Archive for Peru

Lima, Peru to host UN Climate Change Summit COP 20

Posted in Climate Change, Environment, Good Governance, Lima, Peru with tags , , , on November 9, 2014 by Sustainability Guru

COP20: “Don’t come to Peru if you don’t want to change the world”

One of the highlights of the UNESCO World Heritage site of Central Lima are its balconies. They were so popular during the Viceroyalty that Lima was also Known as the City of Balconies. Photo via Visit Peru.

One of the highlights of the UNESCO World Heritage site of Central Lima are its balconies. They were so popular during the Viceroyalty that Lima was also Known as the City of Balconies. Photo via Visit Peru.

UN Framework for Climate Change  (UNFCC) Cop 20 Lima, the cornerstone  for commitment to the future of our climate.

United Nations Framework for Climate Change, COP 20 Lima, Per

United Nations Framework for Climate Change, COP 20 Lima, Peru

In 2015, the most important climate change decisions will be made with the design and launch of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This year, on  December 1-12, Peru will host the 20th Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC – COP 20), during which a draft text will be produced for a decision at the Paris convention the following year. This will shape our approach to climate change over the next decade and very much determine the scale of its impact on our future.

“Pon de tu Parte” (Do your part) NGO campaign for Climate Change towards COP 20 in Lima. Photo via COP20.pe

Last June, a zero draft on the SDGs was created, with 17 potential goals. Although this number will most likely be reduced to 10 or less in Peru, the focus was predominantly applauded for its approach. Jeffrey Sachs, director of the UN initiative the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and the UN secretary-general’s special advisor on the SDGs expressed his expressed his delight with the first goal being focused on the ending of extreme poverty.

He further went on to praise the scientific base of the draft and insisted that scientists in a variety of fields, from climate to ecology, need to be outspoken in the production of the goals. The two degrees Celsius limitation in global warming is one such area where science has led to comprehensive adoption by the UN Framework.

The first ever United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA), held in Nairobi, Kenya, last month, had a keen focus on the upcoming COP 20 in Lima and on the wider SDGs. Earlier in the month, at the G77+China summit in Bolivia, the Peruvian President Ollanta Humala Tasso met with the United Nations’ Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to discuss his country’s hosting of the COP 20 and to reiterate Peru’s commitment to climate change.

Photo via cop20.pe

Launch of the “Pon de tu parte” (Do your Part) campaign for climate change in Lima that seeks to ensure that citizens, businesses and organizations are informed, sensitized and commited to specific actions to adapt to climate change and mitigate its effects.

The COP 20 will focus on four key areas – – with Peru a suitable choice as host. The 29th State of the World report from the Worldwatch  Institute in 2013 hailed Peru as the only nation hitting the ‘sustainability sweet spot’. This was due to the balance, based on 2007 date, they had achieved in human development and resource consumption. This was also assisted further by the commitment of the country’s Environment Officer to eliminate deforestation, whilst the President vowed to fight any trace of environmental pollution.

The COP 20 will focus on four key areas – Adaptation, Climate Finance, Mitigation and Technology – with Peru a suitable choice as host. The 29th State of the World report from the Worldwatch  Institute in 2013 hailed Peru as the only nation hitting the ‘sustainability sweet spot’. This was due to the balance, based on 2007 date, they had achieved in human development and resource consumption. This was also assisted further by the commitment of the country’s Environment Officer to eliminate deforestation, whilst the President vowed to fight any trace of environmental pollution.

Peru faces a tough task in delivering a draft at COP 20, in time for the 2015 Paris summit. Clever diplomacy is earmarked as being key; and with the 195 member countries showing disparity in their current positions, the process will certainly not be free from hurdles. Despite this, there has been some tentativeness in the mission of the summit, with Peru’s President keen to point out that the event marks the start of a new chapter more so than the closing of a book. Aiming too high has cost the COP dearly in the past and thus Peru has been focused on maintaining a balance between making a big impact and realism.

Photo via COP20.pe

Peruvian Deforestation- A Paradise Lost

The hosting of such a key summit comes at a time where Peru is staring down the barrel of climate change domestically, with the country susceptible to devastating impacts if both domestic and global action isn’t taken. As the host, positive dialogue and adequate pressure must be put on the biggest emitters, while at the same time ensuring the inclusivity of the lesser developed countries.  Peru’s COP 20 slogan is “Don’t come to Peru if you don’t want to change the world”, and with such a bold start, it is crucial that they deliver.

 

Photo via cop20.pe

Ministry of Environment of Peru with UNFCC and multi sector leaders for COP 20 Lima.

