Whereas once, to travel was to experience a different culture and in some respects it still is, today, to find that authentic cultural experience means going that little bit further. Within Latin America is a huge range of cultures, whose ancestors are still there today; Mayan, Aztec, Inca, Aymara, Quechua and Mapuche to name but a few and to get the opportunity to meet them in an authentic and unique environment has become increasingly difficult.
The first step is to use local guides, which we do. Expect to be met on arrival in any destination by a Peruvian, a Brazilian or a Guatemalan. This is one of the best ways to understand a country, its history and its traditions and more often than not they will go out of their way to help you experience their country. Whether it is visiting a local home, taking you through some of the lesser known markets or finding an experience which makes you feel like you are the first, this is what they do.
Beyond the interaction with the locals is also the in-front-of-your-eyes history of a region and this takes the form of small colonial towns and cities with monuments to the past. No-where has the amount of colonial architecture, cathedrals and churches that Latin America has and by simply walking the cobbled streets of certain towns, you have the opportunity of looking through the window of a lost world.
The Andean mountains of Ecuador cut through the country forming enormous valleys and are home to tribes of indigenous Indians that still maintain their way of life. Their towns consist of narrow cobbled streets, quiet plaza’s, 19th century architecture and domed churches make, whilst their markets have played an important role in Indian life, providing regular gathering places for trade and socialising. Ecuador is a charming step back in time
Unlike most of Latin America, the majority of the local people in Guatemala are still indigenous Indian. This unique culture, with its large indigenous Maya population, still live much as they have for hundreds of years and they still retain these beliefs dating back to ancient times. There are 23 different Maya languages spoken in Guatemala and every village has its own distinctive textile using colours and symbols particular to their region.
Peru is rich in culture. The Inca world incorporated into its own beliefs all the pre Inca civilisations way of life and this can still be seen today. Peru has numerous small picturesque towns, where the traditional clothing is still worn by the majority of both men and women. These are fascinating places to explore on foot and give you the chance of better understanding their way of life.
We have tried to give you some suggestions here for cultural interaction however we can arrange specific ideas for you, which can give you a fascinating insight into any given way of life and local traditions.
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