Get To Know Peru Guide Luis Zarabia

Machu Picchu is Luis‘s second home and he knows all the ways to get to Machu Picchu either by train, bus, or walking there is always a way to show how special Machu Picchu is.
Why did you become a tour guide?

When I was a child I always saw my grandfather working with foreign tourists and I was curious to know more about this world, but it was when I finished school and I had to study at the University that I decided to study tourism and the hotel industry remembering the activity of my grandfather, I studied for 5 years in the university and during that time I worked doing volunteer work, exploring different routes to get Machu Picchu with my mountain bike, walking through the mountains of my town.

How did you make the transition to becoming a tour guide?

In my time as a student I was always involved in volunteering with foreigners with whom I could practice English, and show them all the tourist attractions of my city and Machu Picchu, going on different hikes and bicycle rides with the different volunteers who arrived, when I finished university I became the assistant of a guide to learn everything necessary to be a guide.


What does a typical day look like for you?

I get up very early and go to the gym to train for an hour, I return home and prepare breakfast and I have breakfast with my family, then I sit at the computer to see what activities are in store for the day.

Finishing to do all the work on the computer, I take my bicycle and go out to ride in the mountains for about 3 hours I return home and in the afternoon I visit the passengers at their hotels to give them the different itineraries and coordinate everything necessary for the Different tours.

When I have a tour I get up very early to finish gathering everything I coordinated days before the tour and have everything ready to leave for the tour, it can be a day or several days, I return home and have dinner with my family and sleep, and wait with much enthusiasm for the next day and what new adventure it will bring me.

Have you got a certain style of guiding, or do you just run with it on the day?

In my work I do not have a routine style to guiding, of course the places to visit or activities to do are the same but the visitors are always different and come with different goals and purposes so I simply adapt to the moment and the passengers to give the best information, moments and experience in my country.

What is the best part of your job?

The best part of my job is to meet new people every day and to know more of different countries without having visited these countrys .

What’s the most memorable experience you’ve had on a tour or trip?

It was when after 4 days of tour one on a bicycle and three walking we arrived at Machu Picchu and saw the sunrise with a special gift, one of the Llamas (american camel) was giving birth to a baby llama (american camel)in front of us and we saw the whole process of birth of that baby Llama (american camel), just say thanks Machu Picchu for give to all the group this precious gift.

Every job has its ups and downs. Are there any aspects of your job that you don’t like or aren’t that keen on?

I am lucky to choose my job because I feel that I do not work, I just have fun and I do what I like to do.

As an experienced guide yourself, can you explain to our readers what the benefits of hiring a guide are? 

The benefits of hiring a guide are many among the top are:

Have a safe trip and information first hand.

The guide can help you not only in the tour information but in any emergency.

Receive advice where you can go to eat or fun places.

Without giving away your secrets, tell us the types of things about your area / activity that only a guide would know.

A local guide have ancestral roots can talk and show the custom you learned from your grandparents.

In the bicycle tour a guide of the area knows the different ways that would facilitate to make this tour more fun.

In the walking tours the guide knows the way and the times to make them rest so that the walk is calm.

The guide knows where are the best places to take good pictures.

In your view, what makes a good tour guide?

In my view a good guide is the one who knows how to understand and analyze his passengers to bring a good experience, having the knowledge of the place, the criterion to make the tour a pleasant and safe trip, since the guide is not a teacher but is a host and friend that show his house to the world.

And finally, have you got any tips for people who are interested in booking a guide like yourself, but aren’t too sure what to look for?

Just say that it is better to know the place you visit from the hand of a local guide who knows the area very well.


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