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Archive for January 2009

Engineer and Son from Rochester, Minnesota Explore the Peruvian Amazon and Machu Picchu

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limaThe Post Bulletin paper from Rochester, Minnesota, recently published a travel article written by engineer April Horne who decided to travel to Peru with her eight-grade student son Garrison Komanieckiand.

The destinations within Peru included Machu Picchu, one of the “New Seven Wonders of the World”, and the Amazon River/Rainforest, which is currently ranked No. 3 in the voting for Natural Wonders of the World.

While at Lima (where the major international airport is located), they explored the city and said:

“We walked through beautiful cathedrals, including one with extensive catacomb structures, an engineering marvel that had survived numerous severe earthquakes. We also saw pre-Incan ruins dating back to about 600 A.D.”

While in the Amazon, she highlights:

“We learned how to shoot a blow gun and danced around a fire with the villagers. We were struck by the simple life of the villagers, with minimal possessions, open-air huts and a diet consisting of fish, bananas and the occasional sloth or monkey. We ended our rainforest stay with a “recovery” stop at Ceiba Tops, a luxury resort with hot and cold running water and a swimming pool.

And on her trip to Machu Picchu, she says:

Our guide told us about the different sections of the Lost City, pointing out agricultural areas and living quarters, temples, channels for drinking water and waste water. He showed us how structures were built to study the stars and movements of the sun. We finished with a hike up a portion of the Incan Trail to the Sun Gate.

Click here to read the full article.


Written by Catherine Castro

January 30, 2009 at 9:15 am

Newest Pre-Incan Museum “Huaca Rajada” Opens Nearby Lord of Sipan’s Tomb in Lambayeque, Peru

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top_lambayequeIn the northern department of Lambayeque, the newest display of Peruvian archeology just opened in a museum named “Huaca Rajada”, as Reuters reports. The museum showcases masks, ceramics and jewelry from the ancient Moche culture (prior to the Inca empire) which flourished on Peru’s coast from about 100 AD to 600 AD. Click here to watch a video with images on what you can find on your visit. And at the museum, there is an area where locals manufacture native-styled textiles for sale to visitors as souvenirs.

It is worth noting that the museum is located very close to the golden tomb of the Lord of Sipan — dubbed the “Tutankhamen of the Americas”.

These two sites – the new museum and the tomb – could be two great stops for your next trip to Peru if you are of the exploration, archaeology, or historian type. Once you get to the capital city Lima via its international airport, you can take a bus or fly to Lambayeque.

Here is a good site where you can get further information about where to go and what to do in Lambayeque.

And click here to watch a great video to learn who was the Lord of Sipan and why it is so important not only for Peruvian history, but also why it is treasured by historians from around the world.

Written by Catherine Castro

January 29, 2009 at 9:09 am

How is the Economic Stimulus Package Going in Peru?

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As we expect news on the American Economic Stimulus Package in the next two weeks, Reuters writes about the status of the Peruvian’s stimulus package which will help Peru ride best the global economic recession with government estimates reaching up to 4-5% GDP growth in 2009.

The Reuters article reads:

Peru started the first part of spending under its economic stimulus package (…).

The first bit includes 4.5 billion soles ($1.42 billion) of price cuts and spending. It includes a 10 percent reduction in fuel prices, 3 billion soles in social spending, help for non-traditional exporters, and infrastructure projects.

The finance ministry said it also has been working to keep credit lines open and obtain loans from multilateral agencies.

Written by Catherine Castro

January 28, 2009 at 10:56 pm

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Associated Press Reporter Gives Travel Advice for Baby Boomers; Peruvian Amazon His Spring 2009 Destination

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elderhostelThere seems to be a Peru travel media boom lately…this time is the story of an Associated Press retired executive planning a trip to Peru following his retirement! If you are in that time where retirement is an option and looking to destress by taking an educational world tour, this article is a MUST!

Picked up by The Mercury News, Rick Spratling talks about his experience travelling with his wife under a non-profit organization’s travel program. Elderhostel was founded in 1975 on five college campuses in New Hampshire, based on the idea of inexpensive lodging and noncredit classes.

An excerpt of the article states:

By 1980, participation grew to 20,000 people in 50 states and Canada, and in 1981 Elderhostel offered its first international programs. Today Elderhostel says it attracts more than 160,000 participants annually to nearly 8,000 tour packages in more than 90 countries.

Elderhostel says the average cost of programs in the United States and Canada is a little over $100 per day, while international programs, not including airfare, average a bit over $200 per day. Elderhostel emphasizes a package price that covers meals, taxes, gratuities, lodging, lectures, excursions, activities and travel within a program, such as shuttles to various sites.

