Archive for the Cuisine & Dining Category

Peruvian Gastronomic Journey at Hilton Tokyo

Posted in Cuisine & Dining, Cultural Scenes, Events, News, Lifestyle with tags , , , , , , on July 14, 2012 by Sustainability Guru
Peru Gourmet promotion featuring top Peruvian chefs Javier Ampuero & Jose del Castillo

Peru Gourmet promotion featuring top Peruvian chefs     Javier Ampuero & Jose del Castillo

Last 2009, during the Peruvian Food Festival in Tokyo we honored the Guest Chefs Pedro Miguel Schiaffino & Toshiro Konishi at the Peru Embassy with comida criolla creations by our in-house Chef Percy Bustamante. This time, on our third year here in Tokyo, we are delighted to be part of the Peruvian Gastronomic Journey inaugurated at the Hilton Tokyo, this Festival month of July to kick off  the various celebrations of Peru’s National Day in Japan.

Photo courtesy of Noticias Nippon

The Chefs with Promperu Rep Camila Garcia & Peru Ambassador in Japan, Elard Escala

Hilton Tokyo and PROMPERU (Tourism Promotion Peru) jointly feature a special event, entitled ‘Fascinating Peru – Gourmet & Cultural Promotion’ for the sixth consecutive year at the Hilton Tokyo’s Buffet Restaurant ‘Checkers’ from Saturday, July 7 to Monday, July 16, 2012. During this event, guests  have an opportunity to feast on a wide range of authentic Peruvian dishes on the lunch buffet (3,900 JPY) and dinner buffet (6,000 JPY) specially prepared by Mr. Javier Ampuero Figueroa  and Mr. Jose del Castillo, guest chefs from Peru while enjoying traditional Peruvian drinks. Peruvian folklore’s live is available on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and a national holiday.

All photos courtesy of Noticias Nippon

Ceviche, Causa Limena and lotsa comida criolla!

Heir to ancient cultures from the time of the Inca Empire, Peru is a magical spot which involves one of the richest biodiversities on earth, along with ten world heritage sites including ‘Machu Picchu’ and the ‘Nazca Lines’. It is known for extensive Andean ingredients including potatoes, tomatoes, corns and chili pepper as well as botanical products and herbs that have high nutritional value and distinctive qualities. Try the emblematic Peruvian appetizer ‘Ceviche’, seafood and onion marinade with lemon and a traditional Peruvian dish ‘Lomo Saltado’ which was adopted into Chinese – Criollo Cuisine, stir fried with beef, tomato and potato. After the meal, delightful Peruvian sweets such as mousse using lúcuma, native Peruvian tropical fruit, ‘Mazamorra Morada’ made from purple corn and more will be available.

Superb iconic Peruvian desserts: Mazamorra Morada & Arroz con Leche

Superb iconic Peruvian desserts: Mazamorra Morada &   Arroz con Leche

To complement the culinary delights, Peruvian wine ‘Tacama’ very rare in the Japanese market, will be offered along with a wide range of Peruvian drinks such as ‘Chicha morada’, ‘Pisco Sour’ and ‘Inca Cola’. Beverages are available with an additional charge.

Ain't no Peru fiesta without Peruvian Pisco, wine and Inca Cola!

Ain’t no Peru fiesta without Peruvian Pisco,                           wine and Inca Cola!

Next on our agenda, is the Peruvian Festival in Kobe, Japan!

All photos courtesy of Noticias Nippon.

JOIN PERU DREAM TRIP  by Inkaterra, Peru’s Eco Pioneer and Conservation Leader since 1975; 100% Carbon Neutral travel and stay, any day departure. For more information and travel assistance to Peru, contact us. 

Finally, Fine Filipino Food Fest in Tokyo!

Posted in Cuisine & Dining, Cultural Scenes, Sustainable Events with tags , , on September 24, 2011 by Sustainability Guru

Philippine Food Fair 2011, Imperial Hotel Tokyo

Featuring the Doyenne of Philippine Cuisine, Ms. Glenda Barreto, showcasing culture and heritage through culinary art

I have always wanted to write about the under-rated, oft-misinterpreted or worse, misrepresented authentic Filipino cuisine, but failed to find the real deal, one that showcases the Philippines’ rich melange of culture, tradition and heritage, authentic in essence and presentation.

