About us

Paul and I have travelled to many parts of the world but this Holiday has been the most exciting, adventurous and inspiring we have ever had. Our guide, Aldo, has been the most knowledgeable, considerate, thoughtful and helpful person we have travelled with. Katy your choice of restaurants and accommodation has been outstanding. We have seen the best of Peru thanks to your company and I have already got a few friends who are thinking of doing this tour!

– Toni and Paul B., Australia

Who are we?

Over years guiding adventure tours and managing small and large tour companies, 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 2009.

Learn more about our philosophy

Our behind the scenes team

Steve Wilson

co-founder

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

co-founder

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 big airlines and 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.

Wilhen Olivares

Peru Logistics Coordinator

Katy and Steve have known Wilhen since 2007, and he’s the perfect fit for the responsible, growing role of overseeing all the equipment and logistics involved in our biking and camping trips. Wilhen also guides many of our bike trips, frustrating his parents’ long-held and ever-more futile dream of his becoming a dentist.

Our guides


Luis Portal

Working with us since 2012, Luis has a thirst for knowledge and takes every course on offer, in areas as diverse as archaeology, rainforest conservation, anthropology and community tourism. He has a passion for Peruvian popular culture, participating as a dancer in Inti Raymi and wowing our guests with his ability to explain arcane details of costume, history and ritual at the cultural events we attend.

Sally Laurente

Sally grew up in Tarma in rural Peru and now lives in Lima. She first met Katy and Steve back in 2007 and we’re very happy to have her on the Aspiring team! Sally is a humble, patient and informative guide, with a deep passion for Peruvian culture. She loves hiking, and has a particular affinity with the Peruvian jungle having spent a few years living and working in the Rio Tambopata area.

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.

Check out our latest blog entries:



We’re a kimkim specialist!

Who or what is kimkim you ask? Read on to find out...

posted by Steve Wilson

Quyllur Rit’i and Jack's Café: two of my favourite things

Sitting in Jack’s Café, trying to explain Quyllur Rit’i: it’s a classic moment in contrast, and in my career.

posted by Katy Shorthouse

Boutique Tour Operator of the Year!

We are very proud to announce that Aspiring Adventures has been awarded Boutique Tour Operator of the Year for Cusco, Peru in the 2016 Holiday & Tour Specialist Awards!

posted by Steve Wilson



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