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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 Peru Destinations What to do

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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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.

Peru Peru Destinations What to do

Five Restaurants You Should Hit While in Lima

While in Lima there are few culinary spots that you should not miss it! Here I want to share with you five restaurants that I highly recommend if you are up for discovering new taste, new ingredients and delicious food in general.
Central Restaurant: Central celebrates the biodiversity of Peru. Fresh product and an inexhaustible curiosity to discover and integrate new ingredients into the menu bring Peruvian cuisine to the forefront in the heart of the traditional district of Miraflores in Lima. Address: Calle Santa Isabel 376, Miraflores

Astrid & Gastón RestaurantAstrid & Gastón opened in 1995 as a clearly French style restaurant distilled from the owners´ academic training. Astrid and Gaston discovered in themselves a mission to experiment with Peruvian ingredients, draw their inspiration from local traditions, and claim and value a style of gastronomy that every day unveiled itself before their amazed eyes. The tasting menu is a three-hour long unique experience that tells stories about Peru, its products, landscapes, and feelings. This is a long sequence of dishes complemented by art, music and design, typical of each season’s storytelling. Address: Av. Paz Soldán 290, San Isidro

Malabar Restaurant:  In this restaurant, Chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino offers a creative cuisine in which he fusions his Peruvian heritage with the influence of his grandmother and his 4 years of experience working in Italy. The result is a “personal style” of our Peruvian flavors. The style of Malabar is directly related to the products that the Chef uses from all the different regions of our country. His objective is to recover, rediscover, and promote the products that have a high gastronomical potential. The restaurant has a modern decoration, warm ambience, an amazing variety of Piscos and a great bar where you can taste the original recipe of the Pisco Punch. Address:  Camino real 101 San Isidro

Osaka Restaurant: here you will experience Nikkei cuisine infused with traditional Creole style cooking, which in turn provides new, surprising, and delicious results. In just few year his kitchen has captivated the hearts of food critics from the “Wiken” magazine and “The Daily Mercury”, who proclaim Chef Ciro Watanabe to be a “Revelation Chef” for 2010. Despite all of his accomplishments, his story is only beginning. Address: Indira Miranda: Conquistadores 999, San Isidro

Costanera 700 Restaurant: Its Chef was the first to merge traditional Latin and Japanese cuisine and take the best from two amazing food cultures. This restaurant offers an excellent variety of traditional Peruvian Creole seafood dishes along with delicious Japanese specialties such as sushi and tempura. Both culinary traditions are fused together here along with the different flavors that originate from the Pacific Rim. The décor is oriental style, with plants and subtle lighting augmenting the classy and pleasant atmosphere. Costanera700 offers a mixture of flavours and has now over 25 years of experience in fish and seafood combinations at the Nikkei Style.
Address: Gate 1: Av Del Ejercito 421 – Miraflores; Gate 2: Manuel Tovar 179 (on the back)

So once in Peru do not forget to pay a visit to these amazing restaurants. One last tip: book your table in advance since the request is extremely high.

 

Cusco Peru Sacred Valley

Top Sights in the Sacred Valley

Many tourists coming to Peru are definitely more interested in Lima, Cusco and Machu Picchu and the majority of the time they skip a visit to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. In my opinion that’s a BIG BIG BIG mistake, since this place is magic, here you can find a very special energy that you are not able to find in any other place in Peru. I believe the name “Sacred Valley” can better define what I actually mean. This is a spiritual place where you can definitely recharge your battery after the tiring excursion to Cusco and Machu Picchu. Here a list of places you should not miss once in the area:

Pisac Ruins: The small town of Pisac is located 32 Kilometers (20 Miles) from Cusco. On the top of the modern town there are the ancient ruins, which consist of a vast amount of agricultural terracing and a small Inca village. Made up of groups of terraces, the outline of the site forms the shape of a giant condor. In ancient times the condor was considered to be the messenger of the sun, and the one who was in charge of carrying the spirits of the dead onto the world beyond. For this reason Pisac was also considered to be a place of great spiritual worship.

Pisac Market: Peru’s most famous crafts market takes place in Pisac on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sunday. This ancient Inca village is nestled in the shadow of an imposing Inca fortress and temple and it is famous for its beautiful and colorful market where tourists can shop for traditional handicrafts and every kind of handmade Peruvian products.

Awanakancha: AwanaKancha provides an opportunity to see products made from South America’s four camelids (alpaca, llama, vicuña, and guanaco) from the first steps of the production process to its end: the animal, the shearing, the textile weaving and dyeing, and the finished products, which you can purchase in the showroom. It makes a great stop for the whole family, as kids usually have lots of fun feeding the camelids on-site.

Ollantaytambo Temple: Second in importance only to Machu Picchu, Ollantaytambo includes some of the Inca’s best stonework, including a series of ceremonial baths, elegant trapezoidal doorways, and a sun temple that faces the rising sun.