Ms. Glenda Barreto, Doyenne of Philippine Cuisine

I first met Ms. Glenda Barreto, Doyenne of Philippine Cuisine and  owner of Via Mare group during my Puerto Azul days, as she was a member of the Golf & Country Club and favorite caterer of Malacanang Palace. Till now, Via Mare is still the irreplaceable Filipino fare provider to most high level occasions not only in the Palace but also to prominent political and social figures of the country for their  impeccable cuisine and unparalleled service.

CBRT Conference 2011 Regional Food Showcase by Via Mare

At the National Conference on Community Based Rural Tourism this year, I had the honor to meet, listen and shared with my co-speaker, Ms. Barreto. I told her that every time I go home to Manila, I would always eat at Via Mare and bring back  special native desserts, cassava cake and two kinds of rice cakes –bibingka galapong & puto bumbong – all the way to Peru. I am so happy that their Landmark  Makati branch already know how to pack these delicacies for long-haul trips, thus, I still get the freshly-cooked flavors after 30 hours of travelling back to Lima! When we moved to Tokyo, Japan, I go home to the Philippines every so often for my Sustainable  Tourism initiatives and conference engagements, thus, I make sure I eat at Via Mare, probably the only excellent authentic Filipino cuisine that suits my palate, my only “other home” of comfort native food.

Philippine desserts by Via Mare: Jackfruit Tapioca, Cassava (yuca) Cake, Purple Yam (ube) pudding, Coconut-Pandan Rice pudding

At the Conference, Ms. Barreto presented on Special Regional Food Presentation & Exhibit where she talked about Food Knowledge, Effective Menu Planning, Recipes, Pricing and Personalized Service. She also showcased the actual Regional cooking at the venue and feted us to the best Conference dinner I have ever tasted!

On September 26- October 2, 2011, Tokyoites and nearby ‘burb-dwellers can savor the fine offering of Tita Glenda’s cuisine at the Philippine Food Fair at the Imperial Hotel Tokyo, together with stellar chefs, Myrna Seguismundo of Restaurant 9501 and patissier Jessie Sinsioco of Le Souffle. It will be seven full days of alluring and  scrumptious epicurean pleasures from the Philippines’ most fabulous, no less! Service offerings at the Imperial Viking Sal will be available during Luncheons and Dinner and Filipinos in Japan can partake in this rare opportunity of excellent Filipino cuisine at a special discount.

Lunch & Dinner Buffet of Filipino Fine Food at the Viking Sal, Imperial Hotel Tokyo

Eco Agri Sustainable Farm Showcase

Posted in Agri Tourism, Cuisine & Dining, Negros Occidental, Responsible Travel, Sustainable Tourism with tags , , , , on February 20, 2011 by Sustainability Guru

Eco Agri Sustainable Farm Showcase

I first got connected with Organic farmer & social entrepreneur Ramon “Chin-Chin” Uy, Jr. via Facebook, who organized the Organic Farmers Festival in Negros Occidental last November 2010 with Organic Na! Negros Producers and Retailers Association (ONOPRA).

with Eco Agri’s Nonoy Moraca, Chin-chin & Francine Uy of Fresh Start Organics

When I presented at The Negros Initiative Conference, Chin-chin, a young, dynamic Sustainable Farming advocate immediately signified his support as our partner NGO, and we couldn’t ask for a more genuine green and Sustainability proponent who will spearhead the Community Based Rural & Agro Tourism in Negros.

The family owned business RU Foundry and Machine Shop established Eco-Agri Development Foundation Inc. (EcoAgri) their NGO arm which was formed to handle all activities related to Sustainable Farming initiatives.

Negros Initiative partner, Eco Agri Foundation

EcoAgri manages the interactive showcase farm in Barangay Pahanocoy, Bacolod City, to include exhibit or demonstration of Vermiculture and Vermicomposting, Biogas System, Lemon Grass Oil production, Hydraulic Ram Pump for drinking water and irrigation without using fossil fuel driven engine or electric motor, the Windmill (pumping water for drinking and irrigation), among other technologies to support organic farming activities.

