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
The sustainably constructed yet upscale Amantica lodge is located on Amantani Island in the middle of Lake Titicaca at approximately 4,060 meters above sea level (13,330 feet). This impressive lodge has been built using ancestral construction techniques as well as local materials such as stone and reed. The lodge uses a photovoltaic system and solar power for electricity in order to ensure a minimal environmental impact. The lodge is managed by people of the community and offers regional dishes and handicrafts made by locals on the island. A percentage of the income generated from tourism is also used to carry out future projects on the island of Amantani. A visit to Amantica lodge will not only provide an authentic insight into the rural life of Titicaca islanders but will also allow you to support the local community and contribute to the island’s sustainable development.
For an up-close and personal experience with Titicaca’s communities, a visit to Luquina is a must. Located in the Chucuito Peninsula, Luquina rewards you with some of the lake's most breathtaking views. Locals in this lesser-known area are not visited by mass tourism yet and are keen to introduce travelers from all over the world to their daily activities and customs. They also offer some exciting adventure activities such as kayaking on the lake and biking around the peninsula. Visiting these island communities will give you the chance to gain a genuine insight into the rural life on the shores of Titicaca Lake.
The Alíaga family's deep-rooted passion for gastronomy spans generations. Mabel, Miluska and their father have dedicated their entire life to the world of culinary arts. The turbulent years of the pandemic forced them to change the way they share their culinary expertise with the world. Sadly, many of the venues that had been their culinary homes for decades were forced to close their doors due to the pandemic's challenges. It was during this trying time that they made the pivotal decision to bring their culinary experiences into the heart of their own home. In this familiar and intimate setting, they continue to share their love for gastronomy, making it a truly personal and familial experience.
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.
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