Colca Canyon

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Altitude Sickness

Sometimes called “mountain sickness,” altitude sickness is a group of symptoms that can strike if you walk or climb to a higher elevation, or altitude, too quickly.
The pressure of the air that surrounds you is called barometric pressure. When you go to higher altitudes, this pressure drops and there is less oxygen available.If you live in a place that’s located at a moderately high altitude, you get used to the air pressure. But if you travel to a place at a higher altitude than you’re used to, your body will need time to adjust to the change in pressure.

Symptoms

You might have: Headache
Dizziness
Nausea
Vomiting
Fatigue and loss of energy
Shortness of breath
Problems with sleep
Less appetite

Severe symptoms

Symptoms that may indicate life-threatening altitude sickness include: Pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs)
Symptoms similar to bronchitis
Persistent dry cough
Fever
Shortness of breath even when resting
Cerebral edema (swelling of the brain)
Headache that does not respond to analgesics
Unsteady gait
Gradual loss of consciousness
Increased nausea and vomiting
Retinal hemorrhage

Treatment

If you get a headache and at least one other symptom associated with altitude sickness within a day or two of changing your elevation, you might have altitude sickness. If your symptoms are more severe, you’ll need medical attention.
Your doctor might listen to your chest with a stethoscope or take an X-ray of your chest or an MRI or CT scan of your brain to look for fluid.
Knowing the symptoms of altitude sickness will help you seek treatment early, while the condition is still mild. The most important treatment for any level of altitude sickness is to go down to a lower elevation as soon as possible while remaining safe.

Prevention

Blog Perou Voyage Tours Arequipa suggest: The best way you can lower your chance of getting altitude sickness is through acclimatization. That means you let your body slowly get used to the changes in air pressure as you travel to higher elevations.
Some of the basic guidelines for acclimatization are:
Start your journey in low elevations. If you have to fly or drive somewhere that’s higher up, stop at one destination that’s lower for at least a full day before going any higher.
Drink 3-4 quarts of water every day and make sure about 70% of your calories are coming from carbs.
Don’t use tobacco, alcohol, or other medications, such as sleeping pills.
Know how to identify the first signs of altitude sickness. Immediately move to a lower elevation if you start to develop these symptoms.

Medications

The drug acetazolamide (trade name Diamox) may help some people making a rapid ascent to sleeping altitude above 2,700 metres. Acetazolamide can be taken before symptoms appear as a preventive measure. Acetazolamide, a mild diuretic, works by stimulating the kidneys to secrete more bicarbonate in the urine, thereby acidifying the blood. This change in pH stimulates the respiratory center to increase the depth and frequency of respiration, thus speeding the natural acclimatization process. An undesirable side-effect of acetazolamide is a reduction in aerobic endurance performance. Other minor side effects include a tingle-sensation in hands and feet. Prior to the onset of altitude sickness, ibuprofen is a suggested non-steroidal anti-inflammatory and painkiller that can help alleviate both the headache and nausea associated with the altitude sickness.

Coca Tea and Coca Leaves

For centuries, indigenous peoples of the Americas such as the Aymaras of the Altiplano and Quechuas, have chewed coca leaves to try to alleviate the symptoms of mild altitude sickness.

Coca Tea

Coca tea, also called mate de coca, is an herbal tea (infusion) made using the raw or dried leaves of the coca plant, which is native to South America. It is made either by submerging the coca leaf or dipping a tea bag in hot water. The tea is most commonly consumed in the Andes mountain range, where it is consumed all around the highlands and Peru.
It is greenish yellow in color and has a mild bitter flavor similar to green tea with a more organic sweetness. This tea is known to have quite a few benefits as it contains compounds such as inulin, phytonutrients, and alkaloids. Coca leaves also contain Vitamins A, C, E as well as B2 and B6. Also, this herbal tea has its own set of side effects as well. Read on to know more about coca leaf tea and how healthy it can be for you.

Benefits Of Coca Tea:

Here are the coca tea benefits:

1. Boosts Energy:

The leaves of the coca plant contain a compound called inulin that gives off a stimulatory effect. According to researchers, it is this compound that makes coca tea boost energy levels in your body. It also helps in stimulating mental focus.

2. Boosts Immune System:

There are high levels of various vitamins in coca tea that may have antioxidant properties. These vitamins may play a role in boosting your immune system.

3. Lowers Risk Of Cardiovascular Disease:

According to research, Vitamins C and E and the antioxidant properties they possess make coca tea beneficial to health. It is these nutrients and their antioxidant action that may help in lowering the risk of developing different types of cardiovascular disease.

4. Alleviates Altitude Sickness:

For centuries, coca tea has been used in South America to relieve the various symptoms of altitude sickness. You can prevent nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and upset stomach by sipping on coca tea. Researchers believe that it is the presence of B vitamins and alkaloids that gives this herbal tea its effect on altitude sickness. This is because coca tea may help in improving the oxygen uptake and blood flow at high altitudes.

5. Relieves Indigestion:

The same alkaloids and vitamins that are present in coca tea make it an effective remedy for indigestion. You can gain relief from gastrointestinal problems by drinking this herbal tea.

6. Regulates Blood Glucose:

Coca leaves also contain calcium, iron, and riboflavin. With Vitamin A, these nutrients may help in regulating blood glucose in your body. This, in turn, enhances metabolism and may play a role in reducing the risk of diabetes, as well as obesity.

7. Promotes Weight Loss:

According to experts, certain alkaloids that are found in coca tea may have the ability to promote weight loss. These alkaloids may play a role in increasing lipolysis that is the process of mobilizing and breaking down fatty acids in your body for energy. When you drink this tea on a regular basis, it may increase your body’s natural ability to burn fat and ultimately help reduce body.

