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Best Places to Visit in Lima

When you plan you Peru trip, the first thing you have in mind is going to Machu Picchu, this is actually normal and we sometimes struggle with our travelers to let them understand that Peru has a lot more to offer. Many travelers seem not to be very happy to spend a couple of days in Lima, there is a misconception that the capital city is pretty ugly and caotic and that there is anything to do and visit. Nothing can be more wrong!

Peru’s capital city has many different sites worth a visit and many activities you can include in your travel plans. Here we tried to make a list of our favourite spots and activities you cannot miss while in Lima:

  • Market visit: go and check Lima’s local market, we usually suggest to go to the market located between Miraflores and Surquillo districts, which is called Mercado n. 1, where you can find many local fruits and veggie, as well as a great selection of fresh seafood, nuts and Andean grains. There, you can have breakfast in one of the food stalls located inside the market area or you can also have a traditional lunch, tasting a real Peruvian ceviche or a delicious “jalea” (fried seafood served with fried yuca, “salsa criolla” and mayo), among other traditional dishes.

  • Huaca Puccllana: this is an ancient pyramid made of clay and adobe located in the heart of the vibrant and turistic Miraflores District. It was considered a sacred place, an important administrative and ceremonial location, built by the Lima civilization in the fifth century. There is also a restaurant inside the archeological complex, where you can have a delicious meal enjoying a beautiful view of the Huaca

  • Inca Market: This market deserves a visit especially if you are planning to buy some suovenirs before heading back home. Here you will find traditional Peruvian fabrics, music instruments, bags, backpacks, jewellery and alpaca jerseys and scarfs. Do not forget to bargain with vendors and try to find the best deal you can. Remember that you can pay in cash or by ccard. It is a nice experience and you will definitely find Peruvian traditional handicrafts all in one place.

  • Larcomar: if you are looking for a more fancy shopping experience, do not miss Larcomar shopping mall, located in the Miraflores’ malecon, right on the Pacific Ocean cliffs. Here you will find stores of the best Peruvian and international brands. If you want to buy alpaca products, here you will find high quality scarfs, ponchos and jerseys. In the shopping mall there are also several restaurants that are worth a stop, such as Tanta, Popular de aquí y de allá, La Trattoria di Mambrino, among others. 

  • Mercado 28: this is an interesting culinary spot located in Miraflores district, where you can find different kind of food, from Peruvian fast food to foreigner cuisines, from criollo cuisine to Amazon food, from elegant patisseries to ice cream shops. You can find more on Mercado 28, the first gastronomic market in Peru, here: http://taste-of-peru.com/mercado-28-a-new-culinary-stop-in-the-heart-of-miraflores/

  • Barranco and Miraflores districts Malecon: if you love to spend time outdoor and to enjoy a beautiful sunset, these spots are the perfect places for you to relax after a morning cultural tour, a biking tour or a shopping tour, having a picnic for example or a delicious icecream in the Malecon can help you recharge and relax for the night. Do not miss the beautiful sunset on the Pacific Ocean, it is a remarkable experience.

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  • Plaza Mayor and San Francisco Church: if you are more into culture sites, you cannot miss a visit to Lima’s downtown where you will find the city’s cathedral, the government palace placed around Lima’s main square (Plaza Mayor), right behind the square you can also visit San Francisco Church with its monastery and catacombs. This is a cultural stop that you cannot miss while in the capital city.

  • Culinary spots: there are so many restaurants we can suggest in Lima, but we might need another article on this. Just few of them: Maido, Isolina Tabern, Central Restaurant, Astrid and Gaston, Kañete, La Mar among others. In the capital city you can basically find all kind of cuisines and different prices range restaurants. More on this to come on the blog!

So, when planning a trip to Peru, just try to spend a couple of days in Lima to enjoy the modern side of Peruvian culture and have the opportunity to try the best culinary spots in the country.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peru Destinations Travel Tips What to do

The Ultimate Guide To Peruvian Slang

Planning a trip to Peru soon and want to feel merged into the local culture? Do you want to “sound” like a Peruvian while you are talking to people in the streets, in the shops or at the restaurant? Here some slang words and phrases you should definitely learn before embarking on your Peruvian adventure! 

We tried to create a usefule list for no-Spanish speaking travelers but also for people who can speak Spanish but obviously not the Peruvian way. Like any country of Latin America, also Peru has its own peculiar slang words and phrases that actually only Peruvians can understand. For instance if an Argentinian come to Peru for a leisure trip or for work, he/she will also encounter some problems with slang words and phrases Peruvians use.  

