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active 2 days ago

Jessica Danker

I have been traveling since I can remember, but no destination was quite as special as when I arrived in Peru. What was meant to be a two weeklong vacation turned into a few years living in and exploring the country!

What places and activities do you specialize in?

"I specialize in all things Peru! I lived in Lima, Peru for over 2 years and have traveled all over the beautiful country. With the coastline, the mountains and the Amazon the opportunities for adventure are endless!"

How did you get involved in travel?

"I was always the travel planner in the friend group, but then I decided to live abroad after college. I fell in love with exploring new places, meeting new friends and trying new foods! As my interest in travel grew so did my ability to plan better more authentic experiences for myself. After a while I found myself settled in Lima, Peru, and decided I wanted to share my experiences and passion for travel with others as a Travel Advisor. "

Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.

"I will never forget the first time that I traveled to the rainforest. A group of friends and I stayed at an Amazon Lodge in Puerto Maldonado, but it was the edge of rainy season so I wasn't sure what to expect. We saw otters, caimans, macaws, tarantulas (scary!) and so much more up close in their natural habitats. This was something that was really unique to me having grown up in the city. On the last day I woke up early to watch the sunrise over the Amazon River and will never forget how beautiful the sky and all the colors of the jungle looked. "

Jessica is part of the following groups: Bolivia Travel Agents, Peru Travel Agents
Top itineraries and travel advice

Recent trip reviews for Jessica

Amazing time in Cusco, Sacred valley and Machu Picchu
Peru | Apr 6 - Apr 12, 2024

Bjoern Andre
Bjoern Andre E.
Flagami, FL | Reviewed on Apr 15, 2024
Our trip to Cusco, Sacred valley , short Inca trail and Machu Picchu was amazing. The program was very well planned. The hotels included were very nice and perfectly located. We were picked up at the airport and hotels every morning always on time. Our guide for 4 days, Emilia, was perfect; full of knowledge, passion and interesting with a big smile. :-) We can recommend using kimkim for a trip to this region. Thanks! Read more

Our trip to Cusco, Sacred valley , short Inca trail and Machu Picchu was amazing. The program was very well planned. The hotels included were very nice and perfectly located. We were picked up at the airport and hotels every morning always on time. Our guide for 4 days, Emilia, was perfect; full of knowledge, passion and interesting with a big smile. :-) We can recommend using kimkim for a trip to this region. Thanks!

Hotel Reviews
Casa San Blas Boutique
Cusco

Very nice hotel and perfect location! Very good staff and breakfast!

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Clean and comfortable, but you can hear noise from other rooms easily
El Albergue Ollantaytambo Boutique Hotel
Cusco

Unique hotel on the train station to Machu Picchu. Very nice garden around the buildings. Big rooms. Good breakfast!

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
El Mapi by Inkaterra
Lima

Modern luxury hotel in Macchu Picchu. Very good!

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Activity Reviews
Sacred Valley Tour: Pisac and Maras  - Lunch at MountainView Experience Lodge
Sacred Valley Tour: Pisac and Maras - Lunch at MountainView Experience Lodge
Peru

Very nice and interesting! We even got a bonus trip to the salt production plant

Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Lunch at Mountainview
Lunch at Mountainview
Peru

Highly recommended. Excellent view, food, service and meet with lamas

Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
 Short Inca Trail Day 1: Hiking to Machu Picchu via Chachabamba and Wiñay Wayna
Short Inca Trail Day 1: Hiking to Machu Picchu via Chachabamba and Wiñay Wayna
Peru

6 hours walk with breaks in a medium demanding trail. Perfect alternative if you don't have time for or want to walk the 4 day trail. 2 impressive Inca sites on the way to Machu Picchu.

Quality of Experience
Food
The lunch box was ok, but it is good to bring some snacks in your backpack.
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Short Inca Trail Day 2: Machu Picchu Guided Tour and Return to Cusco
Short Inca Trail Day 2: Machu Picchu Guided Tour and Return to Cusco
Peru

Machu Picchu is amazing. Our guide, Emilia was just perfect!

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Good car and driver back to Cusco, but we had to wait 1/2 hour before he found us.
Local specialist: Jessica Danker
Jessica
Jessica Danker
Local specialist in New York City | Replied on Apr 15, 2024

Thank you so much for the great review. It was a great experience working together to make this itinerary happen!

The whole trip was seamlessly organised and e...
Peru | Dec 6 - Dec 20, 2023

D
Daniel M.
United Kingdom | Reviewed on Dec 21, 2023

The whole trip was seamlessly organised and executed. It allowed us to efficiently visit most of the country in a relatively short period of time. Edy was an outstanding guide, through his passion, patience and flexibility.

Local specialist: Jessica Danker
Jessica
Jessica Danker
Local specialist in New York City | Replied on Dec 31, 2023

Happy to hear you had such an amazing experience in Peru! We hope to welcome you back again.

