7 things you must do in Per煤::. Inca experience

Flashback to our trip to Peru last year for our birthday’s. 

As you know i normally do an overview of the places we go with always a few details about food (of course). 

So beginning with this, we felt in love with Peru, more places than others but all super interesting and  with such a unique culture !

7. Peruvian oasis : Huacachina 

Unfortunately we didn’t have time to visit this so peculiar oasis in the middle of the desert. But for sure we will put on our list of things to do there when we return 馃檪 

Huacachina

6. Arequipa & Colca Canyons or Nazca ?

  I have a little doubt here, because, for me i choose Arequipa but also visit Nazca.  For me both deserve to be in this list so here a few tips.

    Arequipa is the second big city at Peru, by that doesn’t mean that is a proper big city like Lima, but has lot more to do and also little bit more of night life than cuzco for example.

      The major attraction of this part of the country is that all the city is builded with white stone from the volcano (actually people call it the white city). Yes! as you can imagine, has some cool landscapes surrounded by volcanos (definitely you should try) . And of course, you must do the Colca Canyons excursion. Also there’s a stop  for watching  falcons , very impressive if they fly near you!

Has a few museums around the city, and a huge convent that is worth to visit. It extends to all the block and ,although there are few nuns living there, it’s a public place to visit and where you can see the rooms of the convents. 

PD: foodie tips – we found a place on the main “plaza” on a second floor, that we ate deliciously (not very cheap) but typical and made with stones, like old ways of Peruvian cooking called . In this city we ate at the market 馃檪 

Nazca it’s an area with mountains that have symbols drawn on the sand and you can do an excursion on the air (mini airplane or helicopter) to see them from the sky. 

For me Arequipa has more to do if you stay 2 days or 3 and Nazca is to visit during a day and that’s it. Keeping a nice memory of it. And also if you can do both, totally do it. 

5. Amazonic Peruvian Jungle

One sad point for us, as we couldn’t get there, but for sure we won’t lose it next time. 

This is such an experience ! Totally recommended for the more adventurous and the more free and wild 馃檪

There are some points to consider for this adventure : Iquitos (city where you can start the Amaz么nica experience), also boat trip from Puerto Maldonado (where all can start too). There are a few ways to get inside and also organisations that can help you planning your connection to the nature.

Also there are some natural reserves/ parks that totally deserve a visita like Manu… To be honest, there are a lot, i drop you the name of the biggest that  we selected as the most interesting.

4.  Titicaca Lake experience

This is one of the experiences we had in life that totally marked us, not about the lake but about the people that live on the lake and how they build their houses and also how they day by day is.

Let’s start from the arriving part, we have to get into Puno which is the city nearest to the Peruvian part of the Titicaca Lake, yes has another part of Bolivia. By the way we came from Arequipa in Bus, with a very comfortable company called (cruz del sur). 

Floating islands

Once we got there, the city doesn’t have many things to see, it’s just a passing city to the lake, i must say that the major part of the people makes an excursion to know the floating island and also the highest island on the lake : Taquille. But we wanted something different, we stayed 2 nights with  a family on the floating house/island of them and we were able to have a day with them and see how they live, and it’s such a unique experience, totally recommendable. Believe me you’ll never forget about it. You can see how they cook (very original and and outside), fish with them, also learn how to make handmade crafts, things they sell on the city to get money for living. 

Resuming, wonderful experience that will stay in your hearts forever ! People are so kind and open-heart for you, also explains you all about their culture. Also dresses you like them 馃檪 

3. Gastronomic tour – Lima

One of our favourite cities because of the variety of good restaurants, for all the pockets and also markets where you can find ingredients for all the country. 

Saying that, you must image that we had a foodie tour planned ! Of course ! 

Here our suggestions for Lima:

     First of all visit 1 or 2 markets to get familiar with the ingredients, ask the sellers and the locals every single spice you are curious about and if you can, try some fruits & vegetables from the peruvian lands. So tasty!

