What's your name?
My name is José Baca Puma.
How long have you been a tour guide for?
I've been guiding since 2009, 12 years aprox.
How long have you been a tour guide for VTC?
I'm working for VTC almost 3 years.
Tell me about a hidden spot in Peru that you love, that most tourists wouldn't know about!
Choquecancha in the Lares valley, people know about it but they just forgot.
What do you love most about Peru?
I love all about it, specially food, traditions, customs, friendly people and nature.
What is your favourite travel quote?
"A trip is lived 3 times: when we dream it, when we live it and when we remember it "
What's the best local beer/wine/spirit, & dish, that new visitors to your country should try?
One of my favorite drinks is Coca Sour, and Roasted chicken or "Pollo a la brasa" as we call it.
What's your favourite VTC tour, and why?
They are many, but I love hiking the Inca Trail 4d/3n so much, because I can teach all guests a part of our history, and also they can interact with porters.
What's the best memory you have as a tour guide?
One of the best memories was a trek when I guided a group of 22 clients, it was hiking the Inca Trail 4d/3n, and there was a lady over 70 years old. She suffered all the way during the 4 days, and she walked very slowly, being always the last to arrive at each camp but she wanted to continue, showing a lot of resilience. I accompanied her at all times and even carried her backpack. When we were walking she told me that she was doing the Inca trail for a very special reason, and once we got to the sun gate, she took a container from her backpack that had the ashes of her husband, who died four months before starting the journey. That was her purpose of doing that trip, and after crossing the sungate, she spread some of them. For me it was a good motivation to keep guiding in hike such as the Inca Trail, to help people fulfil their dreams.
What are you most looking forward to once travel opens back up?
Do what I like to do the most, guide guests from all over the world, to teach them, to laugh with them, to dance with them, to discover new experiences with them, to meditate with them, and specially, to make them feel that my country and my city is their second home.
How has travel changed your life?
Traveling has changed my life a lot because I learned to discover, listen, organize, help, respect nature and teach my daughter and family that traveling is very important.