People

Phima Voyages

Phima Voyages is a tour operator based in Chachapoyas, the regional capital of Amazonas. Its mission is to build a responsible tourism that will help the inhabitants of the region to improve their living conditions in a continuous and prepared way.

The company was founded by Philippe and Martina Capel, a French-German couple that had owned and managed for more than 10 years a 4-star hotel and restaurant in Provence, in Saint Rémy de Provence. After several years of traveling with their boys through Asia, the States and Central America, they decided to settle in Northern Peru and to help develop the tourism in this region.

For this reason, Phima Voyages is actively involved in the tourism activities in the region, from the Travel agency association to monthly meetings with the Rural Tourism Platform. Our consulting company holds presentations and trainings on a regular basis.

We work with trained people, professional guides, and official craft associations. Our homestays have been chosen according to their cleanliness, their welcome, and their open mind.

It is our objective to make you discover the real Amazonas region, the wealth of the Chachapoya culture, its myths and legends, its various agricultural productions, and also, the most important, the life of its inhabitants.

Featured trips & expertise

Traveling - experiences and encounters
Discover Northern Peru: A Journey For The Senses - 14 Days

This 14-day trip will take you to the best cities and historic places of interest on the north coast of Peru. From the fascinating archaeological sites around Trujillo and Cumbemayo, to visits with local woodcarvers and environmentalists, you'll get an in-depth experience with this little-visited area. Along the way, you'll hike to one of the world’s highest waterfalls, make some cocktails, visit superb museums, and sample delicious local cuisine.

Estancia El Chillo, Amazonas Region
Northern Peru: Everything You Need To Know

While the majority of travelers head straight for Machu Picchu in southern Peru, the North remains a hidden gem for those willing to venture off-the-beaten-path. You'll have amazing ruins to yourself, discover unique landscapes, and learn about ancient cultures that pre-date the Inca civilization. 

Citadel of Kuelap, Amazonas region
Best Places To Visit in Northern Peru

Off-the-radar for most tourists, Northern Peru has its own set of amazing highlights. You can experience Peru's cultural diversity and numerous archaeological sites, given many pre-Inca civilizations settled in the northern regions. Besides culture, you can also enjoy the amazing wildlife, the beautiful flora and fauna, enjoy a hike in the Andes or relax along long stretches of white sandy beach.

View on the river in Chazuta
Northern Peru: Jungle To The Andes - 8 Days

This tour through northern Peru will not only show you the culinary side of Peru, but also a range of natural highlights. You will visit the major attractions in the Amazonas region, such as the fortress of Kuelap, also called the “Machu Picchu of the North”, and Gocta, one of the 10 highest waterfalls in the world.

Recent Trip Reviews for Phima Voyages

Chachapoyas: peru’s best kept secret - 7 days, Peru - Mar 6 - Mar 14, 2018

Traveler: Samuel O. - Local specialist: Martina Capel

I would like to say thank you to Martina. She put an incredible tour together in a very short amount of time. She always responded immediately to any question i had. She was a real pleasure to work with.
Our guide John was great. He was very friendly and always upbeat and helpful.
Our stay at Casa Hacienda Milpuj was great. The freandly conversations were nice and the food there was best of the entire trip. I could have stayed the entire trip in Hotel Achamaqui. The service and food were... read more

I would like to say thank you to Martina. She put an incredible tour together in a very short amount of time. She always responded immediately to any question i had. She was a real pleasure to work with.
Our guide John was great. He was very friendly and always upbeat and helpful.
Our stay at Casa Hacienda Milpuj was great. The freandly conversations were nice and the food there was best of the entire trip. I could have stayed the entire trip in Hotel Achamaqui. The service and food were very good and the scenery was amazing. I loved the quiet peacefulness.
All the day trips were great but I think the waterfalls of Gocta was the best. Riding horseback provided some great photo opportunities. I have traveled extensively in the past and this was the most organized and well planned tour i have ever been on. Thank you Martina and Kimkim.

Martina Capel, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Samuel,

I am delighted that you enjoyed your stay with us and that you liked the hotels we have selected. It was my pleasure planning your trip and suggesting you the different sites to visit.

