Visiting a Working Farm: Granja Porcon

Of several working farms in the Cajamarca area, Granja Porcon, 30 km (19 miles) north west of the city of Cajamarca, stands out for providing visitors with good tours, a restaurant serving fresh, home-made meals, and comfortable accommodation. 

Covering some 12,000 hectares at over 3,000m (9,842 ft), and home to 1,200 people, the origins of Porcon - in its current form - date back to the 1975 Agrarian Reform, in which Peru's left-leaning military President, Juan Velasco Alvarado, divided up many of the country's large estates and handed the running of them to the workers. From this, Atahualpa Jerusalén Farmers Cooperative was formed, dedicated not only to dairy and arable farming, but also to reforesting 80% of the land with native pines. 

In 1998, the decision was taken to open the farm up to eco-tourism, and so ten rooms, all with a fireplace, private bathroom and hot water were built. Horse-riding, fishing, camping, caving, biking and hiking are all offered, and there is a small zoo with native species. If you do not wish to stay overnight, day tours are offered by agencies in Cajamarca. 

Porcon is well-known for its delicious dairy products, and a highlight of a visit is the experience of milking time, when the cows are called to their stalls individually ... by name! 

Not surprisingly, much of the food served in the restaurant uses ingredients from the farm. You can even join in some of the farming activities, and spend several days here living with the locals, assisting with and learning about their rural lives.

One caveat; this is an evangelical community, so it is not for everyone.