Tag Archives: Things to see in Peru

10th Annual National Mime Festival in Lima, Peru

Mime festival in Lima, PeruThey have been doing this for 1o years?!  I didn’t know these guys were that popular.  Does France know about this?  Maybe they are a silent investor? 🙂  Apparently there will be workshops and a few plays/performances.  They say all in Spanish, but they are mimes – how much “talking” will they be doing?  Is miming in Spanish any different than in English or French?

You will only find this in Lima…I don’t see people in Cusco or Iquitos really being into this.  Peru – never at a loss for surprising finds!

Why have I never seen this on the streets before?  Oh, right…probably because I live in Miraflores, which is “too good” for this sort of theater.  Or should I say “theatre”?  Must…get…there…but…trapped…in…a…box…HELP!

 

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Peru Vacations: 5 Things to Do in Cuzco for Free

Plaza and Cathedral in Cuzco, Peru

Found this great article on more FREE stuff to see in Peru – this time in Cuzco (or Cusco, for those that want to be more “correct”).  Pretty interesting stuff, especially the 12 sided rock!  When I was in Cuzco, I had a whirlwind tour and didn’t really have time to see any of these other things outside of the main Plaza de Armas.  I can definitely see myself going back for some free stuff, that is for sure!  And I am always amazed at Incan architecture and what they were able to build with no machines.

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Fresh and Recharged for 2012 – Things To See In Peru

Miss Me Card

Hello everyone!  Happy belated New Year!  I hope that you all had a wonderful time ringing in the new year and getting that list of resolutions ready to go in the trash by February – I know I did.  As some of you may recall, I went home for 9 days to visit my family and enjoy some quality time behind the wheel of my car.  Oh how I missed that!  Since Christmas, I have been a little M.I.A on here, but now I am back – fresh and recharged!  It is amazing what a little down time from work can do for you!

To start 2012 I thought I would post this pretty cool 3 minute video highlighting all the things there is to do and see in Peru.  I would really like to see the USA do something similar.  It seems that at home, each state is in charge of promoting themselves; how about something promoting the country, as opposed to individual states?  Peru and Brazil are really good about country promotion and have some great ad spots.

Hope you enjoy and feel more inspired to come for a visit!

Perú país de experiencias (3 min) – YouTube.

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Nazca Lines Threatened by Tourism?

Nazca Lines Peru

I love when people give reasons without providing any suggestions to rectify things.  How about instead of just telling us there is a problem, you also provide 3 recommendations to change what you see is a problem?

Nazca Lines threatened by tourism – Telegraph.

This was my comment I left on the site (signed in through the work FB.  If you are interested, feel free to check out and “like” our fan page, www.facebook.com/rischmoller):

How are private flights endangering the lines?  The article says that the WMF says the flights do not have the correct safety regs.  How is that harming the lines?  While that is a problem for tourists and should be addressed, I don’t see how this negatively affects the Lines, themselves.

And the rubbish?  That isn’t necessarily because of tourism: Has the WMF been to Peru?  We have some waste management problems and a general lack of understanding by the population about putting rubbish in bins and not the street.  If anything, tourists would probably be more conscious about doing this.  The increase in trash is probably a result of the local city and communities nearby.

The viewing platforms are sort of an issue, however, there is no other option for people to see the lines if they do not want to pay the relatively expensive ticket for a fly-over.  And there are only 1 or 2 look out towers that are stationed right along the highway.

While I can appreciate the concern the WMF has for our precious history, I would instead prefer to see their offers of solutions.  Especially to the items they referenced as problems

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Video: How Peruvian Are Nebraskans?

Peru in the USA - Nebraska

Been quite busy at work this past week, so haven’t had a lot of time to sit down and write unfortunately.  However, I did come across this video on Youtube the other day and thought I would share it with you.

