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On the Pachacamac tour, you’ll travel 30 km south of Lima while seeing the landscape change from the beautiful views of the coast to the dry desert to finally arrive to the impressive archaeological complex of Pachacamac. In the afternoon, you’ll go off the beaten path and visit a local neighborhood known for its talented artisans and beautiful handicrafts.
Pick-up from hotels in central areas. Pick-up at cruise shuttle stop or airport available for an additional fee.
Lima’s largest archaeological site
Pachacamac is the most important archaeological site in coastal Peru and consists of more than 20 pyramids. It was the main sanctuary of the Andean coast for more than 1500 years. Today, Pachacamac shelters the remains of more than 50 temples and buildings making it the largest archaeological complex in Lima. Construction started about 200 A.D. and each succeeding culture added their own temples. On the Pachacamac tour, your guide will show you around the remains of temples from different pre-colonial civilizations and in the modern Pachacamac museum, where various artefacts of the different cultures that used to occupy this sanctuary are kept.
Local experience on a visit of artisan workshops
After the Pachacamac tour, you’ll head to a close-by local neighborhood that houses many artisans from Ayacucho who fled the violence of the Shining Path in the 80’s and 90’s by moving to the outskirts of Lima, which you will hear more about during your visit. You’ll first have lunch with a charming local family in their house and share some life stories and conversations. In this neighborhood, local artisans continue to make the traditional handicrafts and art from Ayacucho. With a full stomach, you’ll visit workshops where they make textiles, ceramics and other beautiful handicrafts. The artists will show you their work and explain how they make these pieces of art. In a place where the government is mostly absent, these people have built their own community and are developing and maintaining the local economy with their art. You’ll leave this place very inspired and perhaps with a few authentic souvenirs (completely optional of course).
Though there is an increased interest in Peruvian handicrafts, the art and the trade is slowly disappearing because the younger generation does not see a future in the artisan trade. Unfortunately, many young people won’t continue the family trade because they cannot make a good living as an artisan. This is of course completely understandable but such a shame, since it’s such an important part of Peruvian culture going back many centuries. Your visit shows the younger generation that it is important to conserve these traditions and that people who come from across the world are interested in learning more about the artisans and about their art.
At the same time, your visit also supports the local artisans’ cooperative. By organising themselves in a cooperative, they can negotiate better prices, which is very important since low prices are another serious threat to the trade. Nowadays, in the touristic areas of Lima but also Cusco and other touristic places, handicrafts that are made in large quantities in factories are sold at very low prices. In order to compete, artisans often have to sell their art for a very low price as well. As a result, it becomes harder and harder to make a living as an artisan.