By: Geert van Weert
The Lost City of the Incas – Machu Picchu has a magical appeal and the journey to the place is an experience in itself, which can range from heavy treks to a comfortable train journey.
Coclatours is a Fair Trade tour operator, run by a cooperative of small-scale coffee farmers in the subtropical region of the Cusco province. Coclatours organizes alternative treks and tours to Machu Picchu, combining existing walking tours like the “Salkantay Trek” and “Inca Jungle Trail” with an overnight stay at the coffee farmer.
If you want to experience life in rural Peru and the locals during your trip, staying at an organic coffee farm is an excellent opportunity. The family will invite you to participate in their daily activities and you can help with coffee picking, roasting and of course drinking. You can also take part in a cocoa tour, where you’ll learn all about growing, planting, fermenting and preparing cocoa. A number of farmers also grow tea, coca plants and fruit.
You stay in a private room in the yard of the coffee farm, which is spacious and comfortable and you have your own bathroom with hot water. The meals, prepared with organic ingredients, are eaten together with the family. To get an impression of a coffee farm, you can watch Alejandro Perez’s video on youtube or search for Alejandro Perez Holguin.
Coclatours was founded in 2008 by the cooperative umbrella organisation COCLA, the main exporter of organic coffee in Peru. 8,000 small-scale coffee, tea and cocoa farmers and their families are affiliated with COCLA. Coclatours stimulates sustainable rural development in collaboration with various coffee cooperatives. Farming families can participate in rural tourism and thus improve their income and living conditions. Coclatours combines the walks on old Inca paths to the Machu Picchu with an authentic experience: staying at the coffee shop. In addition, Coclatours offers tourist packages in Cusco, the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu and excursions to coffee, tea and cocoa cooperatives.
For more information about Coclatours, click here.
Click here to read the blog of Lisette Verkerk, who visited a small coffee producer in Huayopata.