Are you looking for a Private Colca Canyon Tour? Find the Best Colca Tour Operator.

Peru Tourist Attractions

Tourist can find different reasons for traveling to Peru: great natural wonders, Inca civilization, andes landscapes, Amazon rainforest, arid deserts, colonial buildings, gastronomy,etc.
The most popular touris destinations in Peru: The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, Hike the Colca Canyon, navigate the Titicaca Lake and visit the floating islands, explore the Amazon Rainforest, fly over the mysterious Nazca Lines, Sandboard and dune Buggy in Huacachina, surfing in Mancora beach, discover the Sacred Valley of the Incas, wildlife viewing in Ballestas Islands, sightseeing in Lima, etc.
Travelers to Peru can choice between the different kind of activities: adventure, cultural or adventure tours offered by the different Peru Travel agencies.

1. Travelling to Machu Picchu:

There are different ways for exploring Machu Picchu, you can buy a full day tour to Machu Picchu, trek to Salkantay or hike the Inca Trail, the most important fact is to assure your space and be ready for the adventure.

2. Explore Amazonas Rainforest:

The Peruvian Amazon jungle is the most diverse and prolific section. Meet caiman and paddle canoes along tranquil waterways, here you can explore the river by boat and learn about flora and fauna.

3. Trekking Colca Canyon:

The Colca Canyon is the second deepest canyon in the world. Arequipa tour operators offer different tour packages for taking you to the extra mile. Colca Trekking tour packages are offered according to your physical conditions and this is a good training for the Inca Trail or Salcantay Trek.

4. Floating Islands of Lake Titicaca:

Lake Titicaca is famous for its floating reed islands. The islands are home to the Uros tribe, one that pre-dates the Incan civilization. The floating islands offers an interesting perspective into the lives of Peru’s aboriginal people.

5. Fly over Nazca Lines:

Nazca Lines are ancient geoglyphs that range from wildlife to geometric designs. There are several theories about how and why the geoglyphs were created but it seems nothing is conclusive. The Nazca Lines are one of Peru’s most interesting and peculiar attractions.

6. Paracas National Reserve:

Paracas National Reserve, on Peru’s southern coast, is a desert reserve that occupies most part of the Península de Paracas. It’s a great example of Pacific subtropical coastal desert, with desert extending right to the beach.

7. Sandboard and Buggy in Huacachina:

Huacachina is located near to Ica city. Huachina is a desert village built around a small natural lake with towering sand dunes surrounding it from all sides.

8. Vinicunca Mountain Rainbow:

The Mountain Rainbow is located in Cusco region and becomes a top destination in Peru. As you can see from the above image, the colourful mountain range offers a truly unique experience that highlights the diverse beauty of the Andes.

9. The Sacred Valley of the Incas:

The Sacred Valley stretches along the Urubamba River from Pisac to Ollantaytambo. Aside from the ruins and archaeological sites, the region is well known for its remarkable landscapes and lush agriculture.

10. Lima City:

Lima city is Peru’s largest metropolitan city often gets overlooked. Lima is extremely rich in history and culture. It has interesting museums, beautiful cathedrals, eerie catacombs, tasty traditional Peruvian cuisine, electric nightlife and endless shopping.

11. Arequipa:

Peru’s ashlar (white stone) city with snow-capped mountains, volcanoes (e.g. Misti), deep canyons (e.g. Cotahuasi and Colca), renowned gastronomy, small coves and beaches. Nestling between the coast and the southern highlands of Peru, Arequipa is the land of with great destinations with heights on snow-capped peaks such as Ampato (6,288 m), volcanoes like Chachani (6,075 m) and El Misti (5,825 m).

12. Cusco:

Cusco’s history lives in its streets, squares, valleys and towns.Stunning destinations and examples of fine engineering by Inca stonemasons can be seen in Choquequirao, Saysayhuamán, Kenko, Tambomachay, Ollantaytambo and Machu Picchu, the Inca jewel built with the wisdom of the ancient Peruvians in an ecological environment. Captivating landscapes such as the Sacred Valley, where the mountains are clothed by terraces.

13. Cajamarca:

The scene of the final days of the Inca Empire, Cajamarca offers its noble Andean heart of sensual landscapes, home to Peru’s best cattle and a remarkable dairy production. It boasts magnificent colonial architecture like the Cathedral and the churches of San Francisco, Belén and Recoleta. This is a land of history with places like the Baños del Inca (Inca Baths), the Ventanillas de Otuzco and Cumbemayo.

14. Ancash:

Among its wide variety of attractions you can find snow-capped mountains, lakes, valleys, beaches and unique flora and fauna. Áncash has strikingly varied scenery, with its high peaks, like the snow-capped mountain Huascarán (6,768 meters above sea level), hundreds of lakes, picturesque valleys, like the Callejón de Huaylas, and trails bordered by eucalyptus trees and retama flowers that cross over the Andes to the archaeological site of Chavín de Huántar.

Peruvian Gastronomy

Peruvian cuisine, considered among the best in the world, inherited its innovation, mix and flavors from Peru’s history. Its culinary fusion developed over a long process of cultural exchange between the Spanish, Africans, Chinese, Japanese and Italians,among others. The dishes became more and more varied as races mixed and migrants landed at the port of Callao.
This fusion gives rise to dishes like the unique anticucho de corazón (skewered cow heart), tacu-tacu stew and carapulcra, dishes which have African heritage. Nutritious pastas arrived along with Italian migrants, whose adaptations have resulted in traditional dishes like green or red pasta. Ceviche, Peruvian’s emblematic dish, emerged from a fusion with Japanese cuisine. Lastly, the trend of Novo-Andean cuisine boasts indigenous foods worthy of the most elegant settings, reclaiming the national flavor that is such an important part of our identity.