    After that you definitely need to eat a ceviche soon. La Mar for example is one of the most known place for that, the only “negative” thing is that you can’t book a table and as we were a big group at Lima i found a 2nd option very very delicious called :

ceviche – el mercado

El Mercado by the hand of chef Rafael Osterling. Super casual place, with amazing decoration and delicious ceviche (& much more dishes). Only negative point maybe the service, they were a little bit distracted but all ok.

Following the steps of the best restaurants of Latin America and also the world, i totally need to speak about this one (considered number 1 ): Maido by the chef Micha Mitsuharu. Specialist or the boss i must say of the nikkei cuisine. There wasn’t any dish that i could take a negative point, every single step was amazing, surprising and totally delicious. Can’t wait to be back.  As the high level of cuisine and the place shows, you can image that isn’t cheap at all but i recommend to everybody that has the possibility to go. 

       Let’s keep discovering this amazing gastronomy that Lima has to offer to the visitants. Another restaurant that we went, very delicious also where i could have the Uni, one of my favourite ingredients of the sea, perfectly incorporated to a beautiful dish. I’m talking about Malabar by chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino  , located at San Isidro a area known for the restaurants area also.

Malabar – uni dish

On the same are you can find another restaurant very known, with some interesting cocktails too using ingredients from the Amazonia Jungle, which is very interesting and also the place has some cool decoration inside the theme of the jungle: AMAZ.

We can also tried one that has some history behind, specific, some ruins behind : Huaca Pucllana  Has a huge variety of dishes, not very  expensive and has the beautiful ruins behind giving it an amazing charm to the restaurant. Seems like is also very known around the world because has lots of pictures of famous people when you arrive.

Seems like this point is one of the longest of this post :O ! Let’s change the tour of restaurants for ones more street food. Every year there is a food festival in Lima called Mistura, and it’s f** delicious haha. It’s a huge place filled of food trucks, bars, like food market where you can find all the typical gastronomy dishes from this amazing culture. A part of the food, also has drinks & concerts too! Interesting plan for a journey in Lima.

Last suggestion (i confess 馃檪 : La Lucha. This is a different style of place, a sandwich place, and you definitely need to try one, believe me ! 

2. Cuzco & Sacred Valley

Cutest city i ever met, the streets have an un explainable charm, all in stone with buildings carrying an old story behind (for example, The Marriot Hotel  was a Convent). You should walk & walk and discover.  

Some points on the city are : Koricancha Temple,  some museums like the INKA and also visit de churches, Plaza de Armas and all street markets around. Some unique experience and Peruvian is to go inside the San Pedro’s market, you’ll discover lots of special spices, typical ingredients and also if you want to be more adventurous, have a seat and lunch there ! 

cusco

For the Foodies like us that are always searching where to eat and try the food culture of every country you visit. Here our personal list of restaurants that you should try or at least pass by and smell the dishes 馃檪

  •  Barrio Ceviche: i confess, here we ate one of the best ceviches we ever  had! Amazing place, unique preparation in front of you (if you stay on the bar ) ,delicious dishes , super good location (plaza de armas) and good price. TOTAL RECOMMENDATION 
  • Limo: it’s near by the ceviche but a little bit fancier, and more expensive but has some tasty cocktails followed with a fusion Peruvian and Japanese cuisine (nikkei).Interesting place.
  • Chicha: is from the famous Peruvian chef Gast贸n Acurio. Delight yourself with some alpaca meat and more typical ingredients from this amazing country and city. Little bit expensive but good.
  • Green Point: for the vegetarians, you can’t loose this place, is an old familiar house that became a busy restaurant with delicious offers on the menu. 
  • Divina comedia: cute place, good ambience, live music sometimes and also Italian kind (in case you are not falling in love with the typical food). Has a small garden where you can also see the stone oven for the pizzas 馃檪
  • El Paisa: typical big restaurante (with performances or concerts at night time) with food from the coast, as you can imagine, Cusco isn’t the best place to eat ceviche, although you can find it, it’s easier to finde some meat dishes or just trout if you search for fish. But here, you can find all kinds of delicatessens and with a very good price ! Obviously isn’t so beautiful or fancy as the ones on the beginning but it’s worth it.  

Ups ! I lost myself again with the food ! Sorry is on my blood haha. Back to culture and places to visit.