  • Cheverelet’s start with the most used slangword! This word is used to say that somenthing is cool, for example (“ese polo,te queda chevere” means “this tshirt looks good on you”) or that we are cool (“estamo chevere” means “we are ok”). You will listen to this word in the street, restaurants, basically everywhere.

 

  • Platain Spanish languange this word means silver, but in Peru it means moneyThis is also a word you will listen everywhere, since Peruvians never do anything if you do not pay them. “Plata” is what make the country goes round and people do things for you. So, the use could be something like: “Tienes plata?” which means “Have you got money?”, or “es mucha plata”, which means “that’s too expensive”. 

  • Bacán: this word also has a positive meaning like chevere, it is used to express a favorable opinion on somenthign or someone. “Está bacan” means “It’s cool”. 
  • Chela: you cannot have a great and fun trip if you do not know this word! Chela means beer, so you will listen to “¿Quieres una chela?” which means “Do you want a beer?” or “Vamos por unas chelas”, which means “”Let’s go for some beers”. Remeber: Peruvians never go out for only one beer or drink, they prefer to use the plural! 😀 Peruvians also use the verb “chelear”, which means “the act of drinking beer”. 

  • Pataliterally in Spanish this word means legbut in Peru it means close friend. So you will listen to: “El es mi pata” with means “He’s my pal”.  The word can be used with male or female.  

  • Luca: it could be definitely a name, but in Peru it means Sol, the local currency. So you will probably listen to two friends saying: “¿Tienes un luca? Or ¿Tienes cinco lucas”, which respectively mean “Do you have a Sol?” and “Do you have five Soles?”. This word comes from Spanish gipsy word for Soles. 

  • Chamba: this word means “job” and Peruvians also use the verb “chambear” wich means “to work”, so you will probably listen to expressions such as: “Estoy en chamba”, which menas “estoy trabajando” or “Tengo que chambear” which means “I have to work”. 

  • Tono: this word means party, so the expression “vamos a un tono” means “Let’s go to a party”. Peruvians also use the verb “tonear”. Another word Peruvians use for party is “juerga” and the verb “juerguear”. So the expression “Vamos de juerga”, which means “Let’s go to a party” is quite common as well. 

  • Al toque: it is a peculiar expression used by Peruvians to say “right away” or “straight away”. For instance the expression “Hazlo al toque!” means “Do it right away”. 
  • En un rato: this is also a very common expression you will listen to, but actually it is quite difficult to undestand what exactly “rato” means for Peruvians. It could be 10 minutes, half an hour, a hour, 3 hours, so sometimes could be hard. So the expression “Voy en un rato” means “ I wil be there soon”, but be aware you might wait more than an hour! Let’s be honest Peruvians are famous for not being on-time. 
  • Yapa: this word means something extra for free”. So if you are buying somenthing like fruit or veggie you ask for yapa, usually an extra lemon or tomato. 

After our survivor Peruvian slang course for beginners you will be able to undestand few words Peruvians often use. Stay tuned that will definitely post more slang words nd phrases soon! 

 

Cusco Nazca Peru Peru Destinations Titicaca Travel Travel Tips World travel

Top Places for Amazing Travel Photos in Peru

Are you that kind of traveller, eager to take stunning photos and have them to cherish everlasting memories of his/her trip or to share them in social media or travel blogs? Are you in a costant pursuit of incredible travel photos? This is the right blog article for you. We tried to select the most amazing places in Peru to take the best and the most suggestive travel shots ever!Credits: chrisactive.pl

We didn’t have a hard time selecting these places though, considering that Peru has many amazing views to offer and a wide variety of landscapes, we refer to high mountain picks, the highest lake in the world, paradisiac beaches, amazing trekking routes, beautiful lagoons, charming jungle bridges and even desert. So, if you are into travel photos, Peru is definitely a place you must note down on your travel list right now!

  • Lagoon 69 in Huaraz: This place is simply amazing! Here the celestial lagoon with its intense blue waters meets the clear sky, typical of the Peruvian “sierra”. The Lagoon 69 is located in the Huascarán National Park, in Huraz province, north-east of Lima. It is a 9-hour bus ride from the capital city; if you prefer, you can also fly to Huaraz from Lima. We believe that this is one of the most beautiful lagoon in the world and the trek to reach it is simply amazing, yuo will bump into amazing landscapes, and see beautiful flowers and plants while you walk along the path. You can find more information on this trek here: ( http://104.131.126.77/blog/?p=343 )

  • Uros floating islands: this is an archipelago of the Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world. Here you will enjoy the blue waters of the lake, crossing the path with the clear sky, learn about Uros indigenous community, their lifestyle, and their activities, such as crafting, cooking, fishing, etc. This is a remarkable experience for travellers who have the chance to meet local people and jump on one of these amazing islands for a bit. The islands are made of “totora” reeds, which grow in the lake. The sun light is amazing on the Titicaca Lake and it will definitely help taking great shots of the lake itself and local people in their daily routine.

