A while back, I embarked on a totally fascinating two day trip to the jungle, just 3 hours from the Sacred Valley. I traveled up the valley toward Machu Picchu and Quillabamba but stopped off in Huyro, where tons of black tea, the best-rated coffee in the world, and lots of cacao and fruit comes from. This is the story of my adventure of visiting this traditional jungle community and learning about their traditions.
Passing Ollantaytambo, located in the Sacred Valley, the road got very curvy and we climbed up very high, up to the Abra Malaga, a high pass at 4300meters of altitude.
After the pass, we immediately dropped into the clouds, and then it quickly started to get warm and humid. The difference of vegetation from the high Andes was astounding. Within 2.5 hours we were in Huyro district and I called our contact Americo to come to bring up to the Eco Albergue Colibri biological station. When we arrived he took us on a tour of the large property, explaining jungle agriculture and their different ecological projects and showing us all kinds of different fruit and insects like big spiders and the exoskeleton of cicadas.
We enjoyed a delicious home cooked lunch and then went for a drive in a 4X4 to visit tea and coffee plantations. I was surprised and impressed at the way they farm the tea, totally organically and in a
We enjoyed a delicious home cooked lunch and then went for a drive in a
4X4 to visit tea and coffee plantations. I was surprised and impressed at the way they farm the tea, totally organically and in a
After visiting the plantation we went to the original Huyro community tea processing plant, where they dry, roast, ground and sort the tea leaves. For
The machines are from England, were built in the 1920s, and the plant had once processed 2000 tons of tea per week. The area had been very prosperous, as you can see from some of the old plantation homes, but now everything was in ruins. Even this important plant had closed down due to
When we got back to the lodge Americo offered us a workshop on how to prepare cacao (chocolate) directly from the bean. We toasted the beans and use a hand-crank grinder to make it into a paste and then pressed it into a mold to make blocks.
It was a lot hotter than we were used to so we slipped into the pool!
We slept in the lodge under mosquito nets even though there weren’t many mosquitos at night. The next day we went to visit a part of the Inca trail and a '
If you are in the Cusco or Sacred Valley region and want to take a quick trip to the real jungle, we can organize your trip. We can even take you to visit the community of Huayro. Check out our options on our site Frontierlab.org
A version of this article previously appeared on Frontierlab.