Aguas Calientes, or Machu Picchu town, has come along way. It is slowly taking on the tourist feel of Cuzco with innumerable hotels, restaurants, and craft shops. Aguas Caliente (translated to Hot Water in Spanish because of thermal springs there), can only be reached by rail from Ollantaytambo. Therefore, much… Read More →
This oxbow lake sits 7 km northeast of Pucallpa and is the main tourist drag in the area. In Puerto Callao, Yarinacocha’s main port, there are lots of bars and restaurants line the waterfront. If looking for peace and quiet, stay somewhere on the lake. Internet is available at Restaurant… Read More →
A UNESCO world biosphere reserve and world heritage site. 20,000 square kms, 1,881,000 hectares. For much of the park, however, access is limited to a few Indian tribes that choose to remain isolated with nearly no outside contact. Only a few researchers are given permission to enter the park. As… Read More →
The Amazon Rainforest is one of Mother Nature’s greatest works of art. The river itself is ever changing its course. New islands are forming all the time with new forests, new inhabitants. The river will eventually will swallow them whole and even newer ones will arise. Sixty-five million years ago… Read More →
Most come to Cuzco (also spelled Cusco and Q’osqo, population 350,000) en route to Machu Picchu, but to many it is Cuzco that leaves them breathless, although maybe that’s from the altitude, which stands, at 3360 meters (roughly 11,000 feet) above sea level.
Machu Picchu is the one location synonymous with travel to Peru. The Inca city hidden in the Andes near Cuzco is a wonder of the world and one of the most sought after destinations in South America, if not the planet.
Peruvian Food is becoming a global phenomenon. The culinary scene in Lima and the rest of Peru keeps improving. Food festivals, such as Mistura, are expanding. Young chefs who have trained in top kitchens in North America and Europe are returning home to open restaurants. In the same regard in North America and Europe Peruvian chefs are being called upon to a greater degree to launch new restaurants. Gastón Acurio is not holding back on his expansion plans. Culinary ideas are being refined from every angle. Here’s what to expect from Peruvian food and restaurants in 2012.
I was in the Brazilian Amazon not long ago and on my plate, stuck into a piece of decoration fruit, was this little, pea sized, yellow bean. I thought it was a piece of the fruit and poked the bean on my fork and put it into my mouth, chewed, and swallowed. It was fragrant, a little fruity, and then the earth shattered and my head exploded. Within seconds I was choking and tears were flowing out of my eyes. It took about ten minutes to recover. Seriously that hot. I had to ask the waitress how you were supposed to eat it. She explained that you just sort of squeeze it with your fork and get a tiny bit of the juice on it and then mix it in whatever you were eating to add some spice (in my case it was fish and rice).
It took a trip to Fiesta Gourmet in Lima to realize I needed to spend more time exploring the food of Peru’s Northern Coast. It was the Arroz con Pato a la Chiclayana to be exact. It’s the restaurants most popular dish and quite possibly my favorite dish in Peru. What intrigued me was that it mentioned the town of Illimo, outside of Chiclayo, as the source of the cilantro, an ingredient equally as important in the dish as the duck or rice, though it lacks the headliner status.
Mistura, a gastronomy festival held in Lima every September since 2008, is an identity feast. Gastronomy in Peru has many layers of hidden meanings, it is not just about the food. In her acclaimed documentary Mistura:The power of food, director Patricia Perez sets out to discover what these deeper meanings might be, and she does a wonderful job in doing so.