  • “La Catedral” in Paracas National Reserve: this is another amazing spot to get great travel pics, where you’ll find a geomorphological attraction in an arch shape, unfortunately partially destroyed during the earthquake which hit Peru in 2007. It is a place to stop and relax during your visit to Paracas National Reserve where you can enjoy all the beauty of the Pacific Ocean and its coast and the relaxing sound of the waves crashing on the shores. The high cliff is extremely fascinating and with the sunlight the color of the sky will reflect on the ocean creating an amazing effect.

  • Rainbow Mountain: this spot became extremely famous and known in the past 5 years, when travellers began to get interested in this amazing mountain, also know as 7-colors mountain. Today it is one of the most beaten path in Peru. The mountain, with its height of 5,200 above sea level, is completely covered by brilliant and colourful sands. This colourful effect comes from the minerals and the rocks which cover the surface of the mountain. Since the hike to reach the pick of the mountain is quite intense, especially if it rains, you can do it by renting horses if you prefer. However, once you get there your effort will be highly rewarded.

Credits: Atlantida.travel 

Credits: Travelholic 

Credits: blog.redbus.pe 

  • Amazon River: one of the most fashinating spot in Peru, where you will be merged into amazing wildlife and hear the sound of the nature. When you arrive to the Peruvian rainforest you have to get to the lodge you selected, and you usually have to take a rustic and traditional boat, called by locals “lancha”, for a river ride which could be short or long depending on the location of your accommodation. During the ride you will connect with the sound of the river and the amazing wildlife of the jungle, which will transfer you in a peaceful atmosphere. If you happen to arrive at your destination around sunset you are pretty lucky and can enjoy beautiful views of the river and the jungle’s flora. That’s the perfect time to get amazing shots.

Actually these are only few of the amazing places you can find in Peru, so grab your camera and best photo equipment, book your trip and come to Peru to get incredible travel photos.

Peru Peru Destinations What to do

Peru’s Off The Beaten Path Places

Let’s start this blog article with a very easy and simple statement: Peru is not only Cuzco and Machu Picchu! This is what we actually try to make travellers understand all the time. Peru offers much more than a worldwide recognized wonder which is indeed worth the visit, but you can plan to visit so many other places. To accuretely discover and fully experience Peru you would definitely need more than few weeks, you actually need several months, perhaps half a year and not even get a real sense of what Peru is and can offer in term of amazing landscapes, beautiful sites, marvelous handycrafts, delicious food, exotic ingredients, and charming culture, traditions and folklore.

Here we tried to include the best off the beaten places you can visit to get a better and deeper sense of this amazing country!

Gocta Waterfalls: This amazing sight is located in Chachapoyas province of the Amazonas region in the north area of the country. The waterfalls have been discovered since 2002 by the German economist Stefan Ziemendorff, but the site was revealed to the whole world only in 2006 during a press conference. This two-tiered waterfall which flows into the Cocahuayco River, is considered one of tallest waterfall in the world and one of the quitest and the most peaceful places in Peru, perfect for relaxing trip and meditation retreat. You can reach the site via Chachapoyas or Tarapoto by plane or by bus as well. In the past decade the area became more equipped for tourists, so several lodges, hotels and restaurants popped up, but the place still remains very quite and definitely worth a visit, especially if you love being merged into nature and wildlife listening to the calming sound of the waterfalls.

Kuelap Fortress: this is an amazing archeological site located in Longuita District in Chachapoyas province as well, in the southern part of the Amazonas region. The site covers a territory of approximately six hectares. The Fortress is a majestic sample of 900-1100 AD architecture, located 3000 meters above sea level, made out off massive limestone blocks, they can weight up to 3 tons. The Chachapoyas civilization built the fortress which was home of the Warriors of the Cloud. It was abandoned during the Spanish Conquest in the XIV century and rediscovered in the XIX century. You can reach it via Chachapoyas or Tarapoto by plane or by bus as well. The government has invested in Kuelap as turistic destination in the last years and a cable-car for tourist to reach the fortress has been implemented. The area has several accommodation and restaurant options and it is considered a very pleasant place to stay a couple of days.