Vermicomposting, Biogas System, Lemon Grass Oil extractor, Hydraulic Ram Pump, Windmill

Eco-friendly Fresh Start Organic products, ideal for Eco hotels & resorts

Chin-chin with his wife Francine, ownFresh Start Organics, which offers a whole array organic products, fertilizer, produce, natural personal care products, ideal as eco-friendly hotel amenities, such as soaps, shampoos and lotions and of course, superb organic food produce and deli. A new green (organic) revolution in the making!

Negros Initiative partners with EcoAgri in their PURO program

As part of their mission and vision, EcoAgri with Fresh Start Organics will implement its tasks in partnership with the Negros Initiative in empowering communities for sustainable development to achieve food and environmental security, providing support services to the beneficiary communities, not only in Negros but the whole Philippines and beyond. Under its Skills Enhancement and Entrepreneurship Development (SEED) Program, they will assist out of school youths, individuals and community organizations in the fabrication of equipments and other technologies and develop them into entrepreneurs by providing additional capital and support facilities. Through their Ecological Management Program (EMP) they will assist in Waste management in partnership with the LGUs, Communities, Private Sector, Academe and NGOs; in Rain forestation, Biodiversity Protection and Conservation.

EcoAgri services include PURO (Produce UR Own- Organic), Research and development, manufacturing and installation of technologies to support organic farming activities of the partners and beneficiaries; Promotion and marketing of farmers organic products under Fair Trade conditions; Establishment of community-based organic fertilizer production and Community-based seed banking, collection and propagation of indigenous varieties of rice and vegetable and other crops.

These activities will be shared not only with the local communities but also with all like-minded visitors to Negros who seek a holistic, rustic-chic holiday experience. Interactive Organic Farm guided tour with sumptious organic meals are offered as well as pre-scheduled presentations of the EcoAgri Showcase Farm for interested local government units (LGUs), small and medium entreprises ( SMEs)  and social entrepreneurs worldwide.  Aside from these, several activities throughout the year will be organized such as Organic Farmer’s Market, Food Festivals and Organic Farming Exhibitions, of course incorporating Green Events ethos! Watch out for more yummy details!

Eco Agri Park & Fresh Start Organic Farm Tour with organic meals

Eco Agri Farm is a proponent of The Negros Initiative : a Sustainable Tourism, Conservation and Social Responsibility framework to be implemented with institutional partners Green Hotels, The Clean Blue & Zero Carbon Resorts. Sustainability Capacity Building and Training programs towards a green economy for destinations, cities and communities include Good Governance, Rio 21 Agenda, Waste Management/3Rs/MRF, Resilience, Disaster Prevention and Management. Educational programs can be customized for public and private stakeholders, local government units, private businesses and the local community in general. For more info, visit our Society for Sustainable Tourism & Development Inc. website or contact SSTDI on how we can help.

Sustainable Ethos for Occidental Negros

Posted in Agri Tourism, Cuisine & Dining, Environment, Good Governance, Green Hotels, Negros Occidental, Sustainable Tourism, Zero Carbon Resorts with tags , , , , , , , on February 13, 2011 by Sustainability Guru

The Society for Sustainable Tourism & Development, Inc. (SSTDI) is a newly formed not-for-profit, non-government organization (NGO) to lead & implement the Negros Occidental’s Sustainable Tourism capacity building and training, promoting green travel experiences of culture, cuisine, conservation and meaningful visits to local communities.    

While working on The Boracay & Coron Initiatives I took a side trip to my home province sugar land Negros Occidental in southern Philippines. Upon request of Tita Sonia Sarrosa, energetic CEO of 2010 ASEAN Green Hotel Awardee Nature’s Village Resort, I did a stopover to give a talk and presentation on Conservation, Social Responsibility and Sustainable Tourism.   I was happy to learn that in fact, Negros Occidental became the first organic province and aims to be the organic bowl of Asia.

