sábado, 30 de diciembre de 2017

Huacachina & Sandboard

5 km away from the city of Ica we can find the oasis or Huacachina Lake, a beautiful place nestled between large sand dunes where you can practice sports like sandboarding or cross these large stretches of sand mounted on a tubular buggy or sand car. If you are in the city of Ica you can get to Huacachina by taxi from S/ 5-7.

Huacachina Sandboard, Sandboard Huacachina, Huacachina Peru

The waters of this oasis come from underground currents that give it that characteristic emerald color; on the other hand, the origin of its name comes from the Quechua word "huacca", which means to cry, and from the word "china", which means woman. In this way, Huacachina would mean 'Criyng Woman'.

This is because of the legend of a pre-Hispanic princess who, after losing her love when she went to war, plunged into deep sadness and cried at the place where they met. The locals claim that their tears formed this lagoon and that even at night their tears can still be heard.

Although in past decades this paradisiacal enclave in the middle of the coastal desert of Ica, was a center of amusement for the upper class of Lima, the few houses and premises that exist today are mainly shops and hotels for a mass of international tourists who usually spend one or two days of relaxation and celebration in their way to the Nazca Lines or the' White' city of Arequipa.

Huacachina Sandboard, Sandboard Huacachina, Huacachina Peru

Although it is said that the waters of Lake Huacachina have medicinal properties thanks to the minerals carried by the underwater currents, it seems that obstructions in its underground branches would have nullified these healing qualities. While boat rides can be made on its surface, we recommend that to take a bath use the swimming pools of their accommodation.

Practising Sanboarding

Without a doubt one of the greatest attractions of the Huacachina is the practice of Sanboarding, which although it is a more' safe' discipline than snowboarding because of the texture of the sand, it can cause serious injuries.

If this is your first time doing this sport, we recommend that you hire an instructor. The rental price for a standard board is around S/10 (US$ 3, for 2 hours); while the price for a professional board is S/30 (US$ 10, without instructor).

The dunes of the northwest end have a smaller slope and are ideal for insiders, while those that are travelled by the tubulars have a larger size and slope.

If you carry a camera, be very careful, because the sand can easily get into the equipment and bring you many problems. Most lodgings in Huacachina offer these sandbox tours with tubular buggies for about S/50 (US$ 16, with instructor).

Huacachina Sandboard, Sandboard Huacachina, Huacachina Peru, Huacachina dunes

Where to Sleep in Huacachina

If you prefer to spend the night in Huacachina instead of the city of Ica, there are several mid-range and affordable accommodations where you can rest and have a drink. If you are travelling in high season don't forget to make your reservation in advance.

Hotel el Huacachinero***

Very close to the Huacachina lagoon, this hotel has an outdoor swimming pool and a restaurant that offers food and drink throughout the day. The rooms are modern and have free wifi, cable TV and air conditioning. The price includes American breakfast. Visits to the dunes can be booked at your counter. The average price is around S/ 238. elhuacachinero.com/

Hotels Huacachina, Huacachina Sandboard, Sandboard Huacachina, Huacachina Peru, Huacachina dunes

Hostería Suiza***

This quiet hotel is located at the end of the road parallel to the lagoon and has an outdoor swimming pool with a bar, solarium and an a la carte restaurant. The rooms are clean and bright, with private bathroom, cable TV, fan and safe. There is also a laundry and ironing service. The room rounds the S/ 258.

Huacachina Sandboard, Sandboard Huacachina, Huacachina Peru, Huacachina dunes

Hostal Curasi***

Close to the Huacachina lagoon is Hostal Curasi, a modern hostel with a central swimming pool next to the rooms and a small bar that offers drinks all day long. In the mornings the volume of the bar music can be a bit annoying. The rooms have their own bathroom, fan and free wifi. Tours to the dunes can be booked at your counter. The price of the room is about S/ 160. huacachinacurasi.com/

Huacachina Sandboard, Sandboard Huacachina, Huacachina Peru, Huacachina dunes

In Huacachina we can also find some cheap accommodations with good conditions. If you are looking for rest, this choice may not be the best option, since the clients is mainly young people who want to have fun and have fun.

The Upcycled Hostel

This simple hostel located in the access to Huacachina has a central swimming pool that surrounds the guest rooms. The price of the night -which is around the S/ 50- includes breakfast and free wifi. It has a common room with book exchange and internet access.

Huacachina Sandboard, Sandboard Huacachina, Huacachina Peru, Huacachina dunes

Huacachina Backpackers House

A few steps away from the Huacachina lagoon is this inexpensive and simple Hostel, which has a restaurant with outdoor tables and shared rooms. The hostel also organizes tours to the dunes for sandboarding. The price does not include breakfast and private bathrooms. Approximately S/ 23. hucachinaperu.pe/

Huacachina Sandboard, Sandboard Huacachina, Huacachina Peru, Huacachina dunes

Banana's Adventure

Also in the heart of the Huacachina is the Banana's Adventure, a beautiful hostel that in one of its packages includes an activity and breakfast per person. (Activities offered are: sand car and sandboarding tours, city tour with visit to the winery and chocolates factory Helena, or barbecue at night). In its interior zone it has an outdoor swimming pool and a bar where you can eat and drink during the day and night. The price is around S/52. bananasadventure.com/

Huacachina Sandboard, Sandboard Huacachina, Huacachina Peru, Huacachina dunes

Leisure in Huacachina & Drinks

As we mentioned at the beginning of the post, most of the accommodations have bars with music in which you can socialize and have a few drinks until late at night. However, if you want something more of' 'action' there are some establishments in Huacachina with the concept of' disco and high volume music. We give you a couple of alternatives.

