Peru receives international acclaim for its man-made mysteries – primarily Machu Picchu and the Nazca Lines – but perhaps one of its equally alluring destinations wasn’t manufactured by hand.
Peru’s beaches stretch more than 1,400 miles (2,250 km) down a sprawling coastline that kisses the Pacific Ocean. At nearly double the length of California’s famous seaside, Peru offers travelers a varied experience – from luxurious resorts to surfing Meccas to playful penguins.
Photo: Carlos Adampol Galindo
From Italy to the Caribbean and even the United States (Mardi Gras), Carnival is celebrated in practically every region of the world with Catholic roots. The celebration traditionally falls in the days preceding Ash Wednesday, which marks the start of Lent, a period of 40 days where practicing Catholics typically abstain from parties and rich foods, while engaging in fasting and other activities viewed as pious. Historians believe this is where Carnival came into play.
In the days leading up to Lent, all those rich foods – including the stockpiles of alcohol – needed to be spent and what better way than throwing a huge block party to get rid of it all (it’s like eating a box of brownies smothered in ice cream before starting a new diet).
When thinking of Carnival in South America, the first vision that likely comes to mind is scantily clad women costumed in elaborately ornate headpieces Samba-ing their way through Rio de Janiero. While true for Brazil, the Portuguese-speaking nation isn’t the only place to get a piece of the Carnival action; Peru has a few parties all its own.
Photo: Diego Escalante Urrelo
Revelers around the world celebrating the Chinese New Year recently rang in the Year of the Horse and among them were Peruvians, many of whom have ties to the Asian nation. One might not think of the Chinese having an influence on a culture half a world away, but in Peru, Chinese traditions touch many parts of everyday life, with perhaps the most popular being food.
Certainly one of my favorite ecosystems, full of orchids, ferns, colorful birds, waterfalls and other amazing flora and fauna. From all the places I’ve been to, the Manu Road has always been the most challenging. From the highlands it takes you deep into the forest. But biking this one-way road full of cliffs is even more challenging. Are you brave enough to take on this adventure?
If you are in the country for business and don’t have enough time to visit Machu Picchu, you can explore many archaeological sites in Lima known as Huacas, a Quechua word which refers to any sacred object or place. The National Culture Institute registered 250 archeological sites across main districts of the city. These three are my favorite:
The Park of the Reserve, located in downtown Lima, became an important tourism attraction after the municipal government transformed it into a colorful experience of water and lights. There are 13 fountains in the park and the largest one is called Magic Fountain. With its 80 m in height it is also considered the “World’s largest fountain complex in a public park” by the Guinness Book Of World Records.
Photo: William Reed Business Media
The folks behind The World’s 50 Best Restaurants - an annual snapshot of the world’s best restaurants based on a taste buds of internationally recognized food experts – created a Latin American spin off which includes South America, Central America and the Caribbean region. This year, the ceremony took place in Lima. The excitement was even greater when they announced 1st place. The prestigious title went to the famous Peruvian restaurant Astrid & Gastón.
Bouldering, indoor, free rock, trad rock, solo and alpine climbing … I still get confused with all these names. I’ve only tried bouldering and indoor climbing, but they both were fun and physically demanding. I thought you need to be extremely strong but I was wrong. It is not all about the strength. Balance, creativity and control play a very important role as well.
Although this activity has been present in Perú, specially in the Andes, it has grown in popularity over the last years. Here I’ll share two places to practice this sport in Lima and the northern highlands.
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