Private farm of Bonnin family

A select group of Provincial officials and private tourism stakeholders were waiting patiently for my delayed flight to listen to my presentation, gleaned from my first hand experience with Inkaterra, Peru’s Eco pioneer and Conservation Leader since 1975.

With children-guides at the Museo Sang Bata Negros in Sagay

Next day, we visited Sagay City, south of the province, home of Museo sang Bata Sa Negros (Children’s Interactive Marine Museum).  The Museum size, design and exhibits were originally intended for children but it is an attraction for visitors of all ages, too. Its focus is to educate primarily, children  on Coastal Marine resources especially of nearby Carbin Reef Marine Reserve. However the Museum also serves as a Welcome Center for all guests, offering a brief intro about Sagay’s marine biodiversity, conservation programs and a small hall dedicated to Sagay’s son, the late Governor Joseph Maranon. Several children act as guides in each mini-exhibit and their spiels are heartwarming and interesting not only for kids but also for adultsCarbin Reef Marine Sanctuary, a coral-reef restoration site

Just a quick motor boat ride from the pier across the water, we island-hopped to Carbin Reef Sandbar, the visitors’ base to the 200 hectare Marine Sanctuary. The tongue shaped white sand bar is open for day visitors on a limited capacity for swimming, snorkeling or scuba diving.From Carbin Reef, we took a brief ride to Barangay Vito, where we took the motorboat to Molocaboc Island. We were graciously welcomed by the Barangay Captain and residents who offered us an exquisite lunch of native seafood, proudly produced by the island. Molocaboc has no fresh water resource, thus all residents make use of large earthen jars for rain water catchment to have water supply.

Sagay, Negros Occidental’s rich marine resources

Japanese NGO’s visit the island yearly to do their outreach programs to include mangrove reforestation and sea ranching (a sustainable way of aquaculture & fishing). We then took a quick visit to the farm of college-friend, Jojo Bonnin in Barangay Alangilan,  a mini green-hideaway, just 15 minutes from the city.

Jojo Bonnin’s farm, mini green getaway

From this visit, The Negros Initiative was born, to develop responsible travel to Negros with proponents to include: Eco Agri Sustainable Agri Farm  showcase, Don Salvador Benedicto, the next emerging eco hot spot in the Philippines, and Fresh Start Organic Sustainable Agri tours.

Agri Tourism Sustainable Farm Show Case

Agri Tourism Sustainable Farm Show Case

The Society for Sustainable Tourism & Development, Inc. (SSTDI) is formed to lead The Negros Initiative in the Sustainable Tourism, Conservation and Social Responsibility development for Negros with institutional partners Zero Carbon Resorts, Green Hotels & Clean Blue. Sustainability

Society for Sustainable Tourism & Development, Inc. (SSTDI)

Society for Sustainable Tourism & Development, Inc. (SSTDI)

Capacity Building and Training programs for cities, municipalities and communities  include Good Governance, Rio 21 Agenda, Waste Management/3Rs/MRF, Resilience, Disaster Prevention and Management. Educational programs will be customized for public and private stakeholders, local government units, private businesses and the grassroots community in general.

Zero Carbon Resorts helping SMEs switch to renewal energy and green technology

ZERO CARBON RESORTS is our joint project with GrAt for the SMEs in the Tourism Industry to reduce carbon footprint by switching from use of fossil fuel to renewable energy sources especially solar energy and green technologies.

Green Hotels Asia Pacific our network of reliable eco-responsible hotels

Green Hotels Asia Pacific our network of reliable eco-responsible hotels

GREEN HOTELS ASIA PACIFIC is our network of the most reliable eco responsible hotels around the world. It works to help the hotel industry embrace sustainability by integrating innovation and added value with environmental actions in a vibrant global exchange of green hoteliers, operators and responsible clients.

Clean Blue Asia-Sustainable Beach management for public & private beach operators

CLEAN BLUE ASIA is thenew industry standard for beach management and safety – ISO 13009 – the “Clean Blue Industry Standard” CBIS – to help provide beach operators with the information and guidance to effectively manage the beaches of Asia – Pacific.

For more information visit our Society for Sustainable Tourism & Development Inc. website or contact SSTDI on how we can help.

