MEET OUR exceptional LOCAL GUIDES

The experts

Haku's Local Tour Guides

At Haku we take great pride in our team of local and foreign guides. It’s essential to have guides that know the land, the trails, the people, the language, and have exceptional biking, hiking, and people experience. Beyond that it is important that each guide can be a bridge between two cultures. The majority of Haku’s guides are local guides or foreigners with exceptional guiding experience to offer our clients. With Haku you are in good hands.

mtb guide bill haku

Bill (Co-Owner and Mountain Bike Guide)

Where do you call home? 

It’s a bit complicated. I grew up in Buffalo, New York, home of many good things like chicken wings and kimmelweck, but ended up going on my honeymoon in 2004 and never returning. We (Nicole and I) spent two years in Durango, Colorado biking and skiing, before moving to Cusco where I now have resided for 14 years. 

How and where did you start mountain biking? 

I started MTBing in Buffalo, riding old quarries with friends (basically just looking for any elevation gain or loss) before moving to the southtowns of Buffalo and riding the technical roots, rocks, and ridges of the trails that surround the area. Then we conquered the Rockies before moving up to the Andes.  I always enjoyed  riding bikes — I still remember being gifted a new bike for my fifth birthday. Two wheels is so much fun!

What do you like best about mountain biking? 

I actually like the climbing and suffering aspect. I can ride downhill, but I like a good trail with tech climbing and descending. Also, just being outside in the fresh air on a fast bike is cool.

Why do you guide?

I guide to provide a bridge between two cultures. Living and working with the local people in Peru has given me an understanding and respect for both cultures, which I can explain to riders that I have the opportunity to guide. Also, MTB’ers are cool people and it’s given me a chance to meet and ride with people from all over the world.  Any day on a bike is a good day to me.

What does “haku” mean to you? 

“Let’s go!” It’s Quechua — when we’re ready to ride we always say “Haku!” and pile out of the car like trail-deprived MTBers.

Why do you work for Haku Expeditions? 

Because I have the hottest boss in the world, who on occasion lets me sleep with her, jk;), seriously, running this company with Nicole has been an incredible and rewarding experience, and we hope that our clients enjoy these trips as much as we love organizing and guiding them.

What’s your favorite MTB vacation to guide? 

I’ve been guiding in Peru for many years and I consider it some of, if not, the best in the world with it’s huge descents and raw trails. But to travel outside of Peru and ride in other countries where everything is new again is something I really enjoy. Nepal does just that, it’s such a different part of the world and the Himalayans are incredible, I look forward to guiding here every year.

bike guide peru

Nicole (Co-owner and Mountain Bike Guide)

Where do you call home?

Although I’m originally from Buffalo, NY, I call Cusco, Peru home. Bill and I have been in Cusco since 2007, and four of our five kids were born here. 

How and where did you start mountain biking? 

I started biking in 2002. I went mountain biking with Bill, now my husband, on our first date. It was the second time I had ever gone mountain biking. I fell in love with both mountain biking and Bill. He helped me to buy my first mountain bike, an XS Gary Fisher hardtail. 

What do you like best about mountain biking? 

I really love the challenge of biking technical terrain. While flow trails are fun and fast, I like the determination it takes to conquer really hard terrain. 

Why do you guide?

When I first started guiding, I wasn’t really that into it, to be honest! However, we brought out Kat Sweet from Sweetlines to give our guides coaching lessons and guiding classes. Her passion for coaching and the things I learned from her changed my whole perspective about guiding and now I absolutely love it. I really love giving people tips that help them improve their riding. It is really rewarding when people leave feeling like they’re more confident on the bike than when they came.

What does “haku” mean to you? 

Anytime you go on an adventure in the mountains you’ll hear the locals saying, “Haku haku!” It’s Quecha for “let’s go.” To me, it always signals the beginning of a real adventure.

Why do you work for Haku Expeditions?

After spending 7 years working at a Catholic mission helping the poor here in Peru, we opened an Airbnb in Cusco and operated that for two years. Many of our guests during that time asked us to set up tours for them, and those guests were so happy with the way we organized and curated our tours that we decided to open an official adventure company. I really love the fact that it all happened so naturally. I really love working for Haku Expeditions because it allows my husband and I to work from home and to have lots of time with our children. It also allows us to meet many people from all over the word and create many lasting friendships!

