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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! 

Peru Destinations Travel Tips What to do

The Ultimate Guide To Peruvian Slang

Planning a trip to Peru soon and want to feel merged into the local culture? Do you want to “sound” like a Peruvian while you are talking to people in the streets, in the shops or at the restaurant? Here some slang words and phrases you should definitely learn before embarking on your Peruvian adventure! 

We tried to create a usefule list for no-Spanish speaking travelers but also for people who can speak Spanish but obviously not the Peruvian way. Like any country of Latin America, also Peru has its own peculiar slang words and phrases that actually only Peruvians can understand. For instance if an Argentinian come to Peru for a leisure trip or for work, he/she will also encounter some problems with slang words and phrases Peruvians use.  

  • Cheverelet’s start with the most used slangword! This word is used to say that somenthing is cool, for example (“ese polo,te queda chevere” means “this tshirt looks good on you”) or that we are cool (“estamo chevere” means “we are ok”). You will listen to this word in the street, restaurants, basically everywhere.

 

  • Platain Spanish languange this word means silver, but in Peru it means moneyThis is also a word you will listen everywhere, since Peruvians never do anything if you do not pay them. “Plata” is what make the country goes round and people do things for you. So, the use could be something like: “Tienes plata?” which means “Have you got money?”, or “es mucha plata”, which means “that’s too expensive”. 

  • Bacán: this word also has a positive meaning like chevere, it is used to express a favorable opinion on somenthign or someone. “Está bacan” means “It’s cool”. 
  • Chela: you cannot have a great and fun trip if you do not know this word! Chela means beer, so you will listen to “¿Quieres una chela?” which means “Do you want a beer?” or “Vamos por unas chelas”, which means “”Let’s go for some beers”. Remeber: Peruvians never go out for only one beer or drink, they prefer to use the plural! 😀 Peruvians also use the verb “chelear”, which means “the act of drinking beer”. 

  • Pataliterally in Spanish this word means legbut in Peru it means close friend. So you will listen to: “El es mi pata” with means “He’s my pal”.  The word can be used with male or female.  

  • Luca: it could be definitely a name, but in Peru it means Sol, the local currency. So you will probably listen to two friends saying: “¿Tienes un luca? Or ¿Tienes cinco lucas”, which respectively mean “Do you have a Sol?” and “Do you have five Soles?”. This word comes from Spanish gipsy word for Soles. 

  • Chamba: this word means “job” and Peruvians also use the verb “chambear” wich means “to work”, so you will probably listen to expressions such as: “Estoy en chamba”, which menas “estoy trabajando” or “Tengo que chambear” which means “I have to work”. 

  • Tono: this word means party, so the expression “vamos a un tono” means “Let’s go to a party”. Peruvians also use the verb “tonear”. Another word Peruvians use for party is “juerga” and the verb “juerguear”. So the expression “Vamos de juerga”, which means “Let’s go to a party” is quite common as well. 

  • Al toque: it is a peculiar expression used by Peruvians to say “right away” or “straight away”. For instance the expression “Hazlo al toque!” means “Do it right away”. 
  • En un rato: this is also a very common expression you will listen to, but actually it is quite difficult to undestand what exactly “rato” means for Peruvians. It could be 10 minutes, half an hour, a hour, 3 hours, so sometimes could be hard. So the expression “Voy en un rato” means “ I wil be there soon”, but be aware you might wait more than an hour! Let’s be honest Peruvians are famous for not being on-time. 
  • Yapa: this word means something extra for free”. So if you are buying somenthing like fruit or veggie you ask for yapa, usually an extra lemon or tomato. 

After our survivor Peruvian slang course for beginners you will be able to undestand few words Peruvians often use. Stay tuned that will definitely post more slang words nd phrases soon! 

 

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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.

Peru Destinations Travel Tips What to do

Paracas National Reserve and Ica at Glance

If you are in Lima for more than a couple of days and you want to have a trip nearby to escape Lima’s caos and traffic, one of the main destinations selected by visitors is Paracas National Reserve. This is one of the biggest protected desert natural reserve in South America. This sight is located in Ica region, that is why most of the visitors usually make the most of the day also visiting the town of Ica.

This article aims to give you a sample itinerary that you can do in one or two days, this is up to you and you should see how it can fit into the itinerary you planned. You can come back to Lima late at night on the same day or if you prefer you can spend the night in Ica.

Let’s start then! You have to take the bus to Paracas from Lima very early in the morning, around 4:00 am, just check the timetable of the bus company of your preference. I would suggest you to choose Cruz del Sur, which is a very reliable company and it is also considered one of the safest bus lines in the country. The buses are clean and very comfortable! You can actually take advantage of the comfy seats to have a nap during the 3-hour and half trip from Lima to Paracas. Believe this nap is worth it! Just try to rest before your excursion starts, this is going to be a long day.

