are on the road and keep some 1 sole coins to use toilets at rest-stops along the trail. Set aside some soles ahead of time for tipping your crew.

James M, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Laura, we're all blown away by your review. For you to take the time to let us know how it was, is incredible. The guys all appreciate it, Laura, it's not very often that they get the mention their work merits. I'll make sure everyone sees it :) When we get groups like yours, you understand what we're about and you made the most of your time here. Your group is the reason we do what we do, it was a pleasure to have you with us & please keep in touch. Your pictures are some of the best I've... read more

Hi Laura, we're all blown away by your review. For you to take the time to let us know how it was, is incredible. The guys all appreciate it, Laura, it's not very often that they get the mention their work merits. I'll make sure everyone sees it :) When we get groups like yours, you understand what we're about and you made the most of your time here. Your group is the reason we do what we do, it was a pleasure to have you with us & please keep in touch. Your pictures are some of the best I've seen, the variety of flora I still find astounding! We hope you'll be back to Peru some time.
best regards, James

Machapichi, hiking, adventures, good food. , Peru - Apr 7 - Apr 15, 2018

Traveler: Donna W. - Local specialist: Steve Wilson

Tom and I had a wonderful experience in Peru. Every detail was taken care on so we could just relax and enjoy. Luis was very knowledgeable and so easy to be around. He spoiled us! Paul was our driver and he too was very helpful. Aspiring Adventures had every detail planned so that our trip was seamless. Love the bike ride down the Andes and this special group did a great job of making us feel comfortable. The value was terrific! Two recommendations. Try another accommodation in... read more

Tom and I had a wonderful experience in Peru. Every detail was taken care on so we could just relax and enjoy. Luis was very knowledgeable and so easy to be around. He spoiled us! Paul was our driver and he too was very helpful. Aspiring Adventures had every detail planned so that our trip was seamless. Love the bike ride down the Andes and this special group did a great job of making us feel comfortable. The value was terrific! Two recommendations. Try another accommodation in Olyamtamba and make sure local drivers in Santa Teresa have seat belts. That's picky so as you can see the entire trip was wonderful and we will definitely use this group again. Their planning let us VACATiON!
Tom andDonna

Steve Wilson, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Donna
Great to hear you and Tom had a wonderful experience - and indeed, how could you not, with Luis and Paul taking care of you!
I'm delighted you appreciated the planning that went into making sure the trip ran smoothly and apparently effortlessly, while avoiding allergens as far as humanly possible.. the Kuychipunku kittycat let us down there!
Thanks for travelling with us and we would love to host you and Tom again!
Cheers
Steve

Peru family adventure trip, Peru - Mar 8 - Mar 17, 2018

Traveler: Nancy L. - Local specialist: James M

This was a bucket list trip for myself and my family and James made sure it delivered.
James is quick to respond and quick to understand the style of trip you're trying to attain.
He helped us customize our trip to our exact specifications and delivered on experiences and accommodations that helped us feel like we were having a customized experience rather than a generic one.

The highlights of our trip were the rock climbing in the Sacred Valley and our hike into Macchu Picchu. Our guide... read more

This was a bucket list trip for myself and my family and James made sure it delivered.
James is quick to respond and quick to understand the style of trip you're trying to attain.
He helped us customize our trip to our exact specifications and delivered on experiences and accommodations that helped us feel like we were having a customized experience rather than a generic one.

The highlights of our trip were the rock climbing in the Sacred Valley and our hike into Macchu Picchu. Our guide Zacarias was incredible - knowledgeable, accommodating and fun, he made sure our kids were constantly engaged while they were learning about this incredible country. Zac quickly became a part of our family.

What made this trip extra special were the unexpected touches - a gourmet picnic overlooking Cusco when we landed, a picnic lunch on our bike riding trip through the valley, reaching out to the hotel when my son got altitude sickness to ensure he got the care he needed - in short, personal service every step of the way. We also appreciated their commitment to making every part of our trip as eco-friendly as possible ensuring our impact on the environments around us was minimal - from providing litter-free lunches to personal water bottles we could refill.

When weather issues forced us to change plans due to safety issues, both James and Zac were on it with great suggestions, helping us make decisions and being flexible with their time and services.

My only constructive feedback would be that we felt 3 days was too long to spend in Huacacchina as we exhausted the activities there pretty quickly. While we loved the pool at the hotel, our hotel room was a little generic and bare bones for our taste.
As well, when our day trip to the Lost Canyon was cancelled due to safety concerns, the replacement trip to Laguna de Moron was pretty boring and uninteresting. I would not recommend this day trip as there is very little to do for a family of four. Trekking into the desert to see a lagoon that is less impressive than the oasis at Huacacchina seemed like a poor use of our time.

All in all, KimKim delivered an unforgettable trip and am looking forward to planning another trip with them in the future. Thank you!

James M, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Nancy, thanks for your kind words, it means a lot to us because we're a small business and the guys all appreciate what travellers write. We always try to go further than is normal, it's what we're about and planning your trip was a pleasure because you were completely aligned to how we work.
It's a great point about the first section of your trip, normally I recommend people head to Paracas/Ica for a couple of days to chill out after their trip and unfortunately we were slightly... read more

Hi Nancy, thanks for your kind words, it means a lot to us because we're a small business and the guys all appreciate what travellers write. We always try to go further than is normal, it's what we're about and planning your trip was a pleasure because you were completely aligned to how we work.
It's a great point about the first section of your trip, normally I recommend people head to Paracas/Ica for a couple of days to chill out after their trip and unfortunately we were slightly constrained by budget and weather events to do more. I'm pleased in the end we were able to get you on the Short Inca Trail and you were able to achieve your goal of completing it. Zac had a blast with you all, keep in touch Nancy and we'd love to help you out if you're ever planning to come back to South America. Best James

Chachapoyas: peru’s best kept secret - 7 days, Peru - Mar 6 - Mar 14, 2018

Traveler: Samuel O. - Local specialist: Martina Capel

I would like to say thank you to Martina. She put an incredible tour together in a very short amount of time. She always responded immediately to any question i had. She was a real pleasure to work with.
Our guide John was great. He was very friendly and always upbeat and helpful.
Our stay at Casa Hacienda Milpuj was great. The freandly conversations were nice and the food there was best of the entire trip. I could have stayed the entire trip in Hotel Achamaqui. The service and food were... read more

I would like to say thank you to Martina. She put an incredible tour together in a very short amount of time. She always responded immediately to any question i had. She was a real pleasure to work with.
Our guide John was great. He was very friendly and always upbeat and helpful.
Our stay at Casa Hacienda Milpuj was great. The freandly conversations were nice and the food there was best of the entire trip. I could have stayed the entire trip in Hotel Achamaqui. The service and food were very good and the scenery was amazing. I loved the quiet peacefulness.
All the day trips were great but I think the waterfalls of Gocta was the best. Riding horseback provided some great photo opportunities. I have traveled extensively in the past and this was the most organized and well planned tour i have ever been on. Thank you Martina and Kimkim.

Martina Capel, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Samuel,

I am delighted that you enjoyed your stay with us and that you liked the hotels we have selected. It was my pleasure planning your trip and suggesting you the different sites to visit.

Thank you so much for your great overview.

Warm regards,
Martina

Peru adventures, Peru - Jan 9 - Jan 14, 2018

Traveler: Meaza B. - Local specialist: Stephanie Guerra

My time on this hike was memorably concerning. The hike did not have enough guides. There were initially two guides and one person in the group paid for a private two day hike and so the second guide left the group. As a result there were five of us with one guide. Since I hiked at a slower pace than the others, the guide had to somehow make it work so that we all had support. Often times I was hiking several miles without any of my group members. This was quiet concerning -especially on... read more

My time on this hike was memorably concerning. The hike did not have enough guides. There were initially two guides and one person in the group paid for a private two day hike and so the second guide left the group. As a result there were five of us with one guide. Since I hiked at a slower pace than the others, the guide had to somehow make it work so that we all had support. Often times I was hiking several miles without any of my group members. This was quiet concerning -especially on the second day when it was rainy, and difficult to see anything and I was completely drenched in rain and shivering. It was a miracle that I made it to the group at some point-especially since I had to cross difficult terrain alone and without a guide a various points. Times that the guide did assist, he would insist that I could walk through raging rivers without assistance-which I could not and told him I could not. I argued several times with him about this. Additionally, when I was uncomfortable with cross the river by the use of a rickety zipline due to the landslide, I was told to shut up.

