Peru is best known for being the home of the Inca Empire. It is a place that is steeped in history, fascinating tales and a few thousand years old culture. Any traveler coming to Peru must walk the less trodden path in order to really get a taste of the place. Nothing can beat an experience of staying with the locals as a part of their community. It is a life changing experience that can provide a lot of insight into Peru’s culture and diversity.
Homestays are not a new concept but for a country like Peru, turismo vivencial is something that really throws up interesting possibilities. It is an amazing experience that offers a traveler a never before experience to enjoy true Peruvian hospitality living with them as a part of their family.
Homestays in Peru are as diverse as its cultures. From posh city dwellings to humble country homes, Peru’s ethnic diversity and the cultural experiences can be best experienced when one decides to accept the invitation of a local family and stay with them, sharing their food, their drink, enjoying their stories and appreciating their believes and practices.
Below are some of the hand picked Peruvian homestay options that tourists can select to experience Peru like never before –
Peru Potato Park, Sacred Valley, Cusco
The Peruvian Potato Park is a living honor to the Incan empire and an ode to their favorite food, potato. It is not just another farm producing potatoes, it is a sanitarium that preserves not only thousands of varieties of potatoes that are grown in the country but also provides visitors with an in depth detail about the growing process and the history that is associated with each breed and the place. The park and the destination are a perfect way to find out more about the ancient Incan culture and the ways of their lives that has changed little over the last six centuries.
This eco-tourism opportunity is perfect for tourists who want to see this amazing vegetable in all its colors, forms and flavors in their meals. There are provisions to stay in this destination for 1, 3, or 5 days.
Isla Amantani, Puno
Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable lake in the world and is the setting of Isla Amantani. It is a small island on the lake, which is our next destination on the list. For those who prefer the tranquil of blue waters and the opportunity to be one with the nature, Isla Amantani offers more than he can ever bargain for. Savor Peru’s best cuisines and experience the Incan culture at the most serene of locations in the country.
With locals willing to accept tourists in their homes, this is a perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle that is normally associated with crowded South American cities. One can take part in activities such as weaving, cooking and harvesting as well.
This Andean village destination is the home of about 300 families. It is about an hour’s journey from Cusco and is located at the heart of Peru’s Sacred Valley. Visiting them is a rare privilege and a chance to see how their ancestors lived several centuries ago as nothing has changed in all these time. If that is not all, tourists can take part in weaving, making handicrafts, learning their secrets of agriculture and pick up a lesson or two in Peruvian cuisine. It is amazing to note how these simple people have managed to hold on to their culture and carry on their daily routine amidst the hustle and bustle that goes on around them for being located in one of the most visited tourist places in Peru.
Amazon, Pacaya Samiria reserve
Although the program is named in search of El Dorado, this should appeal more to birdwatchers, nature photographers and eco-conservationists who can enjoy a memorable journey dotting many of the communities that live in these areas and taking part in the re-forestation efforts.