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Expert: Jane Crowfoot Jane Crowfoot

Knitting Traditions and Cultures of Peru

Peru has the longest continuous history of textile production in the world, going back almost 10,000 years. Invented long before pottery and just as humans started agriculture, Peruvian fibre manipulation began with simple spun fibres but by 500 AD this rudimentary craft had developed into complex techniques. On our travels we’ll explore the processes involved in the production of textiles, including the most characteristic garment, the *chullo*, a knitted hat with an earflap and a calendar waistband that depicts the annual cycles of ritual and agricultural life, and we'll meet local artisans whose traditions have been passed down through the centuries. Tour expert, Jane Crowfoot, said: "I am really excited by the prospect of this incredible trip to Peru, a country that has a rich history of intricate knitting traditions. When we think of Peru we imagine bright colours of lush vegetation, foliage and flowers and the incredible surface pattern of costumes, jewellery and artwork as well as the breathtaking scenery and archaeological sites. I am sure this will be a truly inspirational trip and I am really looking forward to all that we will see and experience on this journey of a lifetime."

15 days from £6,395pp Departure Dates

Your Tour Includes

  • International flights
  • 13 nights bed and breakfast accommodation
  • 2 lunches and 2 dinners
  • 3 knitting workshops by expert Jane Crowfoot
  • 2 visits to incredible Machu Picchu included
  • Local English-speaking guide
  • Assistance from an Arena Travel Tour Manager
  • Excursions and entrance fees
Experts
Jane Crowfoot

Jane Crowfoot

Jane Crowfoot has always had a love for yarn and all things crafty and attributes her ‘crochet gene’ to her Great Grandmother, Alice, who was seldom seen without a crochet hook in her hand and a few granny squares upon her lap.

Jane has worked as a freelance designer and design consultant for the past 20 years, working closely with Debbie Bliss, Rowan Yarns, Jamieson’s Of Shetland and Stylecraft. Jane loves playing with colour and has a love of exotic textiles such as Indian saris, Mexican embroidery and Japanese screens. She is the author of 6 books including Bohemian Blooms Crochet blanket, Finishing Techniques for Handknitters, and the Ultimate Crochet Bible.


Itinerary

Overview

Meet our expert and Arena Travel Tour Manager at London Heathrow airport for our flight to Lima. We will be met by our driver and local guide and transfer to our hotel for dinner and overnight.

Includes Dinner

Overview

This morning’s guided tour of Lima starts at the ancient ceremonial centre of Huaca Pucllana, built centuries before the arrival of the Spanish. In the historic centre, we’ll stroll around the main square, Plaza de Armas, where we’ll admire some of the best architecture in the city and maybe in all of Peru. We’ll also visit Lima Cathedral and Santo Domingo convent and its extensive monastery. Our final visit of the morning will be to Manos del Peru, a family owned and operated knitwear company that designs and produces exclusive and ethically sound collections for renowned brands both in Peru and overseas. Manos del Peru partner with talented local artisans who work using ancient techniques passed down through the generations. In this way, the artisans can transform the lives of their communities and families, using their handiworks as a bridge to economic independence. This afternoon we’ll enjoy our first workshop with our expert.

Includes Breakfast

Included Highlights

Huaca Pucllana

Overview

This morning we fly to Arequipa. Our time here begins with a walk through Santa Catalina Monastery where we’ll explore the 3 centuries of history hidden behind its walls. Our tour continues to Compañia church, famous for its intricately carved churrigueresque style façade and colourful altar of Saint Ignacio. At the main square we’ll visit the neo-Rennaissance style cathedral. We continue by road to Yanahuara giving views of the city and the Misti, Chachani and Pichu Pichu volcanoes. Our highlight of the day, however, may well be our visit to one of the alpaca centres in the city. Here we’ll learn about the animals and their fleece and meet the people who work with the fibre and see some of the finished products.