Additionally, I was told I had not paid for the emergency horse by the guide, however in this package it said this horse was already paid for. At the beginning of the hike, I had to pay money to get into the the park and according to this package I had already paid for everything. I also had to pay for breakfast. I don't understand why I had to pay additional fees throughout. It appears that KimKim and the hiking group that had been contracted failed to communicate information about the packages. Based off of information from the guide-it sounded as though I paid for the basic package not the full package inclusive of what is listed by KimKim.

Overall, this experience was not a good one. I would definitely not recommend this company to others as there were issues throughout and I had several dangerous issues during this hike without support and was treated rudely.

Jillian

Lima, sacred valley & machu picchu tour - 7 days, Peru - Feb 25 - Mar 3, 2018

Traveler: Jillian M. - Local specialist: Stephanie Guerra

I am so thankful to have used KimKim for my trip to Peru and have Stephanie as my local specialist. We had only 7 days to explore Lima, Cusco, the Sacred Valley and Machu Pichu and Stephanie made it all fit perfectly. Every detail was figured out, which was such a relief because travel between these sites requires multiple forms of transport -- from arrival at the airport to departure from the trip we had train tickets or buses tickets or private drivers waiting for us at each leg. She made... read more

I am so thankful to have used KimKim for my trip to Peru and have Stephanie as my local specialist. We had only 7 days to explore Lima, Cusco, the Sacred Valley and Machu Pichu and Stephanie made it all fit perfectly. Every detail was figured out, which was such a relief because travel between these sites requires multiple forms of transport -- from arrival at the airport to departure from the trip we had train tickets or buses tickets or private drivers waiting for us at each leg. She made sure all of our tours had excellent English speakers (on later legs of my travel that I planned on my own, I quickly learned how varied English capabilities can be and how difficult it can be to determine the quality of English of the guides without local knowledge of the companies). Every tour/driver/guide we worked with were incredibly professional, punctual, polite, kind and helpful. Stephanie was readily available when we had a minor payment issue at one hotel and took care of it. I can't say enough about our experience traveling with KimKim and Stephanie! Thank you! You truly took the stress out of travel and made a wonderful, memorable experience for me and my brother!

Peru and aguas calientes , Peru - Feb 12 - Feb 12, 2018

Traveler: Tiana K. - Local specialist: Stephanie Guerra

My husband and I just came back from our trip to Peru and it was amazing. Stephanie was great to work with and always went the extra mile in helping us out when we had last minute plans or changes. Although it was hard to get ahold of her in country, we were glad to meet her the first day and to be able to still communicate while on vacation some way or another.

Our transportation included terrific drivers, nice vehicles, and great views. The staff was on time and always helped us with our... read more

My husband and I just came back from our trip to Peru and it was amazing. Stephanie was great to work with and always went the extra mile in helping us out when we had last minute plans or changes. Although it was hard to get ahold of her in country, we were glad to meet her the first day and to be able to still communicate while on vacation some way or another.

Our transportation included terrific drivers, nice vehicles, and great views. The staff was on time and always helped us with our luggage. Likewise, the drivers ensured we were safe during the festivities of Carnival.

Our guides were amazing and we were pleased to have one on one private tours the entire time. We especially loved Juan in Machu Picchu because he gave us the freedom to explore while still receiving information about the magical sites. Although we cannot remember the guides name we had for Cusco and the Sacred Valley, we adored her! She was enthusiastic and always was concerned about our health especially with the altitude change. For example, the first day she let us cut part of our tour short because I was not feeling well! She was very knowledgable as well with the area! She even suggested great places to eat and things to do for the rest of our trip.

As for hotels go, not all of them were excellent and we did run into a couple of problems with room arrangements. Nevertheless, the hotels upgraded us twice and made us feel very welcomed and we were grateful for that! Meals were never too much of an issue, except towards the end of the trip. We wish we would have had the chance to know of places to eat that "won't get you sick" because we ate on the streets towards the end and we ended our last two days of our itinerary in bed instead of out and doing what we had originally planned.

Overall this was a great trip and I would definitely book again with this company! The only suggestions are to include more about packing tips or essentials, money exchange, and popular foods or restaurants to try! We were very satisfied though despite our hiccups here and there.

Stephanie Guerra, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Tiana,

Thanks for choosing us to plan this experience! It was my pleasure to meet you and assist you in Peru. I'm glad that you enjoyed the day trips and your guides. We will make sure we have a guide of recommended restaurants, thanks for the feedback. It was great to have you in Peru!

bette

Northern coast of peru, Peru - Jan 22 - Jan 27, 2018

Traveler: bette C. - Local specialist: Shirley López

Hi there, I am catching up on sleep and starting to feel more normal. I even cooked a Peruvian dish, tacu tacu, last night! My husband is on an alternating vegetarian diet. Loved the food, especially on the Phima portion of the trip. Remember we did an Intrepid trip to Machu Picchu before. All in all the trip was very good. The sites we visited were all very interesting and the meals that were arranged for us were fantastic. The only thing we were unsure of was tipping as we didn't... read more

Hi there, I am catching up on sleep and starting to feel more normal. I even cooked a Peruvian dish, tacu tacu, last night! My husband is on an alternating vegetarian diet. Loved the food, especially on the Phima portion of the trip. Remember we did an Intrepid trip to Machu Picchu before. All in all the trip was very good. The sites we visited were all very interesting and the meals that were arranged for us were fantastic. The only thing we were unsure of was tipping as we didn't know the price of the meals.
Our hotel room, for Trish and I, in Trujillo was quite disappointing.
I don’t think Bev and Amy’s room was as drab as ours. Unfortunately, there was a stain on the carpet, mildew in the shower and some windows opened into the hotel lobby and the others fronted onto the street, so it was very noisy.
I did feel that the reception and breakfast areas of the hotel were clean and modern looking and I do want to emphasize that the staff were very kind and helpful. I checked the hotel on line and some of the comments said that the owners were going to have to step up the quality of the rooms, but otherwise good value.
The itinerary was good . I thought the pace was pretty good and we really loved everything we saw. On day 4 we couldn’t go to Ventarron as there had been a fire, we went to Huaca Rajada museum and site, were supposed to go to the Bruning Museum , but opted to go to Tumbas Reales as we really only had a couple of hours after lunch and Jhon told us the museum closed at 4. The museum guide told us that it was open until 5 p.m. and you could stay in longer. If we had known that we might have taken in the Bruning museum. We really enjoyed what we saw in any event!
Just looking at the Itinerary now, We did not see all the destinations on Day 5, We went to the Bosque Pomac, there were a couple of pyramids in the distance,. I think they were Ventanas and Loro, but I am not sure that we went to the valley of the Pyramids in Tucume/ We drove through Ferranafe but did not visit the museum. We had lunch after going to the museum in Tucume though. I believe that driver Jhon had said that there was construction or some other obstruction on the road and he felt we should leave earlier to get to the airport so we could get our flight back to Lima. I think the itinerary was a bit too ambitious for that day.

One thing I might tell you, after going to the Sipan museum at the site of Huaca Rajada, we might not have seen the actual site with the Huaca and where the tombs of el Senor de Sipan y El Viejo were found if the local guide hadn’t taken one of our group there. This is a very important site and am so glad we saw it. It should be compulsory on the tour. It all fits in with what we saw at Tumbas Reales.
Regarding our guide Jhon’s English, I thought his knowlege was very good, but when you asked him a specific question, he either didn’t understand the question, or didn’t know the answer. His pronunciation could be improved, but he was fine to chat to. He tried very hard and was very pleasant and kind.

For future tours, it would be good for the Phima guide to know when Tumbas Reales closes. The museum guide, Orlando, said it closed at 5, but you could stay later.....we might have been able to squeeze in the Bruning museum. We were happy with what we saw that day.
Just to be clear, I didn’t think there were too many excursions in our itinerary, the pace was pretty good for day two and three. Day four, we didn’t go to Ventarron because of the fire, but really enjoyed the Museum at Sipan and Huaca Rajada. After lunch we didn’t have time to see both the Bruning Museum and Tumbas REales, so we opted to see Tumbas Reales which was fantastic.
I think I might be repeating myself. Sorry, still have a bit of jet lag. If you need any clarifications, just let me know. Gracias,

Shirley López, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Bette, thank you for your comments about your trip to Peru, especially your experience with us. I am glad to know that you enjoyed our gastronomy and the places you visited.

