A Message from the Owner: My name is José Cusi and I was born in Cusco, Peru. I spent my early years with my grandparents in an Andean farming village called Huayllacocha, where many of my extended family still live. There, I went to elementary school and learned my first language, Quechua, the language of the Incas. At an early age I developed a special interest in exploring the mountains, learning as much as I could about the native plants, animals and local customs. I loved learning about the plants that local people use to make medicines, shampoos, and dyes for textiles. I also grew up taking care of my grandparents’ crops and livestock by helping with planting and harvesting as well as feeding and tending the animals.
After elementary school, my parents took me to Cusco for high school and university. I learned Spanish and English and earned a degree in Tourism and Administration. After graduation, I worked for 12 years as a tour guide, leading hundreds of groups to Machu Picchu and in the Andes Mountains. Safety is always the highest priority, so I have extensive training in first aid and CPR, as well as other skills needed for hiking adventures. I have also studied photography and love to share this passion with travelers. My own travels to the United States, Ecuador, Bolivia, Brazil and Argentina have taught me to see the traveler’s perspective. Along the way, I have learned how to deliver a first-class service to passionate travelers.
Now, I am fortunate to own and manage Cusi Travel. “Cusi,” my last name, means “happy” in Quechua. I love to share my knowledge of local customs, history, culture and photography with travelers from around the world. I am proud of my country and my heritage, and I will make sure that you have an unforgettable trip to Peru.
Our Mission: The mission of Cusi Travel is to provide a first-class experience to travelers from around the world. For your comfort, we use the highest quality equipment, and our experienced chefs serve interesting, delicious and nutritious meals. Our professional team is personally connected to the land and to the local customs. All of our operations are conducted in a sustainable way, preserving our precious environment and giving back to our local communities. Through culture, history, and interaction with the locals, Cusi Travel makes every part of your journey a cultural experience.
Our Story: While working as a guide, José Cusi discovered that many tour companies in Cusco mistreat their employees. Many hire guides from the cities or even from other countries, limiting the knowledge that they can offer to travelers. Porters are usually hired from the countryside, but they are often underpaid and poorly treated.
To make a positive change in the industry, José Cusi decided to start his own company with the priority of empowering guides and staff from small Andean communities. Porters, the men who carry the luggage on the Inca Trail, are respected, paid well and treated fairly. We call them “Quechuas,” similar to the tradition of calling porters “Sherpas” in the Himalayas. Calling our porters “Quechuas” brings them a sense of pride in the vital work they do to support our tours.
With this mission in mind, Cusi Travel offers a variety of experiences to travelers. You can visit the city of Cusco, the Sacred Valley, or Machu Picchu. You can hike popular trails that lead to Machu Picchu, or choose alternative hikes that are off the beaten path. Whichever tour or package you choose, Cusi Travel will make every part of your journey a cultural experience, teaching you phrases in Quechua, bringing you homemade traditional foods, and even pointing out the constellations that sparkle in the clear Andean sky.