Includes Breakfast

Included Highlights

Compañia Church

Overview

We make an early start this morning to travel to Yanque. On route we’ll pass through Pata Wasi (high home), an Andean community, where we’ll see some interesting stone formations and the slopes of Chachani and Misti volcanoes. To prevent altitude sickness, we’ll stop to enjoy a coca tea. As we approach the village of Chivay we’ll be dazzled by the sight of the vibrant valley terraces. We’ll have breakfast here before continuing to Yanque town, visiting a community textile centre where the inhabitants decorate their textiles in the traditional way. Afterwards we’ll return to Chivay, stopping at viewpoints on route to see the 1,500-year-old terraces built by the Collaguas, a culture before Inca times.

Includes Breakfast

Included Highlights

Yanque

Overview

Another early start this morning to visit the condor viewpoint, located on the edge of the canyon. From here, the glory of the Colca Canyon will be spread out before you. The condors will make their regular morning flight out of the canyon where you will have an excellent view of both them and the sunrise over the jagged Peruvian peaks.

Includes Breakfast

Included Highlights

Colca Canyon

Overview

We travel by road to Puno today. En route we’ll view pre-Incan tombs located on nearby cliffs and pass through the very colourful towns of Pinchollo and Maca. This afternoon we’ll enjoy our second workshop with our expert

Includes Breakfast

Included Highlights

Puno

Overview

Our excursion today, by motorboat, takes us to two of Lake Titicaca’s islands. Our first stop is the Uros islands, a collection of 65 small islands. During the visit our guide will explain about the history and lifestyle of the people that have lived on these islands for many years. Our second stop, Taquile island, is a traditional Quechua-speaking community full of ancient agricultural terraces and ruins dating back to pre-Inca times. The population here was relatively isolated from the mainland until the 1950s and the notions of community and family remain strong. The weaving tradition on the island goes back to early civilisations and preserves elements from pre-Incan Andean cultures. The most characteristic garments are the *chullo*, a knitted hat with an earflap and a calendar waistband, depicting the annual cycles of ritual and agricultural life. From the island we’ll enjoy impressive views of Lake Titicaca and the little houses inhabited by the direct descendants of the Inca culture.

Includes Breakfast

Includes Lunch

Included Highlights

Uros Islands

Overview

Today we travel by train to Cusco. The route covered by the Titicaca train is considered to be one of the most beautiful in the world, and we’ll be welcomed at Puno station by local musicians as we board. Facilities aboard include two dining cars serving the finest gourmet food, decorated in the style of the Pullman cars of the 1920s.

Includes Breakfast

Includes Lunch

Included Highlights

The Titicaca train

Overview

Today we’ll discover the beauty and magic of Cusco, the imperial city of the Incas. Our tour starts at the Koricancha, the most important temple in the Inca empire. Next, we’ll visit Cusco Cathedral where we can view the works of the Cusco School of Painters and the gold and silver relief work on the main altar and pulpit. At the imposing fortress of Sacsayhuaman, a very impressive Incan construction, we’ll see the stones the size of a truck that form the walls and have been carefully cut and fitted together. We next visit the Tambomachay Archaeological Complex, an important ceremonial centre during Inca times. Our final visit of the morning will be to the Traditional Textile Centre (CTTC), a non-profit organisation established in 1996 by Andean weavers and their supporters. The mission of the centre is to aid in the survival of Cusqueñan textile traditions and to provide support to the indigenous people who create them. The centre works with 10 weaving communities in the Cusco region of Peru on a fair-trade basis to help rescue traditions and promote the weavers and their work. Through community organization, workshops, educational opportunities and more, the CTTC ensures that there is a future for Cusqueñan textile traditions. This afternoon we’ll enjoy our third workshop with our expert.

