There are plenty of good reasons to entrust the details of your Peru travels to a tour company, and convenience and security are high among them. Do you prefer to have your itinerary planned to the minutest details? If so, you can save time that you might otherwise spend researching and booking your trip by letting travel professionals take care of it. And once your trip has begun, you can see more in less time on a tour. You'll also get more out of your trip if you have a Peruvian guide who can point out and explain things that you might otherwise miss. You can rest assured that if something goes wrong someone will straighten things out for you, and in the unlikely event that you have an accident, they'll take care of you.
On the other hand, if you prefer flexibility and spontaneity, you'll probably want to do things on your own, or hire a guide for day trips. There are areas, or activities, for which you can't avoid joining a tour. For many outdoor adventures, such as trekking or a trip into the Amazon rain forest, you simply have to travel with an outfitter. In the case of the Amazon, this might simply be the eco-lodge you visit. There will also be moments when you'll want things explained, or want to do a specific excursion or event if you're traveling independently. You can always book a day tour, or a short itinerary, from a local operator. You also have the option of simply showing up and hiring a guide in places such as Machu Picchu, or other archaeological sites, where authorized freelance guides are available for hire at the entrance.
Whether you take a packaged tour for your entire Peru trip or prefer to book shorter itineraries with several outfitters, the decision of which tour operator or operators to use will likely be the most important one you make for your vacation. We've consequently compiled a list of the some of the best tour companies operating in Peru, from the big international outfitters to the best local companies, to provide a good range of specializations and budget options.