Travellers Dave and Gill Hammond reflect on their experience of visiting a rural homestay during their trip to Peru.
If you want the opportunity to dig deeper into Andean life and to have the chance to connect with the local people, then do take the time to do this. You won’t regret it.
"During our visit to Peru, we wanted to discover more about Andean life and culture, so we did a 24-hour homestay in Yanamayu, organized by Cuzco-based Amazon Trails Peru. The community is high in the Andes above the Sacred Valley, a couple of hours’ drive from the town of Ollantaytambo and about 3½ hours from Cuzco.
The community of Yanamayu has just started to share their way of life with visitors and we were fortunate enough to be the first to homestay there.
We were accompanied by our superb guide Nicolás, who not only translated, but also provided an insightful commentary on the community, the family and the local way of life.
After eating dinner with our host family, it was time for bed. It’s very cold at night (and in the morning) but plenty of warm blankets were provided for our very comfortable bed!
After breakfast, we got instruction in spinning and weaving, with the chance to try for ourselves. It was wonderful to see how this lovely work is produced and how skilful and time-consuming the process is.
Our host family had a young daughter at the local school and we were able to visit and meet the teacher, who taught in both Quechua and Spanish. We’d brought gifts of stationery supplies for the teacher to distribute, which were very welcome.
Finally, we visited the neighbours, who were harvesting their potato crop, and we did our best to help!
If you want the opportunity to dig deeper into Andean life and to have the chance to connect with the local people, then do take the time to do this. You won’t regret it."
Amazon Trails Peru in Cuzco offer excellent trekking tours around the area, including the Inca Trail, Salkantay, Choquequirao and Lares trek with small groups and expert and caring trilingual guides. They also provide well-equipped and well-guided trips to Manu.