Peru might not have officially qualified for the World Cup in 2014, but you’d never know it in this small village high in the Andes.
At 9840 feet (3000 metres) above sea level, the stage was set for a tough international battle – Intrepid Travel Guests vs. Locals. Both teams were a bit rusty – but soon the competitive World Cup spirit overcame their stiffness!
Ask travellers what we love most about exploring new places and the majority of us will tell you it’s meeting local people.
We are curious to know more about their lives, we want to share a laugh or two and enjoy authentic experiences. This isn’t easy to do when your stuck in touristy hotels, so the best way to make this happen is to spend the night with someone.
South America has long been a bucket-list destination for me and in just 4 days I’ll be heading there myself for the first time. It’s so close I can literally taste the Pisco Sour.
So what’s so exciting about a holiday to South America anyway? Well, for anyone unfamiliar with this epic continent, here’s a round-up of some of the things I’m looking forward to most when I explore Peru. And if there’s some stuff that I definitely shouldn’t miss, make sure you let me know in the comments below.
I am not a writer or a storyteller. I am a man of flavours and ingredients coming from a faraway land of a mystic culture and exotic products.
A few months ago, I had the opportunity to rediscover my own country of Peru. Through flavours I was able to understand a culture that I kept in my childhood memory, that influences my palate and is a part of who I am today.
Chances are if you’re travelling to Peru you are thinking of visiting Machu Picchu.
These legendary ruins are certainly worth the hike (quite literally if you embark on the Inca Trail), but you may not be familiar with the wealth of other captivating and crowd-free ruins that are littered across this ancient and impressive landscape.
Now it’s time for David to put his head down and write up his PhD thesis…but not without sending us some more enchanting observations…
Two weeks before their trip, Jason McLaughlin and his wife Charlotte knew they were going away, they just didn’t know where.
You see, the couple were the winners of an Intrepid mystery trip competition, so imagine their delight when Jason and Charlotte turned up at the airport and discovered they were going to explore Peru and its astounding Amazon Jungle…
“The driver kills the engine and for several moments the boat sits in darkness in what equates to silence in the jungle – the polyphonic hum of the cicadas, the occasional whoop of a nighttime bird and the excited wails of unseen monkeys, somewhere, maybe far away, maybe watching us from the shadowy trees which overhang the river banks. We gaze at stars I can’t remember seeing before. The constellations I recognise, The Plough, Orion, Pegasus are there of course, but between them are sparkling clusters of light which, I swear, just don’t exist in the city.
One day a guy walked in to Intrepid’s London store, while simultaneously a girl in Sydney booked her tour of Peru. What comes next is a romantic tale that Holly Howard will be able to tell the grand kids…
“I was at a stage in my life where I wanted to shake things up a bit. I was in a job I didn’t particularly enjoy, at the end of a relationship and living in a flat that I no longer liked. I also just turned 30, so thought it was the perfect milestone to ‘up-stumps’ and see more of the world. South America seemed like an exotic destination, full of history and not yet overrun by tourists – a place where I might even have an ‘epiphany on a mountain top’ about what I should do with my life.
Why have fountains flowing with water when they could be splashing about in the country’s national drink?
Yes, Peruvians are so passionate about their beloved Pisco that on the first Saturday in February they honour their famous cocktail with Pisco Sour Day. On this day each year the fountain at Plaza Mayor in Lima even pours with thousands of litres of the local brew!
If you can’t make it to this huge Pisco party, there is another chance to celebrate the iconic liqueur on National Pisco Day in July. And if you’re wondering what all the fuss is about, you can join Intrepid’s special Pisco Making Urban Adventure in Cusco to discover why this national drink has a way of bringing locals and travellers together.
Our ‘hairy neck’ in Peru, David Knight, has shared with us many wonderful insights into Peruvian life the past 6 months. But now as his time as Intrepid’s Community Based Tourism researcher is drawing to a close, it’s hard not to wonder if his alternative career ambition is to be a world food writer!
We’ve heard all about spicy aji on the side of soup, the delights of cuy (guinea pig), chicha (corn beer), ceviche, the best quinoa soup around, fresh honeycomb and ‘spider’ punch. Now David shares with us the triumph of the humble tater…