We knew this would be an awesome trip but whe...
Peru | Nov 11 - Nov 25, 2023

Sonia
Sonia A.
Sweden | Reviewed on Dec 02, 2023
We knew this would be an awesome trip but when executing it, it turned out to be even more amazing than expected.
I loved the fact that I could cuatomized the trip /design it exactly as per my wishes, and Kim kim just help me with the logistics arouns it.
Everything was arranged perfectly, from transport to accommodation to time slots etc. 6 of 5 points!
Hotels, specially the Tierra Viva chain hoth in Lima and Ollantaytambo, were very nice, with the only exception of the hotel (hostal...
Read more

We knew this would be an awesome trip but when executing it, it turned out to be even more amazing than expected.
I loved the fact that I could cuatomized the trip /design it exactly as per my wishes, and Kim kim just help me with the logistics arouns it.
Everything was arranged perfectly, from transport to accommodation to time slots etc. 6 of 5 points!
Hotels, specially the Tierra Viva chain hoth in Lima and Ollantaytambo, were very nice, with the only exception of the hotel (hostal really) Amaru in Cusco where the sound from the rooms above us in all nights we stayed there didnt help us sleep much, and the cleaning could have been better too. Also ahead of our stay in the Jungle, in the TreeLodge, we should have been give more factual info that there is no mobile coverage, no cashier nor any emergency shop at all, so for example, if you are a woman and happen to get your mens while there, as it happened to me, you rather were mega prepared ahead having bought even female patches/tampongs with you as there is simply no way to get them in the jungle. Prior to pur trip we had understoodd it was ju gle but as we were staying on a 'resort'/'lodge', we thought there'd at least be a survival shop /pharmacy at the premises.

The guides in Puno, Cusco and thr jungle have been very different styles one vs the other, but each od them had its own charm, a lot of knowledge and have made our trip a real joy. Kuddos to Maycol in Puno, Emilia (Cusi travel) in Cusco and Carlos & Jaimer in the jungle.

An advice for other travellers is to do your research thoroughly of what you'll like to visit and only after that design your trip. Peru has far too many things/places to visit, so one cannot leave it only to the typical 'for tourist' tours if one really wants to cover the most 'corners of Peru' possible in the time one has there.

One other suggestion to Kim Kim/advice to traveller is that the INCA Trail hike, even the short one we did, requires higher than standard good condition. 7h and more than 200 staircases, under rain or heavy sun, and even if with stops to drink/grab an energy bite and a breath, is not a trivial challenge. And I say this having grown up hiking the Pyrenees in my home land Basque Country (North Spain).

To visit Machu Picchu and a piece (the Peruvian) of the Amazon River/jungle was my dream since young ago (I am 47 now :)). This trip has not only get me to fullfill this dream, but also to even get to see other fascinating places in Peru like Lake Titicaca or the Rainbow Mountain. The trip is expensive but worth every penny.

Local specialist: Jessica Danker
Jessica
Jessica Danker
Local specialist in New York City | Replied on Dec 04, 2023

I appreciate this lovely review! Peru is an amazing country and there are so many places to visit. I am happy that it left a lasting impression on you. I hope to welcome you back again in the future!

A dream come true
Peru | Nov 11 - Nov 25, 2023

O
Olga S.
Sweden | Reviewed on Nov 29, 2023
I only have great things to say about the trip and everything about it: the planning and organizing and the people that have been involved to make this experience unforgettable. Jessica has been absolutely amazing providing answers to all - sometimes even silly - questions and making sure every single request from our side has been met and included in the itinerary. I must admit, I was a bit worried at first booking such an expensive trip online like this, no receipts, no "actual" people... Read more

I only have great things to say about the trip and everything about it: the planning and organizing and the people that have been involved to make this experience unforgettable. Jessica has been absolutely amazing providing answers to all - sometimes even silly - questions and making sure every single request from our side has been met and included in the itinerary. I must admit, I was a bit worried at first booking such an expensive trip online like this, no receipts, no "actual" people we're interacting with, it felt a bit uncertain. Also, I was worried about the situation in Peru and whether it would be unstable/turbulent there. None of my fears turned out to have any ground and it was the smoothest trip I've ever been on! Well, apart from constantly being sick, but that had only to do with my own immune system :D So my huge appreciation goes out to Jess! Thanks for all the patience with us while drafting out this adventure! Our first guide on the ground was Maykel and he showed us the wonders of the Puno region. He has such a passion for his work, his country and history - it was a pleasure listening to his stories. Then we met Emilia in Cusco and we stayed with her all throughout the Cusco - Machu Picchu - Rainbow Mountain journey. Also her passion and pride for her country and background has rubbed off :) She is such a wonderful and warm person, it was great being taken care of by her during those days. Lastly, in the Amazon region, we were taken care by Carlos and Jaiver, who once again were so clearly in love with the jungle, the nature and their work! Their ability to feel the forest was absolutely mind-blowing - it felt like they could see right through it, when they knew where to turn to find a tarantula in the complete darkness or to spot an iguana up on a treetop when passing by at high speed on a boat (when we came to a halt, it took me a while to see the iguana and I just kept wondering how on earth did they manage to see it so quickly?) but it's just that it's in their blood - and it's fantastic to know that there are people like them living there and taking such loving care of the "lungs of our planet".
Huge thanks to the entire kimkim team for making my dream come true! You're all fantastic!