Credits: T News

Huaca Pucllana: this is a stone complex located in the heart of Peru’s capital city, in the vibrant district of Miraflores. This was an administrative and ceremonial center for the Lima culture. Not many tourists opt for a visit to the Huaca Pucllana, but we always suggest to spend a couple of hours there, preferebly in the morning, so that you have time to visit the museum and have a lunch at the beautiful restaurant overlooking the archeological site as wel. What is really fashinating about this archeological site is that is now merged among contemporary architecture buildings, it is worth a visiti if you happen to stay in Lima for a couple of days.


Credits: Inbound Peru

Credits: Viator

Caral: this site has been includeded in the World’s Heritages list by UNESCO, located on a dry-desert terrace 200 km north of the capital city, represents the origin of the Andean culture. The site still appears intact with its six pyramids and it is merged in an area where there is no sign of the new civilization, that is why you can enjoy an authentic landscape there. It is an ideal option for a day-trip from Lima.

Credits: Apuntes de Historia

Credits: Ministerio de Cultura

Cajamarca: this is the capital city of the Cajamarca region located in the northern Peruvian Highlands in the valley of the Mashcon river. Here you can enjoy a very pleasant stay, visiting the churches, samples of Spanish colonial architecture, such as the Church of Belen and the city’s Cathedral, trying the delicious food and local products, the area is famous for its local variety of cheese, visiting the Plan Manzanas waterfall if you love trekking and more. You can reach Cajamarca by plane or by bus.

Credits: Wikipedia

Credits: CulturaCredits: Andina

There is still so much to discover in Peru, a country full of hidden treasures. We loved suggesting new sites to visit to our travellers and let them explore the infinite touristic routes and unknown destinations the country has to offer.

Peru Destinations Travel Tips What to do

Paracas National Reserve and Ica at Glance

If you are in Lima for more than a couple of days and you want to have a trip nearby to escape Lima’s caos and traffic, one of the main destinations selected by visitors is Paracas National Reserve. This is one of the biggest protected desert natural reserve in South America. This sight is located in Ica region, that is why most of the visitors usually make the most of the day also visiting the town of Ica.

This article aims to give you a sample itinerary that you can do in one or two days, this is up to you and you should see how it can fit into the itinerary you planned. You can come back to Lima late at night on the same day or if you prefer you can spend the night in Ica.

Let’s start then! You have to take the bus to Paracas from Lima very early in the morning, around 4:00 am, just check the timetable of the bus company of your preference. I would suggest you to choose Cruz del Sur, which is a very reliable company and it is also considered one of the safest bus lines in the country. The buses are clean and very comfortable! You can actually take advantage of the comfy seats to have a nap during the 3-hour and half trip from Lima to Paracas. Believe this nap is worth it! Just try to rest before your excursion starts, this is going to be a long day.

Once in Paracas, your tour of the reserve will start from “El Chaco” pier, where you board your boat. So first of all you will have a nice and relaxing tour of the reserve by boat during which you could see the famous ”El Candelabro”, a large prehistoric petroglyph of unknown origin spanning over 150 meters high and 50 meters wide, which is considered a mysterious symbol. There are tons of theories on it, one of them states that perhapsthe symbols was used as guide for sailors many years ago. As we approach the islands, you will see the rock formations from every angle as well as the different species of animals and birds that habitat the island, like sea lions, Peruvian booby, cormorans, penguins and much more. There are more of 400 species of flora and fauna in the area, so if you are into nature and wild animals, this is the place to visit!

Once you finish this tour you will have to go back to Paracas bus station to start your bus trip to Ica. Once again I suggest you to go with Cruz el Sur. There’s nothing better to relax a bit after the boat ride during the 1 hour and half bus ride from Paracas to Ica. Before starting your Ica city tour I would advise you to grab some lunch, food and wine are delicious in Ica region, so you have plenty of choices. A very good spot to have lunch is the Las Dunas Hotel, just that you know. During the Ica city tour you will have the chance to visit downtown Ica and the places nearby, then I suggest to make a stop at the Regional Museum, where you can see archeological artifacts from prehistorical to colonial eras, as potteries, textils, mummies, among others. They are all objects from the ancient civilizations who occupied the area: Paracas, Nasca, Wari, Ica – Chincha and Inca.

After the visit to the city main spots you can also drop by one of the vineyards located in the area. Do not forget that Ica region is where the majority of Peruvian wines and Piscos are produced. You will have the chance to learn how the Peruvian national spirit, Pisco, is produced, learn about the different types of Pisco and of course you will be able to taste them, as well as the wine produced in the area. The virieties depends on the different kinds of grape used in the elaboration process.

