Hola y bienvenidos! Hello and welcome from Chaska Tours...your local connection in Machupicchu, Peru! We are a group of environmentally conscious, travel enthusiasts that live in Cusco and are here on the ground to help you as you venture into the Peruvian highlands. The awesome ruins that the Incas masterfully created years ago are quite the iconic symbol of Peru today and generally appear prominently on any trip itinerary to the country. This city elevated high in the Andes was a well kept secret from the international community until 1911, when Hiram Bingham shed light on the relics that were deserted when the Spanish conquered the Incan Empire around AD 1430. Machu Picchu has since become a World Heritage site and a popular tourist destination, for obvious reasons. With such a popular tourist location, our main goal is to ensure that a high standard of responsible tourism is maintained to minimise human impact on this fragile mountain top.
We are certainly privileged to live amongst all this beauty and love sharing these treasures with our international visitors. We have done our research and are proud to deliver some top notch accommodations and tour options to make your experience in our home the best possible. The hotels range from budget to luxury accommodations that can meet any travel budget. There are so many various exciting things to see and do in the region that a tour can absolutely help to streamline the highlights to ensure you make the most of your time. We are an authorized tour operator for the Inca Trail and would be thrilled to guide you through the Urubamba Valley until the cloud forest reveals Machupicchu.
Who we are:
The brains behind Chaska Tours is Rocio Valcarcel, who was born and reared in the Sacred Valley. She relocated to Cusco to gain an education in Tourism from the University of Cusco and soon after graduation she landed a job at one of Peru's largest travel agencies. She also held a management position at the Sanctuary Lodge in Machu Picchu for some time; this work experience gave her the knowledge and skills to set out and initiate her own company. Rocio was granted the award of the Best Project in Innovative Tourism by the Peruvian government when she established Chaska Tours now ten years ago. She began running the agency on her own and has since grown to a staff of eight people to effectively meet the clients' needs.
Rocio has extensive awareness about how to interact with indigenous communities around the region, where she spent her childhood, and how to not interfere with their unique way of life. She detailed her knowledge in a thesis titled "Agentes externos que afectan la sostenibilidad cultural en las comunidades indígenas de Cusco. Caso especifico en la comunidad indígena de Huilloc" "External Agents effecting the cultural sustainability in the indigenous communities of Cusco. Special case: the indigenous community of Huilloc (Sacred Valley)." This information was passed onto the Peruvian government in 2008 with the hope that they would follow the recommendations to safeguard the indigenous communities from losing their cultural identity because of the intrusion of non-profit organizations, tourism enterprises and Christian groups.
Before Pieter Roos joined the Chaska Tours team, he worked in the IT industry as a project manager in the Netherlands with SAP/R3. In his spare time he used to sail with the Flying Dutchmen (an Olympic class sailboat). He has competed in World Class matches in the United States, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Japan, and the United Kingdom. He has travelled expansively throughout Europe and around the world and can communicate in English, Spanish, Dutch, French and German. Pieter was drawn to the energy of Cusco and now enjoys spending his time hiking, travelling and capturing all the beauty with his photography.
What we do:
There are an abundance of stunning sights to see and exciting activities to experience and we specialise in personalised tour products designed to meet your individual needs. We organize exciting treks all around the Sacred Valley, many of which conclude in the Machu Picchu Sanctuary. These hikes range from the famous Inca Trail to the Lares Trek with accompanying llamas to extensive 40 day adventures in other areas of Peru. Chaska Tours is highly recommended by many of our previous clients, several guidebooks and the South American Explorers Club.
In all of our actions we promote responsible tourism that benefits the indigenous communities local to the Cusco region. We are currently working on a cultural preservation and collaborative reforestation project to integrate the tourists using our services and the local populations.
Chaska Tours is presently aiding in a noble initiative called "the Cleaner Burning Stove Project" in the local communities of Cachin and Lares. By installing more efficient stoves with adequate ventilation these families benefit from 12% improved lung capacity in a matter of three months, drastic reduction in illnesses related to smoke inhalation, 50% reduced emission of CO2, and a 50% reduction in needed firewood for fuel. We are thrilled to play a part in this splendid cause and look forward to improving the quality of life in the Sacred Valley. You can read more about this initiative on our travel blog.
The mission of our agency is to "leave only footprints" because we are all too aware of the influence irresponsible tourism has already had on Machu Picchu and its surroundings. We take our responsibility to the local people and the environment extremely seriously and hope to create a more sustainable Peru in the future. We are sincerely devoted to conserving the treasures that we showcase in our programmes and manage our itineraries to minimise the impact of our tours to ensure that our children's children will be able to enjoy the same unforgettable experiences.
We appreciate the opportunity to come on board with the whl.travel team! It is wonderful to join so many likeminded people around the world that are undertaking similar activities to benefit local culture and sustain the natural environment.
Come join us for your journey to the famous Machu Picchu Sanctuary in Peru!