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Tuni
Itinerary:
 
  • Immersion in the Aymara world
  • Valorization of the natural patrimony
  • Valorization of the cultural heritage
  • Reconcile tourism with a local and durable development
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    

 


TUNI
Immersion in the Aymara world
Immersion 2/3 days Any year in private Spanish or English speaking
 
 
 
RURAL COMMUNITY TOURISM IN THE ROYAL CORDILLERA.
 
LE VILLAGE DE TUNI:

Tuni is an Aymara hamlet of a dozen families, perched at the foot of the Royal Cordillera, at an altitude of 4400 meters (12,900 feet) above sea level.
The village is located 2 1/2 –hours away by 4WD from La Paz, tucked between Lake Titicaca and one of the most impressive ranges of the Royal Cordillera: the Condoriri range. It is therefore accessible not only by seasoned trekkers but also by a wider public, even familial.
The Condoriri mountain range is formed by 13 summits all exceeding 5000 meters in heights.
The emblem of this area is without a doubt the Condoriri, named for its shape: the one of a condor with its tucked wings. It constitutes, for a lot of mountaineers, one of the most prized ascent of the Andes.
Sir Martin Conway, first Occidental to discover it in 1895, left the following notes:
“This strange mountain range, that seems to exert a malefic influence and that the local peasants call the Kondoriri, is full of mysteries and inhabited by ferocious beasts. It is possible to see, after night fall, clouds of condors flying over a gigantic ice barrier.”
According to the local myths, this mountainous area is the refuge of the largest condors of the Andes, Condors, which, with their claws can kidnap children, to make Men-condors out of them. Does it scare you enough to tickle your envy to visit it? but condors are rare nowadays…

 
PROJECT TUNI

The main idea behind this project, is to make it possible for the visitor to enjoy an authentic and complete immersion in the Aymara and Andean world of the village of Tuni, via a stay combining workshops with the community and real life experience in the village (lodging, meals).
This Andean slice of life will expose the visitor to different aspects of Andean life and the Aymara culture, while enjoying the sumptuous surroundings offered by the Condoriri mountain range, heart of the Royal cordillera.
Our goal is to show and valorize a lifestyle still very present in Bolivia and to accompany the community of Tuni in its effort to conserve and develop its ancestral culture. The long-term vision is to generate, thus, a true dynamic of productive wealth that will unable the improvement of the quality of life of the communities of the Bolivian Altiplano.
Our goal: responsible tourism, respecting the ecosystem and the local balance.

 
THE ACTORS OF THE PROJECT:

The inhabitants of the hamlet of Tuni, a hand-full of families, implanted numerous generations in this small valley.
Don calixto (66 years of age) was the first one to work as muleteer for the first trekkers that visited the area in the 70s. He is the oldest man of the village and works hard to transmit the traditions and legends that he himself learned from his parents, to the young generation of the village. From this time on, the whole village started working with local tourism, climbing the ladder little by little. First as assistant-muleteer, then muleteer, then assistant-guide and guide, and some of them even reached the international mountain guide certification.
Today, Tuni’s team is capable of offer a complete logistic of quality in all sorts of tourist itineraries.
It is time for them to make their own the cultural and natural patrimony of the valley where they were born and start building their future there.
The whole community is united in a sole objective: make Tuni a place of valorization of the Aymara culture and of the Andean world via a real immersion of quality for tourists from the entire world; a place of sharing, of respect of the different cultures.

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CULTURAL AND NATURAL PATRIMONY: two inseparable concepts.

