Who We Are
PeruNorth is a part of Tropical Travel Ltd, a private limited company (#9731855), incorporated in the UK.
Miles Buesst is PeruNorth's Founder. Like many British children, he grew up reading the Paddington books, and watching the BBC TV series. He didn't question too deeply the assertion that Paddington was a bear from 'deepest, darkest Peru', but it must have weighed on his subconscience, for many years later he finds himself offering tours to the only region of Peru with a native bear population, the Spectacled or Andean Bear!
Miles’ love affair with Latin America began in 1999, when he arrived here to work as a tour leader for an adventure holiday company. 75 tours, a Masters in Latin American Studies and a Peruvian family later, he is still enamoured of the place, and still finding new delights and surprises.
The cultural exchange has not been all one-way though, as Miles is deeply involved in the growth of the game of cricket in Peru, having been both the captain of the Peruvian men’s cricket team, the Llamas, and the secretary of Cricket Peru.
To hear Miles (and others) describing the development of cricket in Lima to BBC World Service's Sportshour, click here.
Despite having an Australian father, he now divides his time between Lima and the UK. Being often in Peru gives him first-hand access to the various hotel, agency and boat owners and to any operational and environmental developments in the region.
Over the years, his ear-to-the-ground knowledge has been employed by various guidebooks, including National Geographic Traveller: Peru, DK Eyewitness, Footprint: South America Handbook and Viva Peru!
Lluis Dalmau Gutsens is Peru North's Operations Manager. A native of Valls in Catalunya, his journey from Spain to Peru has been an interesting one. Having studied Engineering for the Food Industry in Barcelona, with work experience in the UK, Lluis decided to pack his bag and travel to South America in 1993. He only intended to be away for a few months, but a quarter of a century later he finds himself living in Tarapoto with his Peruvian wife and three children!
His first destination was Ecuador, and it was there that he met the Canadian biologist, Brad Boyle, who was looking for help in recording the bio-diversity of the Ecuadorian rainforest. Lluis agreed to volunteer and, as well as developing a good knowledge of tropical ecology, there is now a rare jungle plant that bears his name - Anthurium dalmaui - as a result!
Once in Peru, Lluis volunteered at the South American Explorers Club in Lima (which Miles would, coincidentally, later manage), and updated information for the Lonely Planet guidebook, which entailed travel to many lesser-known corners of the country.
In 1995, he moved to Tarapoto to take up the post of Director of an international development project promoting sustainable agriculture, principally with palm hearts and cocoa. He managed to persuade local producers to begin making chocolate, which is now one of the region's marquee products.
The world of sustainable development took Lluis to other wonderful destinations such as the El Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve in Baja California, and Coiba Island and the Gulf of Montijo in Panama. But he had left his heart in Tarapoto, and returned there in 2006 to get married and make his first foray into the world of hospitality, with the construction of Pumarinri Lodge, in the Amazon high jungle.
These three properties are now well established on the Northern Peru circuit, as is Lluis' reputation for being a visionary champion of this lesser-visited area of Peru.
Given this reputation, he was approached to take over the management of a boutique property in the shadow of Huaca de la Luna. The hotel was refurbished and re-branded as Moche Sanctuary Lodge in 2017, to offer a relaxing, natural experience in the countryside near Trujillo.
Alongside managing these hotels, Lluis organises the guides and transport for the majority of PeruNorth's itineraries.
Stephanie Gallusser is a French, English and Spanish-speaking guide for PeruNorth. Originally from Lausanne in Switzerland, she now lives in Tarapoto with her Peruvian husband, Cesar, and two kids.
Stephanie first arrived in Tarapoto in 1991 as a tourist, and was immediately enamoured of the area’s beauty … and the insects that she’d been fascinated by, ever since she was a child!
She returned to Switzerland, to continue with her Biology studies. Her particular interest is in butterflies, and in 1997 she returned to Tarapoto in order to do field study for her doctoral thesis on those of Amazonia.
Having finished her thesis, she moved to Tarapoto permanently in 2002, working in the field of biodiversity, forest conservation and organic agriculture.
She also has a small farm in the Cordillera Escalera, close to Ahuayshiyaco Waterfall, where she - like fellow guide, Ronald Watger - grows organic coffee … as well as plants designed to attract butterflies!
As a guide, her passion for and knowledge of the natural world informs her work.
Ronald Watger was born in Amsterdam, and first visited Peru in the late 1980s. As a biologist and photographer, the Chachapoyas region held a particular appeal, and he began living in Leymebamba in the 1990s. Here he purchased some land and began growing organic coffee - which you may be lucky enough to sample on a tour led by Ronald!
It was through his dealings as a coffee producer that me met his wife, and they now have two children - a boy and a girl.
The family has now moved from Leymebamba to Chachapoyas.
Ronald speaks Dutch, Spanish, English and German, and after some 30 years in the region, has an encyclopedic knowledge of the area’s history, archaeology and flora and fauna, which he enjoys sharing with visitors.
Henry Gonzales Pinedo was born and raised in Tarapoto, where he chose to study Tourism. Unlike other student colleagues, whose dream was to work for the Ministry of Tourism, Henry developed a passion for the extensive birdlife in the rainforest and dry forest of San Martin.
Largely self-taught, he has now become something of an authority on Northern Peru’s ornithology … but is also called upon to guide in Southern Peru and Ecuador.
He is known for being relentless in his search for specific bird species, which endears him greatly to serious birders!