A Fresh Start: 11 Reasons to go Organic

Posted in Agri Tourism, Cuisine & Dining, Environment, Events, News, Lifestyle, Negros Occidental, Western Visayas with tags , , , , , on January 20, 2011 by Sustainability Guru
by Fresh Start Organic
Re-posted from Fresh Start Organics Facebook page… good insight and info to share for everyone! Note: Fresh Start Organic & Eco Agri Development Foundation Inc. are some of our proponents in the Society for Sustainable Tourism & Development Inc.-SSTDI’s The Negros Initiative, Sustainable Agri -Tourism in Negros Occidental.
11 Reasons to go organic
 

It’s Nutritious! Studies show that organic food is filled with more vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and flavonoids than conventionally grown food.

It Tastes Good! Organic food is grown in harmony with nature – so it’s naturally more delicious and flavorful.

Fresh Start Veggies

Its Cheaper! Looking at the price tags when comparing organic and conventional products is misleading. If you include the long-term costs such as social, environmental and health costs, you’d realize that organic food is much, much cheaper.

It Promotes Biodiversity! Organic farming disrupts native ecosystems as little as possible in its methods, which promotes the growth and development of wildlife species.

It Protects Future Generations! Children are up to 164 times more sensitive to cancer-causing pesticides used in conventionally grown food. Going organic will lessen the risk of future health problems.

6. It Helps Rural Communities! Organic farming uses locally available materials and manpower, which creates and maintains sustainable local communities.

It Reduces Health Risks! Many toxic chemicals linked to cancer and other diseases are still used in conventional farming. Going organic means prevention and protection from these long-term effects.

Its Environmentally Sustainable! Organic farming does not pollute waterways, air or soil. It uses renewable inputs as well, which make it safer and healthier for the environment.

It Builds Healthy Soil! Organic farming relies on the belief that healthy soil equals healthy food. Using natural inputs, organic farmers make an effort to maintain the vitamins, minerals and quality of the soil.

It Meets Quality Standards! Organic farming is strictly regulated to make sure that they live up to quality standards. When you buy organic, you are getting a product that lives up to its name, which is what all consumers deserve.

Its Available! You and your family can now enjoy a wide selection of organic and natural products every day. Fresh Start Organic food stores now offer fresh, healthy, chemical free food from salad greens, culinary herbs, fruits, vegetables, rice, coffee, snacks, sweeteners and all natural personal care products daily.

Fresh Start Organics

For more information and assistance in Sustainable Agri-Tourism tours to Negros Occidental, contact SSTDI.

 

Craving for Comida Criolla

Posted in Cuisine & Dining, Cultural Scenes, Events, News, Lifestyle, Lima, Peru, Travel with tags , , , , , , on September 7, 2010 by Sustainability Guru

In celebration of MISTURA 2011, Peruvian Food Festival and Latin America’s biggest gastronomy event, I am reposting this blog entry about probably the best cuisine in the planet!

PROVECHO (bon appetit)!!!

 Each Latin American country has its own “Comida Criolla” (pronounced kri-o-ya) as the phrase which means “home-grown food” historically stems from native mixed with Hispanic flavors.

 For Peru, “Comida Criolla” is basically concentrated where the Spanish conquerors along with their native-African slaves have settled, followed by Chinese and Japanese migrants thus, “Comida Criolla Peruana” is essentially Andean-Spanish-Afro-Peruvian food with Chinese & Japanese influences. Talk about fusion and multitude of menus! Comida criolla peruana is popular mostly along the coast, especially in Lima and the Central region.

Peruvian Comida Criolla, are basically served with Salsa Criolla (julienne onions marinated in lime with chopped chilies) seasoned, topped or served with Peruvian  Aji Amarillo (yellow) or Rocotto– red chilies.

Tamales- corn dough wrapped in banana leaves

To start, typical breakfast fares are Tamales (corn dough seasoned with chilies, stuffed with olives, chicken or pork and wrapped in banana leaves), Humitas (the same as tamales, but wrapped instead in corn husks, with Andean cheese or  the sweet version, with manjar-caramel) Chicharron,  deep fried pork slices on country bread or Butifarra – pork ham sandwich – all served with Salsa Criolla.

