3335 messages
active 5 hours ago

James Mackender

I like to develop interesting and challenging trip plans, along with new routes and paths that have rarely been travelled. My approach to travel is all things are possible and when the opportunity arises I like to design tours that are native by nature, for adventurers that like to go beyond the traditional routes.

'The journey not the arrival matters' - T.S. Eliot

What places and activities do you specialize in?

"Peru, Cusco Region - Trekking, Customised Tours & Expeditions."

How did you get involved in travel?

"Having spent some time in Cusco 10 years ago, I recently moved back to get involved with the travel industry here again. The atmosphere, culture, mix of locals and traveling groups in the city makes Cusco the destination for all travelers. "

Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.

"Ausangate Trek, traveling with a friend, a map & and fairly limited equipment. Encountered heavy snowfall & problems along the way. The locals who helped me out on that trip went beyond what you could have asked for and the generosity & warmth of Peruvians made me realize what a special place Peru is and especially in the heart of the Andes. "

Featured trips & expertise

Torres del Paine

Patagonia: Torres del Paine - 7 Days

Explore Patagonia in style. This tour includes all the highlights of Chile's famous Torres del Paine National Park. You'll have a local experienced guide, comfortable accommodation (including a stay in the cozy domes of EcoCamp Patagonia), and some of the best views of Patagonia's natural highlights.

Mt. Fitz Roy looming in the distance

Patagonia: El Chalten - 7 Days

Arrive in the Argentinian Patagonia and experience the wildest landscapes of South America. Journey to Los Glaciares and encounter the impressive and monumental glacier, Perito Moreno. Delight in an expedition with good quality accommodation and appreciate some of the most natural environments on planet earth.

Trujillo, Peru

Discover the North Coast Cultures of Peru - 7 Days

A week exploring the unique cultures of North Coast of Peru, with a visit to Trujillo, Chiclayo, and Chimbote for some of the finest cultural spots in the North of Peru. A great 7-day trip for seeing the ancient cultures of this unique and vast region.

Captured angle of Machu Picchu

Sacred Valley Luxury Tour - 9 Days

Experience the best hotels and fine dining in Cusco and the Sacred Valley. You'll visit the important cultural sites of Cusco and the region, explore trails, and experience some great outdoor activities.

Mt. Veronica, Sacred Valley

Cachicata Trek to Machu Picchu - 4 Days

Cachicata is a relatively new and less-crowded trek in Peru's Sacred Valley. You'll pass beneath beautiful snow-capped mountains, cross over a high pass, and descend down into the Sacred Valley, arriving at the village of Ollantaytambo. From Ollantaytambo, it's a short train journey to Machu Picchu where you can enjoy a private tour of the ruins.

Machu Picchu at sunset

Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu - 2 Days

Trek the last day of the Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. If you're short on time or permits are sold out for the full Inca Trail, this is a great option for those wishing to experience a taste of this famous route. You'll enter the ruins through the Sun Gate as the sun sets over Machu Picchu, then have a full tour of the ruins the following day.

Recent trip reviews for James

Peru ~10 days, Peru - Nov 15 - Nov 23, 2017

Traveler: amy w. - Local specialist: James Mackender

Miguel is friendly and helpful. 1 of the best i have met. Carlos is nice too altho' due to language barrier, we didn't interact much.

i guess the best part of Miguel is he can take great pictures! now I have headaches with so many potential IG post-able photos!

As for Lima, Arturo definitely knows where the good local food is. we had a great time of food sampling.

thanks again.

James Mackender, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Amy, thanks for your comments. We're pleased you had a great time with Miguel and in Lima dining out. If you're coming back to South America let us know :) best James

Machu picchu & the sacred valley, Peru - Nov 18 - Nov 26, 2017

Traveler: Steve M. - Local specialist: James Mackender

James, Mayra and the entire Quechua Trek team were incredibly helpful, responsive, and professional in setting up a trip customized to our needs. Everything went off without a hitch, in spite of very short notice and some real time adjustments. Our guide, Yilbert, and driver, Paul, were both the ultimate in professionalism and tailored the entire experience to our desires. In addition, Yilbert's historical knowledge, and deep cultural engagement made all the difference in our experience!

James Mackender, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thanks for your comments Steve, we're really pleased you had a great time with Yilber, he's a top guy. The guides make the difference on a tour like this and it's great you got the benefit of their experience. We'd love to see you back in Peru! best James

Peru ~10 days, Peru - Nov 15 - Nov 23, 2017

Traveler: Vicky S. - Local specialist: James Mackender

James and Mayra have been great throughout the itinerary planning process. Responsive and flexible, and they give very sensible suggestions. Our guide in Cusco Miguel was great too - he knows the area in and out and is quite resourceful in accommodating our requests (dinner choices, getting local SIM card, etc.)

Special touches were much appreciated, such as picnic lunch prepared by Quechua's private chef when we arrived, off the beaten path hikes in Yucay, great recommendations on dinner... read more

James and Mayra have been great throughout the itinerary planning process. Responsive and flexible, and they give very sensible suggestions. Our guide in Cusco Miguel was great too - he knows the area in and out and is quite resourceful in accommodating our requests (dinner choices, getting local SIM card, etc.)

Special touches were much appreciated, such as picnic lunch prepared by Quechua's private chef when we arrived, off the beaten path hikes in Yucay, great recommendations on dinner restaurants in Sacred Valley, to name a few.

