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Our local living travel experiences allow travelers to witness and experience the culture and heritage of the places you visit, whether through art, folklore, music, rituals, textiles, farming or other activities. Peru is steeped in history, and you can enjoy a truly immersive and local living experience wherever you visit the country.
Cusco is known worldwide for having one of the wonders of the modern world, “the majestic Machu Picchu. “ But it also has a rich and colorful culture of respect for nature, the Apus (Sacred mountains) and wildlife. And perhaps it is the friendliness and traditions that captivate its visitors because, in Cusco and surrounding regions, it has become the norm to see tourists helping locals and local people kindly helping tourists without distinguishing race, economy or origin. In Cusco, the “ayni” tradition of reciprocity I ingrained in the culture, and everyone is welcome!
Uros Floating Islands
Whether traveling to Machu Picchu by train or hiking the magnificent Inca Trail, you have no idea what incredible adventures you can experience thanks to experiential tourism and cultural exchange in Cusco. In transport, you will only see through the window a little of the beautiful landscapes that the land of the Incas offers, not counting the possibility of meeting new friends who live in communities outside the city. All those who visited Andean communities took beautiful memories, and many of them mentioned that “it was one of the best experiences they had during their visit to Cusco.” During a visit to the native communities, you can live local experiences such as work in the fields, celebrations, traditional medicine, ceremonies such as the offering to mother earth, preparation of delicious local dishes and very colorful and fun traditional festivities. With many untouched rural Andean communities and remote Amazonian tribes living as their ancestors did hundreds of years ago, Peru’s diverse culture makes it one of the most exciting destinations in South America for an immersive cultural experience. Here’s how to get involved.
Peruvian Primary School
Stay with a Peruvian family and learn a little about their life! This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to experience a traditional Andean lifestyle. Homestays provide an enriching experience for you and contribute to the local economy, improving rural development in traditional communities for local people. Peru homestays are a win-win activity on your trip to Peru. Homestays have long been a staple of immersive tourism in Peru. Staying with a local family gives you a rare insight into the fascinating daily lives of everyday Peruvians, as well as the opportunity to give back directly to the area’s economy. In the Andes, most families live as their ancestors from the Inca civilization did hundreds of years ago, living a simple but happy life surrounded by snow-capped peaks, grazing llamas and tiny adobe homes. A typical day at an Andean homestay will include learning to weave, helping to cook the pachamanca (meal cooked under hot stones in a hole in the ground) and herding the family’s llamas. Or even a homestay on the highest navigable lake in the world Lake Titicaca, where you can stay with a local family and learn more about their island way of life and the local customs of the local communities on the lake, including the Uros people of the floating islands. Valencia Travel can help you find the best homestay experience for you.
Peru is renowned for its beautiful textiles. You’ll unlikely return home without a colorful woven blanket, sweater or gloves. While most visitors buy these souvenirs at popular textiles markets in Písac or Cusco (which are also well worth the trip), a great way to delve deeper into this unique Andean culture is to buy Peru’s best quality textiles, is to visit an artisan community or workshop. High up in the Andean hills surrounding Cusco, entire communities, especially in Huilloc, Chawaytiri and Upis, Huilloc, Chawaytiri and Upis, that dedicate their lives to the ancient backstrap loom weaving tradition. Or, if you are visiting Arequipa, why not visit an authentic alpaca factory for more insight into how this exquisite wool is processed?
Llama in Arequipa
Cooking Classes/ Culinary Tours
One of the best ways to immerse yourself in local living is through local cuisine. Take a cooking class and head to the local markets to buy local fresh produce and then learn how to turn these ingredients into a classic mouth-watering Peruvian dish. Whether you want to learn how to prepare the national dish ceviche in Lima, take part in an Andean cooking class or learn all about the production and processing of chocolate in Peru, or learn all about the traditional Pachamanca “underground barbecue” method of cooking in The Andes, there are many ways to immerse yourself in local living through Peruvian food.
Ceviche Cooking Class