Born and raised in Chicago, I've now lived in South America for a decade and love being able to call Peru home. Based in the capital, Lima, I oversee the expert travel planning team at Aracari Travel, which specializes in private, tailormade travel to Peru, Bolivia and the Galapagos. We create bespoke itineraries for every guest, carefully crafted and personalised to fit their needs, budget and expectations, whether they're looking for an adventure to lesser-known corners of Peru staying at family-run lodges, or travelling to Machu Picchu in style and enjoying top-notch hotels.
I get real enjoyment out of sharing my own first-hand travel experiences with similarly culturally curious travellers. It’s great fun introducing people to activities and regions they didn’t know about before they started the planning process with me, and being sure at the end of their trip they’ve got the most out of the time they had to travel.
In my spare time you'll find me wandering the local cafes in Lima, offering travel advice to anyone and everyone who wants it, working on my yoga practice or playing basketball. I was also born with a great love of Boston sports and from afar still cheer on my beloved Red Sox and Celtics with great pride!
What places and activities do you specialize in?
"I specialize in private, tailormade travel to Peru, Bolivia and the Galapagos. I’ve travelled across South America and the entire length and breadth of Peru, taking in all the must-see destinations as well as many little-known towns and villages along the way. Being based here means I am continually traveling around the region. This makes it easy for me to offer honest, first-hand insight based on my own travel experiences and share the latest insider intel on the best things to do and places to stay.
Part of designing tailormade travel means I specialise in helping guests to tap into the extensive network of contacts and interesting characters Aracari has built up over 20 years - many of whom don't otherwise work in tourism and choose to work exclusively with Aracari based on longstanding friendships. From learning to cook with a chef in their private home, to discussing Inca and contemporary life in Cusco with a leading anthropologist, to meeting artists and specialists in their field, I can help facilitate unique insight and access that you won't find in the guidebooks!
My tailormade travel expertise encompasses adventure travel, family travel, culinary travel, honeymoons, luxury travel and special occassion travel (like birthdays and family reunions). The best thing about bespoke travel is the opportunity to be flexible and creative with every trip!"
How did you get involved in travel?
"Childhood admiration for National Geographic was further fuelled by traveling on family vacations, from Europe to Mexico and the spark that led me to complete a degree in Creative Writing. However, teaching abroad in Costa Rica in my early twenties and travelling that country changed my life: it opened up new possibilities and a new outlook on life. Shortly after, I ventured to South America where I continued to explore new cultures, become fluent in Spanish and eventually settle in Peru where I made my first foray into the fun world of tailormade travel."
Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.
"There have been so many! But being woken up to the sound of exotic birdsong in the heart of Peru’s Amazon at a remote jungle lodge must be one of the most memorable experiences I’ve had. That feeling of isolation, of disconnecting from all the trappings of the modern world, and truly switching off to just enjoy nature at its best was a special moment. And I think unique travel experiences are just like that – the big bucket-list destinations might inspire you to travel to a place, but the small moments, the details, the unexpected encounters can stick with you just as long. "
Matt's favorite itineraries and travel advice
Top itineraries and travel advice
Off the beaten track, Chachapoyas can be described as real ‘Indiana Jones’ territory. Located in northern Peru, at the juncture between the Amazon rainforest, the Andes...
If you’re looking for the best way to hike the Inca Trail, this classic route offers a unique approach which avoids the main crowds, and follows the ideal schedule for timing...