Thank you for your comment and your recommendations, we will work on that to always improve our services.
I hope you can repeat your experience in Peru some day; the Phima’s team is here to serve you.

A big hug and thanks for traveling with us.

Bev

Northern coast of peru, Peru - Jan 22 - Jan 27, 2018

Traveler: Bev D. - Local specialist: Shirley López

I loved all of the information provided to us in preparation for our trip (Lists 1-3) and the detailed itinerary that was provided. Everything that we had requested was on the itinerary and we were pleased to have some of the added items, such as the Garcia brothers who played and sang some of the traditional music using some of the instruments that date back over the years. I also enjoyed the Forest of Pomac as it was different from the other temples we saw. We didn't see everything that... read more

I loved all of the information provided to us in preparation for our trip (Lists 1-3) and the detailed itinerary that was provided. Everything that we had requested was on the itinerary and we were pleased to have some of the added items, such as the Garcia brothers who played and sang some of the traditional music using some of the instruments that date back over the years. I also enjoyed the Forest of Pomac as it was different from the other temples we saw. We didn't see everything that was on the itinerary - the Ventarron site was closed because there had been a fire. On day 4 we did not go to the Bruning Museum as we were running out of time and we all wanted to see the Tumbas Reales. On Day 5, I don't think we went to the Valley of the Pyramids but we did go to a museum in Tucume that had interactive displays. In hindsight, I think we tried to get too much into each day. It was great to finish our day around 5:30. The other consideration is that we were nearing the end of our vacation, so may have wanted the additional sites if we had started in the north and then done the south after. As it was, for me, I liked what we did in a day.

It was nice to have John the guide (Yeltsin), and John the driver meet us at the airport on our arrival and get us settled into our hotel. Definitely enjoyed the night tour of Trujillo, but may not have given Yeltsin my full attention because I was tired from the travel.

All of the meals provided in the tour were excellent. In hindsight we figure we may have been a bit cheap on our tips as we did not know what the actual meal cost so went on a similar formula used on the southern tour. I would recommend that one of your lists include some suggestions around tipping valets, waiters, hotel housekeepers, and for breakfast.

Our hotels were basic but clean. Staff were very helpful even if we spoke minimal Spanish and they spoke minimal English. it is amazing how much you can understand with a smile and sign language and a few key words.

John, our guide, had great knowledge of the history and particular features of the sites we visited. He was willing to respond to any questions we had but at times may have had some difficulty in understanding what we were asking him. He had a great personality and great humour. He was a good guide.

John, our driver, was also very friendly and willing to help. He was a very competent, professional, and calm driver. He also pointed out things along the way - such as the tree where the egrets were nesting. He pulled over and made sure we were safe when taking pictures.

It was really nice to have the same guide, driver and van for the whole tour. It was also nice have the bottle of water (some days 2)/day.

I have and will definitely continue to recommend KimKim Tours and PHima Voyages to others.

Bev

Shirley López, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Bev, thanks for recommend us, we are really happy to know that you enjoyed the itinerary and all the places you visited.
We work always thinking about the enjoyment of our customers and your comments help us to improve our services.
The phima’s team appreciates your preference, and do not hesitate to contact us on upcoming reservations.
A big hug from Peru.

Chachapoyas: peru’s best kept secret - 7 days, Peru - Jan 17 - Jan 21, 2018

Traveler: Janice V. - Local specialist: Martina Capel

Martina was very helpful regarding our pre-trip planning. We had planned all facets of our trip to Peru prior to contacting Martina. We decided to do so because we wanted to go to the area and found it somewhat difficult to research travel options there. Our tour stated that we would have an English speaking guide.
Day 1 we were met by Joan/John and Carlos @ Cajamarca airport. After dropping our bags we visited Cumbe Mayo. This was a wonderful place. Our guide was clearly... read more

Martina was very helpful regarding our pre-trip planning. We had planned all facets of our trip to Peru prior to contacting Martina. We decided to do so because we wanted to go to the area and found it somewhat difficult to research travel options there. Our tour stated that we would have an English speaking guide.
Day 1 we were met by Joan/John and Carlos @ Cajamarca airport. After dropping our bags we visited Cumbe Mayo. This was a wonderful place. Our guide was clearly enthusiastic but, not fluent enough (in English) to convey much of his knowledge. As became clear at that point, Anna often needed to translate for my benefit. ( I sensed the visit was the short version. ). We learned that J was a guide-in-training. He had to train for some 900 hours before receiving license.
We returned to Cajamarca. Having risen @ 3 in the morning for our 7:30 flight we were hungry at that point and asked J for recommendations. He dropped us at a lunchroom on the square. A fairly grim experience. I mention this only because perfunctory drop-offs became the norm. I think this is an issue of manners. We are outsiders, the guide the insider. This in addition to the fact that the Hostal had no heat — it was cold and mercilessly rainy,— or WiFi. There was no way not to hear our next door neighbor’s TV. If we had foreknowledge of the lack of heat, we would not have agreed to stay there. How hard is it to recommend a few places to eat?
Driver Carlos was excellent throughout. No fruit or water in car throughout our tour.

Day2 7 hr drive to Leymebamba. Prompt pickup. J asks if we want to stop @ a grocery store. Having stocked up on snacks at the Cajamarca market, we only needed more water and stopped at bodega. We naively assumed that there would be a plan to eat along the way. We chatted for about 1 hour as we left the city and headed in the direction of Leymebamba. We stopped for lunch and J suggested we take our food and eat on the little square. Another point of confusion. We hadn’t packed a lunch. Meanwhile J & C headed into a little restaurant for lunch. Since it was clearly the only place to eat in this locale, I joined them.
We stopped only once thereafter for a photo op. For the remaining 6 hours there was an abundantly obvious silence. Our questions like, ‘what river is that?’ were answered but, no comments/ info from guide.
Then a stop at woodworker’s place. This was kind of crazy. After 7 hours in a car we did not feel like doing this but, felt obliged to do so.
We reached Leymebamba and checked into our Hostal. This proved to be a far nicer stay. A lovely well maintained Hostal and it was fortunately warmer than Cajamarca. Great family, delicious breakfast. Again though, after that very long drive, no food recommendations. We made the wrong choice. Ironically, the next day after visiting the Museum we had a great lunch, in plaza. The restaurant owner, a relative of Carlos’, was a delightful woman who really knew how to cook!

Day 3
Visit to Leymebamba museum. Wonderful visit. Felt a bit rushed as we followed J through. This seems to be an occupational hazard for tour leaders. One though that they surely need to develop the flexibility to allow for. It seems to me that a tour guide to be really good, needs to get to know his clients. Perhaps J is too young? Not curious? ( He might have heard that one of our reasons for visiting Peru was our interest in its cuisine. )
After a terrific lunch we set out to visit Revash. Sadly rained out. Roads in dangerous conditions. We were dropped off at Lola’s and Perico’s. Heaven. Spent an afternoon at their wonderful place with our consummate hosts. We loved each other’s company. Nine hundred stars!

Day 4
Kuelap Visit. Terrific.
Lunch @ Shubet also good. Again Carlos’s friends/relatives..
Drive to Gocta. Rafael not there but, his in village helper arrived promptly to let us in. Somewhat unsure how to interpret Rafael’s absence but, made ourselves comfortable. (Footnote hot water unavailable.)
Had a wonderful afternoon enjoying Rafael’s place. Also later when another guest arrived.

Day 5
Hike to Gocta Waterfall. Strenuously wonderful. Took horses half way back down.
Arrived back to Rafael’s hot and tired....wanting to clean-up and relax. J announced we were to go next door for lunch. We went. When one is staying at Rafael’s, the setting isn’t really impressive.
The food is mediocre. J had told us that C would be driving us to Jaen the following morning; a gesture we very much appreciated. Carlos happened to be dining @ same time we were (next door) with his family. We confirmed that we would see him tomorrow.

