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Next About Introduction LivinginPeru.com GENERAL DIRECTOR Carsten Korch MANAGING EDITOR Nathan Paluck Dear reader,
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About
Introduction
LivinginPeru.com
GENERAL DIRECTOR
Carsten Korch
MANAGING EDITOR
Nathan Paluck
Dear reader, traveler and explorer,
HEAD WRITER
Dyana M. Gonzales Yupanqui
DESIGN
Pilar Fernandez-Davila Z.
COPY EDITOR
Ross Knutson
During more than five years, the
LivinginPeru.com team and I have
explored and experienced the best of
Peru, and over the last six months,
with the help of our dedicated read-
ers, we compiled the best of the best
in our new guide book Do Peru: 101
Things to Experience.
portal full of recommendations,
news, articles, tips, events and
more, to ensure you have a great
experience while traveling and living
in Peru.
PROJECT ASSISTANT
Caroll Ortiz
PHOTOS
See complete credits. A special thank you to all
those who contributed their photographs.
This book, a pleasure to write, is full
of wonderful tips and ideas on what
to see, do and try while you are in
Peru. I'm sure you'll enjoy all of the
things we have included.
So, Do Peru! And feel free to write
us your ideas, comments and sug-
gestions to editor@livinginperu.com.
Your Sincerely,
OUR THANKS TO
Diego de la Torre, Simon Leishman, Rony Gonzales,
Eduardo Rivera, Andreas Vailakis and PromPeru.
Do Peru is a guide book to bring
along with you to Peru and also an
introduction to LivinginPeru.com, a
Carsten Korch
Chief Editor
LivinginPeru.com
PS For free weekly updates, sign up
for Peru this Week.
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Next About Forward Introduction LivinginPeru.com Do Peru things to experience 101 Peru will surprise you,
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Forward
Introduction
LivinginPeru.com
Do Peru
things to experience
101
Peru will surprise you, as it is diverse not
only in its geography, but in the range of
experiences it offers.
When we travel, some of us seek
adventure. Others, culture. Some of us
are passionate about a certain sport,
such as surfing. Yet others dream of
watching birds and butterflies, or of
spotting pink dolphins. And most of us
enjoy good food.
Peru offers all of this and more. If you
are seeking adventure, you can partici-
pate in an Amazon River race, paraglide
in the city of Lima or simply walk the
ancient Inca Trail. There are also plenty of
outdoor activities to pursue in beautiful
natural settings: the Inca Salt Pans, the
Colca Canyon, the Gocta Waterfalls,
Tambopata and the Amazon, to name a
few.
But perhaps Peru is most known for its
cultural heritage. Machu Picchu is one of
the New Seven Wonders of the World
and Peru's most well known monument.
However, archaeological monuments
are continuously being discovered all
over Peru and especially in the northern
coast. Only three hours away from Lima
is Caral, the oldest civilization of the
Americas. With its five thousand-year-old
pyramids and ceremonial centers, it is
considered a goldmine of information
about the origins of the Andean Civiliza-
tion.
Do Peru: 101 Things to Experience is
an excellent tool to explore and to use
for some research before you decide to
come to Peru and once you are already
here. I am sure that it will help you find
the mix of experiences that is right for
you.
I would like to thank Carsten Korch
and LivinginPeru.com for continuously
highlighting what is worthy and beautiful
about Peru. We hope that you will
discover it for yourself.
JACQUELINE SAETTONE
Former Director of PromPeru
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Next About Contents I Introduction LivinginPeru.com Adventure CITY SIGHTS FESTIVALS FOOD 4 Paraglide over
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Contents I
Introduction
LivinginPeru.com
Adventure
CITY SIGHTS
FESTIVALS
FOOD
4
Paraglide over Miraflores
1
Stroll through Historic Lima
13
Give thanks to Pachamama
2
Drink Pisco Sour
7
Surf
6
See Lima by Bus
22
A Festival at 15,000 Feet
5
Eat Ceviche
19
Cuzco Adventures Sports
23
Lima Museum of Art
24
Party at a Peña
10
Drink Chicha Morada
35
Dune Buggy Riding
31
Floating Barrio of Belen
57
Trip on Ayahuasca
17
Drink Coca Tea
49
Sandboarding
38
Arequipa's Relaxing Square
69
Folklore Festival in Puno
20
Peru's Top Beer
52
Kite Surfing
40
Mazelike Monastery in Arequipa
71
Easter in Ayacucho
28
Eat Lomo Saltado
55
Amazon River Race
42
Modern Art Galleries in Lima
78
Bull Fighting at Acho
36
Aji de Gallina
93
Bike Trek from Tres Cruces
45
Lima's oldest churches
91
Peru's Horse Shows
41
Drink Peruvian Co ee
46
The Water Park
92
Marinera Dance Festival
47
Tour a Pisco Distillery
58
The Jungle City
98
The Inca Sun Festival
48
Drink Inka Kola
ANDEAN
80
Lima's Cemetery
50
Try Lúcuma Ice Cream
81
Bohemia in Barranco
53
Peru's Patriotic Casserole
8
Train through the Andes
82
Erotic Art at Larco Museum
67
Eat Pollo a la brasa
15
Train to Lake Titicaca
83
Classic Lima Bars
74
Eat Papa a la Huancaina
18
The Sacred Valley
85
Afro-Peruvian Culture
76
Lima's Organic Market
68
See the Central Highlands
90
National Museum
84
Tasty Beef Hearts
73
Explore Lake Titicaca
94
The City of Cuzco
87
Drink Fresh Limeade
95
Cuzco Nightlife
99
The Andean Feast
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Next About Contents II Introduction LivinginPeru.com OUTDOORS PREHISPANIC SHOPPING WILDLIFE 11 Inca Salt Pans 3
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Contents II
Introduction
LivinginPeru.com
OUTDOORS
PREHISPANIC
SHOPPING
WILDLIFE
11
Inca Salt Pans
3
The Huacas of Lima
33
Party at Asia Beach
27
The Mangroves of Tumbes
14
Try Different Inca Trails
9
Machu Picchu
43
Lima's Cliff Mall
29
Amazon River Boat Trip
16
Cordillera Blanca
26
Lord of Sipan
44
Buy Peru's Best Silver
30
Spotting Pink Dolphins
21
Hike the Inca Trail
32
Fly over the Nazca Lines
79
Shop for Souvenirs in Miraflores
56
Visit a Butter y Farm
25
Mancora
34
The Adobe City of Chan Chan
89
See a Market
59
Tambopata and Manu
39
Cotahuasi Canyon
62
Kuelap
88
Ballestas Islands
51
Lunahuaná
64
Chankillo
101 Birdwatching
VOLUNTEERING
54
Visit the Amazon
70
Ventanillas of Combayo
61
Baños del Inca
77
Pachacamac
12
Volunteer with Kids in Cuzco
63
Work on Porcón Farm
86
Caral, the Mother Civilization
37
Volunteer and Surf
65
Colca Canyon
96
Koricancha Temple
60
Volunteer in Peru
66
Gocta Waterfalls
97
Choquequirao
72
Trek with Llamas
100
Chavin de Huantar
75
Rock Forest of Huayllay
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About See more in See more in Introduction LivinginPeru.com Lima City Sights Stroll through historic
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Lima
City Sights
Stroll through historic lima
Downtown Lima is the heart
and birthplace of Peru as we
know it. A stroll through its
colonial streets is a required
activity for visitors. Start at
Jiron de la Union and walk
into the colonial Plaza Mayor,
Lima's main square, which is
home to some of Lima's finest
colonial architecture and
classic facades. Walk less
than a block to the govern-
ment palace courtyard and
watch the soldiers clad in
bright uniforms perform the
changing of the guard at noon.
Then walk across the square
and walk into the cathedral or
the Archbishop's Palace. The
plaza's bronze fountain dates
back to the 1600s and can
serve as a point of reference
as you wander past the very
spot that once saw the
Republic's flag wave for the
first time, after Jose de San
Martin declared Peruvian
independence from the Span-
iards in 1821.
1
Showing a Friend around Historic Downtown
Touring Lima by Bike: The Center of Lima
Lima Walks Offers a City Tours on Foot
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All of
Peru
Food
VIDEO: Learn to make a pisco sour from a
seasoned Peruvian bartender, who gives acerbic
political commentary all the while.
See 100 recipes for pisco cocktails. Read
about an attempt to make a sour in the U.S.
Find bars for pisco sours in NYC and London.
Drink a Pisco Sour
Or drink a few. And, welcome to Peru!
Pisco sour is foamy, delicious, and essential
to Peru's gastronomic and cultural heritage. It
is made by shaking three parts pisco, and one
parts of lime juice, sugar syrup and egg white,
then topping with Angostura bitters. This
utmost symbol of Peru is credited to an Ame-
rican barman in the heyday of Lima's down-
town scene in the 1920s. Whether it was first
concocted at Hotel Bolivar or Hotel Maury is
still debated. (Both are still open: See our
section on classic bars.)
The pisco sour is such a source of national
pride that in 2003 the government declared
the first Saturday of February as Pisco Sour
Day. You can be sure current president Alan
Garcia toasting heads of state with a sour.
The pisco sour is synonymous with Peruvian
hospitality and and good times. Mix pisco
sours with friends, and toast with pisco sours
at some of the top bars listed below.
The Bar Ingles in the Hotel Country Club
makes perhaps the best pisco sour in
Peru. Bartender Roberto Melendez uses
the 4-1-1 recipe (see here). It’s potent.
Other Lima bars with great pisco sours
include Huaringas, La Calesa (Manuel
Bañon 255, San Isidro), Ayahuasca, Capi-
tan Melendez (Alcanfores 199, Miraflores).
In Cuzco, stop at El Pisquerito and try
creative cocktails from Hans Hilburg,
regarded as Peru's best pisco mixologist.
2
Read more about the origins of the pisco
sour.
VIDEO: Colin of the Cocktail Kings
mixes pisco drinks in Lima
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Lima
Prehispanic
Visit Huaca Pucllana in the heart of Miraflores
(General Borgoño Cuadra 8, 445-8695). English-
speaking guides give informative tours. Then
grab a drink at the on-site gourmet restaurant.
Other huacas are: Puruchuco (Km 4.5 Carretera
Central), Huallamarca (Nicolas de Rivera 201,
San Isidro), and inside the Parque de Leyendas
(Av. Las Leyendas, Lima).
The Huacas of lima
Huacas are thousand-year-
old structures of delicate
beauty, once used for religious
ceremonies by Peru's coastal
and Andean cultures. There
are several of these weathered
archaeological sites scattered
throughout Lima, most of
them made from small, sun-
dried bricks.
There is evidence that the
huacas were used as centers
for worship, sacred burial
sites, and residences of gov-
erning clergy. Peruvian
archaeologists and scholars
are presently studying
and working to restore
these huacas, which are almost
always located in the midst of
modern Lima structures.
In Lima it is not rare to sud-
denly stumble upon vestiges
of former empires standing
silently amid a backdrop of
blaring horns and bumper-to-
bumper traffic. As recently as
one decade ago, local children
played hide-and-seek and
soccer in the heart of these
ancient ruins. Fortunately,
Peru is now making efforts to
guarantee that future genera-
tions of Peruvians will stand in
awe before these relics as
their ancestors once did.
3
Learn more and see photos about Lima's
four major huacas: Huaca Pucllana,
Huaca Puruchuco, Huaca Huallamarca,
Parque de las Leyendas Huaca.
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Lima
Adventure
Peru Fly is the top company for paragliding and
hand gliding: 99-308-6795. Fly Adventure offers
instruction, as does Aeroextreme.
PAraglide over Lima’s Coast
Jump off the edge of a cliff
and into the liberating experi-
ence of flying. It isn't too
far-fetched to say that the
seaside district of Miraflores is
a lot more captivating when
viewed from more than 200
meters above. Every day
professional paragliders
gather near Parque del Amor
in Miraflores along the bluffs
of the Pacific Ocean to offer
30 minute rides to adventure
seekers. Here you will be
strapped in as the paraglider
steers through Lima’s steady
coastal winds. You will catch
your reflection against Lima’s
skyscrapers (some gliders
reportedly have peeked into
business meetings) or appear
to plummet toward the Pacific
Ocean as the master glider
performs a classic “death
spiral” maneuver. All of this
completely at your whim: No
waivers to be signed, and no
contract other than the hand-
shake of one of a number of
pro gliders who make the
Miraflores cliffs and the wind
their exciting work place.
4
Paragliding over the Pacific Ocean in
Lima
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The
Coast
Food
In Lima, Av. La Mar has exploded with ceviche-
rias. Try La Red, Gaston Acurio's La Mar, Cinco
Esquinas, Blumar and Pescados Capitales,
(open evenings). Great ceviche can be found at
Punta Sal, Señor Limon and Cala. And from his
unassuming home in a tougher barrio, Javier
Wong serves some of Peru's best ceviche.
Ceviche!
(We're not responsible for any
mouth watering.) What's there
to say? Ceviche from Peru is
simply the best. It's all about
the ingredients: freshly caught
white fish from the Pacific,
juice from Peru's incredible
limes up North, spicy aji
pepper, onion and cilantro
some seaweed. The fish is
tossed for just seconds in the
lime juice. Then the garnish-
ings: native sweet potato, a
quarter-cob of maiz gigante,
and maybe some salty fried
kernels, maybe seaweed. The
ceviche is refreshing, spicy
and tart; the sweet potato and
maiz offers perfect balance.
Cevicherias in Peru typically
serve only during lunch. On
weekend especially, they
fill up with large groups of
family and friends (ceviche is
also a hangover curative of
choice). While in Peru eat
ceviche, whether at the beach,
at corner stands selling plates
for three soles ($1!), or loung-
ing at the chic ceviche restau-
rants in Lima's Miraflores
district. The only bad part is,
when away from Peru, you
won't find a ceviche that
compares.
5
Ceviche: Its History and My Husband's
Obsession
How to Eat Ceviche in Lima
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Lima
City Sights
The two top tour companies are Turibus (446-
7575) and Mirabus (476-4213). Websites in
Spanish only.
For alternative tours of the city, see Bike Tours
of Lima and Lima Walks.
SEe Lima by bus
Get the best crash course you
could ever have of Lima on a
single road trip. Board a
double-decker tour bus
and embark upon a panoramic
tour of Lima's main attrac-
tions: Colonial architecture,
plazas, renowned parks and
other places of interest. The
tours includes stops at
Lima's huacas and the
world-famous water park and
impressive views of the
Pacific Ocean. Other cultural
attractions include illuminated
night tours of Lima's historic
center, the Plaza de Armas, a
cemetery, fortresses, historical
sites and the bohemian neigh-
borhood of Barranco, among
others.These trips can also
incorporate a buffet dinner of
"colors and flavors," accom-
panied by a live music show
that includes traditional music
and traditional dancing. Enjoy
the best of Lima's architec-
ture, rich history and culture
by hopping in and taking part
in one of Lima's fun sightsee-
ing experiences.
6
Take a night food tour of Lima
A drinking tour inaugurates La Semana
del Chilcano
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The Coast
Adventure
Los Muelles Surf Camp is next to the coveted
Lobitos waves and offers lodging and lessons.
Surfers reccommend it. Casa de Nacho is a laid
back surfer house in Lobitos, and the best pizza
in town. Most surfers just show up to Peru’s top
points and stay at surf houses, always available.
Surf
The Peruvian coastline runs
more than 1,800 miles and
offers surfers both gentle and
roaring waves.
Just 26 miles to the south of
Lima there is Punta Hermosa,
with more than twenty breaks
within a five mile radius,
including the Pico Alto, South
America's largest wave.
Surfers say go north, though.
Most agree the best place in
Peru to surf is Lobitos, a
sleepy fishing town and now
an international surf location.
In Lobitos, here are the four
main spots: The Point, which
has the most consistent ride;
El Hueco, a good choice for
7
beginners; El Muelle, which
boasts quality lefts and is
usually less crowed; and
Piscinas, a good intermediate
option. During Peru's summer
between November and
March, an excellent swell from
the north makes great breaks
and the water is warm enough
to surf without a wetsuit
(central and southern Peru
requires one mostly year-
round).
