The Cusco Rural Experience 4d/3n - Ascend Adventure Travel
Rural Tourism > The Cusco Rural Experience 4d/3n
Trip Notes
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

Duration: 4d/3n

  • Andean textile workshop in Amaru
  • Agricultural Activity in Huayllafara
  • Off-the-beaten path hike connecting Amaru and Huayllafara
  • Artisan workshop in Janaq
  • Andean Gastronomy workshop in Huchuy Qosqo
  • 3 nights rural home-stay in modern, bed and breakfast style accommodations
  • All transportation to and from communities
  • Bilingual Guide
  • Local Guide
  • Andean Textile Activity
  • Andean Agriculture Activity
  • Andean Artisan Workshop with the Achupalla Plant
  • Andean Cooking and Gastronomy Workshop
  • Guided nature hikes from Amaru to Huayllafara, and Huayllafara to Janaq
  • 3 breakfasts, 4 lunches, and 3 dinners (All made with organic and local ingredients)
  • Community reception ceremonies
  • 3 nights rural home-stay in standard double rooms (Private Bathrooms with running water and showers included) (Night 1: Amaru, Night 2: Huayllafara, Night 3: Janaq)
  • Cultural exchange activities
Not Included:
  • Personal Porter (can be used for hiking sections)      
  • Trekking Poles
  • Sleeping bag (Can be rented for $5 a day)
  • Dinner on the last day
  • Bottled water
Packing List:
  • Backpack or daypack
  • Four to five changes of clothes and warm clothing
  • Rain jacket or poncho
  • Hiking or strong-soled
  • Camera
  • Hat and Sunscreen
  • Snacks: Candy or energy bars
  • Water bottle and bottled water (bottled water can be purchased in the community, but sometimes it is hard to find - or it can be boiled and cooled free of charge)
  • Cash in Peruvian Soles or $US
  • Walking stick or poles (Suggested)
  • Flashlight/headlamp

Volunteer Programs
Comin in 2013!

Ascend TravelTour Photos
click to enlarge
Travel Resources

The Cusco Rural Experience 4d/3n

Ascend Travel’s rural tourism experience is a combination of our favorite rural tourism destinations in the Sacred Valley. Join with us as we explore off-the-beaten-path communities and high-mountain trails in our quest for knowledge. In this journey, we will visit several beautiful towns and learn all learn about Andean Textiles, Gastronomy, Agriculture, and Artisanship over the course of 4 days – all the while soaking in the culture, enjoying the great organic food, and staying in rural home-stay with bed & breakfast style accommodations and modern amenities!

Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Decoding the Andean Textile – Community of Amaru

We will depart Cusco at 8:30 AM after breakfast in the hotel.  After a 1-hour drive to the Sacred Valley town of Pisac, we will take a canyon road to the village of Amaru. We will arrive in Amaru at approximately 10:00 AM, and we will be greeted by an amazing community reception ceremony complete with traditional music and beautiful Incan flowers (Kantu).  This ceremony represents an offering to the “Pacha Mama” (Mother-Earth in Quechua) to thank her for this new day and the chance for people of different cultures to share an intercultural experience together. 

After the welcoming ceremony, we will begin “Decoding the Andean Textile.”  This starts with an explanation of all the different organic materials used to make the natural dyes – which plants they come from, what is their symbolism, and what other uses they have (many have medicinal qualities as well).  The second activity is the shearing, cleaning and the coiling of the sheep or alpaca wool that is used in the textiles – followed by a demonstration of how the wool is dyed by boiling.  The iconography that is used in these textiles is extremely important to the villagers of Amaru – and throughout the duration of this activity, a local guide will explain the most important motives of each symbol that is weaved into the textile.  You get to choose the symbols that will be included in your textile, and if you are brave enough – you can even weave your own fabric (however, be aware that this becomes an all-day activity if you chose to do so). Once the demonstration is concluded, you will get the chance to purchase beautiful, local textiles all made locally and authentically (Table runners, scarfs, purses, belts, bracelets, etc.). 

We will break at 1:00 for an amazing lunch consisting of local cuisine prepared fresh with local ingredients.  After lunch, passengers will have the choice to work on their textiles under the guidance of a local weaver or take a nature hike through the community with a local guide in which they will observe local flora and fauna, lagoons above the community, and amazing Andean landscapes.