Once in Paracas, your tour of the reserve will start from “El Chaco” pier, where you board your boat. So first of all you will have a nice and relaxing tour of the reserve by boat during which you could see the famous ”El Candelabro”, a large prehistoric petroglyph of unknown origin spanning over 150 meters high and 50 meters wide, which is considered a mysterious symbol. There are tons of theories on it, one of them states that perhapsthe symbols was used as guide for sailors many years ago. As we approach the islands, you will see the rock formations from every angle as well as the different species of animals and birds that habitat the island, like sea lions, Peruvian booby, cormorans, penguins and much more. There are more of 400 species of flora and fauna in the area, so if you are into nature and wild animals, this is the place to visit!

Once you finish this tour you will have to go back to Paracas bus station to start your bus trip to Ica. Once again I suggest you to go with Cruz el Sur. There’s nothing better to relax a bit after the boat ride during the 1 hour and half bus ride from Paracas to Ica. Before starting your Ica city tour I would advise you to grab some lunch, food and wine are delicious in Ica region, so you have plenty of choices. A very good spot to have lunch is the Las Dunas Hotel, just that you know. During the Ica city tour you will have the chance to visit downtown Ica and the places nearby, then I suggest to make a stop at the Regional Museum, where you can see archeological artifacts from prehistorical to colonial eras, as potteries, textils, mummies, among others. They are all objects from the ancient civilizations who occupied the area: Paracas, Nasca, Wari, Ica – Chincha and Inca.

After the visit to the city main spots you can also drop by one of the vineyards located in the area. Do not forget that Ica region is where the majority of Peruvian wines and Piscos are produced. You will have the chance to learn how the Peruvian national spirit, Pisco, is produced, learn about the different types of Pisco and of course you will be able to taste them, as well as the wine produced in the area. The virieties depends on the different kinds of grape used in the elaboration process.

At the end of the day you will visit The Huacachina Lagoon, also called “El Oasis de America”, there you will enjoy a beautiful view and a sunny landscapes, which are very hard to forget. Take a good camara, since during this long day you will have the opportunity to take some great shots. The oasis is surrounded by sand dunes, palms, huarango trees and beautiful houses. In the oasis you can choose to simply relax and enjoy the sun and the stunning landscape or if you are into active holidays you can try the dune buggies activity and the sandboarding. Before jumping on the buggy make sure that you are with a professional driver. You will basically go up and down the dunes with the buggy and it is a lot of fun. If you are traveling with kids, Huacachina is the place to go, they will enjoy themselves a lot there. You can also try sandboard, which is a very common activity in the area. It is like the snowboarding but it is done on the sand, so if you fall down, i twill be on the sand … how amazing!

At the end of this long day, you can just overnight in Huacachina and enjoy an additional half day there, which is highly reccommended, especially if you are traveling with kids, but if you prefer you can also take the night bus back to Lima. Another possibility is that you take the bus to Nazca, sleep there so that you can fly over the Nazca lines very early the next morning. These are options that I can suggest you if you are planning to spend 4-5 days in Lima, this is a great plan for a day or a two-day trip to escape Lima’s caos.

Peru Destinations Travel What to do

Huaraz, a Charming Destination in The Heart of Peru

If you are planning your trip to Peru and you love adventure, hiking and active holidays, you must visit Huaraz, an enchanting village in the heart of Peruvian mountains, located in Ancash region in the north-central area of Peru at an altitude of more than 3,000 metres above the sea level (approximately 10,000 ft). So, pay attention to altitude sickness and bring your “soroche” pills, and coca candies with you. There is a reason why Huaraz is also called the “Switzerland of the South”, that’s because of its high snow peaks of the Cordillera Blanca mountain chain.

One of Huaraz main attractions is the Laguna 69, the path to the lagoon is only for the brave people…J… I mean, it is for people who are really motivated to visit the lagoon. Be aware that the hike to the lagoon is quite strong, but once you are there you will be very proud of you and enjoy a stunning view. Before starting the hike is extremely important to do the following (these are my personal tips!):

* Stay at least a day in Huaraz city, just to take it easy on your first day and that your body can adjust to the altitude;

* Bring light clothes with you if you are going during summertime. If you are going during winter it is recommended to bring a weatherproof coat for the wind and the rain;

* Bring your sunblock. This is actually mandatory in any season! Never forget that you are at more that 3,000 metres above the sea level, and the sun can be too bright.

* Before your hike to the lagoon have a light meal and bring with you some healthy snacks, perhaps energy bars that you can eat once you reach the lagoon to restore your energy. Also do not forget to bring a bottle of water or mate de coca, that can help you fighting the altitude sickness and can give you plenty of energy for the way back;

* Do not forget to put in your backpack soroche pills, lemon candies, coca candies or coca leaves. These are all remedies against altitude sickness;

* As for your backpack, try to pack light. You do not want to do the hike with a heavy backpack;

* Bring a camara with you, you will need it!

* It is highly recommended to do the hike with a local guide, or a lisenced travel operator, that can guide you along the path and avoid any inconvenience.

