Santuario Animal de Ccochahuasi Cusco Reviews
Watch a condor soar, admire a thread get its dye, and gape at a mannequin doing a Nipplegate! Nov 24, 2013
It's quite a surprise that no one ever talks about this sanctuary in the travel books. You'd almost think you have Cusco, and you have Pisac, and the Saksaywaman ruins in between. Nothing else exists, or if it does, doesn't count. So I was surprised when the driver took us here, out of nowhere and said this was a place we had to go.
Boy, was he right!
In essence, this place is nothing more than a zoo. There are no entry fees and you leave a tip right at the very end. But they have everything from the three major Inca animals - the serpent, the puma and the condor to the ever abundant llamas and alpacas, to the more generic and domesticated variety such as the hen.
There's then another section where you see a woman weaving fabric out of dye, and a great 'mock' kitchen that has varieties of threads and varieties of plants whose colour is used to dye the threads. This was really very interesting seeing threads being "cooked" in clay pots on a fire to get the right colour.
And finally, as expected, the all pervasive store selling alpaca wool, with a rude saleswoman.
Highlight - if you're lucky, the sanctuary owners will 'wake up' a condor and you can see him glide and soar from a hillock down to the main base. They get as close as 1 foot away from you.
Lowlight - the awfully dressed mannequins in the store. Why do most stores in Peru leave one breast in open sight whilst the other is carefully draped in alpaca wool?!
Overall rating - 9/10. Please go! it doesn't cost you anything but no other place gave me a condor at arm's length!
Part of the Peru travel blog
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