The Seattle-based nonprofit travel organization Crooked Trails (U.S. tel. 206/383-9828, www.crookedtrails.com ) offers excellent travel programs, culturally sensitive and with exciting off-the-beaten-path destinations around Peru for families, schools, universities, and almost any type of group. There are at least 10 different packages, such as The Andes and the Sacred Valley , a 15-day tour including Cusco  and Machu Picchu , along with homestays with villagers and their families in Vicos (Cordillera Blanca ) or Chinchero  (Cusco). La Gran Ruta Inca is a seven-day trek extension on one of the Inca highway’s best preserved segments southeast of the Cordillera Blanca.
Far Horizons Archaeological & Cultural Trips (U.S. tel. 800/552-4575, www.farhorizon.com ), a California-based agency, is the right choice for those with a passion for archaeology. Tours hit all of Peru’s major ruins and are guided by an American university professor. Along the way, guests attend lectures by Peru’s most noted archaeologists, including Walter Alva, who excavated the Lord of Sipán tombs. Their tours often include a complete tour of the north coast, Chavín ruins in the Cordillera Blanca , Cusco , Machu Picchu , and Lima ’s main museums.
Nature Expeditions International (U.S. tel. 800/869-0639, www.naturexp.com ) has been in business for more than three decades and runs a range of upscale trips throughout Peru. Its 12-day Peru Discovery trip passes through Lima , Arequipa , and the whole Cusco  area and includes stays in top-notch hotels like the Hotel Libertador in Cusco and the Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel. It works with groups of just two people and can arrange lectures on a range of topics, from natural healing to Peruvian cuisine.
For a more luxurious trip, Abercrombie & Kent (U.S. tel. 800/554-7016, www.abercrombiekent.com ) pampers its travelers with small groups, the top hotels of the country, and luxury train travel. The trips are expensive, but there are occasional discounts available on its website.
Seattle-based Wildland Adventures (tel. 800/345-4453, www.wildland.com ) is renowned worldwide for its diverse international trips. In Peru alone, it offers 16 distinct trips that cover the three major geographic zones: coast, mountains, and jungle. In addition to the more traditional Inca Trail  and Cordillera Blanca  treks, the company also offers trips designed especially for families. On a trip like the lodge-based Andes & Amazon Odyssey, kids and their parents visit and interact with local schools and markets.
Guerba Adventure & Discovery Holidays (U.K. tel. 01373/82-6611, www.guerba.co.uk ) is a long-established U.K. operator that offers a good range of hotel-based culture tours and gentle treks. Its tours range from one week to four months and have won international awards for environmentally responsible tourism.