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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.

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."

Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.

"Ausangate Trek."

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 - 9 Days

An itinerary 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 9-day trip for seeing the ancient cultures of this unique and vast region.

Mt. Veronica, Sacred Valley
Cachicata Trek to Machu Picchu - 7 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.

Recent trip reviews for James

Peru adventure, Peru - Aug 18 - Sep 2, 2018

Traveler: Daniela M. - Local specialist: James Mackender

We had a fantastic trip, trip of a lifetime really. Everyone was super helpful from the early stages of planning, a number of changes in dates and people right down to the actual trip where everything was organized well and worked out pretty much exactly how I imagined it. Northern Peru was amazing, super interesting and off the beaten path. The guides were amazing and we learned so much. English guides were hard to come by in the North, but all the Peruvians we met were super friendly and... read more

We had a fantastic trip, trip of a lifetime really. Everyone was super helpful from the early stages of planning, a number of changes in dates and people right down to the actual trip where everything was organized well and worked out pretty much exactly how I imagined it. Northern Peru was amazing, super interesting and off the beaten path. The guides were amazing and we learned so much. English guides were hard to come by in the North, but all the Peruvians we met were super friendly and patient with us. The Inca Trail was just a fantastic experience all around. Zac and crew were amazing and we felt like we had the Andes to ourselves. Highly recommended.

Holly

Peru sabbatical, Peru - Jul 2 - Jul 16, 2018

Traveler: Holly O. - Local specialist: James Mackender

We just took three teenage boys on an adventure in Peru. We used KimKim to start the trip and Quechua Treks. I can not express what an amazing trip this was. James and Haley were amazing at changing details and getting the trip just right, and Quechua Treks were the best. From hotels, to amazing food, great adventures, and the best guides we have had on any trip. They were also extremely accommodating when we had to make a change mid trip. This was such an amazing company. We could not have done what we did without them. Thank you for making such an amazing memory for our family.

James Mackender, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Holly, many thanks for letting us help you plan your trip. I really enjoyed helping you put your trip together and you were great fun to work with. I'm pleased Hayley was able to help take over whilst I was on leave. The crew all loved having you here & I'm delighted you got the most of your stay, the photos look awesome!! Keep in touch Holly, best regards, James

Kristin

Group: lares valley trek & sacred valley touring , Peru - Jul 5 - Jul 12, 2018

Traveler: Kristin M. - Local specialist: James Mackender

Once again, another amazing trip with Quechua Treks. Their attention to detail is just amazing. Haley and James did a fabulous job planning the trip. Zac offered a great alternative route to our like that was spot on. Daniel, our guide, is a gem, took us around the Sacred Valley showing us some of the amazing locations in the Sacred Valley. Our hotel in Lamay, Nunu, was one of the best I have ever stayed at. Hiking Lares was a real joy with Daniel leading the way. The food Quechua... read more

Once again, another amazing trip with Quechua Treks. Their attention to detail is just amazing. Haley and James did a fabulous job planning the trip. Zac offered a great alternative route to our like that was spot on. Daniel, our guide, is a gem, took us around the Sacred Valley showing us some of the amazing locations in the Sacred Valley. Our hotel in Lamay, Nunu, was one of the best I have ever stayed at. Hiking Lares was a real joy with Daniel leading the way. The food Quechua Treks served us was worthy of a 5 star restaurant. I'm not sure how they managed to bake a cake at 14,000 feet without an oven, but that cake was one of the best I've ever had. Hot water bottles for our sleeping bags on the cold night was a great touch! Daniel also took us up to the Sun Gate at Machu Picchu, with amazing views of Machu Picchu. Many, many thanks to Haley, James, Zac, Daniel, Salvadore, Leo our chef, and the porters for making this such an amazing trip. I love to hike, and brought a friend with me that is a newbie hiker. Because this was such a great experience she wants to hike more and will be returning next year to Peru with her husband! And I'm bringing another friend to hike next July!

James Mackender, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thanks for your review Kristin, it's appreciated. We're pleased you had a great time with Caro, we put everything into the planning so it's great when the trips are enjoyed to the maximum. Best James

Caro

Group: lares valley trek & sacred valley touring , Peru - Jul 5 - Jul 12, 2018

Traveler: Caro H. - Local specialist: James Mackender

I could not have asked for a more amazing experience on the Lares Trek! Our guide Daniel was phenomenal - it felt like traveling with a good friend. He was incredibly knowledgeable about the land, the history, and the people, and he kept the pace of our journey challenging yet rewarding. Our porters were lovely and our camp cook was an absolute artist. I couldn't believe the meals that were being served to us; they were easily worthy of very expensive restaurants in the US, and here he was... read more

I could not have asked for a more amazing experience on the Lares Trek! Our guide Daniel was phenomenal - it felt like traveling with a good friend. He was incredibly knowledgeable about the land, the history, and the people, and he kept the pace of our journey challenging yet rewarding. Our porters were lovely and our camp cook was an absolute artist. I couldn't believe the meals that were being served to us; they were easily worthy of very expensive restaurants in the US, and here he was cooking them up on a camp stove! The accommodations for the nights we weren't camping were also wonderful. I can't speak highly enough of Nunu Hotel in Lamay! Throughout the entire trip, Daniel made sure that we were doing things we wanted to do at the pace we wanted to do them, and he made optional itinerary change suggestions that really improved our experiences as well. I already want to go back and do another trek with this amazing crew!

