Planning a trip sometimes is too difficult, much more if it is a Peru trip. And we say that because, in this country, there are plenty of tourist attractions to visit. But If you tell someone that you will go to Peru, probably the first thing that they tell you is to take a lot of pictures with llamas and alpacas in Machu Picchu. However, the principal place to find them is the Awanacancha Textile Center. That’s why Cusco Peru Travel provides you with some tips about this great place and some things to do in Cusco.
The Awanacancha Textile Center is located in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, specifically on kilometer 23 of the road Cusco to Pisac. Pisac already belongs to the Sacred Valley and has an altitude of 2.972 m.u.s.l. which means you probably could have some problems with breathing.
In Quechua language, Awanacancha means “Palace of Weave (Away: weave, and Cancha: Palace).” In this special place, you will see some varieties of domesticated camelids, such as llamas and alpacas; and also vicuñas and guanacos, which are the wild species.
How can you get to this weaving center?
By public transport
This is an affordable option to visit Awanacancha. You have to take a shared bus in Puputi street. The time that takes to go from Cusco to Pisac is approximately 45 – 50 minutes, and it costs around 4 or 5 soles. Finally, don’t forget to tell the driver that you are going to Awanacancha, otherwise, you’re going to magically appear in Pisac!
This option is the fastest one. You could ask for a safe taxi to the hotel staff, so it picks you up right at the entrance of your hotel. It will cost around 35 – 40 soles.
By a private Sacred Valley tour
This is the easiest way to reach this amazing place. Just include, with your travel agency, a visit to the Awanacancha Textile Center in your Sacred Valley tour from Cusco.
The Sacred Valley
The Sacred Valley of the Incas has the perfect location of the Andes Mountain Range, but it also has the most incredible landscapes and excellent weather. Not only it has the best location for appreciating the beauty of nature, but also, in this place, you can learn more about Inca History. Moreover, a tour in the Sacred Valley includes some archeological attractions such as Chinchero, Maras, Moray, Ollantaytambo, and Pisac.
While in Pisac, you could visit the market, where you could buy souvenirs to remember your trip to Peru. Also, you will see organics products, and the biggest corn in the world, “Choclo”. After walking through the Pisac market, it is possible to be hungry, you could try some “empanadas” from traditional ovens; there are meat, chicken, and vegetable varieties to try.
First of all, to start the weaving process, the Andean women obtained the wool from llamas, vicuñas, and alpacas. Then, it has a washing process that includes a native plant called “Saqta”, and it works like a detergent to wash the wool with warm water. After that, the yarn is put in a simple spinning wheel (Pushca), but the whole process is done using only the fingers.
The dyeing starts. To get different colors for dyeing the textiles, native women used the Kinsaquchu for the blue color, for the yellow color, they use the Retama flower (native flower), and the mote (Grains of corn) for the red color. For having better the effects in the dyeing process, urine is the best option, but just only the urine of children under 2 years old.
In the Andean culture, weaving is a task specifically for women. On the other hand, in Awanacancha, they sell some souvenirs that are made of 100% with alpaca, llama, and vicuña wool. For example, gloves, shawls, scarfs, caps, bags, rugs, purses and more handicrafts.
Items that you should carry along your visit to Awanacancha Textile Center
These are the main items that you should carry on during your tour in Awanacancha:
- Warm Jacket
- Sun Block
- Extra cash
In addition, most of the alpacas and llamas are friendly, and you can take a lot of pictures with them. But be careful, do not touch their ears, because they will think that you want to attack them.
How much does a visit to Awanacancha cost?
The entrance to this textile center is free, but you should give to the staff a tip for taking some pictures with the animals. Additionally, you can find a little market inside Awanacancha, where you will be able to buy some souvenirs and handicrafts!
After, knowing these tips, you can choose the best option that fits your necessities for your next visit to Awanacancha, and consequently, learn more about the weaving process. On the other hand, if you are afraid of Soroche (in the Quechua language) or altitude sickness, beginning your tour in the Sacred Valley of the Incas is the best option to start visiting Cusco, the land of the Incas. And finally, don’t wait for more to visit the Sacred Valley of the Incas… we are sure you won’t regret it!
Peru has many wonders waiting for you to be discovered. Here in Cusco Peru Travel, our speciality is to make your trip an outstanding experience, fill-in this form and let your tailor-made luxury Peru vacation begin.