The Huacafuckingchina

This premises located in the heart of Huacahina has an outdoor terrace ideal for eating pizzas, burguers or traditional food (anticuchos, lomo saltado, causas) and some of their cocktails based on different national and international drinks. Inside you can find a good atmosphere with music of all kinds, such as Latin or electronic. (Photo Facebook Huacafuckingchina).

Pubs in Huacachina, Huacachina Sandboard, Sandboard Huacachina, Huacachina Peru, Huacachina dunes

The Silva House Discoteca 

This accommodation has its own party room with live music, swimming pool and a pleasant atmosphere to spend the night having a few drinks. Obviously rest is not what this establishment offers, of which you can also do the classic sandbox tours, but the fun is assured.

pubs in Huacachina, Huacachina Sandboard, Sandboard Huacachina, Huacachina Peru, Huacachina dunes

The Pub

Simple and inexpensive establishment in which you can eat a menu based on local foods such as loin saltado, causes, pizzas, among others. The atmosphere is calmer than the above mentioned premises and is ideal for having a few beers and chatting on its terrace overlooking the lake.

pubs in Huacachina, Huacachina Sandboard, Sandboard Huacachina, Huacachina Peru, Huacachina dunes

We hope that with this info you can spend a pleasant day in this beautiful oasis in the middle of the desert. After relaxing, it is time to take our gear and continue on the path that, if it is the classic southern route, will take us to the enigmatic Nazca Lines.

Esteban García, Peru Travels Blog
December 2017

viernes, 29 de diciembre de 2017

National Cultural Heritage declared to Clean Ditches "Sequía Pitsé" (Áncash)

The ritual celebration of the ancashina community of Raquia called Clean of irrigation ditches "Sequía Pitsé", oriented since pre-Hispanic times to prepare irrigation channels for each agricultural period, was declared Cultural Heritage of the Nation today by the Ministry of Culture.

Developed in the Raquia community, in the fertile valley of Fortaleza, Ancash department, at an altitude of 2,100 masl, the "Pitsé Ditch Cleanup" aims to prepare the local water distribution system and clear its path so that it flows into the fields without interruption.

Cleaning of irrigation ditches Pitsé Ditch, Cultural Heritage of the Nation
Photo by Roberto Aldave
The tradition, which takes place annually between the 3rd and 6th of February, activates an ancient system of work called "ayni", as well as forms of reciprocity with nature and allows us to maintain a set of values, knowledge and practices associated with the efficient use of water and respect for the environment.

La Limpia de Acequias "Sequia Pitsé" is also a typical celebration of Andean agricultural societies that has different denominations throughout the country, among them, Fiesta del Agua, Yaku Raymi and Champería.

Pitsé Ditch Drying Ditch Cleaning
Photo by Roberto Aldave
These festivities annually repeat a custom of pre-Hispanic origin that has been seen in several cultures such as the Nasca, whose ritual symbolism refers to the fertilization of the earth (the Mama Pacha) by new water, and at the beginning of a new agricultural cycle.

Esteban García. Peru Travels Blog
December 2017

5 organizations to volunteer in Peru

Perhaps you are thinking of learning more about Peru and want to contribute to improving the way of life in their communities. There are a good number of non-profit organizations in the country that allow young volunteers from all countries to increase their work experience while experiencing vulnerable areas in need of international assistance.

If you are foreigner, young and dare to take the leap of coming to this country, volunteering can bring you multiple benefits. On the one hand, make friends, expand your network of contacts, discover a new way of looking at the world, support with your experiences and knowledge the workers of your city or community of residence; and on the other hand, gain experience and add this work to your resume.

In Peru there are a large number of organizations who offer this volunteer service and they usually provide transportation, orientation, volunteer placement, meals and emergency services.

In relation to your professional career you will be able to choose which one is more in tune with your preferences and which of them may be the best option to spend those months in Peru. Remember that in some communities or cities of Peru there is a high rate of poverty and chronic malnutrition, but we are sure that with the right disposition you will live beautiful stories and experiences.

1. Kallpa

Kallpa defines itself as a creative and innovative organization, committed to human development that seeks to improve the quality of life of children and adolescents on the coast, mountains and jungle of Peru.