Slated at the Westin Hotel and Convention Centre in Peru’s capital, Lima, Climate Action Programme and UNEP will host the Sustainable Innovation Forum 2014 (SIF 14) to run alongside the COP 20. The largest commercially inclusive side event will bring together “world leaders, CEOs, senior executives, national, regional and city leaders, investors and industry experts”, seeking to “address climate change, accelerate green growth and sustainable development”.

SIF 14 will be a key event in the progression of the issues being discussed at the COP 20 and presents a great networking, ideas sharing and debating platform.  Key topics that will be addressed centre around innovative finance, adoption, mitigation, resilient cities and energy efficiency.  Event Director Claire Poole commented, “Lima represents a crucial milestone in the climate change dialogue, it’s vital that all stakeholders, not just the usual suspects on this world stage, are part of the conversation.”

More details on this year’s event can be located at http://cop20lima.org, with the event promising to be as innovative and impactful as last year. Source: cop20lima.org.

Peru, host of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) Americas Summit 2014

Posted in Conventions & Exhibitions, Events, News, Lifestyle, Lima, Lima, Peru, Responsible Travel, Sustainable Tourism, Travel with tags , , , , , , , on August 26, 2014 by Sustainability Guru

WTTC IS headed to Peru in September for its second Americas Summit. You can watch liveat http://www.wttc.org and join the live debates on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/wttc

“Facing Challenges – Finding Opportunities”

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) second Americas Summit, which will once again unite Travel & Tourism leaders from across the whole region, bringing together top representatives from the public and private sectors, NGOs and the media in a unique networking and discussion forum. Building on the success of the first Americas Summit in Riviera Maya in 2012, this Summit in Lima, Peru will attract an audience of private and public sector tourism leaders from across South America, Central America, The Caribbean, and North America.

Travel & Tourism plays a very important role in economies across the Americas. Regionally, the industry generates US$269 billion in exports, contributes 8.5% of GDP and supports 1 in 11 jobs. The agenda of the Americas Summit will focus not only on the traditional intra-regional flows of business in the Americas – but also on the robust recovery of the inbound market, fuelled by the growth of BRIC nations. Speakers will include Chief Executives from regional and global hotel companies, airlines, tour operators and online travel agencies; regional and G20 Ministers of Tourism; high level representatives from the NGO sector and opinion-formers from academia and the media.

Presentations of best practice from inside and outside the region will be combined with lively debates around future trends and current policies. The profound words of President Bill Clinton at an earlier WTTC Summit resonate through our industry: “At a time of continued economic uncertainty and geopolitical instability somewhere in the world, Travel & Tourism has emerged as not only an engine of job creation and economic prosperity but also as a force for good – bringing peace and understanding to the world”.

 

The Second World Travel & Tourism Council Americas Summit will be held at the Westin Lima Hotel & Convention Center in Lima, Peru, on 10-11 September 2014, hosted by the Peru Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism.

Attendance at The Americas Summit is complimentary and by invitation only, and is intended exclusively for those holding the most senior positions in Travel & Tourism in the public and private sector, and for related media. The World Travel & Tourism Council is grateful to the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism of the Republic of Peru for hosting the Americas Summit 2014 in the wonderful location of Lima, Peru.

Americas Summit Programme

Travel & Tourism in the Americas is at a critical moment – be it in the recovering economies of the north, the mature but struggling Travel & Tourism destinations in the Caribbean or the excitement of the emerging markets in the south.  In particular in Latin America, financial stability, a growing middle class and its rich and diverse natural and cultural resources have contributed to steady growth of the sector.  A strong internal market, economic recovery in the USA and Europe, and the growth of new markets in Asia now offer massive opportunities.

The key question is – how can the combined strengths of the sector come together now to leverage more sustainable growth for the region? While some destinations prosper, others struggle. How can collaboration solve problems that market forces alone can’t address? How can competitiveness be strengthened through collaboration? How can the Americas keep up with growing destinations in Asia?

Over the course of a day and a half, through a series of keynotes, panel sessions and interviews, the most pressing questions facing Travel & Tourism in the Americas today will be addressed. Participants will identify what needs to be done now to ensure the long term sustainable future of the sector.

Travelling Towards 2024: The future of Travel & Tourism in the Americas

 

Check out the WTTC Economic Impact Research for 2014. Interactive data visualisation: http://bit.ly/1dlSUu8

Travel & Tourism in the Americas is on the rise. But what will it look like in ten years’ time? Where will growth be focused? Which sectors and regions will be the winners and losers and why? What are the common challenges across the region? Which are the new markets to exploit? What are the risks posed by climate change, political instability and economic mismanagement? How is the relationship between the USA and Latin America evolving?

Government and business: partnership and progress

Governments and tourism ministers come and go, but the issues stay the same. How can countries break the cycle and foster real partnership between the public and private sectors? The USA and Mexico have already implemented frameworks for improving collaboration and cross-government co-operation; can these models be replicated elsewhere? What has been critical to the success of these initiatives? Is a sustainable future possible without public-private sector collaboration?

