As any Peru tour operator will tell you, tourism is a growing industry in this South American country and as such there are plenty of Peru guided tours that you can choose when you plan your trip.
However, should you pay extra for Peru guided tours or stick to self-guided tours? Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, so you may consider what works best for you before picking one or the other.
Each Peru tour operator offers many locations and varieties of Peru guided tours throughout the country, but there are different types of tours and your choice for each area may be different. For metropolitan areas like Lima and Cusco, you can easily choose between showing yourself around the city and taking Peru guided tours lead by experts of the area.
A self-guided tour around the city may be cheaper, as you will only have to buy a map and maybe a guide book. While you may get lost, that is often how you can find the most interesting spots in any city. All the places in a guide book are likely to be big tourist attractions, but a self-guided tour allows you the luxury of staying away from the crowds if you want and finding unique cultural treasures tucked in other sides of town.
However, self-guided tours do not provide the historical background and context of the sites in the city like Peru guided tours do. A Peru tour operator will know the interesting historical facts and know their way around town -- no chance of getting lost with a professional tour guide leading the way. Also, if you get really lost on a self-guided tour, it may cost more than you anticipated to find your way back. Plus, your Peru tour operator can take you to places you didn't think would be interesting or you didn't hear about in your research but are definitely worth seeing.
The debate between Peru guided tours and the self-guided tours is very different when looking at the natural wonders that the country has to offer. From the Amazon rainforest to the Andes mountains, there is much to take in on a nature hike. Self-guided tours can give outdoor lovers that solitude and quiet they've been looking for, but getting lost should be a concern, especially if you don't have a GPS device (or if your device can't get signal in certain places).
Peru tour operator offers can include excursions out into the wilderness, whether it's volcano climbing, white-water rafting, surfing along the Pacific Coast or bird watching in the Amazon. However, you may want to book a tour if you plan on hiking the Inca Trail, as there is a set limit on how many people can travel on it per day. This is to preserve the trail and not have it deteriorate from overuse.
Your personal level of comfort and expertise should determine whether you book a tour with a Peru tour operator or decide to go it alone. You can also mix and match your tours, picking Peru Guided Tours for some and self-guided for others.