Tag-Archive for ◊ South america ◊

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 11 Dic Check Out Our New Website!
 |  Category: Events  | 5 Comments

We’ve spruced things up at: www.dosmanosnederland.com. Same URL but with a brand new look, better features and the same great choice and value!

If you’re new to Dos Manos Latin America Specialist and haven’t yet visited our website, you’ll be pleased to find a clear overview of the services we offer all over Central and South America, including tours and travel packages, Spanish courses, volunteer work and accommodations.

The excursion section now features extensive destination info and an integrated search function with advanced filters. Booking a hotel or hostel has never been so easy through the intuitive booking application and the Spanish schools and volunteer work in Latin America pages have been designed to provide practical information with of course lots of new photos.

Check Out Our New Website!
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Views 26 Sep Andean beliefs, a world of rituals and superstitions
 |  Category: Culture and Curiosities  | 11 Comments

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 09 Feb Travel in Peru : volunteer Work in Pisco and Colca Canyon in Arequipa
 |  Category: Tips & Testimonials  | 2 Comments

When I first came to South America I was consumed with thoughts of Argentina and Buenos Aires. Dubbed the Paris of the south, this city had captured my imagination in more ways than one. From the nightlife to the love of steak, I knew BA was a place that I wanted to live. Upon arrival I thus planned to stay in this city for at least six months before beginning any travels. And as expected, within days I had fallen in love with the Buenos Aires.

Thus when my housemate decided to take a trip up to Peru a month into our stay I was caught a little bit off guard. My initial reaction: why would anyone want to leave a place this great so soon? With time, however, the thought of accompanying her became more and more appealing: I knew, that if I wanted to I could always come back to Buenos Aires. It´s not as if I was moving out of BsAs but rather, I thought of it, as taking a very long vacation. A month after my friend first breached the subject, we were on the road headed to Pisco, Peru.

You might be thinking, why Pisco? (For those of you who are unfamiliar with South American geography: Pisco is a tiny city on the South West Coast of Peru; let´s just say it didn´t exactly make the cut for top ten places to visit in Peru, it claims two pages in SA’s Lonely Planet’s guide). Given our intents to volunteer, however, the lack of tourist attractions in Pisco was not exactly an issue . Indeed, our time was kept busy with the construction of houses for local families. Not only did this experience add some real substance to my travels in SA, but it was incredibly fun as well. If you have the time to do some volunteer work during your stay I highly recommend it.


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