Day 6
Instead of Carlos, his young relative ( no more than 18?) w/ his friend to airport in Jaen.
Nice person. Friendly but, not a mature driver. Thought we would be seeing C and planned to give him a tip then. Plz send info regarding how we can do so.

My advice to Trip planner. Suggest visitors to this region—-@ least @ this time of the year— come and go via Jaen. Spend time in Chachapoyas and environs.

Martina Capel, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Janice,

Thank you very much for your comments and letting me know how you felt during your stay in the Northern Andes.

I guess your stay was a little overcasted because of the rain. It is true that when it rains, there unfortunately are not many options. Hotels in the region usually don't have heating (nor Wifi) and the humidity gets into you and your bones.

Jhon, our guide, has already finished his training beginning of last year. He has a diploma as an official guide, a career... read more

Dear Janice,

Thank you very much for your comments and letting me know how you felt during your stay in the Northern Andes.

I guess your stay was a little overcasted because of the rain. It is true that when it rains, there unfortunately are not many options. Hotels in the region usually don't have heating (nor Wifi) and the humidity gets into you and your bones.

Jhon, our guide, has already finished his training beginning of last year. He has a diploma as an official guide, a career that takes 3 years, and he is guiding for us since April last year. Maybe his natural Peruvian shyness added to some of your English comprehensive issues . Otherwise he is enthousiastic about his work and I am sure that he will improve to better understand the needs of our clients. Thank you so much for your comments that I will pass on to him.

I am glad that you liked the different archaeological sites throughout your stay as well as the (rather difficult) hike to Gocta.

Once again thank you for your detailed comments that I will share with our local partners. The region of Amazonas still needs to catch up about 50 years of tourism development in comparison with the South of Peru, but we work hard to improve our services together with the local hotels, drivers, communities and other partners.

Warm regards,
Martina

Vicky

Journey through peru & bolivia, Peru - Jan 11 - Jan 11, 2018

Traveler: Vicky U. - Local specialist: Stephanie Guerra

Thank you for arranging this amazing trip! We have a really big party so there were a lot of times we had to change the reservations but Stephanie really handled all the situations well which I feel really thankful. She is also very informative whenever we asked her questions. During the trip, everything was prepared really well and we really like all the tour guides as they are very friendly, knowledgable and are really helpful to us. Overall, it had been a fun and memorable trip. Thank you again for your help and also for the chocolate!

Stephanie Guerra, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hello Vicky,

It was great to plan your trip and help you with the details. I'm happy you had a memorable trip!

Salkantay trek to machu picchu, Peru - Dec 28 - Jan 6, 2018

Traveler: Ellen A. - Local specialist: Nicole and Bill Koch

Thank you, Haku, for arranging this wonderful trip. All aspects of the Salkantay trek were excellent. Our guide, Rubin, was knowledgeable about all of the logistics and provided us with lots of information on local culture and customs, and plants and history.

Our first evening accommodation at the refuge at Soray Pamp was a great start. We were served a delicious lunch and the refuge was rustic but lovely. We could see Mount Salkantay in the distance. We took a day hike to Glacial Lake... read more

Thank you, Haku, for arranging this wonderful trip. All aspects of the Salkantay trek were excellent. Our guide, Rubin, was knowledgeable about all of the logistics and provided us with lots of information on local culture and customs, and plants and history.

Our first evening accommodation at the refuge at Soray Pamp was a great start. We were served a delicious lunch and the refuge was rustic but lovely. We could see Mount Salkantay in the distance. We took a day hike to Glacial Lake Humantay which was spectacular. We were welcomed back with a delicious dinner cooked by the gentleman who ran the lodge.

The day 2 hike over the Salkantay pass to Chalullay was grueling but satisfying. We arrived at Chalullay in the late afternoon. Accommodations were a bit chilly but beds were comfortable. Day 3 we hiked through rainforest cloud, a more gentle up and down hike with lush vegetation and views of the river. The evening at the Coffee plantation was a highlight. Fredy the owner and his family were wonderful hosts and the accommodations were very nice. We enjoyed the warmer climate at this elevation. With our guide translating, Fredy showed us the step by step process from growing and harvesting the coffee beans to roasting them for our breakfast. From here we started on an Inca trail with a long but not as challenging hike.

Highlights were the ruins of Llactapata and lunch with views to Machu Picchu. At the end, we took a short train ride to Aquas Caliente and Macchu Picchu. We were very glad to have the opportunity to climb Huayna Picchu on our visit to Macchu Picchu. At Nicole's recommendation, we added an evening in Ollantaytambo where we enjoyed the lively town square, local activity, and the ruins. On our return trip to Cusco by car, we explored the salt mines and a village were weaving and knitted goods were produced and sold. The knitted goods in Peru are beautiful.

We also booked 3 days in the Amazon rainforest in Puerto Maldonado, also arranged by Nicole and Haku. Our guide Efraim was excellent-- extremely knowledgeable and helpful. And Freddy, the local contact who picked us up by boat, cooked us lunch and carried our luggage through the jungle had endless energy. Our stay at Lake Sandoval lodge was memorable. Great food and service and the setting, overlooking the lake was memorable. The lake was full of otters, caiman, and fish, and at the water's edge, we enjoyed the monkeys and variety of birds.

We would highly recommend Haku to plan a custom itinerary for a Cusco based travel adventure.

Nicole and Bill Koch, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thank you Ellen for the Review. It was lovely meeting your family and helping you on this trip of a lifetime!

Ingfah

Journey through peru & bolivia, Peru - Jan 11 - Jan 11, 2018

Traveler: Ingfah S. - Local specialist: Stephanie Guerra

Initial planning process was great - Stephanie was knowledgeable, assisting, and patient. However, the service "during" the trip was a bit inconvenient. Stephanie was hard to contact and in the moment we couldn't reach out to anyone, like the time we arrived at Uyuni but no one was there to pick us up, we waiting til 10 am local time Peru to call Stephanie, but still we couldn't reach her.

Other than that the trip was well organized with great guides in every stop. Especially our Macchu Picchu guide and Norma from Puno. Our Uyuni guides were great too.

Stephanie Guerra, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Ingfah,

It was great to plan this trip for you and the group and meeting you!. Sorry about the contac issue, sometimes signal is not that strong in Bolivia and specially in Uyuni. I'm glad you had a good time!

Darlene

North peru, Peru - Dec 24 - Jan 7, 2018

Traveler: Darlene C. - Local specialist: Martina Capel

Our trip was full of activity and adventure in Northern Peru for 2-1/2 weeks. Our guide Jhon was young and full of energy and our driver Carlos was an attentive, safe driver. In Trujillo, we thoroughly enjoyed the Sun and Moon Temples and Chan Chan. The demonstration of the straw boats and cooking class in Huanchaco was fantastic.

Heading into the Andes is spectacular. Outside Cajamarca, we loved our hike through Cumbemayo to see the remarkable Andean water works. The Revash was very... read more

Our trip was full of activity and adventure in Northern Peru for 2-1/2 weeks. Our guide Jhon was young and full of energy and our driver Carlos was an attentive, safe driver. In Trujillo, we thoroughly enjoyed the Sun and Moon Temples and Chan Chan. The demonstration of the straw boats and cooking class in Huanchaco was fantastic.

Heading into the Andes is spectacular. Outside Cajamarca, we loved our hike through Cumbemayo to see the remarkable Andean water works. The Revash was very interesting and we enjoyed our horse ride to the site. Visiting Miguel in his workshop and painting our own Sarcophagus was a lot of fun. Perico and Lola's private conservation property in the Utcubamba Valley was so beautiful and was a favourite of ours. It was hard to say goodbye to them and the family they had visiting at the time. Then off to Kuelap by cable car and another hike to the site...fantastic!

The biggest surprise and highlight for us was our stay at Villa del Monte in the coffee country of Rodriguez de Mendoza. We have a coffee roasting business and requested some time with coffee growers. The home we stayed at in the area was really great and the caretakers living next to the home were warm and friendly. We did an afternoon at an underground cave that was pretty cool although fitting through a small hole to start was a little scary but worth the effort. The best part for us was spending our time with the coffee farmers (owners of Cafe Monteverde) who provided us with such a detailed education of their business from the growing of the coffee at their farm (tasting included) to going to their laboratory in town to watch and participate in grading and cupping of the coffee. This was fantastic for us.