What is your favorite MTB Holiday to guide?

My favorite MTB holiday  to guide is anything with Ausangate in it. That region of Peru is wild and just absolutely beautiful! I really love the 3-Day Enduro Holiday and the 10-Day Epic MTB Adventure Tour with Ausangate. On both of these tours we stay in local’s homes! They both have stunning views of snow capped mountains and glaciers close enough to almost touch. The glacial lakes are pristine and the views just can’t get any better!

trekking local guide peru

Ruben (Adventure and Trekking Guide)

Where do you call home?

I’m from Cusco, Peru.

How did you start guiding adventures?

When I finished a career in tourism, I decided it was time to pursue my passion — trekking in the mountains.

What do you like best about being in the mountains?

As someone who grew up in the countryside in the Andes mountains, being outside has always reminded me of home. 

Why do you guide?

I am passionate about showing my country, culture, and history to people who want to explore it!

What does “haku” mean to you?

For me, “haku” means taking the adventure that you’re meant to take. Haku Expeditions personalizes adventures to make sure they’re suited to what the client wants. 

Why do you work with Haku expeditions?

Haku has been a great and responsible company to work for. I’m very grateful to be a part of the Haku family.

peru bike guide

Andres (Bike Mechanic and Mountain Bike Guide)

Where do you call home?

I’m from Santa Marta, Colombia. 

How and where did you start mountain biking?

When I was living in Santa Marta, a family member gave me my first mountain bike. One day when I was riding it up to a town called Minca, in the Sierra Nevadas of Colombia, I met another guy riding who had a flat tire. I helped him and he invited me to ride back down with him on a new trail I hadn’t done. The next day he invited me to go riding with him again, and he had a double suspension bike that he gave me. We kept going riding together so I found more new trails and routes that I really liked, and before I knew it, I was a full-fledged mountain biker! 

What do you like best about mountain biking?

I love riding because it is exciting and gives me a feeling of freedom. I like finding new trails and meeting new friends through mountain biking, and I also like challenging myself and trying to improve each time I ride. 

Why do you guide? 

I like to share the experience of riding the awesome trails of South America with different people from all over the world. It’s also really cool when I learn new skills or tricks from my clients and get to help them to improve their riding in return. It also helps me practice English!

How and where did you start doing mechanics?

In Santa Marta when my bike needed to be repaired, I didn’t have enough money to go to a mechanic so I learned how to do it myself by using the internet and disassembling it to figure out how it worked. My friends then started asking me to help them repair their bikes. When I moved to San Gil, Colombia, I was looking for mountain bike guide work and I found Colombia Bike Junkies who didn’t need any guides but needed a bike mechanic. Although I didn’t have a lot of experience, and it was my first time working with double suspension bikes, I took the job and continued learning new things about mechanics every day. 

What do you enjoy about working in the MTB shop?

I like the atmosphere in the mountain bike shop, there are always different people around to talk to about mountain biking and their travels. 

Why do you like mountain bike mechanics?

I like bike mechanics in general but especially mountain bikes because they are incredible machines and are bikes for everyone and everything – you can go anywhere on a mountain bike! Mountain bike mechanics are interesting because of all the different parts and components of the bikes such as the suspension. The mountain bike world is growing every day, releasing new bikes and bike parts that I can work with, and turning mountain bikes into bikes that can do things that other bikes cannot. I also enjoy the challenge of repairing a bike when it has a problem that isn’t straightforward — sometimes, it’s like a puzzle.

What does “haku” mean to you?

I know that ‘haku’ means ‘let’s go’ in the Quechua language, so for me in a more general sense it is the attitude to go and ride your bike whenever you can, explore new trails, meet new people, and enjoy the outdoors.

 Why do you work with Haku Expeditions?

Haku Expeditions has a great team of people that I enjoy working with every day and going riding with on our days off! Haku is really supportive and has given me some great opportunities to improve my guiding skills in some awesome places.

single trail local guide

Guido Cesar AKA “Party” (Mountain Bike Guide and Shuttle Driver)

Where do you call home?

Home is wherever I’m working, wherever I’m enjoying life, wherever I feel super happy. So right now, home is Haku!

How and where did you start mountain biking? 

