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Meet Peru Well Served

Posted by The Peruvian Alps on

All entrepreneurs dream of building a successful path. Although the beginning is always difficult, the goal strengthens all the sacrifice and effort invested. And, in a context like the one we live in, being an entrepreneur is really for the brave.

The pandemic affected the whole world and destroyed businesses, and with it the dreams of many people. Some couldn’t recover, others vetured once again on board the boat known as entrepreneurship. One of them is Alexia Harten, co-founder of Peru Well Served (PWS). A company that, despite having to deal with one of the most affected areas in tourism and travel, continued with its mission to position Peru as one of the best places in the world to experience gastronomic tourism.

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Tell us a little about yourself and the journey that led you to found Peru Well Served.

I always loved traveling, and I always put a lot of detail when organizing my trips. I enjoy looking for what can be done in each place, building the route on Google Maps and looking for little special lodgings. I also love food and I love trying new dishes in new places and learning about what's out there behind those projects. I’m very curious and I really like to learn and meet interesting people along the way.

I studied Business Engineering and I think that has given me a very foundation and structure. important to be able to build PWS.

When I returned from my exchange I was looking for a job in which I already want to stay for the medium / long term, and the truth is that nothing convinced me. A friend looked for me to help him with a very nice volunteer and tourism project and that's how I started to discover the world of tourism, and it fascinated me. 

With him, we realized that, despite being recognized as Best Culinary Destination of the World by the World Travel Awards for -at that time- 6 consecutive years, there was no travel agency specialized in gastronomic tourism. And that's how Peru Well Served was born.

What is the purpose of PWS?

The purpose of PWS is for travelers to get to know Peru in an authentic and real way, from the hands of locals, and that they share experiences of a lot of connection so that they return home somehow transformed.

In addition, gastronomic tourism has a very important social and economic impact on the destination and that is something that motivates us a lot. For me personally, it fills me to know that with my work I am allowing small farmers, producers, cooks and gastronomic entrepreneurs to have the opportunity to share their work, culture and traditions with people from all over the world.

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How do they work to achieve it?

We design each trip in a personalized way, so that it really fits the interests and travel style of passengers. All travelers who visit us are accompanied by a local host that allows them to live a much more real experience, since it acts as their local friend who, in a close way, takes them to the best spots in their town.

On the side of experiences, we have traveled through Peru living each of the experiences (or designing them from scratch) and meeting the people who carry them out. I think this has been key for the service we offer to be truly unique and very focused on detail.

What is the biggest challenge in the process? And how does your team meet these challenges?

Right now, the limited human resources we have. Unfortunately due to the pandemic (and the consequent abrupt cut in income) we had to reduce the team headcount, so at the moment we all support in everything we can. This is affecting the whole industry and it is something from which we will gradually emerge, since reactivation lights are already visible.

PWS has allowed you to travel around our country, what has been the greatest learning when 
visiting so many different places?

That we have the most diverse and beautiful country in the world. Each region is SO different from the other, with a different culture, flora, fauna, food and people. We really are a unique country. And on a more personal (and even spiritual) level, facing all this greatness made me feel very lucky, grateful and deeply loved. I trust that there is someone behind so much beauty that it offers us so that we can enjoy it, love it and take care of it.

Machu Picchu - Cuzco, Peru

What are the next steps / plans for PWS?

The objective is to become the main reference for gastronomic trips in Peru. For this, we are making many commercial and marketing efforts so that each time more people know us. In addition, with the help of PromPerú we are holding virtual tours for foreign travel agents to train on gastronomic tourism in our country and present our concept and service proposal. We are sure that all this time and effort invested, which was slowed by the pandemic, will start to show great results very soon.

Just like Alexia, who gives everything so that Peru Well Served takes more and more strength in an area that has already awakened, many small and large companies continue to devise new strategies to attract the eyes of old and new customers.

Our role as tourists is important because by visiting and having new experiences in new places, we help to promote the tourism and gastronomic sector, giving strength to all those who work in this area to continue enjoying what they do while building their dreams.

Would you like to know more about PWS?
Contact them and live incredible experiences in Peru:
Instagram: @peruwellserved


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Tourism and Gastronomy in Peru

Posted by The Peruvian Alps on

Peruvians usually proclaim how many wonders this beautiful country has to offer to anyone who wishes to discover our millenary and rich history. We do not only conquer tourists through sight and hearing, but we also enchant their palate with endless recipes and flavors through gastronomic tourism.

