Do not hesitate to contact us through WhatsApp. We are happy to help!
+51 971 269 423
info [at] alternativeperu.org
On this tour of Callao’s historical center, you’ll learn how art has transformed the crime-ridden and dilapidated historical center of Callao into a colorful artistic and safe neighborhood. Admire its historical architectural gems as well as modern street art (there are more than 600 murals of local and international artists around the neighborhood) and art galleries, which have not only revived the neighborhood but also the local economy and community.
Pick-up from hotels in central areas. Pick-up at cruise shuttle stop or airport available for an additional fee.
Callao is bordering the city of Lima and forms part of Lima Metropolitana but is not part of Lima! A small but an important detail and something the locals are very proud of. Callao is best known for its international airport and its port. It has also long been known as a dangerous place, that tourists didn’t and shouldn’t visit, except for flying in or out of. While it is still true that certain areas of Callao are to be avoided, other areas have seen a remarkable transformation. The former notorious port district has become a hip place with social events, a lot of amazing street art and good food. All this thanks to art initiatives, starting with a few local artists who converted several walls in the historic center into art pieces. This transformation opened up economic opportunities for many of the community members and offered an alternative to a life in crime and violence for young people. People’s homes became menú-style restaurants, cafes sprung up, housing conditions improved and the streets became safer.
Your guide will pick you up from your hotel at 10am and head towards Callao (around 40 minutes drive with some traffic). The first stop of the day is the La Punta peninsula. While most tourists will not visit this upscale neighborhood with rocky beaches and spectacular views, La Punta has a more distinctly Peruvian character than other upscale areas such as Miraflores or even Barranco.
Next, you will first explore this historic area with its colorful streets full of art and learn more about how this transformation came about and the impact it has had on this community. You’ll see the main architectural gems of the historical center of Callao: Fort Real Felipe, Plaza Grau, Plaza Matriz, Plaza Gálvez and the port while also admiring the many murals painted by both local artists and some of the best urban artists worldwide. There are also many art galleries and studios of both national and international artists around for those that are interested in more conventional art.
After the walking tour (of about 1.5 hour), we will have lunch at a local family’s house nearby. Sra. Carmen is an excellent cook and it also gives you the chance to listen to the story and perspective of a local who has seen this neighborhood change drastically over the last few years. After lunch, a local street artist will teach you some basic graffiti skills in a 30-minute workshop. He’ll show you the basic techniques and you can make your own piece of art (and of course take a photo to show everyone at home).
You’ll be back at your hotel around 2:30pm (exact time depending on traffic)
Your visit benefits the local community in different ways. First of all, it provides an (additional) income to several community members, including the cook and the local guide. Secondly, your visit supports the local project of Jugando Aprendo, which works especially with minors who do domestic work and their families as well as other local children and teens. The tour price includes a donation to this great local organisation, ran by our local community guides.
In addition to financial benefits, the interest and attention of people who came from all over the world increases the pride of the local people in their communities. The local people on the tour are all in a way community leaders who work hard to improve their environment and community. The admiration of visitors from across the world reinforces their engagement. Too often, they are looked down on by fellow Peruvians from more affluent neighborhoods.
Sometimes, real friendships and longterm engagements have resulted from our tours. A young aspiring cook is studying to become a chef thanks to people who met him during our tour. We love to see more of this happening too!