Enjoy the Diversity of Peru
The Incan city of Machu Picchu high up in the Andes is not Peru’s only attraction. Other adventures here include sailing down the Amazon River…hiking through tropical rainforest…and visiting Lake Titicaca--so big that there are small floating islands within its great expanse. You should also take a stroll through the preserved Spanish colonial city of Arequipa (the “White City”), found in a land of volcanoes, hot springs, canyons and deserts. The diversity and intensity of the landscape here will take your breath away. The city of Cuzco is the center of Quechua indigenous culture in the Andes and is also worth a visit.
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Peru Fast Facts
Language: Spanish, Quechua
Location: Western South America, bordering Ecuador and Chile
Climate: Varies from tropical in east to dry desert in west; frigid in Andes
Country Code: 51
Time Zone: GMT-5
Read more articles about Peru below
- Festivals Around the World: War Birds, King’s Day, and Witches Night
Posted on March 20, 2014 by John Joe Worrall
Sitting alongside the banks of the River Garonne in southwest France, the red-tile-roofed city of Toulouse hosts its annual Flamenco Festival from April 1 to 15, with local venues filled with music and dance throughout. Another marathon-length event to consider begins its 18-day run in Jaipur, India, on April 2.
As I watched my fiancé fall off his surfboard for the hundredth time, my pancakes arrived. Warm and fluffy, they were so big the edges drooped over the sides of my plate. But my server was very sad and apologetic. There was no maple syrup left…anywhere in town. I’d just have to make do with the mango spread—made in-house from local, naturally-harvested fruits.
- An Expat’s Worst Spanish Mistake—It Was All Part of the Process
Posted on January 24, 2014 by David Hammond
John Brenner, a Minnesotan in his late 50s, was traveling in South America looking for a new place to live. The next leg of his trip was from Bogotá, Colombia to Lima, Peru. He was joined by three others, also Lima bound, whom he had met in the Bogotá hostel where he stayed. After an all-night bus ride they reached Ecuador’s border, where they crossed on foot. Once in Ecuador the four had a stroke of luck.
We’ve all seen the phrase “new and improved” countless times. It’s on everything from cereal boxes to cosmetics. No doubt someone in a lab somewhere tweaked the latest wrinkle cream and declared it new and improved. I think I should have a “new and improved” tag on my life—it has certainly had some tweaking in the last few years!
This has been quite a year. It started in January with a weekend in West Virginia riding all-terrain vehicles on the Hatfield & McCoy Trails…hand-feeding black bears…and dancing to bluegrass music. In February I drove a reindeer sleigh through a winter wonderland in Roros, Norway. I kept myself warm by sampling aquavit along the newly developed Aquavit Trail around Trondheim.
- How to Switch Careers with an Easy, Profitable Skill
Posted on September 26, 2013 by Efraín M. Padró
My former attorney colleagues and I used to joke that there were three kinds of closing arguments you could make to a jury: the one you carefully prepared, the one you actually delivered, and the one you wish you had given. Few things ever happen as planned. Nevertheless my “life” plan (the one I carefully prepared) was to practice law until I retired at 65; then I would pursue photography and maybe make a little money on the side.
The Red Carpet Antiques Festival in Lyon, France, on October 3 sees traffic brought to a standstill as a vast red carpet is rolled out on Rue Auguste Compte, a route lined with antique stores. Live music and a food fair accompany the all-night festival, as shoppers browse the spectacular window displays.
I’ve always been one of those people who won’t settle for “ordinary.” Sure, I have done my share of everyday things…but if I can find a way to step beyond the run-of-the-mill, you can bet I will! One of the ways I left “ordinary” behind was with my career. I spent many years working as a tax accountant—I knew there had to be a better way to spend my time.