Other tops spots to surf up
north are Pacasmayo,
Huanchaco and Chicama,
which boasts the longest left
in the world ("pretty sick wave
mate," one surfer says).
New Hotels Add Comfort to Chicama
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Highlands
Andean
Check for times of the next departure at Ferro-
carril Central Andino. Serious train enthusiasts
can try cathing a rare ride wit theTrain Macho
from Huancayo to Huancavelica. (The “macho”
part is because the train “leaves or arrives when-
ever it pleases.”)
TRain Through the Andes
The train that goes from Lima
to Huancayo boasts the
second-highest tracks in the
world. Seeing Andean passes
from a train is one the high-
lights of Peru travel that few
experience — partly because
the train only runs once a
month, if that.
The spectacular ride takes you
over the Ticlio pass at 15,797
feet and other impressive
sections of the Andes. In all it
covers 26 stations, 61 bridges
and 67 tunnels as it clanks
and rattles its way through the
picturesque highlands. The
206-mile route features
alpine-high lagoons, plunging
cliffs, tunnels and precarious-
looking bridges. Its a phenom-
enally scenic, but sometimes
frightening ride. No wonder
that it is known as one of the
most captivating train journeys
in the world.
8
A Weekend in Huancayo
On Track to Huancayo
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Cuzco
Prehispanic
Go to Machu Picchu via Peru Rail. You’ll catch
the train 10 minutes outside Cuzco in Poroy, and
from there the adventure begins. It’s recom-
mended to see Machu Picchu early in the morn-
ing, which is done only by staying overnight in
Machu Picchu Pueblo and taking the first bus at
5 a.m. to the citadel. There is one hotel at the
base of Machu Picchu: The Sanctuary Lodge.
Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu. You might
want to do this one.
The Lost City of the Incas is
the face of Peru to the world.
(When Peruvians go abroad,
people may think Peru is in
Africa. But people always
seem to know that Machu
Picchu is in Peru.)
Machu Picchu is at 2,500 feet
above sea level, nestled in
mist-shrouded highland
jungle.The site is believed to
have been built as an estate
for an Inca ruler. It has 140
gorgeous structures of
tightly-fit stone. It also has a
complex irrigation system
containing a great number of
water fountains — intercon-
nected by channels and
water-drains perforated in the
rocks — that at one time
carried water from a holy
spring to each of the houses in
this ancient Inca citadel. The
Incas also built a road system
that led directly to the site.
Today, more than a thousand
visitors a day visit Machu
Picchu. This stunning city truly
is, as the World Heritage Site
committee declared in its
induction, "an absolute mas-
terpiece of architecture and a
unique testimony to the Inca
civilization."
9
The discovery of Machu Picchu
Orchids at the Machu Picchu Nature Reserve
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All of
Peru
Food
See this recipe for chicha morada.
For a chicha cocktail, try out Ya Que Chicha!,
which uses pisco and cherry brandy.
Drink Chicha Morada
Chicha morada is perhaps the most
beloved beverage in all of Peru. This
celebrated refreshment is traditionaly
prapared by infusing purple corn and
pinneapple with cloves and cinnamon
for a dash of spice, and finally sweete-
ned with sugar and lime juice. Chicha
morada is not only famous for being
incredibly refreshing, but for being
nutritious as well. Full of antioxidants, its
regular consumption has been proven to
help control cholesterol and blood
pressure levels.
Although the roots of chicha morada lie
in the highland valleys of the Andes, in
the last decade its consumption has
crossed multinational borders. Now its
bottled and powder versions may just be
starting to tread new ground in Europe,
America and Asia, but in Peru this tangy
purple soft drink is king (and don’t think
about drinking it in from powdered
mixes).
From children's parties and family
barbecues to restaurants or sunny days
at the beach, Peruvians always rely on
this invigorating beverage to deliciously
complement the rich flavors of their
world-famous cuisine.
Cold and sweet, and uniquely purple,
chicha morada is truly one of a kind.
10
The Healthy Chicha Morada
Exporting Chicha Morada
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Cuzco
Outdoors
It costs only five soles to enter and walk around
the salt pans. Most Sacred Valley tours stop
here. For the more adventurous, use the
maps found in Exploring Cusco by Peter Frost,
for a half-day hike from Maras through the salt
pans to Urubamba.
THe Salt pans of Maras
Less than forty miles from
Cuzco, down the main road
leading to Urubamba, are
the amazing Inca Salt Pans or
the Salineras de Maras. These
three thousand or so cascad-
ing flats, plotted along a steep
hillside, have been passed
down from generation to
generation since the time of
the Inca Empire. They are
owned and operated by local
families who make a living
from the tradition of salt
extraction. Salt miners take
turns channeling water into
their pools from a nearby salt
spring, water which the
sun's heat evaporates
leaving behind thick layers of
crystallized salt. This salt is
scraped off and transported in
mules later to be packaged
out and sold.
When light reflects on these
hand carved pools, the effect
is stunning, especially in the
late afternoon, when the
sunset causes the salt pans to
glimmer as if speckled in gold.
Watch the miners working
ankle-deep among these
hundreds of shimmering pools
and be captivated by the
stunning view.
11
Colonial Charm in the city of Maras
On the road in Peru: A family trip from
Nazca to Cuzco
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Cuzco
Volunteering
See Kiya's website.
Kiya offers a three-day training course from its
UK office prior to departure for Peru.
Volunteer with Kids in Cuzco
Kiya Survivors is a UK-
Peruvian charity based in Peru
dedicated to providing a new
beginning for children and
young adults who have special
needs or have been abused or
abandoned. Founded in 2001,
Kiya Survivors builds and
runs educational centers for
these young people who live
in extreme poverty. Its first
location, the Rainbow Centre,
is opened in the Sacred Valley
in Cuzco. Since then, founder
Suzy Butler and her Peruvian
team have opened four more
centers in the Sacred Valley
and one the northern coast.
From these base camps they
work to provide
high standards of education
and therapy to some of the
poorest and most remote
areas of Peru where there is
otherwise little or no support.
Volunteers can participate in
Kiya Survivors’ Volunteer
Programs and make a positive
difference to the lives of
disadvantaged young people,
their families, and
communities. Kiya Survivors
now supports over 200 chil-
dren, young people and their
families. Each year up to 60
volunteers assist the chil-
dren in a variety of activities,
such as sports, drama,
creative skills, and excursions.
12
Volunteering at Kiya,
a personal story
Fun books by Brits to read before taking off for Peru:
Inca Kola: A Traveller's Tale of Peru and Viva South
America!: A Journey Through a Restless Continent.
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All of
Peru
Festivals
Pour some of your drink out to thank the pacha-
mama (do it outside, though).
Two tour operators that offer visits to Andean
pachamama ceremonies include SAS Travel and
T.AR.A Tours.
Give thanks to the Pachamama
If while in Peru you are lucky enough to get
your hands on a delicious cup of chicha
morada and want good things coming your
way, then make a toast to the Pachamama.
An Andean tradition that consists of the
locals to offering a sip of their chicha,
beer or pisco to the Pachamama before each
one of their meals. Pachamama, the Quechua
word meaning Mother Earth was at one point
the goddess most revered by the indigenous
people of the Andes. She was the beloved
goddess of agriculture and fertility that could
and would occasionally put the earth to quake
according to local legend. Beloved still for
her generosity, to this day many Peruvians
show their reverence to the Pachamama
and the richness she provides by pouring
just a bit of their chicha to the ground
before bringing the drink to their lips. Ask
any Peruvian, they will tell you that making a
offering to the Pachamama will do you good.
Practicing Andean spiritual rituals in
Cuzco and Puno
13
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Cuzco
Outdoors
Travel agencies in Cuzco are plentiful. One that
stands out is out Wayki Trek, self-described as
“under indigenous management.”
See waykitrek.net, or visit their Cuzco office at
Av. Pardo 506 (Paseo de los Héroes). Ask for
Leo.
Hike a different inca trail
The common assumption is that the classic
trek to Machu Picchu is the one and only Inca
Trail. But actually the original Inca road
system, once used by the Chasqui messenger
runners, has numerous alternative branches.
Now, due to the popularity of the classic Inca
Trail, the government of Peru made it manda-
tory to have a special permit to be allowed to
trek any portion of this famous trail to Machu
Picchu. And there are only a couple hundred
of these coveted slotte available each day that
sell out extremetely quickly. But, alternative
treks such as Lares Valley, Ausangate, Cho-
quequirao, Salcantay Trek and Santa Teresa
do not require permits. These alternate
routes are also less touristic, yet they offer
as much beauty as the more iconic classic
route: wild orchids, hummingbirds, crystalline
brooks and breath taking sunsets over
snow capped peaks, just to mention a few
things. Some of these trails can take several
days to complete and can be more deman-
ding than the beaten path; but these less
traveled roads are worth every step of the
way.
14
Choquesuysuy: The Purification Trail
Salkantay, an Alternative Inca Trail in
Peru
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About See more in See more in Introduction LivinginPeru.com Highlands Andean Starting at US$ 220,
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Highlands
Andean
Starting at US$ 220, cost varies depending on
whether traveling on first class or backpacker
carriage.
Peru Rail offers rides from
Cuzco to Puno.
train to Lake titicaca
Experience a spellbinding rail
trip through the Andes.
The 12-hour voyage through
snow-draped peaks begins its
climb in Cuzco and ends by
the sapphire-blue splendor of
Lake Titicaca. Contemplate
174 miles of emerald valleys
dotted with colonial churches
and farmers tending to
their llamas and vicuñas. Or
see markets so bustling with
activity that stands are often
improvised right on the tracks.
(It is not unusual for a train to
have to force merchants,
stands and cattle to move
aside in order to allow the train
to pass through.) Enjoy a full
day of comfortable indoor
sightseeing thanks to floor-
to-ceiling, panoramic window
panels. The cuisine served on
board is deliciously comple-
mented by the Andean scen-
ery, making for a unique
restaurant and bar experience.
The ride finally comes to a
conclusion in Puno, home to
Lake Titicaca — the highest
navigable Lake in the world,
and as Inca legend has it, the
birthplace of the sun god Inti.
15
An expat discovers Peru's answer to
the Orient Express experience
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Highlands
Outdoors
For a serious hike every July, see International
Mountain Guides.
A good cafe in Huaraz is Cafe Andino.
Churup is a family run hostel in Huaraz.
Hike the cordillera blanca
The Cordillera Blanca mountain range is consi-
dered one of the best spots in South America
for climbing and trekking. Located in the
Ancash region, the mountain range’s glacier-
topped peaks sit ominously above the city of
Huaraz. The Cordillera has 33 spectacular
peaks, with Huascaran reaching 22,200 feet,
and is immensely popular with veteran
mountaineers and seasoned adventu-
rers. One well-known hike is the trek
from Cedros Valley to the Ulta Valley
from where you see the famous Alta-
mayo Peak (once voted the Most
Beautiful Mountain in the World —
we'll let you decide). Another popular
route is the Santa Cruz trek, usually a
four-day hike that offers views of
abundant meadows, wild flowers,
turquoise lakes and white glaciers. The
mountain range is also an ideal desti-
nation for those interested in mountain
biking, hang gliding and rock climbing.
There are also many popular day and
overnight nature treks in the Huascaran
National Park, traversing the Laguna
Llaganuco and Laguna 69. With hundreds
of tour operators, restaurants, hotels and
bars nearby, it will be hard for visitors to run
out of things to do.
16
Trekking Eight Days in Huayhuash,
Part One, Part Two
Climbing Alpamayo
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Highlands
Food
All cafes in Peru’s highlands offer mate de coca.
In Cuzco, Cafe Trotamundo offers a large mug of
steaming coca tea and a great view of Cuzco's
Main Plaza. At Café Literario Varayoc, settle in
with a book and coca tea, Espaderos 142.
In Puno, don’t miss the Coca museum.
Drink Coca Leaf Tea
Coca Tea is an ancient Peruvian
welcome drink and the best
natural remedy for soroche:
altitude sickness. When you are
in the breath-taking Andes Moun-
tains — not just from the view,
but also from the lack of oxygen
— locals will tell you that a hot
and relaxing cup of mate de
coca is the surest way to accli-
mate. It is the drink of choice for
Inca Trail guides.This beloved
brew of the highlands has an
earthy flavor and a mildly sweet
aftertaste. Make it by simply
adding hot water to a handful of
coca leaves, traditionally consid-
ered a sacred plant of great cura-
tive value. (If you don't have hot
water nearby, just chew on a wad
of the leaves.) Locals say it has the
medicinal power to sooth a number
of afflictions ranging from head-
aches to insomnia. And the plant is
the base of cocaine, illegal in the
U.S. and the cause of a billion
dollar War on Drugs. But you'll feel
above all that in the thin air of the
Andean highlands and with a
steaming cup of coca tea.
17
The Coca Leaf and Its Stigmas
Recipe for a Coca Sour (you didn’t think
we’d forget about pisco, right?)
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Cuzco
Andean
Sol y Luna is a high-end option in the valley.
Other top places include Casa Andina and Rio
Sagrado. Equitours does horseback riding in
the valley. Seminario Ceramic Studio is a gal-
lery that holds ceramics workshops.
The sacred valley of cuzco
The Sacred Valley of the Incas
has been a popular destina-
tion since the Incan Royalty
took advantage of its mild
climate to escape the cold of
Cuzco centuries ago. With a
stunning backdrop of blue
skies and lofty peaks, rivers
and streams it is easy to see
why. The Sacred Valley is
home to many Inca ruins, such
as Pisac and Ollantaytambo,
which majestically overlook
their towns below.
Trade and commerce have
always been important com-
ponents of the Valley and this
continues today, as the area
hosts some of the most popu-
lar artisan markets in Pisac
and Chinchero.
For adventure enthusiasts the
Valley offers a score of out-
door options: kayaking and
rafting, paragliding, mountain
biking, horseback riding and
trekking. After a day filled with
activities one can unwind at
one of the many lodges and
spas and enjoy the peaceful
tranquility of the Valley just like
the Incan Royalty centuries
ago.
18
Don't Miss Out on Ollantaytambo
The Sacred Energy of Sacred Valley:
Reflections After a Trip to Cuzco
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Cuzco
Adventure
Enigma is an adventure tour operator based out
of Cuzco. Gravity Assisted offers mountain
biking tours.
Adventure sports in cuzco
In the last couple of decades
Cuzco has become a magnet
for adventure sports aficiona-
dos in search of an adrenaline
rush. Every year droves of
adventure-seekers are drawn
to the Peruvian Andes ready
for extreme sports, to couple
with Cuzco's rich history and
stunning scenery. Cuzco has
scores to offer in outdoor and
adventure opportunities for
everyone. The Sacred Valley
offers a first-rate white water
rafting adventure through the
Urubamba River, with rapids
ranging from a calm class II
to an intense class IV. Also,
the legendary four-day Inca
19
Trail trek to Machu Picchu
calls for arduous trekking
and continues to be the
region's most sought-after
outdoor activity. There are
also plenty of other adventure
sports such as: mountain
biking, paragliding in the
Sacred Valley, bungee jump-
ing and rock climbing.
For those that seek a
calmer, more relaxing hiking
pace to enjoy the snow-
capped peaks, blue skies, and
varied plant and bird life, there
are plenty of walking and
horse back riding paths. All
things considered, Cuzco is
Peru's champion of adventure
travel sports.
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All of
Peru
Food
Enjoy a Cusqueña everywhere in Peru! Also find
it at finer stores in four continents: North
America, South America, Europe, Asia.
In Lima for business? See the Top 10 bars and
restaurants to do business in Lima.
Cusqueña, Peru’s top beer
Of Peruvian beers, per-
haps none provokes such
strong images of Peru more
than Cusqueña. From its name
that means “from Cuzco,” the
craftsmanship and attention to
detail, and its origins in the
German immigrants to Peru
who perfected its recipe in the
early 1900s, Cusqueña is a
beer that is Peru. The fact that
water used in its brewing
comes from glaciers at over
18,000 feet and it incorporates
some of the world’s top hops
while adhering to the German
beer purity law of 1516,
making it crisp and refreshing
and bold at the same time. Its
versatility makes it a wonderful
companion to the many
flavors of Peru’s award win-
ning cuisine or to enjoy all by
itself whether traveling through
the Andes or back in your
home country.
