An 6-day trip to Peru for adult couple
Galapagos Islands | Feb 2 - Feb 7, 2024

Jerry S.
Los Angeles, CA | Reviewed on Feb 11, 2024

This is a review of an 6-day trip to Peru for an adult couple from the United States.

Summary ratings:
Travel specialist (Pilar): 5/5
KimKim platform: 4.5/5
Adherence to Itinerary: 5/5
Quality of local guides: 5/5
Lodging: 5/5
Overall Value: 5/5

As you can see from the ratings, we had a very positive experience with our trip arranged by KimKim. We used to plan our own trips and made our own itineraries to places like England, Greece and Japan in the past. We really enjoyed that ability to do what we wanted to do but it was a lot of work. We decided to try out a service like KimKim to see if we can still get a "personalized" itinerary but let someone else do the hard legwork.

Overall, the KimKim platform was very good. We filled out a detailed survey which helps them gauge what the traveler's preferences are and that helps them plan an itinerary to suit the individual traveler. They then come up with a proposed itinerary. We also did a little research and came up with a couple of places not on the original itinerary, and they were very flexible and easily incorporated our requests into the itinerary. The only drawback on the KimKim platform was when there were a couple of changes made and the platform did not keep up in a timely manner, which led to a little confusion. Our travel specialist was very helpful in clearing up any confusion arising from the website platform.

Our travel specialist Pilar did an excellent job working with us to personalize our travel experience. Our original plan was to visit the Galapagos Islands, but schedules did not work out with what we wanted to do, so Plan B was to explore Quito, the highlands of Ecuador, Cotopaxi and then fly to Cusco and make our way to Machu Picchu. However, a national emergency in Ecuador made us change our plans again, and we then made the trip exclusively for Peru as Plan C. On short notice, Pilar worked tirelessly with us to come up with a new itinerary that suited our needs. She was very responsive to questions, and readily available by phone or email.

We spent 3 nights in Cusco and visited the city, the local ruins in Sacsayhuana, the surrounding salt terraces of Maras and the agriculture terraces of Moray. Absolutely loved the city and all of the tours. Our guide Carlos was very informative and engaged, and sprinkled his discussions with lots of history and little bits of politics. At our request, Carlos took us to a local's market where we saw what the local population ate, wore, and shopped for. We saw stalls with over 20 different potato varieties, different exotic fruits and salted alpaca meat. The shopping was cheaper and better than in Lima. I bought an alpaca sweater and my wife purchased a couple of beautiful jewelry pieces at probably half the price we would have paid in the US.

We also visited Machu Picchu (MP) on a full day tour (i.e. - 4 hours). Since the pandemic, the Peruvian government has limited the amount of time visitors can spend at the site. We took Circuit 2, which is the longest circuit and the one that is probably the most comprehensive of all of the 4 or 5 circuits available to tour. Our guide Antonieta was fabulous. So very informative and with a dry sense of humor. She was also an excellent photographer, and we got pictures that we would never have gotten if we did not have her knowledge and help. MP certainly lived up to its billing as one of the new Wonders of the World. Just an impressive archeological site and with an equally fascinating story. Would recommend to anyone with interests in history, engineering, and the outdoors.

We ended our trip with a night in Lima and a city tour the following day. Lima is a bustling city of 11 million people. We stayed in Miraflores, which is the touristy (and safer) part of Lima. We strolled around the Larcomere shopping center, which reminded me of a high-end shopping mall in the US. We enjoyed the city tour comprising tours of the Lima Cathedral, the Aliaga house and the Larco Museum (lots of Inca and pre-Inca artifacts).

The hotels arranged by KimKim were all excellent. Our local tours and guides were provided by Lima Tours.
Transportation pickups were punctual, and the vans were clean and air-conditioned, which was a necessity in hot and humid Lima in February. It was such a pleasure to be picked up and dropped off at various sites and not have to worry about arranging transportation.

The food in Peru was excellent and above my expectations. We had breakfast buffets at the hotels and then usually had lunch or dinner on our own. The breakfast buffets are all full buffets, and on par with what you expect at 4-star hotels in the US. On our own, we tried the local fare like Andean trout, lomo saltado, alpaca tenderloin and yes, even cuy (sorry, squeaker). My wife still raves about the quinoa salad and Andean soup from Chull's in Cusco, and I had the alpaca tenderloin there (would rate 9/10). People talk about how Peruvian food is ascendant on the world stage, and I would wholeheartedly agree.

Overall, we had a fabulous time in Peru, and owe much of that to the itinerary and arrangements made through Pilar, Lima Tours and KimKim.

This was the first time we used KimKim, and we were impressed by the experience and will definitely use them again on our next adventure.

Local specialist: Pilar Albuja