The team behind our Peru group tours – Katy, Wilhen, Aldo, Rhiana, Mayli, Luis, Steve and Abel

About us

Weeks later we can't stop reminiscing about life in the tent city at Quyllur Rit'i and the activities that went on around us. This tour was much more than going from site to site. It gave us insight into what we humans are capable of and where we come from.

– Anonymous, 2017, USA

Who are we?

Over years guiding adventure tours and managing small and large group tour companies, co-founders Steve Wilson and Katy Shorthouse worked out that small is better – more fun, more flexible, and more personal, for both guests and workers. This shared conviction was the foundation stone of Aspiring Adventures when it began in Peru in 2009.

Learn more about our philosophy
The team enjoys a beer after a day planning new Peru group tours

Our behind the scenes team

Steve Wilson


Steve takes care of communication and planning. He’s our big picture man. Aspiring Adventures started as a dream of Steve’s.

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Katy Shorthouse


Katy is our operations machine. No idea is too big, and no detail is too small. Her superpower is turning dreams into reality.

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Mayli Marmanillo

Peru Operations Manager

Maylí, our import from the “real world” of Peru's big airlines and group tour companies, brings calm, caring professionalism and impressive negotiation skills (as well as an ability to walk in high heels that was previously unknown to Aspiring Adventures) to the varied, complex job that is overseeing our Peru operation. From the biggest picture to the smallest detail, Maylí’s on top of it.

Johan Sikos

Peru Logistics Coordinator

Johan, our youngest team member, looks after all our outdoors equipment, coordinates all our field staff, and cooks up a storm on our camping trips. Born and bred in a subsistence farming community, Johan impressed us all with his insane work ethic from the day we met him (cheesecake for breakfast anyone?) and we think he has a very big future in tourism ahead of him.

Our guides

Aldo Sanchez

Aldo and Katy met when they were both in their first season guiding the Inca Trail, in 2004. He’s been with Aspiring since 2012. Born and raised in the steamy jungle town of Quillabamba, Aldo moved to Cusco to study to be a guide and has been based here ever since. For many years a trekking specialist, he’s now in high demand on our family trips where he wins hearts and minds with his endless patience and knowledge of Peru, and his football skills.

Natalia 'Naty' Amao

Born in the Sacred Valley, with both Spanish and Quechua as her native languages, Naty is as local as they come! She studies psychology part time and eventually wants to open a centre dedicated to helping people feel good about themselves. You may well cry when you have to say goodbye to Naty.

Justino Onton

Justino presents as stern.... til he suddenly busts out a smile that breaks through like the sun over the Andes. He loves being out in the mountains, meeting people from all over the world, and most of all, his young family. He’ll impress you with his passion and knowledge, inexhaustible energy, and agility on the soccer pitch.

Angela Unda

Cusco born and bred, Angela is a qualified lawyer who has taught English to children, worked housekeeping in Vail and Breckenridge, and holds – are you ready for this? – a Master’s degree in Environmental Law from the Sorbonne. Quick and quirky, restless and curious, with an insatiable appetite for travel, Angela is one of a kind.

Orlando Ugarte

Cheerful, chirpy Orlando grew up in the Amazon jungle river port of Puerto Maldonado, where he learned to climb trees, dodge dangerous animals, and always tie up his canoe securely. He’s at home guiding all over Peru, but in his heart he’s a trekker, happiest camping under the stars in the mountains.

Check out our latest blog entries:

Why Myanmar?

We’re very enthusiastic about our newest destination. Here's why we're so pumped about Myanmar (Burma)!

posted by Katy Shorthouse

Aspiring turns ten!

This month, Aspiring turned ten! We'll celebrate as a team in mid-2020, when Steve and Katy will both be in Peru, but in the meantime, we celebrated in style with our families.

posted by Katy Shorthouse

World famous in Queenstown!

Two write-ups about us in Queenstown, New Zealand's local paper, ten years apart...

posted by Katy Shorthouse

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