Hotel Reviews
Tierra Viva Miraflores Larco
Lima

Nice hotel with good location. Quite noisy as the room was right below the kitchen and all the rattling starting at 5am was pretty loud. Also, no windows going out to the street - but only to the inside of the hotel - was a minus.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
the noise
Amaru
Cusco
Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Some of the front desk staff weren't particularly friendly.
Cleanliness & Comfort
The rooms weren't clean, the bathroom floor was covered in sand/dust and hair that didn't come from us.
Treehouse
Iquitos

I have a bit of mixed feelings about this one - I both loved it and felt like it was a huge challenge :D First of all, no one told me there would be these hanging bridges at 20 m height that I'd need to cross to get to and out of the room! I'm afraid of heights so to me it was a huge deal to cross it without any security rope attached to me. But then I took it as a way to face and embrace my fears so I dealt with it and got better at it with time :) Secondly, all the wildlife was both fantastic and scary at the same time :D Waking up to the birds' songs at sunrise is the best medicine for us westerners to calm down our boiling stressed out minds, along with watching dozens of various colorful butterflies float around - to me it was like being in paradise. At the same time, being greeted by buzzing flying monsters and creeping lizards on the walls in the bathroom at night was not something for the sensitive souls :D But once again, i took it as a challenge and made myself proud at the end :D The staff was absolutely wonderful. I got very sick upon my arrival and couldn't eat regular food so they cooked me the most delicious chicken broth and mint tea which I think was what helped me recover so quickly. When i did get to finally enjoy the proper food - it was delicious and so nicely presented, like in the most luxurious resorts. To me, despite the sickness, it was a much needed escape to the heart of the nature which helped me relax and completely recover in just a couple of days from all the stress of everyday life.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Sonesta Posadas del Inca Puno
Puno
Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
El Albergue Ollantaytambo Boutique Hotel
Cusco
Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Tierra Viva Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu
Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Local specialist: Jessica Danker
Jessica
Jessica Danker
Local specialist in New York City | Replied on Dec 01, 2023

What a wonderful time! I am so happy that everything went smoothly, and you made some great memories while in Peru. It was so great working with you and planning this trip. Thanks again!

Kimkim made a bucket list trip fantastic
Peru | Oct 18 - Oct 23, 2023

K
Keshigaa P.
Canada | Reviewed on Oct 30, 2023
I first heard about Kimkim from a friend who used them to book a trip to Peru. She spoke highly of both Kimkim (and Cusi travel who was the local agency Kimkim set both of us up with while in Peru). Take it from both of us who've gone through the experience, the extra cost is 100% worth the money to book a private tour via Kimkim. Kimkim and Jessica were fantastic in helping create a Peru trip on such as short time frame as we had about 2.5 months to plan the entire trip. Jessica was... Read more

I first heard about Kimkim from a friend who used them to book a trip to Peru. She spoke highly of both Kimkim (and Cusi travel who was the local agency Kimkim set both of us up with while in Peru). Take it from both of us who've gone through the experience, the extra cost is 100% worth the money to book a private tour via Kimkim.

Kimkim and Jessica were fantastic in helping create a Peru trip on such as short time frame as we had about 2.5 months to plan the entire trip. Jessica was always quick to respond back to our replies, make changes to our itinerary and provide suggestions that suited what we were looking for. We went through quite a few itinerary changes as our dates shifted slightly along with working with our flights and she she was always on top of it all. We left heading to Peru with a wonderful itinerary and no worries at all.

Our trip to Peru focused on Cusco and the Sacred Valley due to time constraints but the entire trip was wonderful. The entire group left feeling as if we had seen the key places and not once did we feel rushed by our tour guide or group (even when timing was getting tight and we started worrying, not once did our guide make us feel like we needed to rush and we were always on time). Our main tour guide was Valeriano from Cusi travels and he was fantastic. He was able to answer all our questions, always kept a pace with us when the altitude impacted our physical abilities and you could see his passion for the Incan civilization. He also never made us feel like we had to buy something if we stopped at a stall/store like other guides outside of Kimkim made us feel, he was always punctual and he always knew the next day's itinerary and was great about sharing it with us so we never were uncertain. He was super knowledgeable, with great English. Even our drivers were great, encouraging us and always jumping out to help us with bags or holding something so we could safely and easily get in/out of vehicles.

The hotels we stayed in were great, with helpful staff, clean rooms and free breakfasts. The Cusco hotel was better than the smaller towns which is to be expected but at no point did we feel unsafe, felt like the rooms could be cleaner or that we weren't getting our money's worth. They also all had safe to eat at restaurants built in or very close by so we never had to worry about not finding safe food in the area.

Overall for having such a short time span we loved our Peru experience and are super happy we went with Kimkim. There wasn't a single complain amongst the group except that we wished we were able to go longer. I highly recommend Kimkim and Cusi travel for any Peru trips.