5 Reasons to Choose Peru

1. A country that looks to the future. Its economy has grown steadily for 15 years. It has Free Trade Agreements with the main economies of the world, like the US, China and the EU.
2. Near everything. The strategic location of Peru connects it to the main destinations in the world with direct domestic and international flights from Lima.
3. Heritage cities. Lima, Arequipa and Cusco are Unesco World Heritage Sites.
4. World-famous cuisine. Peru is the best culinary destination in the world according to the World Travel Awards. In addition, three Peruvian restaurants are included in the list of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants and nine are in the group of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants.
5. Infrastructure and experience. Peru has a modern convention center, numerous international hotel chains, a total capacity of about 13,000 beds in Lima, Arequipa, Paracas and Cusco, and has organized events for more than 12,000 participants in recent years.

Machu Picchu Information

Machu Picchu is a 15th-century Inca citadel situated on a mountain ridge at 2,430 metres above sea level. It is located in the Cusco Region, in Machupicchu District in Peru, above the Sacred Valley, which is located at 80 kilometres northwest of Cuzco city and through which the Urubamba River flows.
Most archaeologists believe that Machu Picchu was constructed as an estate for the Inca Pachacutec(1438–1472). Machu Picchu Citadel is the most familiar icon of Inca civilization. The Incas built the estate around 1450 but abandoned it a century later at the time of the Spanish Conquest. Although known locally, it was not known to the Spanish during the colonial period and remained unknown to the outside world until American historian Hiram Bingham brought it to international attention in 1911.
Machu Picchu was declared a Peruvian Historic Sanctuary in 1981 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. In 2007, Machu Picchu was voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in a worldwide Internet poll.

Machu Picchu Weather

Machu Picchu is warm and humid during the day and fresh at night. The temperature ranges between 12ºC and 24ºC. Generally this site is rainy especially between November and March.

Rains and Humidity

From November to March is the rainy season in Machu Picchu, while between April to November is the dry shiny season.
Machu Picchu has part of the Amazon jungle, and the rains are present in all the seasons. In the hottest days it is possible to achieve approximately 26° Celsius, in the coldest early mornings in June and July the temperature can drop to -2 °C. Its annual average temperature is 16 ° C. It’s really easy to difference between two seasons: the rainy season (November to March) visitors are recommended to bring appropriate clothing and during the strong sun season (April to October), with a notable temperature increase.
The best months to visit Machu Picchu are May to October. Generally in Machu Picchu it is hot during the day and cold at night. The tourist must be prepared, because the weather has fluctuations. The ideal thing is carry a backpack,a sweater of wool, a jacket. During the day the tourist can use a t-shirt and a comfortable pair of pants. In the dry season (May- November) the sun makes us wear sunglasses, a hat and sun block.

Machu Picchu New Entrance Rules

Peru’s Minister of Culture issued new rules governing all visits to the Machu Picchu Sanctuary. The rules went into effect July 1, 2017, but have since been updated, which is reflected in this post. The biggest changes of note are:
Visits will now be more strictly timed (at four hours in maximum duration).
No re-entry will be allowed without securing a second permit.

Visitors must enter with a guide on their first visit.

Split Entrance Times

According to the new rules, Machu Picchu will be visited in 2 sessions. The new rules were going to come into operation on July 1st of 2017. It operates in the following way: Morning session: 6 am – 12 pm Afternoon session: 12 pm – 5:30 pm Remember that readmittance is not permitted once visitors have left the site. The major difference between the morning and afternoon sessions is that admission is more controlled in the morning.

Three established circuits in Machu Picchu

In the new rules, the government has established 3 circuits for visitors to Machu Picchu. Visitors must decide which route they will take upon arrival to Machu Picchu with their expert guides. This decision will depend on the visitors’ interests and physical conditions. Some details about the circuits in Machu Picchu are as follows:
Circuit 1.- Is the most complete route, and the most highly recommended one. It requires you to be a in good physical condition. first takes you to the upper-sector of the citadel where you will have the best view of Machu Picchu itself, and then it goes through the most beautiful and important buildings.
Circuits 2 & 3.- Visit the mid and lower-sectors, and are more suitable for those who want a more relaxing visit. Still, they both take you through beautiful places.

Why are there Alternative Circuits?

The alternative circuits are open to Machu Picchu visitors in order to give them some extra options and diversify the hikes. This also helps reduce crowding in the citadel.

Huayna Picchu Mountain

Huayna Picchu Mountain stands behind Machu Picchu. The views from the top are spectacular, and it only takes 45 minutes to go each way, but the route is quite steep.
If you are interested in this experience, you need to book this in advance. Also, we highly recommend climbing Huayna Picchu with the second group which is scheduled for 10am because the views during this time are so much better. This ticket is in combination with the general Machu Picchu entrance ticket; it cannot be purchased separately.
According to the new rules, all visitors to Huayna Picchu need to add 2 extra hours (until 2pm) so that they will have enough time to explore Machu Picchu and hike the mountain.
First entrance: 7 am – 8 am
Second entrance: 10 am – 11 am

Machu Picchu Mountain

Machu Picchu mountain stands just to the left of the citadel. This climb takes about a total of 2 hours to go up and down. The view from the top is absolutely phenomenal, but it needs to be booked in advance. This ticket must be purchased in combination with the general Machu Picchu entrance ticket; it cannot be purchased separately.
According to the new rules, all visitors to Machu Picchu Mountain will have an extra 3 hours (until 3pm) so that they will have enough time to explore Machu Picchu and the mountain.
First entrance: 7 am – 8 am
Second entrance: 9 am – 10 am

The Sun Gate

The hike up to the Sun Gate is another option. It’s the entrance that hikers on the Classic Inca Trail enter through in order to arrive to Machu Picchu. It takes 1 hour to hike and is free and available to all. According to the new rules, it can be visited during the morning session or in the afternoon session. It is still unsure if the government will give at least 1 hour to that people who want to do this extra hike.

