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About

Us

Few tour companies can claim that they are 100% owned and operated by native Peruvians. Our local beginnings inform all aspects of how we operate; from how we treat and compensate our porters; to the measures we take to respect the land; to the local perspective we offer on Peruvian history and culture.

Your health and safety on the trails is our primary concern. We provide you with top-of-the-line equipment from some of the most prestigious names in the camping business to ensure you a comfortable and safe experience. Enjoy healthy and locally-sourced meals prepared by our professional chefs who implement the highest standards of food safety with each dish.

Our History

Southern Peru Explorers was born out of a deep love for destinations, rich history and cultures, adrenaline rushing adventure, and awe-inspiring wildlife. With over 10 years of experience in the touring industry, we can help you get the absolute most out of your time here.

We are here to connect you with unforgettable experiences, with your fellow travelers, and with the wonders of Peru. We pride ourselves on offering you a diverse selection of experiences that have a positive impact on local people and our planet. We dedicate ourselves to being responsible stewards of our trails and to employing a native Peruvian staff. In choosing Southern Peruvian Explorers, you are supporting sustainable tourism here in the tourism capital of Peru and embarking on an experience of a lifetime.

Joel Cardenas
FOUNDER & CEO

For Joel, Southern Peru Explorers combines three things that he values most: showing others the astounding natural beauty of Peru, honoring the rich Incan culture of the Cusco region, and uniting people from all over the world for mutual learning and fun.

Joel, who is fluent in Spanish, Quechua, and English, is a graduate of the Universidad San Antonio ABAD in Cusco, with a degree in tourism. Immediately after graduation, he founded Southern Peru Explorers to provide visitors with a unique travel experience, drawing upon his travels throughout Europe and South America.

His appreciation of the land dates back to his childhood when he would visit his grandparents’ home near Salkantay mountain. “I remember waking up in the morning to see the snow-capped mountains, the lakes, and amazing views,” he recalls. “When participants on our treks are surrounded by such beauty, it makes them forget about the stress of everyday life and enjoy each moment.” As a photographer who studied at Lima Imagen, Joel showcases his unique aesthetic in the company’s videos and vibrant visual images. While no picture can completely capture the arresting beauty participants will experience on Southern Peruvian Explorers’ tours, Joel’s photos certainly come close.

Marco Antonio
MANAGER

For Joel, Southern Peru Explorers brings together three of the things he values most: exposing others to the astounding natural beauty of Peru, honoring the rich Incan culture of the region, and bringing together people from all over the world for mutual learning.

OFFICE STAFF

 
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Carol | Reservations

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Lizbeth | Reservations

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Judith | Accountant

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Cherfs Inca Trail

Emily Owens | Partner

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OUR TOUR GUIDES:

An excellent guide can make all the difference in providing you with an unforgettable experience. That’s why Southern Peru Explorers invests in recruiting some of the best guides in the region. We ensure that each of our guides is backed by years of experience, proper licensing, updated certifications, and excellent client reviews, all of which are available on our TripAdvisor page.

Expertise, enthusiasm, interpersonal skills, language proficiency, empathy, integrity and a sense of humor are the basis upon which we have built an outstanding and diverse team of guides who consistently provide top-quality service.

We believe that language proficiency is crucial to the quality of our service; and so, we have guides that are fluent in English, Spanish, French, Italian and German to accommodate you. If your language is not within our scope of experience, we are happy to provide a translator.

We have guides that specialize in bird watching, spiritualism, flora & fauna, archaeology, history, architecture, and anthropology. These same guides also run our traditional treks, giving you a rich overlay of thematic expertise in addition to the general explanations you will receive.

Finally, and most importantly, all of our guides are trained in Advanced First Aid & Rescue to ensure your utmost safety on the trails. Our team is regularly updated through international seminars and courses in their respective fields.

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Emily Owens
Partner
    

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Staff Guides

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Emily Owens
Partner
    

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Emily Owens
Partner
    

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Emily Owens
Partner
    

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Emily Owens
Partner
    

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Emily Owens
Partner
    

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OUR PORTERS & CHEFS

You would be surprised the wonders our chefs can cook on a stovetop in the middle of the Andean wilderness. Our high-energy treks would not be possible without our chefs and the nutrient-rich, mouth-watering meals they provide us on the trails.

We thoughtfully recruit our chefs for their five-star restaurant backgrounds and their passion for the job. The result? Delicious and healthy dishes that surprise our guests with tantalizing flavors and top quality ingredients.

We communicate all of your dietary restrictions to our chefs in advance to ensure your needs will be exceeded on the trails. For luxury groups, we invite guests to partake in the menu-creating process, so that we can cook up their favorite dishes and flavors. Grilled alpaca anyone?

We ensure that our chefs keep up to date with International and Peruvian cuisine through annual specialized training. Our chefs also manage the team of porters and/or wranglers to ensure excellent logistics and an outstanding trip.

incatrail-chef

Emily Owens
Partner
    

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Staff cheffs

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Emily Owens
Partner
    

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Emily Owens
Partner
    

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OUR TRANSPORTATION  

Porters are an essential component of any trekking organization. Porters carry all of the necessary equipment for an expedition, set up and break down camp, and help cook and serve you delicious meals.

We treat our porters with care and respect by not forcing a porter to carry more than what they feel comfortable with. Our porters choose their weight, with a maximum weight of 20kg per Inca Trail regulation.

We provide our porters with excellent meals along the route, comfortable accommodation, equipment and, most importantly, a never-delayed wage that is 15-22% higher than our competitors. We currently employ porters from the Andean communities of Ollantaytambo, Paucartambo, Pisac, Lares, and Queros.

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Emily Owens
Partner
    

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staff Porters

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Emily Owens
Partner
    

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Emily Owens
Partner
    

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Mission

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Vision

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Our Licenses

Southern Peru Explorers is a 100% Peruvian tour operator based in Cusco, Peru. We are fully authorized to operate, licensed by the Peruvian government and ministry of tourism. You can locate copies of all of our relevant licenses here on our website. We comply with all Peruvian laws, such as paying taxes and adhering to labor laws that extend rights to all of our staff. We go the extra mile to ensure that your expedition with us is your best vacation yet, and for that, we have been recognized by our clients through consistently good reviews on Tripadvisor for more than five years.

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