Hotel Reviews
Casa Andina Standard Cusco Plaza
Cusco

We booked a 3 person room for both stays (starting and ending our trip). The staff were always welcoming, and happy to answer our endless questions for help. The luggage storage is very secure, the rooms were clean (our 2nd came with a balcony that let us enjoy some fresh air) and the rooms are a decent size. There's extra bedding which came in handy for when we got cold. The location is fantastic being a minute walk from the main Cusco plaza and surrounded by lots of stores, great restaurants and amenities. It's a bit busy and there's firecrackers that can cause some noise but it didn't bother us. It does take about 30 minutes or so to get to/from the airport depending on traffic but it's a high tourist area and there was lots of police presence around so we never felt unsafe. The breakfast was delicious.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Hotel Pakaritampu
Ollantaytambo

The hotel is clean with decent sized rooms. It does seem a bit older than our Cusco hotel but it still quite a comfortable stay. There are individual buildings so do anticipate having to go outside to get to the front desk or restaurant. Our building also had a 2nd floor via stairs and I didn't see an elevator although there may have been one in another part of the building. The floors also squeak but this noise didn't bother us at all. The internet was quite spotty for us in the room. The hotel is located about 10 minutes downhill from the main plaza of Ollantaytambo (close to the train station) as well as the closest markets to buy water. It didn't bother us much but it could possibly be an issue if going up a semi-steep incline is a challenge. The lobby does sell water at a markup if you prefer. The restaurants is tourist friendly and we had no issues after eating there. It's also where a great breakfast is served. If you have time, climb the terraces behind the hotel (on their property) to get a great view of the Ollantaytambo ruins and to enjoy some fresh air. We greatly enjoyed staying at the hotel.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Casa Andina Standard Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu, Cusco

The hotel is clean, comfortable and not too far from the train station (technically it's right outside the station but because of where the entrance/exit is it's more like a 5 minute walk from the station). The staff were helpful in answering any questions as well as helping with our bags. They do luggage storage as well. There's an on-site restaurant which doubles for breakfast which is handy. Our rooms were clean, of decent size and comfortable. We had an issue with our key cards that was very quickly fixed with no problems at all. Because our room faced the train station there was the train horn and noise but it's far enough down the street that general tourist noises aren't a concern. There's lots of small shops nearby to buy snacks/water if need be.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Activity Reviews
Tour the Sacred Valley: Cusco - Pisac - Ollantaytambo
Tour the Sacred Valley: Cusco - Pisac - Ollantaytambo
Peru

This was a great tour to see the main sites of the Sacred Valley as well as an introduction to Incan Civilization. It's all driven with different viewpoints and Incan ruins. We greatly enjoyed it as a slower start while we acclimatized to the altitude. It does include a lunch at a buffet serving common Peruvian cuisine which was a great way to try some popular and different dishes before fully committing to a whole plate at a different restaurant. The ruins are great but anticipate a lot of walking and stairs (as well as sun). You'll also drive to lots of different little towns and get a bit of the vibe of what it's like to live there. The roads are bumpy so anticipate that. There is a typical tour stop in a silver store where a employee talked to us about the different designs and types of silver in jewelry - to be honest he talked so fast no one in the group understood him beyond 1 or 2 points and then you are invited to walk around the store; there's no pressure to buy anything at all and we just briefly glanced around before leaving with no issue but it wasn't something we were expecting and would rather have skipped.

Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Moray & Maras ATV Tour
Moray & Maras ATV Tour
Peru

The morning drive to Moray took us through a less used road which was actually really nice because it gave us a chance to see the path the locals often take as well as unique views of the Sacred Valley. It also did allow us to pull over and get lots of photos as needed. The salt flats were amazing to see as were the Moray terraces. The ATV tour with Mountainview Experiences was probably the weakest link in our entire tour. It took a bit of time for them to get us organized (which is abnormal as everything else on this was super smooth). One of us then ran out of gas fairly early on and we got stuck for a while waiting for someone to bring us more gas; another ATV group came across us and the tour operator made us switch ATVs with the other group so we could continue on...only for us to run into the other group still stuck on our loop back which made us feel awful ( we assumed they were done and hence the switch but that seems less likely now). A bit more time stopping to see the views and take pictures would have been nice but it seems this didn't happen due to the previous delays and us having to catch a train. The instructions on how to ride the ATVs were mostly clear and outside of the delay/issue it was an enjoyable experience otherwise. The salt flats were nice and our guide took us to a stall where we were able to try some chocolates with no pressure to buy anything. They even pulled over so we could get some nice shots of the flats before we made it all the way down.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Lunch at Mountainview
Lunch at Mountainview
Peru

The food at Mountainview was great although it did take some time for each course to come out (our driver and guide were done their main courses before our main courses arrived and we had already started on our appetizers before they had ordered) and because of the ATV tour delays we felt like we had to rush the dessert part to make our train despite our tour guide not making us feel rushed. The area is quite clean and the view is definitely fantastic. The eating area is indoors but there's lots of space to wander outdoors and take pictures. The food was fantastic and we greatly enjoyed it. It was also quite a bit of food so we were all quite full when done. I

Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Discovering the Treasures of Machu Picchu
Discovering the Treasures of Machu Picchu
Aguas Calientes/ Machu Picchu