And now let me share my experience hiking the path to the Laguna 69. My pick-up was scheduled at 5:00 am, the guy was there perfectly on time, we first stopped to have breakfast at a little rural restaurant nearby Llanganuco Lagoon. Do not exceed with food at breakfast, perhaps just have a plain toast and a coffee or tea or a mate de coca (even better!). If you forgot to pack snacks, here you can buy some for your long excursion. In the way to the hiking starting point we made our second stop at the Llanganuco Lagoon, where you can enjoy an unforgettable view, with the beautiful flowers which is hard to find somewhere else.

After this stop, the transportation will bring you to the hiking starting point. The hike lasts approximately 3 hours, and it is quite strong. At the end you will reach the lagoon, which is located at an altitude of 4,600 metres above the sea level. During the hike do not loose your patience adn control if you get tired, just go at your own pace and enjoy the landscape. Do not run, you will regret it once you get there! During the hike you will enjoy beautiful snow peaks, mountains, waterfalls, colourful flowers and a clear blue sky, you will feel merged and connected with the nature. That’s a great feeling that you cannot miss!

At the beginning of the hike the path is quite plain, so that you can walk quietly, without wasting too many energies. While you go deep, you will notice that the intensity of the path increases and you have to climb in some part of the road. Here just walk at your own pace, and breath deeply; this will help you.

Before reaching Lagoon 69, you can stop at the Lagoon 68, which is a little lake rounded by mountains. Take your time to enjoy the landscapes and use this time to relax a bit. You need to restore your energy for the last stretch of the hike.

Finally, after the last part of the hike, which is very heavy (believe me!), you reach the Lagoon 69, a beautiful lake of blue cristal water rounded by snow peaks. Here you will have the time to take amazing pictures, relax and enjoy the nature.

However, if you suffer from altitude sickness and you do not want to take the risk to get sick during the hike to the Lagoon 69, you can choose to visit only the Llanganuco Lagoon, which is also a charming place. You will feel connected to nature there as well. In my opinion this is the best option if you are in Huaraz and you do not feel like climbing high peaks above but you still want to visit a lagoon. You can reach the lagoon by bus or private car.

There you can be engaged in several activities, you can jump on a boat to explore the lake and take beautiful pictures from inside the turquoise water of the lake rounded by the mountain peaks. Be careful and wear a lifejacket considering that the water is extremely cold. You can also do a little and easy hike around the lake, you can actually do it on your own since the path is easily recognizable.

This is a nice stroll along the lake’s shores where you will enjoy nature and its colors. Finally you can also eat in the area, enjoying traditional dishes from the Ancash region, such as the “Cuchi Canca”, a roasted pork served with baked potatoes and steamed rice or the“Patasca” a meat soap with corn.

In case you have more question just drop me a comment below, and I will be happy to share with you more tips on Huaraz

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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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Six Basic Tips for Hiking Trips

Peru is this place to go on holidays if you love hiking and adventure. There are many different places to discover, some of them located at extremely high elevations. Those are the places where you can be affected by heavy headache, dizziness, hangover, fatigue, shortness of breath and nausea. Altitude sickness, “soroche” as we call it here in Peru is very common for tourist visiting Cusco or Puno, since thoses destinations are respectively located at 3399 and 3827 meters above sea level. But don’t worry, here I give you some useful tips that will help you taking under control altitude sickness or completely avoid it while traveling here:

1. Try to drink “mate de coca” (coca tea) two or three times a day. This hot beverage, very common among Peruvians, tastes good and helps a lot with altitude sickness symptoms. It is made of selected dried coca leaves, which maintain 100% of the properties and vitamins. It especially helps with the shortness of breath and the fatigue.

2. It is necessary on the first days no to make heavy activities so you can enjoy the next days without any problems. So try to rest once you arrive in Cusco or Puno, this is truly the best advice and the most ignored to avoid altitude sickness. I know you guys want to go and have a walk around to discover the place once you arrive, but believe the best thing you can do is to rest for at least a couple of hours. Remember that your body is trying to get used to the least amount of oxygen.

3. Try to avoid heavy food, since your dizziness and nausea can get worse. Your stomach will not tolerate a big amount of food at least for the first couple of days. Also try to avoid fresh vegetables, fresh fruit with skin, fresh cheese and all the food sold on the streets for the first days. Consuming foods that provide energy to your body such as Andean grains (quinoa, kiwicha), fruits, jams, cereals, among others.

4. Drink a lot of liquid during your trip, because the height dehydrates, it is good to drink between 4 to 5 liters of water per day.

5. As for the clothes, it is essential to take with you same hats and glove for the cold, but also a raincoat because the weather can change very often, so it is better to be prepared. Also trekking sticks, preferably two in rainy months so that you can use them as support.

6. Bring sunblock, it helps you avoiding sunburns, that can also bring you headache and dizziness. Remember that the sun is very strong at high altitudes, so do not forget your suncream and good hat.

 

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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.