Cultural Introduction Week in Cajamarca Peru
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 volunteers.
Aims of the Culture week
- Help you familiarise volunteers 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
We will go around Baños del Inca in the morning, walk around the main streets that access to Llacanora, Namora and Cajamarca. In baños, you will be shown where to find the VTM Machines, Visit Castope Delimarket to grab extra supplies. Then visit the local market to buy local foods, grab a SIM CARD if you need one from here. In the afternoon, take a small hike to ‘white crosses hill’ where you can have Thermal Baths in Baños and a massage session.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This schedule can be changed and/or amended depending on weather conditions, local conditions and unforeseen circumstances.
You will be staying in the Los Baños del Inca district found in the east of Cajamarca. It is known for being centered on a naturally occurring thermal spring!
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 beautiful view of the Andes Mountain Range and is close to the Amazon Rainforest, it will bring you back to South American nature!
Accommodation & Food
You will be staying in our accommodation centre in Baños del Inca, Rural Cajamarca countryside. The house is made with traditional materials such as adobe and stone, it also has large gardens. 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 organised.
The food will be typically Peruvian meaning lots of corn, beans, rice, chili peppers, potatoes, wheat, and other grain, all very vegetarian friendly. Keep in mind that some local dishes may be spicy!
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.
Local shops are within walking distance. 10 – 15 mins walk will bring you to a large local market in Baños del Inca, which has supplies from all over Peru, for all your shopping needs.
The accommodation is about 1.3 Km from the main square of Baños del Inca, and about 20-30 minutes away from the Cajamarca city centre 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).
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.
There are numerous shops and ATMs in the center of town.
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
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!
Daily: Mornings and Evenings
Watch the local farmers near your accommodation, as they tend to their animals in daily rituals like shearing and milking.
Trip Country Info
Language: Spanish (Quechua, Aymara)
Currency: Nuevo Sol (PEN)
Time zone: PET (UTC -5)
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.
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).
Participant Criteria & Requirements
No requirements have been provided.
No requirements have been provided.
- 24/7 support in case of emergencies
- Airport Pick up
- English speaking coordinator
What's not included
- Departures/ drop offs
- Travel insurance