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Plaza de Amas, Cusco, Peru

Passport to Peru: A 5 Minute Guide to Cusco

At first, Cusco seems quaint, small, and orderly: dignified churches and respected ruins dot the area giving the city a stately, somber allure; a grid of narrow streets converge at the gorgeous, old-world Plaza de Armas; traditionally-dressed women wander the streets with newborn alpacas sauntering close behind. But come dusk, this illusion of tranquility is quickly rattled as darkness’ star-speckled blanket sweeps a symphony of sound across the city: the clatter of restaurant cutlery, pulsating Salsa music, the unceasing slosh of raw egg splashing against metal during its metamorphism into Pisco Sour.

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copacabana palace, rio de janeiro, south american luxury hotels

Luxury Travel in South America – The Hotel Hit List

Expert advice contributed by Nora Wallenius.  

Compiling a list of the top ten hotels of an entire continent is not an easy task.  South America is no exception, as its hotels range from huts on the beach to exquisite resorts in the mountains.  The continent offers many options to stay in a boutique hotels, surf couches, or rent apartments.  I’ve chosen to focus on the most luxurious and fabulous of hotels, those fit for royalty. I’m not sure if I’ll ever have the opportunity to stay at each of these hotels, but a girl can dream, can’t she? Take a look at these remarkable hotels, in no particular order.

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La Mar, Cevicheria, San Francisco, Peruvian Fusion, Chicha Morada

Time for Ceviche in San Francisco. This is La Mar.

By Vivi Rathbone.

Context and memory play powerful roles in all the truly great meals in one’s life.  – Anthony Bourdain.

San Francisco Waterfront View, Bay Bridge

Our waiter was in a rush.  He introduced himself and listed off the specials, and then explained the different sections of the menu.  He spoke so quickly that all of his words ran together, he would only pause to draw a long breath and continue to get the menu description out as quickly as possible.  I couldn’t understand a thing he said.  He was making me anxious, and as I don’t eat ceviche everyday, I needed a thorough explanation of the menu.  

Wait.  Stop.”  I commanded.  “I feel like you’re telling me this beautiful story, but you’re rushing through it and I can’t enjoy it.

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TASTE Event Buenos Aires Delivery Carracas

The Things I Discovered at TASTE

Buenos Aires Delivery has turned two!  I’ve been a big fan ever since I wrote about them almost a year ago.  Their growth and success have continued and in June they hosted TASTE – an event to say thank you to customers and restaurants.

TASTE featured samples from some of their best and most popular restaurants and was a great chance to learn about some of the awesome new options to break out of your delivery rut.  We sampled delicious new dishes and mingled with expats and locals alike.  I saw and tried some new restaurants that I wouldn’t have otherwise ordered from, but I will now!  Here were my favorites:

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Lake Lucerne, Switzerland

10 Favorite Corners of the Earth

I’ve been lucky to have see the world from the vantage point of multiple locations.  I started traveling at a young age and have yet to stop and my wanderlust and curiosity for the world were encouraged by my parents, who decorated our family home with pictures of lions and giraffes taken on a Kenyan safari.  On the wall of my childhood bedroom was an enlarged photo of my paternal great grandmother riding a camel, posed in front of a pyramid.  Love of travel wasn’t only a result of nurture and environment, it’s in my blood.  I come from a long line of travelers, from my Civil War era ancestors that went west on horseback to Southern California, to my namesake who went abroad to teach English in Puerto Rico four generations ago.

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LIVFund_image

LIVFund Volunteer Scholarships

If you are looking to travel abroad to Latin America to learn, intern or volunteer, check out www.LIVFund.org.

LIVFund is a brand new non-profit organization that supports learn, intern and volunteer initiatives in Latin America through the LIVFund Scholarship.

This unique funding opportunity allows you to put the money you are awarded towards the abroad program of your choice. You can even design your own program if you’d like as LIVFund also supports people who prefer to experience Latin America “indie” style.

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TRaditional clothes in cusco peru

Cusco, Peru – Photo Highlights of an Unforgettable Visit

I spent a week in Cusco, Peru with my family in December, 2010.  It was the first time we had all been together in a year, and it was a wonderful reunion.

Peru was a fantastic country to visit.  Peru has a fascinating history, incredible landscapes, good food and friendly people.  Cusco thrives on tourist business, and I have to say that compared to Buenos Aires, I felt quite safe.  It was overwhelming to learn about the Incas.  Peru’s recent history of Spanish conquest made for heavy contemplation as we witnessed the living evolution of colonialism and the remnants of a much older empire.

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Peruvian Meal Sacred Valley Beautiful Hotel Decor

A Peruvian Meal to Remember

Driving through the Valle Sagrada, tucked up among the high mountains of Peru, we stopped for lunch at an amazing hotel.  In front of the hotel was a stable, so we were greeted by beautiful horses as we made our way towards the entrance.

Inside the hotel was very stylish.  Art was incorporated into the decorating scheme, and the walls were brightly painted.  It was gorgeous.

We made our way outside to the patio where we were seated for lunch on picnic style tables. We started with a colorful salad.  All the dishes were shared family style.

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