Connect to Peru

Where Americans and Peruvians Living Abroad Connect to Peru

Posts Tagged ‘hotel

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

Great Beach Getaways in Piura: White Sands, Warm Water, and Sun

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playaAs Peru kicks off the Summer season, lots of places start promoting tourism-related packages, including hotels, beaches, archeaological site tours, etc. In today’s major newspaper El Comercio, an article features the department of Piura, located in the north Coast of Peru.

Below is a list of the most popular beaches, from North to South:

  • Mancora is the most visited beach among domestic and international tourists of the young type, including surfers and adventurers, which explains hotel price ranges from $5 to $ 15 per night. Hotel Las Arenas is one of the most known in the area.
  • Las Pocitas and Vichayito are two great beaches to go to for a more sophisticated tourist or if traveling with the family. Hotel prices range from $20 to $100 per night and is highly recommended to make reservations with months in advance, particularly during peak season which is around New Year’s, July 28 (Peru’s Independence Day), and Holy Week (a Catholic holiday around late March/early April).
  • Punta Veleros, located in the district of Los Organos,  is starting to become increasingly popular. Its beach is good if you like surfing. If you are looking for a relaxing trip this might be the right beach for you. And the area has 5 small hotels and houses you can rent in advance.
  • Cabo Blanco is a beach largely preferred by surfers due to its big waves, as well as those who like to fish. This was the beach that inspired the American writer Ernest Hemingway for his novel “El Viejo y el Mar” (The Old Man and the Sea). The beach has a few small hotels. The best way to access this beach is if you have a car given its limited access via public transportation.
  • Lobitos is another beach for surfers with small hotels made out of wood (similar to cabins). The best way to access this beach is driving. If you don’t have a car, there is public transportation leaving from Talara but the wait could be up to an hour.

There are more beaches going further South, including Yacila, Cangrejos, Colan, Sechura, San Pedro, San Pablo, Matacaballo, Playa Blanca, Loberas, Reventazón, and Chulliyache. However, these beaches are not much tourist-friendly given its lack of access, hotels, and other basic tourism needs. But if you are the adventurer type and have a car via a friend who is local, you might want to go and explore these areas if you’d like but make sure you leave early and come back early before it gets dark for safety on the highways.

Personally, my favorite beaches area Mancora and Las Pocitas where I used to hang out with friends during my Summer vacation in Peru. And regardless of what beach you stay at, the seafood of that area is fantastic, perhaps one of the best available in the country. Make sure to order a ceviche with a cold beer – the best feeling ever! A shrimp omellette for lunch is really good as well.

Click here for a great trip planner in English made available by Peru’s tourism entity PromPeru, including the local cuisine, places to stay, local map, transportation, etc.

TIP: The quickest way to travel from Lima to Piura is by taking a flight. Recommended airlines include LAN and TACA. Once you get to Piura, the recommended way of traveling to your hotel and commuting is either walking or by taking local buses instead of driving. Ask your hotel to get the best routes and bus companies to where you want to go. I wouldn’t recommend renting a car if you are a tourist without any native Peruvian friends traveling with you. Some local routes might not have clear signs/labels, it creates a hussle to ensure you get a safe place to park it at nights, and hussles of filling up the tank when the closest gas station is several miles away from the beach.

Written by Catherine Castro

December 27, 2008 at 1:29 pm

James Blunt Performing in Lima, Peru on February 1, 2009

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bluntIf you are planning to visit Lima early February and are a fan of British songwriter and singer James Blunt, you might want to make sure you book your calendar on the evening of February 1!

As part of his South American tour, Blunt will be performing in Lima, Peru at the Jockey Plaza Center in the outdoors stage, as RPP reports. As a reference, the Center is approx. 45-minute drive away from the Miraflores/San Isidro area where typical tourist hotels are located.

Blunt has more than 16 million copies sold around the world, and his hits song include “You’re Beautiful”, “Back To Bedlam”, “Goodbye My Lover”, “High” and “Wisemen”, among others.

Tickets will be sold starting this Friday, December 19 via the TuEntrada website.

Written by Catherine Castro

December 17, 2008 at 11:05 pm

Renovations Along Lima Beach Area “Costa Verde” Could Bring More Attractions for Tourists by 2010

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cv2cv1If you have been to Lima, most likely you have seen the Larcomar shopping center right on the beach and the Costa Verde (Green Coast, in English) in search of a good ceviche in the Miraflores district.

According to Peru’s newspaper El Comercio, the Costa Verde area will be renovated, and will include:

  • A greek amphitheatre with ocean view for approx. 3,000 people
  • Two ocean water pools (similar to the ones you might have seen in Portugal) — one for swimming and the other one for families
  • Recreational and sports areas, including bike trails
  • New access areas (bridge between the hill and the beach area)
  • Development of green areas

This project called “La Nueva Costa Verde” (The New Green Coast) will start to be built next year and is expected to be finalized by 2010.

Should be a nice area to hang out if you stay in the hotels nearby the ocean in the districts of Miraflores or San Isidro — two common areas tourists stay at.

Written by Catherine Castro

December 16, 2008 at 12:09 pm

Handmade Macchu Pichu in Chocolate Showcased in Marriott Hotel in Lima, Peru

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marriottWhat’s best than staying at a centrally-located Marriott hotel in Lima, Peru? A chocolate handmade Macchu Pichu replica on display at its lobby!!

More than 2,000 blocks made of 350 lbs. of chocolate took to build it in just 45 days, as AP reports via El Comercio newspaper. Click here to check out some pictures.

Yum!

Written by Catherine Castro

December 13, 2008 at 10:10 am