Monthly Archives: September 2016

What is Cancha?

Our “Canchita”

You don’t have to be so long in Peru and get to introduce to our "cancha”.
You will find it in almost all restaurants while waiting for your food to be served, there’s no Cebicheria  (how we called the restaurants that prepared the popular dish Cebiche)  that doesn’t offer Cancha, because it is the perfect complement to a juicy good cebiche.

Cancha is our snack, some farmers and peasants always carry this snack and some firm cheese with them to have for lunch, especially when traveling.

To make cancha, lard or oil is first heated in a clay or metal pot (according to Maria Baez Kijac in The South American Table, the best cancha is made with leftover lard from frying pork). Once the oil is hot, the dried corn is added and stirred constantly until it turns a golden brown. The corn is then transferred to another pot or bowl and sprinkled with salt.
The cancha is then typically served warm or at room temperature, but can be eaten cold up to a few days after preparation, how we already mentioned, It was and is a great way food source during long journeys.
It has been eaten in Peru for centuries -  Inca Garcilaso de la Vega mentions “cancha” in his Comentarios Reales de los Incas- 1609. The word itself comes from  Quechua, the second most spoken language in Peru, where it is written as “camcha or kancha”. In Ecuador and Bolivia, cancha is more commonly referred to as tostado or tostado de maíz (toasted corn).

Here a picture of some of our clients at the Colca valley, helping as to prepare Canchita.

Giardino Blog.


Cuisine: Preparing your own peruvian “Causa”!

10505324_1501237380091198_1998291109649450207_nOur popular dish "Causa" comes from the Quechuan word ‘Kausaq,’
meaning “that which gives life.”

During the colonial period the newly arrived Spaniards adapted many of the native foods and combined them with foods they brought from Europe, creating the distinctive Peruvian cuisine that exists today. "Causa"; is one of these hybrid dishes: It is a combination of the ancient potato, avocado and aji amarillo (Yellow Chili peppers) that are all native to Peru, and the lime, garlic, and chicken or fish (common with Tuna) imported from Europe.

It can be picante or mild, "Causa”  is an intriguing mix of the abundant flavors found in Peru.

Prepare your own "Causa" in our visit to Colca Canyon ( 2days or 3 days program)  🙂

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Cotahuasi Canyon – Arequipa.

The Cotahuasi canyon is located in La Unión province, one of the remote provinces in the Arequipa region and with a depth of 3,535 meters is considered deeper then the Colca Canyon, however not as deep as some canyons in the Himalayas.
The canyon itself is an impressive gorge carved by the river passing between two enormous volcanos: Coropuna (6425m) and Solimana (6093m). The Cotahuasi River, starts from the Huanzococha lagoon at more than 4,750 m. and later it receives the contributions of the Huayllapaña River in the district of Pampamarca to the north, and the Huarcaya River, near Tomepampa, from the west, traversing the whole canyon to later be united with the Maran River and eventually form the Ocoña River which flows all the way to the Pacific Ocean.
In Cotahuasi, which in Quechua means The Deep House, we will find many tourist attractions for every taste and interest, such as; Sipia, a magnificent waterfall, 150 meters high, Huaynacota terraces, a bunch of traditional towns, several snow-capped mountains, a couple of hanging bridges, ancient traditions and costumes, natural hot springs, Pre-Hispanic and historical ruins, the unique flora of Ayahuasi and Cahuana, amongst others.
To visit the Cotahuasi Valley we have to pass through Cotahuasi town (the capital of the province) that is located 375 kilometres northeast of Arequipa City.

Check our programs to this great destination here!





Introducing the Colca canyon!

The 100km-long Cañón del Colca is set among high volcanoes (6613m-high Coropuna and 6310m-high Ampato are the tallest) and ranges from 1000m to more than 3000m in depth. For years there was raging controversy over whether or not this was the world’s deepest canyon at 3191m, but recently it ranked a close second to neighboring Cañón del Cotahuasi, which is just over 150m deeper.

Amazingly, both canyons are more than twice as deep as the Grand Canyon in the USA.

Despite its depth, the Cañón del Colca is geologically young. The Río Colca has cut into beds of mainly volcanic rocks, which were deposited less than 100 million years ago along the line of a major fault in the earth’s crust. The climate is cool and dry on the plateau and slopes high above the Río Colca. The Colca Canyon is also synonym for extensive biodiversity, with an incredible flora and fauna. This special characteristic of the canyon occurs because Peru is located in the subtropical area of South America and it has a rugged geography, in addition, ocean currents and the air mass movements, create an incomparable ecological, climatic and geological variety.
This is a the reason of the importance of conserving the ecosystems that keep alive the variety of animals and plants that this canyon has, a true natural wonder.

The canyon is home to the Andean Condor (Vultur gryphus), a species that has seen worldwide effort to preserve it. The condors can be seen at close range as they fly past the canyon walls, and are the region's most popular attraction. 'Cruz del Condor' is a popular tourist stop to view the condors, an overlook where condors soar gracefully on thermals of warm air rising from the canyon. The condors are best seen in the early morning and late afternoon when they are hunting. At this point the canyon floor is 3,960 feet (1,200 m). Also Viscachas (burrowing rodents closely related to chinchillas) are also common around the canyon rim, darting furtively among the rocks. Cacti dot many slopes and, if they’re in flower, you may be lucky enough to see tiny nectar-eating birds braving the spines to feed. In the depths of the canyon it can be almost tropical, with palm trees, ferns and even orchids in some isolated areas.

The La Calera natural hot springs are located at Chivay, the biggest town in the Colca Canyon. But you can also enjoy  others hots springs with less visitors  in other towns such as Yanque and Coporaque.

Festivals throughout the year, including the Wititi festival in Chivay, (December 8–11) are a high light. The Wititi has been declared the dance most representative of the Arequipa region, and named as a "cultural heritage" of Peru.
The Colca valley is also well known for two forms of crafts: goods knitted from 100% baby alpaca fiber (hats, gloves, etc.), and a unique form of embroidery that adorns skirts (polleras), hats, vests, and other items of daily wear and use. The local people (especially the women) are known for their highly decorative traditional clothing. The women’s dresses and jackets are intricately embroidered, and their hats are distinctive.
In the Chivay area at the east end of the canyon, the white hats are usually woven from straw and are embellished with lace, sequins and medallions. At the west end of the canyon, the hats are of cotton and are painstakingly embroidered. The women don’t particularly enjoy being photographed, so always ask permission. And those who pose for photographs expect a tip.

Activities include:
Fauna and Flora observations,  Hiking, short walks, mountain biking, trekking, rafting, horseback riding, fishing, and sightseeing.

Organized tours to this destination have daily departures. It is a destination for all type of travelers, from those who are looking for some relaxing days with luxury service (hotels 4* and 5 *),   adventure lovers (because of the many activities that here can be done);  classic travelers and family tours  (organized tours with visit to all highlights, and family  experiences with locals)  to  low budget travelers.

Fuente: Wikipedia, Lonely Travel, Promperu.


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