A major priority of Aracari is ensuring that the community-based tourism in Peru that we support provides benefits to the locals we visit. We believe that tourism should nurture local communities and foster opportunities for positive cultural exchanges. One way we do this is by collaborating with La Tierra de Los Yachaqs, a fantastic community-based tourism NGO.
Tierra de Los Yachaqs aims to preserve the history and traditions of local people in Peru while enabling them to access the economic benefits of tourism. They do this through offering sustainable and authentic experiences for travelers and locals to connect.
A Community Experience
The Janac Chuquibamba are one local community in the Sacred Valley that benefits from the work of Tierra de Los Yachaqs. One experience, the Legendary Leaves of Achupalla tour, enables the Janac Chuquibamba community to shine a light on their culture for guests. On this tour, you’ll learn all about the Achupalla plant, which grows in inhospitable spaces on rocky hills and is indispensable to the local community.
On the experience, you’ll receive a fascinating insight into the Janac Chuquibamba lifestyle as told by the locals who live it. You’ll learn about the culture’s customs and beliefs, as well as the traditions that shape their community.
When you set off on your adventure, you’ll journey through stretches of breathtaking countryside. You’ll spot colorful wildflowers and the magical mountains out into the distance. You’ll also see quinoa and kiwicha fields stretching out as far as the eye can see.
On the tail end of your journey, you’ll travel through an unpaved road into the village of Lamay. When you reach Lamay, local leaders will greet you dressed in bright, beautiful local clothing and playing local instruments. You can even try on the local clothing if you’d like!
After breaking for a snack, village representatives will play instruments as you follow them on a lovely walk among wildflower fields. You’ll wander through fields of cantutas, lupin, and other local beauties as you make your way up a mountain slope. Then, you’ll reach the region where the achupalla plant grows in abundance. You’ll be greeted by stunning natural views, and a local guide will explain the many interesting legends that surround the achupalla plant.
Locals will provide details about the plant’s background and will lead you through a breakdown of the many uses of the plant. The achupalla is used in the creation of cooking utensils, firewood, baskets, and animal food.
After learning more than you ever thought you’d know about the achupalla, you’ll make your way back to the village for a delicious lunch. You’ll enjoy a meal made using plentiful local ingredients. Afterward, you’ll experience typical local dances and music, and you’ll be invited to lose yourself in the joy of the afternoon. At the end of your adventure, you’ll head back to your hotel with new knowledge and memories that will last a lifetime.
When it comes to making a positive local impact, community-based tourism initiatives like these are the way to go.
You can learn more about Tierra de Los Yachaqs here.