A Day In The Life Of…A Peruvian Tour Guide

July 31, 2023
A Day In The Life Of, Peru

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.

Marco enjoying Cascada de Allcamayo, Machu Picchu
Marco enjoying Cascada de Allcamayo, Machu Picchu

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what attracted you to work in this role? 

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.

Marco's photo of his view over Colca Canyon
Marco’s photo of his view over Colca Canyon

How does a typical day start for you? 

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.

Marco with the smiling Latin Routes team!
Marco with the smiling Latin Routes team!

Favourite thing about where you work?  

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.

Marco's photo of sunset over Lake Titicaca
Marco’s photo of the sunset over Lake Titicaca

What’s the most unusual/memorable moment you’ve experienced guiding visitors? 

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.

Marco captures a rainbow over the Sacred Valley
Marco captures a rainbow over the Sacred Valley

Biggest challenges you face in your role? 

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 Sacred Valley
The Sacred Valley

What advice would you give travellers coming to explore your holidaying experience?

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.

Inti Punku - the Sungate - captured by Marco
Inti Punku – the Sungate – captured by Marco

Favourite time of year and any tips for when to go there?  

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!

Marco's shot of Rainbow Mountain
Marco’s view on Rainbow Mountain

Any funny stories you would like to share?

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! 

Marco at Machu Picchu
Marco having fun at Machu Picchu

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  • Lillian Flammang
    August 4, 2023 at 4:26 am

    Marco was the best tour guide we had in a long time. My husband and I were doing a bucket list of places we wanted to see, this was mine! My husband couldn’t do the high hikes so he stay below and did the ruins while Marco took some of us to the high places.
    We are still friend since that trip years ago on facebook. So glad he is doing what he loves showing his culture!

    • latinroutes
      August 10, 2023 at 8:14 am

      So nice that you had Marco as a tour guide Lillian – this is why we like to showcase the incredible people in Latin America that we work so closely with, and provide exceptional experiences to our clients 🙂