Matilde Melendez from Conquer Peru

Peru Anyone?

The minute you meet Matilde Melendez, you’ll feel like you’ve known her forever. She is warm and welcoming, friendly and fun, and you can truly understand why she owns a travel business. People will follow Matilde anywhere – especially to her home country of Peru.

You can learn more about Matilde and her company Conquer Peru on Facebook and Instagram and at her website: www.conquerperu.com.


First things first – what would your walk-on-stage music be?

My walkout song is “Girl on Fire” by Alicia Keys. The big dose of girl power energy gets me feeling inspired!

When did you start your business, and why did you create it?

I launched Conquer Peru on April 2016, when I saw how some of my own friends were craving exciting travel experiences that went beyond basic tourist traps. I wanted to bring travelers authentic cultural exposure so everyone could see exactly why I love my home country so much. 

Tell us about your business and what makes you unique in your field.

Conquer Peru offers travel experiences for adventurous, curious globetrotters who want a curated itinerary that ensures they see the best of Peru but in a sustainable, culturally responsible way. The most valuable resource we offer, that I rarely see elsewhere, is guidance from lifelong Peruvians. We take travelers to places that locals want to share with them, and provide cultural context and expertise that outsiders often lack.

What do you feel makes your audience special?

Our travelers are the best! Our groups are up for anything, globally-minded, and are excited to learn and get off the beaten path. They want to pack in as much as possible during their trips while leaving out the stress of group travel.

If you could magically give all of your community members one thing in this world, what would it be, and why?

I wish everybody could have an extra week of vacation time per year! 

Did you create your own website or hire it out? Do you use WordPress?

I hired someone to create our website so it could run as smoothly as possible. It’s a Wix website.

What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about starting their own business?

Don’t get discouraged in the early days of the business-building process. There will certainly be times when it won’t be easy to get things off the ground, but if you stick with it, the result will be beyond what you ever imagined. With time and experience, it will get better, easier, and more fun. Try to accept challenges as part of the learning process and don’t let them get you down — it will be worth it!

If you could go back in time and do something differently, what would you do and why?

I would have hired a business coach. During those early-day struggles, it would have been really useful to have a mentor to turn to for advice and reassurance.

Do you have an email list? If so, did you start it when you launched?

I have an email list now, but I didn’t start it until Conquer Peru had been running for a while. Now, I am trying to send out newsletters on a regular basis.

Is this your only job? Did you launch your business while working another job?

No, I also do translation work and teach Spanish lessons. I was working as a Spanish teacher at an elementary school when I started my business. It was a lot to juggle, so I had to be patient with myself and think long-term, keeping the big picture in mind.

How do you promote your site?

Social media like Facebook and Instagram are super useful. I also rely on networking, events, and word of mouth. 

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

A huge part of my mission is encouraging people to open their minds to authentic cultural experiences. I think it’s so important, especially in these times, for travelers to connect with locals, go beyond surface-level tourism, and open themselves up to a world of exploration.

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