Inca Trail Peru Treks - Inca Trail Tour Operator

Peru Treks Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Tour Operator

Inca Trail Peru Treks - Inca Trail Tour Operator

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Andean Homestay Program


The Andean Homestay Project is an initiative aimed at promoting tourism in the rural communities in the mountains surrounding Cusco. Although Cusco receives almost 750,000 visitors each year, the principal beneficiaries of this income are the owners of hotels, tour companies, restaurants and shops. Very few people from the surrounding countryside are given the opportunity to share in the real financial benefits of tourism. The Andean Homestay Project aims to address this problem by giving visitors the opportunity to stay with local Quechua families and learn about their rich culture and traditions as well as bringing direct economic help to the people who really need it.


We are currently running the project in two communities:


Amaru, This project was established in 2006 and now involves 10 families. The village of Amaru is located high up in the Andes at an altitude of 3800m. It is a 45 minute drive north from Pisac along a narrow track that winds up into the mountains. The village has a pleasant microclimate sheltered from cold winds with plenty of sun allowing a wide variety of crops and wild flowers to grow. Hummingbirds can often be seen. The community has formed an Association for Rural Tourism and offer a warm and inviting welcome to visitors who are adventurous and interested in learning about the culture and traditions of this community. Visitors can stay with these families on any Saturday night from May to December.

>>> More information >>>


Chinchero, which is a 45 minute drive from Cusco and is famous for its beautiful colonial church, Inca ruins and Sunday morning market (more traditional than Pisac). This project is well established and has been running since 2003. Only one family is involved in this project. Visitors can stay with this family any day of the week throughout the year although Saturday night is more popular.

>>> More information >>>


Basic Do's and Don'ts when staying with local families

The price of S/.30 per person that has been agreed with the families is a fair price for their services. It is important that the families provide a good quality and friendly service in return for this payment and the payment is not seen as a hand-out. We do not want the local families to get into bad habits or grow lazy so it is important that the local families and visitors follow some basic rules.

1. Fixed price. The cost of staying with a family is 30 Peruvian soles per person including evening meal and breakfast. Please do not leave tips or extra payments. 100% of all payments go directly to the families participating in the project, Peru Treks takes no commissions and there are no administrative costs involved.

2. Please do not leave gifts such as clothing, money, school equipment, Swiss-army knife etc. We recommend taking smaller gifts such as fruit, coca leaves, long-life fruit or milk drinks, tins of tuna etc.

3. Please don't give any money or school equipment directly to any town official or school teacher. At the beginning of the school year Andean Travel Web has donated school equipment (pens, books, crayons, paper, rulers etc) to the school in Amaru. If you want to donate school equipment for use in other communities then please talk to the staff in the Peru Treks office in Cusco. (Avenida Pardo 540, Cusco)

4. There is no problem taking photos of members of the host family you are staying with. You do not have to pay any money to take any photos although it is always polite to ask before taking a photo. Photos cannot be used for commercial use or financial gain. When outside the family house please try to limit taking photos of people as much as possible. Landscapes are fine and general views that include people in them are also OK but try to avoid close ups of people who are not members of the Andean Homestay Project.

5. If you do take photos of the family and you promise to send the photos to them please try to keep your promise and maybe include a postcard of yourself and your own hometown as well. Photos can be mailed to the Peru Treks office. See section 12 below about sending photos or feedback by email.

6. Don't give the kids candy, sweet things etc.

7. In the evening there may be the opportunity to buy a beer or two. If you have been accompanied by a member of your host-family it is fine although not obligatory to invite them for a drink as well. Please enjoy the occasion but try not to drink too much and please don't invite each member of your host-family to more than one drink. Donít stay up late.

8. The best way to help the community is to buy one of their weavings. However there is absolutely no obligation to buy anything. We have encouraged the community to produce some smaller inexpensive items as well as the usual ponchos, rugs and larger textiles. Only buy items from the communal shop / stall. The prices and names of the family should be clearly marked on each item. These are fixed prices. Please don't buy any weavings or other handicrafts in the homes of your host family. The only exception being woven friendship bracelets made by the children which should cost no more than 2 Peruvian Soles.

9. Please bring plenty of small change as it is often difficult to change larger bank notes of S/.50 or higher.

10. Please do not leave valuables in your room. Keep them with you at all times.

11. If you have enjoyed your stay with the family please try to help promote the project by telling other travellers. Leaflets are available in our office.



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Peru Treks, Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Specialists, working to help the community.

Office Address: Avenida Pardo 540 (in the corner of the small park), Cusco, Peru

Telephone 00 51 84 222722 (from overseas), 084 222722 (from in Peru), 222722 (from in Cusco)