At the end of the day you will visit The Huacachina Lagoon, also called “El Oasis de America”, there you will enjoy a beautiful view and a sunny landscapes, which are very hard to forget. Take a good camara, since during this long day you will have the opportunity to take some great shots. The oasis is surrounded by sand dunes, palms, huarango trees and beautiful houses. In the oasis you can choose to simply relax and enjoy the sun and the stunning landscape or if you are into active holidays you can try the dune buggies activity and the sandboarding. Before jumping on the buggy make sure that you are with a professional driver. You will basically go up and down the dunes with the buggy and it is a lot of fun. If you are traveling with kids, Huacachina is the place to go, they will enjoy themselves a lot there. You can also try sandboard, which is a very common activity in the area. It is like the snowboarding but it is done on the sand, so if you fall down, i twill be on the sand … how amazing!

At the end of this long day, you can just overnight in Huacachina and enjoy an additional half day there, which is highly reccommended, especially if you are traveling with kids, but if you prefer you can also take the night bus back to Lima. Another possibility is that you take the bus to Nazca, sleep there so that you can fly over the Nazca lines very early the next morning. These are options that I can suggest you if you are planning to spend 4-5 days in Lima, this is a great plan for a day or a two-day trip to escape Lima’s caos.

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New Regulations For Visiting Machu Picchu

I often receive so many emails regarding the new rules to enter Machu Picchu citadel and the different types of entry tickets available; a big change has been made by the Peru’s Ministry of Culture throughout the Ministerial Resolution No. 070-2007-MC since April 2017. The new resolution entered into force in July 2017 and from that moment a bit of confusion arises from this change for Machu Picchu visitors. Here I try to summarize the main new rules for visitors and the entry tickets available in the clearest way possible.

Machu Picchu entry tickets

Before this new law, Machu Picchu received a maximum of 2,500 visitors per day, but in reality the number of visitors each day was much higher considering the different ticket combinations sold to tourists. To overcome this problem and to preserve the integrity of this charming archeological site, it was necessary to implement this new rules. So as of July 2017, there are two entrance times available for visiting Machu Picchu:

1. From 6:00 am to 12:00 pm
2. From 12:00 pm to 5:30 pm

So passengers need to take in account that they have four hours to visit the citadel from the moment of the entrance. For instance if you enter Machu Picchu at 10:00 am you can stay until 2:00 pm, no more than this. Also consider that for the second slot the entrance is allowed until 4:00 pm, after this time you cannot enter the site anymore and you basically loose your entry ticket. The maximum amount of people allowed during the first slot is 1,200 and during the second slot is 1300, for a total amount of 2,500 people per day.

What should you consider when choosing your entrance time to the citadel? Here some factors you should definitely take in account that can influence your decision:

  • Your train’s arrival time to Aguas Calientes.
  • The waiting time to get on the bus to Machu Picchu. Have in mind that you could stay in line for an average time of one hour-one hour and half depending on the season. During high season you most likely will wait 1 hour and half.
  • The bus ride to Machu Pichu, which lasts about half an hour.

As for the bus to the citadel, the first one leaves at 5:30 am, and there’s a bus every 30 minutes leaving from Aguas Calientes. If you want to see the dawn from the citadel, take in mind that people get to the bus stop at 3:00 am to take the 5:30 am bus, so you should be there very early to do your queue.

Another question I usually receive is: “Is it mandatory to visit Machu Picchu with a tour guide?” Yes, it is mandatory for Peruvians and foreigners. There’s also the possibility to get a two-day ticket to the citadel, in this case it is mandatory to visit the site with a guide only for the first day. The second day you can visit Machu Picchu on your own. A guide can be assigned to a group of macxmum 16 people, for instance if you are 20 people you have to opt for two different tour guides. Tous guides offer two different services:

1. Half-day tour, which includes 2 hours or 2 hours and half guided tour.
2. Full-day Tour, which includes 4 horus or 4 hours and half guided tour.

Huaynapicchu Entry Tickets

Also in ths case there are two time slots to visit Huaynapicchu:

1. From 7:00 am to 8:00 am: you are allow to climb the peak of Huaynapicchu, visit the “Gran Caverna”, most commonly known as the Temple of the Moon (Templo de la Luna in Spanish) and enjoy a visit to Machu Picchu citadel. The hike lasts approximately 3 hours, but if you are a pro hiker you can do it more quickly. If you want to visit the Temple of the Moon, consider an extra hour for your visit. Once you hike the Huaynapicchu you have 3 hours available to visit the citadel. This Huaynapicchu entry ticket will allow you to stay in the archeological site for 7 hours in total.

