LET'S GO PERU,ECUADOR & BOLIVIA
Incas del Perú Giraldez 675 (223 303; fax 222 395), attached to Restaurante La Cabaña. Run by the charismatic Lucho Hurtado, who speaks near-flawless English. Dedicated to promoting authentic cultural experiences in Huancayo and the Rio Mantaro Valley, Lucho offers crash courses in Spanish, Quechua, weaving, and pan flute. Ask about volunteer/work programs, which include Spanish lessons and a local homestay. Open daily 9am-1pm and 4-7pm. SAE and student discounts. AmEx/DC/MC/V.
La Casa de la Abuela Prolongacion Cusco: 794. and Jose Galvez 420 - Huancayo - Peru ,(tel. 23-4383, www.incasdelperu.org),4 blocks up from the Plaza de Armas. The delightful abuela (Lucho's Hurtado mother; see Tours,above) who runs this popular backpacker´s hostel prepares glorious breakfasts and gossips with traveler in her garden while cats wander about .
Immaculate rooms, sparkling comunal baths with 24hr. hot water, game rooms ,laundry service,kitchen, and cable TV.
Discounts for SAE, YHI, ISIC cardholders or for ownership of guide book that recommends the Casa. 6-bed dorms s/. 20 per person; doubles s/. 25, with bath s/. 30.
La Cabaña ( Giráldez 675, tel. 22-3303 ), across from La Casa de la Abuela.This swinging dinner spot fills nightly with foreigners and local families.Candles throughout the multiroom restaurant set the mood for La Cabaña's strong sangria (s/ 3 per glass). Sandwiches and hamburgers s/. 3-7.
Pizzas s/ 18 -25. Entrees s/ 20 -35. Happy Hour 5-7pm .Live folk bands Th-Sa at 8pm. Open daily 5pm-midnight. AmEx/DC/MC/V