Homestay > Amaru
Program and Costs
The cost of staying with a local family is 20 Peruvian Soles per person.
This includes an evening meal (vegetable soup, bread, herbal tea) and
breakfast (bread, jam, herbal tea or coffee). The price does not include
transport to the community. Visitors to Amaru can take local transport to
the village (see the section below on how to get to Amaru).
The Andean Homestay Project is sponsored and promoted by
the trekking company Peru Treks. All payments are made directly to the
families. Peru Treks takes no commissions or payments for its services. Ten
families have been carefully selected by the community to participate in the
initial phase of the project (pilot scheme). The families have been chosen
on the basis of financial need rather than the biggest and best houses. Peru
Treks has donated money and equipment to make home improvements to these
houses (new outside toilet dedicated for the use of visitors, new beds,
mattress covers, glazing and wood flooring where necessary).
Departures every Saturday afternoon (May to December)
12:30pm - 1:00pm Meet in the Peru Treks office
1:15pm Taxi to bus station. Local bus from Cusco to Pisac
2:15pm Transport from Pisac to Amaru
3:00pm Arrive at Amaru. Introduction to host family
4:30pm Group activity / short trek / football with village kids / weaving
6:30pm Evening meal with family (vegetable soup, corn, herbal tea)
7:30pm Group reunion in selected family house, local music and dance with
8:30pm Try to find your way back to your house !! (donít forget to bring a
9:00pm Tucked up in bed. Lights out!
8:00am (the following day) Breakfast with family
8:30am Trek to Pisac (Sunday market) via Inca ruins or take local bus back
to Pisac. The spectacular trek to Pisac is mainly downhill and takes 2hrs
30mins walking slowly. The trek passes the Inca ruins at Pisac so you will
need to have your Boleto Turistico handy.
What to Bring
Warm sleeping bag, warm clothing, flashlight, toilet paper, snacks and water.
You can also bring fruit for your host family
How to Get to Amaru
During the first six months of the homestay program (June to December 2007)
we thought it best if people wanting to visit Amaru come to the Peru Treks
office to meet up first. People interested in participating in the homestay
project should come to our office between 12:30pm and 1:00pm (Every Saturday
afternoon, June to December). We can then take a local bus to Pisac and
either a local bus or a taxi from Pisac to Amaru depending on how many
people there are in the group.
A taxi from our office to the bus station in Avenida Tullumayo costs 2 or 3
Soles (shared between up to 4 persons). Buses depart every 20 minutes to
Pisac. The cost is 3 Soles and the ride takes about 50 minutes. In Pisac we
have a couple of options to take us to Amaru. A taxi is probably the
quickest method costing 35 Soles (shared between up to 4 persons).
Alternatively we can take a local minibus costing 3 Soles per person but the
departure times can be a bit unreliable (basically they depart when full).
If there are 6 or more persons in the group we can make arrangements for the
local minibus to meet us in Pisac and take the group to Amaru, this service
costs 5 Soles per person. Final arrangements for transport can be agreed
upon when we meet in our office. We plan to send a representative from Peru
Treks with the group to help things run smoothly. The representative may
have only very limited English speaking ability and will not be a trained
guide. However this service is provided free of charge, you only have to pay
for your accommodation and meals (20 Soles paid directly to your host
family) and transport costs.
Basic Do's and Don'ts when staying with local families
The price of S/.25 per person that has been agreed with the families is a
fair price for their services (they actually receive S/.20 and the other
S/.5 goes towards a fund to improve other houses in the community). It is
important that the families provide a good quality and friendly service in
return for this payment and the payment is not seen as a hand-out. We do not
want the local families to get into bad habits or grow lazy so it is
important that the local families and visitors follow some basic rules.
1. Fixed price. The cost of staying with a family is 25 Peruvian soles
including evening meal and breakfast. Please do not leave tips or extra
2. Please do not leave gifts such as clothing, money, school equipment,
Swiss-army knife etc. We recommend taking smaller gifts such as fruit, coca
leaves, long-life fruit or milk drinks, tins of tuna etc.
3. Please don't give any money or school equipment directly to any town
official or school teacher. At the beginning of the school year Andean
Travel Web has donated school equipment (pens, books, crayons, paper, rulers
etc) to the school in Amaru. If you want to donate school equipment for use
in other communities then please talk to the staff in the Andean Travel Web
/ Peru Treks office in Cusco. (Calle Garcilaso 265, office 11)
4. There is no problem taking photos of members of the host family you are
staying with. You do not have to pay any money to take any photos although
it is always polite to ask before taking a photo. Photos cannot be used for
commercial use or financial gain. When outside the family house please try
to limit taking photos of people as much as possible. Landscapes are fine
and general views that include people in them are also OK but try to avoid
close ups of people who are not members of the Andean Homestay Project.
5. If you do take photos of the family and you promise to send the photos to
them please try to keep your promise and maybe include a postcard of
yourself and your own hometown as well. Photos can be mailed to the Andean
Travel Web office. See section 12 below about sending photos or feedback by
6. Don't give the kids candy, sweet things etc.
7. In the evening there may be the opportunity to buy a beer or two. If you
have been accompanied by a member of your host-family it is fine although
not obligatory to invite them for a drink as well. Please enjoy the occasion
but try not to drink too much and please don't invite each member of your
host-family to more than one drink. Donít stay up late.
8. The best way to help the community is to buy one of their weavings.
However there is absolutely no obligation to buy anything. We have
encouraged the community to produce some smaller inexpensive items as well
as the usual ponchos, rugs and larger textiles. Only buy items from the
communal shop / stall. The prices and names of the family should be clearly
marked on each item. These are fixed prices. Please don't buy any weavings
or other handicrafts in the homes of your host family. The only exception
being woven friendship bracelets made by the children which should cost no
more than 2 Peruvian Soles.
9. Please bring plenty of small change as it is often difficult to change
larger bank notes of S/.50 or higher.
10. Please do not leave valuables in your room. Keep them with you at all
11. If you have enjoyed your stay with the family please try to help promote
the project by telling other travellers.
12. We are currently producing a website www.myperu.org dedicated to
promoting the homestay program and culture and traditions in the Andean
communities surrounding Cusco. The website can be viewed in a draft form
online. The design and contents are still in their early stages but
hopefully will be completed towards the end of August. You can view
information about Amaru at www.myperu.org/amaru We hope to include photos of
the homestay program together with your feedback and experiences so if you
want to send any photos or email us please use the email address firstname.lastname@example.org
We will try to print out all photos that we receive and take them to the
families. However please try to keep the total size of the email and
attachments below 1MB.