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Katy Shorthouse

I've been guiding and designing tours all over South America since 2004. I detest large buses, bored guides, and above all, numbers on sticks. I'm passionate about Peru and have lived here for 12 years, and our tours here go deeper than you would believe possible in the same time other companies take to show you a few highlights. I'm all about showing you the real Peru. You don't need to go far off the beaten track. You just have to know where to look.

What places and activities do you specialize in?

"Authentic cultural encounter in Peru, especially Cusco and Lake Titicaca. We also specialise in family and MTB trips."

How did you get involved in travel?

"I studied journalism unenthusiastically and without distinction, so my career in communications didn't exactly set the world on fire. In my late twenties I found myself writing junk mail about tax and accounting software for a job (for good money, I might add). I suddenly looked around in horror and thought "this can't be my life!" A few months later I became a hiking guide, and I've never looked back! "

Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.

"My first time in Bolivia, in 1996, my friend and travelled through the rainforest with a large bundle that held her stilts. Whenever anyone asked, we claimed in our minimal Spanish that the mysterious bundle was the bones of her grandmother. Even though I guess nobody really believed this, the pair of us were a pretty big sensation in the tiny villages where we'd stop, and usually a crowd gathered, at which point we'd whip out the stilts and do a really mediocre circus show. (She would wobble around on the stilts, and I was learning to juggle). The idea was to collect money for our travels. Nobody ever gave us any, but usually somebody would take pity and let us sleep at their place. "

Featured trips & expertise

Troops of hundreds of monkeys are a common sight on this trip
Peruvian Amazon Adventure - 4 Days

If you enjoy observing animals and birds in their natural environment–along with spending time on the water–this four-day Tambopata trip was designed with you in mind. Explore the incredible Amazon, go fishing for piranha, enjoy a kayaking excursion, and embark on a nighttime nature hike on this action-packed adventure.

Tambopata River
Tambopata Amazon Adventure - 3 Days

Take a quick detour into the Amazon on this three-day itinerary. You'll fly into the frontier town of Puerto Maldonado, just a quick flight from Lima or Cusco, and head up the Tambopata River to experience the scenery and wildlife of the Amazon rainforest.

Best of Peru Tour & Galapagos Cruise - 12 Days
Best of Peru Tour & Galapagos Cruise - 12 Days

Discover ancient ruins, colonial architecture, fantastic food, and folk culture in Cusco, the Sacred Valley, and iconic Machu Picchu.  Then hop aboard the luxurious Galapagos Legend—the only cruise boat in the Galapagos with an on-deck swimming pool—for a multi-island expedition to observe the birds, iguanas, and sea creatures that make this place so special.

Ollantaytambo
Peruvian Luxury Experience - 8 Days

Explore ancient Incan ruins, charming colonial towns, and the breathtaking Sacred Valley as you make your way through some of Peru's most beloved sights in style. Gourmet meals, five-star hotels, and spa treatments await in between explorations on this tour that perfectly pairs adventure and luxury.

Ceviche, Peru's national dish
Experience the Food and Drink of Peru - 14 Days

Imagine spending two weeks in Peru dedicated to all things delicious. Following this itinerary, you'll visit buzzing food markets in Lima and join in on cooking classes in Cusco. You'll spend a whole day exploring Macchu Picchu, dip into Inca ruins on Amantani Island, and get stuck into some traditional Inca feasts along the way.

Friendly greeting from a Manu local!
Manu Adventure - 8 Days

Down in the Amazon basin, off the edge of the tourist map, lies Manu — arguably the most biodiverse area in the world. Trek off the beaten track and into the land of tapirs, parrots, and jungle rivers — a place without luxury hotels, hot showers, or 24/7 WiFi.

Recent trip reviews for Katy

Group departure - Peru Family Tour - 13 Days · Peru - Jul 24 - Aug 4, 2019

Traveler: Cristina d. - Local specialist: Katy Shorthouse

This trip was a unique experience based trip that we enjoyed as a family and will treasure the memories for years to come!! It balanced lots of different opportunities to enjoy the fabulous nature in Peru, with the history and amazing sites. Add great company and guides and Peruvian food and it left us looking forward to a second trip to visit other areas in the country!

Katy Shorthouse profile photo
Katy Shorthouse, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hola Cristina! Que bueno que tu y Enrique lo pasaron bien en Peru! It was a pleasure working with you to set up your trip, and we'd love to see you back again - there is so much more left to explore!

Trip to Peru · Peru - Jun 22 - Jun 30, 2019

Traveler: Joan D. - Local specialist: Katy Shorthouse

Our personal guide, Chen, was absolutely wonderful! He was kind, considerate of our acclimation needs, and he had a terrific ability to motivate all of us to achieve our full potential on the rigorous hikes. We thoroughly appreciated Cheo’s sense of humor, as well as the detail of his cultural presentation of the sights throughout the entire trip.