This was the main point of our Peru trip and a bucket list item. It was fantastic and breathtaking no matter how many times you see the iconic photo. The line up to get on the bus that takes you up can be crazy long and it took us about 20 minutes to board a bus but the buses were always coming and we got to Machu Picchu about 10 minutes after our entry time with no delay entering the ruins. There's a decent amount of steps to start circuit 1 and 2 which covers most of Machu Picchu so be prepared for that and there's going to be lots of people. Our guide was able to get some fantastic shots of us from angles that hid a lot of the people so definitely trust your guide. It also helps bring the entire city to perspective having someone knowledgeable talk about it. It started chilly but all the walking definitely makes you feel warm so layers is key as well as a raincoat as no umbrellas are allowed. Because of how late we booked our trip we got a later entry time but didn't feel rushed when we had to make it back for our afternoon train (Valeriano was a fantastic guide despite the time constraints). And at no point did we feel like we missed out on anything by the time we left. We did have to skip lunch but we stopped for snacks both before heading to Machu Picchu and before catching the train (if you are on the Vistadome train they provide a small snack box) which tided us over until dinner.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Cusco Day Hike
Cusco Day Hike
Cusco

We got really lucky and were able to see an end of the school year church celebration on our way out of the city which Valeriano stopped to let us film and enjoy even though it definitely delayed us. The hike starts with climbing a fair amount of steps to get out of the city with some great views. It does pass through some local and farming areas as well as follow parts of the Inca trail and we got to have some frequent stops along the way because the altitude does get to you. It was definitely way more strenuous than we expected for being a 4 hour hike but it was worth it to see the ruins around Cusco. It's also less visited than other ruins so there weren't many others there even though it was a weekend. One part of the trail has you going down a slightly steep hill were we did have a few tricky areas. Our tour guide did stop and buy us snacks and water before we met up so there's a brief snack break/picnic on some ruins to let you rest which was enjoyable. From there the rest of the hike isn't as challenging but we were definitely tired by the end of it. Be prepared for a heavier workout than you'd expect.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Cusco Tour
Cusco Tour
Peru

The Cusco city tour covers a lot of the immediate ruins outside of Cusco such as Saqsayamun and well as the Sun temple in Cusco - essentially places that are hard to get to by yourself. It doesn't cover as much within the city itself but most of that can be discovered by yourself walking around. It was a nice easy tour to wrap up our stay in Cusco with our international flights later in the afternoon. It's less physical than the rest but do keep in mind that the parking lots and the actual ruins can require some walking. There's lots of stalls along the way to buy any last minute souvenirs although they are pricier than buying at San Pedro market in Cusco. We opted to visit the textile workshop and feed llamas which was enjoyable and got a quick workshop on how to tell fake from real Alpaca wool. There was also the option to buy products (without any pushback on that) which was nice because we got some great gifts at cheaper cost. Overall we greatly enjoyed the tour.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Local specialist: Jessica Danker
Jessica
Jessica Danker
Local specialist in New York City | Replied on Nov 01, 2023

So glad to hear you had such a great time! Thank you as well for such a detailed review. It is super helpful for me and the providers. It was a pleasure helping you plan this trip and I hope you created many memories along the way.

Perfect
Peru | Jul 12 - Jul 21, 2023

C
Constance S.
Luxembourg | Reviewed on Sep 14, 2023

Thank you for such a lovely trip. Our guide was not only knowledgable, but able to communicate well. She explained the culture past and present, architecture, flora and answered our numerous questions. Our trip was unforgettable.

Local specialist: Jessica Danker
Jessica
Jessica Danker
Local specialist in New York City | Replied on Oct 04, 2023

Glad to hear you enjoyed your time in Peru! It was a pleasure helping you plan this trip. Thank you!

An Amazing Trip to Peru: Lima, Cusco, and Machu Picchu.
Peru | Jul 12 - Jul 21, 2023

C
Christopher P.
Laguna Hills, CA | Reviewed on Aug 16, 2023
This was my first trip using Kimkim. I was unsure of how to book a successful trip to Peru from Los Angeles. I was very quickly contacted by Jessica who worked with me for a couple of months to hammer out a wonderful itinerary. This included several changes to dates and travelers but there were never any problems with updating the arrangements. I would like to be clear that this trip was absolutely amazing. Everything Jessica booked for us was wonderful. We had great accommodations... Read more

This was my first trip using Kimkim. I was unsure of how to book a successful trip to Peru from Los Angeles. I was very quickly contacted by Jessica who worked with me for a couple of months to hammer out a wonderful itinerary. This included several changes to dates and travelers but there were never any problems with updating the arrangements.

I would like to be clear that this trip was absolutely amazing. Everything Jessica booked for us was wonderful. We had great accommodations and knowledgible and fun tour guides throughout the trip with all of our transfers and driving handled. (We did need to book our own air travel but Jessica was very up front about that so it was no problem).

We even had some problems come up (a strike in Peru that would limit road travel) and Kimkim hopped on it to make sure our days in Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu went well. This was Kristy who jumped in and got us moved to a hotel that would not disrupt our trip. Even better, that day we took a fairly exclusive alternate tour which was still super fun and interesting. Kimkim's communication and initiative made that possible and we are very appreciative.

I would recommend this group again and again. It made for a fun and painless trip that was truly memorable.

