Archive for the Category ◊ Culture and Curiosities ◊

Views 31 Oct Renting a room in Cusco
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Finding a room or house to rent in Cusco, Peru is not that difficult. More and more travelers decide to stay in Cusco and live for a while in Cusco as the city offers great opportunities for living and learning about Peruvian culture. Cusco also provides many hiking opportunities and other adventure sports. Some foreigners find a job, many of them in bars, restaurants, travel agencies, or as English teachers.

There are also many students taking Spanish classes in Cusco, as well as people that come to Peru to do volunteer work – many of them attending the AMAUTA Spanish School. AMAUTA also offers accommodation for instance with a local Peruvian host family. AMAUTA also owns a nice student residence in the heart of Cusco city.

Renting a room in Cusco

 

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Views 31 May Top 3 Museums Lima Peru not to be missed
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Most visitors to Peru don’t stay long in Lima, the capital of Peru. Most go straight to the south and visit the Ballestas Islands, Nazca Lines, Arequipa, Lake Titicaca, and of course Machu Picchu and Cusco. However, Lima is a great city, especially if you know where to go!

Here a short review of our Top 3 must-see best Museums in Lima. You certainly have to visit those, if only have time to visit 3 during your stay in Lima! If you want to find out about more museums in Lima, we recommend you check this Lima Museum Guide.

Museo de oro (The Gold Museum)
Museo de oro (The Gold Museum)The Gold Museum showcases a large collection of gold objects constructed by Pre-Incan civilizations. Touring the museum is a great way to gain appreciation of the skill of the ancient Peruvians. Their ability to craft jewelry such as bracelets, earrings, and nose rings by hand is truly impressive! You can also see textiles, ceramics, and a complete collection of weapons from various cultures and civilizations from around the world.

Address: Alonso de Molina 1100, Monterrico – Surco
Hours: Monday to Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Tickets: Adults S/.33, Children under 11 S/.16

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Views 30 May ¡Cómo sacar el máximo provecho de la ciudad de Buenos Aires! Top 5 actividades que debes hacer.

Buenos Aires es un lugar muy interesante,intrigante y maravilloso. Ideal para los amantes de la cultura y dar paseos por la ciudad, también para aprender español en Argentina en una de las más modernas, y profesionales Escuelas de español en Buenos Aires, para participar en las diferentes opciones de Trabajo Voluntario y trabajo comunitario en Buenos Aires, o simplemente solo para vivir alli un tiempo.

Buenos Aires ofrece un increíble número de oportunidades. Éstos son sólo algunos ejemplos de las actividades esenciales de la capital Argentina de Buenos Aires, cinco razones importantes para visitar Buenos Aires.

Por ser tan increíblemente verde

Bosques de Palermo, ArgentinaLos «Bosques de Palermo» es una zona verde de 25 hectáreas situada en el centro del barrio de Palermo, en el corazón de la gran ciudad de Buenos Aires. La zona es conocida por sus bosques, lagos y jardines de rosas y cada día los argentinos se apropian del lugar, a pie o en bicicleta. También es posible tomar un paseo en un bote de remos en uno de los tres lagos artificiales. En esta zona de Buenos Aires puedes encontrar el pacífico Jardín Japonés, el hermoso Jardín de Rosas de Palermo con su Patio Andaluz, el Jardín Zoológico de entretenimiento, y los relajantes Jardines Botánicos. Los Bosques de Palermo son un oasis urbano y son perfectos para escapar de las multitudes y las concurridas calles de la ciudad.

Por su fiebre artística: El Caminito

El Caminito (La Boca)Esta antigua vía de almacenamiento se ha convertido en uno de las calles ¡más famosas de Buenos Aires! Inspiró a Juan de Dios Filiberto en el año 1920, que compuso un tango llamado “el Caminito”. En la década de 1950, el teatro de la calle apareció, y en el 1970 la población con su lado artístico consiguió la autorización para mostrar su arte en la calle, entonces las casas se convirtieron de multicoliridas. Esta calle de 100 metros de largo se convirtió en un ¡símbolo de Buenos Aires y la calle peatonal se considera ahora un museo al aire libre! Podrás disfrutar de cantantes y bailarines de tango, adquirir obras de los artesanos, admirar pinturas, cerámicas y las representaciones de personajes de la historia argentina como Carlos Gardel y Maradona. ¡Este lugar sin lugar a dudas es único e irrepetible!