It work focuses on the motivation, organization and participation of the family and community, the transfer of strategies with quality and sustainability, the understanding of interculturality, participation in public and private networks, and the propositional capacity in social policies in health and education. Web: http://www.kallpa.org.pe/; Mail: peru@kallpa.org.pe; Phone: +51 (01) 224 3344.
Web: kallpa.org.pe/webnueva/

organizations to volunteer in Peru, Kallpa Peru, Peru Volunteer

2. Manuela Ramos

This is a nonprofit feminist organization founded in 1978 with a mission to defend women's rights and improve their quality of life. It seeks the empowerment of women from a perspective committed to social justice, democratic values and respect for human rights. Web: www.manuela.org.pe. Headquarters: Av. Juan Pablo Fernandini Nº 1550, Pueblo Libre. Mail: postmast@manuela.org.pe. Telephone: +51 (01)423 8840. Facebook.

Peru Volunteers, Organizations Non profit Peru, Volunteers Peru

3. Escaes

The non-profit organization Escuela Campesina de Educación y Salud (ESCAES) aims to train young, creative and responsible peasant leaders who are committed to change and development in their communities. They work in the Piura and Cajamarca areas. Web: http://escaes.net/. Headquarters: Jr. Junín 589, Magdalena del Mar. Mail. administracion@escaes.net Telephone: +51 (01)4613047.

Peru Volunteers, Organizations Non profit Peru, Volunteers Peru

4. Tierra de Niños

Tierra de Niños (TdN) "Children's Land", promotes and strengthens the autonomy and social protagonism from and with children and young people in relation to other social actors, articulated to local empowerment processes that influence public policies in favor of children and young people of the poor populations of Peru. Web: www.tierradeninos.org. Headquarters: Av Angamos 351, Interior 1502, Miraflores. Lima. Mail: tierradeninos@tierradeninos.org. Telephone: +51 (01)44 43462. Facebook.

Peru Volunteers, Organizations Non profit Peru, Volunteers Peru

5. Cuso International

Canadian-born CUSO is an international development organization whose actions focus on reducing poverty and inequality through training and empowerment of volunteers. Web: www.cusointernational.org. Headquarters: 44 Eccles St # 200. K1R 6S4 Ottawa. Mail: questions@cusointernacional.org. Telephone: +1 888 434 2876. Facebook.

Peru Volunteers, Organizations Non profit Peru, Volunteers Peru

In addition to those already mentioned, South American Explorers (SAE) has a database of volunteer organizations with lists of foreign volunteers in their offices in Lima and Cusco. Several of them accept volunteers by contacting us in advance. We can quote several as:

Cross-Cultural Solutions offers educational and social service projects in Lima and Ayacucho. www.crossculturalsolutions.org

ADRA (Headquarters: 770 Angamos Oeste Avenue, Miraflores) Development Agency or with projects related to health, education and agriculture. www.adra.org.pe

Earthwatch Institute that supports scientists on archaeological missions and other expeditions to the Amazon and Andes. earthwatch.org/expeditions

Global Crossroad. Volunteer programs in the Andes with language teaching, homestay and volunteer work. www.globalcrossroad.com

Hope Foundation. Education and health work in the Peruvian Andes. www.stichtinghope.org

AECID. The Spanish Cooperation Agency, which carries out several works in Peru and has been implementing several development projects in the country. www.aecid.org.pe

Volunteers for Peace. Volunteer work camps in Lima or Ayacucho. Part of the fees can be paid directly to the communities involved. vfp.org/

Kiya Survivors. Positive Action is responsible for volunteering up to six months as teachers and therapists for children with special needs. The work takes place in Cusco, Urubamba, the Sacred Valley and Mancora. www.kiyasurvivors.org

We hope that if you take the plunge of spending a few months as a volunteer, your stay here will be most rewarding. The warmth of the humble people in Peru is one of its greatest treasures. I'm sure you're not disappointed in the experience.

Esteban García, Peru Travels Blog
December 2017

miércoles, 13 de diciembre de 2017

Peru is voted 'Best Culinary Destination' for the sixth consecutive year

Peruvian gastronomy does not stop reaping success in the world. The evidence is irrefutable. Peru stands for the sixth consecutive year with the award of' 'Best Culinary Destination' by the World Travel Awards (WTA), which in this last edition will be held in the city of Phu Quoc, Vietnam.

Likewise, the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, in Cusco, won the prize for' Best Tourist Attraction' in 2017. The WTAs give this awards based on the organization's online voting, which involves tourism professionals, industry entrepreneurs and travelers from around the world.

Peruvian Gastronomy Sixth Consecutive Year

Isabella Falco, director of Country Image of Promperú, said that "these recognitions we receive as a country are the result of the work we are doing to promote our tourist resources and our gastronomy".

In statements to the Andina news agency, Falco assured that these awards place Peru in the eyes of the world, especially the travel industry's elite.

It is worth noting that according to a study carried out by Promperú, the main reason to visit Peru is to visit the citadel of Machu Picchu. However, gastronomy is already among the motivating aspects of travel. 82% of tourists visiting the country consider it a gastronomic destination.

A recent news item published in the Peruvian press also states that due to this growing recognition of local gastronomy, Promperú is preparing a delegation to show the virtues of national dishes to visitors who come to Russia to see the Football World Cup, that takes the Inca team to this competition after 36 years of absence.

