Culture Week

Cajamarca - Peru

Only 360€ per week!

Immerse yourself in northern Peruvian culture and have a breathtaking week at the same time with this introductory program.

You will be introduced to the traditions of Northern Peru, visit some of the highlights, try some local dishes, and learn some basic Spanish phrases to help you feel at ease during your time here. All in all – this is a great jumpstart for your time in Peru!

Culture
Learning
Leisure
Community Engagement
Physical Demand






Program Description

Cajamarca is where everything started. Known as the “City of the Meeting of the Two Worlds”, Cajamarca will immerse you in Incan and pre-Incan culture while you live in a modern yet colonial city.

Over the course of our Culture Week you will have the opportunity to try various traditional, often ancient, Andean recipes and see architecture ranging from 1000 B.C. to the 1700s. You will gain first-hand insight into the history, the language, and the diversity of cultures, all while exploring the sights that make Cajamarca a gem in the Northern Andes.

Our Culture Week will prepare you for your stay in Cajamarca by giving you a brief insight into the country’s background, customs, language, culture, and history. Moreover, you will enjoy some of the must-see attractions in the area and get the chance to meet and bond with fellow participants.

Aims & Objectives

  • Help you familiarize yourself with the local surroundings
  • Teach you helpful Spanish words and phrases
  • Broaden your knowledge of the local customs, history and culture
  • Provide a full induction, preparing you for a longer stay

Schedule

Monday

  • Introduction to Projects, House rules, Setting Expectations, Health and Safety Advice and handling of documents.
  • Peruvian Do's and Don'ts,Peruvian Culture Lessons and Spanish Language Lessons.
  • Tour around the compound and local area; where to find local shops, and arrange a sim-card if necessary.
  • Lunch
  • Small hike to 'white crosses hill' where you can have a thermal Baths in Banos (Optional) and a massage session (Optional) .

Tuesday

We will visit Granja Porcón, a beautiful area and traditional farm. Here you will have the opportunity to get in touch with the Andean scenery that surrounds Cajamarca. After exploring the fields, forests, or farm, we will have a picnic on the hillside and return to Cajamarca. The journey will take 40 minutes both ways.

Wednesday

In the morning we will take a combination of public transport and walk to Cumbe Mayo, perhaps the oldest manmade structure in South America. Built around 1500 B.C.E., Cumbe Mayo exhibits the ingenuity of Pre-Incan technologies.

Here you will see a system of hand carved canals that carry water over the continental divide, and at one point, sustained the inhabitants of what later became Cajamarca. At an altitude of 3,500 metres above sea level, this ceremonial Pre-Incan complex and the surrounding rock forest is our last visiting spot before heading back to Cajamarca.

Thursday

In the morning we will take a tour around Cajamarca pointing out some of the main attractions, markets, and historical points of interest.

Along the way you will see churches from the colonial era, the main square that bustles with constant activity, and the Cuarto de Rescate (Ransom Room). It was in this site where the last Incan king Atahualpa bargained with Spanish Conquistador Pizarro unsuccessfully for his release, thus ending the Incan empire and opening the door to Spanish influence in Peru.

We will also hike up to the top of Santa Apolonia Hill where there is small church and a beautiful overlook of the entire city. Along the walk you will see some traditional artisanal market places with typical Cajamarquino materials and goods.

Friday

Go to Namora and visit the local guitarra workshops and the hat weaving ladies. We will then take a Tuk Tuk to Laguna San Nicolas to walk around the laguna, ride in totora boats around the laguna and have lunch at a El aventurero restaurant in the afternoon.

   Note:   This schedule can be changed and/or amended depending on weather conditions, local conditions and unforeseen circumstances.

Participant Criteria & Requirements

Standard Requirements

Minimum age:

Maximum age:

Minimum English level: Basic

CRB required: On Signup

Passport copy required: No

Resume copy required: No

Required qualification: None

Additional Requirements

You must be aware of the altitude (2750 MASL) and effects it may have on the condition of your health.

Additional Equipment

  • Strong shoes for hiking
  • Appropriate clothing for hiking, swimming and cold weather

Location

you will be staying in the district of Puyllucana which is a small village found in the east-northern part of Cajamarca.It is a beautiful location with great weather and friendly locals.

