It is Always a Good Time to Enjoy Peru with Family & Friends

May has begun and this month we have a special day for Mothers. It is  the second  Sunday that we dedicate the day to her.

Next month, June, it will be Fathers time on the third Sunday.

We consider that family is the best gift you can have and  it is always a good time to enjoy #Peru with Family & Friends. Sharing the  trips with them  is the best way to spend time.
#Peru has  a wide variety of festivals and traditions due its diverse cultural heritage.

During all year there are never-ending series of festivals and events that  bring bright colors and flavors to locals and  visitors.

Full day tours in Lima  like a Paso Horse Farm. , Palomino Islands in Callao, a Gastronomy tour or to The Magic Circuit of Water or 2 days ralaxing at Viñas Queirolo in  Ica  are good ideas to make them feel special and important. Sharing time with your children creates memorable moments.

It is always a good time to celebrate life and enjoy #Peru destinations,  Pucusana Beach just a couple of hours South of Lima,  Paracas or maybe the Northern area.

If you are more into the mystery you can visit Real Felipe Fortress in Callao and Abtao Submarine Museum. It will be fun for children and you will klearn a part of history that is not usually known.

If you are in Cusco you can consider a day at the Spa of  Belmond Palacio Nazarenas Hotel or a day trip to Sacred Valley and discover the area taking a horseback trip

There are plenty of places to go and experience life the way locals do and be part of their lives.

Just think what you would like to do and feel free to contact us at info@peru-travel.info

It is Always a Good Time to Enjoy Peru with Family & Friends!!!

© Carmen Maria GUEVARA PROTZEL
Photo by Emma Riccardi 

6 Common Misconceptions About the Amazon

Original article written  By Danielle Krautmann – Peru This Week on 16 Feb 2012

  1. It’s easy to see animals in their natural environment: Many people travel to Tambopata with expectations of seeing jaguars, anacondas and giant otter swimming around their boat. The truth is that the Amazon is a habitat, not a zoo.  Animals often disguise themselves for protection from predators. In order to spot wildlife, you need to be very quiet and use each of your senses. The scent of a peccary might be what leads you to a pack of them. Listen to leaves rustling in the tress and you may just see a monkey. If you’re lucky you may see some colorful birds, such as Macaws eating clay along the bank of the Tambopata River.

  2. The Amazon is dangerous: While the Amazon is filled with amazing creatures such as jaguars, anacondas, and caiman, they have little interest in human contact. They prefer their natural diet. Most snakes and spiders in the Amazon are not venomous. They are afraid of humans so when they see them coming, they go in the opposite direction. Guests who visit the Amazon rarely encounter dangerous animals because they stay on well maintained trails.
  3. The Amazon is unbearably uncomfortable: Some people think of the Amazon as deathly hot, humid and filled with mosquitos. While the Amazon is indeed humid during the rain season, the dry season can offer a pleasurable climate. Yes, it’s hot in the sun, but the canopy provides a comfortable shade year-round. The majority of mosquito bites can be avoided by wearing tightly-woven long-sleeved clothing.
  4. It is only for expeditionaries: Tambopata, Peru offers a variety of activities and experiences for people wanting to visit the Amazon.  While some lodges offer adventure tours, most have well-maintained trails for mild jungle walks. Many accommodations provide a hammock and have yoga classes and spa activities such as massages or facials.  While some visitors prefer to climb trees, kayak or bush-wack through the forest, for others the Amazon can be a great place to relax and rejuvenate.
  5. The natives are armed with bows and arrows: Some uncontacted tribes still exist in the Amazon. They are not aggressive and prefer to stay away from other civilizations. However most native people in the Amazon live much like you and me. The indigenous people in Tambopata have a strong appreciation for and dependence on the forest for their livelihood. While they recognize their ancestry and engage in traditional customs, they wear modern clothing, go to school and participate in business.
  6. The Amazon is like any other rainforest: The Amazon is the largest rainforest in the world. It covers roughly 40% of the South American continent and is in part of eight countries. It is often referred to as the “capital of biodiversity” due to its incredible variety of plant and animal species. It is the ancestral home to around one million indigenous people who can be divided into around 400 tribes. The Amazon has an abundance of cultural traditions, natural properties, medicinal uses, and animal life than cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Photos by Mr Langston (April 2015)                                                                                                                                                                                              Tambopata – Sandoval Lake Lodge 3 days & 2  nights program
Heath River WIldlife Center  – 4 days & 3 nights program
Manu – 7 days & 6 nights program
Iquitos tours

My Inca Trail Porter : My Heroe & My Friend

Everybody is excited when planning a trip to Peru and specially if they are hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.

All the information is about the places to visit and how to avoid altitude sickness or soroche. Porters are never mentioned and they are the kings of the trail.

