Q: Please tell us a bit about your role on the MLP team.
A: My work with MLP is actually quite multi-faceted. It encompasses exploration, program development & the creation of new experiences for our MLP guests. To begin with, I am always out exploring on our current adventure routes in order to maximize our expertise in the region, which in turn lends itself to consistently looking for ways to ways to improve our guests’ experiences, whether it be through itineraries, authentic cultural exposure opportunities, affiliate hotels, or cuisine, for example.
But new program development is probably my most important endeavor. I’m always thinking about new ways to create unique itineraries and programs that not only speak to our guests’ interests and goals during their time here, but that also to show them seldom-seem landscapes and remote, almost hidden, archaeological sites…and exploration is really the only way to make that possible.
Finally, I would say that I am the MLP ‘host’ in Cusco. I am very involved in trips with new tour operators as well as journalists, etc. …I feel that it is up to me to truly show them the magic of this place so that they can convey the experience, whether to their clients or to their readership. In this role, I also represent MLP at many international adventure travel tradeshows and conferences.
Q. What was your initial inspiration behind creating the new MLP Signature Adventures and Destination Designed departures?
A. My inspiration is the immeasurable wealth of what Peru has to offer, and thankfully my knowledge of this region makes it possible for me to think creatively about how to share that wealth with travelers from around the world. My goal is to offer high-quality programs that encompass the full scope of Peru’s unique and diverse patrimony : fascinating cultures, rich history, archaeological wonders, and more…and then tailor them to create exhilarating experiences that offer something for everybody.
Q. Two of the new programs seem to share a focus on intense physical activity. Please compare the challenge levels, special-interest differences, and anything else you’d like share about the new Black Diamond Trek and Multi-Sport Adventure to Machu Picchu.
A. Although they’re both very ‘active’ by design, these two programs are actually quite different. As its name implies—and yes, it’s a take on alpine ski trail ratings— the Black Diamond Trek is an advanced-level, almost-expert ‘follow- in-the-footsteps-of-the-Incas’ 75-mile trekking experience from the Plaza de Armas in Cusco to the celebrated Sun Gate at Machu Picchu. Hikers should definitely be prepared for pure mountain adrenaline—long, challenging hikes at consistently high altitudes. It also includes camping on multiple nights, and while the installations are luxury-level, it’s not for everybody.
The Multi-Sport Adventure is a much more ‘mixed-group’ and ‘family-friendly’ experience…not as intense and no camping…luxury lodges only. It’s a great way to share an unforgettable adventure that offers multiple sporting options like biking, kayaking, and horseback riding in addition to just hiking…in short, it’s a cool, unconventional way of journeying to Machu Picchu.
Q. Please tell us more about the Yoga and Wellness Experience to Machu Picchu…how does the energy, history, and landscape of the Cusco region lend itself to this amazing holistic journey?
A. Travelers who participate in the yoga experience will truly get to feel the energy of Cusco in more than just a skin-deep context. They’ll have the opportunity to spend time in the magical places and archaeological sites that we’ll visit…and have moments of stillness to truly take in the high-vibrational quality of these lands…through meditation, special ceremonies and rituals, and even the yoga movements themselves. All of that, plus workshops in wellness and nutrition, make for a transformational holistic experience.