Some important Rules that you should consider when you visit Machu Picchu

We really want to inform you of the most important rules that should be taken into consideration so as to avoid any trouble when you are visiting Machu Picchu.
Any backpacks that are more than 26 liters are not permitted during the tour and must be placed in storage (near the entrance).
It is prohibited to enter with food.
It is prohibited to enter with alcoholic beverages.
It is prohibited to enter with umbrellas (hats, ponchos, and raincoats are permitted).
It is prohibited to enter with photographic tripods or any type of camera stand/support. This is only permitted with pre-authorization and the appropriate permit.
It is prohibited to enter with any musical instruments, including megaphones and speakers.
It is prohibited to enter with high-heeled shoes or any shoe with a hard sole. Only soft soles are permitted (like those found in training shoes or walking shoes/boots).
It is prohibited to enter with children’s strollers or prams. Only strap on baby/child carriers are permitted.
It is prohibited to climb or lean on walls or any part of the citadel.
It is prohibited to touch, move or remove any lithic items / structures.
It is prohibited to enter with walking sticks that contain a metal or hard point. Only elderly people and physically-disable people are permitted to enter with a walking stick with a rubber tip.
It is prohibited to get naked, change clothing, lie down, run and/or jump.
It is prohibited to make loud noises, applaud, shout, whistle and sing. The tranquility and character of Machu Picchu must be maintained at all times.
It is prohibited to smoke or use an electronic cigarette.
It is prohibited to feed the resident or wild animals.
It is prohibited to paraglide and to fly any type of drone or small aircraft.
For Buying Machu Picchu Tickets, please visit:
http://www.machupicchu.gob.pe/

Colca Canyon

Colca Canyon is located about 160 kilometres northwest of Arequipa. It is Peru’s third most-visited tourist destination with about 120,000 visitors annually, With a depth of 3,270 metres it is one of the deepest in the world. The Colca Valley is a colorful Andean valley with pre-Inca roots, and towns founded in Spanish colonial times, still inhabited by people of the Collagua and the Cabana cultures. The local people maintain their ancestral traditions and continue to cultivate the pre-Inca stepped terraces.

Colca Canyon History

The Quechua-speaking Cabanas, probably descended from the Wari culture, and the Aymara-speaking Collaguas, who moved to the area from the Lake Titicaca region, inhabited the valley in the pre-Inca era. The Spaniards, under Gonzalo Pizarro, arrived in 1540 and in the 1570s the Spanish viceroy Francisco de Toledo ordered the inhabitants to leave their scattered settlements and to move to a series of centrally located pueblos, which remain the principal towns of the valley. Franciscan missionaries built the first chapel in the valley in 1565, and the first church in 1569.
No passable roads existed between Arequipa and Chivay until the 1940s, when a road was completed to serve the silver and copper mines of the region. More roads were built in the 1970s and 1980s by the Majes Hydroelectric Project, a program to divert water from the Colca River to irrigate crops in the Majes region. Access today is usually via Arequipa.
In May 1981, the Polish Canoandes rafting expedition led by Jerzy Majcherczyk, made the first descent of the river below Cabanaconde, and proclaimed the possibility of its being the world’s deepest canyon. It was so recognized by the Guinness Book of Records in 1986, and a National Geographic article in January 1993 repeated the claim. The joint Polish/Peruvian “Cañon del Colca 2005” expedition verified the altitudes of the river and the surrounding heights via GPS.

Colca Canyon Geography

Colca Canyon – Arequipa 14 plains of Majes, it is known as the Majes River, and then is known as the Camana before reaching the Pacific Ocean at the town of that name. The Majes River was believed by the Incas to flow directly into the Milky Way. For this reason, they often put sacrifices and gifts to the gods in the river for it to flow to them. Within the province of Caylloma it is known as the “Colca Valley” between Callalli and Pinchollo/Madrigal. Down to Huambo it is known as the Colca Canyon. The town of Chivay is located at the midpoint of the Colca valley. Above Chivay, at an elevation of 3,500 metres, agriculture gives way to livestock raising, principally alpacas and llamas, with some sheep and dairy cattle as well. Below Chivay the valley presents intensely terraced landscapes, continuing for many kilometers downstream.
Within the deepening valley downriver, a series of small villages is spread out over the approximately 56 kilometres between Chivay and the village of Cabanaconde. The canyon reaches its greatest depth in the region of Huambo, where the river has an elevation of 1,066 metres.
In contrast, 24 kilometres to the southeast of Cabanaconde rises the 6,288 metres high Ampato, a snow-capped extinct volcano.