BTW we compared Quechua Treks with other providers such as Jacada, Audley, andBeyond, etc., and found Quechua (on Kimkim platform) to be the easiest to work with, most reasonable in price, and with the most approachable folks. Perfect for us, travelers who want something in between "roughing it" and "absolute luxury". The other providers might offer additional concierge service e.g. booking great restaurants, but it may not be guaranteed and you definitely pay for it.

Net net, Quechua is legit and good people, work with them!

James Mackender, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thanks for your review Vicky, we're really pleased you had a great trip. We always try to deliver a bit extra to make our tours more enjoyable & take our travelers to places that are more traditional and less well known and we're delighted that you enjoyed your time with Miguel. It was great to have you with us and keep in touch! best regards, James

Ausangate trek, Peru - Oct 27 - Oct 31, 2017

Traveler: Kristin M. - Local specialist: James Mackender

Wonderful, wonderful experience, booking was seamless and easy. The entire trip was absolutely just amazing. The service was top notch, the equipment was top notch and I have made new friends. There truly is not enough nice things I can say about Quechua Treks and James. This was an amazing trip. The food was excellent as well. I am already in the process of booking several other trips through kimkim and Quechua Treks.

James is amazing. Perfect communication and kept in contact. I'm actually not sure he ever sleeps because he answered every question I had promptly and I work nights!!!!

James Mackender, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Kristin, many thanks for your comments, it's really appreciated by all of the crew here. It was an epic trek but thoroughly enjoyed by the whole team. This is what we love to do and it's a pleasure to have you with us. We're looking forward to planning more things with you in 2018 and we hope we can take you to the next level of trekking! best regards, James

Beauty of southern peru - 10-day, Peru - Aug 11 - Aug 25, 2017

Traveler: Benjamin Z. - Local specialist: James Mackender

Great trip that more than exceeded my expectations. The guides, activities, and accommodations were fantastic. The only thing that I could have improved would have been to do more research myself and request more days hiking.

Having the opportunity to chat with James on the phone could have sparked a discussion of the pace of the trip and whether a more aggressive itinerary made sense for us.

James Mackender, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Ben, many thanks for your comments. We're really pleased you had a great time whilst you were here with us. Having met you, and in hindsight, a phone call would have been a good idea because I think you'd have enjoyed some really good trekking as part of your program.
Please keep in touch, we'd love to help you out if you're coming back to South America.
Best regards, James

Quick trip for an epic hike, Peru - Aug 11 - Aug 15, 2017

Traveler: Blair S. - Local specialist: James Mackender

I only received the one company as an option. Not sure if KimKim restricts the replies to the first company or if only the one company was interested in responding but it would have been good to get multiple companies to reply.

James was great to work with and was VERY fast to respond to questions and concerns.

James Mackender, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Blair, thanks for your review, was great to have you both with us & from what I've heard from the guide we're really pleased you had a great trek.
Kimkim will always match travelers with the specialist in the destination who best matches the specific request. In this way travelers always get the best advice and experience based on their trip or expedition requirements.
It would have been good to hear your thoughts on the trek itself & the service you experienced during your trip.... read more

Hi Blair, thanks for your review, was great to have you both with us & from what I've heard from the guide we're really pleased you had a great trek.
Kimkim will always match travelers with the specialist in the destination who best matches the specific request. In this way travelers always get the best advice and experience based on their trip or expedition requirements.
It would have been good to hear your thoughts on the trek itself & the service you experienced during your trip. It's an epic trek & we hope it matched your expectations. We would love to help you out again if you're down this way in future. Please keep in touch, best James

Active summer getaway, Peru - Aug 8 - Aug 12, 2017

Traveler: Daniel H. - Local specialist: James Mackender

Be sure to have accurate pricing before quoting! The issue was quickly and superbly resolved by James, but it did lead to some temporary confusion and frustration.

See prior entry. Otherwise he's great!

James Mackender, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Dan, thanks for your review. Was great to have you with us, and we're really pleased that you all had a great time on what was a very active tour!

Regards the quoting, I have looked back through our entire trip planning process. What you're referring to I believe, was about an add-on to the guided tour of Machu Picchu. I did quote you correctly in the first instance some months back, but after we'd secured your entrance tickets to Machu Picchu, to then purchase separate mountain tour... read more

Hi Dan, thanks for your review. Was great to have you with us, and we're really pleased that you all had a great time on what was a very active tour!

Regards the quoting, I have looked back through our entire trip planning process. What you're referring to I believe, was about an add-on to the guided tour of Machu Picchu. I did quote you correctly in the first instance some months back, but after we'd secured your entrance tickets to Machu Picchu, to then purchase separate mountain tour tickets it becomes more expensive as was highlighted in our conversations.

It turned out to be a moot point in the end because there was no availability at the time we were enquiring for reservations, and I don't think it was ever a trip breaker because we offered a great alternative for you and as I was quoting you throughout the whole process I think we delivered excellent value to get you all on this tour.

Please keep in touch Dan, we'd love to see back in Peru! best James

Ausangate nevada trek, Peru - Jul 4 - Jul 11, 2017

Traveler: Mark F. - Local specialist: James Mackender

An amazing job by the entire Quechua Treks team. From all of James's work picking the trek. Then preparing for it, to Mayra's work leading us on the trip it was simply amazing. I plan to use Quechua for any future trips to South America. I consider them a tremendous resource to have access to and will suggest that any of my friends looking do something in South America contact them.

As mentioned earlier James's responsiveness was tremendous. He seemed to be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. No question went unanswered for long.

James Mackender, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Mark, thanks for your review. Was great to have you here with us & the crew enjoyed the tour with you. Some great photos from it, I think you picked the best trek! All the best for your travels this year, and enjoy the trekking in Switzerland. Keep in touch.