Latin America Trip Leader

Holly Wissler

Languages Spoken: English, Spanish, Quechua, Nepali & American Sign Language

Holly Wissler, a musician and ethnomusicologist, is one of our most experienced and gifted Trip Leaders, drawing upon her many years of trekking and living in Peru and Nepal. Holly is deeply passionate about Andean culture and music, the topic of her PhD in ethnomusicology and the focus of two documentaries she has produced, “Qoyllur Rit’i: A Woman’s Journey,” on Peru’s largest Andean pilgrimage festival, and “From Grief and Joy We Sing,” illuminating the musical traditions of the remote Quechua community of Q’eros, Peru. A key leader for our Peru team since 1982, Holly feels at home with the people of the Andes, especially since she adopted her godson, Dante, from the Q’eros community. She is often called “chaka warmi” (bridge woman) because of her extraordinary ability to facilitate meaningful (and fun!) exchanges between travelers and locals. Holly especially loves to bring WT trip members, our trek crews, and the indigenous Q’eros people together through conversation and music making. “People have said that I bring passion and love to my trips and that I laugh a lot—which I do!” A great storyteller too, Holly speaks Spanish, Quechua, Nepali, and ASL.

Our Team

Upcoming Trips with Holly

Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Jun 25 - Jul 3, 2024

Jul 5-13, 2024

View Trip

Trekking the Cordillera Blanca

Jul 20 - Aug 3, 2024

View Trip

Client Testimonials

Holly was a wonderful guide—knowledgable, flexible, capable in a thousand ways. She made the trip an unforgettable experience.

Alexandra K.

Wilton, CT
Hiker's Journey to Machu Picchu

Very knowledgeable, went out of her way for all of us, fantastic guide

Amy H.

Johnson City, TN
Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Holly was phenomenal on so many levels. Her love of the culture, people, and environment was amazing. She made our trip beyond wonderful.

Ann K.

Sao Paulo, Brazil
Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Holly is extraordinary! If you are lucky enough to have the chance to travel with her, don't hesitate! She is one of a kind and made the trek so much more meaningful and memorable.

Audrey S.

Greenwich, CT
Trekking the Cordillera Blanca

Holly's expertise with the local music, villages, villagers, and her language facility made the trip even more fabulous than it would have been otherwise!

Audrey Y.

Rockville, MD
Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Knowing Holly is a gift! She is an amazing woman with many credentials to her name—but mostly her warmth, true compassion, and concern for others is what stands out. I was honored to be in her sphere—the amount she gave to all of us in a short period of time was incredible.

Barbara K.

San Jose, CA
Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

WT has a tradition of great leaders and Holly is a gem—one of the best.

Bill B.

Portland, OR
Trekking in the Cordillera Blanca

WT has a tradition of great leaders and Holly is a gem-one of the best

Bill B.

Portland, OR
Trekking in the Cordillera Blanca

WT has a real treasure in Holly Wissler. Her passion for Peru, for the people, for the history, for the culture, provided a whole extra dimension for this experience.

Bill S.

Storrs, CT
Trekking in the Cordillera Blanca

Holly is exceptional in every way. She has a wealth of knowledge of the area and culture and made the trip so special for each of us.

Bonnie A.

San Diego, CA
Peru: Q'eros Cultural Trek

Holly was absolutely wonderful! The best leader we have ever had, Holly is special and a real asset to Wilderness Travel.

Bruce and Carolynn H.

Jackson WY
Inca Trail to Macchu Picchu

Holly provided a spectacular cultural experience for this trip from beginning to end. She is so knowledgeable and experienced and that made the guests' experience incredible.

Carol P.

Sarasota, FL
Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

It is not possible to say enough good things about Holly. She is an amazing person who did so many extra things that were above and beyond the scope of the trip. She provided us with memories that will last a lifetime.

Carole D.

Bradenton, FL
Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Holly was abounding with knowledge regarding the culture; I came away from this trip with such an appreciation and respect for the people, culture, and Andean region.

Caroline H.

Memphis, TN

Holly was very knowledgeable about the area and the inhabitants (past and present). She made some tweaks to the itinerary that personalized it to our group and made it special. I felt we had a unique cultural experience, not just a hike to a monument.

Carrie E.

Boise, ID
Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Holly is the best trip leader with whom I have traveled, ever, at any time, and any place.

David H.

Austin, TX
Citadels of Chachapoyas

Holly was fabulous. She is enthusiastic, knowledgeable, cheerful, and has great rapport with the staff. She is fun an unflappable and I feel very lucky to have met her and had her for our Trip Leader!