Colca Canyon History

The Colca valley was first populated by hunters and gatherers, probably about 6,000 years ago. Cave art at Mollepunku, near Callalli, is thought to represent the domestication of the alpaca at about that time. There is little evidence of continual habitation until two cultures arrived at about the same time, about a thousand years ago: the Cabanas, Quechua-speaking descendants of the Wari culture, and the Collaguas, Aymara-speakers from the Puno/Lake Titicaca region. They constructed vast expanses of agricultural terraces in the valley, creating irrigation systems to water their crops.
The region takes its name from the qolqas (colcas) that are found throughout the valley, mud and stone granaries built into cliffs or caves where the dry, cool climate makes for an ideal “refrigerated” storage for crops or seeds. (These can be seen at various places throughout the valley, but most easily at the “Puente Sifon” in Yanque.)
In the late 14th century, the Inca arrived, taking the Colca valley into their empire through intermarriage. They helped to perfect the construction of irrigation channels and terraces, and their influence is visible, too, in the stonework of some of the archeological sites.
With the Spanish conquest in the 16th century came the “Toledan reductions,” in which the local governor demanded that the population be concentrated in a few major towns throughout the valley, instead of dispersed in their small settlements. This was the origin of most of the towns that are found today. The churches in each town were mostly built between the 16th and 19th centuries.

Colca Canyon Attractions

The Colca Canyon is home to the Andean condor (Vultur gryphus), a species that has been the focus of worldwide conservation efforts. The condors can be seen at close range as they fly past the canyon walls, and are a popular attraction. The Andean Condor typically lives about 60-70 years, and has a wingspan of about 2.1–2.7 metres. It is commonly referred to as the “Eternity Bird,” as the bird is a symbol of long life and eternity. ‘Cruz del Condor’ is a popular tourist stop to view the condors. At this point the canyon floor is 1,200 metres below the rim of the canyon.
Other notable bird species present in the Colca include the giant hummingbird, the largest member of the hummingbird family, as well as the Andean goose, Chilean flamingo, and mountain caracara. Animals include vizcacha, a rabbit-sized relative of the chinchilla, zorrino, deer, fox, and vicuña, the wild ancestor of the alpaca.
The La Calera natural hot springs are located at Chivay, the biggest town in the Colca Canyon. Other hot springs, some developed for tourist use, are dotted throughout the valley and canyon.
Archeological sites include the caves of Mollepunko above Callalli where rock art (said to be 6,000 years old) depicts the domestication of the alpaca; the mummy of Paraqra, above Sibayo; the Fortaleza de Chimpa, a reconstructed mountaintop citadel that looks down on Madrigal; ruins of pre-Hispanic settlements throughout the valley; and many others.
Cultural attractions include the Wititi festival in Chivay, named as a “cultural heritage” of Peru. The Colca is also well known for crafts: goods knitted from baby alpaca fiber and a unique form of embroidery that adorns skirts (polleras), hats, vests, and other items of daily wear and use.
The most distant source of Amazon River is accessible from the Colca valley via Tuti, a one-day trip to a spring at 5,120 metres (16,800 ft), where snowmelt from the Mismi bursts from a rock face. Other attractions include the Infiernillo Geyser, on the flanks of the volcano Hualca Hualca, which is accessible on foot, horseback, or mountain bicycle, and a number of casas vivenciales where tourists can stay with a local family in their home and share in their daily activities.
Autocolca, an autonomous authority created by law in the 1980s, is responsible for tourism promotion and management in the Colca Valley.

Peruvian Cuisine

Peruvian Cuisine reflects the country’s history, with a variety that is unique in the world. We find dishes that sweeten our palates in every corner of Peru. The cuisines of Lima, the North Coast, the Amazon, Arequipa, the Andes and Novo-Andean cuisine are waiting for you.

Amazonian Cuisine

Food from the Peruvian Amazon not only entices with its exotic dishes, but also attracts travelers with its great variety of delicacies such as beef, poultry, fish, mutton and pork.
It also offers other examples of Pachamama’s abundance, such as majaz, with its lean meat and delicious flavor, or plantains, used as a main ingredient in many recipes. And what better companion for this tantalizing food than the fresh juice of countless kinds of fruit, or other drinks, such as masato guaranteed to pamper the palate of our most indulged visitors.

Loreto, Ucayali, San Martín and Madre de Dios

Food from eastern Peru is exotic. The biodiversity of its resources seems infinite. Chonta or palm heart, harvested from palm trees, is an important element of Amazonian cooking and is used to make salads.
The plantain is another key ingredient in Amazonian food. It is used to prepare tacacho, which is often served with pork cracklings or dried pork. Juanes, pieces of chicken packed in cooked rice and wrapped in bijao leaves to cook; roast picuro, a species similar to the guinea pig; apinchado, cuts of pork stewed with peanuts and corn; andpatarashca, fish steamed in leaves in hot coals, are all examples of the flavors proffered by Amazonian dishes.
Juanes, pieces of chicken packed in cooked rice and wrapped in banana leaves to be lightly roasted; roast picuro, a species similar to the guinea pig; apinchado, cuts of pork stewed with peanuts and corn; and patarashca, fish steamed in leaves in hot coals, are all examples of the varied flavors proffered by Amazonian dishes.
Noteworthy soups include inchicapi, chicken prepared with peanuts, cilantro and cassava, and carachama soup, made from fish and accompanied with plantains and cilantro. When it comes to drinks, the Amazon offers remarkable fresh juices made from countless types of fruit, such as aguajina and cocona, as well as concoctions like masato or chuchuhuasi, which is alcoholic, or uvachado, a fermented grape beverage, and chapo, prepared with banana and/or milk.

Andean Cuisine

The Peruvian mountains are synonymous with variety. Andean cuisine abounds with stews, soups, meats, and exquisite desserts made from corn, milk and fruits.
Combining the high nutritional value of the Andean ingredients in a traditional earthen pot over a wood fire to create the most delicious dishes. Chicha corn beer was the traditional beverage of the ancient inhabitants of the Andes, and the tradition still lives on today.

