When I travel in my native U.S.A., I know exactly what to do to get from point A (usually the airport) to point B (usually my hotel). I always have a friend or family member pick me up, rent a car or take a cab. Little preparation needs to be made prior to my trip because the process is straightforward in the states. Plus, even if it isn’t, everyone speaks my language, so I can easily ask for help should I need it.
Traveling abroad, however, is a different story. It always gives me a bit of anxiety. Will there be cabs waiting for me? How will I know which one to take? How do I give the driver directions? How do I make sure they charge me the right amount?
It´s no secret: Peru is all the rage and Peruvian food, which is quite literally on the tip of everyone´s tongues, has taken center stage. What sets the nation´s dishes apart from the rest of the world is as much the preparation as it is the fresh ingredients. After all, without this special combination, lomo saltado is nothing more than steak and potatoes. One ingredient that really brings even the simplest foods to life is ají, a type of chili pepper endlessly used in everything from chifa to ceviche. It´s been used as long as people have been cooking in the country currently known as Peru (we´re talking about 7,000 years), so the trial by fire (pun intended) period is over. Peruvians have the ají, and how to use it, down to a science.
Photo: Troy Tolley, RPP and Toshiyuki IMAI (left to right)
Argentina and Chile are world-renowned for their wine. In Brazil cachaça, made from sugarcane, is king. For Colombia, the liquor of choice is an anise-flavored aguardiente. And in Peru, our national trago is a grape-derived brandy called pisco.
Peruvians often add a little local flair to traditional cocktails by holding the rum (in say a mojito) or forgoing the tequila (in a margarita), opting instead for a pour of pisco. And while this Peruvianizes just about any drink, it’s not nearly as authentic as one of Peru’s favorite cocktails, the chilcano.
Photo: Madeleine Holland
January — it’s a month of new beginnings, a time when people vow to better their lifestyles, kick a bad habit to the curb and become more productive. The problem with these New Year’s resolutions is that they rarely stick. Busy lives get in the way or people discover that their goals were a bit too lofty. Whatever the reason, many people fail at resolving their resolutions.
That’s why this year, I vowed to make my resolution one I can look forward to beforehand, enjoy while I’m actually doing it, and look back on with fond memories. My resolution is to see more of Peru and I am inviting you, dear Only in South America readers, to join me.
Photo: From top left to bottom right: Denis Dervisevic, G M, Kim Love, Katherine, and Meal Makeover Moms
There are few reasons I would ever post a photo of myself in a bikini … on the internet … for all the world to see. After all, the internet is forever and I’m not sure I want the anthropologists of 3014 seeing my bum. That said, I can name a few reasons and proof that I shredded waves in the Pacific Ocean is one of them.
Photo: Gisela Giardino
Traveling to the corners of the world has given me so much. Perspective, compassion, adventure, insight and knowledge are just a few of the traits I’ve brought home with me after exploring sights and places previously unknown. Journeying through Peru is no different.
This country, so full of rich treasures, provides travelers with an unparalleled experience: the Amazon, with its densely verdant landscape and diverse ecosystem; the Andes, which took millions of years to form and now wind through seven South American nations; and the coast, complete with butter-soft sand and breathtaking views. Pair Peru’s natural wonders with its complex history and booming future and you’ve got a nation that gives travelers more in one visit than they could have ever dreamed of.
Photo: Ryan Hyde
For the last 20 years, nearly 200 heads of state have met annually to discuss how climate change is impacting the world in which we live. This year, the Conference of the Parties (COP) joined together for 12 days in Lima, Peru to hash out how participating countries can reduce their greenhouse emissions.
The COP20 conference just came to an end and it got me thinking – what ways can each of us pitch in? While there are measures each of us can take at home, there are also steps we can take while we are on the road.
New Year’s Eve is quickly approaching, which means if you’re coming to Peru for the festivities, you should start making plans for how you’ll say goodbye to 2014 and ring in 2015 now.
The epicenters for New Year’s Eve celebrations in Peru are Lima and Cusco, though parties and festivals go down in every city throughout the Andean nation. For a no-frills celebration, reach out to your hostel or hotel to ask what it has planned. Depending on the property, you can expect everything from a simple champagne toast at midnight to a raging party that continues into the wee hours of the morning.
If hitting the bars and clubs is more your thing, keep reading.
Photo: Alihf Esparza
It’s that time of year again. Whether you celebrate Thanksgiving (Nov. 27), Hanukkah (Dec. 16-24), Yule (Dec. 21), Nochebuena (Dec. 24), Christmas (Dec. 25), Kwanzaa (Dec. 26-Jan.1) or something else entirely, chances are sometime within the next month, you, your family and your friends will gather ’round the dinner table to express your blessings and share a meal together. And while tradition – I’m talking foods like turkey to latkes and everything in between – is nice, sometimes it’s worth spicing up the holiday spread.