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PERU CULTURAL AND GASTRONOMY IMMERSION (JUNE 2019)
Peru is one of the most touristic countries in South America due to its natural beauty, its cultural heritage and archaeological sites. Our Peru cultural and gastronomy immersion is a combination of visits to local communities, cultural activities and tourist visits in and around Cusco, with some additional trips to other areas of the country like Lima and Lake Titicaca. You will have the chance to immerse in another culture by staying with the local indigenous people and learning from them different topics like medicinal plants, weaving or traditional cooking. They will also share with you their believes and traditions with stories, legends and ceremonies. Finally, you will visit cocoa and coffee plantations, and walk some parts of the famous Inca Trail with its amazing scenery. At the same time you will share the experience with other fellow travellers of different nationalities within the same group. Trip highlights: - Visit the historical centre of Lima and one of its local markets with fresh produce. - Explore the Inca remains of Cusco, the ‘archaeological capital of the Americas’, and the many archaelogical sites nearby to learn about the Inca Empire. - Homestay at several indigenous local communities during the trip for a full cultural immersion. - Participate in a cooking workshop inspired in traditional Andes flavour using local products like corn, quinua, patatoes and amarath. - Learn about medicinal plants and weaving with the Amaru community in the Sacred Valley. - Be part of a traditional ceremony of payment to Mother Earth and learn about the relationship between the Andean people and nature. - Witness the solstice at the Ollantaytambo Inca ruins with the first sunray going trough the sacred gate. - Visit cocoa and coffee plantations and learn the process of making products with them. - Walk part of the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu Mountain for amazing views. - Explore Lake Tititicaca, including the Uros floating islands and the islands of Taquile and Amantani, and experience the indigenous cultures over there. ITINERARY DAY 1 (WEDNESDAY): WELCOME TO PERU Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel located in the Lima district of Miraflores. DAY 2 (THURSDAY): LIMA You will enjoy the city as a local. In the morning you will walk through the vibrant district of Miraflores towards the popular market of Surquillo, where renowned chefs get their products. Then we will take public transportation (Metropolitano) to the downtown of Lima, which was declared as UNESCO Word Heritage Site in 1988. Over there we will visit Lima’s main square with its important buildings. After lunch, transfer to Larco Museum and its beautiful gardens, where you can learn about the pre-Columbian Peru. Back to the hotel and overnight. (B, -, -). DAY 3 (FRIDAY): LIMA - CUSCO - HUCHUY QOSQO COMMUNITY- OLLANTAYTAMBO Transfer to Lima airport and flight to Cusco. Upon arriving to Cusco, we will descent to the Sacred Valley for an appropriate aclimatation. Our first stop will be for a visit to the Inkariy Museum, dedicated to pre-hispanic cultures. Upon arrival to Huchuy Qosqo we will start our cooking workshop inspired in traditional Andes flavour using products like corn, quinua, patatoes and amarath among others. Check in and overnight at hotel. (B, L, -). DAY 4 (SATURDAY): VALLE SAGRADO - MORAY - MARAS - OLLANTAYTAMBO We will drive for a visit to the agricultural terraces of Moray, then visit to the town of Maras, famous during the colonial period, as shown by the local church and the houses which preserve the original facades, and visit some of the places with carved stones. After this, we visit the salt ponds of Maras, still in use since pre-Inca times and then walk down towards the town of Urubamba where our transport is waiting. Lunch not included. Transport back to Ollantaytambo. Visit to Ollantaytambo archaeological site. Overnight at hotel. (B, -, -). DAY 5 (SUNDAY): OLLANTAYTAMBO - COMMUNITY OF AMARU: TEXTILE EXPERIENCE After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll head for the mountain town of Pisaq, located in the Sacred Valley of the Inca’s. Upon arrival in Pisaq, we’ll first explore the town itself. The colorfoul market of Pisaq is world famous, and the place where many local peasants come down from the highlands with their products, including some very fresh food, raw materials, crafts, jewelry, clothes, alpaca goods, musical instruments and knick-knacker. Afterwards, we will visit the archaeological site of Pisaq where there is a large agricultural section with terraces. We continue our trip to the highlands of the Sacred Valley where the Amaru community is located. We will learn about their beliefs, customs and interesting lifestyle, which is ruled by their