20
Cusqueña wins presence and awards in
the UK
Read about Peru’s top brands
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Cuzco
Outdoors
Llama Path is a good company for the hike.
There is limited space on the trail, so book far in
advanced. Advice: Acclimatize in Cuzco at least
2 days before; walk around alot. Day 2 and 3 are
the hardest. Do Wayna Picchu: it’s worth it. The
Inca Trail makes the Machu Picchu experience a
more spiritual event, and makes you feel like you
earned it once arriving.
Hike the inca trail
The Inca Trail was a transpor-
tation system that united the
entire Inca Empire in pre-
Columbian South America.
The network consisted of two
north-south roads, with sev-
eral road channels that
allowed for efficient
communications. This trail
connected towns, agricultural
and mining zones as well as
sacred ceremonial centers.
The most famous of these
routes is the one that leads to
Machu Picchu. Although the
prime users of these routes
were imperial soldiers, llama
caravans and nobility, the
most famous of them were the
Chasquis. The Chasquis were
trained relay messengers
stationed at intervals of about
20 miles along these roads,
who daily carried correspon-
dence and fresh food supplies
from the highlands to the
coast and back. Considering
the Incas did not make use of
wheeled transportation and
did not have horses, the Inca
Trails were the most advanced
highway system of its time.
21
The Inca Trail is no Place for Soft Jour-
nalists
The Famed Inca Trail
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Cuzco
Festivals
A festival at 15,000 feet
Qoyllur Rit’i is considered the
largest Andean pilgrimage in
the Peruvian highlands. In
early June this festival gathers
more than 10,000 pilgrims in a
fascinating mix of the region's
Catholic and pagan traditions.
Although it is in fact a Chris-
tian ceremony, the main
reason for the observance is
to celebrate the integration of
man with nature. The shrine of
Qoyllur Rit’i is located on a
steep mountain, at some
15,000 feet, and is seldom
visited by anyone other than
the actual pilgrims. The ritual
consists of thousands of
people from nearby rural
22
communities carrying images
of Christ, crosses and offer-
ings up to the summit. The
more pious recite special
prayers throughout the journey
and perform rituals as soon as
the shrine and surrounding
sacred landmarks first come
into view. They are joined by
large troupe of musicians and
dancers dressed in costums
— symbolizing various mythi-
cal characters — and perform-
ing elaborately choreographed
dances. If you are one of the
few tourists to witness the
intense energy of this ritual, it
will fill you with a sense that
you have been part of some-
thing very powerful.
Learn about Peru’s mythical Andean creatures
Qoyllur Rit’i tries to become green
Andean and Catholic beliefs at Qoyllur Rit’i
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Lima
City Sights
The museum is called Museo de Arte de Lima
and is located inside Parque de la Exposición at
Paseo Colon 125 in downtown Lima.
Keep up-to date with exhibits by visiting
LivinginPeru.com's event calendar.
Lima’s Museum of art
The Lima Art Museum pos-
sesses the largest and most
representative art collection in
Peru. Its exhibitions reflect the
wealth and breadth of Peru-
vian art and culture in the last
millennium. The museum
houses more than 3,000 years
of Peruvian art and includes
pieces by the most influential
cultures to have ever inhabited
Peru. The Moche, Vicus,
Nazca, Chimú, Chancay and
Ica-Chinca are some of the
civilizations whose art pieces
are showcased in its nine
galleries. Its halls also exhibit
pre-Columbian textiles,
ceramics and carvings, as well
as furniture and silverware
from the Colonial Period. Its
Republican period pieces
interestingly reflect the politi-
cal and social changes the
country was going thorough at
the time. The history of
national photography is also
chronicled in an exhibition of
photographs from 1842 —
when photography was first
introduced to Peru — until
today. The museum success-
fully meets its mission of being
a force in the "spreading and
creation of a living culture."
23
Other Lima museums:
Museo Larco and Museo de la Nación.
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Lima
Festivals
The two top peñas in Barranco are Peña Del
Carajo on Catalino Miranda 158 and De Rompe
y Raja on Manuel Segura 127.
For a night of spectaculer Andean folkloric dan-
cing, go to Brisas del Titicaca in downtown
Lima. The stage fills up with audience members
dancing between performances.
Party at a peña
For those seeking a vibrant party atmos-
phere with live entertainment, dancing and
delicious Peruvian creole food, a Peña is
where you need to be. These venues are
an intimate way to see live creole music.
Famous for being the training grounds of
local performers, as legends like Eva Ayllon
and Arturo "Zambo" Cavero began their
careers in Peñas by winning the hearts of
local crowds. There are several peñas
scattered throughout Lima and the best of
them are in Barranco and Miraflores. They
are popular among the young, old, locals
and tourists who are attracted to their
traditional showcases where singers
and dancers interact with the audien-
ce. Whether you are the extroverted,
jump-right-in type or more of a wall-
flower, once you have sat down at a
Peña you will want to join in. From the
hollow richness of the Afro-Peruvian
cajon to the piercing notes of the
criollo guitar, a Peña shows you the heart
of a Limeño creole party.
24
¡Viva La Peña! A Gringo’s visit to De
Rompe y Raja
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The Coast
Outdoors
Luxury places include DCO boutique hotel and
La Sirena (Av. Piura 326).
Top hostels are Loki and Kokopelli (whose new
pool is shown below).
Mancora
Mancora has become one of
the trendiest beach towns in
Peru, known for its
beautiful endless beaches,
year-round sun, world-class
surfing, seafood, and vibrant
nightlife. Outdoor activities,
parties and luxury pampering
is the name of the game in
Mancora. There are hostels
and small restaurants for the
meager budget; hotels and
restaurants for the mid-ranged
traveler; and luxury beach
resorts and fine dining. During
the day, visitors can enjoy the
crystal clear waves and white
sand beaches that offer a
quiet haven and a peaceful
25
break from city life. Tourists fill
the cafés, seafood restau-
rants, gourmet diners, and
beachside bars, where local
delicacies include ceviche,
pulpo al olivo (grilled octopus
with olive sauce) and tuna
saltado (stir-fried tuna). Man-
cora also has a booming
international cuisine with
flavors from Thailand, Mexico,
Italy, Japan, and more. At
night, the younger crowds fill
nightclubs and bars, with
parties often lasting until
sunrise. Try horseback riding
on the beach, surfing, kite-
surfing, nearby canopy zip line
tours. Then go for a massage
or simply relax on the sand.
Luxury spots in Mancora
Quiet beach time at Las Pocitas
A trip to Mancora
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The Coast
Prehispanic
The Museum is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m., closed on
Mondays. Address: Av. Juan Pablo Vizcardo and
Av. Guzman, in Lambayeque, 74-28-3978.
A nearby hotel is San Roque.
tHE LORD OF SIPAN MUSEUM
The tomb of the Moche Lord, commonly
known as the Lord of Sipan, is located near
Huaca Rajada in by the Northern city of Lam-
bayeque. Besides gold relics, jewelry and
other offerings, this high-ranking leader was
buried in full regalia along with eight
guests to accompany him to his afterlife.
It is considered one of the most significant
archaeological discoveries in Peru because
the main tomb was found intact. This finding
has been invaluable to scholars interested in
American prehistory, who now know that the
Moche people were skilled metal workers.
In 2002, local government opened the Royal
Tombs Museum of Sipan, which exhibits the
excavation's most important findings. The
highlights of the exhibition are restored gold
and silver adornments, a display of the
restoration work itself, and the remains
of the Lord and his guests. Visit the
warm northern coast of Peru and
experience one of the most important
archaeological sites and museums of
recent times.
26
Sipán Museum: In the Style of Ancient
Mochica Temples
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The
Coast
Wildlife
Biosfera Tours is a great local ecological your
agency. Los Viñedos offers tour packages from
their hotel in Tumbes.
Budadar is a restuarant-lounge to relax after a
day in the mangroves.
Mangroves of Tumbes
Tumbes is a tiny coastal depart-
ment in northwestern Peru,
so little that it sometimes even
gets bumped from maps of
Peru. Despite its small size,
however, the region has a
wide variety of ecosystems:
mangroves, the only coastal
tropical forests in Peru, and a
rich and warm sea. Further-
more, more than half of the
regions territory is covered by
protected natural areas: the
Manglares de Tumbes
National Sanctuary, the Cerros
de Amotape National Park and
the Tumbes Reserve Zone.
You can go horseback riding
through dense forests and
surfing in white sand beaches
all in the same day. What also
makes Tumbes so exceptional
is that this area hardly experi-
ences any large-scale tourism.
Add to that Tumbes' extraor-
dinary marine cuisine —
including-mouth watering
spicy shrimp stew and plan-
tain served in shellfish sauce
— and you'll experience why
Tumbes won't stay a hidden
corner of Peru for much
longer.
27
Reflections on Ten Years of Travel: An
Interview with Rafo León
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All of
Peru
Food
Make it using our recipe here.
Top Lima restaurants with great lomo saltado
include Jose Antonio in San Isidro,
El Grifo in Callao, and El Fogón in La Molina.
Eat a Lomo saltado
Lomo saltado is a tasty Peruvian creole dish
made by stir frying marinated sirloin strips with
red onions, tomatoes, as well as spices. Then
you mix with homemade potato fries.
The beef stir fry as it is affectionately known
by Peruvians, can be served alone, though it is
traditionally enjoyed with a side serving of rice
that is usually splashed with the gravy left over
from sauteing the meat and vegetables.
Although its roots trace back to the city of
Lima, it is an archetype of the now world
famous harmonious blends that have been
conceived by the cultural diversity of Peruvian
gastronomy.
This culinary gem can be found in some of the
most unique places around Peru and in a
dazzling assortment of presentations.
You can purchase its sandwich version in a
local street cart on your way to work, or enjoy
it as the luscious main course in some of
Peru's most refined restaurants.
Wherever you go in Peru, Lomo Saltado is
distinguished as an unchallenged national
favorite that has earned its place as the crown
jewel of Peruvian creole cuisine.
28
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Amazon
Wildlife
Take a trip with Dawn on the Amazon, based
out of Iquitos. Other companies include Aqua
Expeditions, Amazon River Expeditions and
Amazon Voyagers (866-725-3255).
(See the articles in the Read More section about
DIY in a cargo boat.)
Amazon river boat trip
Escape from the rest of the
world and enter the Peruvian
Amazon: a lush and secluded
rain forest, indigenous cultures,
swaying hammocks and the
world's most voluminous river.
Depart from the banks of the
Ucayali river in Pucallpa and
cruise a 932 miles of the Peru-
vian Amazon river into Iquitos,
a city that can only be reached
by airplane or boat.
Whether aboard a luxurious
cruise ship or embarking on a
cramped cargo boat, every
bend in the river will offer
glimpses of wildlife. You will
find yourself dodging moths
the size of small birds, or
staring in awe as the pilot
steers the ship through cluster
after cluster of five-foot-long
lily pads. No documentary can
capture the beauty of a the
Peruvian Amazon, home to
quiet and haunting sunrises.
29
La Vida Lancha: River Riding in the
Amazon
Five Days on a Cargo Boat Through the
Amazon
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Amazon
Wildlife
Agencies that will bring you out for pink dolphin
spotting includes: Delfin Amazon Cruises,
Aqua Expeditions and Dawn on the Amazon.
Spotting pink dolphins
The rare Amazon river
dolphins are not only unusual
because they live in freshwa-
ter, but because the males of
the species are pink as bubble
gum. You can catch a good
glimpse of these rare crea-
tures during flood season,
when their eagerness for the
larger volumes of fish in the
Amazon waters make them
more willing to being around
humans.
Their bending bodies look
graceful swimming effortlessly
through branches and
smoothly gliding around knot-
ted trunks, even though some
are eight to ten foot long and
30
can weigh 200 pounds.
Equally captivating is to see
them almost glow orange as
they navigate the Amazon's
silty waters lightly charged
with traces of drifting vegeta-
tion. Freshwater dolphins are
not endangered, but they're
rarely seen by humans. You
are fortunate if you get to spot
them during an Amazon
cruise, or (if you dare) go
looking for them on a paddle
boat and actually get to catch
them at play. The second
option will give you the rare,
but possible, chance of swim-
ming in the middle of the
Amazon surrounded by them.
Our Study of the Amazon Pink Dolphin
And read about Peru’s Pacific Ocean
dolphins: NGO in Peru sees tourism as
the way to protect dolphins
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Amazon
City Sights
Floating Barrios of Belen
Built on stilts and rafts on the
banks of the Amazon River in
Iquitos, the floating city of
Belen and its market are both
fascinating, chaotic and stun-
ning. Half marketplace, half
slum, Belen sits on the river
bank and in the river itself —
its buildings wrap around a hill
that trails out into the wash of
the Amazon River. Most of the
houses are wooden raft shan-
ties with corrugated tin roofs
that are able to float with the
changing height of the river.
Despite it being one of the
poorest neighborhoods in the
world, all around you can see
kids laughing as they play in or
near the water, men in shabby
31
boats making a living trans-
porting locals and tourists,
and early risers diligently
washing their clothes through
holes in the floors of their
homes. And at the top of the
hill sits the marketplace whose
stalls display an amazing array
of colors and scents, display-
ing every kind of known veg-
etable, meat and treat. Its
bizarre "witch medicine"
section displays a huge selec-
tion of herbs, potions and
shamans boasting to have the
cure for any possible ailment
is particularly interesting.
Belen is a raw glimpse at
humanity.
Clown volunteers bring paint and joy to
slums of Belen
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The Coast
Prehispanic
In the city of Nazca, two luxury options are Casa
Andina and Hotel Cantayo. A budget option is
Walkon Inn.
Two miles from the city lie the impressive net-
work of underground aqueducts, called Can-
talloc. The entrance is only three soles ($1).
Fly over the Nazca Lines
Ever enigmatic, the Nazca
lines are remarkable ancient
designs etched into the
grounds of Peru's southern
desert. The ground carvings
range in intricacy and design.
But the subjects of the more
artistic glyphs are chiefly
animal or plant based includ-
ing more than 70 stylized
animals, birds, fish and human
figures. Although there are
several observatories in the
area, these immense lines that
stretch for miles are better
appreciated from above.
Most fly-over tours are
approximately half an hour
long, but tourist pilots make
sure to circle each one of the
designs to ensure visitors
have plenty of opportunity to
see and marvel over the
lines. The hundreds of geo-
glyphs were constructed by
the Nazca culture more than
1,500 years ago and extend
more than 190 square miles.
Ever since their discovery the
town of Nazca has become
one of Peru's top tourist
attractiion. Visitors from all
over the world travel to see
these puzzling, magnificent
creations of Peru's early
coastal civilizations.
32
The Nazca Lines: An Incredible Fly-Over
We know who drew these shapes in
Peru's desert. But why?
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About See more in See more in Introduction LivinginPeru.com The Coast Shopping Asia Boulevard parties
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The
Coast
Shopping
Asia Boulevard parties hard from January to
April, and is dead for the rest of the year. Top
bars and clubs in the 2010 season were Nikita,
La 97, La Huaka, Tragaluz and Depeche Order,
to name a few. Visit LivinginPeru.com come
December for a preview of hot places in 2011.
Shop And Party at Asia Beach
The beaches of Asia, at the 96
kilometer mark on the south-
ern span of the Peruvian
Pan-American Highway, are
among the most exclusive and
sought after summer get-
aways in all of Peru. Although
unpopulated for most of the
year, during the summer
months Asia is the central
scene of upscale nightlife and
beach house parties.
It is the favorite hub of young,
affluent socialites looking to
party and be seen. In the last
couple of years, however, Asia
has increasingly drawn in a
more-low-key kind of crowd.