There are currently three Peruvian restaurants on the list of' The '50Best Restaurants in the World'. These are: Central, in fifth place; Maido, in 8th place and Astrid & Gaston, in 33rd. In addition, 10 restaurants are on the Top '50Best Restaurants in Latin America' list. These include Maido, Central, Astrid & Gastón, Osso Carnicería and Salumería, among others.

So now you know. If you want to come to know Machu Picchu and the beauty of the Sacred Valley, give yourself the time to make a reservation in one of these restaurants (or go for example to a Market to taste a good ceviche for no more than S/ 20), and enjoy one of the most spectacular gastronomies of the planet.

Esteban García, Peru Travels Blog
December 2017

domingo, 10 de diciembre de 2017

Peruvian Economy Improves in 2018 with 4.2% Growth

The Peruvian economy during 2017 came with a "lukewarm" growth after several years of an exponential increase in GDP of around 8%. Starting in 2008 - just when the international financial crisis hit several of the most powerful countries in the world - Peru experienced the well-known "Peruvian economic miracle".

The causes of this fall in 2017 had to do with exogenous factors such as the fall in the price of metals (some of Peru's main economic livelihoods), and the lower demand for traditional and non-traditional products from the country's two main trading partners: the United States and China.

Peruvian economy 2018, mining sector 2018, Mining 2018, Mining 2018

However, internal factors were the ones that hit this 2017 that is leaving with greater impetus. The natural disasters that devastated the northern part of the country at the beginning of the year were compounded by other mitigating factors such as the well-known case of corruption Lava Jato (who sprayed the main construction companies in the country) and the lack of understanding between the executive and legislative branches (the latter dominated by the Fujimori party) that ended with the change of cabinet.

All of this paralyzed the main infrastructure works that were being carried out, slowed spending and fostered mistrust among foreign investors, who saw a State unable to cope with all these disasters that undermined its response capacity.

By 2018, the situation seems to be coming to an end. According to the Quarterly Macroeconomic Report of the Economic Studies Area of the Banco de Crédito del Perú (BCP), the growth estimate for 2018 is 4.2% of GDP, if the international economic environment remains favorable.

In addition, domestic demand and private investment could grow to 5% and 6%, respectively. The construction sector -which had remained in standby for the aforementioned reasons- will advance 9% and profits and investment in the Mining sector will be favored by higher international prices.

An important factor for this result will be the expansion of the mining projects currently under way: Toquepala Phase II (copper) and Marcona (iron). In addition, it is expected that next year works will begin on the Mina Justa copper projects (US$ 1,270 million) and the expansion of Toromocho (US$ 1,300 million).

Peruvian economy 2018, mining sector 2018, Mining 2018, Mining 2018

Of note in the construction sector is the reconstruction of the coastal El Niño phenomenon, the construction works for the 2019 Pan American Games, the progress on Line 2 of the Metro (U$ 400 million) and Talara Refinery (U$ 1.1 billion), as well as the land removal works for the expansion of the Jorge Chávez International Airport (US$ 100 million), to begin in the second half of 2018.

In addition, the real estate market would benefit from a reduction in the initial quota for the purchase of a second home. As for private investment, this will grow by about 6%, while private consumption will grow by 3.3%.

World Cup qualifier generates greater domestic consumption

Peru's recent ranking for the 2018 Football World Cup in Russia may contribute to higher household consumption, but this will not be generalized, so it is estimated that the Commerce sector will grow around 3% next year.

Regarding inflation, the bank assures that it will go from 1.6% in 2017 to 2.5% in 2018. In addition, it forecasts that the exchange rate for next year will remain within the range of S/ 3.20 and S/ 3.25, with risk even to appreciation.

Regarding monetary policy, the base scenario considers that the reference rate will remain at its current level of 3.25% in the coming months, although with a probability of up to 30% that the Central Bank will surprise with a new rate cut.

Finally, the BCP's Quarterly Macroeconomic Report indicates that GDP for 2018 could be lower than projected (4.2%), if political noise increases and business confidence deteriorates significantly, there is a significant under-execution in public investment destined for reconstruction by El Niño or an abrupt reversal of capital flows is generated.

For all these reasons I think we can say that we are at a good time to invest in Peru; at a time when after a brief period of recession, it seems that the country is taking encouragement to reach quotas that positioned it a few years ago, as one of the best countries to carry out an international investment.

Esteban García, Peru Travels Blog
December 2018

miércoles, 6 de diciembre de 2017

The day that Paco de Lucía met Peruvian cajon

There are days and moments in which a series of magical events follow one another to bring us a unique coincidence that can change the course of music history.

What do we mean after this blistering phrase? It means that on the night of March 23,1977, all the circumstances took place for the flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucía to get to know the Peruvian cajón (Peruvian box) on a visit to Lima on the occasion of a closing a tour he was making with his band throughout South America.

We have been able to see so much of the Peruvian cajón adapted to flamenco in the infancy of the last generation of Spaniards and we will have heard it in those nights when Tve2 broadcast flamenco programs. So by force of habit we came to believe that the cajón was an instrument native of Spain.