2. From 10:00 am to 11:00 am: this ticket does not allow you to visit the Temple of the Moon, but after the hike you can visit the citadel as well. This Huaynapicchu entry ticket will allow you to stay in the site for a total of 6 hours.

The maximum amount of people for each time entrance is 200, for a total amount of 400 people per day.

Machu Picchu Montaña Entry Tickets

Also in this case there are two time slots:

1. From 7:00 am to 8:00 am
2. From 9:00 am to 10:00 am

This hike is a bit longer than the Huaynapicchu one, you have a total of 5 hours available to finalize it. Just consider that to get there you need approximately 2 hours and then you should consider the same time to get at the bottom of the mountain. This way you have almost one hour to stay on the top of the mountain and enjoy the wonderful view. After this visit you have 3 hours to explore the Machu Picchu citadel, so in total you have 8 hours available. The maximum amount of people for each time entrance is of 400, for a total amount of 800 people per day.

Intipunku Entry Tickets

You can visit the Intipunku, also known as the Sun Gate (Puerta del Sol in Spanish), buying any of the above mentioned  entry tickets (Machu Picchu, Huaynapicchu, Machu Picchu Montaña). The hike lasts aproximately 2 hours-2 hours and half. If you buy the general Machu Picchu Entry Ticket consider that you will have only two hours to visit the citadel after the visit to the Intipunku since you can just stay on the site a total of 4 hours, as I mentioned before. We usually recommend to buy the Huaynapicchu or Machu Picchu Montaña Entry Ticket if you want to visit the Intipunku and after that you have about 3 hours to explore the citadel.

I hope that everything is clear now and that this information can help you choose your entry ticket option for visiting the Machu Picchu citadel and help you understand the new regulations.

Peru Destinations Travel What to do

Huaraz, a Charming Destination in The Heart of Peru

If you are planning your trip to Peru and you love adventure, hiking and active holidays, you must visit Huaraz, an enchanting village in the heart of Peruvian mountains, located in Ancash region in the north-central area of Peru at an altitude of more than 3,000 metres above the sea level (approximately 10,000 ft). So, pay attention to altitude sickness and bring your “soroche” pills, and coca candies with you. There is a reason why Huaraz is also called the “Switzerland of the South”, that’s because of its high snow peaks of the Cordillera Blanca mountain chain.

One of Huaraz main attractions is the Laguna 69, the path to the lagoon is only for the brave people…J… I mean, it is for people who are really motivated to visit the lagoon. Be aware that the hike to the lagoon is quite strong, but once you are there you will be very proud of you and enjoy a stunning view. Before starting the hike is extremely important to do the following (these are my personal tips!):

* Stay at least a day in Huaraz city, just to take it easy on your first day and that your body can adjust to the altitude;

* Bring light clothes with you if you are going during summertime. If you are going during winter it is recommended to bring a weatherproof coat for the wind and the rain;

* Bring your sunblock. This is actually mandatory in any season! Never forget that you are at more that 3,000 metres above the sea level, and the sun can be too bright.

* Before your hike to the lagoon have a light meal and bring with you some healthy snacks, perhaps energy bars that you can eat once you reach the lagoon to restore your energy. Also do not forget to bring a bottle of water or mate de coca, that can help you fighting the altitude sickness and can give you plenty of energy for the way back;

* Do not forget to put in your backpack soroche pills, lemon candies, coca candies or coca leaves. These are all remedies against altitude sickness;

* As for your backpack, try to pack light. You do not want to do the hike with a heavy backpack;

* Bring a camara with you, you will need it!

* It is highly recommended to do the hike with a local guide, or a lisenced travel operator, that can guide you along the path and avoid any inconvenience.

And now let me share my experience hiking the path to the Laguna 69. My pick-up was scheduled at 5:00 am, the guy was there perfectly on time, we first stopped to have breakfast at a little rural restaurant nearby Llanganuco Lagoon. Do not exceed with food at breakfast, perhaps just have a plain toast and a coffee or tea or a mate de coca (even better!). If you forgot to pack snacks, here you can buy some for your long excursion. In the way to the hiking starting point we made our second stop at the Llanganuco Lagoon, where you can enjoy an unforgettable view, with the beautiful flowers which is hard to find somewhere else.

