The Pumachayoc Horno Colonial Pisac is one of those magical places that give you an insight into local Pisac culture and traditions in the space of just a few minutes. Pumachayoc, located on the Avenida Federico Zamalloa is named in the Quechua language the ‘place where the puma rests.’ As recently as twenty years ago, the Andean puma used to come and drink from the Quitamayu River that runs past the entrance.
Run by Ernestina, her son Federico and daughter in law Scarlet, this is a family business with a love for local culture and traditions. The focus is on organic produce made with local ingredients and the house specialty is the empanada, a type of pastry turnover filled with a selection of sweet and savoury fillings cooked in a traditional clay oven.
This is the only ‘horno colonial’ or traditional oven in Pisac that mixes their own artisanal flours which come from the surrounding Andean communities. Their breads and empanadas are made up of a nutritious blend of seven different flours including quinoa, kiwicha and tarwi. Empanadas include the ‘Inti’ or ‘sun’ in quechua which is filled with cheese, tomato, onion, rosemary and hot pepper and the sweet ‘miski’ filled with apple, pineapple, papaya, banana, honey and cinnamon for those with a sweet tooth and are great options for a quick breakfast or mid-afternoon snack.
The location itself is designed to showcase different elements of local culture including stone statues of pumas, condors and an Incan cross and different outdoor and indoor relaxation areas where you can have a meal (they also offer a full menu with traditional local dishes including guinea pig) or enjoy a sweet drink made out of purple corn called ‘chicha morada’ and your empanada. Don’t miss taking a few photos of the colourful mural that decorates the front wall painted with symbols of the local culture and the guinea pig castle in the garden.
Ernestina is a real character and loves sharing her knowledge of the region with visitors. She also offers empanada making classes which are a nice breakfast option. Classes take an hour and include rolling the dough and preparing the filling before baking in the mud oven and then enjoying your creation.
Best of Peru Travel Recommends:
- If travelling with kids, the empanada making classes are a great option to learn hands-on about Pisac’s empanada tradition.
- Pumachayoc is a great place to stop off for a quick breakfast or snack when hunger strikes!