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Huacachina: A Unique Oasis in the Middle of the Desert

Peru has many arqueological sites to visit and it has become in the last decades a great spot for culinary tours as well, but the country also offers some unique places where you can relax and have fun, such as Huacachina, a tiny town in central Peru. This is a unique oasis in the middle of Peruvian desert, located in the province of Ica. You can reach Huacachina with a 5-hour bus ride from Lima capital city to Ica and then a short 10-minute bus or taxi ride from Ica to Huacachina. The desert oasis is located south of Lima and is considered a paradisiac place with palms and a blue-green lagoon where you can engaged in multiple activities and also relax. This testify the variety of landscapes you can find in Peru. The town is very small, so you can just easily walk from a side to the other, with no traffic stress. It is a very relaxing place!

Huacachina developed around a little blue-green lagoon, whose water are considered very powerful to heel medical problems such as asma. Around the lagoon several resorts, low-budget hostels and restaurants have popped up since 15 years. Everything is sorrounded by huge sand dunes, ideal for sport activities, such as buggies and sand boarding.

Here a list of things you can do once in Huacachina:

Sand-Boarding tour: The huge sand dunes are the main attraction of the oasis, especially for people who love to engage in active holidays. You can just rent a board in the street of you have previous experience or you are a surf or snowboarding fan or you can take a tour with a professional instructor that will explain how to surf the dunes and you also have the possibility to choose the right sand board for you. It is very common to see tourists riding the sandboarding on their stomach or like a sled, since it is not very easy to do it on your feet. But we can ensure that it’s a lot of fun, especially if you go with your family or a group of friends.

Buggies: Another tour option is to rent four-wheel-drive dune buggies and go up and down the dunes with a professional driver. This tour is offered by the majority of hotels and hostels in Huacachina. We suggest you to take the afternoon tour, since the sun is not so strong as in the morning and the risk of sunburn is definitely lower. Also it is a great way to stop on the dunes and enjoy the beautiful sunset on the desert.

Winery Tour: As I said before Huacachina is only a short bus or taxi ride from Ica, a town very famous for its wineyards. So do not miss the opportunity to do a winery tour before heading back to Lima or visiting another Peru’s destination. In Ica you will find many wine “bodegas” that produce a sweet red wine and also the famous national Peruvian spirit: Pisco. There are traditional linerie that use old production methods and more industrial wineries in the area which use more modern machinery to process their wine and Pisco. During the tour you will learn about the production process and have the chance to taste several types of wine and Pisco varities. Among the most famous wine and Pisco “bodegas” that you can visit in Ica there are Tacama (https://www.tacama.com/), Vista Alegre (https://www.vistaalegre.com.pe/), Ocucaje (http://ocucaje.com) and El Catador (https://www.elcatador.pe/). Obviously you will also have the opportunity to buy wines and Piscos directly in the “bodega” if you want to do so.

Paddle in the lagoon: another activity you can do is to rent paddle boat and go around the little lagoon or swim in the lagoon, but take in account that the water is not particulary clean, so we actually suggest to avoid swimming in there.

Sunset on the desert: this activity is perfect if you love travel photography and you want to take amazing snapshots of the sun descending on the sand dunes. So just have a late afternoon walk and be prepared with your camara equipment to take amazing pic of the sunset.

Regional Museum of Ica: if you are into a more cultural kind of holiday you can visit the Regional Museum of Ica where you will find a collection of pre-hispanic pottery, mummies, textiles, wooden instruments and soft metals from the Paracas and Nazca civilizations.

Just Relax: almost every resort and hostel in Huacachina has private pools, so if you want to relax in the pool and enjoy the sunlight during the day, Huacachina is the perfect spot for you.

For more information on the best Peruvian destinations and the best travel tips just stay tuned!

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The Best Active Holidays Routes in Peru

Peru is a perfect travel choice for those of you loving active holidays and looking for a grain of adventure in their trip. The country has some of the most attractive trekking routes in the world and it offers the most amazing and exciting activities in South America. From the classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu to the most off the beaten trekking paths in the central Peruvian highlands, such as Huaraz area, from the exciting zipline experience to the highest dining experience ever in Lima with “Dinner in the Sky”. Here a list of activities you should definitely consider if you are an adventurous trip lover.