Hotel Reviews
El Mapi by Inkaterra
Lima

This hotel is wonderful. It's a little upscale but totally worth it. We only stayed for one night but it was a perfect relaxing stay before we toured Machu Picchu the next day.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Very clean and the robes were amazing.
El Albergue Ollantaytambo Boutique Hotel
Cusco

This is a very nice hotel with great rooms and a great vibe. It's attached to a farm where they grow a lot of their own food, roast their own coffee, and distill their own booze - and you should definitely go check that out. We very much enjoyed staying here. I need to take one star off the review only because it is located essentially in the train station. This makes it extremely convenient to travel up towards Machu Picchu (which is great!) but we had two issues: 1) the trains make a lot of noise - not enough to keep us awake but enough to wake us up once or twice, and 2) one night there were a lot (a literal mass) of people trying to board the last trains and this made it difficult to get to the hotel. I should note that #2 was likely due to a strike planned for the next day, so is likely rare, but I don't know. Personally, I would still suggest staying here but these are things that might annoy some travelers.

Authenticity & Character
Very cool hotel with a nice vice and friendly staff.
Location
No easier place to stay if you wanna check out Ollantaytambo and head up to Machu Picchu after.
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Clean and comfortable but the location to the train tracks might be disruptive, especially for those that retire early.
Dazzler Miraflores by Wyndham
Lima

Great hotel. It's within walking distance of most things in the city center. The breakfast is nice and they allowed me to partake even though I'd arrived on a redeye and was there before check-in.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Local specialist: Jessica Danker
Jessica
Jessica Danker
Local specialist in New York City | Replied on Aug 20, 2023

It was great working with you! Happy you had a such a wonderful time.

Grateful for all the support and expertise!
Peru | Jul 20 - Aug 2, 2023

E
Erica A.
Atlanta, GA | Reviewed on Aug 11, 2023
Planning our trip to Peru had a whole bunch of hiccups because of the political instability in Lima. We had to reschedule our trip in the end, but Jessica was amazing at helping to navigate the changes and adjust our itinerary. We had a wonderful trip and we attribute this to all that KimKim did to make our experience as amazing as possible. Jessica answered all of our questions and made great suggestions based on my family's interests and travel style. We like to have more adventurous trips... Read more

Planning our trip to Peru had a whole bunch of hiccups because of the political instability in Lima. We had to reschedule our trip in the end, but Jessica was amazing at helping to navigate the changes and adjust our itinerary. We had a wonderful trip and we attribute this to all that KimKim did to make our experience as amazing as possible. Jessica answered all of our questions and made great suggestions based on my family's interests and travel style. We like to have more adventurous trips and Jessica helped us down to every last detail. There was always a guide and a driver to meet us and get us from point A to point B. The guides and drivers were fantastic and super knowledgeable and we had them all to ourselves. When 2 people in our family got super sick and we had to change our flights just a few hours before we were supposed to travel to another area of Peru, I contacted the emergency number through WhatsApp to figure out what to do. Kristy responded right away and provided amazing support to help resolve what became a very complicated issue. She helped to arrange for a driver and local contact to get me around Cusco to make the needed travel changes at the last minute. I absolutely could not have gotten our flights, plans, and hotel changed without all of them, so we're very grateful!

Local specialist: Jessica Danker
Jessica
Jessica Danker
Local specialist in New York City | Replied on Aug 11, 2023

I am so glad that we were able to finally make this trip happen! Even despite a few unforeseen hiccups you were able to create incredible memories. You took such wonderful photos of your family as well. It was my pleasure working with you!

2 weeks in Argentina - Bucket List Trip
Argentina | Jun 18 - Jun 30, 2023

Cheryl
Cheryl B.
Jollyville, TX | Reviewed on Jul 18, 2023
We just got back from 2 weeks in Argentina, with brief side excursions to Brazil and Uruguay. Jessica and Kristy helped plan out all the details and everything went smoothly. Even though we speak a little bit of Spanish, the english speaking guides were much appreciated. The guided cemetery tour of Recoleta had so much interesting historical information that we would have missed if we had visited on our own. Also the Gaucho ranch tour, along with the visits to the local artisans in San... Read more

We just got back from 2 weeks in Argentina, with brief side excursions to Brazil and Uruguay. Jessica and Kristy helped plan out all the details and everything went smoothly. Even though we speak a little bit of Spanish, the english speaking guides were much appreciated. The guided cemetery tour of Recoleta had so much interesting historical information that we would have missed if we had visited on our own. Also the Gaucho ranch tour, along with the visits to the local artisans in San Antonio de Areco, was amazing. Buenos Aires, Iguazu Falls and Colonia, Uruguay all in one trip! We felt so lucky to be able to take it all in with a relaxed attitude because we knew all the details and transfers were taken care of by Kim Kim.
We would not hesitate to book with them again!

Hotel Review
L'Hôtel Palermo
Buenos Aires

L Hotel Palermo is in a great location for restaurants, markets and walking. It's a small boutique hotel with very friendly staff and has a well maintained property. The breakfast was delicious with a wide variety to choose from. The only down side is the nightlife nearby on weekends kept us awake until the early morning hours. Earplugs definitely came in handy.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Activity Reviews
Palermo Food Tour
Palermo Food Tour
Buenos Aires

Tony was our guide on this food tour. He did a great job introducing us to some local cuisine and wines from Argentina. We even went back and visited some of the restaurants on our own later in the trip. Would highly recommend!

Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Exploring the Brazilian Side of Iguazu Falls
Exploring the Brazilian Side of Iguazu Falls
Argentina

The Brazilian side of the falls was about a half day tour. It was a different perspective to take in the falls from this side and helped us appreciate the Argentinian side even more. We ended up taking the boat trip up to the falls from here which was fun and WET! The best part of visiting this side of the falls with the guides was their help in navigating the border and passport control station.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
A Day of Adventure at Iguazu Falls: Exploring the Argentinian Side & Gran Aventura
A Day of Adventure at Iguazu Falls: Exploring the Argentinian Side & Gran Aventura
Argentina

The Argentinian side of the falls has great walking trails and numerous viewpoints to take the falls in. It was by far the best side to view the falls if you only have one day.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Gaucho Day Tour Ranch in San Antonio de Areco from Buenos Aires
Gaucho Day Tour Ranch in San Antonio de Areco from Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Buenos Aires Walking City Tour
Buenos Aires Walking City Tour
Buenos Aires

There is so much to see in Buenos Aires, so this was a big help in hitting the highlights and learning the history of the city and country. Walking through the Boca neighborhood and the Recoleta cemetery were the highlights.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Boat Excursion to Tigre
Boat Excursion to Tigre
Buenos Aires
San Telmo Food Tour
San Telmo Food Tour
Buenos Aires
Local specialist: Jessica Danker
Jessica
Jessica Danker
Local specialist in New York City | Replied on Jul 19, 2023

Such a lovely review, thank you! Glad to hear your family had a great time and enjoyed all of the tours. It was great planning this trip with you!

A trip of a lifetime
Peru | May 20 - Jun 2, 2023

Josette
Josette B.
France | Reviewed on Jun 18, 2023
We chose to kick off our honeymoon in Peru as we wanted to do Machu Picchu Inca Trail. We had wanted to do the 4-day Inca trail and the local travel agency booked the incorrect permits, allowing us to only do the 2-day Inca trail and the 2-day Lares Trek with Alpaca Expeditions. As compensation for the mistake, Kim Kim did refund the difference and upgraded our hotels, which we appreciated. All the activities, local guides and hotels that Kim Kim booked were great. If we had not had had the... Read more

We chose to kick off our honeymoon in Peru as we wanted to do Machu Picchu Inca Trail. We had wanted to do the 4-day Inca trail and the local travel agency booked the incorrect permits, allowing us to only do the 2-day Inca trail and the 2-day Lares Trek with Alpaca Expeditions. As compensation for the mistake, Kim Kim did refund the difference and upgraded our hotels, which we appreciated. All the activities, local guides and hotels that Kim Kim booked were great. If we had not had had the issue with the Inca Trail, we would have given 5 stars all around.
Inkaterra Amazonia was a great all-inclusive option. We booked the supplemental Orinthology expedition, which was well worth the extra money and 4am wake-up.
We had a great local guide in Cusco, Flora, and I was glad that the afternoon of visiting the surrounding sites was organized as it would have been difficult to visit all the important archeological sites without a car/taxi. Flora also gave us some great tips for the Lares Trail (bring coca leaves and candies to give to the local communities, which they loved). We also did an unprogrammed stop on the way back to Cusco at a local alpaca textile shop where we learned about how the sweaters were made, the difference between real and fake alpaca sweaters and were able to shop directly from the craftswomen.
The Lares Trek was beautiful but the elevation was very difficult. Ricardo at Alpaca Expeditions did a great job with the logistics, ensuring that we were hiking at the right speed and explaining about the region. The 2-day Inca Trail, while not what we had initially expected, still allowed us to enter Machu Picchu through the Sun Gate. Of note, the tickets to Machu Picchu only cover 1 circuit, so if you want to see the full site, you would need to have multiple entry tickets booked.
The Titicaca Train between Cusco and Puno was truly a once in a lifetime experience that Kim Kim booked a few days before our arrival as the trains were closed until that date.
We had a great local guide in Puno as well, José, to visit the Uros floating islands and the village on Isla Taquile. (Tip: bring cash with you if you would like to buy nice weavings).
Our trip then went onto Bolivia and the connection between Peru and Bolivia was not handled by Kim Kim. We booked an early morning bus between Puno and La Paz. Getting to the bus was fine, but the border crossing was a disaster. Fellow Americans: get your visa done before leaving on your trip. Despite telling the bus drivers that I needed to buy a Bolivian visa, there was mass confusion at the border and everyone had different opinions on which order the stamps needed to be obtained and no one spoke English. One American couple on our bus was left behind at the border as they didn't have their paperwork organized and took too long sorting out their visas.

Hotel Review
Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica
Puerto Maldonado

Wonderful experience - delicious food, comfortable and beautiful cabanas, great excursions. No wifi or cell network, so it was a great way to kick off our honeymoon fully disconnected from the world (no temptation to check work emails!)

