Connect to Peru

Where Americans and Peruvians Living Abroad Connect to Peru

Archive for December 29th, 2008

Australian-British Travel Guru Tony Wheeler Names Peru “Hot Destination 2009”

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lonely-planetOne of the purposes of my blog is to allow for its readers to stay ahead of the curve on the popularity that Peru (both as a country and as a brand) is getting throughout the world. With restauranteur Todd English predicting Peruvian food to be “the next big thing” (read my post here), Bon Appetit magazine naming Peru’s capital city Lima as the “Gastronomic Capital of South America” (read my post here), and a dozen luxurious hotels including the world’s largest hotel chains to be built in 2009 and 2010 in Cuzco (read my post here)…now another travel tag adds to the mix — and all the way from Australia!

Australian newspaper The Age just wrote a story about world-renowned traveller guru Tony Wheeler, co-founder of the Lonely Planet guidebooks sold around the five continents (click here to view an interview done to Wheeler by Travel Channel). Among travelling tips and profiling the Australian traveller, Wheeler highlights his 2009 hot destinations…and yes, Peru is one of them!

Here is what the paper writes about Wheeler and his take on Peru:

The founder of Lonely Planet guide books, Tony Wheeler, predicts big growth in travel to South America, particularly Peru. He says Peru has “everything in one package”, from the “lost city” of Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail to surf breaks, canyons and Lake Titicaca.

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Written by Catherine Castro

December 29, 2008 at 11:32 pm

A Dozen Luxury Hotels, Including a 7-Star Hotel, will Open in Cuzco in 2009/2010

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hilton1marriott1In 2008, more than a million tourists from around the world visited Cuzco, the department where Machu Picchu is located. To address the increasing demand expected in the coming years, a total of 12 luxury hotels are planned to open in 2009-2010, some of them by the world’s largest hotel chains, as El Comercio reports.

Here’s the timeline, so make sure you take note of them as you plan your next visit to Cuzco!

Q1 2009

  • Urubamba Luxury Collection will be opened in the area of Valle Sagrado by the Peruvian chain Libertador Perú
  • Río Sagrado, a boutique hotel by a Peruvian investment group
  • Marriott will open a hotel that looks to surpass 5 stars
  • San Agustin, a local Peruvian chain of hotels, will open a 3-star hotel in Urubamba, and a 4-star hotel in Cuzco.

Q2 2009 and beyond

  • Acqua Hotel Resort Spa, a local chain of boutique hotels, will open between May and June 2009. It will consist of the renovation of a colonial mansion from the 17th century. A second 5-star location will also be opened in Urubamba.
  • Hilton Hotels Corp. will start building a 5-star hotel in mid-2009 to be located just 4 blocks away from Cuzco’s Main Square.
  • Aranwa Sacred Valley will build a 5-star hotel in the area of Valle Sagrado and another one in the city of Cuzco which is expected to be inaugurated in 2010.
  • The American company Revolutions Perú will build the first 7-star resort in Peru
  • Casa Andina plans to open its second luxury hotel by 2010.

Click here for a related story from today’s Washington Business Journal covering Maryland-headquartered firm Marriott and Hilton.

Written by Catherine Castro

December 29, 2008 at 9:19 pm

British Religious Task Group Looking for Volunteers to Visit and Help the Poor in Peru

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I just came across this article from Worcester News, a British local news site. The article calls for volunteers to join the Diocese of Worcester’s Task Force in 2010. The article states people could be tasked for 2-3 weeks with “building a new classroom, helping with the administration of a medical campaign, or with working in a centre for children and people who have disabilities.”

Even though travel and accommodation expenses are paid by the volunteer, this might be a good cause to pursue if you enjoy social work, or perhaps if you are a Peruvian living in the U.K. and are interested in giving back and helping the poor in your native country. It could actually be a good excuse to align your volunteer work with a great trip to Peru.

Click here to visit the website of the Diocese of Worcester’s Peru Task Force.

Written by Catherine Castro

December 29, 2008 at 8:47 pm

Peru: A Premier World Archaeologic Discovery Center in 2008

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chachapoyas-peru-4_1126226ccity2If you are into archaeology, ancient art, or history, this is a post you’ll be very interested in reading. An article in Peru’s largest newspaper today highlights relevant discoveries throughout 2008. Here is a list grouped by department that perhaps you might want to consider for your next trip to Peru. And once again, the map of Peru referenced in my earlier post will help in locating them and aligning them to your travel plans.

AMAZONAS (province of Utcubamba)

  • A pre-Incan city was discovered by an expedition of local authorities. Click here to read my earlier post for details.
  • Several ancient graphicshomes with ovens, ceramics, paintings,  caves, thermal waters, petrified seashells, as well as a wide variety of orchids were also found.
  • A pre-Incan cemetery was found including remains of about 200 bodies accompanied by ceramics in a cave 70 meters long and 15 meters wide.
  • Another expedition reported finding a 670 meters-high waterfall named Lejía. The area will become part of a tourist site.

LAMBAYEQUE

  • A mummy (fardo funerario in Spanish) was discovered in the Historic Sanctuary called “Bosque de Pómac”. The remains belong to a royal personality of the Lambayeque culture who is holding a golden stick back from 750-800 AC.
  • In this Sanctuary was also found the remains of a royalty member of the Sicán culture with a chest armour, golden vases and other ornaments as old as 1,000 AC.
  • Two religious temples were found in the archaeological site of Collud-Zarpán belonging to the starting ages of the consolidation of the high civilization of the North region of Peru. Also, a mural with a spider-shaped God was also found.
  • An ancient city of the Wari culture was discovered in the archaeologic complex of Cerro Pátapo, representing “the missing link between the ancient cultures of the Wari people and the earlier Moche civilisation […] because it explains how the Wari people allowed for the continuation of culture after the Moche” as archaeologists explain. Click here to read my earlier post about this discovery.
  • A total of 11 human skeletons belonging to sacrified women were found in the archaeologic complex of Huaca Chotuna. One of them included the low jaw bone of a fetus.

CUZCO

  • A total of 277 bronze artifacts were discovered in the archaeologic site of Sacsayhuamán
  • Two pre-Hispanic cities near the cerro Huanacaure were found which are considered to be major religious sites back from the Incas empire. Both ancient cities remained hidden for more than 400 years since the Spanish conquered the Incas, and was only heard about them through Spanish chronicles that date back from the 16th and 17th centuries.
  • An Incan religious ceramic shop was also discovered in one of the Inca temples in Sacsayhuamán, as well as an Incan temple which remained hidden for centuries underneath soil and an eucalyptus forest.
  • An archaeologic fortress named Manco Pata was discovered in the district of Kimbiri.

ANCASH

  • John Rick, an American archaeologist, discovered an underground tunnel where religious offerings occured in the archaeologic site of Chavín.

PUNO

  • A gold necklace of around 4,000 years old was found next to the Lake Titicaca — perhaps the oldest gold necklace in the Americas.

PIURA

  • A religious center or cemetery for the hierarchy of the Vicus culture was discovered in the province of Morropón.

Written by Catherine Castro

December 29, 2008 at 7:34 pm