The AASD office is located in Calca, a town of about 9,000 people located along the Urubamba River of the Sacred Valley. Calca is situated about 2,928 meters (9,606 ft) above sea level and is surrounded by the southern highlands of the Andes that offer beautiful views and hiking trails of various levels of difficulty. For those who plan to stay in Calca, the town has two markets, a bus terminal, two banks with ATMs, a gym, a hospital and clinics, and a modest amount of stores, restaurants, and cafes – all within walking distance of the AASD office and host families’ homes. The demonstration farm that we partner with, Ecohuella, is less than a 10-minute drive from Calca.
Calca is a small community with less tourists than neighboring towns but is a central location in the Sacred Valley. From Calca, it is easy to explore many archaeological sites (including Machu Picchu), cultural activities, and vibrant markets. Calca is an hour-and-a-half public bus ride away from the city of Cusco, making it easily accessible and well-equipped.