Introduction to Tierra de los Yachaqs

Live one of the best experiences in the heart of the Sacred Valley of the Incas, in one of the communities that make up the Tierra de los Yachaqs surrounded by unique landscapes, trails and beautiful flora and fauna of the Peruvian Andes. 

There are six ayllus (communities), located in the districts of Pisac, Lamay and Coya, in the Province of Calca. The locals share wisdom bequeathed to them by their ancestors, with tradition, history and culture that is reflected in each of their daily activities such as agriculture, livestock, crafts, ceremonies and rituals. 

An Association called La Tierra de los Yachaqs, ensures the equitable distribution of the benefits generated by the quality services provided by community tourism and is managed by the locals. This in turn helps to improve their income, quality of life and revalues many of the local customs and traditions.

The local people are very friendly and hospitable; the communities here are related to each other. The communities that make up the area are: Amaru, Huayllafara, Janac Chuquibamba, Chumpe, Huchuy Qosqo and Patabamba that belong to the Quechua culture. La Tierra de los Yachaqs has many lodging houses and several community style restaurants. La Tierra de los Yachaq is made up of 71 active members who provide different services and have been receiving visitors since 2011 in its six communities. The homes of the members are made of adobe (earth with straw), a unique mud brick material from the Peruvian Andes.  As you would expect, hiking and trekking are popular activities in this area, visitors can chose between 4 different hikes.

The main activity here is agriculture and the main source of income is the production of potatoes, corn, beans, and quinoa, among other products. Another of the activities is to make backstrap loom weavings using alpaca and sheep wool with the typical iconography of each community. There is also a textile center to visit in the area.


Cultural Information

The communities of La Tierra de los Yachaqs have customs, traditions and clothing that differentiate them and make them unique in the Cusco region. The Amaru community of the Yachaqs has clothing which is predominantly red in colour. They still preserve the ancestral techniques of the Incas, such as dyeing alpaca and sheep wool with plants, flowers and insects to obtain different colours. They make a variety of products such as blankets, wallets, purses, bags and other useful souvenirs.

In the community of Huayllafara, the ancestral techniques for growing potatoes, beans, wheat, barley, and other products are still used, using traditional tools such as the chaquitaclla. There is also a center of interpretation of the Andean agricultural calendar. 

In the community of Janac Chuquibamba locals still maintain the traditional music and rituals to the Apus, this community still maintains the Varayoc (person who represents the community). The hike is accompanied by music and local guides who are from the same community. The community of Chumpe maintains its clothing where the color black and red is predominant. The Montera or Hat is unique to the region, adorned with different colored ribbons containing designs which differentiate it from other nearby communities.

The community of Patabamba, located on the left bank of the Urubamba River, keeps its culture alive with its bright red and black clothing. This community continues to use ancestral roads to move to different areas of the community as well as the archaeological center of Huchuy Qosqo.

The community of Huchuy Qosqo maintains its traditional cuisine; you can see how they make the Pachamanca and stews based on local products, made by the cheerful and warm people.


Top tips for your stay in Tierra de los Yachaqs

Visitors should bring warm clothing, a hat, sunscreen, camera and a desire to learn about the Quechua culture.  Be sure to take in one or more of the suggested activities or tours within the communities to make your trip even more memorable.



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Transport to Tierra de los Yachaqs

To reach the communities of La Tierra de los Yachaqs you can take public or private transportation from the city of Cusco, the travel time is between 1 hour 15 minutes to the nearest community and 1 hour 45 minutes to the furthest community. You will pass through magical and unique villages of the Sacred Valley of the Incas along your journey.


Getting around the area

A local guide is recommended in order to make your stay better. Visitors will be able to walk around the area with less restriction while learning about the activities that the communities do in the area.


What’s good to eat in Tierra de los Yachaqs?

In the communities of the Yachaqs, a variety of healthy and nutritious Andean dishes are offered for all types of customers, including breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Typical snacks are Pumpkin candy, Sachatomate (tree tomato) sweets,  Quinoa pancakes and Quinoa Zambito. Some of the traditional meals you might taste here are:

Pachamanca, made using pre-heated stones, where lamb, pork, chicken, vegetables, native potatoes and other ingredients are cooked. Chaufa de Quinua, is a delicious dish made using quinoa.

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    ‘La Tierra de los Yachaqs’ has 42 lodging houses, 06 community restaurants, 04 hiking circuits, and a textile center. It is made up of 71 active partners who provide different tourist services. 


    Best things to do in Tierra de los Yachaqs

    In La Tierra de los Yachaqs you can enjoy multiple activities in the communities, it is advisable to visit between the months of April to October to enjoy it at its best. The activities in each community are detailed below:

    • Amaru Community - Unveiling the Andean Textile 

    In this community you will discover the mystery of the iconography of the textiles of La Tierra de los Yachaqs. Guests can learn about the ancestral techniques and messages that the iconography transmits, admire the specific use of colours and the detail of the flat weaving in backstrap loom of the Amaru community. You can also discover the process of shearing, natural dyeing, spinning, and weaving that is shown in their brightly colored clothing of the local people and purchase keepsakes and unique souvenirs made from alpaca and sheep wool. The duration of this activity is 4 to 5 hours and includes textile activity, lunch and a local interpreter.

    • Huayllafara Community - Children of the Earth 

    Discover the mystery of agriculture in the Andes, the relationship of the earth, the Pachamama, the flora and fauna and the rituals that are performed at different times of the year. You will observe that they still use ancestral tools for planting and harvesting products in the area. The duration of this activity is 4 to 5 hours which includes the agricultural activity, local interpreter and lunch.

    • Janac Chuquibamba Community - The Achupalla Route 

    Discover the use of the achupalla plant, its thorny leaves. The Achupallas appear along the roadsides and inhospitable places of the Peruvian Andes. This plant is a gift for the Yachaqs of Janac Chuquibamba who use it to make kitchen utensils, ropes, bags, tools and fuel. The duration of this activity is 4 to 5 hours which includes a short hike, a local interpreter and lunch. 

    • Chumpe Community - The Man and the Llama

    A hike accompanied by South American camelids through magical places, Andean lagoons, cultivated fields, ravines and inter-Andean valleys. This activity takes around 7 hours and includes a short hike, local interpreter, snacks and lunch.

    • Community of Patabamba - Antisuyo Trail

    A trek which starts at the Antisuyo, one of the Inca roads to the archaeological center of Huchuy Qosqo and means small Cusco temple belonging to the Inca Emperor, Wiracocha. The trail crosses mountains, gorges and canyons and when you arrive, you will be at the foot of the Sacred Valley. This activity has a duration of 2 days and 1 night, it includes a walk to the archaeological center of Huchuy Qosqo, local guide, snacks, 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 1 dinner and 1 night in a local lodging.

    • Huchuy Qosqo Community - Andean Flavors 

    Enjoy the culinary art in one of the Yachaq communities, in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Participate in the preparation of delicious dishes of the area with natural ingredients grown by the local people. This activity lasts for 4 to 5 hours and includes cooking classes, lunch and a local interpreter. This activity is recommended throughout the whole year, too.

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