Papa a la Huancaina, Peruvian Potato salad in chili-cheese sauce

Papa a la Huancaina, Peruvian Potato salad in chili-cheese sauce

Cold enticing entradas (appetizers) include the popular Peruvian potato salads, namely Papa a la Huancaina , Ocopa and Causa, of course the all-time favorite Ceviche or Tiradito and the classic salad of Solterito, mixed vegetable salad of fava beans, choclo serrano (Andean corn kernels), olives and fresh cheese with its light lime vinaigrette.

Causa, Peru's version of mashed potato

Causa, Peru’s sophisticated & scrumptious version of mashed potato

Anticucho by Chef Percy at the Embassy of Peru in Tokyo

For Hot Starters, popular preferences are Anticuchos (grilled skewered beef hearts) served with boiled potato, corn and chili sauces; Rocotto Relleno (chili red bell pepper stuffed with ground meat and topped with melted Queso Andino -Andean cheese) and Papa Rellena (meat stuffed mashed potato and deep fried like croquettes). During the long coastal winter (Fall, Winter and Spring all rolled in to one grey foggy cold season), savory soups such as Chupe de Camarones (Cray fish chowder), Sopa a la Criolla (angel hair soup in chili broth with ground meat) and Caldo de Gallina (chicken soup) are the favorites.

Arroz con Pollo at Miraflores Restaurant in Shibuya, Tokyo

Top main courses, are Aji de Gallina (shredded chicken in creamy yellow chili sauce), Seco de Pollo or Cabrito (chicken or baby goat meat in coriander green sauce) usually accompanied by Frijoles (boiled beans, almost pureed) and its variation, Arroz con Pollo o Pato (chicken or duck rice cooked in coriander sauce), Asado (beef stewed in tomato, chilies and red wine), Lomo Saltado (beef tenderloin tips sautéed in onions, tomatoes and chilies, with a dash of Chinese influenced-soy sauce). Carapulcra (dried potatoes in tomato-chili sauce), Cau cau (boiled tender tripe cooked in yellow chili sauce with chopped Huacatay-Andean mint herbs) and Olluquito con charqui (root veggie with bits of alpaca jerky).

Classic Peruvian desserts by Chef Percy: Mazamorra Morada, Arroz con leche & Alfajores

Delectable dessert choices are Suspiro a la Limeña (condensed milk, butter and cream pudding), Arroz con Leche (Rice porridge with milk, cinnamon & clove-pictured right), Mazamorra Morada (purple corn pudding with pineapple and prunes), Picarrones (sweet potato and pumpkin paste formed in rings, deep fried similar to doughnuts and served with syrup or honey), Alfajores, Peruvian pastry with manjar-caramel, Milhojas, layered pastry crisps also with manjar and the classic ice creams in a variety of indigenous flavors – Lucuma, Chirimoya, Guanabana, Coca, Purple Corn or Algarrobina.

Suspiro a la Limeña

Suspiro a la Limeña

In Lima, relish the most authentic and excellent Comida Criolla at Restaurante Jose Antonio in San Isidro, Señorio de Sulco in Miraflores fronting the Pacific Ocean, Manos Morenas in the bohemian district of Barranco and  Gaston formerly, Casa Hacienda Moreyra, an impressive hacienda house in San Isidro. Then, there’s the touristy Rosa Nautica is famed for its unique setting right on the ocean, however, lately inclined for groups and events. Cafés like Mango’s and Café-café in Larco Mar Mall also serve superb Comida Criolla.

With Peruvian Top Chefs- Toshiro Konishi, the NOBU & Miguel Schiaffino

 

In Tokyo, Japan, Miraflores serves authentic Peruvian cuisine with branches in Shibuya & Daikanyama, while NOBU in Tokyo, co-owned by Robert de Niro, serves Nikkei dishes, Japanese with a touch of Peru in some of its entries such as Tiradito and Anticucho. New kids on the Harajuku block include Bepocah, and in Tokyo Midtown area, Nazca.

 

 

Travel to Peru and savor exquisite world class Peruvian cuisine in our Dream Trip to Peru by Inkaterra. For more information and bookings, visit our Society for Sustainable Tourism & Development Inc. website or contact SSTDI.