Local gastronomy and confection of local products: on the Altiplano, the soil and the climate are not favorable to the culture of a wide variety of products. Some communities are able to manage up to three potatoes harvest a year. The conservation method of these “fresh” products the Aymaras use is a procedure typical to the Andean region extracting the starch from the tuber and transforming it in a dehydrated potato. Various procedures exist, the final result being the fabrication of a “chuño” (black dehydrated potato) or a “t’unta” (white dehydrated potato). The elaboration of the chuño and of the t’unta takes place during the coldest month of the year, often in June. A premier tourist activity, at that time o the year, consists then in the visitor participating in the preparation of these tubers with the village inhabitants.
• Textile work: diverse products from the village come from the llamas. First of all, dried out animal excrement is used as combustible for the houses. In addition, every year in November, the animals are shaved and the wool is spun and woven during the rest of the year into diverse clothing items: gloves, hats, blankets and shawls… by the village women (demonstration workshops). This task is just as impressive to watch that the immobilization of the llamas practiced by the village inhabitants to charge them: Several persons are necessary to the success of the enterprise… while one grabs the animal by the ears and immobilized its head in between its front legs, two others fix the charge on its back. A great show to share with the villagers!
• Participation in the confection of the “Huatia”, one of the most ancient culinary plates of the Andes (over18 000 years!). The origin of the word Huatia comes from an Incan God, Huatio who supposedly would have taught the farmers the techniques of land exploitation as well as building agricultural terraces to optimize the culture on the steep Andean hillsides. Huatio is also the father of the agricultural Andean calendar. Thus a symbolic plate, and, in addition, truly delicious!
• Encounter at the village school (located 4 miles away from Tuni). During the school year only of course; the perfect opportunity to offer the teacher a cultural exchange?
• Excursion to search for medicinal plants with a local guide form the village, plants that are collected for the whole ear during their picking seasons.
• “Pastoreo” of the llamas : important activity of the village and not resembling by any mean the Andean “postcard”; the imperturbable llamas are guided every morning to their grazing grounds.
• Trout fishing in the numerous lagunas at the foot of the Condoriri accompanied by a local guide. During some seasons, the locals practice fishing regularly.
• Harvest in the fields. Seeing the altitude of Tuni, these agricultural activities are located relatively far from the village and practiced only during certain periods.

 
ENCOUNTERS AND EXCHANGE:

To come and meet us and share a hours or a days with us gives you the opportunity to participate in the life of an authentic community Aymara in a quiet place where you will forget the rest of the world exists.
Hiking and trekking destination accessible to the whole family, ascents but also culture thousands of years old, Tuni will, forever, remain an unforgettable stop.
The practice of rituals and the survival of strong beliefs are not limited to the perimeter of the village; they extend to the entire environment in which the Aymaras live.
Thus, it is easy for the village guide to take visitors to the most beautiful summits and glaciers of the Royal Cordillera. On the way, he will count us legends and fabulous histories of a time when the mountains were alive. Sheltering terrifying spirits the “apus” as well as the most important animals of the Andean cosmogony (the condor, the llama or the puma…), the mountains are still venerated and respected today.
Other millenary knowledge can be discussed during these excursions like the pleasure to share knowledge of the local medicinal plants. Even though the Altiplano is a relatively dry region, the rainy season at the beginning of each year revive vegetation formed of various plants used in the concoction of traditional remedies. And lets not forget that we are nearby the Apolobamba, a region of the Andes, where live today the greatest natural healers of the planet, les Kallawayas, recognized by UNESCO as Intangible Oral World Patrimony…
To come to Tuni doesn’t involved a rigid and stressing program. A time for encounters and sharing, Tuni allow the discovery of a lifestyle, the customs and above all the warmth and generosity of the Cordillera’s inhabitants. We will participate spontaneously in the discussions and the activities at hand according to the curiosity of each and adapted to each different season.