Maras Saleras

Definitely you should do the Sacred Valley excursions where you can visit : Ollantaytambo (amazing ruins and also a place where you can pick the train to the village of Machupichu, and some people we met that they spend 1 night there and it’s a very special village to visit), Pisac terraces / Market, Urubamba, Moray (science of the peruvian and the plantations), Salines of Maras (where all their salt comes from – gorgeous ).

Chinchero woman 

I have also to speak about a small little place called Chincheros , which can be part of some excursion, is where all the ladies from there and Andean houses around sell their handmade textiles and also explain to you how they do it. Personally i loved it, and as you know i have my bags brand LULADA, i was able to buy some special materials for them. 

There’s also another excursion which unfortunately we couldn’t do but we totally recommend – The mountains of 7 colours. 

Resuming, if you are thinking about going to Peru, Cusco has to be one of your points on the map.

1. Macchupicchu & Waynna picchu

Last but the first, the main reason people plan a trip to this amazing and cultural country. Background of an unique history inca about his old city hidden in the mountains and one of the seven wonder of the world.

Ladies and gentleman, Macchu picchu & Waynna picchu: 

There are 3 ways of arriving there: walking and doing the inca path to the old city which can take 2 or 4 days, unique experience and recommendable for the ones that have more resistance and love hiking in the middle of mountains.

The other and the principal one that everybody does is pick a train (by the way you have to book in advance and also the entry of the monument) from Cusco or from Ollantaytambo. 

Another way and more unusual is to do by train or another transport and climb a mountain near and sleep in an air hotel on the high of the mountain. Have a look, is very interesting and for the bravest.

The train leaves you at the city where you have to pick a bus to go to the monument. You have to pick the tickets as soon as you can (on a small wood box that says tickets here) . Arriving to the cue and also on the monument door you’ll find tons of touristic guides that will offer their services to explain you the history, must say is a good option. 

I suggest as well (if you are in a good physic condition) to climb the Waynna Picchu, breathtaking view of the Macchu picchu and a special experience. By the way, good shoes , like a layer of clothes because is small raining, hot and at same time little bit of windy. 

Sorry i took so long to write this post, but as you can see there are lots of things to do and to show from Peru. Must say we will come back and do the other things on the list we didn’t arrive on time to do it. 

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Colombia en el coraz贸n ::. All in one

 

Hello ! Welcome to this so unique place called  Colombia. As i just came from there, i couldn’t decide which city i wanted to start, so i’m gonna make a general guide/tips about some cities i visited and some i didn’t but i really wanted to. In my next posts i’ll stop in diferente cities of this amazing country and introduce you to the Colombian culture.

  Colombia, as i said before,  is a very interesting place, because has all in one, by that i mean, you have cities to visit, desert, the Amazonia,  volcanos, you’ve stunning beaches and islands where you can lose yourself and relax, breathtaking landscapes, the world famous coffee plantation, also mountains and tribes where you can get to know unique people and fill your heart with their way of living and the love they give you, and to not forget about some of the world beauties and nature reserves, as well as the enormous gastronomy they have (mangos, pi帽a, guyaba, guyabana, patacones, arroz de coco, frijoles, chicharron, areas, etc.)

Also is very good for business, big number of companies from all over the world are building there. The 茅poque of Pablo Escobar has passed away and its a pity that everybody knows this country from that and specifically the city i felt in love: Medell铆n, which is very safe and has great places to visit.  About this country i have to speak about the people and the way they are with the foreigns, they are such a lovely people with a big heart, everything you ask them is “a la orden” (means that they borrow you everything and try to help you in all ways they can), and the thing i love is that they are just worried about what they need for the day, when you live there for months (as i did) i start to learn some precious lessons about life, the way of behavior and the things you really need in life and which are just no important no more.