Peruphernalia -your travel essentials to Peru

Posted in Cuisine & Dining, Cultural Scenes, Responsible Travel, Travel with tags , , , , on July 6, 2010 by Sustainability Guru
 

My personal compilation of useful information and guide before you travel to Peru…Travel tips and fast FAQs about Peru.

 
Hanging out with chismositas in Huascaran

Hanging out with chismositas in Huascaran

Peru is often called the quintessential South American destination evoking images of Andean mountains, fabled lost cities, panpipe players, llamas and, of course, the ever-fashionable and functional poncho.

-Blue List, Lonely Planet

Coastal Peru's version of the Poncho

Coastal Peru’s version of the Poncho

If Peru didn’t exist, travel guide books would have to invent it. It’s a land of lost cities and ancient ruins, brooding Andean peaks, dense jungles, quaint cities, festivals con-celebrating Roman Catholic masses with mysterious Incan rites. It’s like a whole world in a snow dome.- from the Travel Book.

 

 
 
Peruvian Marinera dancers

Peruvian Marinera dancers

 
 
Rich with majestic natural beauty, gracious people, and the legacy of a great ancient civilization, Peru is a country that touches the soul.
 
 
 
Mystical Machu Picchu Citadel at dusk

Mystical Machu Picchu Citadel at dusk

 
 

 

When planning to travel to Peru, in order to fully capture its magic and mystique, you need to understand what to expect. I have compiled important information for your visit to Peru and how to organize for your journey. Please read this as you get ready for what will be one of the most amazing trips of your life.

 
 

PERU Fast FAQs(Frequently Asked Questions)

 

Acclimatization

Acclimatization is the process of the body adjusting to the decreased availability of oxygen at high altitudes. Considering varying altitudes of destinations in Peru, travelers must try to go first to the lower ones before ascending to higher altitude cities. It is a slow process that could take place over a couple of days. Given enough time, your body will adapt to the decrease in oxygen at a specific altitude.

Lake Titicaca, Puno, World's highest navigable lake at 3,810 meters above sea level

Lake Titicaca, Puno, World’s highest navigable lake at 3,810 meters above sea level

Altitude Sickness Prevention  

Altitude sickness, also known as acute mountain sickness (AMS) or soroche is a pathological condition that is caused by acute exposure to low air pressure usually above 2,400 meters (approximately 8,000 feet). The main cause of altitude sickness is going too high too quickly. Before your travel to a high altitude destination, avoid eating too much, and on the arrival day itself, eat less also to avoid altitude sickness. If you stay at a high altitude, rest. Limit any walking or activity. You can explore the area, but take it easy, especially on the first day. Drink plenty of water and avoid taking alcoholic beverages.

 

Communication/ Telephone/ Internet

Peru is well connected with telephone landlines and cellular phones lines in most major cities, as well as the Internet with connections in most hotels, numerous internet booths (cabinas de internet) in cities and towns and WiFi available in major hotels.

   

Currency/Credit Cards/ Foreign Exchange

Peru’s currency is the Nuevo Sol (S/.) or Nuevos Soles (in plural). Peru is typical of many South American countries in that it effectively operates a dual currency system where the US$ American Dollar has purchasing power.  Both the US$ (Dollar) and the Peruvian Nuevo Sol are in circulation and although the government prefers people to use soles, most sizeable purchases are made in dollars.  The Nuevo Sol is perfectly stable so you don’t have to worry about inflation problems during your stay. 

  

In the provinces, credit card facilities may be limited only to major establishments. Travelers’ cheques are not common, so have cash (in Soles) on hand as foreign currency exchange is limited. Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) are mostly available only in the main cities. To check currency conversion, go to

http://www.xe.com/ucc/ 

Arts and crafts market, Yucay, Sacred Valley

Health/ Medical/Travelers Common Illness

To keep from getting gastrointestinal infections or avoiding travelers’ diarrhea, we recommend you take care when eating raw or exotic foods. Drink bottled or boiled water and do not eat food/beverages from street vendors/ hawkers. Doctors or medical assistance may be contacted through hotel reception.Hospitals and clinics provide adequate services, especially in Lima and the other main cities and can contact health care insurance directly.