Located only a short distance away from Cajamarca city (Capital and largest city of Peru’s Cajamarca Region, enriched in culture and history), this quiet location provides a relaxing atmosphere after a day out. The accommodation has a beautiful view of the Andes Mountain Range and is close to the Amazon Rainforest, it will bring you back to South American nature!

About the Accommodation

You will be staying in our accommodation center in Puyllucana, Rural Cajamarca countryside. The house is made with traditional materials such as adobe and stone, it also has a large garden. Wi-Fi will be available only in common areas. We recommend also using 3G data if staying connected is important to you.

All participants are expected to be environmentally aware and to use all resources with restraint, especially water, paper and electricity. Although rooms will be cleaned daily by staff, you will be expected to clean up after yourself, and to play your part to keep accommodation neat and organized.

Food Arrangements

The food will be typically Peruvian meaning lots of corn, beans, rice, chili peppers, potatoes, wheat, and other grains, all very vegetarian friendly. Keep in mind that some local dishes may be spicy!

Facilities

Eateries

Although there are many restaurants around this small town, “Menu centers” are a cheaper popular local choice. Known as a “Menu”, here you are offered soup and entrees before digging into your main meal and are usually accompanied by a drink, usually made from barley or tropical fruit. Menus have a smaller range of food, but are cheaper and more convenient. They act as the ‘fast food’ for the locals, who tend to dislike western fast food outlets.

Shops

Local shops are within walking distance. A short walk from our accommodation site will bring you to convenience local shops, for all your immediate shopping needs

Transportation

Our accommodation is about 3.10 Km from the main square of Baños del Inca. This is roughly 8 km, about 30-40 minutes away from the Cajamarca city center by public transportation.

“Moto-taxis” are also available for quick rides around town (up to 3 people round trip cost Banos del Inca 2 – 3 soles)

Internet use

There is Wi-Fi in your rooms as well as public areas at your accommodation, but there is also an internet cafe in the main township where you can access wifi from when you are not at the centre.

Money

There are numerous shops and ATMs in the center of town.

Medical

We will have a basic first aid kit on site, but there is a clinic available in Banos del Inca. A hospital and various clinics are in nearby Cajamarca for any emergencies or health issues that may arise.

Activities & Events

Cooking Lessons

Daily: Evenings

Join your cook as they prepare meals for you and other participants. Take notes, learn new recipes, traditional food preservation techniques and more! Try not to spoil your dinner as you learn!

Farm Animals

Daily: Mornings and Evenings

Watch the local farmers near your accommodation, as they tend to their animals in daily rituals like shearing and milking.

Sights & Surroundings

Chiclayo

You can easily reach Chiclayo, Peru’s fourth biggest city, by public transport which is cheap and frequent. Chiclayo offers shopping centers, a cinema and nightlife, but it is also a major traffic hub in northern Peru. This makes it easy to travel on the weekends or after your program.

There are plenty of small restaurants or shops around the area. There is an active surfing community and it is easy to make local friends, we can also point you to our Tandem Skydiving program and some other events.

Huanchaco

Only 12 km outside Trujillo. Once a quiet fishing hamlet, the town is now one of the best places for surfing.

Trujillo

Founded by Francisco Pizarro in 1534, Trujillo has 709,500 inhabitants. It is the home of the beautiful Plaza de Armas and its glamorous colonial. 4 hrs from our accommodation,  this city by the ocean is referred to as the everlasting spring, where temperature is usually 32ºC, and where the very important Festival de la Marinera takes place.

Having said that, the main reason why most people pass through this coastal city is to visit one of Peru’s top-attractions: the Chimú adobe city of Chan Chan.

Chan Chan

Built around AD 1300, Chan Chan is the largest pre-Columbian city in the Americas, and the largest adobe city in the world. You can visit it by taking a combi from C/España. The ticket (10 S) includes entrance to the Nik-An temple, the Chan Chan museum, the Huaca la Esmeralda and the Huaca Arco Iris.