Katy and KimKim were wonderful with the timely updates of our travel plans, payment schedule, and perfect packing list.

Thank you!

Katy Shorthouse profile photo
Katy Shorthouse, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Joan, thanks for your review! I'm so glad you, your girls, and other family members had a wonderful trip to Peru... what an awesome birthday celebration for your daughter, and what an incredible way to build shared memories for you all. It's a pleasure to be part of such an endeavour, so thank you!

Family Trip to Peru · Peru - Jul 3 - Jul 14, 2019

Traveler: Elisa M. - Local specialist: Katy Shorthouse

Our local specialist, KATY from Aspiring Adventures, arranged our local experience carefully, based on our preferences as a party of 6 adults with various levels of fitness ability and 2 active children. She got us a trip to experience Peru from the Pacific coast to the Andean mountains to the Amazon jungle. She arranged for us to taste Peruvian local cuisine at luxurious restaurants, a farmer's house, an Amaru village house, a boat picnic setting, and a set-menu dining in a jungle lodge. She... read more

Our local specialist, KATY from Aspiring Adventures, arranged our local experience carefully, based on our preferences as a party of 6 adults with various levels of fitness ability and 2 active children. She got us a trip to experience Peru from the Pacific coast to the Andean mountains to the Amazon jungle. She arranged for us to taste Peruvian local cuisine at luxurious restaurants, a farmer's house, an Amaru village house, a boat picnic setting, and a set-menu dining in a jungle lodge. She got us to experience local lifestyle by having us to stay at hostels, Amaru village house, and a jungle lodge. The Muresan family also appreciated our 'green' experience in Peru.

The Muresan family appreciated Katy's list of What to Expect When Traveling to Peru and List to Bring. Perhaps Katy can add:
1. Amaru, the village experience living, is super cold, so please bring seriously warm clothes to be comfortable.
2. Riding ATV is super dusty, so please bring a face mask to cover up, and a backpack cover/plastic to cover yourself and your backpack.
Other than those, Katy was spot on. Please bring gifts for your host families. Something small from your country. From Indonesia, we brought keychains. From the US, we brought t-shirts and keychains. They cost $2-5 a piece and will last a lifetime for your hosts and friendship.

Aldo Sanchez was our ultimate BEST guide! He was patient, quietly listening to our needs, courteously adjusting our trip based on our requests, happily taking our pictures as a group in 'Instagram-worthy' places :), and most importantly, very passionate and knowledgeable about his mountains! He did not push us to buy anything from any merchants. He did not force us to do anything we were not comfortable with. He also made all those hiking and walking a pleasure because he carried a book with him and he kept on stopping to tell stories about the places we passed as we were walking. He was like an audiobook. No suggestion to improve for Aldo. Keep up your great work and service, Aldo! Thank you for your service to our family.

The Muresan family found Wilhen, the cyclist guide, fun, and careful with ensuring our safety on the trails and road. He went as far as we wanted to, as fast as our kids pedaled, and was willing to take several breaks to give Elisa a break because she was running out of gas from not eating proper breakfast. Her fault totally. Luckily, Aldo got a piece of Amaru potato for Elisa to munch and get a little more energy. Thank you, Wilhen.

The Muresan family enjoyed paddleboarding with David at Lake Piuray. He was competent, patient, and more than happy to have fun with my extremely happy kids. Our kids are fish in disguise. I thought they were goofing around a little too much, but David encouraged them to have serious fun. The kids ended up feeling ecstatic, I ended up relaxing, and the car ended up being quiet because both of them fell asleep after our water activity. Thank you, David. Stay safe, keep traveling, and carry on.

The Muresan family had a great time in Amaru. We loved the welcome 'ceremony' when we arrived. We enjoyed working the field for Fredy's family, using the tools that the Inca farmers had been using for centuries. We loved the cooking in the ground procedure that we witnessed and graciously devoured. We admired the camaraderie amongst Fredy's neighbors, who came to help and showed us how devoted the women were to care for their children. We adored the view from hiking 4000 m hill near Fredy's house. BUT the chill was down to every single tiniest bone in our bodies. It was extremely cold during the night that when we had to pee, we almost decided to pee on ourselves to warm our bodies up. But no, we walked down to the toilets, like proper ladies and gentlemen, to release ourselves. What a reward we got. We looked up the sky and saw what the Inca people saw many centuries ago, with our naked eyes, the clear sky with beautiful formation of the stars and the milky way. It was one of our moments of: man, we were glad we had to pee in the middle of the night. Thank you for your hospitality, Fredy. I will send you the printed picture, as I promised.