The emergence of spas, coun-
try clubs and family beach
residences has recently made
Asia a more family-friendly
scene. Asia's southern boule-
vard, with its open air restau-
rants, can be the ideal place to
spend family time on warm
and breezy summer nights —
its outdoor restaurants and
open-air mall atmosphere
make it the ideal youth hang
out. Asia has a lot of sun and
a little bit of everything for
anyone looking to retreat from
Lima's bustling pace.
33
Get your Party On: Nightlife in Asia
Boulevard, Summer 2010
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The Coast
Prehispanic
Using the city of Trujillo as your home base, stay
at Hotel Los Conquistadores off the Plaza de
Armas. Eat at El Mochica restaurant, on Bolivar
462. Still can’t get enough archaeology? Visit a
gas station-turned artefacts museum, the
Museo Cassinelli.
Adobe city of Chan chan
The largest Pre-Columbian
city in the Americas, and the
largest adobe city on earth, is
Chan Chan. Located in La
Libertad, some five miles west
of Trujillo and eight hours by
car from Lima, Chan Chan is a
gorgeous archaeological site
in the desert and one of Peru's
most important.
Once the great capital of the
Chimu empire, it comprises
more than 10,000 structures.
Some of these were palaces
and temples with walls rising
as high as 30 feet tall and
decorated with elaborate
friezes hundreds of feet long.
It once contained a dozen
34
citadels, workshops, ware-
houses, plazas, a royal cem-
etery and pyramid temples.
This adobe metropolis was
once a chief state in Peru and
very wealthy, with
walls adorned with pre-
cious metals. The Chimu were
the engineering society of the
New World: Despite Chan
Chan being located in one of
the of the world's most barren
coastal deserts, its network of
irrigation canals kept fields
and gardens flourishing. This
massive complex stands as a
striking testament to the
sophisticated society that
once inhabited it.
Chan Chan, the Melting City of the
Chimu
Nearby: Visit the tranquil beach village
of Huanchaco
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The Coast
Adventure
Desert Adventures offers dune buggy excur-
sions at a fair price. Backpacker options in Hua-
cachina include Sol de Ica, and Carolas del Sur.
El Huacachinero is a mid-range option. See
huacachina.com for more information in Eng-
lish.
Dune Buggy Riding
Located just outside the bus-
tling city of Ica, and known as
the Oasis of America, Huaca-
china is a tiny village built
around a natural lagoon.
Surrounding Huacachina are
towering sand dunes standing
several hundred feet high and
extending for miles into the
horizon.
Because few places in the
world offer sand dunes the
size of the ones found in
Huacachina, it has become
well known for attracting
tourists from all over the world
drawn to the novelty of racing
up and down the steep dunes
at zooming speeds while
strapped to four-wheel-drive
dune buggies. Not to mention
the incredible landscape views
and colors, especially the
desert sunsets visible from the
rim of these dunes during
late-afternoon rides.
If you’re a fan of roller-
coasters and adventure
sports, dune buggy riding in
Huacachina is essential for a
complete trip to southern
Peru.
35
Discovering Desert Lagoons in Ica’s
desert
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About See more in See more in Introduction LivinginPeru.com The Coast Food See a recipe
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The
Coast
Food
See a recipe for aji de gallina.
Two upscale restaurants from all star chef
Gaston Acurio serves aji de gallina. Read about
Panchita and Tanta.
AjI de gallina
Aji de Gallina is a homey
creole dish that is a true favo-
rite among the locals. The dish
consists of shredded chicken
(the gallina part) in a creamy
and mildly spicy yellow-
pepper cream (the aji part). It
has a gravy-like smoothness
to its consistency. Aji de
Gallina is served as an entrée
over a bed of sliced boiled
potatoes, with a side of rice
(doubling on carbs is also a
classic in down home Peru-
vian cooking), and garnished
with slices of hard boiled eggs
and black olives.
Aji de Gallina is a respected
delicacy across the spectrum
of Lima eateries: You'll find it
at five-star restaurants,
humble downtown eateries,
and mobile food stands. The
best place to have it, though,
is at the house of a Peruvian
family.
click photo
36
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The Coast
Volunteering
Visit the WAVES website to sign up.
Surf and volunteer
WAVES for Development
makes it possible to
take your passion for surfing
and use it to make a differ-
ence. The idea for WAVES —
Water Adventure Voluntourism
Education Sustainability —
originated on the beaches of
northern Peru in late 2004,
when a group of local and
international surfers shared a
desire to help local youth with
little resources enjoy surfing.
Since then, volunteers from
around the world have been
able to help kids in the town of
Lobitos (near Mancora) build
confidence, stay healthy and
foster meaningful relationships
while enjoying the natural
environment. Volunteers work
daily at schools, side-by-side
with teachers, teaching eng-
lish. If joining, you are encour-
aged to develop a personal
project according to your
strengths and interests. This
could be beach clean-ups,
guitar lessons, photography,
physical education or art, for
example. And you don't have
to be a surfer to participate —
but if you want to learn, that's
an extra perk.
37
WAVES: How to surf Peru and volunteer
in the beach town of Lobitos
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About See more in See more in Introduction LivinginPeru.com Arequipa City Sights Eating and cafe
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Arequipa
City Sights
Eating and cafe lounging is a must after
sightseeing in Arequipa. The stone walkway
behind the cathedral offers quaint cafes and
pizza joints. For top cuisine, try novo-andino
food at Zig-Zag, and Chicha, Gaston Acurio’s
restaurant that focuses on regional specialties.
Relax in Arequipa’s square
Everywhere you look in
Arequipa’s main square, the
Plaza de Armas — from
century-old cathedrals to
government buildings —
the color of white shimmers
back at you. Standing there,
one is surrounded by veranda
porches and a lively atmo-
sphere. Arequipa’s still active
volcano, Misti, provides a
striking backdrop to the pris-
tine white of the plaza. At
night, the plaza is equally as
stunning with a well-lit ambi-
ence that provides beauty and
tranquility. The impressive
twin-towered Basilica Cathe-
dral of Arequipa dominates the
entire north side of the square.
Although repeatedly suffered
damages from earthquakes
and fires, its arched walkways,
arcaded buildings, and several
cafes and restaurants, one
can see why it is considered
one of the most beautiful
colonial cathedrals in Peru.
Spend a day in the center of
La Ciudad Blanca and
discover its well-earned repu-
tation as a proud colonial city.
38
Arequipa: The White City
New York Times Frugal Traveler Visits
Arequipa
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Arequipa
Outdoors
Pablo Tours is an Arequipa-based agency that
leads treks into Cotahuasi.
Cotahuasi canyon
The Cotahuasi Canyon, some 230 miles from
the city of Arequipa, is the deepest canyon in
the Americas.
Reaching a maximum depth of 11,597 feet, it
is more famously known for its steep varia-
tions in elevation ranging from 3,280 to 19,990
feet. It is also home to the largest and highest
volcano in Peru, the Coropuna volcano. In
1988 the Canyon became a National Tourist
Reserve and has since rapidly attracted
adventure travelers. The Cotahuasi River has
several miles of Class IV and Class V white
water rapids, waterfalls and is ideal for moun-
tain climbing, hiking, mountain biking and
kayaking.
Within the reserve you will also have the
opportunity to visit some historical remains of
the Wari and Inca civilizations, several hanging
bridges, rock and cacti forests, medicinal hot
springs and exotic flora and fauna.
Come explore its ravines and be captivated by
its abysses which are attracting adventure
lovers from all over the world.
Cotahuasi, the Hidden Jewel of
Arequipa
39
The Deepest Canyon in the World
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About See more in See more in Introduction LivinginPeru.com Arequipa City Sights Entrance costs 35
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Arequipa
City Sights
Entrance costs 35 soles, a steep price compared
to other sites in Arequipa, but worth it. Hours are
9-5 p.m., and until 8 p.m. during high seasons.
See the website. A smaller monastery is the
charming La Recolecta, a 20-minute walk from
Arequipa's center (Recoleta 117, 54-27-0966).
MazeLike Monastery in AreQuipa
Founded in 1579, the
Santa Catalina Monastery
is one of the most
treasured religious monu-
ments in Peru. It is practically
a small village of Moorish-
Christian architecture, con-
taining 3 cloisters, 6 streets,
80 housing units, a square, an
art gallery and a cemetery.
The monastery was founded
by a rich widow, and over time
attracted a number of women
of wealth and social standing
as novices. Although the nuns
entered the convent having
taken vows of poverty, most
of them paid a dowry to enter
and brought with them their
servants, slaves, household
comforts and other luxuries.
Evidence of the lavish lifestyle
enjoyed by these sequestered
nuns can now be seen in the
remaining art collections,
elegant arched colonnades,
vegetation-lined passage-
ways, fountains, and chapels.
By 1970, the now poor com-
munity of nuns opened most
of the monastery as a
museum to pay for the instal-
lation of electricity and running
water and has since become
one of Arequipa's main tourist
attractions.
40
Get thee to a nunnery: The story of
Santa Catalina
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About See more in See more in Introduction LivinginPeru.com Lima Food Besides for a trip
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Lima
Food
Besides for a trip to coffee-growing regions (see
Read More section), you’ll find Peru’s best beans
in only a few cafes in Lima. Go to Arabica
Espresso Bar, (Recavarren 269 Miraflores), Café
Z (Diagonal 598, Miraflores), Café Verde (Santa
Cruz 1305, Miraflores) Orgäanika Coffee (C. C.
Caminos del Inca, Chacarilla), Café-Bodega
Santa Isabel (Carabaya 520, Downtown Lima).
Drink peruvian coffee
Recently coffee from Peru has
been named some of the best
in the world. Tunkimayo coffee
from Puno, for example, recently
won the prestigious Best
Gourmet Specialty Coffee
international award. We
know you will love it.
By now Peruvian coffee
has been taken its place
in the echelon of the world's
top coffee-producing nations.
Peru is a top producer of fair
trade varieties, and coffee is
currently Peru's largest
agricultural export. Also, Peru
is the world's leading
producer of organic coffee.
The rare and expensive
Uchinari gourmet coffee
recently joined the roster of
Peruvian coffees. Have steam-
ing cup of Peruvian coffee
with a late afternoon lunch,
and treat your palate to the
wonderful aroma and depth of
flavor you will find in Peru
41
Peruvian Coffee: The Story of a Farmer
from Cuzco
Discover the best coffee in Peru: Travel
to the central jungle
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Lima
City Sights
Art Galleries in Lima
The economy isn't the only thing
expanding in Peru. The art scene in
Lima is healthier than ever, as Peru-
vian talent opts to stay in their capital
and foreign artists are attracted to the
buzz. See a list of galleries to visit in
the next column. We'll highlight one of
the top galleries in Barranco: Galleria
Lucia de la Puente (see pictures on
left). Since its establishment in 1995, it
has dedicated itself to the promotion
of national artists. It is housed in a
beautiful restored mansion, where it
shows bold exhibitions of photogra-
phy, paintings, sculptures and digital
art. Peru is not just Prehispanic arte-
facts: Enjoy the vibrant modern art
scene while in Lima.
Go there
Lucia de la Puente, Galeria de Arte
Paseo Saenz Peña 206 A, Barranco
Pedro de Osma Gallery
Avenida Pedro de Osma 423, Barranco
Enlace Arte Contemporáneo
Avenida Pardo y Aliaga 676, Miraflores
Vertice Galeria de Arte
Plascencia 350, San Isidro
Artco Galeria de Arte
Rouad y Paz Soldan 325, San Isidro
Galeria Indigo
Av. El Bosque 260, San Isidro
42
Bruno Gallery
Calle Francia 565 B, Miraflores
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Lima
Shopping
Larcomar has a complete listing of stores and
services on their website, in English.
mall Time on Lima’s Bluffs
With a stunning view of the
Pacific, Larcomar is a multi-
storied, open air shopping
center built into the side
of the ocean's bluffs. Thousands
of visitors — an eclectic mix of
locals, tourists, young and old
alike — are attracted to this
icon of modern Lima. There is
always something to do in
Larcomar: There is the Peru-
vian Museum of Gold, high-
end restaurants, fast food
joints, fashion boutiques, a
bowling alley and a movie
theater. And ever-present is
the panoramic view.
You will see families eating ice
cream, teenagers making a
beeline to Bembo's (Peru's
best hamburger joint) and
older couples admiring the
sunset while enjoying a cup of
coffee among friends. Larco-
mar is the place to enjoy
modern day comforts,
and see and be seen.
43
Top 10 Places to Meet Expats in Lima
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All of
Peru
Shopping
See store locations on Ilari’s website.
Other top stores selling silver include Kolke
Peru, CMC By Camusso, Mili Blume, and
stores along Avenida La Paz in Miraflores.
Shop for Silver
Ilaria Jewelry is one of the
largest producers and distribu-
tors of top quality Peruvian silver
jewelry and art.
It was founded by Florentine
artist Ilaria Ciabatti (shown here
on far left) who became fascina-
ted with Peruvian silverwork and
viceroyal history since the day
she first set foot on Peruvian
soil.
guished for their use of Peruvian
silver, stone, and natural
elements. Their secret to suc-
cess seems to lie in their use of
silversmithing techniques that
date back as far as the times of
the Inca empire.
Since its inauguration, Ilaria has
established itself as a driving
force in the rebirth of Peruvian
silversmithing.
All of Ilaria's pieces are distin-
Furthermore, their works are the
result of collaboration by a team
comprised of one hundred local
artisans, silversmiths, stonecut-
ters and wood carvers. Just
catch a glimmer of Ilaria's crea-
tions, and you will understand
the true meaning of Peruvian
craftmanship.
44
Lima Fashion: Ilaria and Michelle Belau
present fall collections
Peru: Top silver producer, but what
about adding value?
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About See more in See more in Introduction LivinginPeru.com Lima City Sights The San Francisco
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Lima
City Sights
The San Francisco Museum is on Plaza San
Francisco, between Jiron Ancash and Lampa in
Downtown Lima. Also worth seeing are the Igle-
sia de Jesus, Maria y Jose on Camana and
Moquegua, and Iglesia de San Pedro on Azán-
garo and Ucayali. To dwell on the evils commit-
ted by the church, visit the Museum of the
Inquisition on Plaza Bolivar (Jiron Junin 548).
Visit Lima’s Oldest Churches
The Iglesia de San Francisco, built in 1674, is
the most visited church in Lima. The church is
an outstanding example of the Lima Baroque
colonial church. Its impressive neo-classical
altar, glazed ceramic tiles, lovely cloistered
courtyards and carved ceilings also make an
impression.
When visiting, peek inside its museum, which
holds excellent examples of religious art,
especially wooden carvings of saints and
portraits of the apostles. A library has a splen-
did collection of antique texts, many dating to
the first year after Lima's colonial founding.
But most striking are its vast catacombs dug
in 1546 as the city's first burial ground until the
main cemetery was built. These underground
tunnels contain the bones of as many as
75,000 bodies, including a well lined with
perfectly laid skulls and femurs. It is by far the
most moving component of the Iglesia de San
Francisco — the capital's most fascinating
church.
A visit to the San Francisco convent
45
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Lima
City Sights
The full name is El Circuito Mágico del Agua. It’s
between Av. Petit Thuars and Jr. Madre de Dios:
330-3052 or 332-9417.
Lima’s Magical water Park
The Parque de la Reserva in downtown Lima
has a fountain park designed to enthrall visi-
tors with shows of water, music, and laser
lights. Called the “Magic Water Tour,” it
currently holds the world record for being the
largest fountain complex in the world. It con-
sists of 13 distinct fountains, many of which
are interactive. All of the fountains are
lighted at night, many with conti-
nuously changing colors. All the lively
performances from each of the foun-
tains in the park's collection are unique
and elaborate. The largest fountain
reaches more than 260 feet high.
Additional attractions include the
Tunnel Fountain of Surprises, a walk-
through tunnel of water; the Children’s
Fountain, a walk-in interactive foun-
tain; and the Fantasia Fountain, that
synchronizes a laser and picture show
to music.
These synchronized water spectacles
are not the only features in this modern
Lima attraction. The water park also exhibits
a unique collection of sculptures conceived
by Peruvian artists.
It’s a wonderful public space where Lima
residents from all social backgrounds join
tourists to appreciate the fountains.