We will lodge in rural homestays in Amaru for the night.  The accommodations are clean and comfortable, and bathrooms with running water and hot showers are provided.  Dinner will be provided and before eating, passengers will be treated to a unique intercultural presentation with local dancing, Andean poetry and storytelling, and a warm campfire.  You will relax under the starry sky and truly become part of the rural Andean lifestyle for a night

Lodging: Rural home-stays in Amaru

Day 2
Route of the Llama Hike and Andean Agriculture – Community of Huayllafara

We will wake up around 7:00 in Amaru, get packed up, and enjoy a delicious Andean breakfast of omelets, a Quinoa porridge, bread, and fruit salad.  At 8:15, we will have a quick goodbye ceremony with the villagers of Amaru and begin the trek known as “Route of the Llama.”  In this trek, we will see herds of llamas walking through rugged landscapes. They represent one of the most important treasures for the Yachaqs, as they provide wool and food for the villagers. The route of the llama is an unforgettable journey through the countryside where llamas are the kings. This route joins the communities of Amaru and Huayllafara at a distance of 3.5 miles (5 hours). During the walk you get to see the lakes of Kinsacocha and Hulchacocha, and pass through the Abra of Collaccasa and the Abra of Zapacto (the highest point of the route is 4344 meters or 14,031 feet). You will also observe the villagers working the giant fields of native potatoes that grow at these high altitudes.

We will arrive at Huayllafara at approximately 1:15, where we will be greeted by an exquisite Andean lunch.

After a short welcoming ceremony, we will begin the activity “Yachaqs – Children of the Earth.” The “Yachaqs” (Quechua word for “wise”) are experts in Andean agriculture. Decoding the cycles and the desires of the Pachamama (Mother Earth) is not only an ancient knowledge, but also a way of ensuring their subsistence. In the community of Huayllafara you will make a complete journey of the art of Andean agriculture and the importance of the environment, all through the perspective of the Andean man. The community members will teach you the importance of vertical control, time cycles, seasons and agricultural rituals. Then you get to practice using traditional tools to plant or harvest food and manage a team of oxen! You will walk away from this experience an expert in Andean agriculture and with a better understanding of the villager’s relationship with the Earth.

Lodging: Rural-homestays in Huayllafara

Day 3
Route of the Achupalla Artisan Workshop – Community of Janaq

From the community of Huayllafara, we will set out upon another gorgeous hike (2 hours) to make our way to the next community - Janaq Chuquibamba. In this small village, we will enjoy the  “The Route of the Achupalla” activity.

Here, we will learn the importance of the Achupalla plant for the community of Janaq Chuquibamba.  At first glance, the Achupalla plant seems threatening due to its spines and the fact that it tends to grow on steep ledges that are hard to reach – most casual observers will be inclined to distance themselves from the foreboding shrub.  However, this plant is regarded as a gift from Mother Earth by the members of the community – from it can be made authentic Andean utensils, plates, belts, ropes, bags and wallets – and it is also a source of food! In the Route of the Achupalla activity you will learn the importance of this plant, learn how to make Incan handicrafts out of the Achupalla, walk through pre-Incan ruins on the way to harvest the plant - and, if you desire, try an exotic Susacuro Pizza (made with a worm that grows in the core of the Achupalla) accompanied by a crispy guinea pig with mashed potatoes and beans.

Lodging: Rural home-stays in Janaq Chuquibamba

Day 4
Flavors of the Andes Culinary Workshop – Community of Huchuy Qosqo

Today, we will hike towards the Sacred Valley for approximately 1 hour where we will meet our tourist van that will take us to our final destination – the town of Huchuy Qosqo. Located on the other side of the Vilcanota River in the Sacred Valley, this town marks our final destination and a delicious reward for many days of hard work.

After a welcoming ceremony, we will begin the activity “Flavors of the Andes.”  You will be presented an apron and taken to the communal cooking area where the activity will take place.  At first, we will see a short presentation about the various different ingredients used in Andean cuisine and what their nutritional values are.  Each participant will work side-by-side with a local from Huchuy Qosqo and our guide will be on hand to make sure that you understand every step of the process.  At first, we will get to help prepare a savory lunch that we will enjoy at 1:00, and then we will take a short break before starting on dinner.  Products such as potatoes, quinoa, corn, grains and organic vegetables are the stars of this culinary exhibition. All villagers have been trained in sanitary food preparation, and the food is guaranteed to be safe. At 6:00 PM, we will enjoy our homemade dinner as well as a traditional dance and theatre performance by the locals.  At 7:00, we will return to Cusco. End of services.








Site Map and Contact Information
Copyright © 2012 Ascend Adventure Travel. All Rights Reserved.