The Gocta Falls is another favourite. The hike is fairly difficult so the horses came in handy. Lunch at the Gocta Lodge is outstanding and so is the view. Our last stop on the coast was the Pyramids of Tucume and Museum Tumbas Reales with the latter being our favourite museum.

With a little more time, Jhon will get better at his English. It's good but sometimes we had translation difficulties. He is a great guide and really cares about what he does. Both him and Carlos were always available and willing to make things work for us.

Thank you Phima Voyages for a great adventure in Northern Peru!
Darlene & Gary Carlton

Martina Capel, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Darlene and Gary,

Thank you so much for your nice comments.

I am so glad that you enjoyed your trip. It was a lot of fun planning it for you, as it gave me the opportunity to include activites and adventures. You had enough time to meet with the locals and interact, like at the coffee experience :)

If you have any pictures you would like to share, don't hesitate to send them through to me.

Warm regards,
Martina

Peru ~10 days, Peru - Nov 15 - Nov 23, 2017

Traveler: amy w. - Local specialist: James M

Miguel is friendly and helpful. 1 of the best i have met. Carlos is nice too altho' due to language barrier, we didn't interact much.

i guess the best part of Miguel is he can take great pictures! now I have headaches with so many potential IG post-able photos!

As for Lima, Arturo definitely knows where the good local food is. we had a great time of food sampling.

thanks again.

James M, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Amy, thanks for your comments. We're pleased you had a great time with Miguel and in Lima dining out. If you're coming back to South America let us know :) best James

Machu picchu & the sacred valley, Peru - Nov 18 - Nov 26, 2017

Traveler: Steve M. - Local specialist: James M

James, Mayra and the entire Quechua Trek team were incredibly helpful, responsive, and professional in setting up a trip customized to our needs. Everything went off without a hitch, in spite of very short notice and some real time adjustments. Our guide, Yilbert, and driver, Paul, were both the ultimate in professionalism and tailored the entire experience to our desires. In addition, Yilbert's historical knowledge, and deep cultural engagement made all the difference in our experience!

James M, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thanks for your comments Steve, we're really pleased you had a great time with Yilber, he's a top guy. The guides make the difference on a tour like this and it's great you got the benefit of their experience. We'd love to see you back in Peru! best James

Vicky

Peru ~10 days, Peru - Nov 15 - Nov 23, 2017

Traveler: Vicky S. - Local specialist: James M

James and Mayra have been great throughout the itinerary planning process. Responsive and flexible, and they give very sensible suggestions. Our guide in Cusco Miguel was great too - he knows the area in and out and is quite resourceful in accommodating our requests (dinner choices, getting local SIM card, etc.)

Special touches were much appreciated, such as picnic lunch prepared by Quechua's private chef when we arrived, off the beaten path hikes in Yucay, great recommendations on dinner... read more

James and Mayra have been great throughout the itinerary planning process. Responsive and flexible, and they give very sensible suggestions. Our guide in Cusco Miguel was great too - he knows the area in and out and is quite resourceful in accommodating our requests (dinner choices, getting local SIM card, etc.)

Special touches were much appreciated, such as picnic lunch prepared by Quechua's private chef when we arrived, off the beaten path hikes in Yucay, great recommendations on dinner restaurants in Sacred Valley, to name a few.

BTW we compared Quechua Treks with other providers such as Jacada, Audley, andBeyond, etc., and found Quechua (on Kimkim platform) to be the easiest to work with, most reasonable in price, and with the most approachable folks. Perfect for us, travelers who want something in between "roughing it" and "absolute luxury". The other providers might offer additional concierge service e.g. booking great restaurants, but it may not be guaranteed and you definitely pay for it.

Net net, Quechua is legit and good people, work with them!

James M, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thanks for your review Vicky, we're really pleased you had a great trip. We always try to deliver a bit extra to make our tours more enjoyable & take our travelers to places that are more traditional and less well known and we're delighted that you enjoyed your time with Miguel. It was great to have you with us and keep in touch! best regards, James

Keilap, Peru - Nov 16 - Nov 21, 2017

Traveler: Marilyn S. - Local specialist: Martina Capel

Everything was splendid before , during, and after the trip. The only thing that was REALLY hard was the hike to the lodging at Keulap.

Martina Capel, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Marilyn,

Thank you for your review. It is a steep hike to Sra. Teodula, but it is just a beautiful place to be. I am glad that you enjoyed your night there as well as the entire trip.

Happy travels throughout South America !
Warm regards,
Martina

Beata

Explore northern peru: cajamarca to chachapoyas, Peru - Oct 22 - Oct 28, 2017

Traveler: Beata N. - Local specialist: Martina Capel

Very professional and high-quality service from Martina, accommodating all of our requests and needs during the trip.

The North part of Peru is not very well advertised and there are not too many tourists in this area (good for people like us, who really enjoyed the real Peru experience, not overtaken by tourism industry yet.) We were nicely surprised and definitely I would suggest using this as a key point in the advertisement of this region. So thank you, Martina, for pointing to us these... read more

Very professional and high-quality service from Martina, accommodating all of our requests and needs during the trip.

The North part of Peru is not very well advertised and there are not too many tourists in this area (good for people like us, who really enjoyed the real Peru experience, not overtaken by tourism industry yet.) We were nicely surprised and definitely I would suggest using this as a key point in the advertisement of this region. So thank you, Martina, for pointing to us these incredible places to see and stay.

Kuelep, Mausoleum of Revish, Sarcophagi of Karajia - amazing sites. Getting to these places through the real Peruvian villages is an attraction on its own. Chachapoyas and Cajamarca - very authentic Peruvian towns with beautiful main squares and beautiful architecture (a little bit disappointing was the fact that there was a major renovation of the main square in Chachapoyas - which we did not expect).

Also, the drive from Cajamarca through the valleys, mountains, and an incredible one-line road was amazing: the views, the trill passing another vehicles and change of sceneries were unforgettable.

Two amazing places we have stayed I would like to mention. Perico and Lola house in Nogalcucho: quiet and isolated house with beautiful private accommodations. Great homemade dinner and breakfast. Lots of options for walks or areas to sit and enjoy the beauty of their place.
Another is in Cocachimba hostel Sacha Puyo (best view on Gocta falls). The views and quietness of this place are out of this world.

Even though we did not have a guide, our driver Beto was able to give us enough info so we did not feel lost without knowledge of Spanish. But the knowledge of a minimum of Spanish language is a must when traveling in this region so I would recommend to always let people know about this fact. In general people in Northern Peru do not know English.

Martina Capel, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Beata,

Thank you so much for taking the time to write a such long overview. I am very happy that you enjoyed your stay in the amazing region of Amazonas.

Everything you mention is absolutely true. The region is still rather untouched from tourism and it gives you the opportunity to meet authentic people and to share their passion (like with Perico and Lola). On the other hand, without any Spanish knowledge and only with English, it is rather a challenge. I'm glad that Beto could be of... read more

Dear Beata,

Thank you so much for taking the time to write a such long overview. I am very happy that you enjoyed your stay in the amazing region of Amazonas.

Everything you mention is absolutely true. The region is still rather untouched from tourism and it gives you the opportunity to meet authentic people and to share their passion (like with Perico and Lola). On the other hand, without any Spanish knowledge and only with English, it is rather a challenge. I'm glad that Beto could be of assistance to you.

Once again, thank you for your encouraging comments that I will pass on to all the people involved.

Warm regards to you and your husband,
Martina

17 day peru adventure, Peru - Oct 27 - Nov 12, 2017

Traveler: Wyn K. - Local specialist: Evelyn Casallo

Very well organized! Had a great time without having to worry about details! Thank you!

Evelyn was very quick to answer questions and make the perfect itinerary for us!