Nothing could be further from the truth. The Peruvian cajón is part of the Afro-Peruvian music tradition and its use has been documented in the traditions of this community since the mid-19th century.

As has happened with black slaves all over the world, creativity in celebrating their parties and rescuing the sounds of their native Africa led them to use instruments with whatever they had at hand, such as a little wooden box bitten with a stick, donkey's jaw, or a simple wooden box.

According to the Afro-Peruvian singer and former minister of culture, Susana Baca, Paco de Lucía's first contact with the Peruvian cajón took place at a party organized by the Spanish Embassy in Lima, in which Chabuca Granda, the most international performer of the moment in Peru, was invited as guest of honor.

She was accompanied by the well-known Afro-Peruvian percussionist Caitro Soto, who brought with him a drawer made by himself.

It wasn't until the evening when Susana Baca joined the celebration that merged flamenco with Afro-Peruvian music into one. In that house in the bohemian district of Barranco was sung, danced and mixed rhythms such as landó, festejo, alegrías and bulerías. It is then that the Brazilian percussionist who accompanied Paco de Lucía, Rubem Dantas, gets the cajón and includes it in the party. It is the origin of the flamenco cajón.

Paco de Lucia cajon peruano, peruvian cajon, peruvian box, origin of the flamenco box

According to Paco de Lucía himself, years later, both he and Dantas realized that the cajón was the ideal percussion of flamenco "because the palmas (claps) do not have the consistency (...) and has the high-pitched sound of a bailaor's heel and the bass of a plant".

That Peruvian cajón for which the guitarist paid 12,000 pesetas (US$ 12 aprox at current price, something excessive for that period), began to be present in all the artist's shows and, since then, ran through the musical atmosphere of the time in Spain as a trail of gunpowder. Paco de Lucía proudly stated that six months after arriving in Madrid, in all the flamenco houses in Spain there was a cajón.

The variations that have allowed the internationalisation of the flamenco cajón are the use of strings in its interior -which give it greater vibration- and the way in which the acoustic cover is fixed to the structure.

Paco de Lucia cajon peruano, peruvian cajon, peruvian box, origin of the flamenco box

In Peru the cajón is recognized as a National Cultural Heritage and for Peruvians it is a sign of pride that flamenco has adapted its rhythms. Flamenco owes a lot to the cajón, and maestro Paco, from wherever he is, keeps tapping to the rhythm he launched that many years ago sounded clear and clear as a Spanish bulería.

Ricardo Armestar, Peru Travels Blog
December 2017

miércoles, 29 de noviembre de 2017

Bus labor Strike in Aguas Calientes generates that visitors climb on foot to Machu Picchu

Tourists who arrived in Machu Picchu Town today (Aguas Calientes) were surprised to be informed that the 24 buses of Consettur company were without service, making it impossible to climb the citadel of Machu Picchu along the way Hiram Bingham.

But that is not all. The railway that connects Ollantaytambo with Aguas Calientes was blocked at the height of the town of Korihuayrachina, which affected the tourists who began their journey at 5:00 am from Cusco. Only after 25 minutes Peru Rail, Transandino officials and the police removed the stones from the tracks.

As reported by Consettur in the middle of today afternoon, the services were suspended due to "the lack of security and security, by the situation and order of the judge of Santiago."

Recall that this situation of tension between the workers of Consettur began on October 19 with the decision of Judge Bony Eve Gamarra, the first mixed court of Santiago, to admit the entry of 12 buses of the company Machupicchu Pueblo, to cover the Hiram Bingham route, which separates the population from the Wonder of the World.

Machu Picchu Strikes, Bus Strike Machu Picchu
Buses that go up to MAPI without service (Photo: El Comercio)
This would break the monopoly situation that the Consettur has had since 1995.

The tourists decided to cover the 6-KM walk, which requires about an hour and a half. A tired road if we take into account that then it should take about two hours to see the Machu Picchu and its enclosures, plus another optional hour and a half approximately if you want to make the ascent to Huayna Picchu.

Bad image abroad

The problems that this strike is generating have already been denounced by the National Chamber of Tourism (CANATUR), which sees as unacceptable that these types of conflicts are created around the main icon of the country.

Similarly, they ask the relevant authorities of the State to take actions that allow a comprehensive and final correction of the conflict with the transport company Consettur, which is causing "a deterioration in the satisfaction of tourists in their visit to Machu Picchu "

Machu Picchu Strikes, Bus Strike Machu Picchu
Demonstrators in favor and against entry of second bus company (El Comercio)
According to an official CANATUR communiqué, these disputes between private transportation companies are involving tourists, with the feeling of insecurity, abuse and exposure to the danger that they are living in this space of conflict.

"We demand a solution for the good of legality, order, security of visitors and the image of the country, which must be understood as of national interest and its protection is the duty of the State," the letter concludes.

According to data from the newspaper El Comercio, the buses would be restoring their activities for tomorrow with total normality.

It remains to be seen that this conflict is resolved with the consensus of both parties and without harming the visitor, who pays a high price for knowing the wonder of Machu Picchu without inconvenience and with the sole objective of having a memorable memory. Let's hope so.