  • Inca Trail: this is the classic trekking experience in Peru that trekking passionates cannot miss. It is quite prosaic saying that the route is amazing and you will enjoy beautiful view of the Sacred Valley with the Andes chain at the background and the magnificence of the Inca ruins all around. That’s an amazing experience that will take you directly to the Machu Picchu ciutadel. We suggest you to book well in advance your permit to do the Inca trail, since this is the most requested activity for Peru trip. We have already talked about the Inca trail and other hiking routes you could consider doing instead of the inca trail in this article (http://www.magicalcuzcotours.com/blog/3-spots-you-should-not-miss-if-you-love-hiking/), so have  a look at it!

  • Ausangate Trek: this is a one-day trek experience that will take you to the Rainbow Mountain, considered nowadays one of the most popular attractions in Peru. You can hike the route by yourself or you can rent a horse to make the experience a bit lighter. This is up to you and your physical state. Once you reach the famous rainbow moutnain you will enjoy an amazing and not-ordinary colourful landscape. Do not forget your camara!

  • Zip Line and Via Ferrata: This is an exciting activity that you can do in the Sacred Valley. There are several zip lines (they are seven interconnected ziplines), also ideal for people without any previous experience. Via Ferrata is a type of steel ladder and cable system that runs along the Sacred Valley mountains, it has installed a special security system that make it ideal for people with no climbing experience as well. This experience will be absolutely adrenaly pumping for you.

  • Rafting in the Urubamba River: This is another activity you can be engaged in the Sacred Valley. It is very fun to do as family activity or group activity with your friends for instance. You will raft the rapids of class 2 and 3 of the Urubamba river. During the activity you will have the chance to enjoy beautiful panoramic landscapes on the river shores and you will get to know Peruvian flora as well, enjoying flowers species and plants. There are several companies that will rent you all the necessary equipment for this rafting adventure and there will be a tour guide with you the all time, get ready for an exciting experience in Peru!

  • ATV Quad Bike tour in Maras and Moray: you will have the chance to visit Maras and Moray by quad bike, which can be authomatic or semi-authomatic; there is no need to have previous riding experience. During the tour you will have the chance to visit the archeological site of Moray, the Salt Mines and Moray village. This will be the adventure you will never forget!

  • Dinner in the Sky: if you are a food lover and you love to experience foreign food and combine it with adventure and action this is the right experience for you. You will have the chance to enjoy a delicious meal up in the air, up to 45 meters. It is a new experience, arrived in Peru thanks to the Belgium franchise “Dinner in Heaven”at the beginning of 2019, but already popular in more than 70 countries in the world. They have a capacity to serve 22 people and the structure is located nearby Lima, in Lurín. You will enjoy a main course, a dessert and wine. This is definitely a unique dining experience you cannot miss while in Peru.

These are only few of the best adventurous experiences you can live during your Peru trip! Stay tuned for more travel tips and active holidays recommendations.

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The Best Dining Experiences in Lima For Travel Foodie

Lima has been considered one of the foodie capital since the second decade of the XXI century! The capital city offers many exciting culinary experiences and culinary stops that you cannot miss while in Peru, so as we always suggest a 2-day visit to Lima is something you should definitely include in your Peru’s itinerary. You can opt to spend a couple of days in Lima on your way to Cusco and Machu Picchu or on your way back, this is totally up to you. But if you stop in the capial city, be prepared to enjoy some of the best and most delicious food in the world and a very pleasant and relaxing time in this vibrant city. 

We tried to put together a list of culinary experiences you cannot miss, among our recommendations there are fine dining restaurants, huarique restaurants where you can taste traditional food and also a stop at the local market food stalls. So it is pretty much a mix of different experiences, ideal for every kind of traveller. 

