Walk down any street in Peru’s densely populated capital and you’re sure to become enveloped in this city of contrasts. Modern skyscrapers neighbour colonial mansions with Spanish tile roofs. Restaurants serving ancient Peruvian recipes like anticuchos also dish up new fusion-style cuisine. And museums abound, some with artifacts from another era, others with contemporary art from some of the 20th century’s most influential photographers.
Such examples of this can be found in Barranco’s two art museums where haute couture fashion photographers’ work is currently on display in both permanent and temporary exhibitions.
This may come across as a bit of a surprise, but I am not a camping kind of gal. While the idea of sleeping in a tent beneath the stars intrigues me, the idea of sleeping in a tent beneath the stars also terrifies me. You see, even though I’m an adventurer at heart – I like to surf and white water raft and mountain climb as much as the next adrenaline seeker – I much prefer to come home to running water, flushing toilets, and a plush mattress draped in luxurious linens when the adventure is over.
That’s why when I heard about glamping in Máncora, a beach town on Peru’s northern coast, I jumped at the opportunity.
Love is in the air. Flower stalls overflow with red roses. The best restaurants have been booked up for weeks. And heart shaped everything – from colorful candy embossed with flirty messages to innumerable varieties of boxed chocolates – fills the shelves. That’s right, it’s Valentine’s Day again and if you’re celebrating, chances are hearts will be a part of your day.
Instead of buying another heart-shaped something, why not show your sweetie your love with an actual heart? Okay, okay, I know how that sounds, but stay with me.
On a hot summer day, few drinks replenish your body quite like an ice-cold limonada. Made from water, sugar and Peruvian limes, this tart beverage will quench your thirst and cool you off like none other. The best part about the limonada is that most restaurants make it to order, so you can get more or less sugar depending on your sweet tooth.
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.