 
RETREAT PROPOSITION
 
Two days
Day 1: LA PAZ – TUNI - Cordillera Real

Departure at around 8:00 a.m. from La Paz (or Copacabana) towards the Cordillera Real, the Andean barrier culminating at 6400 meters of elevation and separating the Amazon Basin from the Altiplano. After a 3-hour trip, we arrive at the Aymara village of Tuni, where the families of the TUNI-TERRA project (community tourism – valorizing the Andean and Aymara inheritance) await us. We visit the village, settle and then enjoy a very typical Andean lunch.
You will be invited to participate in the preparation of the meal following local methods, in the company of the village women. The meal is based on local and seasonal products (dried llama meat, sheep milk, quinoa, chuño, potato, local herbs,). You will be pleasantly surprised by the originality of the Andean “table”.
In the afternoon, our local guide takes us on a discovery of the daily life of the inhabitants of Tuni, to the rhythm of the “pastoreo” of the inevitable llama, the legends associated with each surrounding summit (and there is no lack of them!), the making of slingshots used in the fields etc… Then, we can test our weaving skills during a traditional weaving session
A true Andean dinner will follow (it is possible for you to help in the preparation of the meal) and then traditional Andean evening. A group of musicians from the nearby village of Chuñawi will join us for dinner. It will be the best opportunity for you to try a few steps of the local dances and mix with the conversations around the fireplace.
All included. Night in the home of a local host.

 
Day 2: TUNI – LA PAZ

In the morning, we can follow the llamas towards their pastures for a while; share in the village life and learn about the local activities such as the importance of the llamas, the education of the children, beliefs and ceremonies, social organization of an Aymara village.
Andean lunch. (Huatia)
In the afternoon, a stroll of a few hours around the Condoriri Mountain range to teach us about medicinal and nutritive plants that the local inhabitants use It is the perfect time to also learn about the importance of the mountains for the Aymara people (natural resources, their relationship with them, tradition and legends).
Departure towards La Paz or Copacabana at around 4:30 p.m.
Lunch (included). Dinner open.
Hotel.

 
Three days
Day 1: LA PAZ – TUNI - Cordillera Real

Departure at around 8:00 a.m. from La Paz (or Copacabana) towards the Cordillera Real, the Andean barrier culminating at 6400 meters of elevation and separating the Amazon Basin from the Altiplano. After a 3-hour trip, we arrive at the Aymara village of Tuni, where the families of the TUNI-TERRA project (community tourism – valorizing the Andean and Aymara inheritance) await us. We visit the village, settle and then enjoy a very typical Andean lunch.
You will be invited to participate in the preparation of the meal following local methods, in the company of the village women. The meal is based on local and seasonal products (dried llama meat, sheep milk, quinoa, chuño, potato, local herbs,). You will be pleasantly surprised by the originality of the Andean “table”.
In the afternoon, our local guide takes us on a discovery of the daily life of the inhabitants of Tuni, to the rhythm of the “pastoreo” of the inevitable llama, the legends associated with each surrounding summit (and there is no lack of them!), the making of slingshots used in the fields etc… Then, we can test our weaving skills during a traditional weaving session
A true Andean dinner will follow (it is possible for you to help in the preparation of the meal) and then traditional Andean evening. A group of musicians from the nearby village of Chuñawi will join us for dinner. It will be the best opportunity for you to try a few steps of the local dances and mix with the conversations around the fireplace.
All included. Night in the home of a local host.

 
Day 2: TUNI / day of sharing with the community

In the morning, we can follow the llamas towards their pastures for a while; share in the village life and learn about the local activities such as the importance of the llamas, the education of the children, beliefs and ceremonies, social organization of an Aymara village.
Andean lunch. (Huatia)
In the afternoon, a stroll of a few hours around the Condoriri Mountain range to teach us about medicinal and nutritive plants that the local inhabitants use It is the perfect time to also learn about the importance of the mountains for the Aymara people (natural resources, their relationship with them, tradition and legends).
All included. Night in the home of a local host.

 
Day 3: TUNI – LA PAZ

In the morning, we take the direction of the Condoriri base camp and its superb laguna Chiar khota (5/6-hour round-trip). The hike can be adapted to the physical condition of the participants as well as the activities to the seasons…
Departure from the community at 2 p.m. with our private transportation after a good Andean lunch. We skirt the Royal Cordillera until we arrive in El Alto and starting our impressive descent into La Paz (2-hour about).
Lunch (included). Dinner open.
Hotel.

 
 
 
   

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