Are you looking for a nice way to acclimatize before doing a trekking in the Cordillera Blanca? Or are you quickly visiting the area of Huaraz after an itinerary through southern Peru? This two-day “Short Immersion in Vicos” program enables you to get to know the local culture of the Callejón de Huaylas with its authentic communities, ancient traditions and sustainable livelihoods.
In this tour, you will head to Vicos, which is a community close to Huaraz. It is recognized as one of the original Quechua communities, which is why many anthropologists study this case. Despite the inevitable influences of modern times, the Vicosinos still live a very traditional lifestyle, which makes you feel like going back in time when coming here.
In our hearts, Vicos owns a very special place. It is in this community where the RESPONSible Travel Peru project started to take shape – before we changed our name to Impactful Travel. Guido and Pablo, the founding directors of RESPONS, met here in 2002 and have been close friends ever since. By going on this tour to Vicos, you will surely understand why Guido stayed in Peru for such a long time.
Are you fascinated by this story but unable to make it to the North of Peru during the time you have? Don’t worry! We have a whole range of Community-Based Tours available in all the country, as we are pioneers in this domain.
Please note that apart from this two-day tour we also have longer program of three days: the complete Vicos experience including an amazing Pachamanca Feast on the third day, or a slightly cheaper three-day excursion to Vicos without Pachamanca.
After breakfast (at 08:00 am), you will be picked up from your hotel in Huaraz to go to Vicos on public transportation. Please note that the cost of the transportation is not included: make sure you have some small cash on you.
Upon arrival in Vicos, you will walk between 30 and 90 minutes (depending on the lodge and everyone’s pace) to the lodge where you will stay for the next days. During the hike, your local guide (Spanish speaking only) will explain everything you see and will answer all of your questions (a translator is optional).
When you arrive at the house for this “Short Immersion in Vicos”, your host family will welcome you with medicinal herb tea made of plants that you will learn to recognize in the field. You will get to know your family while preparing and baking bread in the adobe oven. After the baking is finished, you will try the bread fresh out of the oven. A lunch made from local ingredients will be waiting for you in the kitchen.
After lunch, activities depend on your preferences. It’s possible to participate in some agricultural activities, hike a bit more around the community, visit an artisan in his workshop, explore archaeological sites or simply relax by your lodge with a book, enjoying the tranquility and landscapes of Vicos. The decision is all yours; please coordinate everything with your hosts.
Dinner generally consists of soup and/or a sweet porridge, accompanied by bread and/or (native) potatoes; it all depends on the season: your host family eats what earth provides them.
At night, they will share certain stories, legends and myths of their community with you, and if you are interested they might teach you some Quechua, too! After this great dinner and some talking, you will get a good night’s sleep in the lodge next to the house of your local host family.
After a revitalizing campesino breakfast, you will get some free time. Depending on your preferences and the season you can go fishing, help with an agricultural activity, simply observe the grazing animals or visit the school during this “Short Immersion in Vicos”. After lunch with your host family, your guide will bring you back to the main road, where you will take a public transport back to Huaraz. The estimated time of arrival in Huaraz is between 4.00 and 6.00 pm.
From Lima, you arrive to Huaraz in a bus or car in approximately 7 to 9 hours. From Huaraz, you will have to take another transportation to Marcará (35 min approximately) and from there you add another 20 min to Vicos. When booking this “Short Immersion in Vicos”, your local guide will pick you up from your hotel in Huaraz so you don’t have to worry about finding where to leave from. You will only have to pay for the chosen type of transportation.
The lodges are located between 3.100 m. (10,000 feet) and 3.300 m. (11,000 feet). The hikes from the house might take you a few hundred meters higher than that, but on this “Short Immersion in Vicos” program there is no space for a high altitude trek like the other two Community-Based tours in Vicos.
No, they don’t. Still, most travelers don’t find it necessary to take a translator from Huaraz. A translator will always influence your experience and you will see that with direct communication (with hand, feet, Google Translate and whatever else necessary) offers a more intimate exchange with your hosts.
It depends on the season when you visit but the average temperature ranges between max 27°C / Min -4°C. Some early mornings it can freeze a little. Find more info about climates in Peru in our blog Best Time to Travel to Peru.
If you suffer any allergy o dietary restrictions, make sure to inform us during checkout and we will take the necessary precautions.
We try to keep this “Short Immersion in Vicos” experience private so that you can make the most of your stay at Pablo’s family. And in almost all cases you will be the only ones there! But it might happen that other people will be in Pablo’s homestay at the same time as you. In that case, you will have your meals together with the other visitors. But you will have private rooms and a private guide (Pablo or another member of the community) for your different excursions.
In Vicos lives our dear “hermano” Pablo, the man with whom everything started for RESPONSible Travel Peru (before changing our name to Impactful Travel). He has been a leader of the community for a long time, both officially and unofficially, because he is a wise man despite not being an elder. He has fought corruption and illegal mining, organised huge village clean-ups and leads many community initiatives ranging from sustainable production to tourism. Thanks to Pablo, your stay in Vicos will be well organised, full of inspiration and create long-lasting memories.