Esteban, Peru Travels Blog
November 2017

jueves, 16 de noviembre de 2017

Peru qualifies for the World Cup after 36 years of absence

Peru achieved what seemed impossible for 36 long years and won the 32nd place to access the long-awaited Russia World Cup 2018.

After a long and complicated South American qualification, Peru took all the claw of which showed in recent meetings and managed to prevail by a score of 2-0 against a disoriented New Zealand by the repechage that gave him the 5th place in the playoffs.

The team led by Ricardo 'El Tigre' Gareca has been shown as the most compact picture of recent years with great players like Paolo Guerrero (suspended for giving a boost in an anti-doping control), Jefferson Farfán, Christian Cueva or Christian Ramos.

In fact, the two goals that have brought Peru to the 2018 World Cup in Russia last night were those of Jefferson Farfán in the 27th minute and Christian Ramos in the 64th minute of the match.

Peru World Cup Russia 2018

The atmosphere that we lived in the National Stadium of the city of Lima was historic, with a large number of fans crying literally after the second goal of their selection. It is not surprising.

The great majority of the attendees - less than 36 years old - had never seen the Peruvian team playing a World Cup, and only knew past images of the old glories of the last great Peruvian team captained by the soccer player Teófilo Cubillas.

The Inca table was not a World Cup from Spain 82, that is why many Peruvians who are around 40 years old have as a memory of their childhood associated with home football, the figure of Naranjito.

Peru World Cup Russia 2018

With the arrival to the World Cup in Russia of Peru, a black stage in the country's soccer ends, which ended with the denunciations of several leaders involved in corruption irregularities in FIFA.

Today still hangover in the country (no doubt favored by the measure of the Executive chaired by Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, to declare a non-working day if he won the selection).

Tomorrow people from all regions of the country will go to work and continue with their work routine. With a difference. This time they will do it with a big smile on their faces.

Esteban García, Peru Travels Blog
November 2017

martes, 14 de noviembre de 2017

Enjoy the Pisco Route of the city of Ica

One of the great tourist attractions of Ica are undoubtedly its more than 85 artisan wineries, known nationally and internationally for being the main producers of wine and pisco in the country.

In many stores in the city center you can buy bottles of this flag drink, although we will always recommend that you go to the wineries itself to taste 'in situ' the flavor of a good Peruvian Pisco.

The best dates to carry out this Pisco Route in the city of Ica are during the collection of the grape, between the month of February and the beginning of April.

Some of the wineries are located within the residential areas of Los Aquijes and San Juan Bautista, which can be reached from Ica by taxi for about S/ 8 (US$ 2,5) or by colectivo (a kind of taxi that collects several people) by S / 1, 5.

The colectivos that travel toward Los Aquijes depart from the intersection of 2 de Mayo and Ayacucho streets; while those who go to San Juan Bautista leave from the corner of the Municipality with Loreto.

Hacienda La Caravedo de Ica

About 25 minutes by car from the city of Ica, is the oldest distillery in America, La Caravedo, which currently retains that ancestral knowledge of the distillate with the most modern technologies.

The winery works with the eight types of grapes that are cultivated in the valley where highlighting the varieties of quebranta, muscatel, italia or torontel. The emblem of this winery is Pisco Portón, one of the most recognized in the country. piscoporton.com/

Pisco Route Ica, Pisco Ica, Wineries Pisco

Lazo Craft Winery

This winery is located in the hamlet of Camino de Reyes. The history of this classic iqueña winery goes back to the time of the colony and has its own legend and tradition, such as the harvest that takes place in March carried out by the most beautiful women in the Valley.

Lazo retains in its cellar of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries a rustic museum where you can visit a collection of mummified trophy heads, ceramics, goldsmiths, pre-Hispanic mantles or paintings.

Pisco Route Ica, Pisco Ica, Wineries Pisco

El Catador Winery

Another of the classic wineries of the city of Ica is El Catador, which is undoubtedly one of the busiest for both domestic and foreign tourists. The winery that is located in the Tres Esquinas hamlet in the district of Subtanjalla, holds several national awards for innovative products such as the semi-prepared Pisco Sour and La Fina Pisco Cream. The winery has a restaurant that prepares local dishes and usually offers live music shows.

Pisco Route Ica, Pisco Ica, Wineries Pisco

Lovera Craft Winery

This family winery founded in 1867 is located in the Aquijes district, in the Garganto hamlet, a place recognized by the locals as the best district for the production of wine and pisco. The owners of the winery make visits in which they show how to prepare pisco and other Ica liquors in the purest colonial style.

Pisco Route Ica, Pisco Ica, Wineries Pisco

Vista Alegre Winery

Picasso brothers came from Italy to Ica in 1850 to found 7 years later one of the most renowned wineries in the region. The fourth generation of the family has been modernizing the processes and today they have specialized technicians from Italy, France and Argentina.