Thank you so much for your great overview.

Warm regards,
Martina

bette

Northern coast of peru, Peru - Jan 22 - Jan 27, 2018

Traveler: bette C. - Local specialist: Shirley López

Hi there, I am catching up on sleep and starting to feel more normal. I even cooked a Peruvian dish, tacu tacu, last night! My husband is on an alternating vegetarian diet. Loved the food, especially on the Phima portion of the trip. Remember we did an Intrepid trip to Machu Picchu before. All in all the trip was very good. The sites we visited were all very interesting and the meals that were arranged for us were fantastic. The only thing we were unsure of was tipping as we didn't... read more

Hi there, I am catching up on sleep and starting to feel more normal. I even cooked a Peruvian dish, tacu tacu, last night! My husband is on an alternating vegetarian diet. Loved the food, especially on the Phima portion of the trip. Remember we did an Intrepid trip to Machu Picchu before. All in all the trip was very good. The sites we visited were all very interesting and the meals that were arranged for us were fantastic. The only thing we were unsure of was tipping as we didn't know the price of the meals.
Our hotel room, for Trish and I, in Trujillo was quite disappointing.
I don’t think Bev and Amy’s room was as drab as ours. Unfortunately, there was a stain on the carpet, mildew in the shower and some windows opened into the hotel lobby and the others fronted onto the street, so it was very noisy.
I did feel that the reception and breakfast areas of the hotel were clean and modern looking and I do want to emphasize that the staff were very kind and helpful. I checked the hotel on line and some of the comments said that the owners were going to have to step up the quality of the rooms, but otherwise good value.
The itinerary was good . I thought the pace was pretty good and we really loved everything we saw. On day 4 we couldn’t go to Ventarron as there had been a fire, we went to Huaca Rajada museum and site, were supposed to go to the Bruning Museum , but opted to go to Tumbas Reales as we really only had a couple of hours after lunch and Jhon told us the museum closed at 4. The museum guide told us that it was open until 5 p.m. and you could stay in longer. If we had known that we might have taken in the Bruning museum. We really enjoyed what we saw in any event!
Just looking at the Itinerary now, We did not see all the destinations on Day 5, We went to the Bosque Pomac, there were a couple of pyramids in the distance,. I think they were Ventanas and Loro, but I am not sure that we went to the valley of the Pyramids in Tucume/ We drove through Ferranafe but did not visit the museum. We had lunch after going to the museum in Tucume though. I believe that driver Jhon had said that there was construction or some other obstruction on the road and he felt we should leave earlier to get to the airport so we could get our flight back to Lima. I think the itinerary was a bit too ambitious for that day.

One thing I might tell you, after going to the Sipan museum at the site of Huaca Rajada, we might not have seen the actual site with the Huaca and where the tombs of el Senor de Sipan y El Viejo were found if the local guide hadn’t taken one of our group there. This is a very important site and am so glad we saw it. It should be compulsory on the tour. It all fits in with what we saw at Tumbas Reales.
Regarding our guide Jhon’s English, I thought his knowlege was very good, but when you asked him a specific question, he either didn’t understand the question, or didn’t know the answer. His pronunciation could be improved, but he was fine to chat to. He tried very hard and was very pleasant and kind.

For future tours, it would be good for the Phima guide to know when Tumbas Reales closes. The museum guide, Orlando, said it closed at 5, but you could stay later.....we might have been able to squeeze in the Bruning museum. We were happy with what we saw that day.
Just to be clear, I didn’t think there were too many excursions in our itinerary, the pace was pretty good for day two and three. Day four, we didn’t go to Ventarron because of the fire, but really enjoyed the Museum at Sipan and Huaca Rajada. After lunch we didn’t have time to see both the Bruning Museum and Tumbas REales, so we opted to see Tumbas Reales which was fantastic.
I think I might be repeating myself. Sorry, still have a bit of jet lag. If you need any clarifications, just let me know. Gracias,

Shirley López, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Bette, thank you for your comments about your trip to Peru, especially your experience with us. I am glad to know that you enjoyed our gastronomy and the places you visited.