Last week, some clients  met Fortunato, a 54-year old porter. He was one of 8 porters and 2 chefs that carried all the gear on their backs during the 4 days they walked in the Inca trail until reaching Machu PIcchu, in this opportunity, for the 3 persons  family.

I quote Mrs Derrick´s words “They are the heroes! They literally run up and down the trail at a wicked pace most of them with sandals or Converse tennis shoes WITH up to 13.5 pounds .”

Well, if you think they carry only this….. you dont know that those 13.5 pund is only the clients belongings. You need to add 5 to 6 pounds for the sleeping bags ….. and dont forget they also help carrying the the crew belonging and the camping gear(consisting of tents,  toilet, kitchen provisions, stove, chairs, etc – as NOTHING is left behind at the camp site – not even trash as there are no trash cans). In total they carry 50 to 55 pounds maximum on their backs – This is regulated by the government and monitored on the trail so as not to overload the porters .

While you enjoy the walk some are running to get  the spot for lunch and others continue their way to campsite so set up tents so that when you arrive you have you tent ready to be used.

We reccommend to  “spend time with your porters.  They have some amazing stories to tell.”   The ideal is to at least know how to thank them for the amazing job they do in their native language as you will not have to much time to interact as they are running ahead of you.

Try and learn a few words of Quechua – see glossary below
Hello = Rimaykullaykil
Hi = Napaykullayki
Good day = Allin p’unchay
Goodbye = Tupananchis-kama
Bye = Ratukama
Yes = Arí
No = Manan
Please = Allichu
Thank you = Sulpayki
You’re welcome = Imamanta
Excuse me = Dispinsayuway
Sorry = Pampachayuway

You will love their smile when they realize you are speaking their language to thank them for their work.

Treat them with respect. They are noy just working, they are making the  “ONCE IN A LIFETIME EXPERIENCE” happen!!!!

© Carmen Maria GUEVARA PROTZEL
Photo by Marci Derrick

Discover Cabo Blanco, Piura, Mancora and its surroundings

Last week article Seduced by Cabo Blanco was about Hemingway and his experience at Cabo Blanco.

Today I will share with you some information on how to reach Cabo Blanco,, Piura and Mancora 

How to get to Mancora

You can only get directly to Mancora and/or beaches nearby by road, through the Northern Pan-American Highway. Several bus companies from Lima, Tumbes, Piura, Guayaquil (Ecuador) and other cities of Peru  get to Mancora. As well as taxis and other transport services from airports near Mancora.

There are various routes to get to Mancora. The fastest way to get to Mancora and/or nearby beaches is to take a flight (of approximately two hours) from Lima, capital city of Peru, 1165 km south of Mancora, to the city of Piura.

From there to reach Mancora and/or nearby beaches, take some land transport  like rental vehicle, private taxi, shared minivan, interprovincial bus ;trip lasts between two and three hours approx.

Lan Airlines and Taca Airlines currently offers daily flights from Lima to Piura

Once you arrive in Piura, there are various ways to reach Mancora.  These are:

  • Rented vehicles
  • Private Taxi
  • Shared Van or minivan
  • Interprovincial bus

Car rental:
There are car rental services in Piura . Just ask for the service ahead of time.

Private taxi:
Direct service from the Piura airport to the resort you will stay in the city. Prices vary according to the service. We recommend consulting with us and not hire a street service.

Shared Van or minivan:
Directly from the airport, these van or minivans have capacity for approximately 8 passengers. We recommend consulting with us and not hire a street service.

Buses :
The second and most recommended (and economic) option to get to Mancora from Lima or another city in Peru is taking a direct bus to Mancora or nearby beaches.
There are bus companies that offer a very good service and although from Lima it is a long journey (1165 km, 16 hrs on bus), it is not as terrible as it sounds; if you choose correctly the bus company and its different services. This option is the most used by tourists from Lima.

The General characteristics of the best Lima – Máncora bus routes are:

  • They depart from quiet residential districts, (ABC1) in Lima, such as the neighborhood of San Isidro.
  • They take 16 hrs approximately. Usually buses depart in the afternoon from Lima, arriving in the early morning of the following day in Mancora.
  • Do not make stops along the way, except for the switching of drivers.
  • Two floor buses, where the first floor is usually Executive class (with more spacious and wide reclining seats) and the second floor is Economy class with good reclining seats (some are semi bed (reclines up to 145°).
  • They include in their services on board dinner and breakfast.
  • Air conditioning system, two bathrooms, TV with DVD.
  • The price of this service is between US $ 50.00 to US $ 70.00 *, for one way tickets.
  • Some buses offer Wi-Fi (wireless Internet for laptops and notebooks) for a big part of the journey.