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Views 30 May How to get the most out of the city of Buenos Aires! Top 5 must-do activities Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is an intriguing city, an amazing place to visit and experience. Ideal for (cultural) city trips, for learning Spanish in Argentina at one of the modern and professional Spanish language schools of Buenos Aires, for participating in the different options for volunteer work and community work that Buenos Aires offers, or just living there for a while as an expat.
Buenos Aires offers an amazing number of opportunities. Here are just a few examples of the essential activities of Argentina´s capital of Buenos Aires, and these are exactly five important reasons for a visit to Buenos Aires.

For being so amazingly green ?

Bosques de Palermo, ArgentinaThe « Bosques de Palermo » are a green zone of 25 ha. situated in the center of the neighborhood of Palermo, right in the heart of the big city of Buenos AIres. The area is well-known for its groves, lakes, and rose garden, the Argentinians, on foot or by bike. It’s also possible to take a ride in a rowboat on one of three artificial lakes. In this area of Buenos Aires, you´ll find the peaceful Japanese Garden, the lovely Rose Garden of Palermo with its Andalusian Patio, the entertaining Zoological Gardens, and the relaxing Botanical Gardens! The Bosques de Palermo are an urban oasis and a perfect escape from the crowds and the busy streets of the city itself!

For the artistic fiber : El Caminito (La Boca)

El Caminito (La Boca)What was formerly a storage area has become one the most celebrated street of Buenos Aires! It inspired Juan de Dios Filiberto, back in the 1920’s, to compose a tango called »el Caminito »! In the 1950’s, the street theatre appeared, in the 1970’s local artists became authorized to display their art in the street and the houses became multi-colored. This 100-meter long pedestrian street has become a symbol of Buenos Aires, and is now considered an outdoor museum! Here you can enjoy singing, tango dancing, browse the craftsmen´s works, and admire paintings, ceramics, and the representations of prominent figures from Argentine history, such as Carlos Gardel and Maradona. This place is definitely unique and unforgettable!

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Views 14 Nov Coca Leaves: the green gold of the Andes
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Within the Andean vision of the cosmos, nature represents a profound expression of the great Divinity. This has manifested itself in the cult of the Andean people in their relationship with the land, the mountains, certain animals and plants, attributing them sacred meanings and establishing a particular form of communication through complex rituals that persist to this day.

Among the native plants considered sacred to the people of ancient Tawantisuyo (the Inca Empire), we find the Wachuma or San Pedro cactus, the Amazonian Ayahuasca and Coca leaf, all of which embody a means of communication with the gods of nature and source of self-exploration and direction for the Andean man’s spiritual journey.

Coca Leaves: the green gold of the Andes

Of these three sacred plants, the most widely used in the Andean society has been the Coca leaf. Because of its energetic properties and stimulants to the central nervous system, the leaves were already used some 5000 years ago to tolerate strenuous physical labor. While the ancient man did not exactly know its nutritional qualities, they did realize that the chewing of Coca leaves sated the appetite and, therefore, it became the basis of Andean nutrition especially in times of food shortage. Now we know that the plant is extremely rich in calcium, vitamins and minerals. Similarly, the Andean man gradually discovered the medicinal properties of the plant, being used to relieve sore muscles, to regenerate bone tissue, to withstand altitude sickness known locally as soroche and during the Inca period even to treat brain tumors by using its oil. 

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Views 26 Sep Andean beliefs, a world of rituals and superstitions
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Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador have the highest percentages of self-identified indigenous people, most of whom live in the highlands. The Quechua and other linguistic groups, such as the Aymara, have coexisted with the mestizos majority (people of mixed European and indigenous descent) for many centuries.

Their cultures are strong, autonomous and resilient to change and have influenced their country’s identity (through traditional music, food, language and superstition) to its core.

For travelers, experiencing these highland cultures firsthand can be as simple as getting on a bus, hanging around a typical village or shopping at a bustling local market. Here you will find the usual fare such as colorful ponchos, alpaca sweaters, Machu Picchu paintings and other crafts but also a funny little man: the Ekeko.

Andean beliefs, a world of rituals and superstitions

This ceramic doll symbolizes the Andean comerciante and odds are they look exactly like how you imagined an indigenous person from South America; colorfully dressed carrying many bags, in the Ekeko’s case filled with grains of rice, corn, sweets, confetti and even miniature dollar bills (or euros). This Andean buddy embodies abundance, fortune and prosperity…and makes for the perfect souvenir!

