Posts Tagged With: Peru

Top 20 Things to do in South America (Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Cusco, & Lima)

BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA

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1) Teatro Colon

The Teatro Colon, in the City of Buenos Aires, is considered one of the best theaters in the world. Acknowledged for its acoustics and the artistic value of its construction, it turned 100 years in 2008. It underwent a major renovation that took three years and $100-million to complete, and it reopened in May of 2010

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2) We Are Tango

They combine dance lessons and a show into one, and it requires booking because they only allow 16 guests at a time making the evening more intimate

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3) Paseo de Rosedal

A great place to take in the scenery, take some pictures, eat ice cream, watch the ducks, and you can even rent a paddle boat and float by the greek style bridge over the lake

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4) Recoleta

This fashionable, upscale neighborhood is lined with cafes, boutiques and galleries and morphs into a street fair on weekends

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5) Puerto Madero

By day, this riverfront area is a booming business and shopping district and by night, a hip neighborhood with pricey restaurants and fashionable clubs

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL

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1) Sugar Loaf Mountain (Pao de Acucar)

Board the cable car that ascends this 390-foot granite mountain, which offers superb views of the city. Go at dusk to witness a glorious sunset

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2) Cristo Redentor (Statue of Christ the Redeemer)

The view is undoubtedly fabulous but as views go, sunset at Sugar Loaf surpasses this city panorama

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3) Teatro Municipal

Whether to attend a show or take a tour, it’s worth seeing this lavish 1909 theater, filled with gilded mirrors, statues, murals, stained-glass windows and sparkling chandeliers

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4) Ipanema Beach

Popularized by the song “The Girl from Ipanema,” this world-famous beach gives foreign visitors a sense of life in Rio, displaying a cross-section of different lifestyles, chic boutiques and eateries and luxurious apartment buildings

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5) Botanical Garden (Jardim Botanico)

The serene landscape is a respite from the rest of the city.  The layout of the gardens is in a formal European style that is at times overwhelmed by the vigour of the tropical plants, trees and shrubs.  For the visitor the jardim offers a quiet interlude in bustling Rio.  Even on the hottest days the visitor can walk the garden shaded from the sun by the tall palms, trees and bamboo stands.  Here and there you will find benches to sit and take a rest while looking out for the creatures that make it home; monkeys, toucans and other fascinating creatures that flit, fly and leap thru the canopy overhead. 

CUSCO, PERU

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1) Sacred Valley of the Incas

You will see amazing views of the Andes Mountains, the valley, and small Peruvian cities. Make sure you take plenty of cash to negotiate for gifts at the market

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2) Hiram Bingham train

The Hiram Bingham is a luxury and exclusive service of Orient Express operated by PeruRail. It´s a journey in which the traveller will have a full day of unforgettable experiences between the mystical Andean mountains and the most exclusive luxury that a train can offer. The two dining cars, its bar car with observatory, its kitchen car; the welcoming with sparkling wine and its traditional dancing show are only few of the reasons that converted it in everything that it means today

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3) Cusco Historic Center

Red buildings, towers of churches and the famous Incas walls create the unique and beautiful place. You can walk the streets for hours and discover new things

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4) Inca Trail

The Inca Trail winds through the Andes Mountains, the classic route being a 4-5 day trek from Cuzco to Macchu Pichu. Concerns for overuse and erosion have resulted in regulation of the number of hikers that can start the trail each day (about 500). Only a limited number of guides are allowed to take travelers on the trail and it is closed in February for cleaning, as well

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5) Cusco Cathedral

Dominating the northeast side of the Plaza de Armas, this magnificent renaissance-style, 16th-century building is in the shape of a Latin cross and contains nearly 400 colonial paintings including the Last Supper by Marcos Zapata

LIMA, PERU

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1) Museo Larco

The Museo Larco is housed in an exquisite 18th century vice-royal mansion, built over a 7th century pre-Columbian pyramid and surrounded by beautiful gardens. The museum’s galleries exhibit the finest and most magnificent gold and jewelry treasures from Ancient Peru and the renowned erotic collection, one of Peru’s most celebrated attractions. Founded in 1926 and located in Lima, the Museo Larco holds the largest and most important archaeological collection of Ancient Peru in the world.

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2) Magic Water Circuit

The Magic Water Circuit, recently inaugurated in the Reserve Park, has become one of the newest and most visited attraction in Lima. Honored with a Guinness Record and unique in America, this circuit offers thirteen impressive fountains that combine movement, lights, sounds and images. An amazing show to enjoy with all the family

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3) Miraflores

Miraflores is one of the top tourist districts of Lima. The main hotels in this beautiful city are located by the Pacific ocean.  Within the past few years, there have been a lot of new developments that offer several amenities such as fine cuisine, fast food, cyber cafes (internet for less than a dollar per hour), casinos, dancing, handcrafts, antiques flea markets, original paintings, cinemas, and much more. The traditional Miraflores beach is frequented by surfers and the riffs attracts paragliders.