Authenticity & Character
Beautiful architecture and cabanas, all with open air with mosquito netting.
Location
Isolated in the middle of the rainforest. Opportunity to see wildlife right outside your cabana!
Staff
Our guide for excursions Hugo was great - very knowledgeable and great at spotting wildlife
Cleanliness & Comfort
Activity Reviews
Fly from Lima to Cusco, Explore the City
Fly from Lima to Cusco, Explore the City
Peru

Pick-up at the airport was smooth.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Into the Amazon: Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica
Into the Amazon: Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica
Puerto Maldonado

Simple connection, we were picked up at the airport and they handled organizing storing our big suitcases

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica Jungle Excursions
Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica Jungle Excursions
Puerto Maldonado

All the organized and included excursions were great.

Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica Jungle Excursions
Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica Jungle Excursions
Puerto Maldonado

All the organized and included excursions were great.

Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Morning river journey and return flight to Lima
Morning river journey and return flight to Lima
Puerto Maldonado

Well organized, Inkaterra handled checking and printing our boarding passes

Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Cusco Tour
Cusco Tour
Peru

Flora was a great guide - very knowledgeable and had good tips for our future Trek

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Trek Briefing
Trek Briefing
Peru

Good briefing, but there was a misunderstanding between Alpaca Expeditions and Kim Kim. We had to call Alpaca Expeditions as they did not show up at the scheduled time as they had our briefing down for a different day. The concierge at the hotel called and they showed up about 30 minutes later and the briefing covered everything we needed to know for the Trek.

Quality of Experience
reconfirm with trek company time and date of briefing
Inca Trail Day 1/4: Cusco- Ollantaytambo to Yuncachimpa
Inca Trail Day 1/4: Cusco- Ollantaytambo to Yuncachimpa
Peru

We did the LARES TREK as the local travel agency purchased the incorrect permits and only bought the 2 day Inca Trail permits. Beautiful views.

Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Inca Trail Day 2/4: Yuncachimpa - Warmihuañusca Pass - Chaquicocha
Inca Trail Day 2/4: Yuncachimpa - Warmihuañusca Pass - Chaquicocha
Peru

We did the LARES TREK as the local travel agency purchased the incorrect permits and only bought the 2 day Inca Trail permits. LARES Day 2 was less interesting as it was a downhill slope until lunch time and the rest of the afternoon was spent with other activities rather than hiking.

Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Inca Trail Day 3/4: Chaquicocha - Phuyupatamarca - Wiñayhuayna
Inca Trail Day 3/4: Chaquicocha - Phuyupatamarca - Wiñayhuayna
Peru

We did the Inca Trail 2 Day as the local travel agency purchased the incorrect permits and only bought the 2 day Inca Trail permits. Day 1 from km 104 - Beautiful hike with lots of stairs and other Incan ruins along the way. Seeing Machu Picchu through the Sun Gate for the first time is truly extraordinary.

Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Inca Trail Day 4/4: Wiñayhuayna - Machu Picchu - Cusco
Inca Trail Day 4/4: Wiñayhuayna - Machu Picchu - Cusco
Peru

We did the 2 Day Inca Trail as the local travel agency purchased the incorrect permits and only bought the 2 day Inca Trail permits. The 2nd day, isn't actually a hike, it is just visiting the actual archeological site. We were unaware that the entry ticket for Machu Picchu only covered 1 circuit, which means that you don't get to visit the full site. We would have preferred having more time at Machu Picchu, even if that means purchasing multiple entries to see the full site. The train back from Agua Calientes is quite a bit of fun.

Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Welcome to Puno: Free day
Welcome to Puno: Free day
Puno

The Titicaca Train was a first class experience and discovered the pisco chilcano! The train was beautiful, the scenery was beautiful, the food was delicious, the entertainment was great. Highly recommend! We're so glad Kim Kim was able to book this last minute for us once Peru Rail reopened the line a week prior as it certainly beat an 8hour drive!

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Lake Titicaca Tour: Uros Floating Islands & Taquile Island
Lake Titicaca Tour: Uros Floating Islands & Taquile Island
Puno

Our guide José, was great. It was very interesting to learn about the local cultures here and how they were similar/different to other Quechua communities we'd encountered so far during our trip. The boat trip to Taquile Island was nice and the view from Taquile was beautiful with a delicious lunch.

Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Depart Puno
Depart Puno
Puno

It was nice to be dropped off at the bus, but we would have liked it if Kim Kim could handle the border transfer between Peru and Bolivia as it was a disaster.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Lima Free Day to Explore
Lima Free Day to Explore
Peru

As Lima is a very big city and the sites to see are very spread out, which means you need to taxi/uber between all visits. Having a guided tour of the city to bring us to the museums/sites to see would have been a nice addition to our trip.

Quality of Experience
Arrival to Lima: Free Day to Explore
Arrival to Lima: Free Day to Explore
Lima

Pick-up from airport was smooth.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Local specialist: Jessica Danker
Jessica
Jessica Danker
Local specialist in New York City | Replied on Jun 29, 2023

Thank you for all of your feedback! Happy to hear you had a lovely time and enjoyed your experience while in Peru.