Tag: Peru Travel

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Peru Announces Plans to Create a 'Second Machu Picchu'

Where: Kuelap, Peru
December 15, 2014 at 10:55 AM | by | Comments (0)

One of Peru’s best kept secrets is about to be circled on the map.

While Machu Picchu and the Incan ruins of the south have for decades been the main calling card for just about every person that steps foot in Peru, the Chachapoya ruins of the northern “cloud people” have remained largely underexplored, a prize left for backpackers and savvy travelers looking to avoid the crowds. But those days look to be coming to an end as the Peruvian government seeks to ease traffic off its holy grail and increase tourism in other areas of the country, specifically the northern Amazonas region.

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Send a High Schooler Packing on Volunteer Trips to Kenya and Peru in 2014

Where: Kenya
December 4, 2013 at 1:45 PM | by | Comments (0)

Teens with a passion for sports and doing good can enjoy both on one of STRIVE's volunteer trips next summer.

Strive caters to student-athletes who want to grow and learn through travel. High school students work on volunteer projects within local communities, are exposed new customs and cultures, and participate in challenging daily athletic training exercises on all of STRIVE's trips.

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Google Streetview Gets All Up In and Around the Landscapes of Peru

Where: Peru
August 26, 2013 at 5:09 PM | by | Comments (0)

Another day, another advance for Google Maps. We wrapped up last week by telling you about how Street View had added another round of global zoos to their picture galleries, providing prospective travelers with the ability to scope out destinations filled with cute things without setting foot outside a living room.

The specific locations—zoos, museums, shops, the inside of airplanes—are so shiny that sometimes people forget just have impressive regular old Google Street View has become. News came out last week that the company had added Peru to the list of nations where computer users can digitally swoop in and take a look around. This brings the number of countries where Street View is available to fifty-one.

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What Everyone's Buying in Cusco: Alpaca Fiber and Textiles

Where: Cusco, Peru
May 14, 2013 at 11:53 AM | by | Comments (0)

Welcome to "What Everyone's Buying," a new series on souvenirs, wherein we investigate what tourist trinkets are the hottest selling in hotspots around the world.

3000 BCE. That's how far back historians have been able to date preserved pieces of traditional Peruvian textiles. The vibrant colors, intricate weavings and completely unique designs (for each one!) make the fabrics of Peru popular the world over, and doesn't be surprised if planeloads of tourists at Cusco's airport are toting patterned bags or donning new ponchos made from the materials.

What you'll want to look for are garments made of alpaca fiber, ever rarer than cashmere and available in over 20 natural shades. Even Peruvian pima cotton is highly prized, and many fine linen shops in the tourist district will be happy to help part you from your money.

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Foreign Grocery Friday: The Doña Pepa Cookies of Peru

Where: Lima, Peru
May 10, 2013 at 12:31 PM | by | Comments (0)

When we travel, one of our favorite things to do is to pop into a local grocery store and check out the food products and candies we'd never find anywhere else. So we're trying out this new feature, Foreign Grocery Friday, where each week we'll feature some of our (and your) favorite overseas treats. Got a recommendation? Let us know!

Set foot in Lima, Peru's International Airport and even before heading through customs you'll spot Doña Pepa on display in the duty-free shops. She's not a woman exactly, but a cartoon mascot lending her name to a sprinkled cookie beloved around the country. Doña Pepa is to Peru as Twix is to the US; it's available at every corner store checkout counter and sold in large "fun size" to tourists at airports.

It even takes a cake form—"Turron de Doña Pepa"—which is a sticky, anise-heavy baked good. For easy eating and toting along on walks, we definitely prefer the cookie.

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How Dangerous Is It to Travel to Machu Picchu?

Where: Cusco, Peru
March 8, 2013 at 12:52 PM | by | Comments (0)

Airfares from the US to Lima, Peru have been shockingly low lately—we're talking $500 roundtrip on a route that's typically at least $800—and some of the reason is likely due to a (now lifted) travel warning from the US Embassy in Peru to Americans traveling in the Machu Picchu/Cusco area.

This week that warning ended, after a couple feared to have been kidnapped was actually found, happily traveling still, just through areas with no internet access. There is a rebel group (named Shining Path) still threatening the area in general, but the situation is once again safe for tourism.

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Win a Volunteer Vacation to the Peruvian Andes with Heifer International

Where: Peru
February 8, 2013 at 2:48 PM | by | Comments (0)

Heifer International, a nonprofit organization seeking to end hunger by partnering with farmers around the world, and Garnet Hill are giving one winner the chance to take the trip of a lifetime with their Pass on the Gift in Peru Sweepstakes.

The grand prize winner will take an all-inclusive trip for two to Cusco, where they'll spend 7 days taking part in Heifer’s local alpaca project to end poverty, in the nearby Andean region. The trip will also include guided tours exploring the local culture and a $1,000 Garnet Hill gift card.

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Skip the Holidays and Head South to Help Kids in Peru

Where: Peru
November 28, 2012 at 4:24 PM | by | Comments (0)

If you dread spending winter break with your family, you can always spend it with someone else's parents while doing good in Peru.