Includes Breakfast

Included Highlights

The Koricancha

Overview

Our excursion today will take us to the beautiful Sacred Valley. On route we’ll stop in Ccaccaccollo, a small and scenic town hidden in the Peruvian Andes. Here, some 50 families live off agriculture and textiles; the women do the weaving, and the men do the farming. The weaving traditions have been passed down the generations. We’ll attend a talk and demonstration to learn how the textiles are made and take the opportunity to make our own interpretation of the different styles and shapes on the textiles they have made for hundreds of years. One of the family members will explain the best techniques to recreate this traditional iconography. Whilst here we’ll observe all the processes from the shearing of the wool, spinning, washing with natural soap, collection of plants and flowers used for natural dyeing and finally the making of clothes including blankets, ponchos and chullos. We continue to the colourful Indian market in Pisac where we can browse and buy some local souvenirs. We’ll visit the ruins of Pisac where we’ll enjoy a guided tour of the citadel, seeing ruins of temples, homes, altars, carvings, tunnels, caves and the sacred Intihuatana stone. This is a religious construction used like a clock to determine when it was time to celebrate the winter solstice, one of the most important celebrations and rituals of the ancient Inca empire. Our final stop is Ollantaytambo where we’ll further explore Inca constructions, including the amazing Temple of the Sun: enormous blocks of rock perfectly carved and polished with water fountains, stairs and terraces.

Includes Breakfast

Included Highlights

Sacred Valley

Overview

Today’s excursion takes us through lush fields of wheat and the snow-capped peaks of the Andes to Moray, ‘the Inca agricultural greenhouse’. Here we can see three amphitheatre-style terraces built by the Incas. The terraces, carved deep into the earth in a bowl shape, are thought to have been used to determine the optimal conditions for growing crops. We continue to the village of Maras, a former salt producing centre that is thought to date back to pre-Inca times. There are 3,000 salt pools carved into the mountainside; the highly salty water emerges as a spring. The flow is directed into an intricate system of tiny channels constructed so that the water runs down several hundred ancient, terraced ponds. The water, exposed to the sun, leaves salt on the land. Later we’ll enjoy a weaving demonstration where we’ll learn first-hand how weavers turn alpaca and sheep wool into fine textiles. Beginning with spinning and moving through each step of the weaving process, we’ll watch as the women of the Away Weaving Association work their magic. Discover the rainbow of colours that natural dyes produce and gain a greater appreciate of the long hours that go into each textile as the weavers show how to warp, weave and finally finish with the unique ñawi awapa border technique.

Includes Breakfast

Included Highlights

Moray

Overview

This morning we travel by train through majestic views to Aguas Calientes. From here we take the bus to Machu Picchu archaeological site, where we’ll take a walking tour with a local guide and have some free time to visit the mysterious ancient city by ourselves.

Includes Breakfast

Included Highlights

Aguas Calientes

Overview

Another opportunity to visit Machu Picchu. Enjoy sunrise over the ruins and watch the mist rise over the mountaintop citadel. This afternoon we’ll return by train to Poroy and on to Cusco by road.

Includes Breakfast

Includes Dinner

Included Highlights

Machu Picchu

Overview

Day at leisure before our internal flight to Lima and our overnight flight onwards to London.

Includes Breakfast

Overview

Say farewell to your fellow travellers as we go our separate ways with fantastic memories of our time in Peru.

Includes Breakfast

Knitting Holidays

Knitting Holidays

Specially designed for knitters, this Stitchtopia knitting holiday is the ideal opportunity to meet like-minded knitters and indulge in your favourite hobby. Our talented knitting expert will be on hand throughout the holiday and host inspirational workshops with a beautifully designed project to get those needles clicking!

Accommodation

You will stay for two nights at the Jose Antonio Hotel, Lima, one night at the Hotel El Conquistador, Arequipa, two nights at the Colca Lodge, Colca, two nights at the Jose Antonio Hotel, Puno, two nights at the Jose Antonio Hotel, Cusco, two nights at the San Agustin Monasterio de la Recoleta, Chincheros, one night at the Hatun Inti Boutique Hotel, Machu Picchu and one night at the Jose Anotnio Hotel, Cusco.

Jose Antonio Hotel

This 4-star hotel is located in Miraflores, very close to the main shopping streets and tourist centre of the city. Facilities include a restaurant and cafeteria serving both local and international cuisine, alongside a bar. Laundry services are available with free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel.

