Experience the vibrant, heartwarming culture of rural Peru firsthand. Immerse yourself in the warmth of a local family as they open their hearts and home to you. Participate in intimate portrait sessions with locals adorned in traditional Peruvian clothing, and savor a simple but delectable home-cooked lunch. Embrace the spirit of the mountain community, appreciate the tranquility of nearby lakes, and engage with the locals.
This isn’t just a tour – it’s a journey through the faces of Peru into the soul of Peru. Here are the details:
7h30 – Pick-up from hotel (Cusco or in between) and begin the drive to Calca, in the Sacred Valley of the Incas
9h00 – Quick stop in Calca’s central market, here we can buy a few things to take with us to the community
10h30 – Arrive in the community and meet with our hosts for the day
11h00 – Visit the local school (only to see improvements achieved by donations and new opportunities for investment of funds)
12h30 – Return to our host’s home for lunch and a portrait session with the family
13h30 – Visit lakes above town for landscape session
14h30 – Alpaca/Llama Blessing Ceremony with a group of local shepherds
16h00 – Return to our family to say goodbyes
16h30 – Begin the drive back to Cusco or any place in between according to where you stay
18h30 – Arrival in Cusco (if applicable) and drop-off at hotel
It is crucial to consider the high altitude, as we will consistently be above 3000 meters above sea level. This is precisely when altitude sickness can manifest. Therefore, it is vital to ensure complete acclimatization before embarking on this tour, the Faces of Peru.
For more information, please read: How to Stay Safe and Healthy When Traveling in Peru
Not only that, it is great for children!
They have so much fun playing with the local kids and domestic animals, dressing up, running on the open spaces, that it is hard imagining this Faces of Peru tour without the presence of foreign kids.
We suggest bringing children who are 6 years old or older. They might even capture a few photos.
We are talking about a high-Andean location, with beautiful landscapes but also poor (like most remote places in the mountains).
The family house is basic and very simple, same for the school (only elementary). You might visit the greenhouse to see the crops that need protection from harsh environmental conditions and that otherwise won’t grow at this elevation.
Bernardiño has built an extension to his home so we can stay for the day, and even overnight if you want to. You will find western toilets, and your belongings will be safe anywhere during the Faces of Peru tour.
Parents: Bernardiño and Rocio. Very welcoming, smiling, and humble.
Kids: Yessica, Cleber, Jacob, Ronald and Abel: Fun, fun and fun. They love to be around us, very curious and willing to learn everything.
No, they don’t. That is why you will always be accompanied by your guide who will translate both ways.
Of course, learning Spanish or Quechua 😉 beforehand is always a good idea! Use an app like Duolingo to learn the basics before leaving and enhance your experience whilst traveling.
The Faces of Peru tour is completely private for you and your party (if that is the case).
You will experience the typical Andean climate; when there’s sun it’s warm, when there’s no sun it’s cold. The wind is always cold as well. The rainy season is from December to April but occasional rains can occur anytime throughout the year.
Find more info about climates in Peru in our blog “Best Time to Travel to Peru“.
Besides your essential photographic equipment and gear…
Please refer to our article What to Pack for your Trip to Peru for all your questions about packing for your Peru trip. Whether you’re going to the jungle or the mountains, you’ll find the answers you need. You can also download a full Packing List for free.
Around 250 students assist to the local school.
We prefer to keep this information to ourselves, but rest assured, you’ll discover it once you arrive. Our aim is to preserve the authenticity of this destination, ensuring it doesn’t become overrun by excessive visitors and compromise its original purpose. We want to avoid a scenario where the behavior of the local residents changes due to mass tourism, leading to degradation and unsustainability.
People have been bringing small specialties from their home country (Maple Sirup, Reese candies etc…) Also hats, backpacks, pencils, books, lamps, etc… But a lot of the donations were made post-tour. We’ve been asked to bring back a bike for the kids, to buy a motor-pump for the school, and organize a full birthday party for Cleber. Before getting to the community on the Faces of Peru tour we will have a stop at the local market where I’ll (Dan) be buying some bread and other goodies for them.
Welcome to our community and to our humble home!
We are happy to have you join us, and we’re also genuinely interested in learning about your culture and where you’re from, and things that we might have in common (or even celebrate our differences).
We want to make sure to keep our traditions authentic. What you’ll experience is our true way of life, with the exception that we’ll happily make time and pause momentarily for photos.
Words from Bernardiño:
First of all, I would like to express my gratitude for your interest in getting acquainted with my family and me. I have been a lifelong resident of my community. My primary occupation is that of a potato farmer. I dedicate significant effort to tending to my fields and assisting my neighbors with their own. My driving force stems from my desire to provide my children with the opportunity to attend university.
I am blessed with a wonderful family consisting of my beloved wife, Rocio, and five beautiful children: Yessica, Cleber, Jacob, Ronald, and Abel. Beyond my farming pursuits, I have also honed my culinary skills. My culinary journey began during my time as a guide on the Inca Trail, where I acquired valuable cooking expertise.
After finishing my 3 years photography studies in Lyon (France), and traveling around the world, 6 years later I’m back in Peru. So here I am with my idea of showing you the real Peru, off the beaten path, deep in the Peruvian culture, and wanting to teach and share all my knowledge of photography.
I befriended Bernardiño few years ago in Lima, during protests by the community to get support from the State. Since then, throughout the tours we have collaborated to improve the school, the local drugstore, donating water pumps, food, and paying fair wages.
I am a landscape and adventure photographer, hailing from the majestic mountains of Cusco. My mother tongue is Quechua, which brings a unique cultural influence to my work. The world of photography caught my eye while I was working as an adventure guide, and I was drawn to the challenge of capturing fleeting moments and vibrant colors. Through my lens, I strive to share a distinct perspective on life and encapsulate its beauty.