James Mackender, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Caro, I'm really pleased you enjoyed the trip I planned for yourself & Kristin. It sounds like it was an ideal way to celebrate your hen-do! Hope to see you back in Peru, best James

Ausangate trek - 5 days, Peru - Jun 21 - Jun 30, 2018

Traveler: JOhn H. - Local specialist: James Mackender

Amazing trip to Macchu Picchu with incredible history lesson by Luis! Trek around Ausangate was spectacular! Great food and better people!

James Mackender, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi John,
We are really happy to hear you had an spectacular trek. Thanks for sharing the pictures what a nice weather you guys had, very lucky !!! Also love to see Francisco (our horsemen) in the pictures he is the nicest person !!
Hope to see you back in SouthAmerica soon.
Mayra

Nancy

Machu picchu/peru trip, Peru - Jun 28 - Jul 7, 2018

Traveler: Nancy H. - Local specialist: James Mackender

Kimkim did not reply to emails. This was frustrating. James switched to Haley three weeks before the trip - we were not happy to have our specialist changed at the last minute without warning. We were disappointed in several aspects of the trip - neither James or Haley properly dealt with the following:
1. Informing us of luggage restrictions within Peru and our trip in particular
2. Informing us of the need for extra Peruvian currency in the small towns (and I asked about cash in... read more

Kimkim did not reply to emails. This was frustrating. James switched to Haley three weeks before the trip - we were not happy to have our specialist changed at the last minute without warning. We were disappointed in several aspects of the trip - neither James or Haley properly dealt with the following:
1. Informing us of luggage restrictions within Peru and our trip in particular
2. Informing us of the need for extra Peruvian currency in the small towns (and I asked about cash in advance)
3. Asking for and providing our seating preferences on domestic flights (no one wants a middle seat)
4. Informing us of the schedule/activities available at our resorts so that reservations could be made in advance to include limited enrollment tours and activities
5. The Inca Trail from the 104km point to Machu Picchu. This trail is very difficult - I was completely under-informed about the rigors of this hike (and I called and asked about it). James/Haley should understand their client base and plan accordingly -

Bottom line, I paid Kimkim/Quechua Treks a large sum of money and neither company met expectations.

James Mackender, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Nancy, I think we covered most of the points of your review, much of it was down to your failure to refer to much of the documentation and information provided over an extensive and lengthy trip planning process. It's a shame you felt it necessary to leave your review, but we're pleased to hear the set-up of the operation and overall trip planning execution went as expected. Best James

Bob

Machu picchu/peru trip, Peru - Jun 28 - Jul 7, 2018

Traveler: Bob H. - Local specialist: James Mackender

Rolfi (Guide) was exceptional. His knowledge of the places we visited and his personality made for a memorable experience. He is easygoing, has a great sense of humor and was extremely flexible when we needed/wanted to make adjustments to the schedule. He was our guide when we arrived July 1st and our friend when we left July 7th.

Juan Carlos (driver) also took great care to make sure we got everywhere safely and even though his english is limited, we were able to have some good... read more

Rolfi (Guide) was exceptional. His knowledge of the places we visited and his personality made for a memorable experience. He is easygoing, has a great sense of humor and was extremely flexible when we needed/wanted to make adjustments to the schedule. He was our guide when we arrived July 1st and our friend when we left July 7th.

Juan Carlos (driver) also took great care to make sure we got everywhere safely and even though his english is limited, we were able to have some good laughs.

Of course, we enjoyed the major sites/cities Rolfi took us to: Machu Picchu, Cusco, Ollantaytambo, etc. What we enjoyed most with Rolfi was when he took us off the "traditional tourist path" to local food and goods markets, restaurants, street food vendors, etc.

I would recommend anyone traveling to Peru to make sure Rolfi is their guide!

Where we do have issue is with the Kimkim - Quechua Treks relationship. We feel there are some areas where the trip could be enhanced - some of the little things that separate the good tour companies from the great tour companies. We paid Kimkim to connect us with a tour company and expected that company to be thorough in communicating all options, opportunities, etc. Naturally, these are issues specific to us and our travel experiences but I am certain many would have similar comments, namely:

1. When arranging the intra-country flights and train schedules, you should ask if travelers have a seating preference. On all internal flights, one of the seats was always a middle seat - very uncomfortable. You should have asked our seat preferences

2. Additional with number 1 above, you should advise price difference for various travel classes. Most people would not be opposed to a minimal upcharge for an upgraded, more comfortable class of travel

3. For meals that were included (we had 2 lunches at restaurants with Rolfi), we understand that alcoholic drinks are extra. However, you could include in the package pricing non-alcoholic drinks. It is one of those "little things" - if you charged me $5 - $10 more a day when we had a restaurant included meal and we could get water, tea, coffee, soda and not have to pay out of pocket, just makes sense. For the amount we paid for the trip, another $10 - $20 would not have been the difference between going and not going

4. With hotels you recommend, you should include an activity sheet for that property. We would have liked to know in advance all the available excursions @ Inketerra Pueblo Machu Picchu and Inketerra Amazonica, especially about the bear project excursion or at the Inketerra Pueblo. We missed out on a couple things we would have included. Knowing in advance helps planning for stays at the properties.

5. You should provide more specifics about baggage limitations for certain internal flights and limitations (train) for going from Ollantaytambo to Machu Picchu. Had we both done the hike from 104KM, there was no arrangement for bags to get to the hotel

6. We were advised we did not need much local currency almost everything was included. There were many places that took neither US dollars or credit cards so you need to review how you communicate the issue of cash needs.

Hoping these suggestions are helpful in improving your communications with future travelers. Overall, it was a fabulous experience. Rolfi is a tremendous asset to the company!

Please feel free to email or call if you would like to discuss any of these points further.