Cajamarca, Amazonas, Áncash, Junín, Pasco, Huancavelica, Apurímac, Ayacucho, Cusco and Puno

The Peruvian highlands have an abundance of highly nutritious ingredients that the ancient inhabitants of Peru learned to combine to create pleasing flavors without sacrificing their natural properties. The wood-fired ovens and ceramic pots are part of the Inca wisdom that preserves the nutrients of food through a slow and aromatic cooking process.
Meats, tubers, grains and herbs are the foundations of this healthy culinary tradition. The simple way of cooking, with little seasoning, guarantees easy digestion. Corn with cheese, corn salad, corn kernels with cracklings, cancha (roasted corn kernels), humitas (ground, cooked corn cakes), and papa a la huancaina (potatoes in a spicy cream sauce) are on the menu of any Andean restaurant. This selection of dishes includes meats, corn, maize, potatoes, cassava, cheese, peppers, peanuts and herbs.
The food of the Peruvian mountains is hearty. Pachamanca is a mixture of beef, lamb, pork and cuy (guinea pig), marinated in chicha de jora and herbs and then cooked, along with fava beans, potatoes and humitas, on hot stones in a hole in the ground covered over with earth and corn husks.
Patasca, a soup made from corn kernels; cuy chactado, guinea pig fried with a stone on top of it; cecina, dried and dehydrated meat served with onion sauce; and puka picante, a pork and potato stew seasoned with red pepper and beets are all part of the Andean culinary tradition.
Traditional Andean soups include chochoca, made from corn flour; sopa verde, a kind of chowder made of cheese and the paico herb; kapchi, a fava bean stew; lawa, a thick soup with fresh corn, fava beans, dried yellow ají peppers and the huacatay herb; chuño or morraya, made from dehydrated potatoes, and chairo, made with beef and mutton, wheat, potatoes, fava beans, pumpkin and chuño (naturally freeze-dried potatoes).
The desserts feature corn, milk and highland fruits. Worth a taste are chapana, the fresh cheese with honey, the coconut cocadas, the manjarblanco (caramel) and the jaleas (blackberry and elderberry preserves). When it comes to liquors, artisanal wines and ciders are the most common, along with corn chicha. Bread also has a special place: wawas, santiagos, bollos de agua and tres puntas are different types made from wheat, barley, corn, oca, anise, potato and sweet potato.

Cuisine of Arequipa

You will love Arequipa’s food and restaurants, also known as picanterías, where the delicious aromas of the regional repast waft through the air along with the heat of wood fires.
Rocoto peppers, the area’s iconic delicacy, solterito cheese salad, white soup, pork crackling, guisado stew, and the famous adobo dominical all entice visitors.
And what about the desserts? Food of the gods! During your fortunate encounter with the White City of Arequipa, don’t forget to try the traditional corn chicha accompanied by a delicious anise drink, Nájar, which eases digestion.

Arequipa

You will love Arequipa’s food and restaurants, also known as picanterías, where the delicious aromas of the regional repast waft through the air along with the heat of wood fires.
The picanterías of the White City are the modern expression of an ancestral custom in the region that merges rural life with food and dining. These traditional restaurants still cook over a wood fire, a natural source of heat that intensifies the aromas of the food’s seasonings.
An emblematic dish from Arequipa is the rocoto pepper stuffed with pieces of meat, cheese, eggs and olives and blanketed with a generous slab of melted cheese. Other entrees unique to Arequipa are solterito de queso, combining fava beans, corn, olives, hot pepper and chunks of cheese with a lemon and herb dressing, and ocopa, consisting of four or five slices of cooked potato slathered with a sauce made of milk, cheese, peanuts, hot pepper, onion, crackers and shrimp tails.
Like all mountain towns, Arequipa offers succulent soups. The most acclaimed dishes are the hearty and healthy white soup with lamb loin, potato, corn, garbanzo beans, chuño (naturally freeze-dried potato), and spices; puchero soup, a stew of beef, pork, and chicken with vegetables and herbs; and shrimp chowder, containing shrimp with milk and cheese.
On Sunday mornings in Arequipa, you will find adobo, a main dish made from pork loin, ají pepper, onion and chicha de jora corn beer. The locals also enjoy fried pork cracklings and stews, which form the base of their spicy dishes like spicy pork, beef, lamb and duck; as well as locro, a stew made from pumpkin with beef or lamb, and malaya frita, which consists of stewed and browned beef brisket served with fried cassava and onion sauce.
Arequipa offers a variety of desserts. Buñuelos pastries are made from flour, eggs and milk and served in molasses. Queso helado (frozen cheese) is prepared with coconut, cinnamon, milk and spices, and once it has set, served with honey or by itself. Arequipa’s chocolates and toffees are also famous. The traditional beverage is corn cicha or chicha de jora or Nájar anis, a digestif traditionally consumed after eating pork.