We loved the Amazon jungle that we got to experience from Puerto Maldonado. Oscar's lodge was pleasantly clean, rustic, and relaxing. The architecture and landscape looked to be carefully designed for ultimate enjoyment of the city people like us. (Juan) Carlos the chef was strict with dining timetable, but we loved his creations, every single time! Oscar's staff members were courteous and very honest. Perhaps, at the bar, for people who don't drink, Oscar can add selling chips, candies, or small muncheries. We enjoyed the common rooms very much, playing games and getting to know other guests, while swinging at the strong hammocks and imagining a leopard or a snake or a monkey or even a sloth peeking to watch us, humans.

Yuri is a passionate and competent guide. We appreciated that even with his stomach problem, he still stayed upbeat and strong to help us enjoy our time in the jungle. He spotted many animals for us when we couldn't even see the creatures! He found the best place (spots) for us to enjoy the clay-licking birds of Peru, had a picnic breakfast, and walked to another spot to enjoy those beauties! He skillfully took us for long day and night walk through the Amazon jungle and to Condenado Lake. He caught 3 piranha fish with ease and graciously shared 1 with us at the lodge. We 4 are still jealous at Yuri for catching those piranha, because none of us could do that! We appreciated Yuri taking us to try to find an Anaconda (or two or a few) at Tres Chimbadas Lake. Yuri knew Reserva Nacional Tambopata very well and was always being green and environmentally conscious, at all times. Thank you, Yuri. Keep up your great service!

The Muresan family would also like to acknowledge the super boat driver Carlo! Carlo drove very smoothly on Tambopata River, without light, at 4 in the morning!, maneuvering through deep and shallow spots, and avoiding fallen trees! WOW! Carlo also managed to stop his boat, to show us a small monkey hanging on the top of a tree, and several families of Capibara, cleverly camouflaged amongst the mudbanks of the river. To top it all of, Carlo ALWAYS kept his boat clean and tidy, every time we got on board of it. You are the man, Carlo! Thank you for showing us a great time at your Tambopata River.

The Muresan family enjoyed the kayaking down the Tambopata River on the last day at the jungle. Next time, please consider arranging this activity to NOT be on the last day, so that we could dry our wet clothes and not bringing those wet clothes back to the US, in our suitcases, for 2 days.

The Muresan family had a glitch with Mayli. She was not able to answer any of my questions during our trip in Peru. She was not helpful and was incompetent at Cusco airport, prior to our departure to Puerto Maldonado. She needed more training to help clients with their airport experience. I wish we had Aldo sending us off from Cusco to Puerto Maldonado. He would have known what to do!

In conclusion, our trip to Peru was a blast! Thankfully, Mayli is just a little insignificant glitch. Our family had a once in a lifetime experience and will be sharing our reviews (minus Mayli) in Social Media, to promote Peru, Kimkim Travel, and Aspiring Adventures. Thank you.

Katy Shorthouse profile photo
Katy Shorthouse, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Elisa, wow, thanks so much for your detailed review and all the photos! Thank you too for leaving me a package in Cusco, that is incredibly generous and thoughtful!

You have some great feedback here on things I should add to the packing list for the trip and I will be actioning them!

Thanks for your feedback about our staff members - both those you loved and those you didn't - it's all super-valuable for us!

Finally, let me say how much I love what you have to say about the... read more

Hi Elisa, wow, thanks so much for your detailed review and all the photos! Thank you too for leaving me a package in Cusco, that is incredibly generous and thoughtful!

You have some great feedback here on things I should add to the packing list for the trip and I will be actioning them!

Thanks for your feedback about our staff members - both those you loved and those you didn't - it's all super-valuable for us!

Finally, let me say how much I love what you have to say about the experience of dragging yourself our of bed (from under a heavy, heavy pile of blankets, am I right?) to trek to the outdoor toilet at your homestay, and being rewarded beyond description by the most spectacular, awe-inspiring night sky in the world... that's a transcendent experience I've had many times (I have a small bladder) over many years guiding in Peru, and you've described it so well.

Once again, thank you, and I hope our paths cross again someday.

All the best, Katy

Group departure - Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu - 5 Days · Peru - Jun 1 - Jun 5, 2018

Traveler: Kyong C. - Local specialist: Katy Shorthouse

This was a great trip from start to finish. Aldo, the guide, was a pure delight to spend 4 nights and 5 days with. He covered every detail and more; bring hot water bottles to each of us as we were sleeping at 14,000 feet in the Andes to stay warm, bringing coffee or tea to each of us before we got out of bed. The highlights for us were to reach the summit of the Salkantay trail at 15,200 feet, the coffee plantation where we picked the coffee beans, roasted, ground and made coffee and... read more

This was a great trip from start to finish. Aldo, the guide, was a pure delight to spend 4 nights and 5 days with. He covered every detail and more; bring hot water bottles to each of us as we were sleeping at 14,000 feet in the Andes to stay warm, bringing coffee or tea to each of us before we got out of bed. The highlights for us were to reach the summit of the Salkantay trail at 15,200 feet, the coffee plantation where we picked the coffee beans, roasted, ground and made coffee and camping by the mineral hot springs, soaking our tired bodies. The food was gourmet dining, the two cooks were splendid. Manchu Picchu was a day to remember with Aldo providing a tour. I would recommend this trip to anyone, I still have that vacation glow!!!!!