Maras: It was home to the descendents of the Incas of the Hurin Cusco Clan. In Colonial times, it was the first salt producing center of the central – Sierra. This picturesque town is located 53 km northwest of Cusco (1hour drive) by a paved road. The town has a large church and several colonial houses with code-of-arms of noble families on their facades. Close to Maras, at the Peasant community of Pichingoto, there are salt mines, known locally as “salineras”. Landscape is awesome in this area.

Moray: Located 9 km west of the town of Maras, along an unpaved road, his archeological site is perhaps one of the most mysterious of the pre-Hispanic Cusco area. The site consists of a large irrigation system and a series of concentric agricultural terraces, constructed by means of stone retaining walls. The location is believed to have been an enormous agricultural laboratory in which the Incas purposefully created several microclimates in which they grew a variety of crops.

Chincheros: Known to the Incas as the birthplace of the rainbow, this typical Andean village combines Inca ruins with a colonial church, some wonderful mountain views and a colorful Sunday market. On a high plain with sweeping views to snow-laden peaks, it’s quite beautiful. Since it is very high, it’s unwise to spend the night until you’re somewhat acclimated.

So remember once in Peru do not forget to visit the Sacred Valley. If you have already traveled there and you have more suggestion feel free to add tips and recommendations in the comments.

 

 

Arequipa Peru

Four Must-try Culinary Spots in Arequipa

When traveling to Arequipa make sure you will have some free time to enjoy its food, since the city is a paradise for foodie. There are many culinary spots that you should try: from the local market stall to fine dining restaurants, from traditional “Picanterias” to gourmet restaurants. “Picanterias” are all about traditions; they are very cozy places where you can eat traditional and genuine food, that they are usually open only for lunch. The dining room is always very rustic with simple details and table settings, but you will be amazed by the delicious food. So make sure you have enough time to try traditional dishes such as “Rocoto Relleno” and discover the genuineness of local ingredients.

Tradiciones Arequipeñas RestaurantIt is a “picantería” located a few kilometers from Arequipa city, Paucarpata. It has a beautiful view of the Misti Vulcan from the second floor. It is a tourist picantería nonetheless the welcoming simplicity keeps showing the typical places of the region.
Address: Av. Dolores, 111 Paucarpata – Arequipa

Chicha Restaurantowned by Peru most famous Chef, Gaston Acurio, this restaurant offers a unique culinary proposal in town and amazing and welcoming interiors. It serves traditional Peruvian food in a colonial atmosphere and the service is outstanding. The menu includes a wide range of traditional dishes and cocktail options. Address: Calle Santa Catalina 210 interior 105, Arequipa

Ocopa RestaurantThe Ocopa restaurant keeps his recipes from generation to generation; travelers and locals taste its exquisite dishes in a cozy atmosphere. This is a cozy place with a long tradition in its cuisine, excellent for family trip. Address: Plaza de Yanahuara, Arequipa

Picantería La Nueva Palomino: This restaurant is located in Yanahuara district and it is very popular among turists and locals, so it could often be crowded. Its chef and owner, Monica Huerta Alpaca, is an expert in local food, such as the potato cake, potato with ocopa sauce, fried local cheese, the “rocoto relleno” filled with minced meat and deliciously seasoned, and much more. The portions are usually huge, so I suggest you to share and try a bit of everything that’s on the menu. As all the “picanterías” in the city, it is only open during the day. Address: Leoncio Prado 122, Arequipa

So, here you have four great options to enjoy food in Arequipa and you are ready to embark in a journey of tastes and traditional scents. If you have other culinary suggestions, you are welcome to include it in the comments below!

 

 

Peru Peru Destinations Puno Titicaca Travel Travel Tips What to do World travel

Top Things to do While in Puno

Puno is located in the south-east region of Peru, located on the shores of the beautiful and mysterious Titicaca Lake, the highest navigable lake in the world. Once you get to Puno, the first thing you should do is to relax and get some rest, since the altitude could make you feel sick. The “soroche” is very common for tourists in this area. Also have a hot coca tea that is very effective to deal with altitude sickness in local people’s opinion. I can swear it actually helps!

Here some sights you should definitely visit:

Jiron Lima: This is Puno’s main street, where you can find restaurants, pubs and several shops. You should not miss a walk along this vibrant street to have an idea of how local people live. This is a pedestrian street which will bring you to Puno’s main square where you can find the Cathedral, Saint John Church and more.

Sillustani: It is an ancient burial ground near Lake Titicaca. The tombs are built above the ground, and filled with symbolism. The inside of the tombs are shaped like a woman’s uterus. The ancient people in Peru believed in a mother earth that created and regulated life. So, when a person died, they were mummified in the fetal position, just like they came into the world. The doors of the tombs face east, because it is believed that is where the sun is born from the mother earth each and every day.

