What are YOU doing this Christmas?

As the festive season draws close, you get asked, “What are you doing this Christmas?”

Imagine responding, “travelling to Peru, to help give gifts in remote Andean villages.”

Chaullacocha villagers during 2010 Chocolatada. Image courtesy Katy Shorthouse.

Apus Peru Adventure Travel Specialists offer treks to little known places – their routes cross remote mountain ranges, skirt around snow capped peaks and visit out of the way communities. Yet their latest offerings – Christmas tours – take the idea of participative tourism to a new level.

Not only do participants have the chance to participate in a Chocolatada but they visiting Peru’s highlights like the mysterious city of  Machu Picchu and cosmopolitan Cusco.  There is a focus on participating in typical Peruvian event, like the Selling of the Saints market in Cusco .

Machu Picchu in December is green, misty and mysterious

The highlight of these special Christmas tours is a day in a remote community during a Chocolatada.  Participants give hot chocolate, bread and gifts to these isolated, often undernourished, and unkempt children and celebrate a unique Peruvian Christmas tradition.

Apus Peru donates $15 from every client during the year to different projects, including their well known Threads of Peru project.  However, some funds are also directed towards the Christmas celebration.

“As this chocolatada is essentially being funded by foreigner’s contributions its nice for the children of this community to receive the gifts from people who are not from Peru, “ says Ariana Svenson, of Apus Peru Adventure Travel. “Not only is it symbolic but in doing so I believe we are crossing cultural bridges.”

Children enjoy hot chocolate and bread while showing their new toys at the Christmas Chocolatada.

“A visit to these communities is memorable at any time of the year – to do something like helping out at our annual Christmas chocolatada will make it doubly memorable!”

For more information http://www.apus-peru.com/tours/cusco_christmas_packages.html

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