On this occasion, we present Peru Well Served (PWS), a company that aims to give a complete experience to those who want to know Peru in an authentic way, with the help of allies that enrich it with an immense variety of places. , wonderful views and delicious typical dishes that represent peruvian culture.

We interviewed Alexia Harten, co-founder and general manager of PWS, and these were her impressions about the tourism and gastronomic sector, where PWS concentrates all her dreams and efforts on a daily basis.

Which aspects make Peru a favorite tourist destination in your opinion?

Mainly the richness of our 3 regions that gives us an infinite variety of inputs, dishes, experiences and places to visit. Really in Peru there is EVERYTHING: adventure, culture, gastronomy, luxury, economic options ... whatever the traveler is looking for, he finds.

And which other aspects should improve to keep it that way?

Definitely the infrastructure. We have many destinations in the mountains and amazon jungle of our country that could be a tourist power, but the little development of their access roads does not make it very attractive for tourists, or makes travelers spend very long and not so pleasant moments on trails that should be roads.

Do you think that Peru is ready to go to the rhythm of the digital and dynamic tourism that we are experiencing?

In terms of capacity, I think so. In Peru there are a lot of tourist offers, and that gives us the capacity to receive millions of travelers annually. The problem is that these millions of tourists tend to be concentrated in a few regions that are the most visited. If there is something we must work on, it is to decentralize the tourist route so that the economic and social impact generated by tourism reaches more Peruvians.

As for digitized tourism, I think there is a lot to develop. Our tourism is still quite traditional and personal. I think there may be a component of "fear" that digitization could replace jobs in some links of the chain. And in a country where thousands of people make a living from tourism, some resistance can be felt.

How much has Peru grown in the tourism and gastronomic sector in the most recent years, respectively? What factors have generated this growth?

Until before the pandemic, the tourism sector had grown more than 35% in the last 5 years. According to Mincetur, in 2014 we received 3.2 million tourists, while in 2019 we received more than 4.4 million. Definitely, the pandemic has drastically changed these numbers towards the near future. For 2021, the visit of only 1.2 million international visitors is projected.

The growth of the gastronomic sector has also been very important. For several years, we have experienced the boom of Peruvian gastronomy not only internally, but also worldwide.

Peru has been recognized for 8 consecutive years as the best culinary destination in the world by the World Travel Awards (the Oscar award of tourism). The whole world has begun to recognize Peruvian food as one of the most special and that has motivated many trips abroad and has given us a very important reason for being proud of our country.

Do you think that we are classified only as a gastronomic destination and this results in leaving aside other aspects of our culture? How to avoid falling into that?

No way. I think foreigners recognize the richness of Peruvian cuisine, but even the main reason for trips to Peru is still Machu Picchu (although the food has risen a lot in the ranking). In addition, foreigners recognize and highly value ​​the great biodiversity that we have and it is a spectacle that they do not want to miss. Gastronomic tourism is not exclusive to other types of cultural or adventure activities, but complementary. When doing this type of tourism, you not only eat and talk about gastronomy 24/7 ... in fact, between meals there are other types of activities.

What do you think the gastronomic tourism business needs to continue growing? Is it an effort solely from within or does it require the attention of external or international agents?

I think it is necessary to educate the traveler about what gastronomic tourism is, to demystify some details. Some think it's just taking a tour to a restaurant and eating delicious food, but it actually goes much further.

There is a global food tourism association (World Food Travel Association) that really does a great job in this regard, but it is also important to talk about it from within. Here PromPerú could play a key role.

In March 2021, a year after the start of the pandemic, the tourism sector began its reactivation in Peru, therefore, so did the gastronomic sector, with the aim of continuing the path as one of the most visited destinations in the world.

It is important to inform us about what is happening and to support local businesses as much as we can. At present, we are the engine of this industry and it is up to us that the country's tourism does not stagnate, taking into account the unforgettable experiences that we take when traveling within Peru.

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National Holidays in Peru

Posted by The Peruvian Alps on

On the coast, the Andes and jungle, our entire culture, manifested in dances or cuisine, offers a range of customs and flavors, which continues to amaze all generations. 
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The Peruvian Alps and Sustainable Fashion

Posted by The Peruvian Alps on

The Peruvian Alps wants to leave a green footprint in Peru and in the world. We know such a task takes time, but that’s the ideal we pursue in favor of our home: the earth. 
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Alpaca and the textile industry: impact and expansion

Posted by The Peruvian Alps on

Peru is not only a great exporter of alpaca fiber. It also pursues the path of investment and growth in the manufacture of garments made with this material.
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