sacred valley vi
chinchero is home to some of the most authentic craftspeople of the sacred valley, and you get the opportunity to see them at work at the 'casa andina woman's collective'. we came here to see this group of women at work. they gave us coca tea, sat us down, and explained how they dye alpaca wool, how they weave and how the woman's collective provides opportunities for the local ladies.
we had a lovely girl give us a tour of the facility. she was so hilarious, cracking jokes and being happy and smiling. we later spoke to her and discovered it was her aunty who helped her learn english to further herself in life. she then showed us her little stall of creations - weavings, cute dolls and even voodoo dolls to pin needles into people we hate! lol.
it is here that authentic alpaca creations can be bought. some of the other touristy market places, like those in cusco and pisac are sometimes lambs wool and not authentic alpaca. and also sometimes mass produced. here in the chinchero collective, the ladies make their own, and its all authentic. and you directly help the women of the village.
its a great place to visit and see some beautiful weavings and handicrafts, and locals doing the genuine thing.
Peru in 12 days
"Day 1 - London to Lima (via Madrid)"
We took the early morning Iberia flight from London to Lima (via Madrid, as there are no companies that fly directly from London to Lima - don't know why, but I wish they fixed this as there are may people that would save a lot of time and hassle travelling between the two cities/countries without the need of waisting a couple more hours in Madrid).
The flight time between Madrid and Lima is over 11 hrs. In other words, it is a long(ish) flight, so caveat traveller.
In Lima we had a room booked at the Casa Bella Peru. The place is not very expensive (I mean USD 49 for a single room and USD 55 for a double room at the time of writting), but it is not very nice either. It's kind of scruffy, it stinks of chlorine, the walls of the room we were given were dirty, the bathroom was filthy and the staff was unpolite. All in all, the only good thing about it is that is located in San Isidro, which is meant to be one of the safer areas in Lima.
We complained about the room, and after a long discussion with a couple of managers, they offered us another room, which we had to accept as by this time it was almost 11pm and we could not find rooms available anywhere else in Lima (there was a summit going on).
After a sleepless night, we left the following morning as soon as we could and went to the airport to wait for our flight to Cusco.
The price of a taxi to the airport was around 30-40 soles. By the way, taxis are everywhere, and they seemed quite safe.
"Day 2 - Lima to Cusco"
We flew from Lima to Cusco with Lan. We were amased by the quality of the airplane. It was a modern aircraft, the hostesses were nice and polite, the service was grate.
We took one of the early flights from Lima to Cusco and as it only takes under 2 hours, we got to Cusco in no time.
Cusco as a place is just fantastic. We loved it! Not too expensive, compared to other places in Peru, it's got charm, the weather was lovely (which helped, because in Lima was raining and quite cold and very humid, whereas in Cusco it was warmer and very dry).
High altitude wise: although you don't notice anything immediately after you step out of the plane, after a short while you start to realise that you get tired very easily and, particularly, you breath with difficulty and need to take lots of deep breaths very often.
We came prepared, having done some research on altitude sickness and taken Sorochil; we bought the pils at the airport in Lima and took one each before boarding the plane. We also walked slower than usual and tried to exert ourselves as little as possible. We are in our late 20s and do not have any respiratory or other health problems. We also drunk as much coca tea as possible.
In Cusco we stayed at Casa Andina Catedral.
Front of the Casa Andina Hotel
Local Tourist Agency
Hello all --
I'm planning on being in Cusco in July and wanted to visit the rainforest for 3-4 days. I was debating buying a tour in advance or buying one from a local agent when I arrive. Does anyone have any ideas on this? I'm concerned about costs and would prefer to give the money to a local agent versus a big international company.
If anyone can also suggest a good agency, I'd appreciate it.
RE: Local Tourist Agency
We will be arriving in Cuzco on April 05 and will go to Machu Picchu also.
We booked all out stay ( air tickets in Peru, Hotels, local tours etc ) with a local travel agency managed by my sister in Lima. The name is Transmeridian Travel Agency. You can contact Maria Victoria ( email@example.com ) she can help you with all your booking needs. We have booked the Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, and the Casa Andina Main Square in Cuzco. I will coment on our trip later on. We are 13 on the group. From USA, Peru and Venezuela. We all live in South Florida , USA ( Miami, Daytona Beach )
Cusco is a busy tourist destination, booking in advance will give you the best deals. Saludos, Alfredo
RE: Local Tourist Agency
Hi! First let me introduce myself: My name is Bruno Rocca, form Turismo Inkaiko, an organization of traveling and tourism – tour operator and IATA member – with presence since 1980 , that has let us a presence and prestigious in the Domestic as well as in the International Tourist Market. As you see, we are a serious travel Agency, and our goal is your total satisfaction. We can provide you with all the information you need, and arrange your trip according to your needs. Here is my E-mail, please don't hesitate to contact me. This is our branch office adress: Av. Pardo 610 - Of. 04 Miraflores, Lima 18, Peru. Visit our website: www.turismoinkaiko.net
RE: Local Tourist Agency
Sorry, forgot to write my email. here is: firstname.lastname@example.org