If you are planning a trip to Peru and don't want to use a group or package tour, but you are worried about traveling 5,000 miles from home without some assurance that things will go okay, we'd like to recommend the services of David Choque. He was our guide in Cusco.
We have just returned from a 10-day trip to Peru, during which we spent 6 days in Cusco. David Choque took care of hotel reservations, train tickets, and transfers and was our guide for three tours: Cusco city and the surrounding ruins, Sacred Valley, and a horseback ride trip to the Inca Salt mines near Urubamba.
David was born in Cusco and teaches English at the university there. He is an official guide and is knowledgeable about the history of Cusco and the Inca civilization. He responds quickly to emails, will work up any kind of itinerary you desire, listens to your requests, and shows up on time!
Our trip to Peru was very special to us. My son was born in Peru, and this was our first trip back since the adoption in 1991 (he was only 5 weeks old). So, this was his chance to learn about his heritage and the country we both owe so much to. David was great with my son Nick! He spoke directly to him often, helped with our Spanish, and even taught Nick a few phrases in Quechua, the native language in Cusco. When we asked to shorten a tour to visit only one town (Pisac), David arranged for us to stop at an Alpaca/Llama/Vicuna farm on the way. Nick got to pet and feed the animals and to see how they spun, dyed, and wove the wool.
David went above and beyond whenever he could. He stopped whenever we wanted to take pictures, shared native fruit on our horseback ride tour, and even personally took our laundry to the Laundromat for us, to be sure it would be ready before we left. He even had traditional music playing on the CD in the van. The vans David used to transport us were all newer models, clean, and comfortable. The drivers were safe and experienced.
Of course, I can't promise that you will have a great of an experience as we did, but I can tell you that I wouldn't hesitate to use him again. The cost was less than a group package and not much more than if we had done it all ourselves, without a guide. We paid David directly when we arrived, and he took care of everything. The price he quoted us before the trip is the price we paid when we got there.
To reach David Choque, you can contact him via his email at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone him at 011-51-84-251864. He even has a website! See www.cuscotoptravelperu.com.