A native of Cusco in Peru, Marco Serrano is a professional tour guide with several years of experience leading different groups throughout Peru. Growing up in a tourist city, he was amazed by the stories he read and heard about the adventures of explorers and local people. Here he discusses his love for different cultures and the great outdoors.
I have had a lifelong passion for travel and exploration, plus an interest in archaeology, history, nature, and the living culture of the Andean people. At the age of 11, my interest in learning about other cultures began and grew, so I began to study the English language at ICPNA Cusco. Later I graduated from university in Cusco with a Bachelor of Tourism having learned that this activity encompasses many things, which is why I began to learn other languages such as Italian at the same university, along with French and Portuguese.
I usually start my day with meals to have full energy for the day, I check all the equipment I use to develop as a guide, and I also check the information about itineraries and other data to consider in my job.
I consider that as a tour guide and tour leader, I don’t just want to explain places, monuments, and other facts – really I want to make people understand that everything that surrounds us is part of us, and vice versa. My love of the outdoors has taken me to so many wonderful places in the world; from Machu Picchu to the Amazon rainforests. I think that nature and our environment are essential elements for the future.
I must say that I had many memorable moments in all these years of experience, but I remember one in particular, while I was doing a tour in the Sacred Valley with Australian visitors, they told me that this trip was one of their dreams, as one of them unfortunately had a terminal illness, and that his dream was to know Peru and Machu Picchu. They wanted to do it, and they did it! It’s our feelings and personal experiences that lead me to love more what I do.
Personally, I consider that one of the challenges is to make my culture understood and to make visitors have that connection with all the places we visit regardless of the circumstances. We want to satisfy the tastes and expectations of our visitors, as each person who visits my country comes from a different world with their own vision to search for many things.
The advice I would give is that any place you visit, come to it with a desire to learn and understand its culture and worldview so that you can enjoy it in every way.
Personally, I recommend the season or months before the rainy season (July-November) where you can see that transition of landscapes, flora, fauna, and others. Come prepared for changes in temperature, climate, and geography!
I remember once when I was with a group, we were talking about South American camelids, and I told them that guanacos are wild. Then before visiting Machu Picchu, we asked each other what our group would be called, and one of them answered that it would be a good idea to call us ‘guanacos’ because the group was a bit like those wild animals!