Our Team

Our Peru for Less Travel Blog is a living library of travel information, knowledge, and advice from our travel loving experts who live, work, eat, and breathe all things in Latin America.

Peru for Less is a company of travelers serving other travelers. In 1998, our founder and director Bernard Schleien started Peru for Less in Lima, Peru and a few years later Latin America for Less was established as our custom services expanded to other countries. 

Our Team

Living in Peru is a common thread that runs through our entire team and we believe safeguarding this special country we call home is an absolute must. Meet our entire team of travel experts – click here.

Bernard Schleien, Our Director & Founder

Bernard, owner of Peru for Less, exploring around Cusco

Bernard in Cusco, Peru

Bernard founded Peru for Less in 1998, right after graduating from Southwestern University in Texas, with a degree in History.  In his life and work, Bernard has utilized the knowledge he received from his liberal arts education, and his philosophy, history, and political science professors have been far more influential than any business readings he may have run into. At the end of the day, he believes life is about balance and connecting the dots.

Bernard is very happy about the fact that he can sell something he believes in, and uses some of his earnings towards contributing to Peru-based human rights organizations. The pursuit of joy and catharsis are essential in his life, and is why he loves traveling so much. Bernard also believes there is more to life than traveling: listening to music with the lights off, slow food tasting, the visual arts, yelling gooooooool, and the laughter of his son Amaru Martí.

Richard Leon, Director

Ric Leon, Peru staff, Peru For Less

Rick at Perito Moreno Glacier, Argentina

Richard attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, one of the best schools of music in the world. He has lived in both the USA and Peru, as his family tended to move from one country to another due to job reasons. After 4 years of traveling back and forth from Boston and his home town of Lima, Peru, he graduated with a Bachelor degree in Music Business and Management.

He has a passion for travel, drums, music, surfing, and the financial markets where he has been day trading for several years. He can never say no to food, especially if it is Pizza Day at the office which is, to his fortune, once per month. He loves playing with his band called Pan con Tamal and also simply grabbing his backpack and walking into unknown territory to find beautiful destinations. Luckily for the rest of us, he always shares new discoveries with all his friends.

As an avid traveler, he has explored many countries in South America and experienced how travel can broaden his horizons by meeting new people, new cultures, and most importantly new rhythms for his drum set. Helping people is one of his passions and Richard truly believes that what goes around comes around and we all have to do our part to make our small space in the universe the best place it can be.

Monique Loayza, General Manager
Click here to read articles by Monique.

Monique in the Galapagos Islands

Born and raised in New York to a Peruvian father and Colombian mother, Monique had an early taste of Latin American travel, the Spanish language and Peruvian food from a young age. In reality, she preferred traveling to Disney World, responding to her parents in English, and eating chicken nuggets. Luckily, she matured and so did her palate; her favorite places so far include destinations throughout South America and Europe, and among her favorite foods are ceviche, tamales, and smelly cheeses. She is still working on that mastering Spanish bit.

After graduating with a degree in media and communications from New York University, she shipped herself off to Europe to pursue a Masters in Communications Policy at the London School of Economics. Charmed by the great metropolis that is London and the ease of European travel, she remained for over 6 years, working in media and advertising agencies (mainly to fund her travels).

Having felt that she got the most out of her stint in Europe, Monique decided that it was about time she returned to her roots and relocated to Lima in 2016. With her interests in travel, blogging, food and cooking, she should have plenty to keep her curious and busy here in Peru.

Gina Cronin, Contributing Writer
Click here to read articles by Gina.

Gina exploring the Peruvian Amazon in Iquitos.

Gina loves the hidden turquoise rivers of the Andes, the magical pink dolphins of the Amazon, and the lush ocean-view parks of Lima. She finds Peru to be the most inspiring country in the world, and has been exploring and writing about this sacred place since 2014.

Anabel Mota, Contributing Writer
Click here to read articles by Anabel.

Anabel Mota, Latin America For Less, Peru vacations, Peru For Less

Anabel at the Sacsayhuaman archaeological site in Cusco, Peru

Latin Americans have a habit of shortening people’s names and after nearly 3 years of travel in South America, Anabel has gotten used to hearing “Ana.” She rather likes it.

