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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.

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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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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.