  • Central Restaurant: this is a mandatory stop if yu are a real travel foodie. Central Restaurant by the popular Peruvian Chef Virgilio Martinez, has been awarded as the second best restaurant in Latin America during the 2018 Latin America’s Best Restaurants Awards sponsored by San Pellegrino and Acqua Panna and the sixth best restaurant in the 2018 World’s Best Restaurants List. The tasting menu they porpose is a combination of ancestral Peruvian ingredients from the coastal, mountain and rainforest regions of the country. The restaurant is located in the Barranco district, be aware that it is extremely difficult to find a table, so book and pay for the experience in advance. 

  • Maido Restaurant: this is also a fine dining experience you cannot miss while in Lima. The Restaurant has been considered the “Nikkei Temple”, it has been appointed the best restaurant in Latin America in the San Pellegrino and Acqua Panna List for two years in a row (2017 and 2018) and it is also in the 7th position in the World’s Best Restaurants List. The chef-owner, Mitsuharu Maido, is the “King of Nikkei”, a cuisine style which mixes Peruvian and Japanese basic tequniques. The result is an explosion of flavors, you will definitely enjoy this amazing flavors journey thorughout Peru and Japan. In this case as well, we suggest to book in advance your table. 

  • Isolina Tabern: The popular Peruvian chef José del Castillo has opened Isolina Tabern in the heart of the bohemian district of Barranco few years ago and the restaurant is already n. 13 in the 2018 Latin America’s Best Restaurant List. In this culinary spot you can enjoy dishes from the Peruvian culinary traditions, such as “asado de tiras”, “chicharrón”, “tallarines saltados”, “cau cau con sangrecita” among others. They mainly serve criollo dishes that represent Peruvian gastronomy at its best. If you are planning to go there for your Sunday lunch, be patient since the queue could be quite long.  

  • Kañete Restaurant: this is another culinary spot that we usually suggest to visitors. It is located in the Surquillo district, next to the famous Miraflores area. It is a “huarique” restaurant, which literally means a hidden/secret place, that no so many people are aware of. Here the Chef Israel Laura serves dishes from the Peruvian traditions and a great selection of seafood dishes as well. The well-known chef rescues recipes and ingredients from all over the country, making his menu a real reflection of Peruvian culture and traditions. 

  • Market Food Stalls: if you want to go local and on a budget, pay a visit to the market n. 1 located between Miraflores and Surquillo districts, next to the Ricardo Palma Metropolitano stop. Inside the market you can find some of the greatest food stalls in Lima, where you can have delicious seafood, start from a “leche de tigre” (literally tiger milk) and keep trying a delicious “ceviche” or “jalea de pescado”. You will definitely have an idea of how a real peruvian ceviche should taste. 

  • La Mar Cebicheria: For a fancier “ceviche experience” try this restaurant located in Av. La Mar in Miraflores district, placed N° 17 in the 2018 Latin America’s Best Restaurants List by San Pellegrino and Acqua Panna. It is one of the best places to have fresh seafood cooked in a sublime way using the highest culinary tecnhiques, thanks to the talented Chef Gustavo Montestruque. The result is amizing dishes, happy clients and full bellies! What else you can ask for? Do not miss the opportunity to try a classic “ceviche”, you will not regret it! Please keep in mind that this is a no-reservations spot, and highly popular, so be prepared to queue, it is quite crowded especially at the week-end.

  • Osso Restaurant: this is a real “meat emporio”, managed by the Peruvian chef Renzo Garibaldi. If you are a meat person you cannot miss a visit to this restaurant/butcher’s shop in the heart of La Molina District. Try their artisanal hamburgers, their carpaccio and the dried meat. This culinary spot is n. 25 in the 2018 Latin America’s Best Restaurant List.

  • Amaz Restaurant: this is the temple of the Amazonian kitchen by the famous Peruvian Chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino. The restaurant, placed at n. 48 in the Latin America’s Best restaurant List of 2018, serves dishes of the Peruvian Amazonian cuisine in the heart of the vibrant Miraflores district. Here you can find the popular “paiche” fish cooked in several ways, “juanes”, “chonta” salad sprinkled with Amazonian nuts, and other amazing flavors from the Peruvian rainforest. Also do not miss the special and delicious cocktails made of Amazon fruit.