* Reference prices. Bus companies usually raise their prices in high season; dates close to 28 July (Peruvian independence festivities) New Year, local festivities and long weekends.

 Economic buses:
There are buses Lima – Mancora, some of which stop at many places along the highway. The journey takes much more time than the above mentioned buses. Some of these buses leave from the popular “Fiori” bus station in Lima.

From other cities in Peru:
From the rest of Peru (Trujillo, Chiclayo, Chimbote, Tarapoto, etc.), it would be more appropriate to take a bus to Piura (or Tumbes) and from that point take any direct service to Mancora or nearby beaches. If you come from Cusco or cities south of Lima (coast, mountains or jungle), you must first get to Lima and depending on the arrival time you can catch an afternoon bus or spend a night in Lima

I can not end this blog without telling you that Inkaterra has already recovered “Mrs Texas”, the famous boat and now is at La Punta, Callao waiting to return to Cabo Blanco Fishing Club by the end of 2016 for the 2017 Summer Season that they are planning to have ready the hotel and opened to public.

© Carmen Maria GUEVARA PROTZEL
Photos by Roberto Carlos CASTRO

Seduced by Cabo Blanco in Northern #Peru

Being an avid reader is one of my hobbies among many others I have.

I have been lucky to come across some books that Hemingway wrote.

(1929) A Farewell to Arms
(1937) To Have and Have Not
(1940) For Whom the Bell Tolls
(1970) Islands in the Stream
(1986) The Garden of Eden

But I have not yet read all the others……

(1926) The Torrents of Spring
(1926) The Sun Also Rises
(1950) Across the River and into the Trees
(1952) The Old Man and the Sea
(1999) True at First Light

Suddenly, while reading some of the cover pages of the books yet to read   I realized one of them was about the time he spent in Cuba but when they made the movie they choose Cabo Blanco, #Peru, (Mithical beach: Sea and waves stories) (1952) The Old Man and the Sea,

Well, then I began to read some more about the place that seduced Hemingway and  about the fishing possibilities of its Black Marlin and the Blue Fin Tuna Fish.

Located on the 1137 km of the North Pan-American Highway is just 30 kms south from Mancora, Cabo Blanco is a fishing village in northwestern #Peru, 3 km northwest from El Alto, Talara, Piura. It was famous in the past among big-game fishermen and today is a noted surf break. The village takes its name from the light colors of the nearby mountains.

Cabo Blanco was a private Fishing Club for a reduced group of Millionaires interested in one thing only: the ‘granders’ or 1000 pound marlin which congregated in so-called Marlin Boulevard only a few miles off the Cabo at the spot where the cold Humboldt Current meets the warm Ecuadorian Current.

The Cabo Blanco Fishing Club, was a small luxurious and modernistic establishment (only 10 rooms) for members and their guests. It was built on land leased from the Lobitos Oil Company.

At that time it was hard to get there. After a 10 hours flight from Miami with several stops you needed to spend around 3 hours by a bone-rattling drive from Talara.

In the 1952 season an astounding 17 granders were landed by a handful of fishermen, including the (still-standing) 1560 lb world record fish caught by Texan oilman, and true Cabo Blanco pioneer, Alfred Glassell.

In the 1950s , the fishing possibility at Cabo Blanco was unlike anything ever seen before or since: in any other place. Not only the fishwere bigger, but they were closer to the shore and they could be found easily, and caught without the need for trolling.

Cabo Blanco at the time (1956) had a special charm, but this  was not the reason that people was attracted to this spot. Everyone who came here was because of the marlin (and some huge bluefin tuna). It was also the relaxing place for the Hollywood A-listers, such as Marilyn Monroe, Lucía Bosé, Joe di Maggio, Gregory Peck, Paul Newman, Cantinflas, James Stewart, John Wayne, Humphrey Bogart, Rockefeller and the famous Ernest Hemingway.

Hemingway was not a member of the club, but in April 1956 he only visited Cabo Blanco once, for 32 days. He came to work (part of the film version of “The Old Man and the Sea” was shot in Cabo Blanco.

He made himself spare time to fishblack marlin, swordfish, turbot, tuna and sailfish every day of his stay. He caught several huge fish but never a granders: his largest weighed in at 910 lbs. He also squezzed time to spend at the Bar club to enjoy drinking the best Bloody Marys he had ever tasted. He also enjoyed whisky, Pisco and Cabo Blanco Rum.

Besides thelife-long love affair with Cuba, Hemingway found in Cabo Blanco was also a “little affair” for him, He considered that Cabo Blanco was a lovely part of the world.