46
Photo Essay: The Magical Water Park
Four parks you need to visit in Lima
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The
Coast
Food
Two top distilleries to visit are Viñas de Oro in
Chincha and Sarcay in Azpitia. Close to Lima,
visit the Queirolo bodega in Pachacamac (Call
EnoTours: 261-3772). And be sure to drink good
pisco: See our popular article, The Best 11
Piscos in the World.
Visit a Pisco Distillery
What better way to capture the true spirit of
Peru's most beloved spirit than to visit a pisco
distillery. These bodegas can be found along
Peru’s southern coast: the regions of Lima, Ica,
Arequipa, Moquegua and Tacna.
Since Peru concentrates more in the
traditional distilling method, these
bodegas are a proud testimony to the
art of distilling and their tours will take
you to the very heart of pisco making.
Several of these wineries are family-
run businesses that produce handcraf-
ted pisco and provide guided tours
showcasing how Peruvians have
preserved the original way of making
Pisco ever since the 18th century.
They will take you behind the scenes
from the starting point in which the
grapes are picked from the vines, to
their warehouses where the grape
juice is fermented then distilled. After
the informative tour (bring your notebook so
you can impress Limeños later on) enjoy the
best part: taste the distillery's different pisco
varieties.
Share our passion for Peru's national spirit
and learn the secrets of pisco.
47
Following the Pisco Route
Photos: A visit to Viñas de Oro
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About See more in See more in Introduction LivinginPeru.com All of Peru Food You won’t
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All of
Peru
Food
You won’t have any problems finding Inca Kola
in Peru. However, we recommend you try drin-
king a glass bottle of it at a local tienda or kiosk.
You’ll need to stay there in order to return the
bottle to the vendor — it’s an authentic Peru
experience.
Drink Inca Kola
Just ask any Peruvian what his or her favorite
soda is. The answer will be probably always
be: Inca Kola.
The makers of this golden cola, with its royal
blue Inca motif, have every right to boast. This
local favorite has dominated the Peruvian
market from day one.
The soda pop consistently eclipses all other
carbonated drinks — including Coca Cola (its
owner, by the way). Part of the appeal to
Peruvians, perhaps, is national pride. Slogans
include "The flavor of Peru!" "Peru's drink!"
and "the icon of Peruvian identity."
Newcomers to Peru are typically turned off by
the bubble gum taste and radioactive color.
But just ask that skeptic how he or she feels
about Inca Kola after living in Peru for a year.
You'll see Inca Kola everywhere. And if you
don't love it already, just give it a few more
tries.
48
The Little Cola that Could: History of
Inca Kola
Interview withy Jhonny Lindley, Owner
of Inca Kola
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The Coast
Adventure
Sandboard Peru, run by Martin Guerra, pro-
motes the sport and organizes events.
Hotel Belle Sand in Ica offers sandboarding
trips. Ask for Dito. In Huacachina, stay at
Mosone Hotel or Carolas del Sur Hostel. Try The
Pub for drinks and Arenas for dancing.
Sandboard in Peru’s desert
Sandboarding is a top new-
comer to the action sports
scene, and Peru's desert
provide the best natural spots
for adrenaline seekers to try it.
Peru has some of the
largest sand dunes in the
world and draws a steady
stream of professional and
amateur boarders. The best
place to start is La Huaca-
china Oasis in Ica, a party
town where you can rent
boards and eventually gradu-
ate to try the 500-foot dunes.
Lomo de Corvina in Lima has
700-foot sand rises and the
steep dunes in Casma, Areq-
uipa reach 900 feet. However,
the most impressive of them
all is Cerro Blanco, the "Ever-
est of the Desert.” With its
steepest peak at an intimidat-
ing height of 2,000 feet, it
holds the title of the highest
dune in the world. Some of
these locations also host
international sandboard com-
petitions throughout the year.
Whether you are a beginner or
an expert, hurtling down these
slopes on nothing but a thin
board is guaranteed to be a
fun adventure that gets the
blood rushing.
49
Huacachina: Sandboarding, the Desert
and an Oasis
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All of
Peru
Food
Where to find it in Lima: Parque Donofrio in
Miraflores across from Parque Kennedy; Gelate-
ria Laritza ( Av. Comandante Espinar 800, Mira-
flores); Pasteleria San Antonio (all over Lima);
4D Gelateria (in Lima’s airport, among other
places); Sorbets & Ice Cream Café in Lince.
indulge in lucuma ice cream
One the most interesting things you
will discover, if you ever set out to buy
yourself an ice cream cone in Peru, is
that they may not always have your
basic favorites: strawberry, chocolate
or vanilla. But they will always have
lucuma. Ask any local to suggest an
ice cream flavor and they will most
likely mention lucuma.
Lucuma ice cream has a unique, exotic
taste with a surprising, mildly dusty
sandiness within its rich, creamy,
flavor — comparisons can be made to
dulce de leche, perfumed with vanilla.
You will also taste hints of sweet
potato, traces of peach, and just the mildest
insinuation of maple. Its distinctive earthy
creaminess definitely lives up to its reputa-
tion. It’s is no wonder this subtropical deli-
cacy exceeds the demand of all other
flavors in Peru.
50
VIDEO: A Taste of Peru visits an Ice
Cream Shop
Ice Cream Shops in Lima
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The
Coast
Outdoors
Hemi River Adventures is a tour operator based
in Lunahuana. If staying the night, consider
El Tambo. For good eats, Refugio de Santiago
serves it Andean and organic.
Rafting in Lunahuana
Just two hours from Lima,
Lunahuana is a serene agricul-
tural village that in recent
years has become a hot spot
for adventure sports. Located
in the province of Cañete, the
valley offers great opportuni-
ties for canoeing, white water
rafting, mountain biking,
kayaking, fishing and hunting.
This town has become a
tourist center with its adven-
ture sports festival held every
late February or early March.
With adrenaline opportunities
aplenty for sports enthusiasts
and sunshine all year round for
those wishing to enjoy the
benefits of the countryside,
Lunahuana is a first rate tour-
ist destination. And just in
case extreme sports are not
your idea of fun in the sun, this
pastoral village is also known
as the land of giant shrimp,
wine and pisco. Lunahunana
has several wine shops and
cellars offering free samples
year round and it makes some
of Peru's best pisco.
51
Rafting in Lunahuana, a Sunny Winter
Getaway for Expats
Adventure Sports Festival at Lunahuana
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The Coast
Adventure
Perukite is owned by Peru's pioneering kite-
surfing couple. They offer lessons with qualified
instructors right on Paracas Bay, and also oper-
ate out of Mancora. Right on Paracas Bay are
two luxury hotels, the Doubletree and La Haci-
enda. The village of Paracas offers cheap hos-
tels. While in Paracas, make sure to go for a
drink at the gorgeous bar at Hotel Paracas.
Kitesurf in Paracas
Three hours south of Lima,
Paracas is the ideal location to
try the latest in extreme
sports: kite surfing. Nearly
constant wind, placid pro-
tected waters, desert land-
scape and nearby luxury and
backpacking accommodations
make Paracas Bay one of the
best places in the world to kite
surf. This hybrid sport, a mix
of both kiting and surfing, has
taken over the water recre-
ation areas of some of the
world's most popular
beaches. The cool thing about
kite surfing is that you get a
high rush of adrenaline with
very little risk. Simply by
harnessing the power of the
wind and ocean, your board
can reach top speeds as you
fly as high as 20 feet up in the
air. It is specially thrilling when
the wind picks up to a given
threshold and jumps and
loops come in to play. Pack
your bathing suit and get
psyched, kite surfing in Para-
cas is Peru's latest in fun.
52
Latin America's New Kite Surfing Paradise
What the Wind Brought to Peru
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Lima
Food
See a recipe for causa. The restaurant Mi Causa
is dedicated to causa creations. Other top res-
taurants to try a causa in Lima include: El Grifo,
next to Jorge Chavez airport; El Embrujo, Berlin
536 in Miraflores; and El Mercado, a trendy new
creole joint by chef Rafael Osterling.
Try CAusa, the patriotic appetizer
Causa is the most famous
hors d'œuvre in all of Peru and
a dish very typical to Lima. In
its basic form, causa is yellow
mashed potato mixed with
lime juice, aji pepper, oil and a
touch of salt.
Lima's top restaurants are
serving it in crazy shapes and
with exotic fillings. But the
classic preparation is with
tuna stuffing, served cold with
slices of hard boiled egg and
olives.
The story goes that causa was
created a day after José de
San Martin declared Peru's
independence, hence its
name, causa, the cause.
Causa can be molded into all
sorts of shapes and sizes, and
its versatility allows for all
sorts of variations. Chefs in
Trying causa is a must for
visitors in Lima — few festive
meals are started without a
causa appetizer, so hang
around long enough and
you're sure to get your fill.
53
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Amazon
Outdoors
Eco-Amazon Lodge leads tours in Madre de
Dios. Otorongo Expeditions is an option for
cruises and outdoor activities in Loreto.
Wasai Lodge & Expeditions operates out of
Puerto Maldonado. Latino Travel leads tours to
Pucallpa.
Experience Peru’s amazon
The Peruvian Amazon is per-
haps the most exotic and
remote refuge you can escape
to. Occupying more than 60
percent of Peru, it is one of the
most biologically diverse
regions in the world and is
teeming with distinct wildlife
and flora.
The list includes more than
50,000 types of plants, 2,000
species of fish and almost
2,000 species of birds; not to
mention the hundreds of
mammals and reptiles inhabit-
ing the area. Peru's Amazon
occupies more than half of the
country, yet no more than five
percent of the population lives
there. Water being the main
54
life source and ruling body of
the region, it limits most of
local and tourist transportation
to its vast river system which
can only be traversed by
dugout canoe, motorboat, or
large riverboats. With the
recent explosion of eco-
tourism in Peru, it has become
a hot spot for birding, animal
spotting and jungle trekking
enthusiasts. And it is even
more popular among those
looking for some river life
adventure. Lush and tranquil,
haunting in its immensity, the
Peruvian Amazon is as close
as you will get to the Garden
of Eden on Earth.
Treasures in the Amazon: Pucallpa
Health Tips for Rainforest Travel
Walking the Amazon River from Peru to Brazil
A Journey into Peru’s Amazon
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The Amazon
Adventure
Contact information for 2011 race: Linda Flynn,
linda_flynn2003@yahoo.com and Mike Collis,
michaelcollis@hotmail.com.
See race notices and sign-up information on
their Facebook page and the official blog.
The amazon river raft race
The Amazon River Raft Race owns the brag-
ging rights to being the World’s Longest Raft-
ing Race. For the past ten years, the Amazon
Rafting Club invites adventurers from every
corner of the world to compete on this 112-
mile-long, three-day race. And as if paddling
112 miles through the steamy rainfor-
est wasn't hard enough, there's
another catch: Your team has to build
your own raft with the logs you are
provided.
There is always a fun and eclectic mix
of competitors of all levels and ages.
There are pros who have invested
months training and engineering
impressive, finely-tuned vessel-
masterpieces — usually locals. Then
there are participants who just want to
survive and have fun, so they can brag
about the feat back home (their log
rafts are often makeshift contraptions
held together by jungle twine and a
prayer — usually tourists. Once the mega-
phone yells "Go!" you will take on the
mighty Amazon and realize why the organiz-
ers advertise, "the faint of heart need not
apply." But you will have a great time.
55
Racing Down Peru's Amazon River
VIDEO: Get Inspired for Peru's 2010
Amazon Raft Race
A River Rafting Adventure
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Amazon
Wildlife
To get to the Pilpintuwasi Butterfly Farm, go to
Bellavista (three soles, 20 minutes from Iquitos
center by motocar) and take a boat from there to
cross the Nanay River. Visit their website, or
call them at 96-593-2999.
Visit a butterfly farm
Stroll through stone paths to a
tranquil retreat that will charm
you with its hundreds of color-
ful butterflies fluttering all
around. The Pilpintuwasi
Butterfly Farm is the only
butterfly farm in Peru and its
gardens have been designed
to contain all the fruits, flow-
ers, and leaves that the cater-
pillars and butterflies need for
survival. You can observe the
exotic butterflies feeding and
flying in their natural habitat, a
wonderful tropical environ-
ment of barely tamed jungle.
As you wander past its exotic
and varied gardens you will
see an array of flowers:
56
blooming orchids, ginger,
heliconias, among others.
And there are many more
remarkable creatures to be
found at the Butterfly Farm,
which also serves as an
Amazon animal orphanage,
botanical garden and educa-
tional center. Visitors will enjoy
the unique pleasure of seeing
new butterflies emerge from
their cocoons and mingling
with the varied vibrant birds,
tamest of monkeys, agoutis
and tapirs. There are few
places you can go to learn
more about the rainforest
eco-system than Pilipintuwasi
Butterfly Farm, they will
ensure your experience is
unforgettable.
Our Amazon Tour to the
Butterfly Farm in Peru
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The
Amazon
Festivals
People who know ayahuasca stress that a good
curandero is the most important part of a good
experience. Here are two companies that lead
ceremonies out of Iquitos: Blue Morpho (Av.
Guardia Civil 515, 65-26-3454) and Refugio
Altiplano (Calle Pevas 220,65-22-2001).
take a trip with ayahuasca
Ayahuasca is a vine, the psychedelic
concoction and the exotic ritual capable of
healing all types of ailments and addictions. In
the Amazon Basin the ayahuasca brew is
considered a potent medicine whose recipe
has been passed down for hundreds of gen-
erations.
Shamans, called curanderos, spend
years as apprentices to elders, learn-
ing how to blend the Ayahuasca vine
extract with different plant ingredients,
the healing properties of each one of
these plants, and the ways they inter-
act with the spiritual world. Smoke,
icaros (songs to spirits), whistling,
wailing, prayers and fighting off
demons are all to be expected in the
Ayahuasca experience.
For some, the experience can serve as
a
way of discovering themselves and
resolving lingering issues. Others seek
portal to an enlightening connection
with other dimensions. And there's
a
always the possibility the experience will be
three hours of vomiting. But if you
enter the ayahuasca experience for the
right reasons, you may leave with a new
outlook on your life — or kick that pack-a-
day habit.
57
Taking Ayahuasca in the Amazon
The Ayahuasca Ceremony: A Primer
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Amazon
City Sights
Amazon Explorama is a good option for lodging
and tour services. Mad Mick's Bunkhouse is on
Calle Putumayo 163. For food, try gourmet local
dishes at Fitzcarraldo (Napo 100), Parrilladas El
Zorrito (Fanning #355 in the Belen area), ice
cream at La Muyuna (Jr. Próspero #621). For a
weird expat-jungle experience, try the Yellow
Rose of Texas, a steakhouse with TX themes.
Iquitos, Jungle City
Iquitos is the rustic jungle
capital of the Loreto region
known for its motocars,
ceramic-tiled mansions and
booming tourism. It is also the
world's largest city that is
unreachable by road. Often
the majority of its visitors are
tourists only stopping by on
their way to rainforest adven-
tures or far off river trips along
the Amazon. However, the city
of Iquitos has a lot to offer for
culture, entertainment and
nightlife.
Once known for its abundant
wealth and disheartening
poverty stemming from the
rise and collapse of the rubber
boom, today Iquitos is a pros-
perous and modern town.
From dance halls and restau-
rants to street theater and
craft markets, the people of
Loreto know how to create a
warm and gracious atmo-
sphere.
Free from the luxuries of the
Western world, and true to the
simplicity that characterizes it,
Iquitos continues to draw
people from all over the world
who are eager to bask in its
laid back charm.
58
Living in Iquitos
A weekend trip to Iquitos
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Amazon
Wildlife
Tour agencies include the nonprofit Inka Natura
Travel, Tambopata Expeditions, Manu Expedi-
tions and Expediciones Vilca.
Wildlife at TAmbopatA and Manu
In less than half an hour flight
from Cuzco,
you can find yourself
immersed in either one of
Peru's most extraordinary
natural reserves (Tambopata),
or the largest national park in
the country (Manu). The
exceptional biodiversity in
Tambopata's ecosystem
include 91 species of mam-
mals, 570 types of birds
(including the one of the larg-
est macaw clay licks in the
country), 1,200 kinds of but-
terflies and 94 varieties of fish.