Originally from sunny San Diego, California, Anabel has been living, working, and traveling in South America since 2010 – and loving every minute of it. Her long-term goal is to travel the world and her preferred way to do this is at a snail’s pace, with enough time to savor the spirit and flavor of each destination. (She is not, however, opposed to hastily ditching a place that strikes the wrong note.)

Anabel has been writing for the Latin America For Less website and travel blog since 2011. Her favorite topics include history, culture, and off the beaten track destinations. She also takes special joy in penning the travel tales of staff members.

Pamela Hartley, Contributing Writer
Click here to read articles by Pamela.

Pamela at Laguna Humantay in the Peruvian Andes

Pamela was born and raised in Peru. She started traveling before she could even walk and hasn’t stopped since. Pamela believes that experiencing diverse cultures is the best way to promote sustainability, cooperation, and understanding. This is why she is an advocate for opening pathways to travel, dialogue and hands-on work.

Before heading to graduate school, Pamela worked as a travel advisor at PFL for two years where she got to share her passion for Peru and Latin America with travelers from across the world. She highly recommends the Salkantay trek in Cusco and visiting Lake Titicaca for amazing views.

Pamela is currently living in the UK where she recently completed an MSc in International Development from The University of Manchester. During her free time, Pamela enjoys exploring new coffee shops and craft beer breweries, playing tennis, reading about urban policy and finding the best Peruvian restaurants the UK has to offer.

Javier Puente, Our Peru Specialist
Click here to read articles by Javier.

Javier Puente, Peru For Less staff, Peru For Less

Javier at Teotihuacan in Mexico.

Javier is a historian of modern Latin America and rural Peru, who works as a postdoctoral fellow at Lehigh University – after years attending the Pontifical Catholic University in Peru and Georgetown. He has collaborated with diverse LAFL projects since 2007, and remains engaged with the agency’s innovative approach of offering a top-notch, well-informed, and inspiring journey experience to motivated travelers seeking for something truly unique.

Life, according to Javier, is a seemingly endless process of self-discovery, triggered by a multiplicity of events that connects us to new peoples and environments. Traveling has historically been a crucial component in the making of the human web that we now called “the world” – from Ibn Battuta to Marco Polo and Inca Tupac Yupanqui to Ferdinand Magellan. Recent developments intend us to believe that we do not really need to leave our desks to embrace this essential habit, that everything is a click away, and that we are more connected to the world than ever before. Nothing challenges these erroneous assumptions more than indulging yourself to be part of one of the most important human traditions: visiting new places, shaking the hands of people you do not know, and opening your heart and mind to the unknown. While unveiling the secrets of places you only had dreamed about, you will also realize how much is yet to be unveiled about yourself.

When he is not igniting the minds of the American youth inside the classroom, Javier packs his few belongings and leaves in the next available bus or plane. So far, this apparently irresponsible attitude has taken him to experience some magical (and totally unexpected) moments, of which he has particularly enjoyed his time in the Sacred Valley, Mexico City, and Bogota.

Why Travel with Peru for Less

With Peru for Less, you get more than just a tour package. You get a personalized experience from start to finish. 

Custom Itineraries

We want you to spend less time planning and more time creating beautiful memories. Tell your travel advisor where you want to go and how you want to do it and we will customize a full itinerary with the comfort and flexibility you value.

Comfortable Hotels

Where you decide to rest your head at night can make the difference between a great vacation and an unforgettable one. From world-class 5-star hotels to a remote upscale Amazon lodge or a clean, comfortable budget hotel, our team has done careful research and visited numerous properties to ensure we recommend the best accommodations to our travelers.

Experienced Guides

We work with certified English-speaking local tour guides who engage your passion for culture, history and nature of the destinations you visit.

Small-Group and Private Tours

Choose a small group and meet like-minded travelers or go at your own pace on a private tour. Talk with your personal travel advisor about the best tour options for you.

5-Star Reviews

We are incredibly proud of our 5-star rating on TrustPilot, and the shining feedback our clients have shared with us over the years. Check out all our video and letter reviews here.

Learn more about the service we offer and meet the staff that will help you plan the vacation of a lifetime. Click Go Discover!