Published: 27 May 2013 by: Sharnai James-McGovern

Peru

With a fascinating past and a stunningly beautiful landscape, Peru is as rich in culture as it is in colour. And one of the best ways to really uncover this ethnic diversity is to venture behind the scenes of its tourist trails and stay with the locals.

Peru’s turismo vivencial, or homestay tourism, is becoming increasingly popular with today’s discerning and independent traveller, allowing you an exclusive opportunity to live within local communities for a truly unique travel experience. You might not think of this as a traditional choice for your romantic getaway or honeymoon, but we definitely think you should consider this.

Peru

There are a variety of home-types and communities across the country, from city dwellings to country farmhouses, inviting international guests through their front doors to share with them their warm welcomes, stories, traditions, and home-cooked dishes. Check out some homestay destinations and their local communities below:

Peru Potato Park, Sacred Valley, Cusco

The Peruvian Potato Park is like a living monument to the descendants of the Incan empire and their most prized food–the potato. Visitors will discover the local communities as well as the thousands of varieties of potatoes produced in Peru, their specific cultivation requirements, and their long-history with the destination.

The eco-reserve invites visitors, who can sign up for one-, three- and five-day tours, to meet with the local farmers, weavers and cooks throughout their stay, and enjoy this esteemed vegetable, in its many forms, colours and flavours, for each meal. At the end of the day, you and your honey can spend some quality romantic time together. Perfect!

For more information, visitwww.andes.org.pe orwww.parquedelapapa.org

Isla Amantani, Puno

For a true Peruvian escape, visit Isla Amantani, a remote and romantic island on Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world. Isla Amantani preserves an authentic experience for visitors, offering insights into the community’s customs and traditions in a tranquil setting amidst the blue waters of Lake Titicaca – a far crowd from the bustling cities associated with South America.

Travellers can stay one night or more on the island, and take part in weaving, handicrafts, cooking family meals and farming depending on the family taking them in.

Misiminay, Cusco

Misiminay, a small Andean village located in Peru’s Sacred Valley, and just a little over an hour from Cusco, is home to a community of more than 300 families, continuing lifestyles built around traditions passed down over centuries (old-world romance reigns here!). Guests of this rural community will enjoy the unique opportunity to participate in agricultural workshops, handicrafts, weaving, and informal lessons in authentic Peruvian cuisine–witness how the people of this region traditionally live amidst the attention given to this world-famous area.

Amazon, Pacaya Samiria reserve

In search of el Dorado, this one is specially designed for bird watching, for avid photographers of unique images in the Peruvian Amazon and for nature lovers. For a week, travelers are integrated into the communities and participate in activities for the conservation of the environment, such as reforestation of the Huasai palm and the renesting of taricaya turtle eggs.  

For more information, visit:www.pacaya-samiria.com

Getting to and from Peru’s homestay communities:

A number of well-known Australian tour operators offer sensational itineraries which include community tourism. Contact your nearest travel agent for more information.

For further information on Peru, visit:www.peru.travel

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