Manu Park's biodiversity —
one of greatest of any park in
the world — is also impres-
sive. It is home to over 1,000
species of birds. There are
also more than 15,000 species
of plants to be found. And just
one single hectare can contain
up to 250 varieties of trees.
Simply by visiting Tambopata
and Manu you can catch a
glimpse of a significant portion
of the earth's wildlife.
59
Tambopata Candamo: Saving the
Planet
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All of Peru
Volunteering
How to volunteer in Peru: Rebuilding Pisco
Peru’s Project Humanity: Un Techo Para Mi
País
Volunteer in Peru
ANIA: Integrating environmental awareness
with child development.
Ciudad Saludable: Dedicated to improving
quality of life of the poorest through efficient
solid waste management.
teachers and schools to improve education.
Angeles D-1: Dance and performing arts
with children and adolescents.
Volunteering in Peru is an excellent opportunity
to combine humanitarian efforts, support
innovative social organizations, and see the
country and its culture from within. Volunteers
find it easier to assimilate into the culture, learn
Spanish, and to get an insider's pers-
pective. These experiences provide the opportuni-
ty to be transplanted into the lives and
cultures of locals: tasting the same daily
delicacies, commuting on the same
rickety pick-up trucks, or trekking the
same secret paths through the rainfo-
rest. Volunteers in Peru tend to leave
the country with a more memorable and
deeper understanding and appreciation
for its people, natural beauty, culture,
and development projects.
Here is a list of worthy projects to volun-
teer with in Peru.
Centro Ann Sullivan: Serve people with
different abilities.
Yachay Wasi Institute: Works with
Villa La Paz Foundation: Center for desti-
Pisco Sin Fronteras: Devoted to the
reconstruction of Pisco 2007
earthquake.
60
tute and sick children.
Urpichallay: Works closely with local
Andean communities.
Yanapanakusun: Rehabilitation center for
girls in Cuzco.
Manos Unidas: Works with people with
developmental disabilities, down syndrome,
autism and cerebral palsy in Cuzco.
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Highlands
Outdoors
While in Cajamarca, visit Cumbe Mayo, a Pre-
Incan aquaduct stretching five miles and sur-
rounded by nataural rock formations. (12 miles
southwest of the city.) A nearby hotel option is
Laguna Seca.
Bathe in the Baños del Inca
Thermal Baths have always
played an important role in
Inca history. Water was a deity
in the Inca Empire, and the
Incas relied on its divine heal-
ing and cleansing qualities.
They had several rituals where
water was used to purify the
soul and many of these were
performed before sacred
ceremonies. Thermal
bathing was one of these
rituals. There are more than
500 thermal baths scattered
throughout several regions of
Peru, including, Ancash,
Huanuco, Pasco, Junin, Lima,
Ica, Huancavelica, Ayacucho
and Apurimac.
61
The most famous of these are
the Baños del Inca, natural hot
springs located just three
miles east of the city of Caja-
marca.
Inca ruler Atahualpa was a
believer in the medicinal
powers of these thermal
baths, and had his own indi-
vidual royal bath at this loca-
tion. In fact, legend has it that
he was bathing here when the
Spanish Conquistadores
arrived. It's no wonder these
warm, mineral-rich waters
were a favorite of ancient Inca
rulers. They are without a
doubt an ideal way to relax
and have fun.
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Highlands
Prehispanic
Taking an early colectivo from the city of
Chachapoyas to arrive at Kuelap early in the
morning is the best way for an authentic experi-
ence, says the NYT Frugal Traveler (see Read
More). For a agency, check out Northern Circuit
of Peru.
Kuelap
Kuelap is a fortified citadel
that stands on the peak of a
mountain some 9,843 feet
above sea level, overlooking
the Utcubamba Valley in
northern Peru. It was built by
the Chachapoyan culture —
also known as the Cloud
Forest people — whose realm
ranged from the highlands to
the jungles. The structure of
this colossal stronghold is
almost 2,000 feet in length
and its walls tower more than
62 feet.
Kuelap encompassed more
than 400 buildings, the major-
ity of them featuring embel-
lished walls and cornices. It is
estimated that some one
hundred thousand limestone
blocks, each weighing more
than 200 pounds, were used
to erect the fortress. It initially
caught the attention of schol-
ars by the enormous extension
of its city walls and the quality
of its stonework.
Interestingly enough, though,
neither the Incas nor the
Spaniards ever learned of its
existence.
This magnificent fortress is
among the most outstanding
archaeological remains in all of
Peru, and well worth a visit.
62
The Frugal Traveler visits Kuelap
The Ancient Fortress of Mysteries
Kuelap: A Mystery in the Clouds
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Highlands
Outdoors
The farm is located on Jiron Chanchamayo
1355, Fonavi 1, Cajamarca. Landline:
76-36-5631, cell phone; 97-668-2205, website.
Experiential tourism is also big in Cuzco. Check
out Apus Peru, Inka Pusayuc out of Yucay in the
Sacred Valley (84-20-1320) and Casa Ecológica
Cusco.
Work on porcon farm
Porcon Farm, some 18 miles
from Cajamarca, is a tiny
village of vicuña-populated
pine groves and rich blue
skies. Visitors can participate
in a one-of-a-kind agro-tourist
program. You can take part in
the farm's daily chores and
have the unique experience of
living alongside members of
this community. You will
experience the daily chores of
an Andean farmer: planting,
milking cows, shearing sheep,
and enjoying some local rituals
and festivals. You might take
turns helping the women
plant potatoes, assist a local
carpenter in building furniture
from eucalyptus, lend a hand
with the numerous flowers and
fruits at the green house or
chip in at the dairy processing
plant. Visitors can also look at
the area’s miniature zoo, and
adventure lovers can set off
on hikes in a quest for Inca
ruins and waterfalls. The
people of Porcon live up to
their commitment to not tell
their history, but instead make
it come alive.
63
A visit to Porcon, the Model Farm
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Prehispanic
Cicloturismo Peru leads bicycle tours to
Chankillo. For nearby lodging, there are Las
Poncianas and El Dorado Inn, both in Casma.
Chankillo observatory
Chankillo, located almost 250
miles from Lima, is the oldest
solar observatory in the west-
ern world. Its 2,000-year-old
towers were built by an
unidentified pre-Inca culture to
mark the sun's position
throughout the year.
Chankillo's existence indi-
cates that ancient Peruvians
had considerable knowledge
of astronomy. It is also one of
the oldest examples of land-
scape time-keeping in the
Americas. The Inca civilization
— who worshiped the sun and
sought its guidance for its
political agendas — later used
this archaeological site to
keep track of the positions of
the horizon where the sun rose
and set. It is believed that
thousands of spectators may
have gathered here to observe
major solar events. In fact,
artifacts located on site sug-
gest Chankillo may have
played a significant ceremo-
nial function which included
recurring feasts. Chankillo
provides us with yet one more
proof that Peru is one of the
marvels of the ancient world.
64
Chankillo: The World’s Oldest Astronomi-
cal Observatory
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Arequipa
Outdoors
Stay a night at Cabanaconde or Maca, pueblos
that maintain tradition ways of life despite the
steady flow of tourists. For trekking, Colca Trek
Adventure Travel has offices in Arequipa city.
Two luxury options for lodging in the canyon are
Las Casitas del Colca and Eco Inn.
Colca Canyon
The Colca Canyon in Arequipa
has stunning scenery and is
one of the best locations to
observe Peruvian condors in
their natural habitat. Along the
canyon's rim, travelers can
spot the incredible condors at
the Cruz del Condor lookout
(shown here). At 4,000 feet
above the Colca River, con-
dors soar and scavenge (the
wing span on these birds are up
to ten feet, making them one of
the world's largest).
Although the condor popula-
tion in South America has
dwindled in the last century, in
the Colca Canyon visitors can
see them at a very close range
as they soar up past the
fading mist that usually hangs
over the valley in the early
morning.
Treks into the canyon and
visits to quaint villages are
best for longer stays. Colca
Canyon is a must-see for
travels into Peru's Arequipa
region.
65
A Family Weekend Trip to Colca Canyon
Colca: A Photographer’s Dream
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Outdoors
REad more
Hiking to Gocta Falls
Reflections on Ten Years of Travel: Tips
from Rafo León
Gocta Waterfall
Gocta Falls, located in the remote highland
jungle of the Amazonas province, is one of the
tallest waterfalls in the world.
When first discovered, it was believed to be
the third largest in the world. But since then,
its true ranking has been cause of debate,
since Gocta is two-tiered: its has two drops,
754 feet on top and a second 1,771-foot drop
to the bottom. (Indeed, waterfall controversy
exists.)
The outside world was let known of Gocta's
existence as recent as 2005, from a German
scientist working in the area. Locals, of
course, always knew known about Gocta, but
they avoided the falls, some believing a beau-
tiful siren lived underneath, luring men into the
stream.
To reach this waterfall you will trek through
virgin jungle of orchids and giant ferns. Along
the way you might see tucans, hummingbirds
and monkeys. This one of Peru's
newest discoveries of a natural wonder — be
one of the few privileged to visit Gocta up
close.
Get there
66
From Chachapoyas, use Chinata Tours (on
Pedro Ruiz in front of Banco del a Nacion,
978-041-600). Download a map of the
Gocta area, and a general map of touris-
tic sites in Amazonas region (both in
Spanish). Stay at Gocta Lodge, a simple
and comfortable place right near the falls
(the photo below is a vista from the lodge).
Turismo Explorer offers tours of Gocta.
Vilaya Tours offers more personalized
services, with a British owner.
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All of
Peru
Food
La Granga Azul is where Pollo a la Braza was
created in the 1950s. It’s located at Km 11.5
along the Carretera Central, and is best for fami-
lies. Top chains in Lima are Norky’s, Roky’s,
Pardo’s and Las Canastas. But pollo a la brasa
joints are all over Peru.
Eat pollo a la brasa
Peruvian rotisserie chicken is a major league
player in Peruvian gastronomy, and it has
serious clout in Lima culture. This local favorite
consists of a marinated chicken spiced with
traditional Peruvian rotisserie seasoning and
lime juice, which has been roasted in
large coal ovens designed exclusively
for its preparation.
Pollo a la Brasa is traditionally served
with large fries, a side of salad dressed
with creamy vinaigrette, and a set of
sauces that always includes mayon-
naise and ají amarillo sauce. It is a
favorite at family dinners where ever-
yone digs in to savor this appetizing
treat without the need or want of
utensils. Trust the locals: it is best
eaten with your fingers! Pollo a la
brasa is so loved and consumed by
Peruvians that in 2004 the National
Institute of Culture gave it the status of
National Heritage icon, and in 2010 it was
included on the list of consumer goods to
calculate inflation rates.
67
A Trip to Three Pollo a la Brasa Chains in Lima
Interview: Franchising Peru's Pollo a la Brasa
Where to Eat? Peruvians Prefer Pollo a la Brasa
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Highlands
Andean
Cruz del Sur is your best bet to travel by bus to
the largest highland cities from Lima.
Begin your journey in cities like Huancavelica,
Ayacucho, Huancayo or Jauja.
Visit the Central Highlands
The Central Highlands are the heartland of
Andean Peru. There is no better way to truly
get an insight into local life than here. Life in
this bare and remote region is beautiful in its
simplicity. Here everything revolves around the
land, from the herds of llamas and
cattle that determine the pace of
motorized traffic to the spectacular
festivals paying homage to the mother
earth. Festivals, ceremonies and tradi-
tions are abundant, bumpy bus trips
make an ideal setting for talking with
the locals, and local markets are an
eye feast of handicrafts. You can stroll
past street markets and colonial chur-
ches in Huancavelica, see the central
highlands by train on your way to
Huancayo, celebrate Semana Santa in
Ayacucho or visit remote pre-Inca
ruins near Tantamayo. And the best
part of it all is the almost complete absence
of tourists. This is Peru at its most Peruvian;
a truly authentic experience.
68
Visit the Chilly But Welcoming
Highlands of Huancavelica
A Ride on Horseback Across the Andes
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Highlands
Festivals
Folklore Festival in Puno
Also known as the folklore
capital of the Americas, Puno
is home to one of the most
dynamic folk religious festivals
in Latin America: the Virgen de
la Candelaria. The festival falls
sometime during the first two
weeks in February. On its main
day, churches and residences
are decorated in bright cloth
banners and streets are paved
with flower beds paying
homage to their saintly
matron. Then a statue of the
Virgin Mary is led through the
city in a vibrant procession of
clergy and pagans, carefully
respecting the hierarchy, as
spectators attempt to shower
Mary in flower petals from
below and the balconies
above all along the route.
Trailing close behind is a large
parade of more than 200
groups of musicians and
dance troupes dressed in the
most fantastic customs, wear-
ing outlandish masks and
playing zampoña pan-pipes.
The most traditional of the
dances performed is La Dia-
blada, in which dancers try to
dramatize the struggle
between good and evil.
It is an spectacular explosion
of colors, music, costumes
and fun-embracing tradition.
69
Virgen de la Candelaria Festival 2010
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Highlands
Prehispanic
The Ventanillas of Cajamarca
About the city of Cajamarca
ventanillas of combayo
The Ventanillas de Combayo,
three hours from the city of
Cajamarca, are several hun-
dred funerary niches that were
cut some 30 meters high into
the rock face of a cliff. More
than 4,000 years old, it is one
of the oldest cemeteries found
in Peru. From the outside, it
looks like a hill with a bunch of
square and rectangular win-
dows carved into a hillside.
but these niches actually lead
into an internal network of
dark galleries, some of which
go 32 feet deep. The tombs
are only one to two feet tall;
only head and limb bones
were placed inside. If you
want to peek into tombs you
have to climb a precarious
path with a series of foot
holds. But the top provides an
excellent view of the valley.
And if you look closely enough
at the ground you might just
find tiny scattered fragments
of ancient pots and utensils.
The area around Cajamarca
has many ventanillas, in fact.
A few minutes outside the city
lies Ventanillas de Otuzco,
which some describe as a
tourist trap. If you are into
out-of-the-way sites, then give
Combayo a try.
70
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Highlands
Festivals
Ayacucho fills up during Easter: Make sure to
book lodging in advance. La Casona is a higher
end option. Tres Mascaras is a charming
budget hotel three blocks from the main plaza.
Don’t miss out on popular pollo a la brasa joint
Walla Sua (Jr. Gracilazo de la Vega 240).
Easter in ayacucho
Easter is one of the most captivating celebra-
tions of Peru's central highlands. It is a beauti-
ful Catholic festivity of pious expressions of
faith, breath-taking flower carpet exhibitions,
fireworks displays, bull chases, and reen-
actments of various scenes from the Passion
of Christ.
ded on a white mule, followed by crowds of
people carrying golden palm leaves.
During this week, Semana Santa, all of Ayacu-
cho participates in a series of somber religious
processions. One of the most engaging
displays is a reenactment of Christ arriving
in Nazareth, where a statue of him is para-
Perhaps the most reverent of ceremonies is a
candlelit procession of statues of Jesus and
the Virgin Mary during which all the lights in
the city are turned off (shown here). Without a
doubt Ayacucho makes of Easter one of
Peru’s most devout religious festivals.
71
Set in Ayacucho during Semana Santa, the
award-winning political thriller Red April is
a must-read for anyone wanting to delve
deeper into Ayacucho's recent history.
Holy Week in Ayacucho
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Highlands
Outdoors
Two agencies specialize in llama trekking:
Q'ente, based out of Cusco, and Andean Treks,
with main offices in Massachusetts, U.S.A.
Trek with Llamas
Take part in a unique and
memorable trek and experi-
enced the beauty and tranquil-
ity of Peru's highlands while in
the company of unique com-
panions: llamas. Throughout
your journey llamas will help
carry your necessary gear as
you experience a day in the
life of a highland resident. After
locals help you prepare the
llamas before you head out on
your journey, you and your
quiet comrade will visit provin-
cial communities, explore
pre-Incan ruins and participate
in local community activities.