Deborah S.

Buffalo NY

Holly was an amazing guide. Her native knowledge was unparalleled and thus brought so much value to the learning experience and the entire trip.

Elaine C.

Rochester, MN
Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

WOW! Holly was fantastic! Her music background made for entertaining camp nights and her knowledge of the Incas was so vast and valuable.

Ellen C.

Eugene, OR
Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Holly's knowledge of the country, history, and people, as well as her language skills, were a great asset. Her cheerful personality made the trip a pleasure.

Eric D.

Danville, CA
Trekking in the Cordillera Blanca

Excellent does not even begin to describe Holly as a Trip Leader. Her passion, knowledge, and professionalism made this trip extra special.

Eva S.

Sedewaing, MI
Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Holly is inspiring. She loves Peru and knows it intimately. She made us all love the Andes. I can't wait to return.

Fae E.

Salt Lake City, UT
Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

We can't say enough about Holly. She is a terrifically skilled guide and a wonderful person with whom to travel. We would follow her anywhere!

Jane S.

Newton, MA
Hiker's Journey to Machu Picchu

Holly is a treasure. We really appreciated the cultural aspect she brought to the trip. It made us feel more connected to the people of Peru, and the mountains we were traveling in.

Janice C.

Sao Paulo, Brazil
Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

The trip was everything I’d hoped it would be and much more. Can’t say enough about Holly. She was a wealth of cultural information and is a warm and caring person.

JoAnn E.

Paso Robles CA
Ultimate Everest

Holly is an intelligent, informative, and incredibly kind and warm person. She helped to make this trip pure magic.

Jody A.

Pleasanton, CA
Hiker's Journey to Machu Picchu

Holly is a terrific trip leader and a special person; it was my pleasure to be on her trip. Her son Dante was a wonderful addition and I'm very glad he came.

John L.

Florence, MA
Trekking in the Cordillera Blanca

Holly made the trip as perfect as it could have been. Her extensive knowledge and experience from living in the community, her charm and easy manner combine to make a fabulous experience. We could not have been happier!

Katie B.

Pacific Palisades, CA
Hiker's Journey to Machu Picchu

Holly is magic. She has an unmatched connection to the area and the culture of the people in the Andes. It would be hard to find another person more qualified to lead this trip. I was in awe of how she could make this so much more than a trek. It was a quest for touching the spirit of the Andes and its people and music and land. The best ever.

Kris R.

Holden, ME
Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Holly always went the extra mile. She's a wonderfully caring and educated human and we're so glad we were able to spend a week with her and learn all that we did.

Laura B.

Salt Lake City, UT
Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Holly took an already awesome experience and made it extraordinary.

Lindsey K.

Sao Paulo, Brazil
Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Holly is super. Her passion for Peru, its people, and natural places made this a truly special trip.

Marc R.

Belmont, MA
Trekking in the Cordillera Blanca

Holly is super and was such an enjoyable guide. She made the trip special, as she lives in Peru and is very involved in Peruvian culture, in particular her interest in ethnomusicology with the Q'eros.

Marjorie L.

New York, NY
Hiker's Journey to Machu Picchu

Holly is truly a remarkable person. Not just a great tour guide, although that alone would justify the excellent rating. Her knowledge and love for the area, its people and culture added incredible depth to the journey. She is such an exceptional person!

Mary C.

Houston, TX
Trekking the Cordillera Blanca

Holly was the most amazing trip Leader. I have been on other trips with other tour groups and she is top notch. She has superior knowledge and went the extra step to make out trip unique to the group and beyond our expectations!

Mary L.

Longview, WA
Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Holly proves easily to be among the top rung of WT leaders. Personable, organized, marvelously companionable, superbly informed.

Michael W.

Stamford CT, Chachapoyas Trek

Holly is wonderful, period. She made what would normally be a fantastic trip into a phenomenal experience.

Richard S.

Branford, CT
Trekking in the Cordillera Blanca

Your rating scale doesn’t go high enough to rate Holly! She made the trip outstanding.

Robert F.

Paso Robles CA
Ultimate Everest

Holly Wissler is a fantastic, capable, extremely knowledgeable woman with a storehouse of information and an unsurpassed passion for Peru.

Robin and Art P.

San Francisco, CA

Holly could not have been any more educated or passionate about her love and interest and investment in this land. She was a joy to be with and she not only educated us but she entertained us with her musical talents. She is 'one' with this area and the beautiful people she devotes her life to.

