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Our ECHO Trails Guide’s mission – To present “the local” people, places and things so you capture the “essence” of what you are seeing and experiencing by tailoring the day so it’s “YOUR TRIP” – leaving you years of special memories of Switzerland.



René Welti

Swiss cow!

Swiss cow!

Born in Basel with 16th century Swiss heritage, raised in California, lived in Zurich, Connecticut, Florida, Atlanta and now living in Lucerne, Rene´ perfectly bridges Swiss and American culture. His varied travel career has been divided between Switzerland and the USA with airlines, destinations, hotels and travel companies. He’s a certified Swiss hiking guide, Swiss life guard and conceived each of the tours so you see and experience the Lake Lucerne Region Swiss Alps highlights with fun and ease. Rene´started leading trips to and through Switzerland when he represented a number of “Swiss Pool” destinations in the USA. Rene´ served as the Swiss Olympic Team Attache´ during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. He is also a Certified Tour Planner, Certified Hospitality Educator and winner of the Travel Industry of America, Annual Odyssey International Marketing Award. Today René is listed in the Lonely Planet Discover Switzerland Guide as the Lucerne “local expert”.

When René’s not leading an ECHO Trails tour, he volunteers as a Lucerne Tourist Office “Friendly Host” assisting visitors during their Lucerne stay. In addition he’s the Outdoor Leader for the local Expat Living in Luzern group, guiding trips and informs new Swiss residents where they can find the outdoor information they seek. In his spare time he writes articles in English speaking publications in Switzerland about the Lake Lucerne region, is a member of Skal International Switzerland and the Int’l Expat Club in neighboring Zug.

In addition to hiking, skiing and biking around the Lake Lucerne area, he swims in the annual 1km “Swim across Lake Lucerne” event with a current personal best time of 29 minutes. His longest swim is a 2.5km swim across Lake Uri from the William Tell’s chapel to the tiny pristine village of Bauen.


Peter Cummins


UK, London raised, outdoor activity instructor in Scotland, Switzerland and Austria, Peter enthusiastically awaits to meet you and to be your guide. For over 20 years Peter has trained and is qualified to hike, climb, mountain bike and  team build. Peter also loves history and geography and is pleased to share how the British were the first to discover Switzerland, the first to climb the Matterhorn in 1865 and provided the first wave of visitors to this  Lake Lucerne region.  Switzerland can thank the British for promoting Switzerland as  one of the world’s most scenic places to visit.

Eve Harpur

Eve takes greats pleasure to share the Lucerne area with visitors and friends as she has explored the area wideley on foot, by bike, boat and bus. Originally from South Africa, now a Swiss citizen, graduated with a degree in History at the University of Cape Town, Eve also worked as a registered tour guide in Cape Town. Today Eve is very active in the Lucerne Anglo-Swiss club and has a passion for Swiss history.

                     Dave Harpur

IMG_6597 (2)


Originally from South Africa, now a Swiss citizen, with a Phd. from the University of Cape Town in Biochemistry, Dave for the past 13 years has been sharing the Lake Lucerne region outdoors with friends and visitors. One of Dave’s specialties is Swiss natural history and enjoys describing the various alpine flowers to people. Dave’s background is within the  petrochemical industry.  





John Fraser

John guides for ECHO Trails part time and receives “Outstanding” Trip Advisor reviews. He was formerly in the United States Air Force before coming to Switzerland in February 2013 to join his (now) wife who is Swiss. John currently works as an engineering program manager for Pilatus Aircraft, the only aircraft manufacturer in Switzerland, and is an avid skier and hiker, and spends much of his free time in the mountains. He is also a frequent traveler and amateur photographer, traveling the globe in search of new experiences. John is also an Eagle Boy Scout.

Michael Welti


Michael Welti, University of St. Gallen, International Affairs Masters graduate,
former Swiss National Lacrosse team & Lucerne Rugby Club team member,
Tallahassee, FL born, also knows the Lake Lucerne region hiking and cycling highlights.
He honed his cycling skill by biking solo from Switzerland to Aberdeen, Scotland.
When not guiding for ECHO Trails, he works for Credit Suisse in Zürich in the foreign exchange department and offers interesting insights into the world’s monetary policies.


Denis Aschwanden

A Canton of Uri local

A Canton of Uri local

Denis Aschwanden was born and raised in Uri, one of the founding Cantons of Switzerland; “Aschwanden” is a typical name of the area. Denis loves travelling and has seen 3 continents and visited more than 15 countries. He speaks English like a native as he enjoys traveling to the USA and  attended the Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh in an exchange program this past fall.

Switzerland has an  “army reserve system” and Dennis is a squad leader within his “Alps training excercises” unit. As a passionate skier he enjoys the slopes of several resorts in Switzerland and Austria. In order to heighten his cultural experience he is a student of international management and works with incoming students from all around the world. In addition he is also an entrepreneur, provided market research, consultancy services and helped scout the various tours for ECHO Trails.

Isabelle Berchtold

Isa Berchtold

Isabella Berchtold welcomes the opportunity to share her Lake Lucerne region with you.  Isa is a Lucerne local, loves the outdoors, grew up hiking & biking in the Central Switzerland alps and a former competitor rower. Isa is also a registered nurse, with a stay in San Diego to polish her excellent English and now an ECHO Trails part-time guide.