Picasso wines and pisco are well known in the country, in addition to their pisco Sol de Ica, in its varieties of quebranta, acholado and muscatel, in addition to its piscos with perfect huaco shaped bottles for a gift. vistaalegre.com.pe/

Pisco Route Ica, Pisco Ica, Wineries Pisco

Ocucaje Winery

Ocucaje wines and piscos are among the most popular and best-selling in Peru, and they have achieved a great number of international awards. This family winery has been passed from generation to generation for 110 years.

The present large house and the stables that occupy the winery belonged to the Congregation of the Jesuits. The facilities are renovated and two new 2,000-liter computerized stills have been added. The winery is quite far away (Av. Principal s / n), about 30 km south of Ica from the Panamericana. Going by taxi can cost about S/ 35, although you can join groups that go there to lower costs.

Pisco Route Ica, Pisco Ica, Wineries Pisco

Tacama Winery

Like Ocucaje, Tacama's wines and piscos are a benchmark nationwide. This winery was also property of the Jesuits during the colony and the stables and the house are conserved. In a unique enclave for the production of wines and piscos, Tacama produces tons of high quality bottles for export and local consumption. tacama.com/

Pisco Route Ica, Pisco Ica, Wineries Pisco

Through this map you can guide and find more information about the aforementioned wineries:

If you still manage to stand or, at least without a slight wobble, we can regain strength in one of the largest oases in Latin America, the Huacachina.

Esteban García, Peru Travels Blog
November 2017

domingo, 12 de noviembre de 2017

Where to Eat & Going Out in Ica

In previous post we told you about the best Hotels in the city of Ica. Once replenished from fatigue, it is time to eat some regional dishes and get some fun in its pubs and bars.

Where to eat in Ica 

There are good options to eat in Ica, both in the center of the city, and in some of the vineyards a little further away.

This is the case of Tambo Tacama Restaurant, a little away from the downtown of the city and located in the Hacienda Bodega de Tacama, between jars of wine and pisco. This beautiful place offers dishes from the regional cuisine of Ica, such as the spicy pallares verdes, the carapulcra iqueña, the salad of pallares, or a classic tacu tacu de pallares accompanied by a beef tenderloin or a good fish fillet.

Other coastal dishes such as ají de gallina or lomo saltado, are specialties of the house. Before entering the restaurant you can visit the hacienda or try some of its wines and piscostacama.com/

Restaurants in Ica, Where to eat in Ica, Ica Peru

Restaurant Don Fernando Gourmet is a beautiful red-bricked establishment located a few blocks away from the Plaza de Armas. The restaurant, in addition to regional dishes such as the lomo saltado or the tacu tacu, offers bakery products and coffees, as well as some delicious sanguches of different varieties. Telephone: +51 (056) 215792.

Restaurants in Ica, Where to eat in Ica, Ica Peru

Vegetarians can find a choice very close to the plaza, El Paraiso, a small restaurant with low prices and a small menu of traditional dishes such as the loin, the steak a la pobre or the milanesa, all made with soya meat. They also offer a varied assorted juice list (they do not sell alcohol). Mobile phone: +51 956085108.

El Otro Peñoncito is probably the most historic restaurant in Ica, inaugurated in 1968 and decorated with wooden walls and palm trees, this establishment has a rich cuisine among which stand out its marine dishes and other regional dishes such as the lomo saltado, the chicken a la Iqueña (chicken breast stuffed with pecan sauce and pisco) or grilled steak with white sauce and asparagus. In his letter can also found vegetarian dishes. The place is also known for its Pisco sours.

Restaurants in Ica, Where to eat in Ica, Ica Peru

Restaurant Venezia is a pizzeria located very close to the Plaza of Ica, with family atmosphere and all kinds of Italian dishes, such as pasta or lasagnas, although they also have a good selection of grilled meats. It is recommended to go ahead because many dishes are cooked with the products of the day at the request of the client.

The owner's sympathy is well known, he always tries to make the stay of his clients as pleasant as possible. restaurantvenezia.com/

Restaurants in Ica, Where to eat in Ica, Ica Peru

Where going out in Ica

In general, the nightlife in Ica is pretty limited. The best leisure option is in the same hostels or in some of the bars and pubs that are in the Huacachina. If you are staying in the city center there are a couple of options next to the Plaza de Armas so you can have a drink or a traditional pisco.

Dr. Boom is a venue relatively close to the Plaza de Armas. A wide space where listen from electronic music to other styles such as reggaetton.

Going out Ica, Discoteques Ica, Pubs Ica, Ica Peru

The Who Ultrabar is undoubtedly the best nightclub in the city to go out for drinks. With a "neoclassical" decoration it is a clean place with a good variety of drinks and musical styles.

Going out Ica, Discoteques Ica, Pubs Ica, Ica Peru

Conga's Bar is right in front of The Who and is a good option to listen to live salsa bands. In addition to the salsa you can dance to another series of Latin rhythms such as reggaeton or bachata.

Going out Ica, Discoteques Ica, Pubs Ica, Ica Peru

In our next post we will take a pisco in one of the 85 artisanal wineries that exist in Ica. Join us to know the famous Pisco Route.

Esteban García, Peru Travels Blog
November 2017

sábado, 11 de noviembre de 2017

Where to Stay in Ica

In previous post we wrote about the main touristic attractions of the City of Ica. We would like this time tell you about the best hotels in Ica.