Sally N.

Park City, UT
Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Holly is incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about Peru, its people, and its culture. She is an authentic individual with a humanity that is truly impressive. She is not only an exceptional guide, she is an exceptional person and a pleasure to spend time with—the type of person you want to befriend long after the trip is over.

Steve A.

Pleasanton, CA
Hiker's Journey to Machu Picchu

Book Your Trip Today

Our Area Specialists know every detail about our adventures around the world. They will be happy to answer any questions and help you choose the journey that’s right for you. Contact us to learn more or book your trip today!

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I was honored to be in her sphere&#8212;the amount she gave to all of us in a short period of time was incredible.","TripName":""},{"GuestNames":"Bill B.","GuestLocation":"Portland, OR<br \/>Trekking in the Cordillera Blanca","GuestReview":"WT has a tradition of great leaders and Holly is a gem&#8212;one of the best.","TripName":""},{"GuestNames":"Bill B.","GuestLocation":"Portland, OR<br \/>Trekking in the Cordillera Blanca","GuestReview":"WT has a tradition of great leaders and Holly is a gem-one of the best","TripName":""},{"GuestNames":"Bill S.","GuestLocation":"Storrs, CT<br \/>Trekking in the Cordillera Blanca","GuestReview":"WT has a real treasure in Holly Wissler. Her passion for Peru, for the people, for the history, for the culture, provided a whole extra dimension for this experience.","TripName":""},{"GuestNames":"Bonnie A.","GuestLocation":"San Diego, CA<br \/>Peru: Q'eros Cultural Trek","GuestReview":"Holly is exceptional in every way. 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She provided us with memories that will last a lifetime.","TripName":""},{"GuestNames":"Caroline H.","GuestLocation":"Memphis, TN","GuestReview":"Holly was abounding with knowledge regarding the culture; I came away from this trip with such an appreciation and respect for the people, culture, and Andean region.","TripName":""},{"GuestNames":"Carrie E.","GuestLocation":"Boise, ID<br \/>Inca Trail to Machu Picchu","GuestReview":"Holly was very knowledgeable about the area and the inhabitants (past and present). She made some tweaks to the itinerary that personalized it to our group and made it special. I felt we had a unique cultural experience, not just a hike to a monument.","TripName":""},{"GuestNames":"David H.","GuestLocation":"Austin, TX<br \/>Citadels of Chachapoyas","GuestReview":"Holly is the best trip leader with whom I have traveled, ever, at any time, and any place.","TripName":""},{"GuestNames":"Deborah S.","GuestLocation":"Buffalo NY","GuestReview":"Holly was fabulous. She is enthusiastic, knowledgeable, cheerful, and has great rapport with the staff. She is fun an unflappable and I feel very lucky to have met her and had her for our Trip Leader!","TripName":""},{"GuestNames":"Elaine C.","GuestLocation":"Rochester, MN<br \/>Inca Trail to Machu Picchu","GuestReview":"Holly was an amazing guide. Her native knowledge was unparalleled and thus brought so much value to the learning experience and the entire trip.","TripName":""},{"GuestNames":"Ellen C.","GuestLocation":"Eugene, OR<br \/>Inca Trail to Machu Picchu","GuestReview":"WOW! Holly was fantastic! Her music background made for entertaining camp nights and her knowledge of the Incas was so vast and valuable.","TripName":""},{"GuestNames":"Eric D.","GuestLocation":"Danville, CA<br \/>Trekking in the Cordillera Blanca","GuestReview":"Holly's knowledge of the country, history, and people, as well as her language skills, were a great asset. 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We really appreciated the cultural aspect she brought to the trip. It made us feel more connected to the people of Peru, and the mountains we were traveling in.","TripName":""},{"GuestNames":"JoAnn E.","GuestLocation":"Paso Robles CA<br \/>Ultimate Everest","GuestReview":"The trip was everything I&#8217;d hoped it would be and much more. Can&#8217;t say enough about Holly. She was a wealth of cultural information and is a warm and caring person.","TripName":""},{"GuestNames":"Jody A.","GuestLocation":"Pleasanton, CA<br \/>Hiker's Journey to Machu Picchu","GuestReview":"Holly is an intelligent, informative, and incredibly kind and warm person. She helped to make this trip pure magic.","TripName":""},{"GuestNames":"John L.","GuestLocation":"Florence, MA<br \/>Trekking in the Cordillera