The word coca comes from the Aymara term “q’oka” that means food for workers. For thousands of years, coca has been a fundamental element in daily life and religious rituals of many indigenous cultures in South America. Masticated with cal, which serves as a catalyst, its leaves release a light doses of alkaloid and mitigate hunger, pain, thirst, and even provide vitamins that are absent in the diet of the indigenous people living at high altitude.

A Peruvian legend talks about a story of Mama Killa, the moon god, that spread the seed of the sacred shrub in hot places following the orders of the Sun, Inti. Mama Killa did it to relieve the fatigue and hunger of the town chosen by the Sun, and to strengthen them. Under the Incas’ rule, coca was reverenced as a gift of the gods, and its production and distribution were strictly controlled by the State.

Since ancient times, coca has been used for indigenous religious practices and prediction or reading. At the present day, coca is used as a custom in the Andes to predict and see what will happen in the future. The visionaries are people who inherited this knowledge from their parents.

The visionary (Paqo in the Quechua language) asks the name and trip reason of the visitant. After that, the visionary communicates to his hills’ protector spirits through an oration, lifts up three leaves of coca and blows with direction to the mountains mentioned in his oration. Then, he throws a handful of coca over a different color cloth (unkuna), observes carefully the position in which the leaves have stayed, and so starts a dialogue between diviner and visitant.

09:00 a.m. Pick up at hotel

We will go to Huasao, a place located 7 km from the city of Cusco, where the Paqo (shaman) will be waiting for us, and with whom we will have the opportunity to share an unforgettable experience.

11:00 a.m. Return approximated to Cusco.

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