James Mackender, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Bob, thanks for your review, we're glad you enjoyed the tour we put together. The rest of your review is largely inaccurate as all the information was supplied in a very long & extensive trip planning conversation. Hope to see you back in Peru, best James

Sacred valley & lares valley trek - 6 days, Peru - Jun 9 - Jun 14, 2018

Traveler: Sean K. - Local specialist: James Mackender

I highly recommend using this site to plan your trip. It saves a lot of headache and hassle and definitely worth the extra free for some piece of mind. They picked really authentic places that were very high quality, but not crowded by typical tourists. The Lares Trek + Machu Picchu plan was a very good combination for us since it provided a nice challenge through the trek and an amazing experience with the historic world wonder. If you are hesitating, look no further for an easy to use method of booking your next trip.

James Mackender, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Sean, we are glad you enjoy your trip and that you found it easy to plan your trip with us and KimKim. It was our pleasure to help you.
You can always try KimKim for your next Adventure!!!
Mayra

Kristen

Trip to peru, Peru - May 5 - May 23, 2018

Traveler: Kristen K. - Local specialist: James Mackender

This my second trip as a solo female traveler using kimkim (last year was Nepal) and I have been astounded both times. I will definitely keep using their services for my big trips. I spent 99% of my time in the Sacred Valley - and the trip offered an amazing look into the culture, history and nature of the area.

First, James and I ironed out the basics... what is my general itinerary and where do I want to stay. He was great at making modifications and giving me a series of possible... read more

This my second trip as a solo female traveler using kimkim (last year was Nepal) and I have been astounded both times. I will definitely keep using their services for my big trips. I spent 99% of my time in the Sacred Valley - and the trip offered an amazing look into the culture, history and nature of the area.

First, James and I ironed out the basics... what is my general itinerary and where do I want to stay. He was great at making modifications and giving me a series of possible options throughout the country. Although I originally chose Peru to do a spiritual retreat, James was able to make sure everything around that experience made me comfortable - as well as confirmed with locals that the retreat I had chosen was reputable.

The number one resource they had for me was Rolfi, my guide that did everything from meeting me at the airport with Mario (another amazing human who drove us all around the valley). He made my travels unforgettable. It wasn't just his understanding of the Valley, but his passion for the history. My questions were his fuel and he made me feel always welcome. He even taught me a bit of Spanish which I worked on throughout the trip. I am forever grateful to Rolfi.

We built in the 3 day Lores Trek which blew me away - the views, Rolfi's love of local plants and flowers, the beautiful happy staff of cooks and muleteers... while not easy I was emotional many times overcome by the beauty. At summit, nearly 16,000 feet... I was exhausted, elated and overwhelmed by the experience. Although a shorter trek, I still recommend training for this - especially with lung capacity, balance and leg strength. I absolutely recommend doing it - not touristy at all, so it becomes a very intimate time with you, your thoughts and nature (I believe we crossed the path of another group only twice the entire trek).

Another thing to mention, as a solo female traveler, I was blown away at Quechua Treks desire to check in on me and make sure I was happy. At one point, I found myself feeling alone in a location they put me in. I was embarrassed to admit my discomfort (wanting to be strong and independent), but James, Rolfi and Mayra jumped on helping me change my itinerary and actually put me back in a place I LOVED called Nunus. If you can fit Nunus into your budget... you MUST go there - it's family-owned boutique casitas tucked in the base of the valley in Lamay. It's easy to go to the other local towns like Pisac (only one sole). I spent many hours relaxing there in the sun, reading in a hammock and taking in the fresh Andes air.

What else? There were so many things like going to Machu Picchu, Ollantaytambo, rock climbing, day hikes, town visits, celebrations... its a beautiful colorful culture with a love for music, dancing and color. I'm glad I stayed the entire time in that region. And it gives me incentive to come back to explore Lima, the Jungle and more of Cusco. Tell James or your guide what types of things interest you because the options are limitless in Peru.

Also, packing... I know you'll read it elsewhere. I packed light and purchased clothes (and two souvenir duffle bags) at the local markets, mainly in Pisac. Just know that you'll need everything from shorts to thermals. So, you should definitely bring camping items and clothing - because they aren't available in the Valley (outside the city of Cusco), and use the local markets to buy their colorful pants, tops and ponchos. If you like shopping, ask Rolfi about Chinchero - he showed me quite the find there where the ladies taught me about how they make their textiles and then I went crazy snatching up things for my friends and family back home.

You can find photos of my experience on IG @kknape

James Mackender, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Kristen, thanks for your kind words. It was a lot of fun planning your trip, you're the kind of traveler that's a lot of fun to work with. Glad we got a chance to meet in the Valley when you were with Rolfi. Some of the pictures you took really capture the spirit of the valley. Come back again! Best James

Peru - backpack inca trail to machu pichu, Peru - May 14 - May 25, 2018

Traveler: David E. - Local specialist: James Mackender

The trip was just spectacular !!!! Since day 1, everyone was just amazing. Incredible knowledge from the guides in the Amazon and in Peru. We had as our guides Juan Carlos with Rainforest Expeditions in the Amazon and Mayra from Quechua Treks on the Inca Trail. Both guides were really fantastic and were essential in making our trip so great. KimKim took really good care of us, always communicated promptly, and connected us with some amazing locals. They were able to help us plan our trip with... read more

The trip was just spectacular !!!! Since day 1, everyone was just amazing. Incredible knowledge from the guides in the Amazon and in Peru. We had as our guides Juan Carlos with Rainforest Expeditions in the Amazon and Mayra from Quechua Treks on the Inca Trail. Both guides were really fantastic and were essential in making our trip so great. KimKim took really good care of us, always communicated promptly, and connected us with some amazing locals. They were able to help us plan our trip with everything we wanted and they made our trip extremely enjoyable. We were very impressed and will definitely use KimKim again in the future.