I and some friends started riding in Cusco doing cross country, exploring, and giving ourselves challenges such as reaching very high peaks and descending very quickly using Inca trails.

Why do you guide?

I’m a mountain bike guide because I like to teach and guide mountain biking on the trails of my city. I also love showing my history and my culture through bicycles, as well as meeting people from different countries to learn about their new mountain biking techniques and technology. 

Why do you work for Haku Expeditions? 

I work at Haku because it’s a family with a super positive and fun energy. Haku is a place where I can work happily and am always learning new things about bicycle mechanics and the English language. They are fabulous.

local bike guide

Xavier (Mountain Bike Guide)

How and where did you start mountain biking? 

I always loved biking, but I didn’t start getting into real MTB until I started working in a bike shop 10 years ago in Cusco. 

What do you like best about mountain biking? 

To me, MTB is the best way to enjoy nature, to meet people, and to explore places where you can be far from people and cars — in other words, places where you can find yourself.

Why do you guide?

I love guiding and sharing the trails with people who share my passion for MTB. Besides the amazing trails, I feel that it’s a real privilege to be able to show people our history and culture. 

What does “haku” mean to you? 

For me, “haku” is the travel agency that everybody wants to work with! I feel very lucky and grateful for the chance that they give me to make my living doing what I love. 

Why do you work for Haku Expeditions? 

I work for Haku Expeditions for the simple reason that we speak the same language: the language of MTB. Thanks to them, I’ve met amazing bikers and other great guides that work hard to go beyond the clients’ expectations, constantly improving and finding new trails. Basically, Haku has helped me make a dream of mine come true.

bike guide riding

Tony Martin (Mountain Bike Guide and Owner of Operations in Ecuador)

Where do you call home?

I was born and raised in Sun Valley, Idaho. The Wood River Valley and the Stanley Basin are my home. You can take the boy out of Idaho but you can’t take Idaho out of the boy. 

How and where did you start mountain biking?

I started mountain biking during the late 90’s when I was just a tyke with my mom and dad in Sun Valley and the Sawtooth Mountains. I then gave it up throughout highschool until I moved to Durango, Colorado for college and then started riding my mountain bike again in earnest. 

What do you like best about mountain biking? 

Biking is all about being creative and finding new ways to explore the vast amount of terrain this world has to offer. These days we are capable of taking our riding to the limits of our physical and mental capacity, and I think that’s pretty rad. 

Why do you guide?

Taking people on vacation is what I do best. To see people have the time of their life and witness moments that they have worked so hard to experience is the most satisfying thing in the world to me. I just want to help my clients live their dreams!

What does “haku” mean to you? 

Haku means to adventure, to enjoy, to never stop being curious about what’s over the next mountain, and to always want to do more. 

Why do you work for Haku Expeditions?

Bill, Nicole, and their kids have become like my second family. When I go to Cusco, I stay with the family, take the kiddos to the movies, go explore with Bill, and get down to the grindstone with Nicole. They have become a huge part of my life and I am super excited to be working with them.

What is your favorite MTB adventure to guide?

I love guiding in Peru because it gives me a chance to be with my mentor Bill who is always teaching me not only valuable mountain biking skills but also life lessons. When I can’t be in Peru getting my Jedi training you can find me in Ecuador showing our clients the best of Ecuador. I love all the trips so much I can’t really pick just one!

haku mountain bike guide

Wilhen (Mountain Bike Guide)

Where do you call home?

Cusco, Peru.

How and where did you start mountain biking?

I started mountain biking as a way to explore the land around Cusco. Eventually, I was doing it so much that I started entering local and then international competitions.

What do you like best about mountain biking?

Fighting my worst enemy — me! It always shows me than I can do better than I thought I could, that I can always push my limits in new ways.

Why do you guide?

I love sharing the experience of mountain biking with other people. Life on a bicycle is a reflection of life itself — wherever you put your eye, you go there. If you lose balance, you fall. You have to give and give — it’s the only way to move forward. Guiding MTB gives me the privilege of sharing all of these thoughts, philosophies, and feelings about mountain biking with people from around the world.

What does “haku” mean to you?

It means “come on, let us advance,” and I think that’s the meaning of life. 

Why do you work for Haku Expeditions?

I love working with other cyclists. They understand the passions and dreams of the mountain biker.