Let me start from where i lived almost all the time Caribbean coast, first of all i have to speak about the wonderful Cartagena de Indias which has tourism all year and its a very beautiful place to go for vacations ’cause you have amazing beaches, you have historic places to go sightseeing, lovely streets where you can have a walk, take some pictures and enjoy the Colombian culture. Not forgetting about the 2 important things and a MUST to do in Cartagena: make a trip/excursion/rent a boat and go around all the island they have which are really a little paradise where you can forget about everything and relax yourself and enjoy the views and the sun with some coconut water! If you have opportunity, see Bar煤, and the Rosario islands because they are unique and gorgeous, you feel like you are in another planet over there. Also, more important, you have to know the “muralla” which inside are museums, places to shop things like the amazing colombian swimwear (Agua Bendita, Patricia Ram铆rez, etc) and clothes in general, also you can buy the typical accessories and souvenirs/gifts from Colombia, the amazing Esmeralda and the precolombian’s figures necklaces. To the end of the day i recommend you to see the sunset at the Caf茅 del Mar, very nice place with music. For dinner you have so many choices, such as Juan del Mar, some pizza and wine places around as well as seafood and all, you have different options for every kind of pockets. To have some drinks, dance a bit and have fun i recommend you la movida  inside de Muralla and also The Hostel media luna in Bocagrande (has 2 floors), some times there’s live concerts, in the area you have also La Havana to dance some cuban music. Also if you can catch a “Chiva Rumbera” jump into it! It’s an old bus transformed and some sort of moving disco, very funny.

Keeping on the Atlantic coast, i have so speak about Barranquilla, a city where is growing because lots of companies are investing there (as well as all over the country). This city has the beachs near (Prado Mar, Puerto Velero, Puerto Colombia…), also has very nice restaurants with amazing chefs and different kind of food, italian (la Girolata, la Piazzeta, Abruzzo..) japonese (KoiSushi Bar), Peruvian (Cuzco with live music), healthy food (La oliva), bakery (La ganache), Steakhouse, Bistros (there are 2 you really should go: Jack Bistro and Bistro 51, both have a really good options and very tasty), well i can make a big list of where you can go and eat stunning food, but i’ll keep it to a next post. For a more colombian ingredients, ask somebody to take you to the “narcobollos” very typical place where you eat typical colombian food. Also you can go for fish near the river or on the beach, don’t forget to try the Pargo and the Morraja Roja. Very important, if you are thinking/planing to visit this city, you have to go for Carnaval dates because all the city is in party with parades, everybody dress up in their Barranquilla’s carnaval costumes, is about 5 days with concerts, parties, parades, all latin music around you and their moves which will make you dance with them!

And if you want to scape for all that “Rumba” (party) you can pick a flight to the splendid island of San Andr茅s and Providencia, the place with the 8 colors of water, very relaxing beaches and place to buy all the cosmetic products you can, as they are very cheap around there. About that i recommend you to visit Providence, and in San Andr茅s, see Cayo Bol铆var, do some diving, have some lunch at a nice restaurante as  Donde Francesca (on the beach) and at the end, enjoy the sunset at Punta Sur, etc.

Next city or place i have to speak very quickly, is Santa Marta and the famous Parque Tyrona. At Santa Marta you can go for the best beaches, Playa blanca, etc. Very nice sand and clear water. Tagamanga also is nice, and there’s different places you can go for a taxi boat and make around the places it has because it’s gorgeous. I have to talk about a place, little bit far from the beach, La Guajira, the place where the “indigenas/wayuu” live in tribes and also where they make those fantastics, hand made bags named wayu bags, they are just divine as the woman who made them, as well as another things with same material or kind of it. A little bit up , you can go for some “adventure” and visit the Tayrona Park, where the indigenas still live, and you can get to know them as well as make some trekking in the middle of the forest, stay in the caba帽as, and discover the cutest beach hidden they have, do some diving  and see all that beauties under the sea. It’s a very special experience i think that people who really want to get to know their culture and history should do.