Thank you for your comment and your recommendations, we will work on that to always improve our services.
I hope you can repeat your experience in Peru some day; the Phima’s team is here to serve you.

A big hug and thanks for traveling with us.

Bev

Northern coast of peru, Peru - Jan 22 - Jan 27, 2018

Traveler: Bev D. - Local specialist: Shirley López

I loved all of the information provided to us in preparation for our trip (Lists 1-3) and the detailed itinerary that was provided. Everything that we had requested was on the itinerary and we were pleased to have some of the added items, such as the Garcia brothers who played and sang some of the traditional music using some of the instruments that date back over the years. I also enjoyed the Forest of Pomac as it was different from the other temples we saw. We didn't see everything that... read more

I loved all of the information provided to us in preparation for our trip (Lists 1-3) and the detailed itinerary that was provided. Everything that we had requested was on the itinerary and we were pleased to have some of the added items, such as the Garcia brothers who played and sang some of the traditional music using some of the instruments that date back over the years. I also enjoyed the Forest of Pomac as it was different from the other temples we saw. We didn't see everything that was on the itinerary - the Ventarron site was closed because there had been a fire. On day 4 we did not go to the Bruning Museum as we were running out of time and we all wanted to see the Tumbas Reales. On Day 5, I don't think we went to the Valley of the Pyramids but we did go to a museum in Tucume that had interactive displays. In hindsight, I think we tried to get too much into each day. It was great to finish our day around 5:30. The other consideration is that we were nearing the end of our vacation, so may have wanted the additional sites if we had started in the north and then done the south after. As it was, for me, I liked what we did in a day.

It was nice to have John the guide (Yeltsin), and John the driver meet us at the airport on our arrival and get us settled into our hotel. Definitely enjoyed the night tour of Trujillo, but may not have given Yeltsin my full attention because I was tired from the travel.

All of the meals provided in the tour were excellent. In hindsight we figure we may have been a bit cheap on our tips as we did not know what the actual meal cost so went on a similar formula used on the southern tour. I would recommend that one of your lists include some suggestions around tipping valets, waiters, hotel housekeepers, and for breakfast.

Our hotels were basic but clean. Staff were very helpful even if we spoke minimal Spanish and they spoke minimal English. it is amazing how much you can understand with a smile and sign language and a few key words.

John, our guide, had great knowledge of the history and particular features of the sites we visited. He was willing to respond to any questions we had but at times may have had some difficulty in understanding what we were asking him. He had a great personality and great humour. He was a good guide.

John, our driver, was also very friendly and willing to help. He was a very competent, professional, and calm driver. He also pointed out things along the way - such as the tree where the egrets were nesting. He pulled over and made sure we were safe when taking pictures.

It was really nice to have the same guide, driver and van for the whole tour. It was also nice have the bottle of water (some days 2)/day.

I have and will definitely continue to recommend KimKim Tours and PHima Voyages to others.

Bev

Shirley López, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Bev, thanks for recommend us, we are really happy to know that you enjoyed the itinerary and all the places you visited.
We work always thinking about the enjoyment of our customers and your comments help us to improve our services.
The phima’s team appreciates your preference, and do not hesitate to contact us on upcoming reservations.
A big hug from Peru.

Chachapoyas: peru’s best kept secret - 7 days, Peru - Jan 17 - Jan 21, 2018

Traveler: Janice V. - Local specialist: Martina Capel

Martina was very helpful regarding our pre-trip planning. We had planned all facets of our trip to Peru prior to contacting Martina. We decided to do so because we wanted to go to the area and found it somewhat difficult to research travel options there. Our tour stated that we would have an English speaking guide.
Day 1 we were met by Joan/John and Carlos @ Cajamarca airport. After dropping our bags we visited Cumbe Mayo. This was a wonderful place. Our guide was clearly... read more