James Mackender, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi David, thanks for your review, and taking time to mention the guides, they're a big part of the trip.
It was a pleasure helping you plan your trip, keep in touch, best James

Angela

Active & cultural trip to peru, Peru - Apr 29 - May 8, 2018

Traveler: Angela I. - Local specialist: James Mackender

Quechua Treks did not disappoint! James, Mayra and Zac did an amazing job organizing our trip! This truly was a customized trip and they made it happen for us without any issues along the way. Accommodation, food, staff...all fantastic! Rolfi and Felix were our guides and both made our trip that much better! Everybody at Quechua Treks went above and beyond and made our trip that much more memorable. Thank you!

James Mackender, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Angela, was a pleasure to have you both yourself & Alex with us, hope to see you again another year!
Please keep in touch, best regards, James

Kristin

Patagonia: torres del paine, Chile - Apr 15 - Apr 21, 2018

Traveler: Kristin M. - Local specialist: James Mackender

Once again, another perfect, memorable trek by Quechua Treks. From planning and booking with James, who I swear never sleeps to the trek itself we had perfect service. Cem, our guide met us the night before our trek to go over the layout of the park and what to expect which was wonderful. He then met us the next morning with our driver Patricio for the drive to the Park. Patricio suggested an additional trek that most people don't do, but we decided to do and it was a beautiful start to... read more

Once again, another perfect, memorable trek by Quechua Treks. From planning and booking with James, who I swear never sleeps to the trek itself we had perfect service. Cem, our guide met us the night before our trek to go over the layout of the park and what to expect which was wonderful. He then met us the next morning with our driver Patricio for the drive to the Park. Patricio suggested an additional trek that most people don't do, but we decided to do and it was a beautiful start to our journey! The scenery of the Torres del Paine is breathtakingly beautiful and we had an amazing time. The refugios are well equipped and very comfortable. Cem is a wonderful guide, full of stories of the area, great tips, pointed out things of interest as we went by, we even got to sample ripe berries as we walked by the plants on the trail!!! One of my best memories is of Cem, Micky and myself all on the ground looking in a burrow we found with a light trying to see if it was an armadillo burrow or a skunk burrow. We had so much fun!!!

My favorite refugio was Cernos, small, but oh so comfortable. Toasty warm, wonderful staff, beautiful views of the surrounding Park. Fabulous wine.

Many, many thanks to Quechua Treks for this truly amazing adventure that will always hold a special place in my heart. This isn't my first adventure with Quechua Treks and it certainly won't be my last (I already have three more adventures planned with them!) James and Mayra did an outstanding job coordinating the trek and Cem did an outstanding job guiding us. I already miss it and want to go back!

James Mackender, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hey Kristin, thanks for your review, sounds like it was another epic trip! Great to hear from you all, we always do our best to set up great guides with our travellers, they're often the difference on these kinds of treks. We're looking forward to having you again with us this year & we'll see you in Cusco next month. best regards, James

Micky

Patagonia: torres del paine, Chile - Apr 15 - Apr 21, 2018

Traveler: Micky C. - Local specialist: James Mackender

I personally didn’t get this trip started Kristin did. The email chain was informed and answered Most questions what questions I did have was promptly answered by James. Cam our guide was amazing I can’t thank him enough for the experience he gave us all.

Thank you

James Mackender, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thanks Micky, appreciate your comments. Some of the pictures look awesome. Keep in touch, best James

Patagonia: torres del paine, Chile - Apr 15 - Apr 21, 2018

Traveler: Julie T. - Local specialist: James Mackender

Cem was a wonderful guide!!! Though I think I was the guide for most of the time haha——loved every moment of my trip to Patagonian Chile. Learned a lot and greatly appreciated Cem sharing his knowledge about the area. Everyone was amazing and will greatly miss this trip. Definitely a memory that will last forever in my mind and my heart.

James Mackender, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Julie, many thanks for leaving your comments, we're really pleased you enjoyed being guided by Cem. I will make sure he reads the reviews you've left.
It's great to leave with awesome memories, it's the best outcome for a trip I think. It was a pleasure to have you with us, please keep in touch, best James

Cory

Patagonia: torres del paine, Chile - Apr 15 - Apr 21, 2018

Traveler: Cory Z. - Local specialist: James Mackender

Cem was fantastic and truly entertaining. He was focused on providing our group with the best possible experience in Patagonia and was very considerate of hiking paces and experience levels. Also, he was prepared to assist with any small injuries or areas of discomfort caused by the trails themselves. I truly enjoyed every moment of hiking the “W” and can’t wait to hike even more in the future! Thank you!

James Mackender, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Cory, thanks for leaving your comments, we're really pleased you enjoyed being guided by Cem on the 'w' route.
Torres del Paine is a superb park for trekking. Please keep in touch, even just for advice ... it's our speciality! best James

Salkantay trek to machu picchu, Peru - Apr 9 - Apr 13, 2018

Traveler: John M. - Local specialist: James Mackender

I and my wife joined my sister and her fiance on a visit to Peru 4/2018.

From the start, James at KimKim was always available to answers questions and helped us get set up with the travel plan and trek we wanted. He was in touch with us from beginning via phone even to make sure we were able to coordinate with Quechua Treks for what was needed: from contacts, to prices, to dietary restrictions! Thanks so much, James!

On the night before our trek, our guide Rolfi met with us to provide our... read more

I and my wife joined my sister and her fiance on a visit to Peru 4/2018.