  • Mercado 28: we have already talked about this gourmet market where you will find different food stalls here: http://www.magicalcuzcotours.com/blog/best-places-to-visit-in-lima/. This is the first gourmet market in Peru, located in Av. 28 de Julio in the heart of Miraflores district. Here you can enjoy several kind of food, from Amazon food to criollo food or delicious sandwiches and fast-food style burgers. There are also several coffee and desserts/ice cream options. The best part is that you will have the opportunità to try several kind of cuisines in one place. Do not miss a stop here for a frugal lunch or a fun dinner while visiting Lima.

  • Truck Park: The park is located in Surquillo district and it is a nice experience for people who love food trucks-style cuisine. Here you will find special sandwiches and burgers, salchipapas, tasty french fries made with Peruvian native potatoes and all kind of fast food dishes along with Peruvian beers station. Sometimes there are also shows scheduled in the patio of the park.

 These are actually just few culinary recommendations in Lima, there will be more to come in the future, so stay tuned! 

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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.

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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://www.magicalcuzcotours.com/blog/huaraz-a-charming-destination-in-the-heart-of-peru/

  • 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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Peru’s Off The Beaten Path Places

Let’s start this blog article with a very easy and simple statement: Peru is not only Cuzco and Machu Picchu! This is what we actually try to make travellers understand all the time. Peru offers much more than a worldwide recognized wonder which is indeed worth the visit, but you can plan to visit so many other places. To accuretely discover and fully experience Peru you would definitely need more than few weeks, you actually need several months, perhaps half a year and not even get a real sense of what Peru is and can offer in term of amazing landscapes, beautiful sites, marvelous handycrafts, delicious food, exotic ingredients, and charming culture, traditions and folklore.

Here we tried to include the best off the beaten places you can visit to get a better and deeper sense of this amazing country!

Gocta Waterfalls: This amazing sight is located in Chachapoyas province of the Amazonas region in the north area of the country. The waterfalls have been discovered since 2002 by the German economist Stefan Ziemendorff, but the site was revealed to the whole world only in 2006 during a press conference. This two-tiered waterfall which flows into the Cocahuayco River, is considered one of tallest waterfall in the world and one of the quitest and the most peaceful places in Peru, perfect for relaxing trip and meditation retreat. You can reach the site via Chachapoyas or Tarapoto by plane or by bus as well. In the past decade the area became more equipped for tourists, so several lodges, hotels and restaurants popped up, but the place still remains very quite and definitely worth a visit, especially if you love being merged into nature and wildlife listening to the calming sound of the waterfalls.

Kuelap Fortress: this is an amazing archeological site located in Longuita District in Chachapoyas province as well, in the southern part of the Amazonas region. The site covers a territory of approximately six hectares. The Fortress is a majestic sample of 900-1100 AD architecture, located 3000 meters above sea level, made out off massive limestone blocks, they can weight up to 3 tons. The Chachapoyas civilization built the fortress which was home of the Warriors of the Cloud. It was abandoned during the Spanish Conquest in the XIV century and rediscovered in the XIX century. You can reach it via Chachapoyas or Tarapoto by plane or by bus as well. The government has invested in Kuelap as turistic destination in the last years and a cable-car for tourist to reach the fortress has been implemented. The area has several accommodation and restaurant options and it is considered a very pleasant place to stay a couple of days.

Credits: T News

Huaca Pucllana: this is a stone complex located in the heart of Peru’s capital city, in the vibrant district of Miraflores. This was an administrative and ceremonial center for the Lima culture. Not many tourists opt for a visit to the Huaca Pucllana, but we always suggest to spend a couple of hours there, preferebly in the morning, so that you have time to visit the museum and have a lunch at the beautiful restaurant overlooking the archeological site as wel. What is really fashinating about this archeological site is that is now merged among contemporary architecture buildings, it is worth a visiti if you happen to stay in Lima for a couple of days.


