Rough Guides writer and photographer Kiki Deere shares with us some pictures of Peru from her latest research trip across the country.
“My research for the new edition of the Rough Guide to Peru took me to remote corners of the country, from the little explored Cotahuasi Canyon, one of the deepest canyons in the world, to isolated llama-herding communities in the Andes.
In small mountainous villages life hasn’t changed in centuries and pre-Spanish traditions remain very much alive. I learned about the ancient Andean tradition of making pachamanca (Quechua for “earth oven” or “earth pot”). An oven is built of stones heated with wood fire; vegetables and meat are placed underground with banana leaves and grass, covered in a mound of soil and cooked for about an hour or so.
In the Andes, night temperatures hover around 0°C, while during the day the scorching sun beats down relentlessly. Life here is hard, based on subsistence agriculture and pastoralism. Yet, it was here I met some of the country’s most hospitable people, who greeted me with open arms.
With a rich heritage of elaborate textile designs and intricate weaving techniques, the peoples of the Andes don beautiful traditional dress that explode with colours, enthusiastically celebrate local fiestas and follow traditions that can be traced back centuries.”
Woman leading a llama along the streets of Cusco
Unwinding to the sound of music in Plazoleta San Blas, Cusco
Two women at a local fiesta in Chivay, Colca Valley
An early evening stroll in Cabanaconde, Colca Canyon
A little girl high up in the Andes
Two local guides in traditional dress in the Andes
A little girl with chapped cheeks in the Andes
A woman dances at a local fiesta in Arequipa
Making pachamanca (baked meat and vegetables)
Vegetable seller in Pisac market
Mid-morning snack in the little town of Pisac, Sacred Valley
A woman sits outside a church in Puno, Lake Titicaca
Newspaper stand in front of some Inca stonework, Cusco
A woman looks pensive in the remote town of Cotahuasi, Cotahuasi Canyon
An arriero (mule driver) leading his mule through the Andes
A woman sits on the steps of Puno Cathedral
Wedding celebrations in the town of Chinchero, Sacred Valley