A bit further from the city, the Huaca del Sol y la Luna is over 700 years older than Chan Chan and belongs to the Moche culture. The temple is filled with icons representing Ai-Apaec, the god of the mountains, feared for provoking phenomena like El Niño. To stop him from sending heavy rains, the Moches would offer him human sacrifices.

Kuntur Wasi

The ruins of a religious structure in Peru’s northern highlands only 2 hours from our accommodation.

Cajabamba, Huamachuco

Located 5 hours away is a northern Peru town, rich with history, politics, religion, culture and hometown of the international famous muralist Jose Sabogal. Here, you can also visit unspoiled archeology sites and old monuments.

Bambamarca and Chota

Located 3 and 4 hours away, respectively, these towns are known for their festive activities in the months of June/July.

Leymebamba and La congona

Six hrs driving up north, with a little more than 4000 souls, Leymebamba is the perfect, quiet place to try visit La Congona, it can be reached on foot by hiking uphill from Leymebamba.

Museum of Leymebamba is just half an hour walking from Leymebamba. Inaugurated in June 2000, the Museo Leymebamba displays more than 200 mummies and their burial offerings recovered in 1997 from the Laguna de los Cóndores by a salvage Project directed by Centro Mallqui. Once at risk from looters and vandals, today this valuable collection is housed in the Museo Leymebamba. An initiative of The Bioanthropology Foundation Peru-Centro Mallqui, construction of the Museo Leymebamba was made possible by a donation from a group of Austrian citizens, as well as by funds from other private donors.

Chachapoyas

Also known as the Warrior of the Clouds, the Chachapoyas were a pre-Incan civilisation who lived in the cloud forests of present-day Peru. Chachapoyas contains intriguing archeological sites to explore, however the drive is 12 hours away from our Center, so good planning will be required.

Kuelap: The second Machu Picchu

Famous fortress of the mystic “cloud warriors”. One of the very few places never conquered by the Incas. Visitors describing Kuelap indicate that it is “as impressive as Machu Picchu” while it is by far not as crowded or expensive.
The government just recently decided to invest heavily into tourist infrastructure around Kuelap. Be one of the last persons discovering it while it is still relatively unknown!

Gocta

The waterfall of Gocta (771m) is amongst the highest in the world. Although methods of measurement are debatable, it got recognized as the world's third highest waterfall, right after Angel Falls (Venezuela) & Tugela Falls (South Africa). Combine your visit with Kuelap and pick Chachapoyas as your homebase to have an adventurous weekend!

Transportation

From this location we provide free transport to your next program at the following location(s):

  • Lambayeque (Chiclayo)
  • Pimentel (Chiclayo)
  • Huanchaco

Quick Facts

Name: Republic of Peru

Population: 31 million

Capital: Lima

Language: Spanish (Quechua, Aymara)

Currency: Nuevo Sol (PEN)

Time zone: PET (UTC -5)

Country Information

Peru is the third largest country in South America; a country known for its incredible cultural heritage such as the renowned Machu Picchu and the remains of the Inca Empire. Although the Incas are the most famous ones, there are other manifestations of pre-Columbian cultures and unexplored archaeological sites which can be located in the North of Peru. This magnificent land composed of a variety of landscapes, climates and biodiversity, is visited by tourists from all over the world.

In Peru, it is possible to enjoy a range of activities from surfing in the Northern beaches to hiking in the Andes Cordillera, from trekking in the humid and hot Amazon rainforest to visiting cultural sites, excellent museums, and enjoying traditional dishes. Peruvian people are very friendly, warm, and ready to help or to introduce you to their customs. You will find in these regions a great diversity of ethnic groups, festivities, handcraft, and gastronomy.

Peru is a country of contrasts where the crazy traffic is surpassed by the majesty of mountain ranges. You will find cities peaking at altitudes of more than 6700 meters, infinite beaches with beautiful sunsets, the magically diverse landscape of the tropical rainforest and let’s not forget about the llamas.

Climate

Despite being near the Equator, the presence of different regions of the Andes Cordillera and the arid coast along with the effects of the cold Humboldt Stream induce highly distinct weather. The climate in Peru consists in three main regions: Costa, Sierra, Selva (the coast, the mountains and the jungle).

