11 Weird and Wonderful Things to See and Do in Peru

11 Weird and Wonderful Things to See and Do in Peru

Peru, in all its awe-inspiring glory, is a magical, mystical place still full of mystery, with foods, animals, history, and customs you may have never heard of. Honeymooners and tourists flock to Macchu Picchu for its majestic views of an abandoned Incan citadel in the sky amongst rolling green hills—the reason for its creation unknown. The incredible sprawling Nazca desert lines that can only be viewed aerially remain one of the world’s greatest mysteries. Drink piscosours, enjoy the fresh ceviche, and explore all that is weird, creepy, and wonderful in Peru.

Be Surrounded by Skulls at Saint Francisco Monastery and Church

The well-funded 17th century Spanish Baroque-style Saint Francisco Monastery and Church is just off the main square in Lima. This UNESCO World Heritage site contains one of the world’s largest libraries of ancient texts. Inside, amongst the grand gold leaf icons on the first floor, are historic paintings and a Peruvian Last Supper depiction of a devil next to Judas with an indigenous meal of guinea pig, potatoes, and chilis. Gaze down and you’ll see small, square open grates offering a preview of what’s downstairs, the main attraction discovered in 1943: the remains of 25,000-70,000 people whose skulls and bones (mostly tibia) are arranged in neat, decorative geometric shapes. The ossuaries, some of which were also designed to absorb seismic waves, are said to contain past patrons and friars all housed under dusty low ceilings for the claustrophobically challenged. It’s all worth it for the creepy sight of bones in metaphysical mandala shapes. The catacombs also housed secret passages that connected to the Tribunal of the Holy Inquisition and the Cathedral.

Meet Mummies at the Larco Museum

The Larco Herrera Archaeological Museum houses a mummy that illustrates the ways the ancient pre-Incan Waris tribe preserved their dead. The mummy appears to simply be aged cloth that had been sewn in the shape of a man’s torso with an eerie golden mask and feathered hat to match. Inside this torso figure is a child in a fetal position: this was the mummification style of the Waris. What reason would possibly convince a family to sacrifice a child? Both the pre-Incans and Incans believed in offering the purest sacrifice to the Gods in times of famine or the death of an Emperor. They’d choose a child, feed them a fattening elite diet, have a shaman administer the intoxicating chichi drink, and leave the child to die of exposure, strangulation, or force. The Waris believed in a better afterlife for such victims.

Sleep Suspended From a Cliff

The only hotel of its kind in Peru (and the world), this unique luxury accommodation is made up of three glass pods hanging off a 1300-foot cliff. Located in the beautiful and lush Sacred Valley, this unusual hotel is accessed via ferrata (a hike assisted by a steel cable handrail bolted to the rock) or by zip-lines. Both are suitable for beginners, the latter being easier. Once inside the pods, you’re treated with a bottle of wine, gourmet dinner, and breakfast overlooking the valley. There are 360-degree views of the stars, the valley and the majestic mountains you just climbed. The capsules are quite safe and are made from aerospace aluminum and weather-resistant polycarbonate with exit portals located in the upper part of the craft. They include six windows, four ventilation ducts, four comfortable beds, a separate dining area, and a private bathroom with a view. To get down, rappel, or via ferrata and zipline back to the ground.

 

Published on Fodor’s Travel, by Alyssa Pinsker

Singapore signs open skies agreement with Peru

Singapore signs open skies agreement with Peru

Under the agreement, airlines of both countries will be able to fly any number of passenger and cargo services between them, as well as to any third country, with no restrictions on capacity, frequency, aircraft type and routing.

Cargo carriers from both countries will also be able to use the other country as a hub for operations to any third country, said the ministry.

With this agreement, Singapore has signed air service agreements with more than 140 states and territories, of which more than 70 are open skies agreements.

The agreement was signed by Mr Bernard Lim, MOT’s senior director of international relations and security, and Mr Carlos Cesar Arturo Estremadoyro Mory, Peru’s Vice-Minister of Transport.

