Behind each of our Wanderful Purpose experiences is a hero that makes everything possible
It is their vision, passion and drive for a better world that makes each heartfelt experience something special. Below you can find a collection of all of our heros, complete with a link to the experiences that they pour their
Santa Lucia is a small village located at the start of the trail to Waqra Pukara. Located 150 km (93 miles) from Cusco, this modest Andean community still lives in a very traditional way with exclusively dirt roads. Their homes and their singular church are made of mud bricks. Locals in this lesser-known town are not visited by mass tourism yet and are keen to greet travelers passing through their town. Pay these friendly locals a visit and share with them some delicious fruit before setting out on an unforgettable hike to the fascinating site of Waqra Pukara.
Elisa, the founder of Alfajores Koonek, specializes in crafting delicious alfajores. These traditional South American treats consist of two delicate cookies sandwiched together with a creamy dulce de leche filling. From a young age, Elisa understood the value of hard work, which led her to a job in an alfajores factory at the age of 16. With limited resources and the support of her family, Elisa decided to start her own venture and gradually grew her business through word of mouth. Elisa's dedication to perfecting her alfajores, combined with her entrepreneurial spirit, has allowed her to create a business that celebrates tradition and delights taste buds. With each bite of her lovingly handcrafted alfajores, you can taste the passion and dedication that went into their creation.
Ciro is the proud owner of Café Carbel, one of the most traditional coffee shops in Cusco. He follows the production process carefully designed by his grandparents almost 50 years ago. The coffee beans are harvested between 1600 and 1800 meters above sea level in the Incahuasi Valley in Vilcabamba. At this altitude the beans mature slowly, developing their flavor in a way that is special to the Cusco Valley. Along with their famous coffee, Carbel also produces exquisite teas and chocolates. In the mood for a cup of joe? Support a passionate local business and share in their love for delicious freshly prepared coffee.
Boris, our beloved guide, shares his stories of growing up in the jungle outside Cusco and farming cocoa beans with his family. He continues to practice the Incan principle of Ayni, helping his community by finding and sharing leftovers with the less fortunate. As a young boy, Boris acted as a traditional 'Inca runner,' running more than 2 km (1.3 miles) to his neighbors' houses for help with crops, with his family returning the favor. He's passionate about protecting the environment, inspired by the Quechua concept of Pachamama, and now shares his love of history and tradition as a tour guide.
The land of the Red Valley and Rainbow Mountain is part of the Pampachiri and Chillihuani communities. They respect Mother Earth and live in a self-sufficient way that protects the environment. The community’s families raise alpacas which they use for all their needs, clothes, food, and transportation. The friendly people of Pampachiri still practice the ancient principles of Ayllu and MinK’a, which revolve around mutual aid and the communities working together and cleaning the path leading to the Rainbow Mountain. The people of Pampachiri welcome travelers from all over the world to visit the natural phenomenon of the Rainbow Mountain that they call home.
For many years, Julia imparted the importance of caring for Pachamama (mother earth) to the children in her class as a teacher. One day she decided that she wanted to put her teachings into practice. Today señora Julia runs a 3-hectare family-owned farm that focuses on growing delicious bioproducts such as mangoes and avocados. She is also committed to the sustainable development of the economic and social divisions of the Huayopata district. By visiting Julia, you will not only get to taste mouth-watering local fruits, coffee, and hot chocolate, you will also support an empowered Andean woman who is determined to contribute to the community she calls home.
Arturo has been at the forefront of the tourism industry for over three decades. With no formal education in hospitality and tourism, he has carved a name for himself in Chilean Patagonia through his innovative approach to tourism and commitment to sustainability. As a local entrepreneur, he has overcome numerous challenges, including those posed by the pandemic, to advance and promote tourism in his region. His unwavering hard work and determination have earned him a reputation as a leader in the industry, constantly seeking out new collaborations and partnerships to push the boundaries of sustainable and impactful tourism.
Dani is a talented artist residing in Puerto Natales. As a local entrepreneur, she established Autoctonito, a sustainable art studio that combines creativity and eco-friendliness. Inspired by the indigenous people that once roamed Patagonia’s lands, the Kaweskar and Tehuelche, Dani brings to life unique pieces of art using recycled materials.
Over 40 years ago North American couple Randall-Weeks fell in love with the beauty of the Sacred Valley and decided to open the cozy ‘El Albergue’ hotel in Ollantaytambo train station. Today, their two children, Joaquin and Ishmael run the inn while being passionately committed to making the valley a sustainable destination. Local dishes are reinterpreted at their restaurant El Chuncho using seasonal fruits and veggies cultivated with ancestral techniques from their own organic farm. The impressive array of herbs grown there are also used in their very own distillery ‘Destilería Andina’. Years ago, owner Wendy Weeks wowed her guests with her exceptional spirits distilled at the El Albergue. Her sons, inspired by her passion, decided to open a distillery focusing on Andean flavors and traditions. Their hard work has paid off by winning the silver medal at the Craft Spirits Award Ceremony in Berlin in 2020. Make sure to grab a bottle of their famous cane liquor, Caña Alta, not only for the unique taste but to do your part for the environment. In cooperation with Valle Sagrado Verde, the Randall brothers plant one tree for every product sold at Destilería Andina!
‘La Base’, founded by Franco, is a local initiative that promotes conservation in Lamay, a small village located in the province of Calca in the Sacred Valley. Lamay’s main source of income comes from agriculture: farming various native products of the region such as potatoes, corn, quinoa, tarwi, and beans as well as guinea pigs. Franco supports sustainable development in the community by showcasing various regional and bioproducts such as salt, herbs, and chocolates from local (mostly female) micro-producers in the La Base de Lamay shop and eatery. You can also try some delicious craft beer or purchase some products made of alpaca wool. La Base de Lamay also serves as a venue to host in-depth interactions with Lamay women offering activities such as a workshop on local culinary techniques.