Evelyn Casallo, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Wyn,

Thank you very much for your feedback and for your kind words,
Peru has a lot to offer and I am glad to hear you had a great time exploring our country.
Thank you for travelling with us!
Kindest regards,
Evelyn

Kristin

Ausangate trek, Peru - Oct 27 - Oct 31, 2017

Traveler: Kristin M. - Local specialist: James M

Wonderful, wonderful experience, booking was seamless and easy. The entire trip was absolutely just amazing. The service was top notch, the equipment was top notch and I have made new friends. There truly is not enough nice things I can say about Quechua Treks and James. This was an amazing trip. The food was excellent as well. I am already in the process of booking several other trips through kimkim and Quechua Treks.

James is amazing. Perfect communication and kept in contact. I'm actually not sure he ever sleeps because he answered every question I had promptly and I work nights!!!!

James M, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Kristin, many thanks for your comments, it's really appreciated by all of the crew here. It was an epic trek but thoroughly enjoyed by the whole team. This is what we love to do and it's a pleasure to have you with us. We're looking forward to planning more things with you in 2018 and we hope we can take you to the next level of trekking! best regards, James

Trip to peru, Peru - Oct 15 - Oct 19, 2017

Traveler: Marlynn R. - Local specialist: Steve Wilson

The trek was the highlight of our 3 week trip to Peru. Food, cooks, overall trekking experience was great. All places we stayed were great, especially the overnight at the hot springs. There was an issue with my sleeping bag: The zipper in my $40 rental sleeping bag was broken from day one. I had to put extra layers on to keep warm on the 1st night. In the afternoon the guide was nowhere to be found and I told him at dinner. Someone went to fix it, but they didn't try the zipper and I went to bed and the clasp fell off so the zipper was broken.

Steve Wilson, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Marlynn

It’s taken me a few days to respond to your review because I’ve been getting to the bottom of how this came to happen with your sleeping bag. Simple gear failure is the answer, and I’m so sorry it caused you this experience .

Wilhen, our equipment manager, personally checked your sleeping bag before it went out on your Salkantay trek, but it evidently gave way on the way in and started opening itself. Aldo got it to close again, but then the clasp came off in your hand.

Our... read more

Hi Marlynn

It’s taken me a few days to respond to your review because I’ve been getting to the bottom of how this came to happen with your sleeping bag. Simple gear failure is the answer, and I’m so sorry it caused you this experience .

Wilhen, our equipment manager, personally checked your sleeping bag before it went out on your Salkantay trek, but it evidently gave way on the way in and started opening itself. Aldo got it to close again, but then the clasp came off in your hand.

Our conclusion is that the zips on our National Geographic brand sleeping bags are not strong enough, and we’re sending them all off to get replaced. We’ll also be sending out an extra sleeping bag, to cover any cases like this, on our trips from now on.

I apologise once again for the sleeping bag and I hope other aspects of your trip went some way towards making up for it.

Kind regards
Steve

Sarah

Best day hikes in the sacred valley near cusco, Peru - Oct 12 - Oct 15, 2017

Traveler: Sarah M. - Local specialist: Nicole and Bill Koch

Nicole was incredible, and took the time to figure out what kind of trip I wanted, then helped me adjust last-minute when I needed to make some emergency changes.

I plan to recommend Nicole to anyone I hear is going to Peru—whether they ask for recommendations or not :)
She was available, helpful, knowledge, and lovely.

Nicole and Bill Koch, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thanks so much! It was our pleasure.

Beauty of southern peru - 10-day, Peru - Aug 11 - Aug 25, 2017

Traveler: Benjamin Z. - Local specialist: James M

Great trip that more than exceeded my expectations. The guides, activities, and accommodations were fantastic. The only thing that I could have improved would have been to do more research myself and request more days hiking.

Having the opportunity to chat with James on the phone could have sparked a discussion of the pace of the trip and whether a more aggressive itinerary made sense for us.

James M, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Ben, many thanks for your comments. We're really pleased you had a great time whilst you were here with us. Having met you, and in hindsight, a phone call would have been a good idea because I think you'd have enjoyed some really good trekking as part of your program.
Please keep in touch, we'd love to help you out if you're coming back to South America.
Best regards, James

Hike inca trail, Peru - Aug 14 - Aug 18, 2017

Traveler: Diana F. - Local specialist: Stephanie Guerra

It was the most amazing hike we ever did and Stephanie was of great help from the day we arrived in Cusco until the time we left. The hotels were really nice and all the people were very nice and friendly. One suggestion would be if you will be able to pair the hikers in the group based on abilities; our group was small and that was perfect. Thanks again for the wonderful trip!

Again, Stephanie went above and beyond to customized our trip based on our needs and she helped us from the time we arrived in Cusco until the day we left. Thanks Stephanie! It was a great pleasure to meet you!

Stephanie Guerra, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Diana,

It was a pleasure to help you with your trip and to meet your family! I'm glad you enjoyed your trip and had a great time on the Salkantay Trek.

Peru trip 2017, Peru - Aug 16 - Aug 19, 2017

Traveler: chrisha m. - Local specialist: Nicole and Bill Koch

We had a good guide, Joise. To improve, it would have been great if we had more communication from the travel agent.

Everything was good. Had a good driver and perfect guide. Would have liked to have more communication

Nicole and Bill Koch, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hello Chrisha,
Thank you for letting us know your thoughts and thank you very much for the review!
Nicole

Andrew

Best day hikes in the sacred valley, Peru - Jul 26 - Aug 1, 2017

Traveler: Andrew H. - Local specialist: Nicole and Bill Koch

Fantastic communication and great advice from Nicole. The guide and driver were brilliant.

Nicole and Bill Koch, local specialist, responded to this review:

Gracias Andrew. Safe travels.

Janice

Best treks to machu picchu, Peru - Aug 11 - Aug 19, 2017

Traveler: Janice H. - Local specialist: Nicole and Bill Koch

I had a great first experience with KimKim. I told others about it before even going on my trip. I began to fear it was too good to be true.... no, it was great from start to finish. I was regularly surprised with more than expected... more supported and more amenities than I thought.

I generally interacted with Nicole. She was very responsive, often responding within the hour or early morning after a late night inquiry. She alerted me to a period of a few days where she would be unavailable. Our short notice trip went off without a hitch.

Nicole and Bill Koch, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thanks Janice. We were happy to create this trip for you and your son! Take care and Safe Travels.
Nicole

Salkantay trek to machu picchu, Peru - Aug 4 - Aug 14, 2017

Traveler: Mark B. - Local specialist: Nicole and Bill Koch

Planning and booking the trip was easy. KimKim connected us with a great tour provider, and always responded quickly to questions and requests.

It's rare to find a tour organizer really dedicated to creating a perfect experience, but that's the impression we had with Nicole and Haku. It's not the cheapest option, but hearing about others who had trekked with larger groups we are happy with our decision.

Our guide Josias was experienced, patient and a great companion for the 6 days. We... read more

Planning and booking the trip was easy. KimKim connected us with a great tour provider, and always responded quickly to questions and requests.

It's rare to find a tour organizer really dedicated to creating a perfect experience, but that's the impression we had with Nicole and Haku. It's not the cheapest option, but hearing about others who had trekked with larger groups we are happy with our decision.

Our guide Josias was experienced, patient and a great companion for the 6 days. We stayed in comfortable lodges in epic locations, and really enjoyed the meal on the final night.

There were no hidden costs or surprises, and every detail was covered. This truly allowed us to enjoy one of the best hiking trails in the world.

Nicole and Bill Koch, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thanks Mark. Salkantay is an amazing trip and I am so glad you could enjoy it!

Blair

Quick trip for an epic hike, Peru - Aug 11 - Aug 15, 2017

Traveler: Blair S. - Local specialist: James M

I only received the one company as an option. Not sure if KimKim restricts the replies to the first company or if only the one company was interested in responding but it would have been good to get multiple companies to reply.

James was great to work with and was VERY fast to respond to questions and concerns.

James M, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Blair, thanks for your review, was great to have you both with us & from what I've heard from the guide we're really pleased you had a great trek.
Kimkim will always match travelers with the specialist in the destination who best matches the specific request. In this way travelers always get the best advice and experience based on their trip or expedition requirements.
It would have been good to hear your thoughts on the trek itself & the service you experienced during your trip. It's an... read more

Hi Blair, thanks for your review, was great to have you both with us & from what I've heard from the guide we're really pleased you had a great trek.
Kimkim will always match travelers with the specialist in the destination who best matches the specific request. In this way travelers always get the best advice and experience based on their trip or expedition requirements.
It would have been good to hear your thoughts on the trek itself & the service you experienced during your trip. It's an epic trek & we hope it matched your expectations. We would love to help you out again if you're down this way in future. Please keep in touch, best James

Lima and machu picchu, Peru - Jul 26 - Aug 2, 2017

Traveler: Danica P. - Local specialist: Carolyn Frost

We had a couple of minor hiccups with miscommunication causing delays but Diego always tried to make things right and waited in our hotel lobby to personally apologize. Other than that great service.

