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Views 08 Feb The Best Places to visit Carnival in South America
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Peru, Bolivia, Uruguay, Argentina

Carnival all over South America is approaching this weekend, and so wherever you are on the Spanish-speaking side of the continent, these are the best places to go:

Cajamarca, or, The Sacred Valley of the Incas (Cusco), Peru

Here you can take part in the cutting of the ‘yunsa’ – a big tree adorned with prizes up for grabs when it falls, and witness the extravagant processions and traditional music and dances. Cajamarca is known as the capital of Carnival in Peru, and is well worth the visit. Water fights will also be a bit feature in Peru, especially in the Andes. Kids and adults alike will be throwing water balloons on unsuspecting victims as they roam the streets. Just outside Cusco, the Sacred Valley has many towns that will be celebrating in the same way as Cajamarca, with a ‘yunsa’, just slightly more low key, so if you’re in the south, head to Cusco’s Sacred Valley and visit villages like Calca, Pisac, or Urubamba.

The Best Places to visit Carnival in South America
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Views 05 Sep Get off the beaten track with these Cusco excursions!
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We all know that Cusco is famous for its Inca and colonial history as well as being the departure point for Machu Picchu excursions. Once you have seen these architectural wonders and want to hang around a little longer then we really suggest exploring some of the less visited regions around Cusco.

Here we provide you with 3 suggestions that are a guaranteed lust for the traveling soul and will get you right off the beaten tourism path:

Valle Del Sur
The first route is located in the South Valley of Cusco. This region is mostly known for the Inca settlement of Tipon, however a little further up the road you can find the archeological remains of a much older culture: the Wari. At about 30 km’s from Cusco, they build the Pikillaqta site, which in its aftermath consisted of more than 700 structures. Belonging to the archaeological park is the Huacarpay wetland which offers splendid views and an aura of tranquility (if you don’t mind the enormous variety of wildlife going about their business). It is possible to visit all these locations in a half a day, stopping by the lustrous ‘Sistine Chapel of America’ in the town of Andahuaylillas. However, we suggest continuing your day-out to the humble town of Lucre, a couple of minutes away from Huacarpay. Here you will be pleasantly surprised with an exquisite lunch prepared with duck and a fantastic pastry shop. The locale easily recognized by the hundreds of cow ornaments serves a delicious sauco cheesecake and lucuma pie.

Get off the beaten track with these Cusco excursions!
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Views 22 Ene A weekend in Lares
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Last weekend some friends of mine invited me over to visit the thermal baths of Lares. It is a small city about 5 hours away from Cusco and I had heard people talking about it but I did not know what to expect. The baths are famous for their healing powers. We left with a few people on Saturday afternoon and had lunch in Calca, a small rural town in the sacred valley and also known as the Inca capital of the Sacred Valley. The ride went great so far and the landscapes were really enjoyable. One of the things I liked most is that you see a glimpse of the real Peruvian life in the rural areas. From the way they built there houses to the typical costumes they have on. Unfortunately you also see the poverty and it becomes clear that the campesinos (that is how the farmers are called here) do not get much support from the government. After having passed the sacred valley we began, what ultimately seemed to me like endless, the climb towards Lares, one hairpin bend after another. We were beginning to enter the highlands and it became more and more dark and cloudier. It was great to see the alpacas in their natural surroundings though and out of nowhere shepherds would appear with their herd of sheep or alpacas. When we finally reached the thermal baths in Lares it was already dark. We put up our tents and we entered the waters.

A weekend in Lares
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