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Monthly Archives: November 2014

Experience Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail in Peru

Peru is a travel destination with many amazing sites and plenty of history. One of its most famous attractions is Machu Picchu, the “Lost City of the Incas.” Originally built somewhere around the year 1450, it was abandoned a century later during the Spanish Conquest. The city was forgotten and remained hidden for centuries, up until it was rediscovered in 1911.

Machu Picchu - Peru Tours

Adventurous travelers will love Machu Picchu’s trails. The Inca Trail, the name for the three converging paths that lead to the ancient city, includes a four-day route that passes through ruins, old settlements, and tunnels. The trail passes through the Andes mountain range, and goes through forest and tundra environments that are sure to impress passionate hikers.

The citadel itself is situated high on the mountain, and is full of temples, palaces, paths, and water channels, not to mention the wonder of the structure’s stone walls, which were perfectly shaped and set in place without the use of cement. The ancient Inca architecture is such an impressive sight that the city was declared a World Cultural and Natural Heritage site in 1983.

The best way to fully experience the city and its surrounding natural landscapes is to set out at dawn, in order to catch the amazing panoramic from the top of the Wayna Picchu and Machu Picchu mountains. Experienced hikers will enjoy taking one of the Inca Trails, but less durable travelers should be aware that these trails are not easy. They consist of steep stone stairs, and reach a very high altitude. However, non-hikers can still make the trip: there are guides available to lead travelers on easier paths. They even run ahead to set up your campsite!

If you do want to see the beautiful scenery and ancient buildings of Machu Picchu, book your trip early. The Peruvian government has placed a limit on the number of people allowed to hike the trails to the city per day. Be sure to book your tickets well in advance online. The high season tends to book up quickly!

One more travel tip for today: at the end of your Machu Picchu hiking adventure, be sure to stop by the Aguas Calientes hot springs to soothe your muscles. There may be no better way to relax at the end of your Peruvian vacation!

Traveling to Peru? Five Peruvian Dishes You Shouldn’t Miss

One of the best parts about travelling the world is discovering the local cuisine in other parts of the world. The food of Peru is one of the most unique cuisines in the world, combining elements of the indigenous diet with ingredients and recipes brought to the area by immigrants from all over the globe. Peruvian food shows influences from the food of Spain, Italy, Japan, China, and Germany, among others, resulting in a rich, unique set of dishes.

Anticuchos - Peruvian Dishes
© Manuel González Olaechea y Franco via GNU Free Documentation License, version 1.2

No Peru vacation is complete without trying out some of its unique foods. Some of the wonderful dishes that can be found in Peru are:

  • Causa – the potato originates from the Andes region, and is a staple of the Peruvian diet. Causa is a traditional layered casserole, in which layers of shredded potatoes (mixed with lime juice, oil, and aji amarillo peppers) are stuffed with fillings that can range from tuna, trout, seafood, avocado, eggs, and corn.
  • Aji de Gallina – the aji amarillo mentioned in the previous recipe is an orange-yellow chili pepper that adds a distinctive kick to many Peruvian dishes. Aji de gallina is a stew that combines said pepper with chicken, condensed milk, and de-crusted white bread.
  • Choritos a la Chalaca – along with potatoes, seafood and corn are two of the key elements of Peru’s local cuisine, and choritos a la chalaca combines both. In this dish, steamed mussels are topped with onions, diced tomatoes, corn, and other vegetables. If you like ceviche and other similar seafood/vegetable dishes, this one is for you.
  • Anticuchos – this dish dates back to the Spanish conquest, and is sold by high-end restaurants and street vendors alike. Anticuchos are pieces of skewered and grilled meat similar to shish kebabs, often covered in garlic sauce or cheesy salsa a la huancaína. The meat used in Anticuchos is traditionally beef heart, but it can also be made from any type of meat available.
  • Picarones – No proper meal is complete without desert, and picarones are the perfect Peruvian desert. Traditionally served alongside anticuchos, picarones are a type donut made fried dough of squash and sweet potatoes, and then covered in molasses syrup.

Picarones - Peruvian Dishesimage via Wikipedia

These are only a few of the delicious foods that are native to Peru. Travellers looking for the full culinary experience will find many more unique and tasty foods to try, including specialty dishes unique to the country’s different regions.

Want to dive into a platter of one of the dishes above? Book your tour now or reach out to one of our travel agents!.

Máncora – Peru’s Top Beach Vacation Spot

Mancora - Peru ToursOne of the great things about Peru is that it’s accommodating to all sorts of different vacation plans. For travellers who love the bustle of the city, Lima and other cities have plenty to offer. For the historically minded, there are the many ruins and historical spots. But we’re not going to be addressing those people today. Instead, this post is going to be for those looking to use their vacation to get away from it all and relax on the beach. If that sounds like the Peru vacation that you want, then Mancora is the place for you.

Mancora is located in the Piura region of Northwest Peru, and has become a favorite destination for vacationers and travelling surfers from all over the world. Famous for its beautiful beaches, it is currently home to over 30 beach resorts and many nightclubs and restaurants. Travellers who want to live it up but want to avoid the hassle and crowds of the city will find more than enough to do staying in the city.

Of course, there’s more to do than just sit on the popular beach spots and visit stores catering to tourists. There are also nearby waterfalls and back roads that, with the help of a guide, can lead you to secluded natural pools, waterfalls, and other out of the way spots. If you want to enjoy the location but avoid the other crowds, it’s not hard to find a place close by that the less adventurous visitors will never know about.

While Mancora’s weather can be uncomfortably hot and rainy during the summer season (December to April), the rest of the year the weather is famously mild and pleasant. Temperatures during spring and summer generally never drop below very far 20 degrees C, even at night.

If your idea of an ideal Peru vacation is sand, sun, and relaxation away from the urban sprawl, then Mancora is an ideal place to go. There are many hotels and resorts to choose from, but be sure to book your trip in advance; Mancora is incredibly popular for a reason, and many other vacationers are securing rooms for themselves right now.

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