From the start, James at KimKim was always available to answers questions and helped us get set up with the travel plan and trek we wanted. He was in touch with us from beginning via phone even to make sure we were able to coordinate with Quechua Treks for what was needed: from contacts, to prices, to dietary restrictions! Thanks so much, James!

On the night before our trek, our guide Rolfi met with us to provide our briefing for the trip. We immediately felt at ease with him and with the entire crew, whom we were introduced to the next morning (muleteers/porters/tent men Americo and Huaman, chef Edgar, assistant cook Donato, and Ronaldino our driver). The men were all very professional but down to earth. We all came to enjoy each other's company quickly and since my wife speaks fluent Spanish, there were no problems there. However, our guide, Rolfi, was fluent in English as well, and there were no communication barriers whatsoever. We were such a small group that everyone had a blast.

The food prepared by our chefs, Edgar and assistant Donato, was out of this world, fresh, filling, healthy, and so good; there were hot drinks, fresh fruits, jams, vegetables, quinoa, bean bread, an abundance of tasty gluten free foods and snacks due to dietary restrictions, salads, potatoes of course, chicken, hearty soups, stir-fry’s, desserts, even a cupcake for my birthday made last minute; we agreed that we enjoyed our meals on the trek much more than the delicious food we tried later in Lima, said to be THE food capital. We got hot water and tea in the morning! Being used to “roughing it” on camping and backpacking trips, when I saw pictures of how our meals would be served at tables with nice table cloth, napkins, utensils, and camping chairs in a tent I thought we were going to be over-pampered but wow was I grateful for the comfort of a space like that after a long day’s trek. Edgar and Donato were with us during days 1-3 of our trek.

Ronaldino was a skilled driver, negotiating rough and narrow roads expertly, getting us to our starting point and meeting us later at different points of our adventure on day 3 and at the end on our last day to get us back to Cusco from the train. We thoroughly enjoyed our time with him and loved getting to know him a little! A very sweet guy!

Americo and Huaman were our muleteers and the entire crew helped quickly and efficiently set up and break down our camps. We typically started ahead of them on our treks while they finished packing up the horses and mules but before we knew it, they were passing us up, running ahead to meet us at lunch and the end of the days. Americo and Huaman were with us during days 1-2 of our trek. They were wonderful.

Rolfi our guide was the heart of the entire group, bringing everyone together. He never stopped cracking jokes, was a wealth of history and information to our million questions, constantly pointing out things to us as we trekked, and always had the best stories to share. Our group was interested in just about everything on the trek (fauna, history, culture, etc.), and Rolfi had something to each about everything we asked about. He was unendingly patient with us as we were perpetually, “National Geographic,” stopping to take photos of the beauty around us and as we huffed and puffed during our ascents. Rolfi was nothing but encouraging and great fun. I don’t think we ever ran out of good conversation. He was there with us from start to finish, ensuring that each of us were feeling well and enjoying ourselves, extremely astute to each of our interests, and we all learned a lot from one another. We loved him and could not have asked for a better guide! It was hard for us all to say farewell to everyone in our crew and especially to Rolfi.

The sights were unforgettable. Incredible microclimates with endless kinds of flora and fauna, butterflies, waterfalls, wild strawberries, racing clouds, tree canopies. Thousands of years old aqueducts and ancient Incan ruins, meeting local people along the way. We were awed by the numerous valleys, towering mountain ranges, glaciers, and our summit views. On our 1st night of camp, our bright view of the milky-way galaxy was incredible. We loved touring the coffee plantation, zip-lining and very much enjoyed the hot springs on our 3rd day. Our camping tents were perfectly comfortable. Our train ride on Peru Rail and accommodations in Cola de Mono and Aguas Calientes were also very nice. Machu Picchu and its history was unreal and climbing Huayna Picchu was totally worth it!

James Mackender, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi John, your review backs up the great review from Laura. We're thrilled you had a great time & the photos prove it also! It was a pleasure to have you guys with us, and to know that our crew looked after you the way we love them to operate. It's quite rare to have a group as relaxed & easy going as yourselves so many thanks for making the crew part of your trek. I'll make sure they all know the review you've left for them. Please keep in touch, best regards, James

Group departure - salkantay trek to machu picchu - 5 days, Peru - Apr 9 - Apr 13, 2018

Traveler: Laura M. - Local specialist: James Mackender

Salkantay Trek with Quechua Treks Peru to Machu Picchu, 5 Days, 4 Nights

After a couple years saving up for our dream adventure to Peru and Machu Picchu, my fiancé and I were finally able to take the time to plan our trip for the end of the rainy season in early April. My brother and his wife joined us as well and the four of us had an absolutely amazing visit to Peru! After a lot of research, we decided on booking a guided trek through KimKim with Quechua Treks Peru; this turned out to be... read more

Salkantay Trek with Quechua Treks Peru to Machu Picchu, 5 Days, 4 Nights

After a couple years saving up for our dream adventure to Peru and Machu Picchu, my fiancé and I were finally able to take the time to plan our trip for the end of the rainy season in early April. My brother and his wife joined us as well and the four of us had an absolutely amazing visit to Peru! After a lot of research, we decided on booking a guided trek through KimKim with Quechua Treks Peru; this turned out to be an experience of a lifetime, one to be so fondly remembered and that cannot be fully shared with others in words and photos. You simply had to be there.

From the start, James at KimKim was always available to answers questions and helped us get set up with the travel plan and trek we wanted. He was in touch with us from beginning to end and made sure we were able to coordinate with Quechua Treks for what was needed, from contacts, to prices, to dietary restrictions! Thanks so much, James! Mayra was also in touch with us from Quechua Treks and helped us along the way.

