Monday, August 22, 2011

Where to stay in Lima: The Westin Lima Hotel & Convention Center‏

This is one of the novelties nowadays if you come to Lima, the capital of Peru in this days. It is the newest of all the luxury hotels that are in Lima and is the tallest building in the city. The hotel belongs to the chain “Libertador”, which also has other hotels in Cuzco, Trujillo and Paracas, some of the most visited cities in the country.

The hotel is located in San Isidro, the business center in Lima and is very close to Miraflores, one of the preferred tourists spots in the capital because of the great views of the sea, the many restaurants that are located there and all the crafts markets that you can find there!

In this hotel is all about luxury and relax, you can find some of the fines suites in the country and the best quality of food and service, that is why this hotel has become one of the favorites among tourists, in very short time of existence!

If you are not staying in the hotel you can still go by it for a night out in the town, maybe to some of the restaurants or to the bar where you can find some of the most exotic Pisco Sours (see my post regarding only Pisco Sour), made with fruits that you can only find in the forest.

I will try to make some more posts like this specific to hotels and restaurants so that you can check all the alternatives you have when you come visit Peru and can make the most of your stay!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Visit Huaraz in the highlands of Peru!‏

Huaraz is located in the “Callejon de Huaylas”, the name of Peru’s most popular valley because of its magnitude and its great views full of mountains. The valley has on one side the “Cordillera Blanca” which is a mountain range with almost all of its peaks filled with snow, and in the other side there is the “Cordillera Negra”, also a mountain range very vast and long but its peaks don’t have any snow.

Huaraz is the capital of the Ancash department in PerĂº, and to get there is about 6 hours by car or 8 hours if you take the bus, in a highway full of stops to take beautiful pictures of the landscape!

There are an endless amount of options for outdoor activity near Huaraz. People spend years exploring the high mountain beauty of the Cordillera Blanca. For mountain climbs and some of the treks it is highly recommended to use the service of a guide offered by many professional adventure agencies in Huaraz. Typically, what you pay is what you get. Make sure you only climb mountains with certified mountain guides. It can safe your life. The mountaineering season is from May to September. Treks can be made all year round although it may rain in the afternoons from November to April.

If you are not very much into mountain climbing don’t think Huaraz is just about this, there’s lots of other things to do here, for example, to do a tour all along the “Callejon de Huaylas”, where you can stop in the beautiful cities of Carhuaz, Yungay, and Caraz. Each of these cities has its own unique appeal or history, for example, Carhuaz is known for its great parties that can lasts weeks!!!! On the other hand, in Yungay you can visit the sacred field in the place where the old city of Yungay was before the avalanche from 1970 covered the whole city in mud. Finally, in Caraz you can taste one of the most delicious blancmange from PerĂº, and they come in many flavors!

A great attraction in Huaraz is also the Llanganuco Lake, which is located at 3,800 meters above the sea level, and from where you can see not only the Huascaran (the most famous and highest peak in the region), but also great views of all mountains!

A very popular daytrip from Huaraz is to the ancient ritual center of the Chavin culture, East of Huaraz. It is one of the oldest archeological site in South America. Although a new road has made the wonderful trip shorter, I recommend you to stay a night in bordering village Chavin de Huantar.
Chavin de Huantar was developed around 900 B.C. late in the Initial Period. At an elevation of 3,150 m., Chavin de Huantar is situated at the bottom of Cordillera Blanca's eastern slopes, approximately halfway between tropical forests and coastal plains.

When it comes to food, in Huaraz you can definitely find veriey……….one of the most tipical dishes or appetizers in Huaraz is the “choclo con queso” which is just the boiled corn with some fresh cheese which is very salty and has a unique flavor, and is made in the city of Chiquian, in Huaraz. You can also find many places that served the famous “Cuy”, the Peruvian guinea pig, and also “Trucha”, which is a very rich fish from the river.