Diego Leon, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hello Danica!

We are sorry for those inconvenient but glad that you enjoyed your trip.

P.D. Your photos look great!

Diego

13 days, salk, biking, horseback, Peru - Jul 14 - Jul 26, 2017

Traveler: Herman V. - Local specialist: Nicole and Bill Koch

We just came back from a hiking trip to Macchu Picchu in Peru via the Salkantay route with HakuExpeditions wich we had booked via kimkim earlier this year. Our trekking along Salkantay as well as the visit to Macchu Picchu were just awesome. Nicole from Haku Expeditions was very flexible in setting up our itinerary and upon arrival in Cusco she organized a briefing with our trekking guides.

The guides were absolutely fantastic. Both were very friendly and helpful, and had tremendous... read more

We just came back from a hiking trip to Macchu Picchu in Peru via the Salkantay route with HakuExpeditions wich we had booked via kimkim earlier this year. Our trekking along Salkantay as well as the visit to Macchu Picchu were just awesome. Nicole from Haku Expeditions was very flexible in setting up our itinerary and upon arrival in Cusco she organized a briefing with our trekking guides.

The guides were absolutely fantastic. Both were very friendly and helpful, and had tremendous knowledge about the trek, the culture and environment. We did not trek by tent but from cabin to cabin. The accommodations were basic and clean, typically for what I've expected on a trek like this (no unnecessary luxury - but a good bed and a good hot shower every day). The food was above expectations. The Peruvian cuisine at high altitude, on the beaten track, tasted so delicious that we hiked almost every day without even having to rely on our snacks during the hike in between the main meals, there was plenty of good food and great hospitality. Definitely a trip we would like to do over sometime.

Nicole and Bill Koch, local specialist, responded to this review:

Herman it was wonderful to meet you and your family. Thanks for coming to Peru and allowing us to create a custom trip for your family!

Hiking in peru, Peru - Jun 5 - Jun 11, 2017

Traveler: Jennifer S. - Local specialist: Nicole and Bill Koch

I wish we could have kept the same guide throughout the entire experience. Our first guide, Reuben, saw us through the Choquequirao trek (which was fantastic) but we had a different guide for Machu Picchu and unfortunately he wasn't nearly as good. After several days on the trail with Reuben, we were very comfortable with him and his team, and it was jarring to switch to someone new on the last days of the trip.

Overall, booking with Bill and Nicole was great. Nicole was always in contact... read more

I wish we could have kept the same guide throughout the entire experience. Our first guide, Reuben, saw us through the Choquequirao trek (which was fantastic) but we had a different guide for Machu Picchu and unfortunately he wasn't nearly as good. After several days on the trail with Reuben, we were very comfortable with him and his team, and it was jarring to switch to someone new on the last days of the trip.

Overall, booking with Bill and Nicole was great. Nicole was always in contact making sure we had what we needed (she even gave me advice on which restaurants were good, what to pack to deal with the constantly changing weather in Peru, etc). It put my mind at ease being able to have such an open dialogue with her up right up until the day we left for the trip. That is definitely not something you get when booking through a regular travel agent.

I have nothing but great things to say about Bill and Nicole. They were easy-going, helpful and always willing to answer our questions. As I mentioned previously, the open communication with them throughout the planning stages of this trip really helped us prepare properly for the trek. I felt like we experienced Peru from a 'locals' perspective rather than a 'tourists' perspective thanks to their tips and suggestions. I would have loved it if they could have accompanied our hiking guide, Reuben, when he met with us to conduct the 'briefing'... actually I would have loved it if they could have come with us on the hike itself! They are such good people and did a great job helping us plan this trip.

Nicole and Bill Koch, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Jen, Thanks for the fantastic review! This comment is so sweet of you. We wish we could go too! (Jen:) I would have loved it if they could have accompanied our hiking guide, Reuben, when he met with us to conduct the 'briefing'... actually I would have loved it if they could have come with us on the hike itself! They are such good people and did a great job helping us plan this trip.

Thanks again! By the way, we would have loved to have Ruben with you in Machu Picchu. He is such a great... read more

Hi Jen, Thanks for the fantastic review! This comment is so sweet of you. We wish we could go too! (Jen:) I would have loved it if they could have accompanied our hiking guide, Reuben, when he met with us to conduct the 'briefing'... actually I would have loved it if they could have come with us on the hike itself! They are such good people and did a great job helping us plan this trip.

Thanks again! By the way, we would have loved to have Ruben with you in Machu Picchu. He is such a great guide. However, he was already booked for another trek. We just didn't have any other choice.
Keep in touch and safe travels.

Mark

Ausangate nevada trek, Peru - Jul 4 - Jul 11, 2017

Traveler: Mark F. - Local specialist: James M

An amazing job by the entire Quechua Treks team. From all of James's work picking the trek. Then preparing for it, to Mayra's work leading us on the trip it was simply amazing. I plan to use Quechua for any future trips to South America. I consider them a tremendous resource to have access to and will suggest that any of my friends looking do something in South America contact them.

As mentioned earlier James's responsiveness was tremendous. He seemed to be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. No question went unanswered for long.

James M, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Mark, thanks for your review. Was great to have you here with us & the crew enjoyed the tour with you. Some great photos from it, I think you picked the best trek! All the best for your travels this year, and enjoy the trekking in Switzerland. Keep in touch.

Peru travel, Peru - Jun 24 - Jul 3, 2017

Traveler: Justin B. - Local specialist: Nicole and Bill Koch

Nicole provided my friends and I with a vacation for the history books. First of all, the planning stage was a breeze. After mentioning a rough idea of what we wanted to hit in Peru, Nicole came back instantly with a draft itinerary. After some minor tweaks, it was set. In the weeks leading up to the trip, Nicole was only a quick Whatsapp away to answer all questions, and she would immediately respond. The trip was just as smooth. In Cusco to Ollantaytambo, our beautiful colonial Airbnb was... read more

Nicole provided my friends and I with a vacation for the history books. First of all, the planning stage was a breeze. After mentioning a rough idea of what we wanted to hit in Peru, Nicole came back instantly with a draft itinerary. After some minor tweaks, it was set. In the weeks leading up to the trip, Nicole was only a quick Whatsapp away to answer all questions, and she would immediately respond. The trip was just as smooth. In Cusco to Ollantaytambo, our beautiful colonial Airbnb was comfortable and in a perfect location. Our English-speaking drivers and guides were on time and extremely nice. From exploring ruins, biking through the Andes, whipping ATVs, zip lining in the Sacred Valley, hiking to the top of Machu Picchu, among countless other adventures, the trip was effortless as Nicole thought of everything. She was just as responsive in Peru, ready to lend food and other suggestions at every turn. She even hooked us up with an amazing contact for our stay in Lima. I would recommend anyone looking for a genuine adventure to use her services.

Nicole and Bill Koch, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thanks Justin! It was a pleasure helping you out. We had a fun time biking with you guys as well. Take care and safe travels!

Trip to peru, Peru - Jun 16 - Jun 28, 2017

Traveler: Sandy L. - Local specialist: Steve Wilson

Excellent planning! Amazing guides!

