CHAU GRINGO TRAIL
Maybe you've already noticed it, while searching for tour operators in Peru: almost everyone offers exactly the same. That's a shame, because Peru has more to offer than Machu Picchu, Nazca and the 'Latin-American way of life'. After all, a city as New York has also more to offer than the Statue of Liberty, Rockefeller Center and a 'liberal spirit'.
Visiting a country is not only about taking some pictures of the tourist highlights, it's far more about the experience of the journey itself, of the country and of its' people. What are their concerns, how do they live, what do they eat?
Tourists in Cusco eat a mediocre pizza in an expensive restaurant at the city's central square, drink a pint in the Irish Pub and walk back to their 3-stars hotel, 2 blocks away. The next day they stroll around, following their guide to a surviving Inca wall and the kitschy gold in the cathedral. Yet the next day they take the tourist train to Machu Picchu, where they hear together with another 1500 persons that Hiram Bingham rediscovered the place in 1911, after which their guide will explain his favourite theory about the function of the ruins like it would be the definite truth.
There's nothing wrong with that.
A pint or two in the pub is always OK, we also prefer a 3-stars hotel over a no-stars hotel, have visited many churches and are astonished every time we see that Inca wall. You have to visit Machu Picchu and every theory about the place is interesting.
But in this way you won't see anything of the essence of Peru.
Just as New York also has the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, the Earth Room, and two other Statues of Liberty, Peru has many places that are not covered by the 'Gringo Trail' but that are highly recommended to visit. When the history of Hiram Bingham is nice, the history of the conquest of the Inca empire is fantastic. The impressive Inca walls come not even close to the people, fighting every day and without any help to give their fellow human beings an illusion of a decent life. And isn't a rocoto relleno with a glass of chicha in a picantería, a traditional Peruvian restaurant just not better than a poor pizza with a pint?
In our program 'Chau Gringo Trail' we developed alternative activities. Away from the tourist crowd, away from '13 in a dozen, away from the easy and the superficial. The idea is to teach you something about the country, to offer you an experience, you're not likely to forget. Because that's why you want to come to Peru, isn't it?
OUR ALTERNATIVE PROGRAMMES
- the alternive Cusco City Tour: get to know the other Cusco
- visit to the social project of your choice
- follow one of our cultural workshops
- stay in our traditional hacienda, in the heart of the Andes
- in the footprints of the Incas, hiking tour with a lama
- visit to the traditional suspension bridge of Queswachaka
- meeting with an indigenous shaman
- hiking tour to the Inca salt mines of Maras and the agricultural laboratory of Moray
- hiking tour to the 'forgotten ruins' of Puma Marca
- day tour to the temple of Viracocha in Raqchi, one of the most important shrines in the Inca Empire
- traditional Peruvian lunch: visit a 'mercado' and prepare your own 'comida criolla'
- visit of different events – only on special days
Machu Picchu Plus
bus to Santa Teresa, visit of hot springs, overnight stay in a traditional hacienda and short course about the Incas, 1-day hiking tour to Aguas Calientes, 1-day visit Machu Picchu, train back to Cusco.
wouldn't it be nice to actually get to know Peru?
In the heart of the Andes
stay in a traditional hacienda
Through the Sacred Valley
hike from the ruins of Chincheros to Urubamba
Mountaineering near Arequipa
above 6000 meters, just a little higher than Mount Kilimanjaro
Sacred Valley on bikes
a guarantee for a very different experience
visit the legendary last Inca Kingdom of the Incas
ALSO TO CONSIDER:
- the alternative Inca Trail, a hiking tour to Machu Picchu trough the pass of the Salkantay
- the hiking tour to Choquequirao, another lost Inca city, until now neglected by most tourists
- the alternative hiking tour to Machu Picchu, trough the hot springs of Lares
- Three day tour over the salt flat of Uyuni
- Four day jungle adventure near Rurrenabaque; a cheap and magnificent alternative for National Park Manú.
- Expeditions near La Paz, mountaineering and Death Road
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