After this stop, the transportation will bring you to the hiking starting point. The hike lasts approximately 3 hours, and it is quite strong. At the end you will reach the lagoon, which is located at an altitude of 4,600 metres above the sea level. During the hike do not loose your patience adn control if you get tired, just go at your own pace and enjoy the landscape. Do not run, you will regret it once you get there! During the hike you will enjoy beautiful snow peaks, mountains, waterfalls, colourful flowers and a clear blue sky, you will feel merged and connected with the nature. That’s a great feeling that you cannot miss!

At the beginning of the hike the path is quite plain, so that you can walk quietly, without wasting too many energies. While you go deep, you will notice that the intensity of the path increases and you have to climb in some part of the road. Here just walk at your own pace, and breath deeply; this will help you.

Before reaching Lagoon 69, you can stop at the Lagoon 68, which is a little lake rounded by mountains. Take your time to enjoy the landscapes and use this time to relax a bit. You need to restore your energy for the last stretch of the hike.

Finally, after the last part of the hike, which is very heavy (believe me!), you reach the Lagoon 69, a beautiful lake of blue cristal water rounded by snow peaks. Here you will have the time to take amazing pictures, relax and enjoy the nature.

However, if you suffer from altitude sickness and you do not want to take the risk to get sick during the hike to the Lagoon 69, you can choose to visit only the Llanganuco Lagoon, which is also a charming place. You will feel connected to nature there as well. In my opinion this is the best option if you are in Huaraz and you do not feel like climbing high peaks above but you still want to visit a lagoon. You can reach the lagoon by bus or private car.

There you can be engaged in several activities, you can jump on a boat to explore the lake and take beautiful pictures from inside the turquoise water of the lake rounded by the mountain peaks. Be careful and wear a lifejacket considering that the water is extremely cold. You can also do a little and easy hike around the lake, you can actually do it on your own since the path is easily recognizable.

This is a nice stroll along the lake’s shores where you will enjoy nature and its colors. Finally you can also eat in the area, enjoying traditional dishes from the Ancash region, such as the “Cuchi Canca”, a roasted pork served with baked potatoes and steamed rice or the“Patasca” a meat soap with corn.

In case you have more question just drop me a comment below, and I will be happy to share with you more tips on Huaraz

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3 Spots You Should Not Miss If You Love Hiking

Hiking is real lifestyle, the smell of a new adventure, the feeling of breathing pure air and enjoying stunning landscapes are main elements of this experience. So when you want to get away from the monotonous daily life and have a new adventure you are googling around “hiking trips”, “best places for hiking lovers”, etc… so that’s the time you start to think about a Peru trip. In this article I wanted to share with you some beautiful places that you shouldn’t miss here, I love to consider them the “hiking lovers must-seen spots”. But please do not let anything you hear about altitude sickness scare you, you can try to avoid or at least take under control altitude sickness. I gave some recommendations here.

Rainbow Mountain: The Vicuna Mountain better known as the Rainbow Mountain or seven colors mountain is now one of the most visited places in Peru. It is a beautiful mountain of the Peruvian Andes with a height of 5200msnm. The mountain is completely covered by brilliant and colorful sands; this is actually its main feature and the reason why thousands of tourists every month dare to reach the mountain. The colors come from the minerals and the different types of rock that constitutes the mountain’s surface. This is a real adventure to visit one of the highest mountains in Peru, the only way to get there is by walking about 11 km that will take you about 3 hours depending on your physical condition. Once you arrive there, the view is unforgettable; you will see snow covered peaks, mountains, alpaca and a triumph of color. This is a great trip and you must be prepared not to give up on the way, considering that sometimes it could rain and it could be freezing.

Macchu Picchu: It is one of the most touristic places in the entire world, it will leave you breathless but not only for the beauty of the place but sometimes also for the altitude. J It is noteworthy that Maccu Picchu is not one of the highest place in Peru, it is located at a height of 3,400 msnm, just think about Puno and the floating inslands in the Titicaca Lake, which are much higher; but still it is recommended to be prepared before the excursion.

Huayhuash Cordillera: This trek usually starts from the city of Chiquian at an altitude of 3,400 msnm south of Huaraz. It is a kind of route not so much known by tourists but with breathtaking views with stunning lakes of crystal clear waters, snowy mountains, with small towns that seem like you were alone with the rest of the world.
To visit the Huayhuash mountain you need four to ten days, considering that you have to visit the different lagoons, such as the lagoons Jahuacocha, Solteracocha and Rasac. You will enjoy stunning and unforgettable views in Hirishanca, Rasac, Rondy, among others. The best time to do this trip is during the month from April to October, since it is summer time.