Peru is a very patriotic country and they are growing their worldwide image as more than just “Land of the Incas”.  Probably the most noteworthy current rise to fame is the food.  Peruvian food is delicious and they know it.  Not too spicy and not too bland, it has a great mixture of ingredients and fusions from the many different cultures that have immigrated and become part of the country.

This video, however, was created not for the purpose of educating the world about Peru, but as a national promotion for Peruvian pride; hence, the video is in Spanish but with English subtitles.  The premise of the video is that PromPeru (the governmental body in charge of promoting Peru as a brand) took all the “best” from Peru (mainly celebrities from various categories like culinary, dance, etc.) in South America to the city of Peru in Nebraska, USA.  The idea was to show them (Peruvian Nebraskans) what it really means to be “Peruvian”.  Pretty clever, huh?  If you don’t already know, this city is a tiny place where it is most likely, few if any, have had any experience outside of the USA, let alone Peru.  This video is considered to be like a mini documentary and won a lot of awards.

Let me know what you think!  Oh, and just so you know, in Spanish Peru has an accent on the “u”, so it is Perú.  You will see why that matters at the end of the video.

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Food Delicacy – What Does It Mean To You?

Fine Dining

Delicacy. What is that? Webster’s dictionary says that it is “the quality or state of being luxurious; something pleasing to eat that is considered rare or luxurious.” What comes to my mind when people use this word to describe food tends to be things like caviar, Kobe beef or the puffer fish. Something that is sort of unobtainable because of price and usually reserved for special splurges or occasions.

But what happens to this meaning when you travel to foreign lands? I always have a great time meeting new people and learning about their cultures and customs. We just get along swimmingly; but when it comes to food and their local “delicacies”, somehow we are no longer on the same page! I have come to learn that when people preface food with “Oh, this is a delicacy of the area!”, it really means they don’t want to tell you what the dish is because they know that you are going to be a little put off by it. Take for instance some of these “delicacies” from around the world:

Cambodia – Fried Tarantulas

Yes, just as you might imagine, these guys are sautéed and fried with a little bit of garlic and salt. Apparently, crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside.  Yum?

Philippines – Balut

Balut is touted as being the Filipino equivalent to the American hotdog, meaning it is ubiquitous and thoroughly enjoyed by the masses. Take a fertilized chicken or duck egg (around 17-24 weeks), boil it until the yolk leaks out followed by the fetus of the animal. Apparently you drink the liquid and chase it with the fetus. Buyer beware: Sometimes the eggs might be a little further developed, in which case you might get a beak, bones and/or feathers. Oh boy!  (No pic on this one because I find it a bit nauseating, but feel free to do a search!)

Sardinia – Casu Marzu

Are you a cheese lover? Just love the moldy goodness of a fine brie or camembert? What about the smell of Lindbergh cheese? How about a jiggily surprise? Yes, in Sardina, the cheese can wiggle-waggle just like good ol’ J-E-L-L-O. Only it’s not gelatin…it’s maggots! Apparently, introducing cheese fly (how aptly named) larvae into the cheese helps it ferment because those little buggers digest the fat. And you have to eat it while those guys are still alive because when they are dead, it has been reported to be toxic. So much so, that it has actually been banned for health reasons. Bon appetito!

Cheese in Sardinia

Now, you are probably wondering why I am talking about this. It has to do with my Thanksgiving picture from yesterday. You see, here in Peru, the guinea pig (known locally as cuy) is quite the delicacy. It seems so hard to believe that people could eat these little guys, as they are pets in the USA and Europe. But here in Peru and South America, they have been domesticated since well before the Inca; it is believed to have started around 5,000 B.C., although the earliest evidence found dates to 500 B.C. These furry friends have been a dietary staple for the Andean people for a long time and traditionally raised solely for subsistence consumption within the household.  There are still wild cuy roaming the hinterland, and they are used for other ritualistic and medicinal things.  I will talk about what and how (it is pretty interesting) in a future post.