Martina was very helpful regarding our pre-trip planning. We had planned all facets of our trip to Peru prior to contacting Martina. We decided to do so because we wanted to go to the area and found it somewhat difficult to research travel options there. Our tour stated that we would have an English speaking guide.
Day 1 we were met by Joan/John and Carlos @ Cajamarca airport. After dropping our bags we visited Cumbe Mayo. This was a wonderful place. Our guide was clearly enthusiastic but, not fluent enough (in English) to convey much of his knowledge. As became clear at that point, Anna often needed to translate for my benefit. ( I sensed the visit was the short version. ). We learned that J was a guide-in-training. He had to train for some 900 hours before receiving license.
We returned to Cajamarca. Having risen @ 3 in the morning for our 7:30 flight we were hungry at that point and asked J for recommendations. He dropped us at a lunchroom on the square. A fairly grim experience. I mention this only because perfunctory drop-offs became the norm. I think this is an issue of manners. We are outsiders, the guide the insider. This in addition to the fact that the Hostal had no heat — it was cold and mercilessly rainy,— or WiFi. There was no way not to hear our next door neighbor’s TV. If we had foreknowledge of the lack of heat, we would not have agreed to stay there. How hard is it to recommend a few places to eat?
Driver Carlos was excellent throughout. No fruit or water in car throughout our tour.

Day2 7 hr drive to Leymebamba. Prompt pickup. J asks if we want to stop @ a grocery store. Having stocked up on snacks at the Cajamarca market, we only needed more water and stopped at bodega. We naively assumed that there would be a plan to eat along the way. We chatted for about 1 hour as we left the city and headed in the direction of Leymebamba. We stopped for lunch and J suggested we take our food and eat on the little square. Another point of confusion. We hadn’t packed a lunch. Meanwhile J & C headed into a little restaurant for lunch. Since it was clearly the only place to eat in this locale, I joined them.
We stopped only once thereafter for a photo op. For the remaining 6 hours there was an abundantly obvious silence. Our questions like, ‘what river is that?’ were answered but, no comments/ info from guide.
Then a stop at woodworker’s place. This was kind of crazy. After 7 hours in a car we did not feel like doing this but, felt obliged to do so.
We reached Leymebamba and checked into our Hostal. This proved to be a far nicer stay. A lovely well maintained Hostal and it was fortunately warmer than Cajamarca. Great family, delicious breakfast. Again though, after that very long drive, no food recommendations. We made the wrong choice. Ironically, the next day after visiting the Museum we had a great lunch, in plaza. The restaurant owner, a relative of Carlos’, was a delightful woman who really knew how to cook!

Day 3
Visit to Leymebamba museum. Wonderful visit. Felt a bit rushed as we followed J through. This seems to be an occupational hazard for tour leaders. One though that they surely need to develop the flexibility to allow for. It seems to me that a tour guide to be really good, needs to get to know his clients. Perhaps J is too young? Not curious? ( He might have heard that one of our reasons for visiting Peru was our interest in its cuisine. )
After a terrific lunch we set out to visit Revash. Sadly rained out. Roads in dangerous conditions. We were dropped off at Lola’s and Perico’s. Heaven. Spent an afternoon at their wonderful place with our consummate hosts. We loved each other’s company. Nine hundred stars!

Day 4
Kuelap Visit. Terrific.
Lunch @ Shubet also good. Again Carlos’s friends/relatives..
Drive to Gocta. Rafael not there but, his in village helper arrived promptly to let us in. Somewhat unsure how to interpret Rafael’s absence but, made ourselves comfortable. (Footnote hot water unavailable.)
Had a wonderful afternoon enjoying Rafael’s place. Also later when another guest arrived.

Day 5
Hike to Gocta Waterfall. Strenuously wonderful. Took horses half way back down.
Arrived back to Rafael’s hot and tired....wanting to clean-up and relax. J announced we were to go next door for lunch. We went. When one is staying at Rafael’s, the setting isn’t really impressive.
The food is mediocre. J had told us that C would be driving us to Jaen the following morning; a gesture we very much appreciated. Carlos happened to be dining @ same time we were (next door) with his family. We confirmed that we would see him tomorrow.

Day 6
Instead of Carlos, his young relative ( no more than 18?) w/ his friend to airport in Jaen.
Nice person. Friendly but, not a mature driver. Thought we would be seeing C and planned to give him a tip then. Plz send info regarding how we can do so.

