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Posts tagged ‘South America’

Photo Essay: Paracas & El Carmen

We traveled north up the Peruvian Pacific coast, first stopping at the Islas Balestas near the town of Paracas, followed by the Afro-Peruvian village of El Carmen which lies in the province of Chincha. Peru has many influences including Italian, Spanish, Japanese and African. Chincha and especially El Carmen are at the center of Afro-Peruvian culture. From native drumming on the cajon (a drum made out of a box) to African-inspired unique dishes, you can feel the rhythm in this dusty yet charming town.

The history of El Carmen dates back many years ago when the Africans first immigrated to Peru and were enslaved to work on local haciendas (farm estates). The culture was born out of that time and has remained strong today. Afro-Peruvian dancing and music, exemplified by festivals like the Verano Negra or the Festival de Danzas Negras (held in February & November, respectively), remain at the core of El Carmen.

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Photo Essay: Pisco tasting in Ica & discovering the mystery of Nazca

Pisco, sand dunes and ancient, mysterious lines carved into the desert floor. These are the first things that come to mind when I think of the southern Peruvian coast. The area around Ica, Peru offers up some striking sand dunes that will make you feel like you are in the Sahara.

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Photo essay: heading south; Bolivia’s wine country in Tarija & Rosilla

We took a plane from La Paz, Bolivia down south to the Bolivian wine country to a city called Tarija. The south of Bolivia often gets slighted by the more famous and larger cities in the country like Sucre or La Paz. If you find yourself tired of the dirt, noise or high altitude associated with these other locales, why not hop on a quick flight to sunny, laid-back Tarija and its surrounds? Vineyards, bodegas, and dry desert rural valleys are calling you!

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Recommendation activity: plane ride over the Nazca lines in Peru

The mysterious Nazca lines of Peru. Surely you've seen them in National Geographic or watched them on Discovery channel at some point in your life. In case you haven't or maybe you have and you forgot, let me jog your memory. These lines, named a UNESCO world heritage site, are located in the Nazca desert in the south of Peru between the towns of Nazca and Palpa.

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Recommendation: Llama pack backpacker in Urubamba, Peru

f you are planning to visit the sacred valley and want an ideal place to base yourself, look no further than Llama pack backpacker hostel in Urubamba. I recommend stopping in this town for a few nights. Cusco has some nice things to see & is worth your time too but the sacred valley is absolutely gorgeous. If you are debating about spending some time here, stop wondering and hop on a bus to Urubamba.

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Photo essay La Paz, Bolivia: revisited & our last hurrah

We loved the city of La Paz, Bolivia. We adored it so much that we went back about four times. You can read all about our first impressions of La Paz by clicking here. Our last two times in the city had us on a mission. One was to eat at the upscale restaurant, Gustu, owned by Noma Danish celebrity chef, Claus Meyer.

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Top 8 foods you must try in Lima, Peru

We stayed in Lima for a few weeks visiting the amazing sites of the city. There is just so much to see in terms of culture, weeks just simply wasn't enough time. Actually we didn't see any sites. I am totally lying. We did stay in the city for a while but all we really did was eat.

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Recommendation: Refugio Cochamo in La Junta, Chile

I want to start out by saying, this ain't your typical recommendation. Most of my reviews/recommendations are based around the fact that you will actually be visiting these places. For example, I would like to recommend a restaurant to you if you happen to be in Valparaiso, Chile or Buenos Aires, Argentina. There is a good chance that a lot of you have those places in your travel itinerary.

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Recommendation: Cafe Haussmann restaurant in Valdivia, Chile

Valdivia is home to many German immigrants. So are neighbor cities Puerto Varas & Puerto Montt. Apparently, Germans were encouraged by the Chilean government to immigrate here in 1848. And so they did. Goddam, those Germans are freaking everywhere! Not only have we met more German travelers in the past year than any other nationality but here they were even in food (and beer) form everywhere in Chile!

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Photo essay Lake Titicaca, Bolivia : From Copacabana to Isla del Sol

After exploring Llachon, we headed over to Copacabana, Bolivia. You can read all about our time on the Peruvian side of Lake Titicaca here. From Puno in Peru it is inexpensive and easy to catch a bus to Copacabana, Bolivia. If you pay a little more, you can have a tourist bus but it’s not really necessary. The trip will take you about 3 hours or maybe a little more depending on how busy the border crossing is. For a pretty inefficient country, we found the Bolivian border here surprisingly efficient!

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