 

 

Now lets focus on the center of the country. As i told you before, i felt in love with Medell铆n, and with the “paisas” (the name they give to the people from that city), the people from there are so so kind and lovely, you feel like home at the same time you are entering in the city. You have different places to sightseeing, the Pueblito Paisa, the Antioquia Museum, the Botanic Garden, the mechanical stairs around the commune 13 (take care of your belongings around there), the Botero Plaza, if you are interested in all Pablo Escobar history you can visit also his Hacienda N谩poles, there’s thousands of places to go. 2 hours driving there is a place i didn’t visit but i really wanted to Guatap茅, cute little village with a big stone in the middle of the river, so beautiful. A very important point and interesting for me, is the stylists that exists there, you can find them everywhere and see some really nice clothes, and uniques! for all pockets. Have a look if you love fashion/clothes/accesories, etc. Also you CANNOT leave this gorgeous city without trying the “bandeja paisa”typical food from there, you have to forget about diet for some days at least, but it’s worth it! A part of that, i can write about thousands of restaurants i loved as well as clubs, but i’ll keep to the post i’ll make about just Medellin. A last thing, if you go, try to go on December/January because you are gonna see the famous Alumbrado navide帽o, it’s so beautiful, everything is illuminated!

Gonna keep it near, lets talk about the capital: Bogot谩. First of all, you have to be prepared because its cold around there (yes, it is!), you have also many many things to do, but let me just make some fast tips about the city: you must visit the Salt Cathedral with is 180 metros underground, very beautiful and interesting, its located in Zipaquir谩, a little village near Bogota. Also you can visit the Plaza Sim贸n Bolivar, Basilica Montserrat Church, also the Barrio de la Candelaria, the Gold museum its a must, etc. Very important, in all those places you have to take care about your belongings and not show them too much, and not walk by the center by yourself at night, it’s not super danger but you have to take some cares. Also at night, to go dinner  in nice places and not so worried about your bag, go the ” T Zone” where are shops, restaurants, pubs, shops, etc. I personally recommend you a place you should go because it’s different and unique, not so cheap but its really worth it on weekends, they have music/dacing and a big variety of food and drinks: Andr茅s Carne de Res. Lolas and El salto del 脕ngel are as well place to have some funtime too.

Well, I’m trying to reduce the words but it’s so difficult to make a general view of this so big and so complete country. Let me keep speaking about the center of Colombia and i need to talk about the coffee culture, and all the landscapes, the plantation and all green walks you can do to discover this so tasty trip. You must visit places as Pereira, Salento, Mandizales, Armenia etc, and maybe rent a car and go discover by yourself (best thing to do in my opinion). All around is the coffee plantation, there are some hot thearms you can go and pass the day or inclusive go in the night, there are hotels there. If you can, try to pass a night at some finca in the middle of the coffee plantations, they rent them and its a unique experience to wake up on that green landscapes and to walk throw the trees and all. Try the different kinds of coffee, they are so tasty! Go to the Coffe park also is nice and the views are amazing. Santiago de Cali its a very nice place to visit too and dance some salsa, and a really shame i couldn’t go, but stills on my list.

Finishing, i have to say i totally recommend you to put this country in your travel list because it’s so unique and you will come back with a special way to see things and as i did, probably you’ll bring Colombia and the people in your hearts. Sorry about this post to be so big but as you can imagine, get’s difficult to put all this information in one post. Anyway, Hope i helped you with my small tips about this so big country, and don’t forget the more important thing of all : BE HAPPY – S脡 FELIZ.

 

 

 

 

 

Little paradise by the sea ::. B煤zios

Procure um sitio, e perca-se nele*

Search a place, and lose yourself in it! It’s an advice, real one, my philosophy when i travel.

 

Welcome to B煤zios, a little paradise from Brazil (1 of 100), 3 hour driving or 20min by air from Rio Janeiro. They use REAL (at the moment is 1$=3.90reales). A place which is known by the lovely fishermen and their boats, the gorgeous beaches and also because Brigitte Bardot lived there some time. A place to relax yourself, have fun, listen some brazillian lovely music,  buy some havaianas, get to know the people, the amazing seafood and maybe, fall in love.

First of all, you have to stop in Rio de Janeiro before Buzios to see all the amazing places they have, Cristo Corcovado, p茫o de a莽煤car, amazing streets, beaches, Copacabana, Ipanema but this post is not about that city, so i’ll focus my self on this cute place i recently visited.