In 1971, I spent seven months traveling around Latin America…from Mexico to Argentina and Brazil. At some point, pressed among a crowd of Indians at the back of a dilapidated bus, I was traveling from Ayacucho to Cuzco, in the Peruvian Andes…an endless two-day ride. Holes and stones in the dirt road shook the bus…
Walking the world and taking other people with me has given me an amazing lifestyle and a good part of my livelihood. When you live—or travel extensively—in a foreign country you get to know the places to go, the people to meet, and you make connections
- Walking Tours: “I Get Paid to Explore Places I Love”
Posted on July 1, 2013 by Susan Aris
I’ve made a business out of leading groups of people on walking tours and the year ahead is looking good. I am going to visit two wonderful regions of Colombia where English-speaking tourists are almost non-existent. Then there’s a trip to the Ecuadorian Andes that incorporates stunning vistas and a shopping extravaganza at indigenous markets. Following that, I’ll enjoy a magical walk in Peru on Inca trails that aren’t under the spotlight of big tour companies. The plan is to extend that trip to explore the Nazca region, famous for the figures etched in rock only visible from the air. I turned 60 a month ago and will celebrate my 40th wedding anniversary this month.
- Arequipa: Off the Beaten Path in Peru’s “White City”
Posted on January 24, 2013 by Glynna Prentice
I first visited Arequipa more than 20 years ago. Since then, Peru’s “white city” has lingered in my memory. I vividly recall the taxi drive into town from the airport back then. The day was warm, dry and sunny, and I saw the perfect cone of El Misti rising in the distance. Alone on a vast plain, the volcano dominated the skyline of the city’s Spanish-colonial heart.
Take to the streets in Santiago, Chile, from January 3 to 20 for the Santiago a Mil international theater festival. You’ll find large-scale spectacles like “the noise of colors” extravaganza, a forest of paper giraffes, and outdoor performances of Romeo and Juliet.
Begin your holiday season in earnest in Mexico City with a huge Christmas Market running throughout December. In amongst the stalls, piñatas and ice rinks you’ll find the world’s tallest Christmas tree. In Europe, Christmas markets large and small brim with handicrafts, mulled wine and seasonal fare, but Germany is king of them all.
I squeeze the brakes of my handlebars and skid to a stop at the edge of the plateau overlooking Peru’s Sacred Valley. More than 2,000 feet below us is the Urubamba River. A small town nestled on its banks was our destination for the evening. My wife and I were at the start of six weeks of unpaid leave from our jobs to travel in South America. That brief moment in time epitomized what we were seeking.
Europe’s buzzing boho center, Berlin, bursts into life this month with the Carnival of Cultures. Thousands of performers will take to the streets and stages of the German capital to entertain over a million revelers. The party starts May 25.
Earlier in the month, Cinco de Mayo (May 5) takes place all over Mexico, especially the U.S. border towns. The day commemorates the Mexican army’s victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Puebla, a city and state in the south, has the best parades in the country.
- From Snake Gods to Incan Waters: Magical Places, Healing Powers
Posted on June 1, 2010 by Robert Scheer
I had to crane my neck to look up at the snake god. Nearly 15 feet tall, the cobra-shaped stone was almost brushing the roof. I was in Naag Mandir, a Hindu temple about 10 miles outside Labasa, on the Fiji island of Vanua Levu.
- 5 Top Spots to Soak Up March’s Holy Week Celebrations
Posted on March 1, 2010 by International Living
Easter is the most important holiday of the Christian calendar. And in Spanish speaking Roman Catholic countries one day just isn’t enough.
We survey 194 countries in our annual Quality of Life Index. How do we decide which of them should be on your radar screen for retirement? With an eye firmly on places where your dollars are likely to stretch, we send a scout to take a look.
When my wife Merri and I first arrived in Ecuador in 1997, one U.S. dollar bought about 3,000 Ecuadorian sucres. Then Ecuador’s currency took a disastrous nosedive. Within a year, 7,000 sucres equaled one greenback.
I discovered this unpleasant fact on last year’s jaunt to Peru, where I holed up in Lima’s venerable Country Club Hotel. This colonial institution—vastly improved, by the way, since my last visit to San Isidro more than 20 years ago—overlooks a charming golf course, but the rigors of my travels had taken away all desire for even the simplest of swings. Instead I took to having a late breakfast in my spacious quarters (the eggs Benedict are perfectly comme il faut), rereading Shackleton’s Arctic hardships, and gazing wistfully over the fairway.
- Apartments from $26,000 and a century-old mansion for $160,000—Peru: Property for a pittance
Posted on May 3, 2007 by Lee Harrison
From the ancient Incan cities to the depths of the Amazon rainforest, from the miles of sandy coastline to the jagged peaks of the Andes, Peru is a diverse, exciting, and historic country.
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