Hiking Machu Picchu Mountain

Posted by on June 3rd, 2013

Most photos of Machu Picchu include the rhino horn-shaped peak of Huayna Picchu, making this peak almost as iconic as the archeological zone itself. Maybe this is why many visitors to Machu Picchu eagerly queue every morning to be one of the 400 people who are permitted to ascend the 8,920 ft. peak per day. … Read Full Post

Four key ingredients of Andean cuisine

Posted by on May 1st, 2013

The Andean region is characterised by high altitudes, low rainfall and bitter winters. Not only does this make it hard to grow crops, but it also results in a hungry populace. Here we look at four cornerstones of the Andean diet, with a particular focus on Peru and Bolivia. Potatoes The potato was first cultivated… Read Full Post

Two Werner Herzog Movies Set in South America

Posted by on April 6th, 2013

Reading Nick’s article on his favorite Latin American movies, I just can’t help giving a shout out to a couple of my own particular favorites. Both are by the same director, Werner Herzog, and both are set in the Amazon: “Aguirre, the Wrath of God” and “Fitzcarraldo.” Aguirre Wrath of God starts off with an… Read Full Post

Where to Visit Pre-Inca Ruins in Peru

Posted by on March 1st, 2013

On my first visit to Peru my girlfriend made me promise that we wouldn’t do any high-altitude touring. We’d been living in La Paz, Bolivia for the six months prior to the trip, and she had been apuñada (suffering from altitude sickness) for much of that time. Obviously this meant that we missed out on Machu… Read Full Post

Lake Titicaca: A Special Place

Posted by on January 28th, 2013

At 12,500ft above sea level and with an average depth of 350ft, Lake Titicaca is oft referred to as the highest lake in the world which is navigable by large craft. Commercial boats and Peruvian and Bolvian navy vessels do sail its waters regularly, so it lives up to this description. To those who have… Read Full Post

Visiting Lima: A Country In Itself

Posted by on December 29th, 2012

We had originally intended to bypass Lima entirely. Snippets from fellow travellers and crime warnings in guidebooks had brought us to the conclusion that a visit to Peru‘s capital city would break the carefree mood of our beach holiday. Ironically, a robbery in Ica forced us to spend a few days in Lima while we renewed… Read Full Post

Uncovering Peru with Mario Vargas Llosa

Posted by on November 28th, 2012

Peru’s Mario Vargas Llosa enjoys a fame which in Western countries would be limited to sports stars and pop singers. Not since Byron and Hemingway has the English-speaking world had a literary hero in this mould, but South America does not seem to have got that memo. During a visit to Peru I was lucky… Read Full Post

Ceviche – A Peruvian Obsession

Posted by on November 14th, 2012

It’s strange that my first encounter with ceviche was not in the pages of a glossy culinary magazine, nor was it on the cooking channel. It wasn’t even in Peru, in fact. No – it was on the streets and in the markets of La Paz, Bolivia that I first discovered ceviche. The fish used was… Read Full Post

Two New Peruvian Restaurants Near Our Office in Berkeley

Posted by on November 2nd, 2012

James Kinard and I from our North Berkeley office have been checking out the two new Peruvian restaurants that opened up in our food-centric city, to see how they compare to the real thing.  Peruvian cuisine is pretty trendy these days, and we were curious to know what dishes might show up in original, authentic form… Read Full Post

Hiking and Biking in Peru: Video Highlights

Posted by on August 16th, 2012

On a recent trip to Peru I followed our Peru Highlights Active: Hike & Bike Peru’s Top Spots itinerary, and brought my HD video camera along.  The result is this less than 2 minute piece of work, set to some Peruvian guitar and charango music.  Clips include:  hiking near the ruins of Pisac and Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley,… Read Full Post