Do you sometimes wonder how to touch the pure Andean culture in Peru? Visit Patacancha valley near Ollantaytambo and check if it is possible. Patacancha valley is a beautiful place, worth to spend there at least one day. If possible definitely with a good local guide, who will show you the best parts, villages and tell about history of this amazing area. You will feel as if you’re in a completely different, magical and fantastic world, pure of Quechua communities, traditions and culture which haven’t changed for hundreds of years.
You can easily go to Patacancha village or even further by taxi and then come back through the Patacancha valley to Ollantaytambo on foot. It will be for sure long day, but worth to organize. Trekking towards Ollantaytambo conected with visiting pure Qechua villages, meeting with locals, for sure will be an unique experience – full of history and beauty.
Visiting Patacancha valley means primarily meeting with traditional Quechua communities, including the Willoc and Patacancha communities. What is interesting about them? A lot, but mainly the thing that they do the best to preserve many traditions from Inca times and live in the way like hundreds years ago. It seems like nothing have changed here for years. And locals really try to keep it that way…
The houses are made from adobe bricks with straw thatched roofs.
The communities living in that area are well known for their hand-woven, colorful textiles. While visiting the valley, you will have oportunity to learn about culture, traditions, social organization system and organic agricultural production of these Quechua communities. During the walk you will be able to experience the culture of local people, occupied in their daily activities that include: agriculture, weaving and shepherding. If you will be lucky, or will go with local guide, for sure there will be possibility to meet with some of them, ask about the weaving traditions and even exchange places with Quechua women for a moment and try weaving.
One of the most famous places in Patacancha valley is Patacancha village. It is a great place for buying local textiles. Each item is signed by the creator and includes a specified design and motifs (iconography). This makes the textile articles very personal. For all of you who are interested in Peruvian weaving, visiting that part should be number one!
Among others in Patacancha valley you will also explore amazing views of Pumamarca ruins and will see unique and scenic places like half-moon with hundreds of beautiful terraces, placed in the village of Munaypata.
For lovers of chicha, there will be something extra to check too! About an hour before reaching Ollantaytambo town you will have the unique opportunity to taste that traditional Peruvian drink. Chicha (a corn beer prepared by germinating maize, fermenting for several days), is served here by one of the Quechua families in their kitchen, in the village of Pallata. It is a magical place in which you can not only drink typical local bevarage, but also see how the Quechua community lives and functions. You will aslo have a chance to talk with the locals, who gather there for a glass of chicha and become better acquainted with the traditions, culture and daily life of that people. You can also ask them to teach you how to prepare that delicious drink.
I hope that after reading this article the answer for the question how to touch the pure Andean culture in Peru will be easy. Don’t wait! Visit Patacancha valley near Ollantaytambo and have a wonderful time. For sure it will not be a waste of time.