Sunday, November 23, 2014

2014 Peru Inspired Gift Guide

If you're looking for Peru inspired gifts, you've come to the right place! Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Food and Drinks
Paneton and hot chocolate is a staple during the Christmas season. Drinking hot chocolate during summer might seem odd, but hey, it's Christmas, so why not? While Colombia might be famous for coffee, any coffee connoisseur will know to check out Peruvian coffee. Check out Peruvian coffee beans and unroasted beans as well. Don't forget a Peruvian mug. While some might snub their nose at fruitcake (paneton), Peruvians love it.

For the cook in your life, Peruvian cookbooks are the way to go. They'll find great recipes like ceviche, lomo saltado, aji de gallina, papa rellena, and much more.

Alpaca
Wool socks are a game changer. Once you try them out you won't go back to cotton socks. They can last for years, are much better for your feet than cotton since they're anti-fungal, and many of them can be tossed in the dryer. Alpaca is superior to wool since it is softer, warmer, and has no lanolin which means it's hypoallergenic. Alpaca socks aren't as cheap as cotton socks, but you're paying for quality. Considering how much use you'll get out of them, they are a relatively inexpensive gift, so buy a pair or two for yourself as well.

Alpaca sweaters are warm and have gorgeous designs. They're super soft and people love wearing them. Traditional Peruvian hats, such as the chullo, will keep your loved ones warm through the cold winter months. Don't forget a warm shawl or even a poncho that they can wrap around themselves to protect them from windy days.

Alpaca can be used for more than clothing. It also makes great blankets and throws. It's great for cozying up on the couch and drinking hot cocoa, from a Peruvian mug, of course.

Decor
Machu Picchu is absolutely breath taking. There's some gorgeous wall art featuring this famous landmark that will be sure to get everyone's attention. If you know someone who wants to add some unique Peruvian decor to their home, consider a map of Peru. Ranging from old fashioned maps to watercolors, there's something for everyone.

Jewelry
Peruvian jewelry ranges from fine jewelry to woven handicrafts. Bracelets featuring the Nazca Lines and necklaces with a tumi pendant make pretty, unique gifts.

More Gifts
If you're looking for more ideas, here are other Peru inspired gift guides I've written.


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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Tips for Taking Taxis in Peru

A Peruvian moto (epidemicfun.com)
Like combis, taxis, or ticos as they're somethings called, in Peru are often gutted and look like they're on their last legs. Metal's often missing and most of the components from the dashboard will probably have been taken out. Nontheless many people use them to get around and they can be a faster option than combis. If you're looking for an even cheaper option, consider motos. If you're going to take taxis there are a couple of things you should consider.

1. Call ahead of time. If you're worried about safety then call for a taxi. There are a handful of taxi companies out there, or find a taxi driver that you trust and can call when you need them.

2. Agree on the fare. Many taxis don't have meters. And if they do, they probably won't use it. Be sure to agree on the fare before you even get into the taxi. I actually prefer not using the meter as it's less likely that the driver will take you on the scenic route.
3. Text someone the license plate. You just never know, it's better to be safe than sorry. 

4. Speak Spanish. If you don't want to get the foreigner price you're going to have to speak Spanish. Learning a bit of the local language will help you out so much no matter where you go. It'll help you assimilate to the culture and you'll be able to communicate easier. If you're looking to learn Spanish, Fluenz Spanish, Rosetta Stone, and Synergy Spanish.



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