What do you picture when you think of Peru? Machu Picchu? The Amazon? Peruvian food? Many people would probably list llamas or alpacas as one of the things they associate most with Peru. These intriguing animals are a standard part of Peru’s beautiful landscape, and if you’re lucky, you may even get to ride in a llama taxi. Available in the Colca Canyon area, llama taxis are an interesting way to travel as you take in the sights. The llamas wear traditional Peruvian decorations, and guide carts through Chivay and the Sibayo district. Right now the service is limited to a group of 6 llama taxis in that area, but the service will expand to other regions provided it is successful. It seems that it will be a great option for travelers, and a good source of income for local tour guides.
From the category archives:
So you’ve heard of boogie boarding, skateboarding, and snowboarding, but how about sandboarding? In the oasis of Huacachina, a short drive from Ica, locals and adventurous travelers enjoy the sand dunes with their own form of boarding. For the less adventurous, there are buggy rides through the dunes, and hotel pools within the resort town.
As a growing attraction for young people, Huacachina also has clubs and bars that provide entertainment all night, with the parties ending around 5 am. The town itself is a sight to see, with a lush green landscape surrounded by the stark contrast of the dunes. Legend has it that the lagoon this tiny town is built around was left when a goddess was surprised by a hunter during her bath and quickly fled, leaving the puddle of water behind her. Some say the goddess now lives as a mermaid inside the lagoon. However this fascinating town was formed, it is a rarity within the desert. Local families visit Huacachina for holidays, and more and more travelers are discovering this oasis in Peru.
In the Piura region of Peru’s northern coast, a rare opportunity exists. Here, travelers board small boats to get up close and personal with humpback whales. 95% of the boat charters include whale sightings, and many include very close encounters, as this photo demonstrates. Humpback whales are surprisingly graceful and docile, despite their overwhelming size. Some experts believe there are only 40,000 humpback whales left in the world today, putting them on the list of endangered species. However, the whales can always be found in Peru, and many whales are also born in these waters. The experience of seeing a humpback whale up close is yet another opportunity that awaits travelers in Peru. Countless adventures involving local wildlife, native traditions, exotic cuisine, and breathtaking sights are just a plane ride away.
As we start 2011, Living in Peru has posted an article on the most influential Peruvians of 2010. Author, novelist and essayist Mario Vargas Llosa tops the list after accepting the Nobel Prize for Literature in early December. During his acceptance speech, he said, “Let those who doubt that literature not only submerges us in the dream of beauty and happiness but alerts us to every kind of oppression, ask themselves why all regimes determined to control the behavior of citizens from cradle to grave fear it so much they establish systems of censorship to repress it and keep so wary an eye on independent writers. They do this because they know the risk of allowing the imagination to wander free in books, know how seditious fictions become when the reader compares the freedom that makes them possible and is exercised in them with the obscurantism and fear lying in wait in the real world.” Peruvians are very proud of Llosa, who is arguably the most influential Latin American writer in the world.