The ever-growing use of horses and mules in the highlands of Cusco is what triggered the foundation of the Llama Pack Project. Their mission is to preserve the ancient tradition of using carrier llamas, that, unlike horses and mules, do not cause soil erosion. Pure-bred llamas have almost disappeared in the Urubamba Mountain Range. Instead, families own small llamas mixed with alpacas that have poor fiber quality and are not able to carry a significant load. The project works closely with local llama farmers and strives to gain visibility by high-Andean communities not visited by conventional tourism. They aim to empower these communities by providing networking opportunities and skill-building workshops. Despite the pandemic, they managed to launch a new product, a bio llama fertilizer. The initiative also offers travelers from all over the world the chance to go trekking with llamas in their original habitat while learning about the challenges faced by llama herding families. This inspiring project, therefore, gives locals access to an alternative source of income, all while striving to keep our fluffy llama friends happy and healthy.
The magical community of Misminay is just a few minutes' drive from the Inca terraces of Moray and the salt pans of Maras. Thanks to the help of a few NGOs, Flora had the chance to learn skills in hospitality, cooking, and gastronomy abroad. Upon returning to her community, she shared her knowledge with the other women of Misminay, allowing them to develop an alternative source of income to agriculture - namely, tourism. Today, the community has solar power, running water, and an elementary school. Empowered by the positive feedback received from the guests who visit the community, the women of Misminay have independently developed a portfolio of personal experiences, such as overnight stays, cooking classes, and lunches, that provide visitors with an authentic experience of the local culture and traditions. Their delicious snacks and meals, prepared using organic and seasonal ingredients from their own farmlands, are an absolute must-try. By participating in one of their activities, you can support female entrepreneurship and help them to prosper on their own terms.
Did you know that the potato was domesticated by the Incas more than 500 years ago? Today, Peru boasts the largest number of potato varieties. Some of the most exotic ones can be found just 1.5 hours from Cusco - at the Potato Park. This biocultural reserve is made up of 5 local communities who have made it their mission to preserve hundreds of potato varieties for future generations. The people of the communities Chahuaytire, Pampallaqta, Sacaca, Amaru, and Paru Paru are committed to sustainable agriculture which follows a traditional approach. The communities offer explanations, potato tastings, weaving demonstrations as well as a large selection of medicinal herbs, teas, and creams made from natural ingredients. By visiting the Potato Park, you can contribute to their mission to preserve their agricultural traditions while helping these local communities gain access to an alternative source of income through tourism.
Peru's fifth-highest mountain, the snowy Ausangate, is surrounded by a conservation area that serves as a home to the herder communities of Osefina and Chillca. This remote region offers spectacular views of the Vilcanota Mountain Range and is only known by ambitious hiking aficionados who aim to complete the challenging Ausangate Trail. Similar to the Incas, both communities revere the highest 'Apus' (mountains) and view their glacial waters as the origin of life. Community members who work as wranglers along the route have witnessed the difficulty of the Ausangate multi-day trek, which involves camping at high altitudes. To address this challenge, they worked with an entrepreneur from Cusco to build three small eco-lodges along the trail. These lodges are spartan but well-appointed enough to provide comfort at the end of a strenuous day. Staying at one of these lodges is a holistic experience, as the communities not only run them but also participate as hosts, llama herders (to help with luggage), guides, and cooks who prepare delicious meals using locally sourced ingredients. All of this takes place at an average altitude of 4,500m (15,000ft)!
Did you know that Cusco boasts one of the most exotic varieties of corn? Yes, the so-called ‘White Giant Corn’ grows in the Sacred Valley. Despite today’s challenges including climate change and price volatility, Maria del Pilar and her husband Yussef decided to carry on the mission to preserve and improve Cusco Giant Corn’s legacy for future generations at Hacienda Sarapampa. This charming family-owned farm has been dedicated to corn production for three generations. Maria del Pilar and Yussef are the first ones that open the farm’s doors to visitors keen to learn about the origin of such a special variety and who value homemade creative cuisine prepared with love and fresh produce.
Joe was an eco-warrior long before the trend of sustainability began. Since establishing Inkaterra in 1975, he has made it his mission to promote ecotourism and sustainable development in Peru. Inkaterra works under a holistic approach, respecting cultural and natural values. The Inkaterra properties are built with indigenous materials ensuring a harmonious connection with the environment. They have actively involved the local communities in their development, training more than 4,000 locals in hospitality, agroforestry, and field-guiding. It was Joe’s dream to dedicate his life to research, conservation and education. He has sponsored significant inventories of local flora and fauna in the Peruvian Amazon.
The technical storage or access is strictly necessary for the legitimate purpose of enabling the use of a specific service explicitly requested by the subscriber or user, or for the sole purpose of carrying out the transmission of a communication over an electronic communications network.
The technical storage or access is necessary for the legitimate purpose of storing preferences that are not requested by the subscriber or user.
The technical storage or access that is used exclusively for statistical purposes.The technical storage or access that is used exclusively for anonymous statistical purposes. Without a subpoena, voluntary compliance on the part of your Internet Service Provider, or additional records from a third party, information stored or retrieved for this purpose alone cannot usually be used to identify you.
The technical storage or access is required to create user profiles to send advertising, or to track the user on a website or across several websites for similar marketing purposes.