As Peru’s popularity booms, bespoke country specialist Aracari continues to pave the way in experiential travel. New specialists accompany guests on a range of adventures, from archaeology, art and trekking to photography and gastronomy. Stemming from founder Marisol Mosquera’s belief that Peru’s multifaceted culture is best understood through its people, each new specialist is an expert and boasts a deep-rooted understanding of the country.
A walk on the wild side
Known to his friends as ‘Jungle Jimmy’, Jimmy McSparron is the newest member of Aracari’s team of intrepid adventurers. Jimmy has over 700 days of guiding under his belt, including ice climbing in the Andes and trekking through the Amazon. Awarded fellowships at the Royal Geographical Society, Royal Anthropological Institute and the Explorers Club, Jimmy will take guests to explore the farthest-flung corners of Peru. Aracari travellers will go kayaking along the Madre de Dios River or plunge into the depths of the jungle in search of lost civilisations and new species of wildlife. Their guide will regale tales of hair-raising tuk-tuk journeys across the country surviving on just maggots and unidentifiable fruits.
Telling textile tales
On the outskirts of Lima, guests are invited to the private house and workshop of Maximo Laura, one of South America’s pre-eminent textile artists and an award-winning fifth-generation weaver. Here, Maximo will reveal the intricate processes involved in creating his tapestries, from inception as hand-drawn sketches to his ‘colour laboratory’, where a rainbow of threads are combined to produce the trademark ‘paint’ effect of his masterpieces. Drawing on motifs and symbols from local myths and traditions, Maximo will also treat guests to a dose of Peruvian folkloric history and stories from Paracas, Nazca, Chancay and Chavin culture.
The lives of Lares
With a Ph.D. in South American anthropology, plus a Master’s degree in ethnobotany and the biology of populations and ecosystems to her name, Stephanie Borios is a leading voice on Peru’s indigenous peoples. Stephanie invites guests of Aracari to join her on adventures to Lares and beyond to learn about the highland communities who live in the area, their indigenous livelihoods and the unique complexity of their social interactions. With a particular interest in the younger members of society, Stephanie will act as the bridge between cultures and offer a rare insight into the hopes and aspirations of these remote and isolated, yet truly inspiring, youngsters.
Taking centre stage
Aimed at thespians and cultural connoisseurs, a new partnership with Dennis Ferguson Acosta, one of Peru’s leading theatre personalities, offers Aracari guests an unrivalled insider perspective into Lima’s theatres and contemporary arts projects. Formerly the executive director of the Museum of Latin American History, Art and Culture in LA and Executive Director of leading Lima-based contemporary arts theatre, Municipal Theater Renace, Dennis will join guests at the opera, ballet or one of Lima’s folklore performances to explain the dance traditions, influences and meanings. Follow with a walking tour through Lima’s iconic arts district, Barranco, to discover its galleries, museums and brightly painted Art Deco buildings.
Through the lens
A love for adventure, conservation, and photography has led archaeologist, National Geographic Explorer and avid photographer, Kevin Floerke, across the country on expeditions to Manú National Park, Vilcabamba, Choquequirao, Yanama and beyond. Join him, camera in hand, on a host of photographic adventures, including a trip to the glacial peak of Marcana for a view of majestic Choquequirao or to remote communities in lost corners of the country, capturing moments of rarely seen beauty under Kevin’s expert tutelage.
A taste of Peru
Nicknamed the culinary capital of Latin America and home to some of the best restaurants and chefs in the world, Peru is a gastronomer’s delight. New for this autumn, Aracari has launched a ‘Cusco Urban Eats’ experience where guests will join Aracari’s gastronomy expert, Maria Julia Raffo, on an immersive tour of Peru’s unique fusion cuisine. Together, they will hunt out high-end restaurants and street food stalls alike in search of the city’s most unusual dishes. Professional chef Jose Luis will unravel the origins and influences of some of the most iconic dishes, including Cusco’s unique take on traditional ceviche and the hugely popular tender beef heart skewers.
Aracari offers an eight-day trip to Peru from £3,885 per person based on two people travelling together. This includes all domestic transfers and entrance fees, specialist guides and a handpicked selection of Peru’s finest hotels. Adventures with the aforementioned new specialists can be added on request. International flights are not included.
In April 2016, a group of filmmakers and photographers set out to tell the story of the indigenous peoples living in the Manú National Park with the short documentary, The Trees Don’t Talk Anymore.
Written By: Adriane Rysz