Cuisine of Lima

Lima’s cuisine has undoubtedly earned it an excellent and well-deserved position as one of the top food capitals in the world.
With its iconic dishes, ceviche and tiradito, Lima is a prime destination for those who love good cuisine.
Its gastronomy is the result of disparate influences: African, indigenous and Chinese, which all coalesce in delicious dishes that enchant even the most demanding palates.
Lima Lima offers a great variety of traditional dishes served in diverse venues that include five-star hotels, restaurants, ceviche joints, chicken shops, markets, huariques (informal restaurants) and chifas (Chinese restaurants). Considered the center of regional cuisine, it also hosts the most important food fair in Latin America: Mistura.
Its captivating cuisine takes the form of an extensive menu of dishes with fish as the star ingredient, and ceviche, a source of national pride. Tiradito, a version of ceviche without onion, and parihuela, fish soup with shellfish, are typical seafood dishes. Others on the long list include rice with shellfish, chorrillana-style fish, shells á la parmesana, mussels á la chalaca (cooked in lemon and served in their shells), jalea mixta (fried fish and other seafood), tequeno pastries stuffed with crab meat, tuna-stuffed potato cake, fried rice with fish, pastas with seafood sauce, etc.
The African influence brought to our cuisine the offal used for the famous anticuchos, which are skewered cow hearts grilled over a charcoal fire; cau cau, a stew of tripe and potatoes; and tacu tacu, refried beans mixed with rice and topped or stuffed with meats or seafood.
The Peruvian-Spanish fusion gave rise to dishes such as causa limeña, a potato puree stuffed with poultry, seafood, or avocado and tomato; tamales, a spiced, ground corn paste filled with chicken or pork; and ají de gallina, a creamy stew of hot peppers, milk, bread and spices with shredded chicken breast.
The Chinese influence also led to new culinary delights that please the palate with delicious dishes such as arroz chaufa, rice cooked and fried in soy sauce with small pieces of chicken, pork, egg and green onions, and lomo saltado, which is sautéed potato, meat, onion, tomato and hot peppers, seasoned with soy sauce.
Deserts are another source of creativity. The purple mazamorra pudding, rice pudding, el suspiro a la limeña custard, turrón de doña Pepa cake, and the deep fried picarones pastries all represent the sweeter side of meals in Lima. The purple corn beverage known as chicha morada, along with beer and Inca Kola, a yellow soda drink, are all traditional drinks in Lima.

The cuisine of the Northern Coast

The warm climate of Peru’s northern coast offers a delectable variety of seafood and fish to satisfy the tastes of even the most discriminating visitors.
A delicious way to savor the varied flavors of ceviches and sudado stews is by accompanying it with a cold beer or corn-based chicha de jora.
Red meat lovers can enjoy our exquisite cabrito kid meat from the goats raised in the area.
This dish, among a cornucopia of both sweet and savory dishes, make the northern coast an ideal place to visit.

Tumbes, Piura, Lambayeque and La Libertad

The northern regions enjoy warm weather and seas teeming with fish and seafood. Their most prized dishes include ceviches and sudado stews, which combine ingredients harvested from the sea with sour and spicy seasoning, and aromatic herbs that provide fresh and intense flavors. Ceviches are made with fish, seafood or black shellfish, all marinated in lemon juice, hot peppers, salt, and served with onions, sweet potatoes and corn in kernels or on the cob.
Chinguirito is a special type of ceviche made with the salted and dried meat of the guitarfish. Main dishes include sudado de pescado fish stew or steamed fish. Fried cassava, clams with parmesan and chifles (round slices of fried plantain) are great hors d’oeuvres to share. All food in the north is accompanied by an ice-cold beer or chicha de jora corn beer. Many people in this area raise goats, so seco de cabrito (stewed goat meat) is a common dish. Another dish is seco de chabelo, made with grilled beef and roasted and shredded plantain. Rice with duck, flavored with dark beer, is also a classic.
Sopa teóloga (Priest’s soup), a broth prepared with turkey, and shámbar, another soup prepared with beans, pork and beef, are also emblematic of northern cuisine. The north, like any region, has its desserts: the popular quince jellies and the King Kong, a huge alfajor cookie filled with pineapple jam and white manjar (caramel). Aside from restaurants, these flavors can be sampled in chicherias, where the cooking is done over a wood fire and with clay pots, or in “huariques,” famous for their special homemade flavor.

Novo-Andean Cuisine

Novo-Andean cuisine is a new style, originating in Peru, that reclaims the culinary traditions of its pre-Hispanic past to recreate, and therefore rediscover, many local ingredients.
The recreation of Andean cuisine draws on elements from other cultural landscapes, such as Europe.
What better way to combine healthy cuisine with Novo Andean flavors, yielding an intense variety of dishes that delight even the most discerning palates.
Discover which foods and ingredients from Peruvian cuisine make Peru a good destination to visit and enjoy.

Differences between Llamas and alpacas:

Alpacas may seem very similar to the llamas, but there is a variety of differences between them.
Differences between the llamas vs alpacas:
1. Ears: An alpaca has straight, pointed ears. A llama on the other hand has banana shaped ears.
2. Wool: Llamas have no wool, rather hair that protects but is not appropriate for a sweater or scarf. Alpacas are bred purely for their luxurious wool which is one of the finest in the world.
3. Face: The face of an alpaca is a lot fuzzier and woollier than a llamas face. A llamas face is also longer while an alpaca's face is a bit more blunt.
4. Size: The llama is a lot bigger while alpacas are a lot lighter. The llama can have a height of more than 110 cm, alpacas are generally not much taller than 90 cm.
5. Purpose: Llamas are known as the "Ship of the Andes”. Their back is very suitable to carry heavy weights for long distances. Alpacas on the other hand, are all wool.
6. Personality: Alpacas are very gentle and shy while llamas are very confident and brave animals.
7. Strength: Alpacas can't protect themselves and need protection. Llamas on the other hand can and will protect themselves.
8. Character: Alpacas are very intelligent and can learn tricks. Llamas seem to be too confident/proud and arrogant.
9. Like minded: Alpacas are 100% herd animals and need tot be in a group to survive while llamas are more independent.
10. Llamas are known for spitting quickly when they feel threatened, whereas alpacas are much more gentle and just spit as their last resort when they're really angry or scared.

