Friday, June 13, 2008

General Tourism Information for Peru

Updated 23 April 2014

The most visited tourist attractions include Machu Picchu, Cusco, Puno and Lake Titicaca in the East, Chiclayo and Trujillo and their ruins, Mancora, Punta Sal and Colan Beaches and Cajamarca in the Northwest. In the South, you could go to Ica, Nazca, Pisco and Arequipa. Iquitos is in the Jungle in the Northeast and in Andean Mountains (Cordillera Blanca, near Huaraz) towards that centre you can find snow. Lima is smack dab in the center on the coast. Before you go, be sure to grab some guide books on Peru so that you have a basic plan about what you want to see. Guide books also give useful info about safety, transport, weather, and more. 

You can find more about popular Peruvian cities in this article. If you're looking to get away from Lima for the weekend, there are lots of places to go to in this article. Try Real Adventures where you can find Peruvian vacations, travel, and adventures at a good price.

Speaking Spanish will help you greatly. You'll be treated differently than if you speak English all the time, it'll help you assimilate, and you'll get cheaper prices. If you're looking to learn Spanish, check out Fluenz Spanish, Rosetta Stone, and Synergy Spanish.

Peru For Less
Peru For Less is part of the Latin America For Less family. The company is unique in its ability to offer a price match guarantee as well as the highest standards in quality and customer service. They have special travel deals and travel packages, so you get the most for your money. English is spoken, so you communication won't be a problem. They also publish "The Traveler", a monthly e-magazine that is loaded with insider knowledge, travel tips and vacation ideas and a travel blog to keep abreast of the latest travel news from across the region. You can also find resources, such as Peru facts and lists of hotels on their website.

The South American Explorers Club
If you're in Cusco or Lima, the best place that I've found with travel information, and in English is The South American Explorers Club. In Lima, it's in Miraflores near the Ovalo on Calle Piura 135. In Cusco, it’s on Choquechaca 188, buzzer No.4 near Plaza Nazarenas, near the Monasterio Hotel. SAE has rooms chocked full of books. They have tons of info from guidebooks to magazines, flyers, recommendations from other travellers and even information for volunteering. In fact, many travel writers such as those from Lonely Planet use the information that the SAE have to put in their guidebooks.

Recommended Websites
Adventure Tours
City Websites
Disabled Travellers

Escorted Tours
Family Travel
Gay and Lesbian
Organised Tours
Package Tours
Senior Citizens
Single Travel
Students

Women Travel





The Ultimate Peru List recommends:

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Peruvian Culture

Updated 23 April 2014

Peruvian culture is absolutely amazing: from famous authors to handmade crafts, they have it all. A good website for general cultural information is Peru Culture . You can find more to do in Peru in Museums, Bars , Books, Coffee Shops, Shopping, Recipes, Discos, Misc Free time, Volunteering. The lastest events can be found in Upcoming Events. Try also reading Peruvian Cultural Centers.

One tip to remember is that speaking Spanish will help you greatly. You'll be treated differently than if you speak English all the time, it'll help you assimilate, and you'll be able to communicate easier. If you're looking to learn Spanish, check out Fluenz Spanish, Rosetta Stone, and Synergy Spanish.

Architecture
In many cities around Peru, you’ll find evidence of the Spanish occupation. And colonial architecture can be found mainly in churches and cathedrals, however, you may also find preserved building in the old section of towns.

Authors
The most famous Peruvian author is Mario Vargas Llosa who was born in 1936. His first novel was The Time of the Hero. Other authors include José María Areguedas (1911-1969) who wrote Deep Rivers and Yawar Fiesta and Ciro Alegría (1909-1967) who wrote The Golden Serpent. As far as poetry is concerned, César Vellejo (1892-1938) is famous for his avant-garde poetry. You can find info about books and libraries in English books.

Cinema
There are only a handful of Peruvian actors, like Christian Meyer, who have made it to the big screen. Most of the movies shown in cinemas come from Hollywood and are shown in English. Exceptions are movies for children and those from Spain. Since burned DVD are the norm and much less than a cinema ticket (about 3 soles compared to 17 soles), many people simply buy DVD on the street and watch them at home.

You can also watch movies online at DIVX Online. It's like YouTube. The titles are in Spanish, but the movies are usually in English. There's also Cine Gratis or Justin TV, where movies are played often. It's like watching TV without the commercials.

Crafts
Alpaca wool is used to make sweater, scarves and other woolen goods. It’s expensive, but some of the finest quality you will find. Weaving is also an important craft here in Peru. You’ll also find plenty of handmade jewelry sold by street vendors.