“We are very pleased to sign this open skies agreement, which liberalises air services between and beyond Singapore and Peru,” said Mr Lim, adding that it was a testament to the strong bilateral relationship between both countries.

 

Published on Channel NewsAsia

Tracking condors on the most luxurious train in South America

Tracking condors on the most luxurious train in South America

For too long, there’s been a significant gap in my personal map of South America. I’ve covered most of it by plane, coach, ferry and horse, but never Peru and never anywhere by train.

At the start of the year, a friend was touring the country, documenting it constantly on Instagram. I found myself checking impatiently for fresh posts, newly obsessed with scenery that I still, frustratingly, had yet to see for myself.

At the same time, everywhere I looked, Peru was calling: its cuisine had taken over from pulled pork as the in-thing, and South American chef Virgilio Martínez was now the pin-up boy of international fine dining. In Soho and Shoreditch, you couldn’t move for ceviche.

I had also become fixated with the fancy new sleeper train that was running in Peru. Last year, Belmond launched the Andean Explorer, bringing plush, boutique-hotel tropes, South American handicraft and a grand piano to the rails running through the high-altitude landscape that stretches from Arequipa to Cusco.

To mark its first anniversary, Belmond added a spa car to the train, so you could be massaged while passing fields full of pretty vicuñas and llamas.

I love luxury trains with the same passion that I hate airports. In the midst of a dark London winter, it was all adding up. Before my friend had got over her jet lag, I’d splurged on a return ticket to Lima. Tourism in Peru, as I discovered when planning my journey, is getting slicker by the minute and Belmond – the brand formerly known as Orient Express – has much of it sewn up, with its own five-star hotels almost everywhere you would consider visiting.

A specialist tour operator for the country, Aracari, recently launched a tour that takes the Belmond Andean Explorer as the core experience for a broader two-week trip. You start off rebooting from jet lag by the pool at the super-chic Belmond Miraflores Park in Lima – where you periodically find yourself swimming in a cloud that’s rolled in off the sea – then fly to Cusco. You visit Machu Picchu, explore the city and landscape, then spend two nights on the sleeper train to Arequipa, going deep into the Colca Valley.

Published on The Telegraph, by: 

What LATAM Flight Attendants Do In Lima, Peru

What LATAM Flight Attendants Do In Lima, Peru

Flight attendants know how to make good use of their layovers. Here, LATAM cabin crew talk about their favorite things to do, eat, and drink in Lima, Peru. Read on for where to eat Japanese-Peruvian food, shop for handmade shoes, and wander galleries of pre-Hispanic artifacts.

Priscilla Zubriria – Flight Attendant

EAT

Osaka: I love the atmosphere and the Peruvian-Japanese fusion cuisine. My boyfriend and I go here for special dates. Without a doubt, try the sushi. They also have grilled meat with crispy native Peruvian potatoes that you will fall in love with.

Rafael: I love this place [in Miraflores]; it’s small and very cozy. Their delicious cuisine is a very interesting mix of Peruvian and international flavors, like Italian and Japanese. [Rafael is no. 24 of Latin America’s 50 best restaurants.]

NIGHTLIFE

I really like going to Dada and to the bar at Hotel B, which has a nice cozy terrace. They’re both in Barranco, a neighborhood well known for its nightlife. These are definitely two places you can’t miss in Lima.

NEIGHBORHOODS

Miraflores is a favorite. It’s very busy, but it also has nice parks where you can organize a delicious picnic with the most beautiful sea views. This view can also be enjoyed while you’re walking or cycling, because there’s an extensive boardwalk.

And of course, there’s the beautiful neighborhood of Barranco. There, the sea, art, and nightlife of the city come together in all styles and rhythms. Bars, restaurants, galleries, and everything you need to enjoy and discover a more bohemian side of Lima are here.