Zac Efron found an effective way of escaping the media firestorm around the recent report that he completed a rehab program five months ago: He fled the country.

Splash News has an exclusive photograph of the High School Musical alum posing with a fan in Peru, where he and his dad enjoyed a week-long backpacking trip.

The lucky woman in question is Vanessa Loayza, a 20-year-old engineering student who learned that the Hollywood heartthrob was staying in a hotel in her hometown, Cuzco.

"We had been waiting since 6 p.m. outside, but there [were] a lot of people with us," she recounts to Splash. "By about 10 p.m. there was only about 10 of us left, and security at the hotel told us to come in because he was coming down to see us."

See, kids? Persistence pays off.

"I couldn't believe it!" she continues. "He was so handsome, even more in person than on television. He was obviously tired, but he was very sweet with us."

And it was a dream come true for the engineering student: "I was a huge fan of High School Musical when I was younger, so I grew up with his posters on my wall. There is probably no one else I would wait like this for, so I feel very lucky!"

Source: Splash News

Dan Clarendon is an assistant editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow him on Twitter and Google+!