Guinea pigs in PeruCuy are typically housed indoors and kept in the household kitchen, where they are allowed to run around freely. Most highland families keep at least 20 animals in this fashion and feed them a great variety of food such as alfalfa or a good selection of leftovers or scraps. I don’ t know if you have ever heard guinea pig squeaks before, but when there is a group of 10 or 15, it’s a little bit like being in a science fiction movie. I just feel like they are an alien species trying to communicate with me. I often have the episode from the original Star Trek series in my mind, when Captain Kirk meets the Tribbles!

Star Trek Tribbles

Now, as much as I felt bad, I decided to be bold and try a little guy. After all, it is better than fried tarantula.  You can find them totally intact, like a pig on a spit: with their little faces and feet.  The difference is that they are skinned, fried/barbecued and stuck on a stick like a giant corn dog…sans the breading. I chose to go a fancier route and had it braised and plated with mashed potatoes and vegetables. It looked like miniature lamb shanks.  It wasn’t bad, I will admit. A little greasy like duck, with a mild gamey aftertaste. The only thing is that there are plenty of bones and not much meat. I worked pretty hard to get every bit off, and I think at the end of the meal I was actually hungrier! But I gave it a try and that is what counts.

Would I call this a delicacy? No, not really.  Is it something luxurious or pleasing to eat?  Again, I don’t think so.  And it definitely is not rare.  It is pretty common here in Peru, nothing so special about it to the locals. The specialty (and thus the reason it gets to be touted as a “delicacy”) is that most foreigners view these as pets. So, by slapping on this description, the tourism industry has found a spectacular way to posh up something that will surely disappoint/sadden/appall some people.  And I am not sure how the people in Switzerland will feel about it.  They have a law that says you cannot keep just one by itself, as they are social animals.  So when one dies, you have to get at least one more to keep the other one company.  Or you can rent one from this lady.

So, just remember that the next time you are traveling and hear the word “delicacy”, be prepared…you might just be about to crunch down on some furry/gooey/squirmy goodness!

Cuy at Mistura

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Caral, a city as old as Mesopotamia!

While there are plenty of things to do in Lima to keep you busy, if you fancy a trip outside of the city, there are numerous places you can visit. Lima is a great place to make your home base, as it is close to the popular weekend beach getaways in the North and South, the Central sierra mountains and numerous smaller cities with lots of ruins and not a lot of crowds. Nothing against Machu Picchu, as it truly is something everyone should see, but it is great to have options closer to home that are not as packed with tourists and that you can afford to visit many times. Plus, these sites are only a few hours by bus from Lima, making them easy day or weekend trips.

Ancient Pyramids of Caral, Peru

Aerial view of pyramids in Caral

One city that is only 3 short hours north from Lima is Caral. Located in this city is the Conjunto Arqueologico Central de Caral, which is one of the best known sites in the area. This city is home to what scholars believe to be the oldest civilization in the Americas. The ruins date back over 5,000 years, which means there were cities and life in Peru around the same time as Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt. Over the years, other sites have been found in Peru that have been traced back to around the same time as Caral, but none can compare to the immense size and complexity of Caral: nearly 160 acres of pyramids, sunken plazas and residential structures. It has been suggested that the city also influenced the development of other pre-Inca and Incan urban designs.

Amphitheater and City View, Caral, Peru

View of the amphitheater and city

Getting there is easy: You can rent a car or go by bus.  Going by car is good if you plan to stop along the way for side trips, but if your main destination is Caral, the bus is the easiest and most comfortable option. Most bus companies have daily departures to Caral; the trip can be done in one full day, but if you want to spend the night and explore the surroundings more, there are many affordable hotels around. The parts of the city visitors are able to walk around are primarily focused around two sunken round plazas and various pyramids and residences. The site does not allow you to be in the park alone, therefore you will be required to have a guide accompany you. A local archaeological team is available and will give you tours of the ruins or you can sign up ahead of time in Lima at one of the many tour agencies. This site is something worth seeing and does not get as much international attention as Machu Picchu.

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