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4) Plaza de Armas

Once considered the heart of old Lima, this grand plaza features many important architectural monuments and buildings including a magnificent bronze fountain dating from 1650, the Archbishop’s Palace with its elegant balconies and the Government Palace dating from 1924

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5) Barranco

Barranco district was founded on October 26th, 1874. It’s the smallest district of Lima and was always an attractive summer resort for middle and upper class residents of Lima and foreigners. Its known by its bohemian character and the home of various Peruvian writers (like Mario Vargas Llosa) and artists (like Victor Delfin). Today it has an artistic character and hosts rock, latin and creole music concerts at its many bars and pubs.

 

 

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Editor’s Top 10 Picks

Here are my personal top 10 places I would like to see and revisit all over the world:

 

1) Tuscany, Italy

Something about this place draws me in. I can picture myself eating exquisite Italian food alfresco and drinking a glass of wine from the vineyards. Hands down, this is my most favorite place I would like to visit.

2) Accra Beach Hotel, Christ Church Parish, Barbados

I have been to Barbados before and I stayed at the Accra Beach Hotel, and personally, that was the best vacation of my life. It brings back so many memories, of walking along the boardwalk, relaxing in the pink and white grain sand, friendly locals, being able to swim up to the bar and have a drink, and singing quite off-pitch at the karaoke bar at the hotel.

3) Andes Mountains, Peru

The views here are spectacular. I am very adventurous so I was thrilled when I was able to ride a horse up the mountain on a very narrow path, one foot to your left were cactus’ and one foot to your right was over a 200 foot cliff, and the picture above is the lake we had to cross with our horses to go up the mountain

4) Cape Cod: Provincetown, Hyannis, Martha’s Vineyard 

I go to Cape Cod every summer and Provincetown, Hyannis, and Martha’s Vineyard are my favorite places to visit. My family and I spend a majority of our time in Hyannis mostly because of the town with the cute shops and a variety of restaurants, and we also go parasailing there. Provincetown is one of my new favorites because of its lively atmosphere and town. There we usually go whale watching and explore around the town. Martha’s Vineyard we save for the last couple of days where we just relax and enjoy the beach and the gingerbread-like houses in Oak Bluffs. And we usually like to rent a moped for the day and ride around Edgartown and stop off at Gay Head Cliffs (Aquinnah) for breathtaking views of the ocean.

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5) Santorini, Greece

My favorite thing about Greece are the white houses and the blue accents and how it looks so clean and fresh. I can picture myself walking around exploring the food markets and gazing at the sunset.

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6) Mont St. Michel, France

After talking about this in one of the blogs, I fell in love with this place. It reminds me of that castle in the movie “Tangled” (a Disney movie). The architecture looks very romantic and gothic at the same time, it is enchanting to look at.

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7) Phuket, Thailand

There is something mystical about Phuket, Thailand. It reminds me of Pirates of the Caribbean, and the rock formations are captivating!

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8) Ta Phrom Temple, Cambodia

I was fascinated by the ancient temple in Cambodia ever since it was featured on the Travel Channel. It is so mysterious yet captivating.

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9) Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Bora Bora seems like the place where you can relax and get rid of all your stress and troubles. With the white sandy beaches, picturesque landscape, and interesting architecture, this is the best Caribbean vacation.

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10) Leavenworth, Washington

In the spirit of Christmas, Leavenworth is a town that I have always wanted to visit since I was little, with the entire town decked out in Christmas lights, horse-drawn sleigh rides through the snow, and the weekends there are like a Dr. Seuss tale, with the townsfolk joining hands at 4:30 around the gazebo for the lighting of the tree and some good old-fashioned caroling.

 

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Top 10 Regions for 2013

These are the top 10 regions for 2013 according to lonelyplanet.com

1) Corsica, France

Best for: activites, events, food

Mixing the cultures of Italy and France yet fiercely Corsican, the French Mediterranean island of Corsica has a furious beauty. It is this epic beauty combined with its challenging topography that make it a spectacular choice to host the historic centenary of the initial stages of the Tour de France. Race organisers wanted the hundredth Tour to start in an enchanting location, and decided Corsica was the place; this will be the first time the race has braved its challenges.

2) The Negev, Israel

Best for: adventure, activities, off the beaten track

For decades the Negev was regarded as nothing but a desolate desert. But today, this region is a giant greenhouse of development. Think eco-villages, spa resorts and even wineries. In the next few years a new international airport at Timna is scheduled to open, followed by a high-speed railway to Eilat and more hotels. Time is running out to experience the desert as nature intended.

