We are in Huaraz, Peru at a 10,000 feet elevation getting ready to go on the 4 day Santa Cruz trek. But today we decided to get off the beaten path a little and wander out to a small community about 30 minutes from town to eat lunch. The Yurac Yacu Café is part of the Andean Alliance and supports local projects and provides training and employment for members of the community. We had read about it the day before in a cafe in Huaraz and thought it sounded like a fun little adventure… find the cafe.
The given instructions are “take Collectivo Combi Linea #15 (Marian) on Avenida Raymondi to Marian and walk up to km 3 on the Cachipampa Road to Yurac Yacu”. Other option, is take a taxi. We opted to try out the Combi.
The Combis run up and down the main roads in Huaraz and there are no set stops. Just flag it down and tell them where you’re going. Combi #15 has a 15 on the front and goes along Raymondi every few minutes during the day.
If you’re headed to Yurac Yacu, make sure you tell them “Marian or Cachipampa” otherwise they will just say “no”. You will get off at the last stop and it’s currently S/. 1.50 (about $0.50) a person from town. Depending on how far the combi takes you up the Cachipampa road it’s a pretty steep 20-30 min walk the rest of the way. The good news, you can’t really get lost.
Once you get off the combi, keep walking up the road you were driving. You’ll eventually get to a sign pointing to the Lazy Dog Hostel and the Yurac Yacu community center. If you have GPS/Google Maps, the cafe is next to the Lazy Dog Hostel, which is marked on Google.
The cafe has a small but delicious menu. A few salads, sandwiches and quesadillas. They just opened for the season and told us business has been pretty good. They get about 6-8 people a day. We stuffed ourselves full of chicken quesadilla, quinoa salad and homemade cookies. The view is amazing.
I of course love the idea of this cafe. The proceeds go back into training and community projects to help the small village support itself. There is also a small shop selling handmade hats. scarves, mittens and things made from the wool of their sheep and dyed using local materials. Naturally I bought a one of a kind hat for S/.20 ($6). This programs is part the Club de Mujeres.
If you are in Huaraz long enough to relax a little, I highly recommend the trip out to the Yurac Yacu community. The people are warm and friendly (it’s helpful to know a little Spanish) and the food is wonderful.