We had an absolutely amazing time at the Quellomayo farm! When trying to book, Andrew was so responsive and beyond helpful despite the fact that we changed our plans several times. Getting to the farm might seem a little tricky but just be sure to follow Andrew’s advice. We had a little bit of difficulty getting a cab in Santa Maria on Sunday, so I would recommend a different day if possible. Once we arrived, everyone was incredibly friendly.
Tatiana was so accommodating—she led us down to the river, woke up extra early to roast coffee and chocolate beans before we left, made unexpected meals for us, and more, always with a genuine smile (Sorry, Tatiana!). The grandfather was so warm and so interesting to chat with. Before we left for Aguas Calientes, he spent half an hour hand-drawing us a mind-blowingly detailed map (it was our favorite souvenir of our entire time in Peru).
The food was AMAZING, much better than any highly rated restaurant in Cusco and arguably one of the absolute best meals in our life (and Tatiana pulls it off like it’s nothing!) Come hungry so you can eat as much food as possible, you won’t regret it. We are all coffee aficionados and we’ve never had a better cappuccino, even in fine European coffee shops.
We especially loved the roasting (and drinking our own hot chocolate!) and cooking breakfast with Tatiana. We learned first-hand how coffee and chocolate (two staples in our diets) are made. If you like coffee or have any close friends who do, buy a few bags of coffee! Unfortunately there is no ATM in Santa Maria, Santa Teresa, or the Cusco bus terminal so bring cash.
The hike to Machu was phenomenal. PLEASE do it if you can. It’s a little adventurous but don’t be alarmed, the locals do it all the time. It’s economical and much more fun than the train we took from Aguas back to Cusco.
Please do remember that you are in the jungle– there are bugs and humidity so plan accordingly. The hotel bedrooms are adorable and clean – if you can, bring your own flip flops/shower shoes as muddy sneakers do not belong inside.
Before we decided to book, I googled the town of “Quellomayo” and found some unnerving results. As four unaccompanied young women, we departed Cusco fully accepting the possibility of coming across drug dealers on our hike through the jungle. Actually, the tiny town and hike is very safe and charming. If you are worried about any part of the trip, worry about the bugs (bring light long sleeved shirts and pants if you can, and be aware that the chemicals in bug spray and sunscreen, if worn simultaneously, can cancel each other out).
The ultimate reason we travelled to Peru was to do an academic cultural learning trip with a professor but we arrived a week early with our own itinerary to explore Peru a bit more. Although we had a professional guiding us for the rest of our time in Peru, the journey to the farm and the hike to Aguas were by far our absolute favorite part of our trip.
I am a neurotic planner, but when we left the US, the farm trip was the only thing on our itinerary that I was able to definitely confirm. Andrew was so helpful in planning exactly what we wanted to do. Both he and Tatiana speak perfect English and Spanish (and a bit of French too, I believe?).
Although we are all absurdly ambitious students, we unanimously agreed that we will never be as admirable as Tatiana. Thanks again, Tatiana and Andrew!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Now proud winners of our second certificate of excellence and second traveller's choice awards in a row! Our family home and farm offers unique homestay experiences in the Peruvian Cloud forest near Machu Picchu. We have a number of beds and a beautiful campsite with an adobe oven and a grill. The restaurant is also our home and we serve home-cooked peruvian and international food. Our outdoor bar serves our own organic coffee and a wide range of soft and alcoholic drinks made from our own tropical fruit. The buildings are surrounded by lush tropical vegetation and we have two rivers nearby. The location is perfect for travellers on their way to Machu Picchu who want to see a little bit more of the real Peru. Our prices include dinner and breakfast and we offer optional coffee and cocoa-roasting workshops as well as tours of our farm and local walks. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Yellow River Peru/Quellomayo