My advice to Trip planner. Suggest visitors to this region—-@ least @ this time of the year— come and go via Jaen. Spend time in Chachapoyas and environs.

Martina Capel, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Janice,

Thank you very much for your comments and letting me know how you felt during your stay in the Northern Andes.

I guess your stay was a little overcasted because of the rain. It is true that when it rains, there unfortunately are not many options. Hotels in the region usually don't have heating (nor Wifi) and the humidity gets into you and your bones.

Jhon, our guide, has already finished his training beginning of last year. He has a diploma as an official guide, a career... read more

Dear Janice,

Thank you very much for your comments and letting me know how you felt during your stay in the Northern Andes.

I guess your stay was a little overcasted because of the rain. It is true that when it rains, there unfortunately are not many options. Hotels in the region usually don't have heating (nor Wifi) and the humidity gets into you and your bones.

Jhon, our guide, has already finished his training beginning of last year. He has a diploma as an official guide, a career that takes 3 years, and he is guiding for us since April last year. Maybe his natural Peruvian shyness added to some of your English comprehensive issues . Otherwise he is enthousiastic about his work and I am sure that he will improve to better understand the needs of our clients. Thank you so much for your comments that I will pass on to him.

I am glad that you liked the different archaeological sites throughout your stay as well as the (rather difficult) hike to Gocta.

Once again thank you for your detailed comments that I will share with our local partners. The region of Amazonas still needs to catch up about 50 years of tourism development in comparison with the South of Peru, but we work hard to improve our services together with the local hotels, drivers, communities and other partners.

Warm regards,
Martina

Darlene

North peru, Peru - Dec 24 - Jan 7, 2018

Traveler: Darlene C. - Local specialist: Martina Capel

Our trip was full of activity and adventure in Northern Peru for 2-1/2 weeks. Our guide Jhon was young and full of energy and our driver Carlos was an attentive, safe driver. In Trujillo, we thoroughly enjoyed the Sun and Moon Temples and Chan Chan. The demonstration of the straw boats and cooking class in Huanchaco was fantastic.

Heading into the Andes is spectacular. Outside Cajamarca, we loved our hike through Cumbemayo to see the remarkable Andean water works. The Revash was very... read more

Our trip was full of activity and adventure in Northern Peru for 2-1/2 weeks. Our guide Jhon was young and full of energy and our driver Carlos was an attentive, safe driver. In Trujillo, we thoroughly enjoyed the Sun and Moon Temples and Chan Chan. The demonstration of the straw boats and cooking class in Huanchaco was fantastic.

Heading into the Andes is spectacular. Outside Cajamarca, we loved our hike through Cumbemayo to see the remarkable Andean water works. The Revash was very interesting and we enjoyed our horse ride to the site. Visiting Miguel in his workshop and painting our own Sarcophagus was a lot of fun. Perico and Lola's private conservation property in the Utcubamba Valley was so beautiful and was a favourite of ours. It was hard to say goodbye to them and the family they had visiting at the time. Then off to Kuelap by cable car and another hike to the site...fantastic!

The biggest surprise and highlight for us was our stay at Villa del Monte in the coffee country of Rodriguez de Mendoza. We have a coffee roasting business and requested some time with coffee growers. The home we stayed at in the area was really great and the caretakers living next to the home were warm and friendly. We did an afternoon at an underground cave that was pretty cool although fitting through a small hole to start was a little scary but worth the effort. The best part for us was spending our time with the coffee farmers (owners of Cafe Monteverde) who provided us with such a detailed education of their business from the growing of the coffee at their farm (tasting included) to going to their laboratory in town to watch and participate in grading and cupping of the coffee. This was fantastic for us.

The Gocta Falls is another favourite. The hike is fairly difficult so the horses came in handy. Lunch at the Gocta Lodge is outstanding and so is the view. Our last stop on the coast was the Pyramids of Tucume and Museum Tumbas Reales with the latter being our favourite museum.

With a little more time, Jhon will get better at his English. It's good but sometimes we had translation difficulties. He is a great guide and really cares about what he does. Both him and Carlos were always available and willing to make things work for us.