Costa

The coast of Peru represents 10% of the whole surface of the country. Within this part of the coast, the north has a semi-tropical climate. Because of the Humboldt Stream, the temperatures are not that hot for a desert. The temperature is around 24°C all year long. The Southern region, including the central coast and the south, has a subtropical climate. The temperatures range from 15°C during the winter to 26°C during the summer. Summer is from December to March.

Sierra

Alongside the Andes Cordillera, the winter is dry and the summer rainy. The annual temperatures fluctuate from 11 to 16°C but with wide differences from one site to another because of the different altitudes. Therefore, it is better to come during the winter from May to September during the dry season and enjoy the Costa during the summer.

Selva

This is the Amazon region of Peru that represents 60% of the Peruvian surface. The climate is humid, hot, with rainfall all year long and especially during the rainy season from January to April. During the dry season, it usually rains once per week with temperatures fluctuating around 30°C.

In any case, it is preferable to have 3 kinds of outfits for cold, hot and rainy weather. This beautiful country has different climate zones since it has deserts, mountains and Amazon rainforest.

Culture

The Peruvian culture is widely known for its Inca Empire and the ruins of Machu Picchu. However, Peru includes a lot of other different cultures that are lesser known. Before being colonized in the 16th century by Spain, and before the Inca Empire, other cultures were already very organized, structured economically and politically. This is particularly the case of the Chavín and Mochica cultures which date from 1800-200 BC. Hidden archaeological treasures of these cultures are present in the north of Peru. The Lambayeque Region is the biggest hotspot of unexplored archaeological places in the world while the south of Peru is the most touristic region with Cusco, Machu Picchu and Arequipa.

The country recognizes the practice of other religions. Nevertheless, since its independence from Spain in 1821, Peru remains mainly catholic at 80%. Therefore a lot of churches are present in the country. Inspired from the colonial style, they often constitute the sights to see, along with buildings from the same era in big cities such as Chiclayo, Piura, Trujillo, Arequipa, and Lima. Even with Catholicism as the predominant religion, several events and festivities in Peru refer directly to Inca celebrations and ceremonies. Peru is a colourful country, as evidenced by the traditional fabric you can find in the handcraft markets.

The city of Cajamarca is renowned for its carnival where paint battles take place every year. If you are out and about on those days, expect to be targeted with paint and water during the celebration. Peru is also a country of dances. The national dance is the Marinera and it is frequently practiced along the coast, while traditional tribal dances can be found in jungle areas.

Nowadays, Peru is a multicultural country due in part to the colonialism period, but also because of the different migration phases. The indigenous population represents 45% of the population while the rest is a mixture of different ascendances. A third of the population is Metis and has Spanish origins. Then there is a melting pot of European, African and also Asiatic people. The indigenous are more present in the Selva while the rest of the country is mixed with the other ethnicities. Also, in the jungle and mountains, it is more frequent to see people wearing traditional clothes such as the poncho, the hat and the long skirt for women. While the Amazon represents 60% of the Peruvian surface, it is the least densely populated region of the country. Therefore, it holds lots of beautiful unseen areas and uninhabited parts, which remain untouched by humans.

Gastronomy

Another important sector in Peru is the fruit production. Peru is a land of fruit trees, like Mango and Cherimoya, which are very tasty.

Peruvian gastronomy is award winning! Among its specialities are the Ceviche, which is made with raw fish, seasoned with lemon and spices, the Anticuchos made with beef heart, the Chicha Morada, a national drink made with purple corn, and the national alcohol: Pisco.

Peruvian gastronomy is considered to be one of the most diversified and famous in South America. Very often, dishes include rice; this may be in part because of the Chinese migration influence. Since then, “Chifa” in Peru has been used in reference to Chinese cooking.

Transportation

Public transportation in Peru is very easy and the travel costs are low. The traffic may be crazy in Lima and in general, but for long distances, the most common means of transportation is by bus and it is very safe.

Perú shares borders with Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Bolivia and Ecuador. This is great for travelers because it is very easy to combine different destinations. One such option is Peru and Ecuador, which has one of the most biodiverse landscapes in the world.

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