Credits: Inbound Peru

Credits: Viator

Caral: this site has been includeded in the World’s Heritages list by UNESCO, located on a dry-desert terrace 200 km north of the capital city, represents the origin of the Andean culture. The site still appears intact with its six pyramids and it is merged in an area where there is no sign of the new civilization, that is why you can enjoy an authentic landscape there. It is an ideal option for a day-trip from Lima.

Credits: Apuntes de Historia

Credits: Ministerio de Cultura

Cajamarca: this is the capital city of the Cajamarca region located in the northern Peruvian Highlands in the valley of the Mashcon river. Here you can enjoy a very pleasant stay, visiting the churches, samples of Spanish colonial architecture, such as the Church of Belen and the city’s Cathedral, trying the delicious food and local products, the area is famous for its local variety of cheese, visiting the Plan Manzanas waterfall if you love trekking and more. You can reach Cajamarca by plane or by bus.

Credits: Wikipedia

Credits: CulturaCredits: Andina

There is still so much to discover in Peru, a country full of hidden treasures. We loved suggesting new sites to visit to our travellers and let them explore the infinite touristic routes and unknown destinations the country has to offer.

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3 Spots You Should Not Miss If You Love Hiking

Hiking is real lifestyle, the smell of a new adventure, the feeling of breathing pure air and enjoying stunning landscapes are main elements of this experience. So when you want to get away from the monotonous daily life and have a new adventure you are googling around “hiking trips”, “best places for hiking lovers”, etc… so that’s the time you start to think about a Peru trip. In this article I wanted to share with you some beautiful places that you shouldn’t miss here, I love to consider them the “hiking lovers must-seen spots”. But please do not let anything you hear about altitude sickness scare you, you can try to avoid or at least take under control altitude sickness. I gave some recommendations here.

Rainbow Mountain: The Vicuna Mountain better known as the Rainbow Mountain or seven colors mountain is now one of the most visited places in Peru. It is a beautiful mountain of the Peruvian Andes with a height of 5200msnm. The mountain is completely covered by brilliant and colorful sands; this is actually its main feature and the reason why thousands of tourists every month dare to reach the mountain. The colors come from the minerals and the different types of rock that constitutes the mountain’s surface. This is a real adventure to visit one of the highest mountains in Peru, the only way to get there is by walking about 11 km that will take you about 3 hours depending on your physical condition. Once you arrive there, the view is unforgettable; you will see snow covered peaks, mountains, alpaca and a triumph of color. This is a great trip and you must be prepared not to give up on the way, considering that sometimes it could rain and it could be freezing.

Macchu Picchu: It is one of the most touristic places in the entire world, it will leave you breathless but not only for the beauty of the place but sometimes also for the altitude. J It is noteworthy that Maccu Picchu is not one of the highest place in Peru, it is located at a height of 3,400 msnm, just think about Puno and the floating inslands in the Titicaca Lake, which are much higher; but still it is recommended to be prepared before the excursion.

Huayhuash Cordillera: This trek usually starts from the city of Chiquian at an altitude of 3,400 msnm south of Huaraz. It is a kind of route not so much known by tourists but with breathtaking views with stunning lakes of crystal clear waters, snowy mountains, with small towns that seem like you were alone with the rest of the world.
To visit the Huayhuash mountain you need four to ten days, considering that you have to visit the different lagoons, such as the lagoons Jahuacocha, Solteracocha and Rasac. You will enjoy stunning and unforgettable views in Hirishanca, Rasac, Rondy, among others. The best time to do this trip is during the month from April to October, since it is summer time.

Remember that it is necessary to stay a day before your start the hike to adjust to the altitude, I recommend to avoid walking to much the first day, you could just go for a short walk if you are excited of being in a new place and you do not want to rest.