B煤zios is a place full of Hostels , Hotels and a thing called “Pousada” which are much better than hotels, small places and some are reformed old houses, and now are lovely cozy places with amazing views, it’s literally full of them, for every kind of pockets. There are the ones in the center with the sea views and near Rua Das Pedras (where everything is, the shops, restaurants, its the center of Buzios where you can find the exchange money places, the guys selling you the tours, the taxi boats to the beaches, restaurants, etc).

Well, let me start from some point : the beaches. Let me clarify, Buzios is not a big place but its a little paradise as i said full of incredible beaches. Such as: Praia do Forno, Forninho, Praia dos Amores, Jo茫o Fernandes, Tartaruga, Praia dos Ossos, Arraial do Cabo (this one you have to rent a car or just pick some tour they offer everywhere, but its worth it), Praia dos Ossos, Azeda, Azedinha, Gerib谩, Olho de Boi (the nudist one)…  You have so much options, if you want to see them all in a short time, pick a tour and visit all them, choose which you love and lose yourself in it. If you want to discover by yourself, as i did, rent a buggy for 24h (150 reals + 60 gas= 55$) and go make a round on the beaches and around Buzios, its funny and at the same time you have more freedom to see what you want. You also can go walking ’cause isn’t far one from another, except the one i told you before. Every beach is beautiful, some with colder water but gorgeous too, some with red sand also most of them have like water sports, to do and fun stuff for children, some with music, and some places where you can get the amazing Capirinha (the brazilian drink) and eat some “salgadinhos” or maybe healthier with an A莽a铆, very good and gives you “for莽a”(strenght) as they say.

 

 

The food culture has the base on the fish and also all the sea food, as you can imagine with all those people fishing everyday they are rich on that kind of food. You have to try the camar茫o  (prawn) in different ways, moqueca, bob贸, pasteis, and more, and all good. Also there are some big gastronomy known around the world, some good places and amazing chefs. For example, i had the luck to try a degustation menu on the 74 Restaurant, which is on the Casas Brancas boutique Hotel & Spa Pousada, was incredible with all the flavours from the land and more, they have originality on the food and on the drinks (ask the barman Pedro to surprise you, he will !) All crew were amazing. Congrats to the kitchen! I’m still dreaming about those gin&tonics flavours in my mouth with unique food they gave me. If you can, just go and try, the view, the live music they have and of course the food is from the other world. All was perfect. They have also one called Rocka Beach, which is for the day i recommend to go and pass the day ’cause they have those big beds where you can lye down and have some amazing sea food : ).

Another one i went also marvelous was NAMI, a peruvian restaurante on the Gerib谩 beach, very very good and with all the flavors, if you are not too into peruvian don’t worry ’cause they have a variety on the menu for every taste and each amazing.

I recommend another plan for dinner with a beautiful view and also romantic if you want, in Praia da Barra, the end of the day is gorgeous and they have some different shops if you wanna have a look , more like decoration things and clothes, but there are some restaurantes with a view and good vibe, with music and all. I personally went to Belli Belli, nice place, with some beds in front line you feel like you are on the sea, and with the amazing Caipirinhas types they have, more! The service was very good and the food was nice. If you want to go just for a drink in the end of the day to see the sunset is also a good plan. A part of the ones i’m recommending there are lots of restaurants you can go with amazing food, and for every pocket, i’m telling you the restaurantes i considered specials.

A part of beach life, relaxing time and sightseeing all this fishing paradise and walking around the streets full of colors.  There’s also night life if you want, at the weekends you have Privilege  and also the famous world brand Pacha, also you have Buda beach  which is open every day and also with live music and performances with the Samba, etc. Another less comercial plan and more brasilian is on sundays, you can go to the end of the Orla Bardot (in the center) and listen to Pagode (kind of brazilian music live) or you can just go with your friends to the beach and have some beers appreciating the view and the waves sound (very relaxing for me). There’s always something to do in some place and keeps changing so you just have to ask around.

Well i hope my tips help you if you go to this unique place, and hope you enjoy it as much as me. And maybe if you weren’t thinking about this place, this made you considerate to add it to the “travel list”. Don’t forget about my advice, search a place and lose yourself, doesn’t matter where, and obviously, and very important : S脢 FELIZ – BE HAPPY : )