Participants provide their own transportation to domestic programs. For international programs, you can book the flights yourself or have Elderhostel do it.

Rates vary widely by destination and type of trip. My wife and I paid just under $10,000 to visit Israel. Our planned trip to Peru will cost around $11,600 for two. Both pricetags include roundtrip airfare from the United States.

Also on the high end is a 24-night study cruise of Antarctica, the Falkland Islands and a nearby island called South Georgia for around $14,000 per person. This price covers expert lectures, experienced group leaders, field trips, lodging, most meals, gratuities, taxes, ship travel, air shuttles and round-trip air fare from the United States to Buenos Aires. The cost varies by departure city.

But Elderhostel also offers programs for less than $600. You can study “The Cajun Experience” in Louisiana for $547 per person, including meals, five nights of hotel lodging and expert-led sessions ranging from how to dance the Cajun waltz to the history of Acadian migration from Nova Scotia to south Louisiana. You provide your own transportation to and from the program site in Lafayette, La.

While Elderhostel makes no claim to five-star luxury, we gave good marks in Israel to our hotels, food, guides and expert lecturers.

Sounds like an interesting option for baby boomers looking to travel and explore!

To read the full article, click here.

Written by Catherine Castro

January 27, 2009 at 12:09 am

Colorado Reporter Qualifies the Inca Heart as “Strong and Mysterious”

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bildeIt is always interesting to read how foreigners explore Peru and share their journey with the world. In a recent local Colorado newspaper “Summit Daily News” reporter Megan Wheat documents her trek to Machu Picchu. It was great to read how she summarizes her trip:

Our journey through Peru was simply put — an adventure. For me, Machu Picchu was the highlight, and provided education and exploration. In Peru, the culture is rich, the faces friendly, and the ruins and Incas who built them, wondrous.

To read about this reporter’s journey to Peru, and to get her great traveler’s tips, click here.

Written by Catherine Castro

January 26, 2009 at 11:05 pm

“Slumdog Millionaire” Latin American Premiere in Peru on February 19

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slumdog_millionaireEverything is ready for the Latin American premiere of Danny Boyle’s film “Slumdog Millionaire” on February 19 in Peru — the first Latin American country showing it, as El Comercio reports.

“Slumdog millionaire” has already received several nominations and awards, including the Critic’s Choice Awards, the Golden Globes, SAG Awards, and the recognition it got from the public in the festivals of Austin, Chicago and Toronto.

If you haven’t seen it yet, you should! And if you are traveling to Peru by February 19, make sure you add it to your itinerary!

Written by Catherine Castro

January 26, 2009 at 9:31 pm

Peruvian Artist Gian Marco’s Album Listed Top 5 by Billboard Magazine en Español

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gian_marcoNow this is a post that’s very exciting to me and is close to my heart…my favorite Peruvian artist: Gian Marco.

Billboard Magazine en Español just published its list of best albums in 2008, and it is great to know that Gian Marco’s “Desde Adentro” album is listed # 5! He shares this ranking with renowned Latin American artists, including Julieta Venegas, Soda Stereo, Café Tacuba, Juana Molina, Bajofondo, Fonseca, The Pinker Tones, among others.

As El Comercio newspaper reports, Billboard highlights Gian Marco’s album is a unique production, and gives credit to the Peruvian singer and composer for great songs like “Hoy”, “Hasta que vuelvas conmigo”, and “Me cansé de ti”.

For those who are not familiar with the artist, the song “Hoy” (click here to watch the video) was actually written by Gian Marco and inspired by Peru as a country. It was a winner of the Latin Grammy Awards in 2008. When you listen to its lyrics in Spanish it might sound like it is a couples love song, but it really is about the love he has for his country and longing to come back home. Towards the middle of this video, you can listen and watch traditional Peruvian music and dancers. The small guitar his musicians play is called the “Charango”, a native Peruvian instrument and the dance is called the “Huayno”, both go back for many generations since the times of the Incas. It is in fact one of my favorite songs, brings me emotionally and mentally back home…and perhaps even you’ve heard it being performed by Gloria Estefan (check out her version here). In her video, you will notice she tried keeping the Peruvian spirit on it, including the llama, the colorful bag at the beginning of the video, her belt, and of course taping it from Machu Picchu.

For those who want to see Gian Marco perform, he is currently in Mexico launching his first tour around the main cities, and is planning to perform on February 13 and 14 at the Centro Cultural Asia when he is back to Lima, Peru.

Written by Catherine Castro

January 25, 2009 at 9:45 pm