Inti Raymi - Festival of The Sun

Inti Raymi is the most amazing Inca celebration, this ceremony takes place every year on June 24th in Sacsayhuaman fortress and coincides with the winter solstice and harvest time.
Inti Raymi is presided over by the Inca and his entourage. They represent the most lavish tribute and worship of the sun. After the event, a presentation of music and dance of the four sides of the Tawantinsuyo is offered.
In 1944, a historical reconstruction of the Inti Raymi was directed by Faustino Espinoza Navarro and indigenous actors. The first reconstruction was based largely on the chronicles of Garcilaso de la Vega and referred only to the religious ceremony. Since 1944, an annual theatrical representation of the Inti Raymi has been taking place at Saksaywaman on June 24, two kilometers from the original site of celebration in central Cusco. It attracts thousands of tourists and local visitors.
Inti Raymi is still celebrated in indigenous cultures throughout the Andes. Celebrations involve music, wearing of colorful costumes (most notable the woven aya huma mask), and the sharing of food. In many parts of the Andes though, this celebration has also been connected to the western Catholic festivals of Saint John the Baptist, which falls on the day after the northern solstice (June 21).

Peru Travel Insurance:

Having a travel-insurance policy to cover theft, loss, accidents and illness is highly recommended when traveling to Peru. Always carry your insurance card with you. Not all policies compensate travelers for misrouted or lost luggage. Check the fine print to see if it excludes ‘dangerous activities,’ which can include scuba diving, motorcycling and even trekking. Also check if the policy coverage includes worst-case scenarios, such as evacuations and flights home.
Before you choose a policy, think about:
The total cost of your baggage, especially any expensive small valuables or backpacking gear
The cost of your trip or holiday – Unforeseen events sometimes force you to cancel your holiday; it's reassuring to know you can get your money back
The activities you're likely to be doing - If you're planning anything really extreme.

Peru Flora and Fauna

Peru's several climates and contrasting surface features have produced a rich diversity of flora and fauna.
Perennial shrubs, candelabra cacti, and intermontane pepper trees account for much of the western slope vegetation in the higher altitudes and forests of eucalyptus have been planted. High-altitude vegetation varies from region to region, depending on the direction and intensity of sunlight. Tola grows at 3,400 meters in the southern volcanic regions; bunch puna grasses may be found at 3,700 meters. On the brow (ceja) of the eastern slopes, mountain tall grass and sparse sierra cactus and low shrub give way at 900 meters to rain forests and subtropical vegetation.
As the eastern slopes descend, glaciers are remarkably close to tropical vegetation. The native plants as sarsaparilla, barbasco, cinchona, coca, ipecac, vanilla, leche caspi, and curare have become commercially important, as well as the wild rubber tree, mahogany, and other tropical woods.
For centuries, vast colonies of pelicans, gannets, and cormorants have fed on the schools of anchovies that graze the rich sea pastures of the Humboldt Current and have deposited their excrement on the islands to accumulate, undisturbed by weather, in great quantities of guano. This natural fertilizer was used by the pre-Inca peoples. Forgotten during the days of colonial gold greed, guano attracted the attention of scientists in 1849, when its rich nitrogen content was analyzed as 14–17%.
The rich marine plant life off the Peruvian coast attracts a wealth of marine fauna, the most important of which are anchoveta, tuna, whale, swordfish, and marlin. Characteristic of the Andes are the great condor, ducks, and other wild fowl. The vizcacha, a mountain rodent, and the chinchilla are well known, as is the puma, or mountain lion. Peru is famous for its American members of the camel family—the llama, alpaca, huarizo, and guanaco—all typical grazing animals of the highlands. The humid forests and savannas of eastern Peru contain almost half the country's species of fauna, including parrots, monkeys, sloths, alligators, paiche fish, piranhas, and boa constrictors, all common to the Amazon Basin.

Andean Condor

The Andean condor (Vultur gryphus) has an important ecological role as a scavenger. By quickening the decomposition rate of dead animals, thus diminishing the risk of disease associated with the slow rotting of cadavers. It also has evolutionarily importance due to its sense of smell, unique in its genus and unusual in the bird kingdom. It has a long lifespan, comparable to humans, with up to 50 years in the wild, and up to 80 years in captivity. It is around 142 cm tall and its wingspan can reach 330 cm. Its distribution range spreads through the Andean countries of Peru, Ecuador, and Bolivia, from the north of Colombia to the extreme south of the Chilean and Argentine Patagonia. Since ancient times, the Andean condor has been an important part of the Andean mythology and traditions.

10 facts about the Andean Condor:

Its name in quechua is kuntur and the Incas believed it was immortal.
The distance between the points of its spread wings (3.3 meters) represents the largest wingspan of any terrestrial bird. The Andean condor is part of four national shields, where it represents different values: Bolivia (boundaryless pursuit), Chile (strength), Colombia (liberty and order), and Ecuador (power, grandeur, and valeur.
This bird is monogamous and both parents incubate the egg. Its chicks stay with its parents up to 2 years before facing the world.
In certain seasons of the year (October in Peru), the Andean condor flies from the peaks of the Andes to the Pacific coast to eat sea lion carcasses and discarded placentas.
It’s one of the only predators that can break the hard guanaco skin.
Andean condors mature sexually late in life (a minimum of 5 years, with reports of the first chick at 11 years), and they only have one chick every 2-3 years.
They form part of the family Cathartidae, which comes from the Greek word kathartes meaning “he who cleans.”
Andean condors are thermal soarers, which means that they rise with the air current, helping them spot carcasses from great heights and descend upon them without wasting much energy.
The Andean condor displays sexual dimorphism-- this is when animals of the same species have different body forms based on biological sex. The male Andean condor has a white collar and a crest, while the female Andean condor does not.