Music
The traditional dance is the marinera. Traditional music is criolla, afro, cumbia, folkloric, and chicha. Some instruments that you may see include the cajón (wooden box), charango (small guitar) or zampoña (panpipes). Reggaton, bachata, salsa are modern music styles that you will often hear in discos. Some black music singers are Susana Baca, Eva Ayllon and Zambo Cavero. Andean singers include Manuelcha Prado and Raúl García Zarate. Jazz singers include Hijos del Sol, Wayruro and Manuel Miranola.

If you can’t move your hips like a Latino, don’t worry, gringos have a reputation for being duros, or stiff. Keep practicing, you’ll get the hang of it. Gianmarco is probably the most famous Peruvian singer to be international known. He recently won the Latin Grammy and spends time between Miami and Lima. Try looking at this music site for more info.



The Ultimate Peru List recommends:

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Museums in Peru

Updated 23 April 2014

There are tons of museums to go to in Peru, from art museums, to gold, or cultural museums. Take a look at Enjoy Peru or Peru Cultural for more information about the different museums here in Peru. You can find some more information about museums in Lima at Lima Easy.

You can find more info in Culture and Free time activities. The lastest events can be found in Upcoming Events. You can find more information about cultural centers, in Peruvian Cultural Centers. 

One tip to remember is that speaking Spanish will help you greatly. You'll be treated differently than if you speak English all the time, it'll help you assimilate, and you'll be able to communicate easier. If you're looking to learn Spanish, check out Fluenz Spanish, Rosetta Stone, and Synergy Spanish.



The Ultimate Peru List recommends:

Hotels and Hostels in Peru

Updated 23 April 2014

Know before you go. Check out some guidebooks about Peru so you can decide where you want to go. You'll also find out about health, safety, transport, and more.

If you’re traveling during the high seasons (Holy Week, Independence Days, or New Year’s), it would be wise to make reservations a few weeks ahead of time as hotels fill up and prices can double or triple. Another way to get cheaper accommodation is to book a suite rather than a couple of standard hotel rooms. The book, Peru - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Culture & Customs makes for an interesting read if you're looking to find out the basics about life in Peru.

Don't forget to ask for discounts, especially during the low season or if you're staying a couple of nights. You might also be able to save by booking at the last minute, like 24 to 48 hours before you travel. Hotels will give steep discounts because they'd rather have the rooms filled and guests pay less, than have the rooms empty and no guests at all.

One tip to remember is that speaking Spanish will help you greatly. You'll be treated differently than if you speak English all the time, it'll help you assimilate, and you'll be able to communicate easier. If you're looking to learn Spanish, check out Fluenz Spanish, Rosetta Stone, and Synergy Spanish.

If you've booked a hotel and found one with a lower rate, contact the first and ask them if they'll match the competitor's price. Try Real Adventures where you can find Peruvian Vacations, Travel & Adventures at a good price.

However, if you’re traveling during other times, sometimes the best thing to do is ask where good hotels are once you arrive. If you arrive, ask at the bus station or airport and often the staff can recommend some hotels that aren’t too expensive, yet are safe and tend not to be overcrowded with tourists so that you can get the “real Peru” feeling.

There are a couple of options to stay for free. If you want to trade homes, you might want to try a home-swap . If you aren't interested in that, try Couch Surfing, Global Freeloaders, or Hospitality Club. They have rating systems, and you can choose who you stay with, so they're pretty safe. The Lonely Planet's Thorn Tree Forum also has a House Sitting and Swapping section that's worth checking out.

Hotels can be found on the official website for Peru . In addition, here’s a link for hotels in general and Hotelz. Try also Peru Hotels.

One travel tip: be sure to bring toilet paper as many hostels might not provide any and if they do it won’t be the best quality. Don't flush the toilet paper: put it in the waste basket.



The Ultimate Peru List recommends:

Monday, June 9, 2008

Insurance for Peru

Updated 23 April 2014

It's always a good idea to have insurance. Lost luggage or stolen goods can be troublesome. Being forced to go to an ATM and take all your money is another problem you might run into.

Remember that speaking Spanish will help you greatly. You'll be treated differently than if you speak English all the time, it'll help you assimilate, and you'll be able to communicate easier. If you're looking to learn Spanish, check out Fluenz Spanish, Rosetta Stone, and Synergy Spanish.

If you buy your own insurance ask if they cover medically supervised emergency evacuations, emergency reunions, repatriation of remains, and lost or stolen goods. Lonely Planet recommends World Nomad. Another popular insurance company for is BUPA. Check out the links below for more companies.




Medical Insurance
If you're only going to be in Peru for a short time, you might consider the places below. However, if you're going to stay for a while, because sure to look at the medical section for local medical insurance providers.




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