respect for Mother Earth. They will guide us to the ethno botanic farms to learn about medicinal plants. We will begin with a traditional weaving workshop of Tejedores de los Andes. They will also show us their craftwork and after that we will be able to make our own garment! We will sleep in comfortable guest houses of local families. (B, L, D). DAY 6 (MONDAY): HIKE AT THE SACRED VALLEY: AMARU- HUAYAFARA- OLLANTAYTAMBO After an early Andean breakfast we’ll hike to the highlands of Amaru at 3,850 m (12,630 ft). Enjoy the beautiful surroundings, the great variety of Andean flora and get to know its different medicinal uses. The hike continues to the Huayllafara community. Here we’ll have Pachamanca for lunch (food cooked underground using pre-heated stones) and be part of ‘pago a la Pachamama’ (payment to Mother Earth) ceremony. Start of our activity Los Hijos de la Tierra: we’ll learn in a practical way the relationship between the Andean people and nature. Transfer to Ollantaytambo. Overnight. (B, L, -). DAY 7 (TUESDAY): OLLANTAYTAMBO - COCOA AND COFFEE PLANTATIONS At sunrise we can witness the first sunray going through the sacred gate at Ollantaybambo ruins as part of the solstice. Later, we will drive straight to Julia's house (passing the Malaga pass at 4,300 m) in Huayopata. Once there, we will have time to get to know our host family and we'll get a tour around their plantation with fruits, vegetables, cacao and coffee. Afterwards we will have lunch together with the family. They will also show us how we can make our own chocolate! Later in the afternoon, a taxi ride of about half an hour will take us to the beginning of a hike (beautiful 2-2.5-hour Inca Trail), with beautiful flora, impressive views and quite astonishing depths- Finally we'll arrive in Huacayupana for a refreshing lemonade. Relax time. Dinner. Overnight. (B, L, D). DAY 8 (WEDNESDAY): COFFEE EXPERIENCE - WALK TO COLCAMAYO HOT SPRINGS - HOTEL IN SANTA TESARA After breakfast, proud "cafetalero" Alejandro Perez will explain us about the organic coffee process from the bean to the cup, and his life on the mountain ridge. In order to provide shadow to the coffee plantations, the coffee farmers grow other crops like bananas, citrus fruits, avocado and mango, aside from corn and beans. Lunch. From Alejandro's house we'll walk to Santa Teresa, around four hours of walking, enjoying a multitude of flowers on the way. If the river level allows we'll walk the beautiful and adventurous path by the river side. Check in at the Hotel. After dinner we will enjoy the hot springs of Cocalmayo at night. Great reward after a long day! (B, L, D). DAY 9 (THURSDAY): SANTA TERESA – HISDROELÉCTRICA - AGUAS CALIENTES After breakfast we will drive to our starting point where we continue walking over the well-preserved Inca Road. After walking for 5-6 hours, arrival at the hydroelectric train station, where we will take the train for about one hour from hydroelectric to Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Pueblo). Overnight at a basic hotel. (B, -, -). DAY 10 (FRIDAY): AGUAS CALIENTES - MACHU PICCHU - OLLANTAYTAMBO Early in the morning we will take the bus up to Machu Picchu and walk to Machu Picchu Mountain where we will have the best view of the archaeological site. Guided tour. Some free time before we head down to aguas Calientes where we will take the train back to Ollantaytambo. Overnight in Ollantaytambo. (B, L, -). DAY 11 (SATURDAY): OLLANTAYTAMBO - CUSCO WALKING TOUR After breakfast we will drive to our next destination: Cusco. Check in. Pick up from the hotel and transportation to the archaeological sites of Qenqo and Sacsayhuaman, where we will have some time to explore them. Afterwards, walk through the neighborhood of San Blas and enjoy a coffee break at a responsible café (included). The tour finalizes in the city centre with a visit to Qoricancha (Sun Temple). It ends around 13:00. Lunch. Free time! (B, -, -). DAY 12 (SUNDAY): CUSCO - PUNO Departure at 7.00hrs and arrival at 17.00hrs. We will first visit Andahuaylillas, an amazing location where it seems like time stood still. There is an old cathedral, founded in 1580, that is known as the 'Sistine Chapel of America'. We will continue our journey to Wiracocha temple, also known as Raqchi, which is a collosal construction where the Q’oyllur Riti festival is celebrated on June 16 each year. The whole site contains 30 buildings, canals and aquaducts, which are still being used by the local population. Buffet lunch around 12:00. We will then pass by La Raya, the highest point between Cusco and Puno standing at 4,335 m altitude. Our last stop will be Pucará, hometown to the well-known Toritos de Pucará, located 106 km northeast of Puno. Arrival to Puno and overnight. (B, L, -). DAY 13 (MONDAY): PUNO - LLACHON Tranfer to the port where our boat is waiting for us. Our first stop