Thank you Phima Voyages for a great adventure in Northern Peru!
Darlene & Gary Carlton

Martina Capel, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Darlene and Gary,

Thank you so much for your nice comments.

I am so glad that you enjoyed your trip. It was a lot of fun planning it for you, as it gave me the opportunity to include activites and adventures. You had enough time to meet with the locals and interact, like at the coffee experience :)

If you have any pictures you would like to share, don't hesitate to send them through to me.

Warm regards,
Martina

Keilap, Peru - Nov 16 - Nov 21, 2017

Traveler: Marilyn S. - Local specialist: Martina Capel

Everything was splendid before , during, and after the trip. The only thing that was REALLY hard was the hike to the lodging at Keulap.

Martina Capel, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Marilyn,

Thank you for your review. It is a steep hike to Sra. Teodula, but it is just a beautiful place to be. I am glad that you enjoyed your night there as well as the entire trip.

Happy travels throughout South America !
Warm regards,
Martina

Beata

Explore northern peru: cajamarca to chachapoyas, Peru - Oct 22 - Oct 28, 2017

Traveler: Beata N. - Local specialist: Martina Capel

Very professional and high-quality service from Martina, accommodating all of our requests and needs during the trip.

The North part of Peru is not very well advertised and there are not too many tourists in this area (good for people like us, who really enjoyed the real Peru experience, not overtaken by tourism industry yet.) We were nicely surprised and definitely I would suggest using this as a key point in the advertisement of this region. So thank you, Martina, for pointing to us these... read more

Very professional and high-quality service from Martina, accommodating all of our requests and needs during the trip.

The North part of Peru is not very well advertised and there are not too many tourists in this area (good for people like us, who really enjoyed the real Peru experience, not overtaken by tourism industry yet.) We were nicely surprised and definitely I would suggest using this as a key point in the advertisement of this region. So thank you, Martina, for pointing to us these incredible places to see and stay.

Kuelep, Mausoleum of Revish, Sarcophagi of Karajia - amazing sites. Getting to these places through the real Peruvian villages is an attraction on its own. Chachapoyas and Cajamarca - very authentic Peruvian towns with beautiful main squares and beautiful architecture (a little bit disappointing was the fact that there was a major renovation of the main square in Chachapoyas - which we did not expect).

Also, the drive from Cajamarca through the valleys, mountains, and an incredible one-line road was amazing: the views, the trill passing another vehicles and change of sceneries were unforgettable.

Two amazing places we have stayed I would like to mention. Perico and Lola house in Nogalcucho: quiet and isolated house with beautiful private accommodations. Great homemade dinner and breakfast. Lots of options for walks or areas to sit and enjoy the beauty of their place.
Another is in Cocachimba hostel Sacha Puyo (best view on Gocta falls). The views and quietness of this place are out of this world.

Even though we did not have a guide, our driver Beto was able to give us enough info so we did not feel lost without knowledge of Spanish. But the knowledge of a minimum of Spanish language is a must when traveling in this region so I would recommend to always let people know about this fact. In general people in Northern Peru do not know English.

Martina Capel, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Beata,

Thank you so much for taking the time to write a such long overview. I am very happy that you enjoyed your stay in the amazing region of Amazonas.

Everything you mention is absolutely true. The region is still rather untouched from tourism and it gives you the opportunity to meet authentic people and to share their passion (like with Perico and Lola). On the other hand, without any Spanish knowledge and only with English, it is rather a challenge. I'm glad that Beto could be of... read more

Dear Beata,

Thank you so much for taking the time to write a such long overview. I am very happy that you enjoyed your stay in the amazing region of Amazonas.

Everything you mention is absolutely true. The region is still rather untouched from tourism and it gives you the opportunity to meet authentic people and to share their passion (like with Perico and Lola). On the other hand, without any Spanish knowledge and only with English, it is rather a challenge. I'm glad that Beto could be of assistance to you.

Once again, thank you for your encouraging comments that I will pass on to all the people involved.

Warm regards to you and your husband,
Martina