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What to do in Puerto Maldonado

I love traveling and looking for new spots around the country and! I was so tired of the city life so I decided to escape somewhere wild and look for the very essence of nature. I am just back from a fabulous trip to the jungle… and what atmosphere, what an amazing experience I had guys!!! Puerto Maldonado is located in the southeast region of Peru, in the Department of Madre de Dios, located on the riverside of Madre de Dios and Tambopata. It is also known as the Capital of Biodiversity, due to the marvelous flora and fauna species we can find over there. If you love nature and adventure Puerto Maldonado should definitely be included in your Peru’s trip itinerary. Here a couple of suggestions on wat to visit while you are in Puerto Maldonado:

Lake Sandoval: If you want to enjoy a beautiful scenery go to the Lake Sandoval, which is located in the Tambopata Candamo National Reserve. It is the natural habitat of more than a thousand species of birds where you can perform different activities, such as boat trip to see different animals in there. Natural habitat such as flocks of macaws, parrots, monkeys, turtles, cranes and other species.

Canopy walkways: You can discover a different experience at 20 or 30 meters from the ground by walking over a suspension bridge. This is a way to capture the landscape, nature and animals much closer since most of the species live in the highest parts, and this is a great chance to take the best picture ever. I can swear that your friends will be jealous of your amazing adventurous experience in the Peruvian jungle!

Wildlife Rescue Center: Taricaya Center is responsible for receiving those animals that were removed from their natural habitat for illegal trafficking purposes. The goal of the rescue center is to carry out a rehabilitation program to take care of their health and to develop their natural abilities so they can be released to their natural habitat once again and live in freedom. You can take a tour of the rescue center and visit the different animals such as monkeys, jaguars, cougars, macaws, among others.

Hike in the forest: You can take a walk through the Amazon rainforest of Tambopata merged into the greatest biodiversity of animals that you can find as birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects and mammals. You can also capture the endless species of plants that exist in this place among huge trees and palm trees.

My experience in Puerto Maldonado was outstanding; I was totally trapped by the sounds and the wideness of the Peruvian jungle. If you are looking for a great adventure, peace and nature, Puerto Maldonado is the right choice for you.

Peru Peru Destinations What to do

Five Restaurants You Should Hit While in Lima

While in Lima there are few culinary spots that you should not miss it! Here I want to share with you five restaurants that I highly recommend if you are up for discovering new taste, new ingredients and delicious food in general.
Central Restaurant: Central celebrates the biodiversity of Peru. Fresh product and an inexhaustible curiosity to discover and integrate new ingredients into the menu bring Peruvian cuisine to the forefront in the heart of the traditional district of Miraflores in Lima. Address: Calle Santa Isabel 376, Miraflores

Astrid & Gastón RestaurantAstrid & Gastón opened in 1995 as a clearly French style restaurant distilled from the owners´ academic training. Astrid and Gaston discovered in themselves a mission to experiment with Peruvian ingredients, draw their inspiration from local traditions, and claim and value a style of gastronomy that every day unveiled itself before their amazed eyes. The tasting menu is a three-hour long unique experience that tells stories about Peru, its products, landscapes, and feelings. This is a long sequence of dishes complemented by art, music and design, typical of each season’s storytelling. Address: Av. Paz Soldán 290, San Isidro

Malabar Restaurant:  In this restaurant, Chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino offers a creative cuisine in which he fusions his Peruvian heritage with the influence of his grandmother and his 4 years of experience working in Italy. The result is a “personal style” of our Peruvian flavors. The style of Malabar is directly related to the products that the Chef uses from all the different regions of our country. His objective is to recover, rediscover, and promote the products that have a high gastronomical potential. The restaurant has a modern decoration, warm ambience, an amazing variety of Piscos and a great bar where you can taste the original recipe of the Pisco Punch. Address:  Camino real 101 San Isidro

Osaka Restaurant: here you will experience Nikkei cuisine infused with traditional Creole style cooking, which in turn provides new, surprising, and delicious results. In just few year his kitchen has captivated the hearts of food critics from the “Wiken” magazine and “The Daily Mercury”, who proclaim Chef Ciro Watanabe to be a “Revelation Chef” for 2010. Despite all of his accomplishments, his story is only beginning. Address: Indira Miranda: Conquistadores 999, San Isidro

