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July 26, 2011 13:09:21 | in Paracas

Paracas: A paradise all year round

Paracas for Fiestas Patrias
Sunset over the Bay of Paracas, a favorite destination for Limeños, nature lovers, birdwatchers and free spirits. See slide show.

By Jorge Riveros-Cayo
Photos by Eileen Marie Roche

We decided to leave early in the morning on the first bus departing at 3.45 a.m. to be exact. After some deadly strong pisco sours and supposedly refreshing pitchers of beers, we headed to the bus station – quite dead indeed – with the hope of sleeping tight during the approximate four-hour drive between Lima and Paradise. We were escaping from Peru's capital damp weather and grayness to start a four-day trip in Ica, the sunny region 300 kilometers south of Lima. We were going to explore the land of superb pisco, of creamy butter beans and of a nature haven called the Paracas National Reserve.

People are reputed to live happy and warm all year round in Ica. Okay, maybe not the entire year but anything could be better than drowning in Lima’s humidity between June and November. And anyway, our boundless enthusiasm was going to summon the sun from wherever it was hiding from us. Eileen, a U.S. born photographer traveling South America who I met weeks before, and myself had been invited to spend a couple of days at the Doubletree Hilton-Paracas Hotel. The plan was to explore the sledgehammer-shaped chunk of desert coastline jutting in the Pacific Ocean from this comfy base. And that is exactly what we did.

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July 21, 2011 17:39:41 | in Tambopata

Project has made Tambopata's lodges eco-friendlier

Squirrel monkey. All photos by author. 

By David Dudenhoefer

Ox-bow lakes crowded by exuberant foliage, multicolored macaws squawking in the treetops, squirrel monkeys skittering along branches – the Tambopata National Reserve, in the Madre de Dios region, brims with such varied and abundant wildlife that it’s easy to forget how many of its species are threatened. Yet the region’s spectacular biodiversity faces pressure from mining, hunting, deforestation and even poorly managed tourism.

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July 20, 2011 10:44:49 | in Cusco

Running the Inca Trail with two Olympians

Roberto Carcelen on the Inca Trail. All photos by Walter Rhein. 

By Walter Rhein

Peru's first winter Olympian, Roberto Carcelen, called me up recently with the question I dread to hear from professional athletes.

"Hey, what's your fitness level?"

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July 14, 2011 16:55:21 | in Cusco

Party in Paucartambo: Highland festival in Peru

The festival of the Virgen del Carmen in Paucartambo, Peru. See slide show.

By Marie Meyer

One sunny Lima day, over lunch, my friend Alicia mentions that her husband Ernesto is from the town of Paucartambo in Cusco province, and that he is getting reading to dance in “The Festival” again this July, at about the same time that my family and I will be visiting Machu Picchu and Cusco.

“The Festival?”

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July 13, 2011 16:29:16 | in Cusco

Andahuaylillas: South America's Sistine Chapel

The interior of San Pedro Apostol in Andahuaylillas (Photo: Skyscaperlife)

By Susana Aguirre

The small town of Andahuaylillas is 40 km southeast of Cusco. It's one of those places where there isn't much to do or see except for that hidden gem that makes the trip well worth it. And if you like getting lost wandering the streets of a small but picturesque town then you must visit Andahuaylillas.

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July 13, 2011 15:44:37 | in Machu Picchu

Peru travel experts share Machu Picchu memories

Peter Frost, travel writer and photographer, at Machu Picchu.

LSD, weed whackers and symphonies at Machu Picchu. Four experienced Peru travelers wrote to with one of thie most interesting Machu Picchu memories. Contributing are writers and fervent travelers Rafo León, Peter Frost, Marisol Mosquera and Katy Shorthouse.

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July 6, 2011 13:40:06 | in Machu Picchu

Album: Reader photos from Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is one of the most photogenic spots in the world, so when we asked our readers for photos of themselves at the ruins, we expected some good shots. We were not disappointed. Check 'em out below.


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July 6, 2011 13:05:20 | in Lima

The Air France visit to Lima, Peru

Richard Lecoq, the Canadian Ambassador to Peru. (All photos by Virginie Valdois)
Cécile Mouton-Brady de Pozzo, the French Ambassador to Peru, and Diego de la Torre.

After the inauguration of Air France's Paris-Lima flight, airline execs, diplomats and guests enjoyed sightseeing in Lima. The group saw a Peruvian Paso horse show in Hacienda Mamacona, toured pre-Inca ruins at Pachacamac, and witnessed a live art performance.

See photos below of the Air France Lima vacation, taken by Virginie Valdois.

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July 6, 2011 10:57:34 | in Machu Picchu

VIDEO: Hiram Bingham in Machu Picchu, 1949

Hiram Bingham returned to Machu Picchu in 1949 for the Chrysler-sponsored Travelogue documentary series.

A few decades after the 1911 rediscovery of Machu Picchu, the Travelogue series visited the Inca citadel with the National Geographic explorer-turned U.S. senator Hiram Bingham.

"A railroad and highway have improved the situation for tourists," narrates the Belgian traveler Armand Denis, "but even today the last few miles are on foot or horseback over a steep climb."

Watch the video below. (Related video: 1937 Travelogue in Peru.)

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July 6, 2011 10:24:39 | in Cusco

Where to get the best Cusco street food

Buying a cuy (Photo: Jo Self)

By Jo Self

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