When I founded Explorandes, few people -especially in Cusco – understood what we were trying to do, an adventure tourism company which had success and conservation of resources as two sides of the same coin. At first, we were influenced by the juvenile romanticism of the day – it was the era of Woodstock, the language of flowers and the primacy of love – but there was also an enormous respect for history, living culture and the beauty of the remote Andes. However, this concept of adventure showed, by a swift and substantial demand, that I was not living in Utopia, but in the uncompromising world of the market. I became the head of a company and had to lead a team of professionals launching a series of products based on a coherent new vision and mission. The greatest obstacle appeared after only a few years, when terrorism
cut short our growth and forced us to look to other parts of the sub-continent.
The most important of the many lessons we have learned over thirty years is the need to retain the mystique of our principles and thus to create a culture of client service and attention. Adventure tourism has to consider an infinite number of details concerning travelers’ comfort, safety, and enjoyment. Tourists who come here through our partners – the tour operators – have to receive added value, over and above the tourist who travels alone, without the aid of an agency. Our mystique, our principles and a level of quality that has never lessened, define this value and because of it, we always exceed expectations and contribute to the “Word of mouth” reputation that is so important when the time comes to decide on where to go.
The adventure tourism market is exceedingly dynamic: it changes as new places are discovered, but also as new ways are created to relate to the landscape and local cultures. In an orderly and planned fashion, Explorandes has strategically responded to or led this challenge of innovation, which concentrates our attention and efforts. We also have a pioneering difference: all our products must link supply with demand and keep the local population in the foreground, as these are our country’s most neglected sectors. Our mission includes creating jobs in these communities, strengthening their awareness of resource protection and conservation, contributing to the development among them of the notion of a sustainable future.
Forty-five years is a lifetime in one company, some of our workers have been with us since the beginning and others have started their own companies or are working for the competition, widening the path we opened in the seventies. Other colleagues are no longer with us, but we retain fond memories of them.