We are pleased to present a new Solo Travel Destination Post from Cathy, a member of the Solo Travel Society on Facebook. Cathy is from Hawaii, and submitted the following report about a tour that she took on a trip to Cusco, Peru. Do you have a solo travel destination that you would like to recommend? Submit your description here, along with a few photos, and share it with fellow travelers!
Solo travel rating: 2 (1 is easiest, 3 is most difficult. Please see chart below)
Languages spoken: Spanish
Reasons to Visit Cusco, Peru
On a recent trip to Cusco, Peru I opted to take a 2-day tour. If you are looking for an off-the-beaten-tourist-path tour, I highly recommend the Forastero Tour that is arranged by the ChocoMuseo located in both Cusco and Ollantaytambo.
On this tour, you spend the night at the organic coffee farm of Julia and Jose and their two sons. Upon arrival, Julia’s sons set the table with a hearty lunch made from fresh, local ingredients. After a short rest, Jose took us on a tour, explaining all the fruits that grow there and how the shade-grown coffee is taken care of. We harvested a bucket of coffee beans, then took them back to the house, where Abel (our guide) and Jose demonstrated the process of turning the beans into coffee ready to drink.
We helped roast and prepare our own coffee that we enjoyed after the tour and again the next morning. It was so smooth and delicious—and I am not even an avid coffee drinker! Dinner was another homemade meal and after a nice visit, we adjourned to our beds. The accommodations are basic but very clean, with private hot showers and very comfortable beds.
The next morning, after a complete breakfast, including more of that yummy coffee, we were off to a neighboring cacao farm where Raul taught us about the fascinating but difficult methods for growing organic cocoa. Here we had the opportunity to roast and grind cocoa beans and make our own hot chocolate and 100% chocolate paste, which we tried on bananas, bread, mandarin, and (my favorite!) avocado! Wow!
We walked out of the forest to the nearby village to visit Maguerita, Raul’s mother, who sold us 100% organic chocolate bars and coffee at an excellent price. Marguerita was a delight and I wished we had had more time to visit with her. After another hearty lunch from Julia’s kitchen, the trip was over too soon.
I would strongly recommend this tour, especially after Abel told us that the ChocoMuseo does not make money from these tours—they have been created mainly to benefit the farmers and to educate others about these fascinating crops.
Solo Travel Destination Rating System
Safety – 1 (1 very safe, 2 safe in most areas, 3 be cautious at all times.)
Language – 3 (1 English is first language, 2 English speakers easy to find, 3 English speakers rare)
Navigation – 1 (1 easy to navigate by transit or car, 2 poor transit, car necessary, 3 not easy to get around)
Culture – 2 (1 Similar to North America or Western Europe, 2 Different from above but relaxed and easy, 3 Challenging)
Average Rating – 2 (1 is easiest, 4 is most difficult)