A Hidden Expedition in Peru Changed the Way I Decide to Travel

Written by Carlee Jeanne

Have you ever skipped the tourist guide book, double-decker bus, and 5-star hotel, opting for the ‘secret menu’ of tourist activities, so to say, and ended up experiencing something much more incredible? Well, Haku Expeditions is the exact tourism company to wander off the beaten path with you.

Established in 2014 by William and Nicole Koch, Haku Expeditions is a Peruvian-based adventure tourism company that gets travelers out of their comfort zones while immersing people in the surrounding culture.

So, let’s get you immersed…virtually of course.

You’ll be tired but happy

Whether it’s a hiking, trekking, or mountain biking expedition, Haku trips are not for the faint of heart. Fly down, up, and around mountains with downhill, enduro, and cross-country riding, or hike volcanoes and rainforests and trek to Machu Picchu, the choice is yours. If that selection isn’t wide enough, you can join Haku in Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, and, oh yeah, Nepal.

Feeling a hardened lava flow beneath your feet, the cold mountain air in your lungs, or the tropical rain in your hair is much better than taking a crowded bus, right? Especially with the collective cabin fever we’re all experiencing due to COVID, an adventure is sounding pretty great.

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Haku gives back to the community they love, and so will you.

Photo courtesy of Haku Expeditions

You’ll experience Peru, rather than just seeing it

Besides “shredding epic single track in some of the most majestic places on earth”, Nic said, adventurers, get to know the local people. While in the south valley of Cusco, you will meet a very unique family. They are organic farmers, cook on fire, have guinea pigs roaming freely, Nic said, and this lifestyle is precisely how they put their children through college.

Another local lunch allows adventurers the honor of experiencing Pachamanca. Pachamanca is an ancient cooking method in which food is cooked in the ground, covered with earth, and pulled out when finished. Meals together, Nic said, are a great way to sit, talk and understand each other.

You’ll have a unique adventure with a team of professionals

No two Haku trips are the same. Haku focuses on authentic experiences and extreme adventure, so, every journey adapts to and flows with the locals, the desires of the riders, and their willingness to wander.

Exploring a foreign country alone can be daunting, with questions of where to go, what to see, and how to do it all floating around your mind. Just give Nic and Bill a few ideas and they will create an individualized itinerary. Every trip is based on firsthand experience, as Nic and Bill visit, explore and establish a relationship with local people before taking you along for the ride. Everything is planned and worry-free.

Photo courtesy of Haku Expeditions
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GIVING BACK

You’ll give back

Haku gives back to the community they love, and so will you.

“On the way up to Lares, we stop along the way to give away fruit and bread because it’s so high –I mean, we start at 15,000 ft. –that the people who live up there don’t have things like bread and fruit,” Nic said.

Haku also brings school supplies to children living in high altitudes and donates one percent of all profits to support local education programs. They facilitate connections between local organic farmers and restaurants in Cusco and commit to hiring locals as drivers, office workers, and Haku team members. They hold annual clothing drives, teach affordable mountain biking classes, and the list goes on. Conscious travel is their specialty.

You’ll make family

“Haku Family” is a term coined by the Haku team and its adventurers.

“We take the highest pride in embracing every individual that comes through our doors with open arms and with the intention of creating long-lasting friendships based on trust and sharing incredible experiences together,” a statement on their site said.

Most vacations are done alone, or with a tight-knit group of friends, and while traveling with strangers may seem strange, the bonds you’ll form are priceless.

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