We arrived in Cusco in order to acclimate to the altitude for about 2 days before our trek. Cusco is located at over 11,000 ft and our Salkantay Trek would take us to almost 15,000 ft. On the night before our trek, our guide Rolfi met with us to provide our briefing for the trip. We immediately felt at ease with him and with the entire crew, whom we were introduced to the next morning (muleteers/porters/tent men Americo and Huaman, chef Edgar, assistant cook Donato, and Ronaldino our driver). As two women, my sister-in-law and I felt respected and never uncomfortable in a group of otherwise all men. My sister-in-law was the only one among us four who really spoke Spanish and while Rolfi our guide was very fluent in English, no part of the language barriers between us prevented us all from enjoying each other, constantly laughing, gesturing, translating for each other, cracking jokes, and learning from each other. I felt that everyone became family and I will never forget each of the wonderful crew members and the warmth they showed us. They took such good care of us.

The food prepared by our chefs, Edgar and assistant Donato, was out of this world, fresh, filling, healthy, and so good; there were hot drinks, fresh fruits, jams, vegetables, quinoa, bean bread, an abundance of tasty gluten free foods and snacks due to dietary restrictions, salads, potatoes of course, chicken, hearty soups, stir-fry’s, desserts, even a cupcake for my birthday made last minute; we agreed that we enjoyed our meals on the trek much more than the delicious food we tried later in Lima, said to be THE food capital. Hot water and tea in the morning! Being used to “roughing it” on camping and backpacking trips, when I saw pictures of how our meals would be served at tables with nice table cloth, napkins, utensils, and camping chairs in a tent I thought we were going to be over-pampered but wow was I grateful for the comfort of a space like that after a long day’s trek. Edgar and Donato were with us during days 1-3 of our trek.

Ronaldino was an excellent driver, negotiating rough and narrow roads expertly, getting us to our starting point and meeting us later at different points of our adventure on day 3 and at the end on our last day to get us back to Cusco from the train. We thoroughly enjoyed our time with him and loved getting to know him a little!

Americo and Huaman were our muleteers and the entire crew helped quickly and efficiently set up and break down our camps. We typically started ahead of them on our treks while they finished packing up the horses and mules but before we knew it, they were passing us up, running ahead to meet us at lunch and the end of the days. Americo and Huaman were with us during days 1-2 of our trek. They were wonderful.

Rolfi :) our guide was the heart of the entire group, bringing everyone together. He never stopped cracking jokes, was a wealth of history and information to our million questions, constantly pointing out things to us as we trekked, and always had the best stories to share. He was unendingly patient with us as we were perpetually, “National Geographic,” stopping to take photos of the beauty around us and as we huffed and puffed during our ascents. Rolfi was nothing but encouraging and great fun. I don’t think we ever ran out of good conversation. He was there with us from start to finish, ensuring that each of us were feeling well and enjoying ourselves, extremely astute to each of our interests, and we all learned a lot from one another. We loved him and could not have asked for a better guide! It was hard for us all to say farewell to everyone in our crew and especially to Rolfi.

The sights were unforgettable. Incredible microclimates with endless kinds of flora and fauna, butterflies, waterfalls, wild strawberries, racing clouds, tree canopies. Thousands of years old aqueducts and ancient Incan ruins, meeting local people along the way. We were awed by the numerous valleys, towering mountain ranges, glaciers, and our summit views. On our 1st night of camp, our bright view of the milky-way galaxy was incredible. We loved touring the coffee plantation, zip-lining and very much enjoyed the hot springs on our 3rd day. Our camping tents were perfectly comfortable. Our train ride on Peru Rail and accommodations in Cola de Mono and Aguas Calientes were also very nice. Machu Picchu and its history was unreal and climbing Huayna Picchu was totally worth it!

After this extraordinary trek, I felt changed, refreshed, and encouraged in many ways related to my personal life. I returned home feeling better about myself, the extreme physical challenges I faced, and my motivation to take the time to eat healthier and take kinder care of myself re-emerged. I left Peru gaining new perspective and new friends I felt sorry to part with. From the bottom of my heart, thank you Quechua Treks Peru and KimKim family.

Tips about this trek, during the end of the rainy season in early April:
The weather for us ranged from 30’sF at highest altitudes to 60’sF. Obviously, the weather will vary from year to year but during the trek, there are MANY difference microclimates you will travel through, with weather changes occurring even from minute to minute, from rainy, windy, sunny, freezing, very comfortable temperate, to humid and hot. You will always feel different based on whether you are moving or sitting still.

Our guide provided us each with a duffel bag the day before our trek that would mostly be carried on the mules to hold our belongings that we could mostly access at the end of each day only, until the next morning when we were back on our way; at times later during the trip, we were also responsible for hanging on to our duffels ourselves (carrying them to our hotels, the train, etc). The bags are meant to hold 7kg of your belongings maximum, which is completely manageable.

