Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Visit Paracas in the coast of Peru! Beautiful beaches and ecotourism!

Paracas is located in the department of Ica, which is south to Lima and just 3 hours by car from Lima. Pacaras bay is very attractive for tourists because of the beautiful beaches it has, some great hotels and also because of the eco-tourism. Paracas means “sand rain” and is the name given to some great winds that are observed in this region, mainly in the afternoon.

Paracas has been declared a national reserved for migratory birds, that is why visitors in Paracas enjoy observing the different ecosysetms and bird species that are found in Paracas. One of the species is the Humboldt penguin, which receives this name because of the Humbold Current that passes through Peruvian waters, and this are the only species of penguin that can be found in Peru. Other kind of birds that live on the islands are the so called “aves guaneras”, which received this name in the golden years of bird guano in Peru, when this was the main product being exported.

Besides birds you can also see some other animals on the islands mainly mammals like sea lions and also some dolphins. The islands that are in Paracas and where you can take this kind ef eco-tourism are the Ballestas Islands, which are very near the coast and you can take one of the many tours that depart every day, but you have to do it early in the day, because the boats don’t go there in the afternoon because of the winds.

If you are looking for relax and fun you are going to love Paracas! There are many beaches in Paracas bay but one special beach is one that is calle “La Mina” which in English means mine, and is located inside the Paracas Reserve, with a beautiful view of great part of the bay and calm waters to swim and relax.

When it comes to places to stay in Paracas you can really find great variety when it comes to hotels, if you do not want to pay much and are going to be all day at the beaches and sightseeing, you can find some affordable hotels, but if you want a great luxury hotel with spa and great food you can also go to one of the two main resorts in Paracas, one is the Libertador Hotel and the other one is the Hilton, both are 5 stars luxury hotels which are just beautiful and relaxing!

Finally, Paracas has some history too, because the Paracas culture that lived before the Incas have left some important legacy in Peruvian history, mainly because of its knitting techniques that can be seen in the Paracas mantles but also because of their great knowledge of irrigation and water management. You can learn about this culture in the museum that is located inside the Paracas Reserve.

So……..what are you waiting to visit Peru and come to Paracas???

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Peruvian food: You HAVE to try "Antichuchos" in Lima!!

The anticuchos are one of the favorite snacks or entree in Peru, specially in Lima where you can find them from street-carts in a Park to the best restaurants in town! The typical Anticuchos are from beef heart but know you can also find Anticuchos made from tenderloin.........what defines the Anticuchos really is the sauce, which gives them all the flavor: the meat is marinated in vinegar and spices such as cumin, aji pepper, and garlic, and then they are put on a stick ready to be cooked in a grill, and while they are cooking some more sauce is also applied with the help of the leaf from corn, if you try the Anticuchos from the street-carts you can watch the whole process and just delight with the smell while you are in the line to get your delicious Anticuchos!

One of the reasons why this dish is so popular in the street-carts, besides its flavor is that it is so easy to eat even standing because the small pieces of meat are on the stick and you really don't need silverware!

But I have not tell you the better part yet, Anticuchos are regularly served with white corn or potatoes (wich are also cooked in the grilled), or sometimes with corn AND potatoes, and even from the carts on the street to the best restaurants they have to serve the anticuchos with some aji or chili sauce, which is just delicious and the perfect combination for a great meal!!!

If you go to a restaurant the Anticuchos are typically served as a entree but you can also have it as your main dish, if you have the opportunity to share a barbecue in Peru the anticuhos are regularly one of the first items to be served, along with the "Choripanes" wich are sausages with french bread................or if you are just walking around maybe sightseeing or touring around Lima or other city in Peru you can quench your hunger with a stop by some of the carts you can find in many Parks and go on with your day!!!