Remember that it is necessary to stay a day before your start the hike to adjust to the altitude, I recommend to avoid walking to much the first day, you could just go for a short walk if you are excited of being in a new place and you do not want to rest.

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Six Basic Tips for Hiking Trips

Peru is this place to go on holidays if you love hiking and adventure. There are many different places to discover, some of them located at extremely high elevations. Those are the places where you can be affected by heavy headache, dizziness, hangover, fatigue, shortness of breath and nausea. Altitude sickness, “soroche” as we call it here in Peru is very common for tourist visiting Cusco or Puno, since thoses destinations are respectively located at 3399 and 3827 meters above sea level. But don’t worry, here I give you some useful tips that will help you taking under control altitude sickness or completely avoid it while traveling here:

1. Try to drink “mate de coca” (coca tea) two or three times a day. This hot beverage, very common among Peruvians, tastes good and helps a lot with altitude sickness symptoms. It is made of selected dried coca leaves, which maintain 100% of the properties and vitamins. It especially helps with the shortness of breath and the fatigue.

2. It is necessary on the first days no to make heavy activities so you can enjoy the next days without any problems. So try to rest once you arrive in Cusco or Puno, this is truly the best advice and the most ignored to avoid altitude sickness. I know you guys want to go and have a walk around to discover the place once you arrive, but believe the best thing you can do is to rest for at least a couple of hours. Remember that your body is trying to get used to the least amount of oxygen.

3. Try to avoid heavy food, since your dizziness and nausea can get worse. Your stomach will not tolerate a big amount of food at least for the first couple of days. Also try to avoid fresh vegetables, fresh fruit with skin, fresh cheese and all the food sold on the streets for the first days. Consuming foods that provide energy to your body such as Andean grains (quinoa, kiwicha), fruits, jams, cereals, among others.

4. Drink a lot of liquid during your trip, because the height dehydrates, it is good to drink between 4 to 5 liters of water per day.

5. As for the clothes, it is essential to take with you same hats and glove for the cold, but also a raincoat because the weather can change very often, so it is better to be prepared. Also trekking sticks, preferably two in rainy months so that you can use them as support.

6. Bring sunblock, it helps you avoiding sunburns, that can also bring you headache and dizziness. Remember that the sun is very strong at high altitudes, so do not forget your suncream and good hat.

 

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What to do in Puerto Maldonado

I love traveling and looking for new spots around the country and! I was so tired of the city life so I decided to escape somewhere wild and look for the very essence of nature. I am just back from a fabulous trip to the jungle… and what atmosphere, what an amazing experience I had guys!!! Puerto Maldonado is located in the southeast region of Peru, in the Department of Madre de Dios, located on the riverside of Madre de Dios and Tambopata. It is also known as the Capital of Biodiversity, due to the marvelous flora and fauna species we can find over there. If you love nature and adventure Puerto Maldonado should definitely be included in your Peru’s trip itinerary. Here a couple of suggestions on wat to visit while you are in Puerto Maldonado:

Lake Sandoval: If you want to enjoy a beautiful scenery go to the Lake Sandoval, which is located in the Tambopata Candamo National Reserve. It is the natural habitat of more than a thousand species of birds where you can perform different activities, such as boat trip to see different animals in there. Natural habitat such as flocks of macaws, parrots, monkeys, turtles, cranes and other species.

Canopy walkways: You can discover a different experience at 20 or 30 meters from the ground by walking over a suspension bridge. This is a way to capture the landscape, nature and animals much closer since most of the species live in the highest parts, and this is a great chance to take the best picture ever. I can swear that your friends will be jealous of your amazing adventurous experience in the Peruvian jungle!

Wildlife Rescue Center: Taricaya Center is responsible for receiving those animals that were removed from their natural habitat for illegal trafficking purposes. The goal of the rescue center is to carry out a rehabilitation program to take care of their health and to develop their natural abilities so they can be released to their natural habitat once again and live in freedom. You can take a tour of the rescue center and visit the different animals such as monkeys, jaguars, cougars, macaws, among others.

Hike in the forest: You can take a walk through the Amazon rainforest of Tambopata merged into the greatest biodiversity of animals that you can find as birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects and mammals. You can also capture the endless species of plants that exist in this place among huge trees and palm trees.

My experience in Puerto Maldonado was outstanding; I was totally trapped by the sounds and the wideness of the Peruvian jungle. If you are looking for a great adventure, peace and nature, Puerto Maldonado is the right choice for you.