In 1979, Peruvian surfer Gordo Barreda discovered “the wave” when he visited the village to check the surf in the area. The wave is a hollow powerful left and is reckoned the “Peruvian Pipeline”, referring to the Banzai Pipeline in Hawaii. Swell from Hawaii does in fact go on to reach Peru; in the 1990s the best way to get a surf forecast was to phone Hawaii and whatever swell they had would arrive about 5 days later.

The wave breaks over sand and rock, with the sand building up through summer and being washed away progressively by winter swells. The wave inspires a kind of fanaticism among surfers. Although there are only about 20 locals, crowds of surfers are drawn to the wave from Lima (700 kilometres south), and from around the world. With modern swell forecasts and the internet, it’s easy to know when swell is on the way, and the surfers once there all pack into a single tight takeoff zone, despite other waves elsewhere in the area.

It demands a certain level of experience so as not to end up crashed on the rocks. This wave is joined by another, at the southern end of the beach, whose name says it all: Panic Point. catalogued as “for experts only”. Waves forecast or Swell forecast and surf reports

Other activities are WindSurf, KiteSurf and Diving.

The encounter of two ocean currents, Humboldt and El Niño, occurs in front of Cabo Blanco. This factor turned it into a legendary sport fishing paradise. However, this blessing from nature has brought in the last years fishing practices that have devastated the sea. Now drastic measures are required to avoid worse damages against sea life.

The Peruvian president has signed a decree which greatly reduces the annual anchovies quota and bans commercial marlin fishing. The decree encourages catch and release marlin fishing, and initial signs are good that the big fish are returning.

Looking at what is left of this amazing place you can not imagine that this took place not so long ago.

Cabo Blanco became a legend since Ernest Hemingway’s visit. After almost 60 years, it goes in search of lost in time charm.

Nothing last forever a due several reasons  the big marlin had gone and the celebrities stopped coming and the club closed its doors ( a kind of Gatsby’s parties that stopped once he died) therefore you will need to stay either at Piura city or in a close by Beach Resort in Mancora.

© Carmen Maria GUEVARA PROTZEL

Look for next week part 2 …Discover Cabo Blanco, Piura, Mancora  and its surroundings

It Happened on 07 January

Year 1821 Tumbes Independence Day

Tumbes has its origins back in pre-Inca times when it was inhabited by a cultural group of natives called Tumpis.

At its peak, its population is estimated to have reached 178,000.

After 1400,  Inca Pachacuti  ruled over  Tumbes and  the territory became an important political stronghold during the Inca Empire. Later Inca emperor Huayna Capac expanded Tumbes by ordering the construction of roads, houses and palaces.

In Tumbes you can find
  • The  Amotape  Hills  National  Park :  Parque Nacional Cerros de Amotape. covers 91,300 hectares of the Amotapes Mountain Range. It is part of Noroeste Biosphere Reserve’s core zone.
    The Noroeste Biosphere is 231,402 hectares and is made up of Cerros de Amotape National Park, El Angola Game Preserve, and Tumbes Reserved Zone. Supreme Decree Number 0800-75-AG created the park on July 22, 1975.
  •  The  Tumbes  Mangrove  National  Sanctuary is a national park located in the Tumbes Region of #Peru.  It contains many species of flora  and fauna. It is increasingly  popular  for  tourism   because the  beach  resort of Máncora three hours to the south is booming. The  greater part of  the  wetlands  comprise  creeks  (1,800  ha)  and  streams while the remainder is mangroves (1,172ha). The  inclusion   of  Manglares  de Tumbes  in  the  Ramsar List  is a very important  step  forward  in  the conservation of  mangroves, not  only  because  it  is at  the southernmost  limit of  this type of wetland on the  Pacific coast of South America,  but also because of the  ever-increasing  rate of mangrove  destruction for  shrimp and fish farming.

Year 1966 Gran Pajatén was discoverd. It is an archaeological site located in the Andean cloud forests of #Peru,  on the border  of the La Libertad region  and the  San Martín  region,  between  the  Marañon  and Huallaga rivers.

The  archaeological  site lies  in the  Rio Abiseo  National Park,  which was established in 1983. The park was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Natural Site in 1990, and Cultural Site in 1992.

Gran Pajatén sits on a hilltop, and consists of a series of at least 26 circular stone structures and numerous terraces and stairways. The ruins occupy an area of about 20,000 m². The principal buildings are decorated with slate mosaics displaying human, bird and geometric motifs.

Analysis of ceramic samples and radiocarbon dates show that the area was occupied as early as 200 BCE, but the visible building ruins on the present site were constructed during Inca times.

Based  primarily  on  architectural  evidence,  the  settlement is attributed to the Chachapoyas culture.

In  2004 GRBTV Entertainment  did a documentary on a part of Alejandro Guerrero  documentary abour Rio Abiseo and it was called “Expeditions to the Edge” and InkaNatura Travel helped them with logistics while filming this episode.