United Planet’s Quest volunteer Abroad Programs are available to individuals and groups of all ages and have flexible start dates and stays, perfect for college kids with nothing to do after Christmas.

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Foreign Grocery Friday: The Alpaca Meat of Peru

Where: Cusco, Peru
October 26, 2012 at 12:09 PM | by | Comments (0)


Alpaca as breakfast meat

When we travel, one of our favorite things to do is to pop into a local grocery store and check out the food products and candies we'd never find anywhere else. So we're trying out this new feature, Foreign Grocery Friday, where each week we'll feature some of our (and your) favorite overseas treats. Got a recommendation? Let us know!

If you're a regular reader of our Foreign Grocery Friday series, then you'll already be aware of the fact that we rarely shy away from trying local specialties, even when it comes to meats (see our review of kangaroo and conch). Where you'd normally see cows in America, you have alpaca in Peru, so it's no wonder alpaca meat replaces beef quite a bit. In Cusco alpaca is even favored over beef and, after eating it at breakfast and dinner, we totally understand why. It is tasty!

Note: Cusco also enjoys serving up "Cuy," which is guinea pig meat. Sadly we didn't have enough time to try it on this trip, focusing as we did on the alpaca meat.

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At MATE, the Brand New Lima Gallery of Fashion Photographer Mario Testino

Where: Lima, Peru
October 25, 2012 at 6:22 PM | by | Comments (0)

Flip open the ginormous tome that is the September issue of Vogue magazine and, almost near the end, this stunning photo presents itself. The entire spread is essentially a love song by the Vogue-favorite photographer Mario Testino, to his native Peru. Taking editor-at-large Hamish Bowles along for a ride down to Lima, the two visit Testino's newly opened museum, MATE.

MATE stands for Asociación Mario Testino and, since its premiere exhibiton "Todo o Nada" features only Testino's work, MATE comes across as a monument the photographer has built to himself. Even visiting MATE on our own, last month during a brief stay in Lima, can't shake that feeling. MATE will eventually feature the work of other Peruvian artists within its restored walls, but for now it's the domain of Testino devotees.

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Riding the Hiram Bingham Orient-Express Train from Machu Picchu: Part 2

October 23, 2012 at 6:42 PM | by | Comments (0)

Talk about bucket list locations, Machu Picchu is up there (literally). The sacred Inca city high in the Andes mountains of Peru isn't an easy place to visit, but thousands head there every day for a glimpse at the archaeological site. Having just returned ourselves, all this week we'll give you the low-down on how to get to this high place.

The Jaunted Goes to Machu Picchu Series:

1. Flying into Cusco
2. Sorting out documents
3. Riding the Vistadome train
4. Riding the Hiram Bingham Orient-Express (Part 1 - the train)
5. Riding the Hiram Bingham Orient-Express (Part 2 - the dining & extras)
6. MACHU PICCHU

So you've been hiking Incan ruins all day, likely in the sun, and you've been fed finger sandwiches and teacakes until your stomach bulged...so the last thing you'd want to do is eat again, right? Wrong. The grueling daytrip of Cusco to Machu Picchu and back made us ravenous like no other and so, when it came time for a four-course meal and drinks onboard the Hiram Bingham Orient-Express train, "si" was the answer to every question asked by our waiter.

Si, keep the agua flowing (con gas, yummy).

Si, I'm having the steak.

Si, there's no way I'm skipping dessert.

Si si si after-dinner drinks in the bar car.

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Riding the Hiram Bingham Orient-Express Train from Machu Picchu: Part 1

October 22, 2012 at 1:05 PM | by | Comments (0)

Talk about bucket list locations, Machu Picchu is up there (literally). The sacred Inca city high in the Andes mountains of Peru isn't an easy place to visit, but thousands head there every day for a glimpse at the archaeological site. Having just returned ourselves, all this week we'll give you the low-down on how to get to this high place.

The Jaunted Goes to Machu Picchu Series:

1. Flying into Cusco
2. Sorting out documents
3. Riding the Vistadome train
4. Riding the Hiram Bingham Orient-Express (Part 1 - the train)
5. Riding the Hiram Bingham Orient-Express (Part 2 - the dining & extras)
6. MACHU PICCHU

The train is blue. Unlike its European cousins, the cars are not painted with "Orient-Express" down the sides, but "Hiram Bingham" in gold lettering.

What would Hiram himself, explorer/Yale professor/politician, think of this train that makes traversing such forbidding terrain look so easy? Hiram Bingham discovered the site of Machu Picchu in 1911 and worked to uncover and preserve it for study and, yes, tourism. Even the switchback road up to the ruins from the town of Aguas Calientes and the Urubamba River is named the Hiram Bingham Highway (though it's hardly a 'highway').

But before we digress on some History Channel-ish tangents, back to the train! A one-way ticket averages $329 per person, in high contrast to the Vistadome which runs $76 and the Expedition at $62. There are a few dining cars and one bar car with a lounge and rear observation area, complete with an open-air platform. The locomotive is also blue, though a lighter shade that's the signature of its operator: PeruRail.

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