You know what they say; ‘New Year, New Me’, and you definitely will be refreshed and rejuvenated after a trip like this!
An ancient land where legend and reality mesh together, Peru is the place to be for the New Year. Whether you’re a history buff, an adrenaline seeker, or a food fanatic, this South American destination is perfect for you.
- On the coast:
Lima, also known as ‘City of the Kings’; is Peru’s capital and a symbol of its history and culture. Get to know their rich past at local museums including Museo Larco which features an ancient collection of pre-Columbian exhibits of Peru’s indigenous people, picturesque gardens and a restaurant. Enjoy the views of the coast at Parque del Amor or try the ancient clay pyramid of Huaca Pucllana. For the adrenaline junkies, try the many activities offered there including ocean kayaking, mountain biking, zip lining, surfing, and sand boarding. It’s the perfect hot summery weather for it during December in Peru.
For accommodation, try airbnb.com. They offer beautiful houses on the beach for those of you spending more than a week there.
Restaurants in Lima:
1. Amaz is pure Peruvian pizzazz. You’ll taste pure Amazonian flavors using fresh, traditional forest ingredients mixed with Head Chef Pedro Miguel Schaffiano’s wild jungle touches. Try the giant river snails, patarashca (fish baked in a leaf), or jungle-inspired ceviches.
2. La Picanteria is the lunch hotspot. The family-style Peruvian favorite sits you on communal tables where you’ll try whole fish and seafood (different selection daily depending on freshness and availability) prepared using traditional methods including cebiche, chilcano, sudado and jalea styles.
3. Chez Wong is the ‘catch of the day’ spot. Just head there for a fresh just-caught meal you’ll find nowhere else.
Huacachina is a village in southwestern Peru, built around a small oasis surrounded by sand dunes. This desert oasis is the place to be for an exceptional adventure tour called the dune buggy and sandboarding tour where you see surreal ancient mountains of sand. Other activities include winery tours, as well as boat tours to see Humboldt penguins and sea lions.
- In the valleys:
The Sacred Valley of the Incas
Before heading to the long anticipated Machu Picchu, head to The Sacred Valley where you’ll get to explore the Incan Empire; the largest empire in the world in the 16th century. The Salinas de Maras is a network of around 3,000 salt pans, it certainly is a sight to behold. The final stop should be Ollantaytambo, the town of an Incan fortress with large stone terraces built into the hillside and a starting point for the Inca Trail, a hiking route to Machu Picchu.
- In the mountains:
Machu Picchu is one of the new 7 Wonders of the World and is the Incan citadel set high in the Andes Mountains in Peru, above the Urubamba River valley. Built in the 15th century, the citadel lies at an altitude of 2,430 meters and offers spectacular views of the valleys. Until this day, the former use of it remains a mystery.
To get there, you fly to Cuzco and then either head to Machu Picchu by a panoramic train or the Inca Trail mentioned above. And don’t forget, the weather is extremely unpredictable in Peru; it might switch from sunny and warm to rainy and grey in seconds, so keep your raincoats at hand. Stock up on colorful and reasonably-priced sweaters, knee-length coats, and scarves, all made from downy-soft Peruvian alpaca wool sourced in the Andes.
And most importantly, don’t forget to take a few pictures with the native llamas and alpacas that call Machu Picchu their home!
- In the jungle
The Amazon. Covering around 60% of the country, the Peruvian Amazon forests are one of the most biologically diverse areas in the world. You’ll find extraordinary wildlife including the notorious anaconda. Take a riverboat cruise around the Amazon and enjoy the scenery, local food, and one-of-a-kind experience.
Funny Peruvian Slang:
- Sapo: means frog in Spanish, but you can say “no seas sapo” which means "don’t be a smarty pants".
- Mosca: means fly but Peruvians also use to describe being alert “ponte mosca”, i.e. “be alert”
- Costilla: means rib, however men use this word to describe their girlfriends “ella es mi costilla” “ she is my girlfriend- of course…
- Chela another word for cerveza which means “beer”
- Gringo: someone coming from the US or anywhere as long as he/she is blond person.
What are you waiting for, let’s get booking!
by Haya Issa