As you head on your way
toward ancient archaeological
sites you might meet up with
local story tellers or be invited
to participate in nearby recitals
and feasts. You might also see
flamencos eating shrimp by a
nearby river bank or be
enchanted by the variety of
flora to be seen in the area. It
will be an experience you (and
the llama too
never forget.
maybe?)
will
72
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Highlands
Andean
Hospedaje Quenanpancha offers lodging,
straw boat rides and meals on Uros. There are
many tour agencies that do day tours of the
three islands. But one option is to go on a local
boat: Show up around 7 a.m. at the port in Puno.
For a luxury stay, Casa Andina has a hotel on
Suasi Island, a tiny, uninhabited private island.
Stay a night on LAke titicaca
Lake Titicaca, at 12,500 feet
above sea level is the highest
navigable lake in the world
and home to mystical islands.
Staying on an island for at
least one night is a must for
travelers.
The Uros Islands, shown here,
also known as the Floating
Islands, are human-made
islands made of locally grown
totora reeds that are woven
together so thickly they can
support multiple families. In
fact, reeds are used by
the locals to build everything
from houses, boats and, of
course, the islands them-
selves.
Taquile is a tiny island with a
number of Inca ruins and the
most colorful local dress:
73
women wear bright layered
dresses. (Incredibly, each
island has distinct clothing.)
Locals put on folkloric dance
presentations almost daily for
boatloads of tourists. You can
also learn about the famed
embroidering in a tiny textile
museum.
Amantani Island is the least
touristy of the three. You can
show up and stay at a family's
house for only a few dollars a
night. With no electricity, the
island plunges into darkness.
Seeing Peru's Amantani Island Through
The Eyes of a 13-Year-Old
Lake Titicaca: A Personal Experience
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About See more in See more in Introduction LivinginPeru.com All of Peru Food See our
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All of
Peru
Food
See our recipe.
Papa a la Huancaina
Papa a la Huancaina is a
classic Peruvian dish that has
its roots in the Andean city of
Huancayo.
This local creole icon consists
of sliced boiled potatos laid on
top a bed of crisp lettuce
leaves, subsequently covered
in a rich, spicy cream — made
of Andean cheese and Peru-
vian yellow pepper — and
crowned with a few slices of
black olives and boiled eggs.
Papa a la Huancaina is among
the most common starters and
side dishes in Peruvian
cuisine.
Family banquets and social
dinner events are often initi-
ated with a plate of this local
favorite. It is also common to
see a small portion of Papa a
la Huancaina served alongside
a helping of Arroz con Pollo or
tallarines verdes.
Part of its appeal is that, in
varying degrees of spiciness,
Papa a la Huancaina suits
almost any traditional creole
dish well. It’s what every chef
dreams the ideal appetizer
should be: delicious and
versatile.
74
Potatoes in Peru: Can highland farmers
benefit from Peru’s restaurant boom?
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About See more in See more in Introduction LivinginPeru.com Highlands Outdoors Best to visit from
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Highlands
Outdoors
Best to visit from May to October. From Cerro de
Pasco, head south to Junín. At approximately 25
km, follow road heading west which takes you to
Huayllay. Download map. You can camp in the
forest for only 10 soles a night.
THe Rock Forest of Huayllay
The Rock Forest of Huayllay is
located in the Pasco region of
Peru some 12,500 feet above
sea level. This geological site
is like an outdoor museum of
erosion: It has crazy rock
formations which have been
naturally contoured by wind,
water and shifting glaciers.
Within the natural creations
you can spot several human
and animal figures, as well as
various rugged archways.
Among these organic sculp-
tures you will also come
across a vast range of exotic
flora and fauna. Look out for
vicuñas, vizcachas, deer and
hawks as you stroll about.
Within the landscape you will
also find a glimmering thermal
bath famous for its curative
properties. Visit this little-
traveled site and see some of
the most unique natural
formations on earth, up in the
rarified air of Peru’s highlands.
75
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Lima
Food
The Bioferia is located behind Parque Reducto
approaching Via Expresa and Block 9 of Av.
Benavides.
A pioneer in Organic food in Lima is El Alma-
Zen, located at Recavarren 298, Miraflores.
243-0474.
Lima’s Organic Street Market
The Parque Reducto Bioferia
in Miraflores is a block-long
organic market that celebrates
the rich biodiversity of Peru.
Every Saturday morning,
locals and foreigners flock to
the bioferia to stock up on gro-
ceries, snack their way down
the stalls, tasting samples
from a variety of ecologically
friendly foods, and enjoy crafts
shows. Most of the stands
belong to local organic farm-
ers, NGOs, and environmental
and educational organizations
that have created a family-
friendly haven of ready-to-eat
treats, hands-on educational
activities for children, cook-
ing demonstrations and infor-
mative presentations on ecol-
ogy. This organic fair offers a
unique opportunity to sample
organic breads, cheeses,
jams, produce, coffees, juices,
dairy and delicious baked
goods. Here you will find
everything from goat milk
products and hand-crafted
gifts, to coca flour. The wide
selection of savory goodies
and displays is enough to
keep you pleasantly occupied
all morning. There is no
healthier (and mouthwatering)
way to spend a Saturday
morning in Miraflores.
76
See a VIDEO of the Bioferia
Read about Punto Organico, Lima’s
new organic food store
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About See more in See more in Introduction LivinginPeru.com Lima Prehispanic Make it a day
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Lima
Prehispanic
Make it a day trip: Pachacamac is a short drive
from Lima. Along the way, stop at the Morro
Solar and get a great view of the city of Lima.
Then pass by the leaping monk of Chorrillos
(read more here). Pachacamac offers tour
guides in English, which is worth it. It’s best to
have a car during the tour: the site is huge and
would take a few hours at least on foot.
Pachacamac
The pre-Columbian ruins of
Pachacamac is Lima’s most
significant archaeological site.
It was also inhabited by three
successive coastal cultures:
The Lima Culture, the Wari,
then the Inca.
For the Inca in the 15th cen-
tury, Pachacamac was a
sacred city and used to receive
pilgrims who brought offerings
to their oracle and creator-god
Pachacamac. They believed
he was able to read the future
and was responsible for earth-
quakes and all affairs of the
land.
Plazas, shrines, avenues, a
cemetery, administrative
buildings, palaces and pyrami-
dal temples comprise this
citadel. Within the site there is
also a small museum exhibit-
ing pre-Columbian tools,
ceramics, textiles and a
carved wooden replica of
Pachacamac the god.
The views from the Sun
temple are spectacular, straddled
between the Pacific Ocean
and green valleys of Lurin.
This is a must-see for those
with a few days in Lima.
77
Pachacamac, Lima’s major archaeo-
logical site
Food, love and adventure 30 minutes
from Lima
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Lima
Festivals
Plaza de Acho is located on Jiron Hualgayoc
332, in the district of Rimac, only several blocks
from the Government Palace in downtown Lima.
Nearby, visit the Alameda de los Descalzos, a
tree-lined avenue famous for its colonial archi-
tecture. Read about walking tours in Rimac.
Bull Fights at Acho
Plaza de Acho, built in 1766, is the most
renowned bullfighting ring in Peru and one of
the oldest in the Americas. Every October and
November, the Feria of the Señor de los Mila-
gros brings in some of the world's most
lauded talents in the bullfighting circuit and
crowds jam this wooden and adobe arena to
see which matador subdues the most impres-
sive bull. The toreros execute their series of
cape passes to thunderous audiences as they
compete for the glory of the best bull
fighter of the year award.
Each year the Escapulario de Oro prize goes
to the most skillful matador and the Escapula-
rio de Plata award to the most impressive bull.
If you are more interested in history (and not
as much the live bloody sport), there is the
Museo Taurino nearby. The museum exhibits
bullfighter suits and trophies as well as pain-
tings and illustrations of bullfighting scenes by
various artists, including Picasso.
Peruvian bullfighting pits tradition
against new sensibilities
78
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Lima
Shopping
Enter the market at Ricardo Palma and Petit
Thouars, by Ovalo Miraflores, the traffic circle at
the heart of Miraflores. Nearby is La Tiendecita
Blanca, a classic Lima cafe-restaurant. Another
option is Haiti, a traditional cafe and sidewalk
spot great for people-watching.
Shop for Souvenirs in Miraflores
The Mercado Indio on Petit
Thouars Avenue in Miraflores
is a cozy, open-air market
lined with colorful stands and
shops offering a wide selec-
tion of Peruvian arts and
crafts. This is a great spot for
strolling and last-minute gift
shopping. Here you will find
textiles, ceramics, leather
goods, woolen clothing, paint-
ings, alpaca garments, jewelry
and a thousand more knick-
knacks that could take a book
to list. There is also an inter-
esting variety of antique,
traditional and contemporary
works. One moment you could
be deciding between miniature
marble churches, and a few
steps later purchasing t-shirts
incorporating pre-Inca motifs
or humorous indigenous
Peruvian characters. The
owners are pleasant and
many have learned a
thing or two from their regular
tourist clientele, and will
barter in English, German,
French and other languages.
79
Shopping in the markets of Lima
The Shaman Markets of Gamarra
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Lima
City Sights
Presbitero Maestro Cemetery is located in the
district of Barrios Altos, Jr. Ancash, block 17. It
is not the safest of areas, so be sure to go with a
reliable guide or local friend.
Turibus offers bus tours to the cemetery at
night.
Lima’s cemetery
The Presbitero Matias Maestro
Cemetery is one of the most
intriguing legacies of the city
of Lima. Perhaps the most
stately cemetery in Peru, it
was inaugurated in 1808 and
houses more than 700 mauso-
leums, several of these
inspired by the neoclassical
architecture of the late 19th
century. Most admired for the
intricate designs of its mauso-
leums, headstones and its
marble statuary, its beautiful
grounds are the resting place
of several eminent political,
military and literary figures
along with other notable
residents hailing from some of
the wealthiest families of Lima.
80
Among the more notable
names, you will find Peruvian
naval hero Miguel Grau, mili-
tary martyr Francisco Bolog-
nesi, and the abolitionist and
former president Ramon
Castilla. Perhaps the most
impressive mausoleum within
the complex is the one built in
honor of the heroes of the
Pacific War with Chile. The
spectacular craftsmanship in
the marble crypts, stained
glass windows and bronze
plaques are unlike any found
in the region. Presbitero
Matias Maestro is home to
some of the most beautiful
masonry work ever crafted in
old Lima.
A historical tour of Peru's powerful:
Barrios Altos cemetery
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Lima
City Sights
A Day Walk Through Barranco: Part One, Part Two
Check the event calendar at LivinginPeru.com for
upcoming live music in Barranco
Bohemian in Barranco
Barranco is the small seaside district with the
best Bohemian, barrio vibe in Lima.
During the day, it is a great place to enjoy a
ceviche with friends or stroll down to a Pacific
Ocean overlook. At night, the area
around the municipal plaza buzzes with an
eclectic crowd, while the recently gentrified
walkway under the Puente de Suspiros boasts
a couple of trendy bars and a top restaurant.
Ayahuasca is a new bar located in a gor-
geous mansion on Av. San Martin. It
serves great pisco cocktails and tasty
apps, and was recently included as one of
the world’s Top 35 Bars by Condé Nast.
Barranco also has some of the top art galleries
and house parties.
For ceviche and seafood, try Canta Rana,
or its little brother, Canta Ranita, located in
the back of a market on Jiron Union.
Chala, down by the Puente de Suspiros, is
one of Lima’s top fusion restaurants. Also
check out the bars Picas and Santos,
which always fills up on weekends.
Here are some recommendations on where to
enjoy Barranco.
Juanitos is the best bar for laid back
conversation, and a great place to meet
locals, artists and travelers (see photo).
81
Barranco also has a couple of Lima’s best
peñas, Rompe y Raja and Carajo! Other
places with live music are La Noche,
Sargento Pimienta, and El Dragon.
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About See more in See more in Introduction LivinginPeru.com Lima City Sights Museo Larco is
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Lima
City Sights
Museo Larco is located in the quaint neighbor-
hood of Pueblo Libre, Av. Bolivar 1515,
461-1312. Nearby places for good eats include
the classic bar El Bolivariano on Pasaje Santa
Rosa 291, and Gran Parrillada Timbo for grilled
meats, on Av. Bolivar 944.
Erotic art at Museo Larco
The Museo Arqueológico Rafael Larco Herrera,
more commonly known as the Museo Larco, is
one of the most visited museums in Peru.
Housed in an 18th century vice-royal mansion
built over the ruins of a 7th century pre-
Columbian temple, this museum offers a
varied collection of ceramics, textiles and
precious metal artifacts spanning three
millennia.
Its array of ceramic pieces crafted by
ancient Peruvian cultures include
several thousand pots in the shapes of
animals, plants and people. Its erotic
collection is the most famous, not
surprisingly. You'll see clay figures in
positions that might make you blush.
And there's plenty of over-sized geni-
talia.
A distinct characteristic of this
museum is that its visitors are allowed
access to the museum's store rooms
and are able to see the more than
45,000 archaeological artifacts not on
display on its main halls.
If you only have a few days in Lima, make
sure to set aside time for the Larco
Museum.
82
A Recent Visit to Museo Larco
PHOTOS: Erotic Ceramic Art from Peru
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About See more in See more in Introduction LivinginPeru.com Lima City Sights Three Great Bars
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Lima
City Sights
Three Great Bars for Pisco Sours in Lima
See recipes for the four original pisco coc-
ktails: Pisco Sour, Chilcano, Pisco Punch
and Capitan.
Classic Lima Bars
Lima has several must-visit bars to rest your
elbow and raise a glass of pisco.
El Bar Maury
An intimate, dimly-lit space that claims to be
the home of the pisco sour. With black-and-
white pictures and vintage posters decorating
its walls, the bar transports you back to the
Lima of old. Jiron Ucayali 201, with Jiron
Carabaya, right off Plaza San Martin, website.
Antigua Taberna Queirolo
A vibrant local bar in a quaint neighborhood of
Pueblo Libre. Try its delicious sandwiches
and a pisco sour. On Avenida San Martin with
Vivanco, website.
Hotel Bolivar
Or was the pisco sour first made here? Regar-
dless, better excuse to visit both places. Hotel
Bolivar is right on Plaza San Martin; its bar fills
with pisco sour drinkers on weekends.
Juanitos
The quintessential Barranco neighborhood bar
right on the municipal plaza. A great space
where regulars, artists, tourists and well-
known artists and public personalities go for
sandwiches, chilcanos and great conversa-
tion.
83
Bar Cordano
Open since 1905, Cordano has been owned
by its wait staff since the ’70s. Located close to
the government palace, enter on Jiron Ancash
202 or from Jiron Carabaya. See this article.
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The
Coast
Food
A small stand owned by La Tía Grima attracts
lines of anticucho-lovers every night: Block 11 of
Av. Enrique Palacios, Miraflores.
Tio Mario is a good option in Barranco, on the
Puente de Suspiros. Try the award-winning
anticuchos at Glotons, with sidewalk seating on
Comandante Espinar 529, Miraflores.
Tasty Beef Hearts
Anticuchos are an extremely popular and
inexpensive Peruvian creole dish.
This signature treat consists of small pieces of
charcoal-grilled beef heart threaded on to
wooden skewers. Traditionally, they are also
accompanied by a chunk of corn cob, a
couple of slices of baked potato and a small
side of grilled tripe, or "pancita."
Anticuchos can be easily purchased on street
carts and improvised food stands everywhere
in Lima. Passer-bys are typically lured by the
strong, savory aroma. It is not rare to see
flocks gathering around the smiling, smoke
cloud-wielding, often matronly anticucho
sellers. From stadiums to college campuses,
from parks to the windows of everyday
houses: After sunset, Lima belongs to anticu-
cho vendors.
Now you can savor anticuchos even in the
finest of Peruvian restaurants. The anticucho
is now a part of everyday cuisine in all regions
and social classes of Peru.
84
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The Coast
City Sights
Afro-Peruvian Culture
Peru's Afro-Peruvian community
is small but has a large influ-
ence on culture and music in
Lima and the southern coast.