 
 
Cata de Pisco, Ica, Peru

Cata de Pisco, Ica, Peru

Language

The official languages are Spanish (80% of the population), Quechua (Andean and highland regions), and Aymara (in the Puno high plateau). It is possible to communicate in English with tourist service workers such as tour guides, travel agency employees and 3 to 5-star hotels staff.

 

Luggage/Baggage Limit

Please know the baggage limit, number of pieces and weight allowed by the airline to your destination. Most domestic airlines have lesser baggage allowance (usually max. 10 kilos) than the international airlines (usually max. 20 kilos). In case of multiple destinations, it is advisable to travel light and bring only the essentials.

 

If you are going to Machu Picchu, please take note that Peru Rail has imposed luggage limitation on the train to Aguas Calientes. Peru Rail Luggage Transport is a maximum hand-carried allowance of only 5 kilos/11 lbs. and measuring not more than 62 inches/157 cm (height, length & width) per passenger. Your heavier and bigger baggage may be transported in another train at an extra cost (US$1.80/kilo, one way, maximum 10 kilos) or may be left for storage at Peru Rail’s Luggage Storage only in Ollantaytambo Train Station at US$5.00/day.

 

Security  

It is important that you take common sense precautions when visiting Peru, just like in any major destination in the world, such as taking extra care with your belongings in public places or avoiding deserted places at night. The following are recommended as precautionary measures:

·       Get a copy of your passport, airplane tickets and credit cards. Leave all your travel documents (passport, tickets, hotel vouchers etc) in the hotel safety deposit box and take only photocopies with you.

·       Know the unsafe areas of the city/destination and avoid visiting them, especially at night. If you must exchange money, do so in banks, authorized money changers and exchange bureaus, or in your hotel. Avoid doing this in plain sight.It may not necessarily an immediate threat to you, but you should always be watching out for pick pockets and thieves especially in crowded places such as busy avenues, airports, markets and tourist sites.

·       Try to learn a few key phrases in Spanish before you go, if not to help yourself get by, then at least to make the locals think you can speak the language and thus make you a more conscientious traveler who is careful and prepared.

 

 
 
Lima, Peru Main Plaza

Lima, Peru Main Plaza

Travel Insurance

It is recommended to buy a travel insurance to provide you general coverage in case of emergency or medical expenses, trip cancellation/interruption, lost tickets, baggage or damage, etc. This way, for any unforeseen event or circumstances, you have an insurance to fall back on.

 

Vaccinations and/or Medications  

Yellow fever & malaria vaccination is required for traveling to jungle destinations and must be administered at least 10 days before your trip otherwise it will not be effective. It is recommended that you take the proper measures to protect yourself, specially from mosquito bites, in order to prevent infection from, among other diseases, yellow fever (vaccination) and malaria (repellant and medication). Consult your doctor before traveling.

 

Water

Potable water is limited in some areas. It is recommended to drink bottled water only and do not buy from street vendors or hawkers.

 

 
 
Lima's Costa Verde, Pacific coast

Lima’s Costa Verde, Pacific coast

Weather

The Peruvian Coast is hot and sunny (northern area) or very humid (raw or damp, in Lima).

At the Peruvian Andes, rainy season is between November and March. Temperatures drop dramatically at night, thus one should always prepare warm clothes or jackets. The Peruvian Jungle is hot, with a tropical climate, however certain times of the year, the jungle experiences “friaje” or cold front. It has daily temperatures averaging the 30°C and night temperatures could drop to cold 15°. For more accurate information, please advise check respective Peru destination weather forecast in: Peru’s local weather agency, http://www.senamhi.gob.pe and click on current forecast available in English. Otherwise, you may also check in: www.wunderground.com or www.intellicast.com

 

Take a PERU DREAM TRIP  by Inkaterra, Peru’s Eco Pioneer and Conservation Leader since 1975; 100% Carbon Neutral travel and stay, any day departure. For more information and travel assistance about our Green Travel Exchange, or contact SSTDI.