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Views 15 Jun Machu Picchu exposed!
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Was Machu Picchu a city home to magicians? A summer residence for Inca rulers? An elite cosmological university or, perhaps it was more a refuge, functioning as a safeguard from wild Amazon tribes?

Even if you discard just another popular belief that is was used as a landing place for extraterrestrials, there are countless other theories floating around why it was constructed and in such a miraculous location.

The true answer to this question will be forever unknown. However there are some secrets we are able to reveal with certainty. The best thing is that these will only enlarge the mystic sensation grabbing you while visiting Machu Picchu:

Machu Picchu exposed!

There is a hidden shrine
You can climb, or better said crawl up the famous mountain known as Huayna Picchu; yes, that pointy one serving as a backdrop on every classic Machu Picchu postcard. It takes some serious hiking effort and clever preparation as only a limited amount of visitors are allowed to take on this relentlessly steep trail every day. What not many people know is that besides the impressive views from the top at 2,700 meters altitude, you can get to the Temple of the Moon where an elaborately shrine is sculpted out inside a cave, which most likely used to be a hidden rest place for mummies.

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Views 04 Abr An expat’s guide to Cusco, Peru: an interview with Richard Nisbet.
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Cusco is often called the “Navel of the World”; at least it was to the Inca’s, who made it their capital from where the four regions of their empire stretched for 1000 of miles. Richard Nisbet, an expat, author and Cusco connoisseur also calls it his home. Ever since he first visited Cusco back in 1975 he has been in an ongoing love affair with this extraordinary city. Nowadays, he only returns to the United States to visit family and friends from time to time.

Recently he wrote a book, ‘Cusco Tales’, which narrates his life story and adventures in this magical city that never seems to stop surprising you. You can purchase his book online on Amazon.com or over the counter at Paddy’s Pub, Jack’s Café, the Santa Catalina bookshop or the South American Explorers’ Club, all located in Cusco.

An expat’s guide to Cusco, Peru: an interview with Richard Nisbet

I started the interview by asking Richard about his Cusco favorites, and he didn’t hesitate enthusiastically share his recommendations. His new favorite restaurant is Limo, with some outstanding if unusual Peruvian – Japanese fusion meals overlooking the main Plaza de Armas. His favorite bar is Paddy’s Pub (good chance you will find him there if you like to have a chat). As for pizzerias, his pick is Mayupata in the Sacred Valley town of Ollantaytambo, which is also his favorite nearby city escape. Another destination he likes is Tipon, home to an archeological site where the Inca’s worshipped the water abundant in this National Park.

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Views 27 Mar When in Peru, eat like the Peruvians! Cuy:the most controversial Andean Delicacy
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Everyone who visits Peru will soon be faced with the opportunity to sample one of Peru’s most controversial Andean delicacies (at least to tourists), the notorious guinea pig known as ‘Cuy’.

The exact history of the guinea pig as an important dietary source has been hard to decipher, perhaps due to the small size of their bones, but some archaeologists claim that domestication of these small rodents may have begun as early as 10,000 BC in the Altiplano region of Southern Peru.

Cuy

Apparently, cuy are very adaptable to their environment though highly vulnerable to drastic changes in climate. This probably is the reason that they particularly enjoy the comforts of living indoors, most often in the kitchen where they are given leftovers, although they prefer and thrive on alfalfa. Quite some families will have as many as 20 cuy and treat them much the same as chickens.

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Views 30 Nov Spotlight: The Gaucho and Argentina’s Estancias
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The Gaucho
A staple of Argentine history is that of the gaucho, the classic Argentine cowboy that endlessly roamed the plains and pampas. Gauchos are known for their honor, horsemanship, and traditions, and they are intricately familiar with the land and the animals. Today, gauchos still exist, although fewer in number than in the 1600s, and today’s gauchos still spend the majority of their day on horses roaming the countryside.

In the 1600s, gauchos were known for causing trouble, slaughtering cattle at their whim. Their fearless image also helped draw the attention of the government, which actually employed them instead of the army as a way of keeping order in the rural areas.

Spotlight: The Gaucho and Argentina’s Estancias

Estancias
The breathtaking Argentine countryside, known as the Pampas, remains the gaucho’s playground. Traditionally residing on estancias (gorgeous colonial ranches), the gaucho raised and produced the highest quality meat in the world. Today, meat is a national Argentina obsession and the country continues to generate some of the best meat globally.

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