Very organized! Well planned

Steve Wilson, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hola Sandy, thank you kindly for your review! I'm delighted that you and your family had an amazing time in Peru. What a stunning day you had at Machu Picchu - look at that sky!! It was a pleasure helping you design and plan your trip, and Katy and I are glad you enjoyed the company and leadership of Luis, your Aspiring Adventures guide. We hope you'll return to Peru some day!
Kind regards,
Steve, Aspiring Adventures

Peru 2017 - family trip for robert bass, Peru - Jun 8 - Jun 20, 2017

Traveler: Robert B. - Local specialist: Mayra Callo

I have had the opportunity of planning travel with several established companies previously, ie Backroads, Vermont BicycleTours, Costa Rica Expeditions. The experience we had with Quechua Treks / Mayra was EXCEPTIONAL. She truly designed an itinerary specific for my family which was unique and certainly not the traditional Inca Trail/Machu Pichu visit. The opportunity to do the Lares Trek allowed us to see amazing countryside and visit with actual native folks. This was only possible because... read more

I have had the opportunity of planning travel with several established companies previously, ie Backroads, Vermont BicycleTours, Costa Rica Expeditions. The experience we had with Quechua Treks / Mayra was EXCEPTIONAL. She truly designed an itinerary specific for my family which was unique and certainly not the traditional Inca Trail/Machu Pichu visit. The opportunity to do the Lares Trek allowed us to see amazing countryside and visit with actual native folks. This was only possible because of Mayra's long history in this area and mastery of the Quechuan dialect. We did not see other tourists for 3 days! We found her crew (horsemen , cooks) to be professional, friendly and very punctual. The specialty guides arranged for us were very knowledgeable, truly bilingual and obviously proud to show us their country, not just going through the motions. This trip involved multiple lodging and transportation connections which all took place seamlessly. Accommodations were described accurately and there were no unexpected "surprises" either in quality of lodging, food or additional expenses. Most importantly Mayra was enthusiastic, knowledgeable and flexible with our desires. She is genuine and professional and an outstanding representative for KIMKIM.

Mayra Callo, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thanks Robert,
It was our pleasure to have you and your beautiful family in Peru.
We are more than happy that you choose Lares Trek and you had the chance to experience the less touristy part of this country.
Sending you happy toughts across the miles.
Mayra

Inca trail to machu picchu - 5-day itinerary, Peru - Jun 4 - Jun 17, 2017

Traveler: Gretchen M. - Local specialist: Katy Shorthouse

The Peru trip was amazing! It beat expectations and was a marvel on so many levels. Our guide, Aldo, was a huge bonus as he was an amazing person to spend two weeks with escorting us through his magical country.

Katy Shorthouse, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Gretchen
Thanks so much for your kind words. It was a pleasure to organize a trip for you and your boys. We always aim to pass expectations and when Aldo's on the trip, we can't go wrong - he is indeed the eighth wonder of the world!
All the best for your future travels!
Katy

Peru sacred valley - urubamba, pisaq, ollantaytambo, Peru - May 31 - May 31, 2017

Traveler: Charles M. - Local specialist: Mayra Callo

The service provided was the best I have ever encountered. I highly recommend using the kimkim service in Peru and particularly Mayra and James MacKender.

Mayra was terrific to work with. She was very responsive during a very difficult time in Peru. A strike in the Sacred Valley was announced for the same time I had booked a tour with kimkim. Mayra showed empathy and concern and worked with me to plan alternate contingencies and to keep me updated on the latest news. I heard from her... read more

The service provided was the best I have ever encountered. I highly recommend using the kimkim service in Peru and particularly Mayra and James MacKender.

Mayra was terrific to work with. She was very responsive during a very difficult time in Peru. A strike in the Sacred Valley was announced for the same time I had booked a tour with kimkim. Mayra showed empathy and concern and worked with me to plan alternate contingencies and to keep me updated on the latest news. I heard from her from late at night to early in the morning. She stayed with me as things changed and I felt like she really cared about me and my trip. She made it happen, and our tour was completed and we arrived at Machu Picchu on time. She followed up afterward to make sure everything was okay.

Mayra Callo, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thanks, Charles, was a pleasure to have you with us. Glad we finally got the trip together that you wanted all along! Hope to see you back in Peru soon, best Mayra & James

Salkantay trek to machu picchu - 5 days, Peru - May 21 - May 25, 2017

Traveler: Kimberlee C. - Local specialist: Nicole and Bill Koch

Nicole was excellent at organizing our trip. It was great to talk to a real person on the ground in Peru when I was booking from Australia. At first, our trip seemed expensive but now in hind sight considering everything it included and in comparison to other travelers we met along the way our trip was excellent value for money. Every aspect of our trip was organized we didn't have to worry about a thing. Our guide Josias was absolutely fantastic and really made the trip special. He spoke... read more

Nicole was excellent at organizing our trip. It was great to talk to a real person on the ground in Peru when I was booking from Australia. At first, our trip seemed expensive but now in hind sight considering everything it included and in comparison to other travelers we met along the way our trip was excellent value for money. Every aspect of our trip was organized we didn't have to worry about a thing. Our guide Josias was absolutely fantastic and really made the trip special. He spoke fluent English and helped us translate along the way and told us fantastic history and facts about the region. The food and accommodation were excellent. After a hard day walking it was great to come home to a real warm bed. I am a coeliac and catering along the way was fantastic! We couldn't have had a better trip. We are so happy we chose to book with KimKim.

Nicole looked after all of our needs. She was very patient and always helpful. She helped us booked our salkantay trek and gave me information about other trips and options available.

Nicole and Bill Koch, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thanks so much Kim! We loved getting to know you guys. I am so glad you liked it. We love creating amazing memories for people. Keep in touch and take care.
Bill and Nicole

Will be in cuzco aclimatizing for 4 days before hiking inca trail, Peru - May 2 - May 2, 2017

Traveler: Charles M. - Local specialist: Nicole and Bill Koch

Thank you Nichole and William, the guide Javier and our driver Marco were excellent. They were first and foremost good people, they were attentive, and knowledgeable about the people places and culture that we were exploring. We came expecting a trip from place to place with explanations and guidance, and instead were treated as friends being welcomed into a family home. They stopped every time we seemed interested in a landmark or even a beautiful field of Quinoa that we wanted to photograph... read more

Thank you Nichole and William, the guide Javier and our driver Marco were excellent. They were first and foremost good people, they were attentive, and knowledgeable about the people places and culture that we were exploring. We came expecting a trip from place to place with explanations and guidance, and instead were treated as friends being welcomed into a family home. They stopped every time we seemed interested in a landmark or even a beautiful field of Quinoa that we wanted to photograph for memories. They showed us a wonderful part of Peru, and we are grateful for their time and effort.

You chose your people well, they made this excursion perfect.

Nicole and Bill Koch, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thanks Charles! We are glad you could feel at home here in Peru. We love making vacations amazing!

Rachel

Salkantay trek to machu picchu - 5 days, Peru - Mar 21 - Mar 28, 2017

Traveler: Rachel R. - Local specialist: Nicole and Bill Koch

Everything was well organized and explained in the itinerary

They checked in in the trip when I was there and ensured everything went as planned

Nicole and Bill Koch, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thanks Rachel! I am glad your had a wonderful trip!
Nicole

Archaeological sites in the sacred valley, Peru - Feb 4 - Feb 4, 2017

Traveler: Janice R. - Local specialist: Steve Wilson

Steve was good at arranging the trip, dropping off the Tourist Tickets at our hotel the day before our tour, and finding us a good guide. Our guide, Aldo was just great. He was flexible and agreed to take us to Pisac earlier than planned, so we could see it while fresh. When a portion of the Pisac Inca site was inaccessible, he found a way for us to see the site by entering at a different place. No, he didn't break any laws doing so. It was a beautiful day, so he arranged for us to walk down... read more

Steve was good at arranging the trip, dropping off the Tourist Tickets at our hotel the day before our tour, and finding us a good guide. Our guide, Aldo was just great. He was flexible and agreed to take us to Pisac earlier than planned, so we could see it while fresh. When a portion of the Pisac Inca site was inaccessible, he found a way for us to see the site by entering at a different place. No, he didn't break any laws doing so. It was a beautiful day, so he arranged for us to walk down a path, through the Inca site to meet our driver in the town of Pisac. When we expressed an interest in Andean condors, he took us to a wildlife rehab center where we could see these impressive birds close up and also watch them take off and fly.

Steve Wilson, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Jan, I'm delighted that you had a wonderful time exploring the Sacred Valley with Aldo! How terrific that you had a chance to meet the condors up close - they're very impressive birds aren't they?! Thank you for choosing to travel with us and for taking the time to write a review about your experiences. We hope to see you again some day!
Kind regards,
Steve, Aspiring Adventures