Alternative Peru was founded in 2014 by Carlos and his Belgian wife Natalie. Since then, the Alternative Peru team has grown into a very diverse team of tour leaders, bilingual guides, cooks, local guides, drivers, artisans, artists. Most of them based in Lima but with roots all over Peru: coast, Andes and Amazon. Alternative Peru believes very strongly in the values and positive impact of Responsible Tourism.
This educational Lima tour takes you off the beaten path to a different and authentic side of Lima, where locals live and work. A day full of responsible cultural immersion, local culture, social impact and learning.
The highlight of this social tour is the visit to one of Lima’s human settlements, where you visit a local artisan, a social project, have lunch at a local family’s house and learn about daily life in this harsh environment. You will not only learn interesting historical, political and cultural facts but most importantly, your day will be filled with responsible and meaningful encounters with locals who work very hard to improve their community. The general focus of the tour is positive initiatives and hope.
There are so many things that we want to show you that we can’t fit them into one day! That is why this Lima tour is a bit different every day.
On different days, we visit different families and places according to availability and your specific interests. If you have a special request, please let us know and we’ll try to accommodate it.
You can choose between two morning programs:
OPTION 1: Start the day with a visit to alternative sights such as an artisanal fish market with a picturesque pier, where we might even go on a short boat ride along the coast (with life vests) on some days, a visit to Lima’s version of the Christ and the Morro Solar with its great views of Lima, before heading to the amazing second largest cemetery in the world, which is very different to any other cemetery you’ve seen before! This morning program is especially popular in Spring and Summer (October – May) because of the weather.
OPTION 2: The alternative morning program allows more time and visits in the human settlement. It starts with the visit to the cemetery and then continues towards the human settlement where we’ll learn more about fair trade and a typical aspect of Lima life: its small informal businesses. On most days, we visit the workshop of a group of ladies who organised themselves into a small business of handicrafts. On some days, we can also see the so-called ‘wall of shame’ that separates one of the poorest neighborhoods of Lima from one of the richest.
In the afternoon, for both options, a local guide will show you around the neighborhood and you’ll also learn more about a local project set up and run by locals. But first you’ll enjoy a delicious lunch at a local family’s house. The local cook/mom also loves to learn more about where you came from and will in return share some stories about herself.
The local guide will tell you more about daily life in this harsh environment but at the same time point out some of the efforts carried out to improve the situation. She’ll tell you more about a local organization, its aims and its projects. You’ll meet and talk to some of the families who participate in the projects. On most days, you will even meet the local kids and teenagers while they are participating in the activities of the local NGO.
We can adapt the tour to your specific requests and interests so please don’t hesitate to point those out to us!
When you book, please let us know which option you prefer for the morning program.
Your visit benefits the local community in different ways. First of all, it provides an (additional) income to several community members, including the cook and the local guide. Secondly, your visit supports the local project of Jugando Aprendo, which works especially with minors who do domestic work and their families as well as other local children and teens. The tour price includes a donation to this great local organisation, ran by our local community guides.
In addition to financial benefits, the interest and attention of people who came from all over the world increases the pride of the local people in their communities. The local people on the tour are all in a way community leaders who work hard to improve their environment and community. The admiration of visitors from across the world reinforces their engagement. Too often, they are looked down on by fellow Peruvians from more affluent neighborhoods.
Sometimes, real friendships and longterm engagements have resulted from our tours. A young aspiring cook is studying to become a chef thanks to people who met him during our tour. We love to see more of this happening too!