- General packing: while you are away on a trek, many people find that they are able to leave some things with their hotel/air bnb in cusco. I ended up leaving my main 42 L hiking backpack and souveniers I had picked up in Cusco to this purpose and taking just my 22L REI flashpack as my day pack, the rest stored in the duffel bag that was provided. They do keep your bags covered on the mules but it was advised to store the belongings inside the duffel in a trash bag or dry sacks just in case of heavy rains, so we did so.
- Clothes: clothes with merino wool mixed or tanks of polyester fabric are the way to go to prolong your laundry and to temperature regulate. For our trek, I did fine with 2 pairs of trekking pants, 1 pair of shorts, a merino base layer top and bottom for the cold evening/days, 3 tshirts/tanks, 1 merino bra, swim suit, 2 merino toe socks, 1 regular merino pair of socks. Toe socks are amazing, I did not get one blister. Merino wool socks are double-amazing, you really can wear them for many days without developing odor. I brought extra changes of things in case of dirt and/or getting wet from rain.
- Outerwear/Raingear: Umbrella. Genius Rolfi. He gave credit to a group of Japanese trekkers he led about 15 years ago. I did not have one and being a bit of a Seattle snob about umbrellas, wish I had. The weather changes are fast and often on the trek and there already is a lot of stopping to un-layer and re-layer jackets, hats, hoods, rain covers, etc. Having an umbrella would have reduced some of that :) My trekking pants dried very quickly from body heat even after getting soaked several times, and while moving I was not cold. Others in my group brought outer rain pants and that was helpful to them as well. I had one ultralight down and one fleece in addition to a base layer if needed for warmth and that was plenty. A headband to go over the ears, beanie, and a water-proof hat for sun and rain in addition to my light rain jacket/wind breaker. Sunglasses, of course. Rain cover for my day pack. Gloves. Small dry sacks and sandwich/freezer bags for some things just in case to extra protect some items in my pack.
- Shoes: To lighten weight, I was happy I went with Saucony Peregrine trail runners; these are not water proof but dry quickly while wearing from body heat and whenever I expected rainy weather, particularly the first 2 days, I went ahead and wore water-proof Sealskinz socks. For the most part, the peregrines stayed dry anyway. I also brought a pair of LL Bean Maine Hunting Shoes and a pair of flip flops to wear around camp and also at the hot springs for the flip flops.
- Other Equipment: I brought one trekking pole and this was helpful to me during steep ascents and especially descents. At Machu Picchu itself, they may or may not let you in with a trekking pole but if so you will definitely require rubber caps. Power adapter for when there was access. My 5000mAh external battery was perfect for keeping my phone charged for photos. Headlamp.
- Snacks: snacks were actually provided to us for the trail every day but we did bring some of our own such as jerky, chocolate/candy, peanut butter.
- Backpacks: My day pack was under 10 lbs not including water, while my porter pack was about 12 lbs. In my day pack/on me, I kept personal valuables like my passport, an extra pair of socks, my baselayer top, hats, gloves, sometimes my camp towel, snacks for the day, water, external battery for my phone, jackets and fleece, rain cover, some toilet paper, pain relievers like advil, first aid basics, insect repellant, sunscreen, sunglasses, trekking pole.
- Water: Camelback pouch, 2 to 3 liters size is plenty. You will get clean water refills every evening and morning. No need to bring water purifiers.
- Altitude prophylaxis/meds: acetazolamide is essential to help protect you from altitude sickness. Start 24 hours before you arrive to Cusco and continue for 1-2 days after your highest elevation. I also acquired the typhoid vaccine.
- First aid/bug repellant/sunscreen: lip balm, sunscreen, insect repellant (we really liked the Picaridin instead of DEET; it doesn’t leave a residue and a little bit goes a long way). Quechua Treks carries a first aid kit and oxygen tank if needed but I brought my own kit as well, including ace wrap, Zofran, some basic antibiotics in case of bacterial diarrhea, bandaids, advil/Tylenol/Benadryl/antibiotic ointment, leukotape in case of blisters, among other first aid basics of choice.
- Sleeping: My thin sleeping liner plus down quilt for 20 degrees F was plenty warm for the purpose of this hike. Quechua Treks provides the inflatable sleeping pads and for the first night or two comfy sleeping liners and pillow were also provided; however, I believe these got wet during a heavy rain and so I was glad to have brought my own liner. Earplugs were very nice to have.
- Toiletries/laundry: you may laugh, but having the Pstyle for the ladies was perfect, especially when we had to use that “Incan toilet” on the trail. At camp and at rest-stops on the trail, there were toilets. Bring your own toilet paper just in case. Aside from your personal toiletries, wet wipes were nice to have for extra clean up if needed and Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap (2 oz) was perfect for hand-washing a couple things along the way. I found that bringing a couple clamps/clothespins was helpful for drying out some clothes on the trail (hooked onto outside of my pack) or overnight. Camping towel.
- Money: If you have a debt card with no foreign transaction fee, withdraw money in soles at an ATM such as at the airport when you arrive in Cusco. In Cusco, while restaurants generally accepted mastercard or visa, pretty much everywhere else except for fancy stores only take soles. In Aguas Calientes, most of the shops in the market will take a credit card as well and will often accept small denominations of USD. Best to have denominations of 50 or less in soles while you are on the road and keep some 1 sole coins to use toilets at rest-stops along the trail. Set aside some soles ahead of time for tipping your crew.

James Mackender, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Laura, we're all blown away by your review. For you to take the time to let us know how it was, is incredible. The guys all appreciate it, Laura, it's not very often that they get the mention their work merits. I'll make sure everyone sees it :) When we get groups like yours, you understand what we're about and you made the most of your time here. Your group is the reason we do what we do, it was a pleasure to have you with us & please keep in touch. Your pictures are some of the best I've... read more

Hi Laura, we're all blown away by your review. For you to take the time to let us know how it was, is incredible. The guys all appreciate it, Laura, it's not very often that they get the mention their work merits. I'll make sure everyone sees it :) When we get groups like yours, you understand what we're about and you made the most of your time here. Your group is the reason we do what we do, it was a pleasure to have you with us & please keep in touch. Your pictures are some of the best I've seen, the variety of flora I still find astounding! We hope you'll be back to Peru some time.
best regards, James

Peru family adventure trip, Peru - Mar 8 - Mar 17, 2018

Traveler: Nancy L. - Local specialist: James Mackender

This was a bucket list trip for myself and my family and James made sure it delivered.
James is quick to respond and quick to understand the style of trip you're trying to attain.
He helped us customize our trip to our exact specifications and delivered on experiences and accommodations that helped us feel like we were having a customized experience rather than a generic one.

