What is your name?
Claudio César Andía Paz.
How long have you been a tour guide for?
I’ve been a tour guide for 15 years working in tourism.
How long have you been a tour guide for VTC?
I’ve been a tour guide for VTC for 7 years, leading English groups in Peru, the Andean Mountains, Inca Trails, and Bolivia.
Tell me about a hidden spot in Perú that you love, that most tourists wouldn't know!
A hidden spot in Perú? I have many that I love!
Tarapoto is a great place to connect with nature, as it has beautiful waterfalls, rivers, and is an inspirational place to find yourself in.
Moonstone Trek is another place to go hiking in the Andes, a place to get energy from the mountains and to feel revitalised. Most tourists wouldn't know about these places, and so I highly recommend that they go there!
What do you love most about Peru?
Peru's food is absolutely delicious, and I also love the drinks, traditions, costumes, language, history, and the fact that people are so nice.
One essential phrase a first-time traveller should know?
"I’m allergic to...", and "I don’t eat...."
If you have dietary restrictions or preferences, you’ll need to learn how to convey that information to the people preparing your food.
What’s the best local beer/wine/spirit/dish that new visitors to your country should try?
Local beer would have to be Cusqueña (the best in Perú!).
Wine/spirits: Intipalka Malbec (Ica Perú) is a lovely wine.
Ceviche: The national dish and one the most popular foods in Perú. This fish is served cold and traditionally includes sea bass marinated for a few minutes in lime juice, onions, salt and hot chillies (ají). This dish is Peruvian to the core!
What is your favourite VTC tour and why?
My favourite VTC tour is hiking the Inca Trail, one of the most well-known hikes in the world. Views of white-tipped mountains and the high cloud forest combine with the magic of walking from one cliff-hugging ruin to the next. All building up to that first glimpse of the iconic stone settlement crowning a misty mountaintop. Although different routes can be taken to the wonder of the world, Machu Picchu, the Inca Trail, is the most preferred option for people who love adventure and a pure adrenaline rush. Trekking the Inca Trail Machu Picchu - 7 Days.
What’s the best memory you have as a tour guide?
“Communication”, someone told me, "is one of the most important skills a tour guide can have, and you've got it! You're also a great storyteller and have so much passion for your job".
What are most looking forward to once travel opens back up?
Working. I’m so excited to be able to go travelling with our visitors again.
What Is your favourite travel quote?
“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page".
How has travel changed your life?
Travelling has given me a deeper understanding of people. By experiencing the places first hand, they become real, not just something abstract about what I read in the news.
Travelling has also made me a more confident, adventurous, and outgoing person.