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Katy Shorthouse, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Kyong
I'm so glad the Salkantay trek lived up to your dreams and you're still glowing from the experience!
Aldo told me the coffee was a highlight... he really enjoyed this trip with your group!
You've been such a pleasure - all the best to you and Mike!
Cheers
Katy

Connie's birding trip, May 2018 · Peru - May 8 - May 19, 2018

Traveler: j Gordon M. - Local specialist: Katy Shorthouse

We had a wonderful trip and experience in Peru. Our guides were everything we expected and more. Nestor, and Alex the chef, in the Amazon, safely and comfortably guided us through the splendour of Manu National Park. Luis in the Sacred Valley educated us regarding the Inca wonders of Pisac, Ollantaytambo, Cusco and the spectacular Machu Picchu. They were very knowledgeable, attentive, helpful and welcoming. They made the trip extra special. Kim Kim took care of all the details that made... read more

We had a wonderful trip and experience in Peru. Our guides were everything we expected and more. Nestor, and Alex the chef, in the Amazon, safely and comfortably guided us through the splendour of Manu National Park. Luis in the Sacred Valley educated us regarding the Inca wonders of Pisac, Ollantaytambo, Cusco and the spectacular Machu Picchu. They were very knowledgeable, attentive, helpful and welcoming. They made the trip extra special. Kim Kim took care of all the details that made our vacation worry free. All we had to do was show up on time each day, usually very early, and enjoy each new adventure that had been arranged for us. I think it fair to say for our group that we all came away from the trip with pleasant memories of Peru and the Peruvian people. You couldn’t ask for more.
Katy and Kim Kim have developed a great business model that allowed our group of family members to suggest our interests and Kim Kim delivered a tour tailored to those interests. There is nothing about the experience that I would change.

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Katy Shorthouse, local specialist, responded to this review:

Gordon, thank you for your kind words. It is so awesome to hear there is nothing about the experience you would change... that makes us all feel so great! We wouldn't change you and your group either - you're a lovely group of people. We hope to see you again someday!

Birding Tour and Machu Picchu · Peru - May 8 - May 19, 2018

Traveler: Constance M. - Local specialist: Katy Shorthouse

We were 7 members of one family , all over 55, who wished to go on a birding adventure in Peru. Katy Shorthouse of Aspiring Adventures listened carefully to our requests . She did an amazing job of meeting our needs and desires so in the end we had an exceptional trip. Our guides Nestor and Luis were wonderful, the food provided by chef Alex was fantastic, the accomodations were comfortable and the tour ran like clockwork. Katy provided personalised service at every stage of our trip. Both... read more

We were 7 members of one family , all over 55, who wished to go on a birding adventure in Peru. Katy Shorthouse of Aspiring Adventures listened carefully to our requests . She did an amazing job of meeting our needs and desires so in the end we had an exceptional trip. Our guides Nestor and Luis were wonderful, the food provided by chef Alex was fantastic, the accomodations were comfortable and the tour ran like clockwork. Katy provided personalised service at every stage of our trip. Both Manu National Park and Machu Picchu blew our minds.The Inca heritage in Cuzco was fascinating. If you are considering a guided tour to Peru, Aspiring Adventures will surpass your expectations.

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Katy Shorthouse, local specialist, responded to this review:

Connie, it's a pleasure to work with appreciative people like you and your family! As you saw we love to work closely with our guests to develop an itinerary that's perfect for them, and all the hard work is more than worthwhile when we receive such lovely feedback. Come again any time!

Inca Trail to Machu Picchu - 5-Day Itinerary · Peru - Jun 4 - Jun 17, 2017

Traveler: Gretchen M. - Local specialist: Katy Shorthouse

The Peru trip was amazing! It beat expectations and was a marvel on so many levels. Our guide, Aldo, was a huge bonus as he was an amazing person to spend two weeks with escorting us through his magical country.

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Katy Shorthouse, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Gretchen
Thanks so much for your kind words. It was a pleasure to organize a trip for you and your boys. We always aim to pass expectations and when Aldo's on the trip, we can't go wrong - he is indeed the eighth wonder of the world!
All the best for your future travels!
Katy