Blanca","GuestReview":"Holly is a terrific trip leader and a special person; it was my pleasure to be on her trip. Her son Dante was a wonderful addition and I'm very glad he came.","TripName":""},{"GuestNames":"Katie B.","GuestLocation":"Pacific Palisades, CA<br \/>Hiker's Journey to Machu Picchu","GuestReview":"Holly made the trip as perfect as it could have been. Her extensive knowledge and experience from living in the community, her charm and easy manner combine to make a fabulous experience. We could not have been happier!","TripName":""},{"GuestNames":"Kris R.","GuestLocation":"Holden, ME<br \/>Inca Trail to Machu Picchu","GuestReview":"Holly is magic. She has an unmatched connection to the area and the culture of the people in the Andes. It would be hard to find another person more qualified to lead this trip. I was in awe of how she could make this so much more than a trek. It was a quest for touching the spirit of the Andes and its people and music and land. The best ever.","TripName":""},{"GuestNames":"Laura B.","GuestLocation":"Salt Lake City, UT<br \/>Inca Trail to Machu Picchu","GuestReview":"Holly always went the extra mile. She's a wonderfully caring and educated human and we're so glad we were able to spend a week with her and learn all that we did.","TripName":""},{"GuestNames":"Lindsey K.","GuestLocation":"Sao Paulo, Brazil<br \/>Inca Trail to Machu Picchu","GuestReview":"Holly took an already awesome experience and made it extraordinary.","TripName":""},{"GuestNames":"Marc R.","GuestLocation":"Belmont, MA<br \/>Trekking in the Cordillera Blanca","GuestReview":"Holly is super. Her passion for Peru, its people, and natural places made this a truly special trip.","TripName":""},{"GuestNames":"Marjorie L.","GuestLocation":"New York, NY<br \/>Hiker's Journey to Machu Picchu","GuestReview":"Holly is super and was such an enjoyable guide. She made the trip special, as she lives in Peru and is very involved in Peruvian culture, in particular her interest in ethnomusicology with the Q'eros.","TripName":""},{"GuestNames":"Mary C.","GuestLocation":"Houston, TX<br \/>Trekking the Cordillera Blanca","GuestReview":"Holly is truly a remarkable person. Not just a great tour guide, although that alone would justify the excellent rating. Her knowledge and love for the area, its people and culture added incredible depth to the journey. She is such an exceptional person!","TripName":""},{"GuestNames":"Mary L.","GuestLocation":"Longview, WA<br \/>Inca Trail to Machu Picchu","GuestReview":"Holly was the most amazing trip Leader. I have been on other trips with other tour groups and she is top notch. She has superior knowledge and went the extra step to make out trip unique to the group and beyond our expectations!","TripName":""},{"GuestNames":"Michael W.","GuestLocation":"Stamford CT, Chachapoyas Trek","GuestReview":"Holly proves easily to be among the top rung of WT leaders. Personable, organized, marvelously companionable, superbly informed.","TripName":""},{"GuestNames":"Richard S.","GuestLocation":"Branford, CT<br \/>Trekking in the Cordillera Blanca","GuestReview":"Holly is wonderful, period. She made what would normally be a fantastic trip into a phenomenal experience.","TripName":""},{"GuestNames":"Robert F.","GuestLocation":"Paso Robles CA<br \/>Ultimate Everest","GuestReview":"Your rating scale doesn&#8217;t go high enough to rate Holly! She made the trip outstanding.","TripName":""},{"GuestNames":"Robin and Art P.","GuestLocation":"San Francisco, CA","GuestReview":"Holly Wissler is a fantastic, capable, extremely knowledgeable woman with a storehouse of information and an unsurpassed passion for Peru.","TripName":""},{"GuestNames":"Sally N.","GuestLocation":"Park City, UT<br \/>Inca Trail to Machu Picchu","GuestReview":"Holly could not have been any more educated or passionate about her love and interest and investment in this land. She was a joy to be with and she not only educated us but she entertained us with her musical talents. She is 'one' with this area and the beautiful people she devotes her life to.","TripName":""},{"GuestNames":"Steve A.","GuestLocation":"Pleasanton, CA<br \/>Hiker's Journey to Machu Picchu","GuestReview":"Holly is incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about Peru, its people, and its culture. She is an authentic individual with a humanity that is truly impressive. She is not only an exceptional guide, she is an exceptional person and a pleasure to spend time with&#8212;the type of person you want to befriend long after the trip is over.","TripName":""}]}