Financing the future: Strategies for investment

Future success will need strategic investment. Where is investment needed most and where will it come from? What are the bottlenecks in infrastructure and finance that are holding back growth? How can foreign and domestic direct investment be increased and what is slowing it down? How can countries channel investment into Travel & Tourism? What is the role of high profile cultural or sporting events to catalyze investment? What is being done to encourage green growth and innovation?

Open Skies: Dream or Reality?

Many countries in the region are still heavily restrictive in their aviation policies.  Will governments ever change their attitude? How can airlines be more efficient in their operations despite policy challenges? To what extent can the private sector really get involved with airport development? What are the models already in existence?

Digital Travellers: The Now Generation

Digital travellers represent the Now Generation. They are tech savvy and heavy internet, mobile and social users. Always connected, digital travellers use a variety of platforms to research, plan, book and share their travel experiences. Instantaneous real time access to information and flexibility of service is the expectation. How can tourism businesses provide products and services to this expanding Digital Traveller market? In the ever evolving field of technology how can businesses in the Travel and Tourism sector not only keep up but actually stay ahead of their demands? What opportunities does the digital journey offer to businesses that truly understand these trends and don’t just react to these new customer trends, but anticipate them?

Appreciating the asset: the value of cultural heritage

The definition of cultural heritage is evolving from the legacy of sites and curios to a wider and more complex definition embracing language, peoples and cuisine. What does not change, however, is the importance of cultural heritage to the economic, social and spiritual growth of a country. How does cultural heritage contribute to visitor exports? Is it really understood for the asset that it is? How does cultural heritage contribute to a distinct and competitive tourism product? How can our industry best champion ways to promote protect and develop the asset of cultural heritage, for the good of the destination and its visitors, past, present and future?

Ten Knots El Nido Resorts continues to play a key role in sustainable development on Palawan, while demonstrating the power of tourism to address poverty alleviation and improve local livelihoods. Ten Knots Development Corporation / El Nido Resorts, Philippines is a finalist for the Community Benefit award.

 

Sustainable tourism: leading by example

From the Amazon rainforest to Machu Picchu, the snow peaks of the Rockies to the beaches of the Caribbean, the future of the environment and the communities who inhabit it are vital to Travel & Tourism’s success. What is the business case for sustainability? What are the examples to be replicated? How can sustainability be better monitored and communicated? Is enough being done to preserve biodiversity, address climate change and manage water resources? Are communities and young people fully engaged in tourism development? What are the innovations that will be game changers?

Source & Photos: World Travel & Tourism Council: wttc.org

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. 

Inkaterra La Casona-Layered history meets 21st century luxury

Posted in Cultural Scenes, Events, News, Lifestyle, Green Hotels, Inkaterra, Luxury resorts, hotels, travel, Travel with tags , , , , , on May 22, 2011 by Sustainability Guru

Layered history meets luxury at La Casona

“Welcome to the summit of all things Inca – the opulent Cusco. Cusco has a better range of opulent accommodation than anywhere else in Peru”.

                                                       -The Independent Traveller, U.K.

 

Centrally located at an original Inca settlement in Cusco, former capital of the great Incan Empire, Inkaterra La Casona, the city’s first luxury boutique hotel rise discreetly on its prestigious surroundings. A meticulously restored 11-suite manor, this un-hotel reflects the Cusco’s unique mestizo grandeur, the inspiration for the renovation which preserved the blended essence of Spanish design and local folklore, contemporary fixtures integrated with the original structures, traditional colors, murals, and stones reflecting the patina of several epochs.

The land where the Inkaterra La Casona was built was originally part of the Warakos, the training ground of the elite Inka army. After the Spanish conquest in 1534, the property was given to Diego de Almagro, the Spanish cohort and later rival of Francisco Pizarro, conqueror of the Incan Empire, and founder of Lima, capital of Peru. Almagro participated in the Spanish conquest of Peru and is credited as the first European discoverer of Chile.

colonial furnishings and original murals blend with lavish contemporary comforts

The following years the casona was turned several times over to distinguished owners to include Spanish pioneers in Chile, the Amazon. The property even became a convent and much later on Simon Bolivar’s general headquarters, after his victory in the Battle of Ayacucho, where he liberated Peru from the three-century Spanish rule.

Relive the traditions of a priveleged past

Through the years, the house saw many owners until the late 60s, to include the De la Torre Urbina family and consequently Tierras Altas S.A.. In 1999, Inkaterra  acquired the property.