Hotel Facilities

Need further information? Fill in our enquiry form and we'll get back to you as soon as we can

Room
  • TV
  • Tea and Coffee Making Facilities
  • Hairdryer
  • Safe Box
  • Air Conditioning
  • Fridge
  • Telephone
  • Shower or Bath
  • Free Wifi
Service
  • Bureau de Change
  • Laundry Service
General
  • Bar
  • Restaurant
Accessibility
  • Lift
Hotel
  • Bureau de Change
  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • Lift
  • WiFi Available
Additional Information

Hotel Conquistador

Located in the historic centre of Arequipa this 3-star hotel is built using a unique material: sillar, a stone made of porous volcanic lava. This colonial-style house, built in the early 18th century, retains its ornate façade and magnificent interior arches. Facilities include a spa and outdoor pool, as well as a games room. The hotel also boasts a library, alongside a bar and restaurant. Laundry services and free Wi-Fi are also available throughout the hotel.

Hotel Facilities

Need further information? Fill in our enquiry form and we'll get back to you as soon as we can

Room
  • TV
  • Hairdryer on Request
  • Telephone
  • Free Wifi
Service
  • Safe Box in Reception
  • Laundry Service
Hotel
  • WiFi Available
Additional Information

Colca Lodge

Colca Lodge is nestled on the banks of the Colca River surrounded by hundreds of pre-Inca platforms declared "Cultural Heritage of the Nation". Facilities include a relaxing spa alongside thermal pools. As well as a restaurant and bar, with laundry services also available.

Hotel Facilities

Need further information? Fill in our enquiry form and we'll get back to you as soon as we can

Room
  • Hairdryer
  • Safe Box
  • Shower
  • Free Wifi
General
  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • Outdoor Swimming Pool (Seasonal)
Service
  • Laundry Service
Hotel
  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • WiFi Available
Additional Information

Jose Antonio Hotel Puno

An oasis of peace and relaxation, this 4-star hotel is located on the banks of Lake Titicaca but just 8 minutes from the city.

Hotel Facilities

Need further information? Fill in our enquiry form and we'll get back to you as soon as we can

Room
  • TV
  • Tea and Coffee Making Facilities
  • Hairdryer
  • Safe Box
  • Fridge
  • Telephone
  • Shower or Bath
  • Free Wifi
General
  • Bar
  • Restaurant
Accessibility
  • Lift
Service
  • Laundry Service
Hotel
  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • Lift
  • WiFi Available
Additional Information

Jose Antonio Hotel Cusco

This modern 4-star hotel is ideally located to access all the treasures awaiting you in the city.

Hotel Facilities

Need further information? Fill in our enquiry form and we'll get back to you as soon as we can

Room
  • TV
  • Tea and Coffee Making Facilities
  • Hairdryer
  • Safe Box
  • Fridge
  • Telephone
  • Shower or Bath
  • Free Wifi
General
  • Bar
  • Restaurant
Accessibility
  • Lift
Service
  • Laundry Service
Hotel
  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • Lift
  • WiFi Available
Additional Information

San Agustin Monasterio De La Recoleta

This former Catholic monastery, built in the 17th century, is located in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Facilities include a restaurant and bar with regional and international delicacies, as well as a large terrace. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel.

Hotel Facilities

Need further information? Fill in our enquiry form and we'll get back to you as soon as we can

Room
  • TV
  • Tea and Coffee Making Facilities
  • Hairdryer
  • Safe Box
  • Air Conditioning
  • Fridge
  • Shower and Bath
  • Telephone
  • Free Wifi
  • Iron or Trouser Press
General
  • Bar
  • Restaurant
Accessibility
  • Lift
Hotel
  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • Lift
  • WiFi Available
Additional Information

Hatun Inti Boutique Hotel

Hatun Inti Boutique Machu Picchu offers a very relaxing environment, where tranquillity, beauty and wonder are all part of the experience. A buffet breakfast is served daily. Toto House Restaurant offers a wide variety of Peruvian and international dishes. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel.

Hotel Facilities

Need further information? Fill in our enquiry form and we'll get back to you as soon as we can

Room
  • TV
  • Tea and Coffee Making Facilities
  • Hairdryer
  • Safe Box
  • Fridge
  • Telephone
  • Free Wifi
Accessibility
  • Lift
Service
  • Iron at Reception
Hotel
  • Lift
  • WiFi Available