will be for a visit to the Uros floating Islands. We will see the houses, the islands and rides on traditional reed boats can be arranged. We will visit two of the 60 islands before continuing on to Llachon located in the peninsula of Capachica, 46 miles away from the city of Puno. This community has 1,300 inhabitants spread out the peninsula and they belong to the ethnic group of Quechuas. Arrival in Llachón. We will walk around the village (optional hiking activity “cerro carus” of 2 hours hike). Lunch in local house and weaving demonstration with local families. Free time to enjoy the beautiful beaches! (B, L, D). DAY 14 (TUESDAY): LLACHON - AMANTANI After breakfast we will take the boat towards Amantani Island. You will probably see local families running down the hill to welcome you. At the port our group breaks into smaller groups for the home stays. Typical lunch is served by your designated family. In the afternoon every traveller is welcome to share with the locals their time, some artistic gifts, educational activities or just conversations. By participating in this tour you will contribute to improve the library that we are trying to implement in coordination with the local people from this island. (B, L, D). DAY 15 (WEDNESDAY): AMANTANI – TAQUILE - PUNO Breakfast and departure to Taquile island. After navigating for an hour we will get to this unique place. There, a long path gradually ascending will take us to the village (50 min. hike approx) to visit the communal cooperative. Lunch at one of the local restaurants then we transfer to your hotel in Puno. (B, L, -). DAY 16 (THURSDAY): PUNO - CHULPAS DE SILLUSTANI – LAKE UMAYO - JULIACA - LIMA Pick up and travel through the Altiplano "the High Plains". On the way we observe the typical flora and farming scenes. On arrival at the Sillustani peninsula we take a guided tour, which tells us about the local beliefs in the afterlife whilst observing the huge funerary towers known as “Chullpas”. Sillustani is a peninsula surrounded by the Umayo lagoon that gives the area an extraordinary contrast of colors and views. Afterwards, we will stop at Atuncoya community where we will learn about the Altiplano cuisine and how they have adapted to the demands of the enviroment. Transfer to the airport and flight to Lima. Transfer to your hotel. (B, L, -). DAY 17 (FRIDAY): BACK HOME Transfer to the airport. International flight back home. (B, -, -). PRICE: - For 8 people: £2155. - For 12 people: £1910. INCLUDES: - All transfers and transport during the itinerary. - Organisation fee. - Tour leader for the whole itinerary and local guides for every specific part. - Admission tickets of all the museums and archaeological sites mentioned in the itinerary. - Accommodation for 16 nights. - All the tours, activities and workshops mentioned in the program. - All the meals mentioned in the itinerary (B- Breakfast, L- Lunch, D- Dinner). EXCLUDES: - Flights (international and domestic). - Personal travel insurance. - The meals that are not mentioned in the itinerary. For more information please contact Belen by email: [masked] or whatsApp:[masked]

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Do you love to travel but you want to do it in a sustainable, alternative and meaningful way?
Do you want to explore natural paradises and immerse yourself in new cultures while learning in an active way?
Do you want to share the experience with like-minded people instead of travelling on your own?

If the answer to these questions is yes, then this is the perfect group for you. If you want to travel in an authentic way and not having conventional holidays, even if you can't go away for months, we will help you to do it here. If you are also an individual who cares for the environment and don't want to cause a big impact when travelling, and if you want to learn something and contribute, you will enjoy our trips.

We organise small group trips (6 - 12 people) throughout the year... from short European city breaks to far less explored places. We have exciting destinations in the UK (Devon and Scotland) and Europe (mainly Spain), but also exotic places that call you for adventure like Peru, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Morocco, India, Nepal or Senegal. In our trips we offer a big array of activities such as hiking, canoeing, fauna&flora identification, birdwatching, cycling, cultural immersion, cultural workshops, local cuisine classes, volunteering, yoga, meditation, etc. We often stay with the local communities in homestay or family-run accommodation so part of our money support these people and their economies. We also try to do our tourism activities in a respectful way towards the local people and their environment. Join our amazing trips and meet new friends to share a real travel experience!

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