Costanera 700 Restaurant: Its Chef was the first to merge traditional Latin and Japanese cuisine and take the best from two amazing food cultures. This restaurant offers an excellent variety of traditional Peruvian Creole seafood dishes along with delicious Japanese specialties such as sushi and tempura. Both culinary traditions are fused together here along with the different flavors that originate from the Pacific Rim. The décor is oriental style, with plants and subtle lighting augmenting the classy and pleasant atmosphere. Costanera700 offers a mixture of flavours and has now over 25 years of experience in fish and seafood combinations at the Nikkei Style.
Address: Gate 1: Av Del Ejercito 421 – Miraflores; Gate 2: Manuel Tovar 179 (on the back)

So once in Peru do not forget to pay a visit to these amazing restaurants. One last tip: book your table in advance since the request is extremely high.

 

Cusco Peru Sacred Valley

Top Sights in the Sacred Valley

Many tourists coming to Peru are definitely more interested in Lima, Cusco and Machu Picchu and the majority of the time they skip a visit to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. In my opinion that’s a BIG BIG BIG mistake, since this place is magic, here you can find a very special energy that you are not able to find in any other place in Peru. I believe the name “Sacred Valley” can better define what I actually mean. This is a spiritual place where you can definitely recharge your battery after the tiring excursion to Cusco and Machu Picchu. Here a list of places you should not miss once in the area:

Pisac Ruins: The small town of Pisac is located 32 Kilometers (20 Miles) from Cusco. On the top of the modern town there are the ancient ruins, which consist of a vast amount of agricultural terracing and a small Inca village. Made up of groups of terraces, the outline of the site forms the shape of a giant condor. In ancient times the condor was considered to be the messenger of the sun, and the one who was in charge of carrying the spirits of the dead onto the world beyond. For this reason Pisac was also considered to be a place of great spiritual worship.

Pisac Market: Peru’s most famous crafts market takes place in Pisac on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sunday. This ancient Inca village is nestled in the shadow of an imposing Inca fortress and temple and it is famous for its beautiful and colorful market where tourists can shop for traditional handicrafts and every kind of handmade Peruvian products.

Awanakancha: AwanaKancha provides an opportunity to see products made from South America’s four camelids (alpaca, llama, vicuña, and guanaco) from the first steps of the production process to its end: the animal, the shearing, the textile weaving and dyeing, and the finished products, which you can purchase in the showroom. It makes a great stop for the whole family, as kids usually have lots of fun feeding the camelids on-site.

Ollantaytambo Temple: Second in importance only to Machu Picchu, Ollantaytambo includes some of the Inca’s best stonework, including a series of ceremonial baths, elegant trapezoidal doorways, and a sun temple that faces the rising sun.

Maras: It was home to the descendents of the Incas of the Hurin Cusco Clan. In Colonial times, it was the first salt producing center of the central – Sierra. This picturesque town is located 53 km northwest of Cusco (1hour drive) by a paved road. The town has a large church and several colonial houses with code-of-arms of noble families on their facades. Close to Maras, at the Peasant community of Pichingoto, there are salt mines, known locally as “salineras”. Landscape is awesome in this area.

Moray: Located 9 km west of the town of Maras, along an unpaved road, his archeological site is perhaps one of the most mysterious of the pre-Hispanic Cusco area. The site consists of a large irrigation system and a series of concentric agricultural terraces, constructed by means of stone retaining walls. The location is believed to have been an enormous agricultural laboratory in which the Incas purposefully created several microclimates in which they grew a variety of crops.

Chincheros: Known to the Incas as the birthplace of the rainbow, this typical Andean village combines Inca ruins with a colonial church, some wonderful mountain views and a colorful Sunday market. On a high plain with sweeping views to snow-laden peaks, it’s quite beautiful. Since it is very high, it’s unwise to spend the night until you’re somewhat acclimated.

So remember once in Peru do not forget to visit the Sacred Valley. If you have already traveled there and you have more suggestion feel free to add tips and recommendations in the comments.