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This was the very last tour of my stay in Peru and I am so glad that I took this tour before I left Peru. This was one of the major highlights of my trip. I was so glad that I got to visit some of the off the beaten paths and discovered some of the most beautiful and unknown areas. Every place that we visited was very eye-opening and I was very happy to meet with the local NGO social project leaders and the families in human settlements area. I learned so much in this one day and will definitely recommend anyone who wants to learn more about Peruvian locals outside of the major sites like the Machu Picchu and all. Don't get me wrong, I went to all those amazing famous sites and they were amazing but this tour was definitely one of a kind. My tour guide Alfredo was super awesome! I enjoyed every single minute for this tour! Please don't hesitate. Take this tour and I guarantee you will love it!
The visit to Pachacamas was excellent. The museum and our guide Daniel made the visit informative and meaningful. We had a wonderful lunch at the home of one of the artisans, and then toured a couple of their studios.
I took my 10 year old daughter and her 13 year old friend on this tour. My initial purpose for arranging this tour was to meet people in Lima who were not connected with the tourist industry. I also wanted to show the children what real poverty is so that they might not complain every time they don't get something they want. I wanted them to see that there are people in the world who get by with a lot less than they have. And, I also didn't want them to leave Lima thinking that it is all fancy restaurants and expensive hotels.
Our guide and the driver picked us up at our hotel in San Isidro. The drive to the neighborhood took about 45 minutes. The traffic in Lima is intense. On our way there the kids and I counted the number of free roaming dogs on the streets. Our guide laughed at this, but we explained that we don't see dogs like this in our small Floridian town. By the time we arrived at our destination we had counted more than 350. We stopped after 350.
The area is spread out on the side of a large hill. We walked up the hill to our first stop. On the way, my 13 year old was throwing stones for fun. I pointed out to him that he was throwing stones on someone's roof. The roof consisted of a sheet of plywood. Our feet were level with the roof. He looked at that roof and I could see it took him a few moments to understand that that could be a house. Our first stop was at a woman's house. Actually, it had a dirt floor and roof and walls made of rock. So I guess it was more like a cave. She stood behind a long table covered with handmade items. She delivered a rehearsed speech about the items and a little bit about her life. I asked more questions about her life, and one of the children bought a pretty necklace made of purple seeds from the Amazon.
We got back in the vehicle and drove to another woman's house who had made us a lunch of chicken and rice. We drank a sweet red beverage made out of corn. I liked it. She also had a prepared speech. I didn't mind the rehearsed narrative because it was informative and she was happy to answer any question I had. Her house was made of boards put together so that they did not fully come together. I could see daylight through the cracks and there were a lot of flies in the house. I asked her if it ever snowed there and she said no. I asked her if she had a backyard or any yard at all. She said no. They have no running water. They are given two jugs about 4 feet tall and 1 foot wide full of water once a week per family. But, you can only get the water if you can prove that you own the house. Lima is in a desert with a coating of dust on everything. Living with little water is a hardship right there.
We then went to a sort of after-school meeting place for the kids in the area. They play games there and there are adults who they can talk to if they are having problems. Unfortunately, there were no kids there when we got there. I would've liked to have met them and have my kids meet them.
After our tour of this area, we drove to the second largest cemetery in the world. The largest is in Iraq. It was not far at all from where we just were. There are approximately one million people buried there. A fascinating aspect of this cemetery is the combination of Catholicism and witchcraft. For example, there are crosses over every grave with various objects and herbs hung on the crosses that are associated with witchcraft. Witchcraft is apparently common in South America. I didn't know that. There is even an underground store in Lima that sells everything you need to practice witchcraft. Our guide told us that on November 1st, the Day of the Dead, families visit there loved ones and bring food and drink and generally have a party. I think it's a wonderful custom.
I would recommend this tour to everyone. The guide was well informed, I felt perfectly safe and both of the children said it was the highlight of our trip to Lima. Well, the boy said sandboarding and offroading in the desert was number one, but he loves sports so I'm not surprised.
Excellent tour. It was a small tour and we were lucky to have 2 tour guides along on the tour. We saw so many sites in addition to the Pachacamac ones. The local artisans were interesting and good to see how they made their wares that we had seen similar finished ones in many of the shops. The lunch at the local home was excellent. This tour was one of our highlights of our trip. We saw so much and the local tour company was very personable and very knowledgeable.
The best tour of our trip and lucky enough to be just my wife and myself on it!