Uros Island: The residents of Uros Island are the Aimaras who have inherited the way of life of the long-gone Uros. Their livelihood is based on the benefits of a unique plant: the “totora” reed. They use it to build their homes, boats and even the floating islands they live on, periodically adding new layers of reeds.

Amantani Island: This Island has lovely landscapes and a community organized like in the ancient time. It is less visited, making it attractive to those seeking peace, quiet and eager to get in touch with local people ad learn their charming traditions. Here you can also opt to spend the night with the villagers in one of their houses; this is a very nice experience that will allow you to fully get in touch with the local community.

Taquile Island: Thirty minutes away from Amantani Island there is Taquile Island, which inhabitants speak only Quechua. Farmers, fishermen and weavers, they wear distinctive outfits, which are usually very colorful. Taquile has several beautiful hills and many archeological sites; from there you will enjoy stunning views of the Titicaca Lake and its beautiful blue sky.

Week-end Market: if you happen to be in Puno on a Saturday you can also visit the local market, located in the city center. There you can find fruit, vegetables, grains, the majority of the varieties of Peruvian potatoes and much more. This is one of the best way to get in contact with local culture.

Also, do not forget that Puno is one of the richest regions when it comes to folklore and traditions; it is actually known as the folklore capital of Peru. You can often see street parades and other kind of celebration during the week-ends or in November, which is the month of the city’s founding and there are many celebrations going on. If you have more tips on Puno, do not hesitate to share it with me in the comments below.

Arequipa Peru Peru Destinations

What to do in Arequipa

Arequipa, also known as the “White City”, is located in the south of Peru, about 475 miles far away from Lima. You can easily reach the city by plane or by bus if you have more time available. The bus ride will last approximately 16 hours, so it is a long ride as you can see, especially due to the highway conditions. I can say that Arequipa is really worth a visit if you are in Peru for more than a week. Here a list of sights you must visit once there:

The Cathedral and the main square: The construction of this church began in 1544, predominantly in the neoclassic style, with three naves, enormous columns, a great Belgian organ and a French neo-gothic pulpit. It was gutted by fire in 1844, it was then rebuilt and damaged again by the 1868 earthquake.  Most of what you see today is what has been rebuilt. It has splendid treasures of gold and silverwork, such as two monstrances of gold and precious stones. The interior is simple and airy, with a luminous quality, and the high vaults are uncluttered. It also has an international flair since both the altar and the 12 columns (symbolizing the 12 Apostles) are made of Italian marble.

 

Santa Catalina’s Monastery: The Monastery of St. Catherine of Siena, or Convent of Santa Catalina, is a religious building located in the historical center of Arequipa. We believe it is the most fascinating religious complex in Peru. Its architectonic style is mainly colonial; visitors can enjoy walking through the colorful narrow streets and merged into the meditative atmosphere of the place.

Colca Canyon: The fabulous Colca Canyon is reached via three packed dirt roads. All leave from the city of Arequipa and lead to the town of Chivay, crossing the Salinas and Aguada Blanca national reserves. The shortest road (148 km or 4 hours) is the recommended one since it is in good condition. Perhaps one of the major attractions of the area is its spectacular terracing, considered among the most extensive in southern Peru. The possibility of observing the flight of the condor in its native habitat, and the impressive scenery of one of the most beautiful spots on Earth make the Colca Canyon one of the most important travel destinations in the southern Andes. Usually it is better to spend the night in the area, since the daily hike could be tiring.

Tristan del Pozo Old House: a large mansion, finished in 1738 and located in the historic center of the city. The house, built for the General Don Domingo Carlos Tristan del Pozo, is one of the best example of “Arequipeña” architecture. In the house there is an art gallery divided in three areas with more than 40 art pieces from the BBVA Continental collection.

Carmen Alto viewpoint: if you love amazing landscapes you should not miss the Carmen Alto viewpoint. Here you will enjoy the view of Arequipa’s 3 volcanoes: the Chachani, the Misti and the Pichu Pichu. The Viewpoint (Mirador in Spanish language) is located about 6 Kilometers from Arequipa and I suggest you to visit it early in the morning to enjoy a stunning view of the city.

Yanahuara Viewpoint: This scenic viewpoint is located in the picturesque Yanahuara district, perched on a hill overlooking the city, 2 Kilometers far away from the city. Here you can enjoy a stunning view of the traditional neighborhoods of Arequipa.

The last tip that I can give you on Arequipa is that you should not miss a visit to the local market, where you can find local products and traditional handicrafts from the region. The fabric produced in Arequipa is extremely colorful with beautiful floral patterns. So, I am sure you will enjoy a visit to this city and you will be trapped by its colonial and baroque charm.