Musica criolla and food like tacu
tacu and anticuchos are some
of the strong contributions this
small, tight-knit community
has made to Peruvian society.
The center of the Afro-
Peruvian culture is found in
the town of El Carmen, out-
side of the city of Chincha. It
was in this region that freed
slaves continued to work on
haciendas, mostly picking
cotton. It's best to visit
Chincha and El Carmen during
the time of a festival. The
Festival del Virgen del Carmen,
in late December, and
Verano Negro in late February
are both good times to visit.
In Lima, try to catch a perfor-
mance by the sons of Peru
Negro, a musical family that
does a wonderful job keeping
the music alive and vibrant.
85
Chincha is at Km 196 of the
Panamericana Sur highway.
By bus, travel with Cruz del
Sur, or Soyuz (the cheaper
option). Hostal El Condado is
a lodging option at Km 195 of
the highway, (56) 26-1424.
Verano Negro in El Carmen
Discovering Chincha: Afro-Peruvian Culture
and Vineyards
Peru Negro: The Best Afro-Peruvian Concert
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The Coast
Prehispanic
On the Panamericana Norte, turn right at Km 184
and you’ll pass through the Supe valley to Caral.
Download a map. Options for lodging include
beachside bungalows at Albufera Medio
Mundo, and La Casa de Isidora in Puerto Supe.
Also nearby is Eco Truly Park, an artistic com-
munity with bizarre fairyland buildings.
Caral, Mother Civilization
In the Supe River valley in
Peru's coast rests the 5,000-
year-old pyramids and ceremo-
nial centers of Caral. The site,
discovered in 1996, is proof
that the oldest civilization in
America was developed in
Peru.
Caral also may be the dream
find for archaeologists and
anthropologists, an elusive
"mother city." Archaeologists
have long looked for evidence
of the first city building by
humans, and Caral may fit the
bill. Surprising conclusions also
came up: The city appears
to have been born from the tran-
quil necessity of trade. While previ-
ous consensus postulated that
86
all cities were built because of
warfare, Caral shows the
possibility of a peaceful begin-
ning to South America's civili-
zation.
Caral is only three hours north
of Lima. The site consists of a
central area with large build-
ings, which include an amphi-
theatre temple, residential
buildings, pyramids and mono-
liths.
This ancient Peruvian settle-
ment is a goldmine of informa-
tion about the origins of
Andean civilizations. While not
the most fantastic archeaologi-
cal structure in Peru, its signifi-
cance is sure to awe you.
A Bus Trip to Caral
Caral: The Oldest Citadel in the Americas
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The
Coast
Food
For an interesting experience try a limeade at a
mercado: They are usually fresher and the por-
tions tend to be more generous.
Drink Fresh Limeade
Refreshing and deliciously
citric best describes the lime-
ade made with Peruvian key
limes. During your stay on this
tropical side of the globe we
think a cold glass of fresh
lemonade is one of the best
treats you can give yourself.
The key to Peru's tasty lime-
ade are the exceptionally
acidic and very aromatic
Peruvian key limes. Restau-
rants and mercados often
have this tasty refreshment on
hand to help keep their cus-
tomers happy, so you'll have
no problem finding a spot to
enjoy a nice serving. But we
recommend limeade made at
a
Peruvian household. Maybe
it
is the homey hospitality that
makes the difference. All we
can tell you is that a glass of
homemade limeade
somehow just always seems
to taste better.
Juicing the Tropical Fruits
of Peru
87
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The
Coast
Wildlife
Around 7 a.m., go to the small town center of
Paracas to buy tickets for the ride to the islands.
Coming back, enjoy seafood at the relaxing and
newly built beachside walkway.
See Wildlife at Ballestas Islands
Located near the town of
Paracas, the Ballestas Islands
are home to a marine
wildlife menagerie. Penguins,
sea lions, and thousands of
birds crowd the rock islands,
while dolphins swim around
and flamingos occasionally
show up.
Small boats with local guides
ferry visitors close enough to
hear the wolf-pack cries of sea
lions or almost touch
dolphins as they splash
along to the pace of the boats.
(Boats are kept at a distance
from the islands, however, not
to disturb the fragile marine
habitat in this protected
reserve.)
The two-hour tour also stops
by El Candelabro, a giant
lamp-shaped geoglyph carved
into sand hills on Pisco Bay.
The origins of the 130-meter
pattern are still a mystery to
archaeologists, but it is
believed the Nazca people
might have built it for naviga-
tion.
88
Paracas, the Perfect Escape for Nature
Lovers
Walking the Desert Reserve of Paracas
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Lima
Food
The Surquillo market is at Block 53 of Paseo de
la Republica, a 10-minute walk from the heart of
Miraflores.
For a more hectic scene, go to the Mercado
Central by Avenida Abancay in downtown Lima.
But hold tight to your wallet.
Visit a City Mercado
One of the best ways to get a
feeling of the heart and soul of
Peru is to visit a neighborhood
mercado. The Surquillo Market
is a place that just delights the
senses with its wide range of
colors, tastes, scents and
sounds. Its "gastronomic
walkway" is a fun and inex-
pensive way to try Peruvian
cuisine on weekends. Here
fruit juice stands will mix you
any fruit combination you can
think of.
Small restaurants with set
menus for five or six soles
offer mouth-watering
scents that lure you to their
tables. The sight of the wild
variety of colors from the fruit
and vegetable stands, the
fragrance from the flower
shops and the fresh fish send-
ing a hint of the ocean will
captivate your senses.
89
VIDEO: A tour through Surquillo Market
VIDEO: Interview with U.S. Food Jour-
nalist in the Surquillo Market (in Spanish
and English)
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Lima
City Sights
The museum, called El Museo de la Nación, is
located at Av. Javier Prado Este 2465 in San
Borja: 476-9875.
Another top museum for history is the Museo
Nacional de Antropologia, Arqueología e
Historia del Peru, in Plaza Bolívar, Pueblo Libre.
the national museum
The National Museum is one
of the most important histori-
cal and cultural institutions in
Peru. Within its four stories of
gallery space, the museum
presents an ample collection
of intricate Peruvian ceramics
and textiles. It also houses a
vast number of exhibits trac-
ing the culture and history of
Peru from its earliest inhabit-
ants, millennia before the Inca
Empire, up to the time of the
Spanish colonization. Among
its 2,500 displays are a series
of pieces from the Paracas,
Moche, Wari and Lima
cultures. This museum is also
renowned for its precolonial
90
replicas of the principal
archaeological sites in Peru,
including scale models of its
major ruins. Don't worry if you
aren't fluent in Spanish: the
majority of the museum exhib-
its include English signs.
On the top floor is the brutal
but important photography
exhibit Yuyanapaq, which
chronicles the violence and
terror of Peru's two-decade
long dirty internal war. (The
name means "to remember" in
Quechua, the language of
those most affected by
violence perpetrated by the
Shining Path and Peru's mili-
tary.)
Viewing the History of Peru at Museo
de la Nacion
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Lima
Festivals
Hacienda Mamacona is located in Lurin, just
south of Lima. Another option in Lurin is Los
Ficus.
In Lima, see shows at Hacienda Tres Cañas. Do
expeditions on Peruvian Paso Horses in Cuzco’s
sacred valley with Perol Chico.
Paso Horses at Mamacona
Hacienda Mamacona is an
elegant country state home
and the premier breeding
center of the Peruvian Paso
horse. Its ample show grounds
are center stage to Peruvian
Paso horse exhibitions with
some of the most acclaimed
horses and riders in Peru. The
year-round events at Mama-
cona attract Peru's elite along
with aficionados from all over
the world. The Paso horse's
smooth gait and elegance
inspires intense pride and
admiration for Peruvians. (The
horses’ hooves touch the
ground in an evenly-spaced
1-2-3-4 patter, a trait that
comes from proper breeding
only.) For many, attending
Paso horse shows and riding
Paso horses is the ultimate
expression of coastal Peruvian
tradition.
At Mamacona, each show is
accompanied by coastal
creole music and typical
dishes from a buffet prepared
by top chefs. A visit to Mama-
cona is to experience the
warmth and charm of Peru in
the tranquil setting of haci-
enda gardens, and above all,
enjoy the beauty of the Peru-
vian Paso horse.
91
Paijan and the Legendary Peruvian
Paso Horse
The Smoothest Saddle Horse in the
World
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The
Coast
Festivals
The competition takes place the last week of
January in the city of Trujillo.
The Marinera dance contest
The National Marinera Contest
in Trujillo is a celebration of
artistry, beauty and romance.
There is no city where Mari-
nera is more popular than in
Trujillo on Peru's northern
coast. And there is no time
when this region's love for this
dance is more spiritedly mani-
fested than during the contest
days: Restaurants hold
celebratory feasts, local
parades liven up the streets
and festive street decorations
brighten up the atmosphere.
The main events, however, are
the Marinera competitions
held in local stadiums and
colloseums. Here, everyone
92
from amateurs to national
champions take the stage to
twirl their handkerchiefs to the
upbeat blend of rhythms from
the cajon, guitars, horns and
vivacious hand claps from the
audience.
The dance itself is a graceful
and stylized reenactment of
the courtship of young
couples. Competing dancers
successfully bring chivalry to
life with their flirtatious and
elegant movements. It is in
celebration of this dance that
contestants from all corners of
Peru gather in Trujillo to give a
loving nod of respect to Peru's
official dance.
Peru’s Pride and Joy: La Marinera
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Cuzco
Adventure
Check out the following tour companies for the
Tres cruces to Atayala ride: Andina Travel,
Enigma and Rap Travel. If in the area during
July, stay for the Virgen del Carmen celebration
in Paucartambo. This five-day festival includes
giant bonfires with dancers and acrobats
attempting to impersonate Purgatory, street
parties and and more.
Bike Tres Cruces to Atayala
You'll start from heights of a
Cuzco cloud forest, on an
exposed campsite where the
sunsets and sunrises are
magnificent. (See photo.) The
early morning clouds sitting on
the rainforest some 2,300
meters below disguise the
thrilling biking descent over
the upcoming two days.
On the road, you'll see rural
communities growing
bananas, yucca, maize on
their small farms. There are
monkeys, birds a plenty,
orchids and stunning scenery
to admire from the the bike's
saddle.
The ride is from Tres Cruces
to the port of Atayala on the
bank of the Madre de Dios
River.
Accommodation along the
way ranges from cheap and
cheerful to upmarket jungle
lodges where more 500 spe-
cies of birds have been seen
and 11 types of monkeys hang
out.
93
A 24-hour Trip from Cuzco to See the
Sunrise at Tres Cruces
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Cuzco
City Sights
Sitting a 11,000 feet in the Peruvian Andes,
Cuzco is the undisputed archeological capital
of the Americas. Once the political, military
and cultural center of the Inca Empire, it is still
a center of Amerindian culture, a perfect
testament to its pre-Columbian and colonial
history. Every bit the Andean capital, it is
home to vibrant festivals like Inti Raymi,
Visit Saqsayhuaman, an ancient walled
complex near the old city of Cuzco,
which provides a magnificent example
of Inca architecture and stonework. It's
a
30-45 minutes walk from the Plaza de
Experience cuzco
ancient archeological sites such as Ollanta-
ytambo, and the legendary Inca Trails. Head
northwest to the Sacred Valley and you can
also take a fascinating tour of temples, royal
palaces and sacred centers. To appreciate
the rich colonial history of Cuzco you can
immerse yourself in its Baroque and Renais-
sance churches and mansions. If it is adven-
ture you seek, Cuzco offers the perfect
setting for mountain-biking, river-rafting and
trekking. And of course, Cuzco is the
gateway to Macchu Picchu.
armas, and also the location of the
annual Inti Raymi Festival. From there,
hike to the Cristo Blanco for a panora-
mic view of the city. This 25-foot statue
of Jesus stands in the cerro Pukamoqo
and is a short hike from Saqsayhua-
man, from where you will spot it right
away.
Stop by Plazaleta San Blas, which has
the San Blas church (famous for its
colonial art collection and a hand-
carved pulpit), a ceramics museum, the
Religious Art Museum and a vibrant
artisan, bohemian neighborhood of
cobble stoned paved streets, where you
will find several coffee shops and galle-
ries.
A
good hotel option is Niños Hotel,
which supports orphaned children in
94
Cuzco.
A
gourmet restaurant not to miss is
Cicciolina.
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About See more in See more in Introduction LivinginPeru.com Cuzco City Sights The Fallen Angel
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Cuzco
City Sights
The Fallen Angel is at Plazoleta Nazarenas 221.
Other great bars include Piskuo, right on the
Plaza de Armas, and La Chupiteria at Tecseco-
cha 400 two blocks from the Plaza. And be sure
to try creative pisco cocktails at El Pisquerito.
Party at Cuzco’s FAllen Angel
Fallen Angel is a funky, artsy cocktail bar and
restaurant in Cuzco. It is an experience that
has been descibed as "Cancun, two miles
up." The decor alone makes a visit worthwhile.
Its glassed-in corridors overlook the colonial
patio of a former monastery, while the main
dining room is a series of intimate rooms
adorned with artwork from the Cusqueña
School, stone arches, animal print furniture,
disco balls, and tables made from thick sheets
of glass atop porcelain bathtubs filled with
brightly colored live fish. It is a surreal ambian-
ce. On top of its fun atmosphere, the food and
drinks are also a delicious treat. The bar
makes mixed drinks with exotic fruits; try the
martinis, margaritas and caipirinhas.
Fallen Angel is also considered a local cultural
hot spot. Fallen Angel wants to help each one
of its guests see how wonderful life is and
celebrate the modern side of Cuzco.
Hot Nightlife and Restaurants in Cuzco
95
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About See more in See more in Introduction LivinginPeru.com Cuzco City Sights The temple is
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Cuzco
City Sights
The temple is located at Av. El Sol with Calle
Santo Domingo; entrance is 10 soles. Down the
road, visit Kusicancha, believed to be the ruins
of an Inca palace.
Koricancha-Santo Domingo
If you ever need a visual aid
to understand the Spanish
conquest of the Inca Empire,
Koricancha and the Convent
of Santo Domingo provide the
perfect illustration. Koricancha
was the most extraordinary
temple crafted in the time of
the Inca Empire. Dedicated to
the worship of their Sun god,
the Incas lined its walls with
gold panels, adorned it with
altars and life-sized statues of
solid gold and used it as the
main astronomical observa-
tory. But when the Spaniards
came, Koricancha was one of
the many Inca temples and
palaces that were plundered.
Its outstanding stone masonry
was kept as a base for the
construction of a Catholic
institution: the Convent of
Santo Domingo, built in
baroque style in the 17th
century. What the Spanish
brought in — priceless art,
main cloisters and sculptures
— are of interest. But the
architecture and perfectly
symmetric Inca stone work of
the original temple chambers
are outstanding. There is no
more perfect intersection
between Spanish and Andean
culture than this construction.
96
The Churches and Temples of Cuzco
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Cuzco
Prehispanic
Andina Travel Peru and Q’ente are two options
for tour operators. At the South American
Explorer’s Club in Cuzco, clubhouse vounteer
Miguel Jove Mamani leads tours.
Choquequirao
Choquequirao is an ancient
Inca site very similar to Machu
Picchu in significance, differ-
ent in architecture and equally
shrouded in mystery. It is
located along the Salkantay
Mountain Range in the La
Convencion province of
Cuzco. This citadel served the
same religious, political and
agricultural functions as its
imperial sister city. Designed
to be in alignment with the sun
and stars, the Choquequirao
ceremonial hill allows for a 360
degree view of the ruins, its
surrounding landscape, and
occasional condors flying
overhead. Its features include
mountain peaks reaching
17,000 feet above and the
97
vast valley of the river Río
Apurímac below. The site is
made of typical Inca farming
terraces, a temple, administra-
tive buildings, warehouses,
living quarters, aqueducts,
and water springs.
Scholars believe the Spanish
never learned of its existence;
in fact, most buildings are
well-preserved and in the
process of restoration. It was
most likely among the last of
the Incan strongholds to serve