WHET YOUR APPETITE
Superlatives are often used when describing Peru which boasts the world’s highest navigable lake, its mightiest river and its two deepest canyons, as well as the oldest urban settlement in the Americas and the 2nd highest diversity of bird species on the planet. Peru’s historical legacy is equally impressive, and archaeological and artistic records of its many fascinating pre-Hispanic cultures can be found throughout the country. Of these, none evokes travelers’ passions more than the magical Machu Picchu, the iconic and mysterious Inca masterpiece.
Peru’s marvelous natural bounty and historical heritage is rivaled by the depth of its thriving living culture, from a 2,000 year old textile tradition to indigenous rituals in honor of mother earth, to hundreds of vibrant folkloric and religious festivals.
And, in case the fore-mentioned doesn’t already have you running headlong onto a Lima-bound flight, Peru has emerged as one of the gastronomic epicenters of Latin America with a culinary tradition that layers a rich variety of indigenous ingredients – from the coast, jungle and highlands – with savory influences from Europe, China and Japan.
In addition to its spectacular natural beauty and archaeological treasures, Culture Xplorers provides travelers an unparalleled access to the people and living culture of Peru.
After shopping for seasonal produce at the open-air market, roll-up your sleeves with a local chef at his home kitchen for a delicious, hands-on workshop focused on fresh Andean cuisine.
LIFE AT GROUND LEVEL
Whether enjoying a hearty home-hosted meal, playing a boisterous coin-toss game at a rustic Andean pub, participating in an ancient earth offering ceremony or engaging in an art project with students in the Andes, CX travelers experience life at ground level.
ACCESS & EXPERTISE
Meet National Geographic grantees, Slow Food award winners, museum directors, curators and festival organizers in exclusive, behind-the-scenes visits.
EXTEND YOUR EXPERIENCE
PRE-TRIP CULINARY WORKSHOP
Immersive yourself in Peruvian cuisine & culture before leaving home! Two or more travelers booking together may opt to have a private “Taste of Peru” workshop for up to 10 guests at their home. CX founder Jim Kane will arrive to your home, provide all food & drink ingredients, lead a Peruvian culinary workshop complete with hand-blended Pisco Sours, give an educational slide show on Peru & of course answer all your trip related questions.
Engage with rural students and their headmaster, experience the best of community-based travel, hike one of Lake Titicaca’s most magical islands and enjoy a morning of hiking, horseback riding or relaxing at a friend’s alpaca ranch.
Explore the brash natural world of the Amazon from the privileged base of Reserva Amazonica, a celebrated eco-lodge. Dramatic tree-top canopy walks, a twilight boat ride, playful river otters and cacophonous troops of monkeys are just some of the wonders you’ll experience under the expert tutelage of resident naturalist guides.
MAKE A DIFFERENCE
At Culture Xplorers, we insist on being not only responsible travelers, but on making a positive impact on the communities with which we come into contact. We work hand-in-hand with local leaders in the destinations we visit to spend time as well as money in their communities, to exchange views and to support the living traditions that make these destinations unique.
In Peru we have created the Culture Xplorers Weavers Awards, an annual awards celebration honoring the indigenous weavers of the Sacred Valley. Now in its 5th year, over 500 weavers from nine participating communities compete for pride and prizes. Each year, 30 winners are honored with medals, certificates of achievement and share a prize pool which has reached over $3,000 annually.
For more details on the growing impact of these awards, please watch the following short documentary video:
Culture Xplorers also works to strengthen schools in rural communities such as Yanaoca, where donations from a number of sources, including Culture Xplorers travelers, have facilitated the construction a school kitchen and other infrastructure projects. Thanks to this broad-based collaboration, 60+ students now receive nutritional, hot meals while attending class.
As a catalyst to these and other deep-rooted partnerships in each of our destinations, the non-profit Culture Xplorers Foundation was created in 2007 with the goal of fostering the sustainability of local culture in indigenous communities worldwide.
We constantly look for ways to minimize our carbon footprint before, during and even after our travels. We start in the office by not producing or printing any printed brochures. We have adhered to this leading-edge environmental practice since 2005, sending all our correspondence electronically as PDFʼs, from program itineraries to comprehensive pre-departure materials, to invoices, to our feedback & evaluation forms after the journey ends.
Traveling in extremely small groups (maximum 10 travelers) helps us minimize our ecological footprint in other ways. We stay in locally run, upscale boutique lodging brimming with local character — often in converted historic buildings, rural haciendas & renovated manor homes. This re-purposed lodging not only transmit a deeply authentic sense of place, they eliminate the need for additional tourism infrastructure.
When it comes to food ways and traditions, we emphasize visits with farmers and local producers and during each of our trips we participate in a hands-on culinary workshop focused on locally sourced foods & regional specialties.