Each of our handcrafted Peru expeditions contains a healthy dose of cultural immersion, with a variety of distinctively Andean local experiences infused into your itinerary. These authentic interactions run the gamut of Peru’s defining cultural characteristics offering you insights into Andean music, traditional textiles, local gastronomy, and many other facets of Peruvian culture. The degree of cultural immersion is up to you. We can arrange everything from a brief chichería visit to a multi-day cultural exchange where you volunteer in a local village.
We take pleasure in introducing you to the unique sounds and instruments of the Andes, ranging from indigenous woodwind instruments such as the quena and the zampoña to distinctly Andean guitar modifications like the charango and the bandurria. Whether you are being serenaded by a harpist at Palacio Nazarenas or meeting a traditional charango luthier at his private workshop, we make sure that you get a taste of Peruvian music at some point on your Peru trip.
One of the most unique ways to experience Andean music is with ethnomusicologist and cultural expert Holly Wissler. With more than thirty years of work in the Peruvian Andes under her belt, Holly has developed a close relationship with the Q’eros and Wachiperi indigenous groups and is working to preserve their musical traditions and educate the greater world in an effort to help preserve these vital traditions. On select Small Group Tours to the Sacred Valley, we provide you the opportunity to meet Holly and learn about the musical traditions of remote Andean communities with guests from the Q’eros nations.
Along with Andean music, traditional textiles are one of the main vehicles of expression in Peru. For centuries, local communities throughout the indigenous highlands have practiced the art of Andean handweaving. Using llama and alpaca wool and homemade dyes sourced with local plants, the Quechua women of the Peruvian Andes hand-weave some of the most extraordinary textiles in the world. Every weaver has their own unique style, which reflects the colors and designs of their home village, creating a medley of beautiful colors that is reflected in the local garb.
At Paragon Expeditions, we take you to the heart of traditional Andean handweaving by providing hands-on experiences with the local Quechua weavers who have mastered this incredible art. These experiences introduce you to the entire process from start to finish and allow you the opportunity to purchase your own hand-woven textiles directly from the individual weavers.
In a land where cüy (guinea pig) is considered a delicacy and sipping coca tea is the norm, you can see where Peru’s local gastronomy scene is definitely enticing. From traditional pachamanca lunches to home kitchen cooking with Nilda Callañaupa and her family, we offer a variety of culturally immersive local gastronomy experiences throughout Peru. For more information about Peru gastronomy experiences, see Local Gastronomy and Spirits.
For those of you who are seeking in-depth cultural immersion in Peru, we can offer a wide range of volunteering experiences in Peru, from afternoons spent at the deaf school in Cusco to cultural exchanges in the remote Q’eros communities.These wholesome experiences give you the opportunity to work among locals in the indigenous highlands and get an in-depth look at current and past Andean culture and nature, helping to improve life for underprivileged local communities in the process.
Some of our Favorite Opportunities for Cultural Immersion in Peru:
- Meet the Q’eros with Holly Wissler
- Meet the Weavers at the CTTC
- Private Charango Workshop