After two years of restoration and renovation, La Casona warmly welcomed its guests

In 2006, meticulous reconstruction works, renovation and upgrade of the manor started and in May 2008, Inkaterra La Casona opened its doors to guests. Fully equipped suites with open fireplaces are graced with down duvets, heated floors and extra large bathtubs. The amenities of the manor include dining area, outdoor patio and reading lounge. La Casona may be booked as individual suites, or as an entire Villa, offering a hub from which to discover the region.

Old World luxury meets cutting edge comforts of 21st century

Highly acclaimed by global travel magazines and travel news reviews, La Casona is a lavish luxury experience savvy travelers won’t want to miss!

“Cusco’s first boutique hotel, takes a few lessons from the conquistadores- the masters of Old World luxury in New World beauty. And while its rooms wraps around an original courtyard built more than 400 years ago, its iPod docks and heated floors are distinctly 21st century”. ~ Urban Daddy, “Mind your Manor  – Spanish Luxury in  Incan Capital”

Peru Dream Trip  2012 by Inkaterra, Peru’s Eco pioneer, Conservation Leader, 100% Carbon Neutral, authentic travel and luxury stay or Go Andean. For more info about green travel to Peru, visit our Society for Sustainable Tourism & Development Inc. website or contact SSTDI to join the Dream Trip.

All photos courtesy of Inkaterra.

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.

Los Dioses de la Cocina del Perú – the Gods of Peruvian Cuisine came down to Tokyo

Posted in Cuisine & Dining, Cultural Scenes, Events, News, Lifestyle, Sustainable Events, Travel with tags , , , , , , on May 31, 2010 by Sustainability Guru

Peruvian chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino and Japanese, Toshiro Konishi visited Tokyo for a series of unique gastronomical experience for Tokyoites. One activity was a seminar held at the Umami Information Center for a group of Japanese chefs about the secrets of Peruvian cuisine.

The chefs talked about typical Peruvian ingredients such as papa seca or dried potatoes, (which I prepare almost weekly as “Carapulcra” here at home in Tokyo), different types of Peruvian chili peppers, and combined with Paiche, which complements with the Japanese concept of umami, the “fifth taste”.

PERUVIAN INGREDIENTS

Schiaffino, of Malabar restaurant and Executive Chef for M/V Aqua Expeditions (Amazon River Luxury Cruise), said that this experience in Japan definitely affects the way he looks at food and create new dishes.  He would also like to think that the Japanese would try to adapt Peruvian ingredients to their kitchen.  On a side note, we are fortunate to have a Peruvian grocery here in Tokyo, Kyodai, where I can get all my authentic ingredients any time.

TOSHI’S EXPERIENCE

Toshiro Konishi of Toshiro’s Sushi Bar, said before about a hundred experts and gastronomy professionals, that for him, the flavors, ingredients, the Peruvian food and his own Nikkei cooking experience are results of the fusion of Peruvian and Japanese cuisine.

PERUVIAN FLAVORS IN NOBU

Toshiro, Schiaffino and world renowned Japanese chef, Nobuyuki Matsuhisa, (the famed NOBU, who originally started his cooking career in Peru), prepared a special degustation of nine seasons to a sell-out crowd of eager Japanese patrons.

The dishes prepared included Carapulca (Dried Potato Stew), Concha Maca (Greenshells in Maca), Ceviche, Causa con Chalaca (potato salad), Chupe de Camarones (shrimp chowder), Costillas de Cordero con Quinua (Rack of Lamb with Quinua) y Anticuchos (Skewered marinated beef heart barbecue style).

In addition, Schiaffino offered the best of his bar, which was featured in the ‘top ten’ Food and Wine magazine, and the Japanese were able to try his signature Pisco Sour, aperitif such as Chilcano de Anis, Chicha and Pisco Punch.

EMBASSY HOSTED LUNCH FOR THE GODS

The Embassy of Peru in Japan hosted the 3 famous chefs to a Peruvian lunch prepared by our very own in-house Chef, Percy Bustamante, who is also featured in the book, “Los Dioses de la Cocina del Peru” (The gods of Peruvian Cuisine) which was launched by Nobu himself in Lima, Peru last February. The coffee table recipe book presents Peru’s top chefs with their signature dish recipes and translated in Japanese, obviously with the Nippon market in mind.

I have been lucky to be here in Tokyo and never have to miss Peruvian food, as they were expertly and authentically prepared by our beloved chef, Percy every so often during functions.  I was blessed with Chef Percy as my principal food buying guide when I first arrived in Tokyo; he brought me to Tokyo’s markets and stores, so I had my first insider knowledge where to buy what!

I was extremely lucky to be in the company of the gods of Peruvian Cuisine relishing Comida Criolla Peruana once again. 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.

(Source: News feed from Peru Mucho Gusto Facebook page).