The highlights of our trip were the rock climbing in the Sacred Valley and our hike into Macchu Picchu. Our guide... read more

This was a bucket list trip for myself and my family and James made sure it delivered.
James is quick to respond and quick to understand the style of trip you're trying to attain.
He helped us customize our trip to our exact specifications and delivered on experiences and accommodations that helped us feel like we were having a customized experience rather than a generic one.

The highlights of our trip were the rock climbing in the Sacred Valley and our hike into Macchu Picchu. Our guide Zacarias was incredible - knowledgeable, accommodating and fun, he made sure our kids were constantly engaged while they were learning about this incredible country. Zac quickly became a part of our family.

What made this trip extra special were the unexpected touches - a gourmet picnic overlooking Cusco when we landed, a picnic lunch on our bike riding trip through the valley, reaching out to the hotel when my son got altitude sickness to ensure he got the care he needed - in short, personal service every step of the way. We also appreciated their commitment to making every part of our trip as eco-friendly as possible ensuring our impact on the environments around us was minimal - from providing litter-free lunches to personal water bottles we could refill.

When weather issues forced us to change plans due to safety issues, both James and Zac were on it with great suggestions, helping us make decisions and being flexible with their time and services.

My only constructive feedback would be that we felt 3 days was too long to spend in Huacacchina as we exhausted the activities there pretty quickly. While we loved the pool at the hotel, our hotel room was a little generic and bare bones for our taste.
As well, when our day trip to the Lost Canyon was cancelled due to safety concerns, the replacement trip to Laguna de Moron was pretty boring and uninteresting. I would not recommend this day trip as there is very little to do for a family of four. Trekking into the desert to see a lagoon that is less impressive than the oasis at Huacacchina seemed like a poor use of our time.

All in all, KimKim delivered an unforgettable trip and am looking forward to planning another trip with them in the future. Thank you!

James Mackender, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Nancy, thanks for your kind words, it means a lot to us because we're a small business and the guys all appreciate what travellers write. We always try to go further than is normal, it's what we're about and planning your trip was a pleasure because you were completely aligned to how we work.
It's a great point about the first section of your trip, normally I recommend people head to Paracas/Ica for a couple of days to chill out after their trip and unfortunately we were slightly... read more

Hi Nancy, thanks for your kind words, it means a lot to us because we're a small business and the guys all appreciate what travellers write. We always try to go further than is normal, it's what we're about and planning your trip was a pleasure because you were completely aligned to how we work.
It's a great point about the first section of your trip, normally I recommend people head to Paracas/Ica for a couple of days to chill out after their trip and unfortunately we were slightly constrained by budget and weather events to do more. I'm pleased in the end we were able to get you on the Short Inca Trail and you were able to achieve your goal of completing it. Zac had a blast with you all, keep in touch Nancy and we'd love to help you out if you're ever planning to come back to South America. Best James

Sai

Patagonia: torres del paine - 7 days, Chile - Feb 15 - Feb 24, 2018

Traveler: Sai M. - Local specialist: James Mackender

Bob and I had an incredible and very varied trip to Chile for our honeymoon. We spent the first 5 days of it in Patagonia, where we did the "W" route. Our guide, Camilla, was the perfect person to take me, and inexperienced hiker, from place to place. She took such good care of us, and her pacing was perfect to get us where we needed to go without making me totally work out. Her cheerfulness and enthusiasm were such a treat.

After that we spent a day in Santiago and three days in... read more

Bob and I had an incredible and very varied trip to Chile for our honeymoon. We spent the first 5 days of it in Patagonia, where we did the "W" route. Our guide, Camilla, was the perfect person to take me, and inexperienced hiker, from place to place. She took such good care of us, and her pacing was perfect to get us where we needed to go without making me totally work out. Her cheerfulness and enthusiasm were such a treat.

After that we spent a day in Santiago and three days in Cochagua Valley doing wine tours and eating unbelievably good food. Our guides for the wine tour, Jose and Fransisco, were a lot of fun and really knowledgeable. We enjoyed all of the tours and tastings we did and were grateful to meet everyone there.

The two highlights of the wine-touring part of our trip were lunch at Fuegos de Alpata, the restaurant at Montes vineyard. Both the food and views were unbelievable, and it took us several hours afterwards to be able to recover and for the haze to wear off. The second was our accommodation - Hotel Quinta Maria. The massive and colorful room in the middle of a gorgeous garden was pretty great, but the best part of the stay was the hospitality of the hotel's owner, Eduardo, who took great care of us and made us a multi-course breakfast, including home-grown fruit and eggs from his own chickens, each morning.

Overall, we couldn't have asked for a better experience and are very grateful for James and Mayra's planning and decision-making. They captured exactly what we wanted.

James Mackender, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Sai, many thanks for your kind review. We're really pleased you had a great honeymoon, you chose the best destination for it. It was a pleasure planning your trip, logistically Patagonia is difficult but always worth the effort. The vineyard tour is amazing, I love your description of it. Hope you have some awesome memories and please keep in touch, best regards, 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

Vicky

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

Kristin

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

Blair

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. It's an... 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

Mark

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.