Native to Peru and South America are Llamas, Alpacas and Vicuñas. These animals are part of the Camel family and you will see them all over Peru. Traditionally Llamas were used as work animals and still are today. Alpacas are known for their wool and there delicious tender meat. The lesser known of the group is the Vicuna, only bred for its wool, the animal is well known for the fineness and quality of its fur. Sold to the fashion industry all over the world, Vicuna has a hefty price tag. Not far from the Imperial city of Cusco is the working Camel farm called Awanacancha.
Located in the Sacred Valley of the Inca´s, Awanacancha is a popular stop on the day tours to the Sacred Valley and is a fantastic part of the ideal one-day itinerary Pisac.
Awanacancha is a weaving center and farm that strive to keep alive the traditional textile arts of the Peruvian culture. Here, you can see four members of the cameloid family – llama, alpacas, vicunas and guanacos of South America. Alpacas have thick wool and is the most commonly used animal, while the vicunas are small and delicate with fur considered to be the finest amongst the Cameloids.
You can interact with these Cameloids and even feed them as well as learn about the harvesting of the different wools and the natural dyeing techniques that are used. You will also have the chance to see Native weavers from different areas showcasing their different weaving styles and dress.
Awanacancha is a private project with 14 local Native communities. The people of these communities have made weaving the principle activity of their villages and have done so for many centuries. The projects preserves the art of Andean weavings and help bring economic stability to the communities. The projects also demonstrates the skills of these Andean people and help these local communities with social integration.
On a visit to Awanacancha, you will see the local people demonstrating their weaving skills; a craft which has been passed down through the centuries from family to family and you will be amazed by the craftsmanship of the these talented people. Also at Awanacancha, you will have a chance to purchase some of the wonderful pieces on display in the shop. These handcrafted pieces are all made at Awanacancha from local wool and will be an investment that will last forever. You will be surprised by the range of colors and styles on offer, so help the local communities and purchase a souvenir from Awanacancha to take back home with you.
Apart from the Awanacancha, the Sacred Valley of the Inca´s also happened to be one of the most naturally beautiful locations in the world. Set in the heart of the Andes Mountain range, the Sacred Valley has a temperate climate and is surrounded by some of the most spectacular mountains. Not only is there natural beauty to discover, the valley has some of the best Inca ruins in Peru. Take the time to see the ruin of Pisaq, not only is it a wonder of Inca architecture but the views at the site are to die for. On your tour of the site, learn the history and wonder at the genius of the mighty Inca empire.
While in Pisac, spend some time at the local market held every day in the town square. Here, you will find everything you will need to buy to remember Peru. See the colorful displays of textiles on offer throughout the market. While at the market try the tasty empanadas fresh from the ovens, there are meat, chicken and vegetable varieties to try. Also try some of the tasty restaurants and cafes that are at the plaza featuring local and international food.
Around a forty-minute drive from Pisac, you will find the Inca fortress of Ollantaytambo. Said to be the site were the Incas last held off the Spanish Invaders, Ollantaytambo is a feat of human engineering and you are sure to be amazed by the skill of the Inca builders.
On the way to Pisac, stop off at the Maras and Moray attraction. These two sites are take up to half a day of travel time where you will be able to see the salt mines that are still in use today. No trip to Peru would be complete without a trip to Machu Picchu. Machu Picchu is considered to be the most famous and the most spectacular of all the Inca sites and happens to be one of the seven wonders of the world. Thousands of tourists visit the historical site every year and some even walk the famous Inca Trail, a four-day hike that finishes in Machu Picchu.
For your next vacation, travel to Peru and South America. While in Cusco, take the time to visit the Awanacancha textile center to see the beautiful textiles and the animals that live there. The support of the tourists helps to keep these wonderful traditions alive, so they can be passed down to future generations. The people of the Awanacancha communities wait for your visit to share their lives with you. Book a trip to Peru today!