Although Ica offers a wide range of accommodation and its geographical location as a point to continue the journey towards the well-known Nazca Lines, the prices of the fares tend to double or even triple, in some cases, during high season.

We recommend that you write directly to your agencies or contact the hotels to verify the final price.
Close to the Plaza de Armas there are several cheap hotels that fulfills all your requeriments and expectations if you are looking just a place to sleep.

Best Hotels in Ica
Hotel La Posada del Sol

This hotel, located very close to the Plaza de Armas and the bus station, is relatively new and fulfills the aforementioned objective. The personal service is pretty attentive and the rooms have air conditioning and cable TV 21 "In addition it has a small restaurant. Prices range from S / 40 (US$ 12) the single room to S / 70 (US$ 21) the triple room. Telephone: +51 (056) 238446. Mobile: 999 562 972

Best Hotels in Ica, Where to Stay Ica

Hotel El Palacio del Sol

We continue with sunny hotel names to tell you about another option close to the Plaza de Armas. This hotel fulfills the expectations of cleanliness and service. It has fans in its rooms and also offers internet and cable TV. The prices of the rooms are also between S / 40 (single room) and S / 60 (double room). Telephone: +51 (056) 221703 - (056) 221780. Mail: hotelpalaciodelsol.ica@hotmail.com

Best Hotels in Ica, Where to Stay Ica

Hotel Arameli

This downtown hotel is very close to the Plaza de Armas and the bus stations. It is a simple hotel, clean, with basic services: fan, cable TV. A single room is around S / 30 (US$ 9,30). Breakfast is not included. Telephone +51 (056) 239 107

Best Hotels in Ica, Where to Stay Ica

On the other hand there are also a wide range of mid-range hotels in the city of Ica. These hotels are the ones that have proliferated most in the city after the important tourist development that the area is experiencing.

Gran Hotel Ica ***

The Gran Hotel Ica is an excellent accommodation option just two blocks from the Plaza de Armas. This modern hotel has large and well decorated rooms, with Wi-Fi, cable TV and a counter where you can book several tours and trips around the city. The Sanctuary of the Lord of Luren is 700 meters from its location. Other amenities include free parking. hotelesenica.pe/gran-hotel-ica/

Best Hotels in Ica, Where to Stay Ica

Hotel Sol de Ica ***

Through its location, the amenities it offers (such as air-conditioned rooms, cable TV), its simple but detailed decoration, the tranquility of its pool and its value for money, make this hotel one of the best options to enjoy the attractions of Ica. The hotel has 55 rooms and the price of a double room is around S / 175 (approx US$ 54). hotelsoldeica.com/

Best Hotels in Ica, Where to Stay Ica

Hotel Matryoshka ***

Hotel Matryoshka is a modern hotel just 3 km from the Plaza de Armas. The hotel has all the comforts, such as rooms with private bathroom, with bath or shower, wifi connection, cable TV, as well as a restaurant and a bar. The premise is located to a 3 km from Huacachina Oasis. The price of a double room is around S / 90 (US$ 27). matryoshkaica.online/

Best Hotels in Ica, Where to Stay Ica

If after knowing these hotels you are looking for a more exclusive accommodation there are also hotels in Ica that can meet your expectations. Some of the best known are:

Hotel Las Dunas ****

Undoubtedly the best hotel in Ica for its facilities with spa with whirlpool, tennis court, minigolf, three swimming pools with slide and its large rooms with high ceilings and vaulted with exposed brick.

It is also one of the best hotels in Peru to go with the family, as it has an exclusive space in the shape of a castle for the little ones. Another point to highlight is its proximity to the dunes, where customers can practice sandboarding and other sports. The double room is around S / 300 (US$ 92,5). Lasdunashotel.com/

Best Hotels in Ica, Where to Stay Ica

Hotel Villa de Valverde ***

Close to our previous recommendation is the Hotel Villa de Valverde, a nice hotel with swimming pool that has a restaurant, fitness center, Wi-Fi connection and rooms with private bathroom, cable TV and views of the pool. At the counter you can find tourist information, as well as luggage storage, playground and free parking. The double room has an approximate price of S / 260 (US$ 80). villadevalverdehotel.com.pe/

Best Hotels in Ica, Where to Stay Ica

Hotel Viñas Queirolo****

Although it is located 18 km from the Plaza de Ica, the Hotel Viñas Queirolo is located in a unique landscape, surrounded by 400 hectares of vineyards, with a building inspired by the Republican period and comfortable rooms with high ceilings.

You can make guided tours of the vineyards during the sunset and participate in the pisco or wine tastings led by the sommelier Fiorella Alarcón. Its swimming pool and the incomparable setting in which it is located, causes a sensation of peace to its visitors and we could say that it is another of the best options to sleep in Ica. The double room revolves around the S / 325 (US$ 325). hotelvinasqueirolo.com/

Once replenished from fatigue, in next post we will tell you where to eat and going out to have fun in the city of Ica.

Esteban García, Peru Travels Blog
November 2017