sneak peak: Tupe-Yauyos

Two weeks ago, I shared a cab with a new friend- Gabriela Sialer, an anthropology major in her final year at Universidad Católica del Perú. She told me about a little rural town on top of a mountain she had visited several times, called Tupe, where they have their own language, traditional clothing, rituals, and ceremonies completely distinct from any other part of Peru.  Needless to say, it didn't take long to convince me to join in a week-long adventure to explore this cultural gem and really get in touch with another side of my beautiful heritage.

Three days later, we packed our bags and hopped on a bus for a few hours to Cañete.
Thus began our wondrous adventure to document the rare "cultural island" of Tupe in the Andean region of Lima.

Several buses, and one dodgy hotel in Imperial later... 

we finally haggled a taxi-driver down to 80 soles to drive us an hour up the mountain to a town called Aiza about 2,500 ft above sea level- where the road ends and the 2.5 hour hike up to Tupe begins...
we decided to stay in Aiza for the night to enjoy the scenery, meet some new people, and join in the festivities there.

Tito, our taxi-driver-turned-friend wearing my jacket a little too well.

drinking rum by the moonlight

 After a delicious fire-cooked dinner of yuca and beef stew , it was time for music and dancing- "Vaca Tacqui"

the dancing was never-ending

 The typical local liqueur, "quemadito" and "chamiscol", (made from surrounding herbs and pisco or rum), was hot and delicious

sum good shit

9AM the next day, we were ready to tackle 2.5-hour climb up the mountain to Tupe strapped with about 20 kilos of weight on our backs. (cameras, laptop, etc) It was tough, but a truly amazing hike.

Took a break under the waterfall to relax, wash up and sun-bathe for an hour. Ah, the joys of travelling with someone who's not in a rush.

sweet relief when we saw this sign.

Some shots from the Haerranza, "branding" of the cows- very interesting ritual, stay tuned for the real pics

a lil bit of cow blood to decorate my face...

some singing, dancing, drinking and eating after we climbed back down the mountain and the party still rages on! 
It was cold, but the chamiscol and dancing made our scarves fly off in no time.

then it was time to leave... it was hard to let go.

stay tuned for the real pics. Like I said, you ain't seen nothin' yet...


  1. Just stumbled across your blog and its quite awesome... Looks like an amazing trip!



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