3) Mustang, Nepal

Best for: activities, off the beaten track, culture

The completion of a road connecting Mustang to China in the north and the rest of Nepal to the south will make all the difference to this remote region. Lo Manthang, or Mustang as it’s usually called, has been dubbed ‘little Tibet’ or ‘the last forbidden kingdom’; though politically part of Nepal, in language, culture, climate and geography, it’s Tibet. Until 1992 nobody from outside was allowed in; for a while after that it was opened up to a few hundred a year, and these days anyone can enter, though the pricey trekking permit keeps the numbers down. Expect that to change.

4) The Yukon, Canada

Best for: activities, adventure, off the beaten track

This vast and thinly populated wilderness has a grandeur and beauty that can only be properly appreciated in person. But while few places in the world today are so unchanged over the course of time, change has started coming fast to the Yukon. In 2013 it is still one of the least densely populated regions on the planet (there’s almost 14.2 sq km/5.5 sq miles for each hardy local) but its tremendous mineral wealth is drawing new residents in a reprise of the fabled Klondike Gold Rush of 1898. Climate change means that parts of the far north are actually dissolving into the Arctic Ocean and the glacier-clad parks are undergoing profound change.

5) Chachapoyas & Kuelap, Peru

Best for: adventure, culture, off the beaten track

Nestled in the northern Peruvian Andes, the placid mountain city of Chachapoyas is small, quiet and a pain in the neck to reach. But this charming agricultural centre sits amid some of the country’s most incredible cultural and natural treasures, including an entire river valley’s worth of pre-Inca ruins, the funerary site of Karajía, and one of the world’s tallest waterfalls. The glorious isolation isn’t going to last for long. For the past half-dozen years, the Peruvian government has been quietly paving roads and improving other infrastructure to make the area more visitor-friendly.

6) The Gulf Coast, USA

Best for: activities, family, value for money

An area that has become synonymous with the words ‘oil spill’ doesn’t sound like it’d be a vacation must-do. But a lot has happened since a deep-water drilling operation off the coast of Louisiana went fatally awry in 2010. The Gulf Coast – never a place to take disaster lying down – has rebounded. Rolling sand dunes once again sparkle and seasonal travellers are once again enjoying the Gulf’s tepid waters, not to mention its tender locally caught fish. The ‘Redneck Riviera’ is edging back to its best.
 
7) Carinthia, Austria
 
Best for: activities, family, value for money
 

With belts tightening across Europe, the Alps are fast becoming the exclusive preserve of the champagne set… but lesser mortals will find plenty to love about Carinthia. With ski resorts nestled on every mountain top, Carinthia is best known outside Austria for uncrowded slopes and après-ski where you don’t have to take out a second mortgage just to buy a beer. Backing onto Italy and Slovenia, the region dilutes the Austrian efficiency with Mediterranean laissez-faire. So where are the crowds? Check out Carinthia now, while peace and quiet reigns; it won’t stay like this forever.

8) Palawan, The Philippines

Best for: off the beaten track, adventure, culture

Palawan incorporates thousands of sparkling, rugged islands and is fringed by 2000km of pristine coastline. So far Palawan’s natural marvels have only been sampled by plucky backpackers. Not for much longer. The trail these pioneers have blazed is set to explode, with regional airlines waking up to Palawan’s potential and clambering to schedule direct flights to the capital. Throw in the mushrooming growth of style-conscious boutique hotels normally found in places like Ko Samui or Bali, and you can feel that Palawan is ready to hit the big-time in 2013.

9) Inland Sea, Japan

Best for: culture, activities, off the beaten track

Tokyo, Kyoto, Mt Fuji… the islands of the Seto Inland Sea? You’d be forgiven if the name of this vast stretch of water in Japan’s west doesn’t ring any bells. With the exception of Miyajima, with its oft-photographed vermillion ‘floating’ torii (shrine gate), most of the Inland Sea islands aren’t on the usual international-tourist hit list. Fair enough. They’re out of the way, and there’s just so much to do in Tokyo. But those who make the effort are rewarded. Many of the islands in this roughly 400km-long waterway offer the chance to experience a Japan without all the bells, whistles and bullet trains.

10) Campania, Italy

Best for: culture, family, food

Campania is home to Italy’s most sumptuous stretch of coastline (the Amalfi Coast), one of its most mind-blowing and ebullient cities (Naples), the menacing beauty of Mt Vesuvius, and the frozen-in-lava ancient Roman city of Pompeii. This year it is receiving an enormous injection of cash as part of its role in hosting the UN’s fourth Universal Forum of Cultures from April to July. Events will include art exhibitions from all five continents, music, cinema, dance, street artists and theatre, circus acts, food markets and workshops.

 

 

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