Experiential tourism is a new and increasingly popular type of tourism, and there is no place better to do it than in Cusco, Peru — now being considered the world capital of experiential tours. In this article, we will explain to complete newbies what exactly experiential tourism is, its benefits compared to traditional forms of tourism, and where you can have the privilege to live it. Scroll down even further to discover amazing experiential tourism destinations in order to plan your next once-in-a-lifetime trip!
What is Experiential Tourism?
Experiential tourism, also known as rural community tourism, allows travelers who enjoy exploring off the beaten path countryside destinations to immerse themselves in their unique lifestyles. This typically includes spending a couple of nights or at least a full day with their inhabitants, taking place in workshops, and learning impressive skills that have passed on for generations.
Cusco, Peru is arguably the best place to carry out experiential tourism, as it is field with tons of enchanting indigenous Andean villages neatly nestled between mountains, rivers, and hills. These villagers are extremely eager to show the rest of the world their ancient and excellently perceived traditions, and to pass on the knowledge of the mystical knowledge of their ancestors to any who will listen.
10 reasons why you should choose Experiential Tourism
1. Authentic Cultural Immersion
Traditional tourism often provides merely a superficial understanding of a region’s culture. However, experiential tourism immerses travelers deeply into the heart of it. Engaging in or observing interesting activities like textile weaving, pottery making, or participating in spiritual ceremonies allows visitors to be part of centuries-old traditions and practices. Joining hands with local artisans, sharing stories with village elders, or dancing to traditional music offers a genuine connection to the local culture. This hands-on approach doesn’t just show you a different culture – it lets you live it, creating a profound bond that mere sightseeing cannot match.
2. Support Local Economies
When you choose experiential tourism, you directly contribute to the betterment of the local community. The workshops and experiences are orchestrated by the villagers themselves. This means that every cent you spend ensures the welfare of these communities, helping them prosper and grow, while also preserving their age-old traditions and skills.
More than just a buzzword, sustainability is an important pillar of modern tourism . This form of tourism is designed to have a minimal environmental footprint, emphasizing eco-friendly practices and conservation. By choosing this over mass tourism, travelers are actively participating in the preservation of both the natural environment and the cultural heritage of a country.
4. Personal Growth
Travel does not always have to be solely about pleasure, as it can also serve as a form of personal development. Experiential tourism is sure to bring you on a journey of self-discovery. Engaging with new cultures, learning new skills, and seeing the world through the eyes of of significantly different people will broaden your perspective, deepen your empathy, and challenge preconceived notions, leading to a richer, more enlightened understanding of the world.
5. Promote Indigenous ways of life
Indigenous people from all around the world, especially the Americas, have a vast wealth of knowledge, tradition, and wisdom that’s been passed down through generations. By engaging in experiential tourism, travelers become advocates for these indigenous ways of life. They ensure that these traditions continue to grow in popularity in the face of globalization and commercialization, honoring communities by learning a few words in their native language, posting about their villages online, and ultimately brining more tourists to their lands.
6. Avoid Tourist Traps
While rural communities can be undeniably magnificent, they receive a low quantity of traffic compared to big cities. Experiential tourism offers a relieving escape from popular urban destinations. Instead of navigating through throngs of tourists and trying not to get scammed by exuberant prices, travelers can enjoy genuine, uncommercialized aspects of the region, ensuring a serene experience.
Breathtaking Cusco destinations for experiential tourism
Community of misminay—Hub of Incan Traditions:
Located in some of the most picturesque landscapes of Cusco, Misminay shines as a beacon of enduring ancestral traditions and harmonious connections with nature. Through experiential tourism, the community introduces travelers to their deep-rooted practices in textiles and agriculture. With open arms, locals warmly welcome visitors, sharing their cherished cultural techniques and offering tantalizing traditional dishes.
Its proximity to the iconic Inca citadel, Machu Picchu, adds to Misminay’s allure. Beyond partaking in hands-on workshops on textile crafting and agriculture, travelers find themselves just a short journey away from the majestic energies of Machu Picchu, bridging ancient practices with timeless wonders for a holistic Andean adventure.
Community of Kinsacoccha—World Mecca of Potatoes
Discover Kinsacoccha, nestled among the Apus that tower over Pisaq. This remarkable community, situated within the National Potato Park of Peru, is renowned for its bountiful potato production. Experience genuine customs and a warm welcome. Immerse yourself in traditional music, dances, and savor a variety of locally grown potatoes.
With around 500 dedicated inhabitants preserving their heritage, crafting distinctive textiles, and living harmoniously with nature, Kinsacoccha offers an authentic Andean experience that’s sure to captivate.
Community of Chichubamba—Village of Ancestral Wisdom
Chichubamba is a charming community situated at 2,687 meters above sea level in the heart of the Sacred Valley, near Urubamba. With around 180 families, this tranquil village thrives on agriculture, livestock, guinea pig farming, ceramics production, beekeeping, chocolate production, and other cherished traditional activities they eagerly share with visitors.
In Chichubamba, one can get an up-close look at the daily lives of these families amid the lush green countryside. Their workshops aim to showcase the cultural richness passed down through generations, revealing closely-guarded ancestral knowledge and offering an immersive experience in each process.
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