Patacancha is a traditional Quechua village in Cusco, Peru, located not far from Ollantaytambo.

Understand edit

For a large part, life here hasn't changed much over the past century and ancient Quechua community traditions are still part of daily life. Weaving, farming and raising cattle are among the main activities you'll find. Take into account that it can be a bit challenging to visit the village independently, as very little Spanish is spoken and public transportation is limited.

Get in edit

On early Wednesday and Friday mornings (usually around 6am) combis leave from the Ollantaytamb. Alternatively, if you're not afraid of a good hike, you can go to Patacalle and hike the 4 to 5 hours up to the village. Drivers are often willing to take you for a few soles, but there's no guarantee that you'll encounter any cars on your way.

Get around edit

The way to get around the village is just on foot.

See edit

The village, its inhabitants and their handicrafts are what you come here for. Keep in mind that they allow you into their community, so try to be respectful, also when taking pictures.

Do edit

There are guided tours in English available, offered by the Ollantaytambo-based NGO Awamaki[1]. Typically, such a tour lasts half a day and includes lots of information, a visit to a traditional Quechua house, demonstrations of the weaving process and a visit to the NGO's cooperative weaving centre. Depending on the group size, such a tour will set you back as much as US$50 or even US$65 when lunch is included, but all benefits go to the NGO's projects. Upon request, weaving lessons and even home stays can be arranged.

Buy edit

Walking through the village, local women will likely approach you with all kinds of merchandise. Much of it is just general stuff which they've bought in Ollantaytamb. Of course locally woven and naturally dyed fabrics are available and that's the souvenir you should be looking out for.

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