Adolfo our guide was brilliant and we stopped in at a local market first to try everything under the sun! The highlight was a stop to have a great ceviche freshly prepared in front of us.
Our guide was knowledgeable, had some great stories, was helpful and inquisitive and displayed genuine passion for Lima and the people. Our next stop was in the favela and we stopped into three different houses to discuss the peoples stories, struggles and share some laughs. Their passion, community and belief is inspiring and it was a genuine privilege to talk to these amazing people.
This tour is not as confronting and dangerous as one might think. In fact, its probably safer in the favela then in downtown Lima!
If you have time to take this trip, do it. We finished with great memories of Lima and the food and cultural experience was incredible.
Excellent tour. Elen was great. Had a bit of trouble understanding the local guide at Pachacamac. Lunch with the potter was good. He showed us how he did his figures and pots. Second potter's quality was not as good as first. Good opportunity to compare works. Good information at weaver's workshop. Very informative tour.
Very interesting tour with excellent guide, Elen. We saw both sides of life in Lima. Lunch with local family was an experience. The people, who have little, were happy and smiling. Our hostess made about 100 per month! Hazy skies made long distance viewing difficult, but still enjoyed it.
Our guide, Eline, picked us up at our hotel right on time and we drove to the ancient temples of Pachacamac, which were started around 200 AD. The local guide was very passionate about the site and gave us a wealth of information. This was one of the most important sites for the early Peruvians. After our visit to the temples and museum, we went to the town of Lurin where we had lunch with a local family: husband, wife and two teenage children. The father of the family is a well known artist who makes pottery which is sold world wide. He also teaches at the local university. Then we went next door to another ceramics artist from the same village. They have formed a corporation to sell their products. Finally we drove a few blocks to the home of a weaver and arrived just in time to see him making the balls of wool used in his weavings. He explained the entire process of getting the wool, spinning it, making it into balls and then dyeing it. His entire family works in their workshop. He made all of the looms, which are different sizes/heights for each family member. Next we went into his shop to see the huge variety of colors, patterns and sizes of rugs and wall hangings. I bought a gorgeous rug in a traditional pattern. A wonderful day, and not the usual cruise ship shore excursion.
This tour was just fantastic! To see the 'other side' of Lima is a must and Elina and Alternative Peru made the experience just perfect. First, with a visit to the amazing Cementerio Virgen de Lourdes, then a visit to senor Balvina, who belongs the Bridge of Hope, a Fair Trade organisation that helps her develop her handicraft work and sales. Last, it was to Nueva Rinconada, where we were given lunch by senora Ninfa and met Elizabeth, a vibrant girl so motivated to progress her education, but also a tutor with Jugando Aprendo, an NGO that helps child domestic workers but has funding problems. It is not voyeuristic and the tour does support the work of the local non-profit organization Asociación Grupo de Trabajo Redes AGTR / La Casa de Panchita. If you want to see the 'other side' of Lima and support those who need help, take this tour and you wont be disappointed.
Evine was an excellent tour guide! Definitely not a visit to your typical tourist areas. It was very interesting to see how the locals live in the Pueblos Jovenes, and how they attempt to make a living sewing for the big companies. The women working together to make and sell their own crafts were a great example of the value of giving very small businesses starting money. The tour was very worthwhile.
This is the best day tour I have ever done and I highly recommend it to anyone who visits Peru. The driver and guide were excellent and took us to some amazing places where we met some inspiring people who are working hard to make life better for the people who live in the Human Settlements.
real good experience for my 14 year old daughter...
Simply AMAZING!!! This is a MUST do if you care about real life and true hard work and if you are looking to learn about the warmth, care, hardword and resilience of many people struggling to have a better life and give their families a better life. This tour is NOT DANGEROUS, do not let that stop you from taking it. Would be great for families but of course also for single travelers and groups. It is not only interesting as it shows you different site of the city the boat tour is really cool and the cementery is unbeliavable but it is eye opening and heart warming. It might easily change your life as it may change the way you see life. MUST DO.
Lima is, of course, a very modern city. But there is another story about where 40-50 of the population lives -- the Pueblos Jovenes or New City. This tour is eye-opening. Even though we have lived in and traveled to many Third World countries, we were not prepared for the vast expanse of the Pueblos Jovenes. The tour was well-organized and the lunch at the local house was educational. Highly recommend for travelers who want to get off the beaten path in their travels.