Posts Tagged ‘adventure’

Chinese Peruvian Food

Travelling around Peru viagra online will have you sampling food in one of the most gastronomical diverse landscapes in the world. At Pariwana, you’re close to everything unique; markets and renowned restaurants, street food and snack stands with anticuchos. One thing you might not have heard of before is Chifa, the Peruvian Chinese food.

Chifa is the phonetic result of a Spanish-speaker’s attempt to pronounce the Chinese symbol that represents the mix between Peruvian and Chinese cuisine. Chinese workers came to Peru back in the 19th century, and they helped build the country’s infrastructure from then on.Gastronomy

Today, Chifa refers not only the melding of Latin and Chinese recipes, but also to every Chinese restaurant in the country. So, when you hear fellow backpackers discussing whether to go grab a bite of Chifa, they’re talking about any Chinese restaurant.

Like in many countries of the world, there are plenty of Chinese restaurants. However, the Chinese food in each one differs from the next. The Chinese food that you’ll find in the US, for example, differs drastically from the Chinese food you come across in Mexico. Peru’s Chifas offer a unique menu that not only comes from a history of oriental influence, but that shares the Peruvian tendency of gastronomic excellence.

Chifas offer dishes to go, so you might enjoy your meal back at the hostel. Dishes are generally large, and sometimes you can make two meals out of one!

The items of the menu can differ from chifa to chifa, but there are a few that are generally available for your delight. Chaufa rice is fried rice, and is usually the cheapest dish available. You can usually get chaufa with chicken or beef. Fried noodles are another common dish. Fried soy and wantan, or wantan soup, are also available. Kam Lu Wantan is another variant that makes your mouth water.

Tipa Kay Chicken is a popular dish, and the true Peruvian hybrid version would be the Tipa Cuy, made with guinea pig. Chikaukai Chicken is another regular dish. Finally, you can even find a typical Peruvian treat among many chifas; lomo saltado.

All in all, a visit to a chifa is a cultural experience that is a necessary one to have.

Hitchhiking in Peru

Travelling across the great ancient Incan lands is going to be a memorable thing for you no matter how you do it. However, if you’re reading this, it’s because you were enticed by the word in the title, hitchhiking. Contrary to popular belief, it can be done.

Of course, arriving to Pariwana hostels or jumping on a bus after you’ve been thumbing around feels bizarre and other-worldly, but righteous. Hitchhiking means that you’ll be spending a few days on the road, without a preconceived plan of accommodation. That’s alright; that’s exactly what makes the trip so amazing.

Tirar dedoHitchhiking generally gets a bad rap, but your Peru adventure will greatly be enhanced if you trust in the road for a while. So, if you’re considering undertaking this challenge, there might be a few things you should know beforehand.

First, know that hitchhiking requires you to put your trust in people you have never met before, and people who decided to pick you up, not who you decided to pick you up! As such, it might be necessary to say that hitching isn’t the safest way to travel. There are some things you can do to make it safer in any case.

If you are a woman, then you should opt to travel in pairs. In fact, if it’s your first time hitching at all, you should want to do it with a friend. Rides might be harder to come by, but at least you’ll have safety in numbers.

You shouldn’t be worried though, because Peruvians are open to you. They will pick you up because they want to know you. Unlike on a quite Cruz del Sur bus, hitching with a Peruvian trucker, for example, will provide you with not only diverse conversation, but a unique experience.

Peru enjoys many paved roads, and thousands of small mountain roads. It’s legal to jump in the back of a pick-up truck, which doubles your rides. You can also hitchhike on big Peruvian highways, but it’s best to use your Spanish to talk with drivers at gas

To say “I’m hitchhiking” in Spanish, say “estoy tirando dedo”. If you don’t have much Spanish skill, go ahead and depend on gests and smiles. Always smile. Never travel at night. Before the sun goes down you should be thinking about hostels, hotels or camping.

Big cities are few and far between, but they are big enough to warrant wariness. Never arrive in the evening, try to arrive in the morning to big cities in order to have the time to wander around looking for a good place to stay. Take buses to get to city outskirts.

Hitchhiking can be as safe as you make it. Never be afraid to decline rides if you get a bad vibe. Sometimes you might be asked for money; and that’s up to you. Enjoy the waits, and you’ll enjoy the road!

Discover Arequipa in south Peru

Tucked away against the slopes of volcano Misti, you find Arequipa – the white city – all the way in the south dessert of Peru. The area is especially known for its mountainous adventures and retained culture, as many of the surrounding volcanoes have been used for ancient Inca rituals with many possible gems still to uncover. Arequipa has also developed great hostels and a lively nightlife over the past few years, accumulating in a vibrant city for backpackers, filled with amazing architecture, loads of sights, local products and surrounded by gorgeous valleys and volcanoes.

Arequipa, the ­city

In most, if not all Peruvian cities, the main central square is called Plaza de Armas. And of all cities to visit, Arequipa definitely stands out for its gorgeous square and surrounding antique buildings. For example, the immense cathedral on this square dates back to 1656 and has the exclusive right from the Vatican to proudly carry its flag.

If you are interested in the era of the Inca and conquistadores there is plenty to discover in Arequipa and around. The huge Santa Catalina monastery (admission $10) is a must stop here, which takes you on a journey 400 years back in time. Also the museum Arqueológico Chiribaya, which only opened as recently as 2008, is filled with interesting artefacts and gems from the local pre-Inca Chiribaya civilisation.

Where is the nightlife?

Although this title may have remained unanswered 5 years ago, nowadays Arequipa is home to a great variety of bars and clubs, especially triggered by increasing numbers of travellers year after year. In the center, places can be found all around, with the streets calle San Fransico and Zela as party central. From a Sunday to a Wednesday it can be a bit quieter around, but from Thursday till the late hours in the weekend Arequipa transforms in a great party scene, with cheap and great happy hours! With a huge variety, here are some popular places you might want to check out: Déjà Vu, Kibosh, Forum Rock Café, La Casa de Klaus, Siwara, El Tuturutu, and many more.

Local must-try-experiences

The food in Arequipa offers a huge variety and flavour with typical local ingredients. Places referred to as “picanterías”, known for their specialized local cuisine, serve typical dishes only on certain days. The food may be slightly spicy, but it will make your mouth come alive as never before, longing back for Arequipa’s food when you step one foot outside it.

Arequipa is also known for its Alpaca clothes. The wool, from the Alpaca, is extremely soft and durable and has been used as far back as the Incas. Worldwide in fame, you easily find prices back home topping over $200-$300 for just an Alpaca sweater. Be smart and do some shopping here as many producers of amazing Alpaca products can be found right here in Arequipa. Whether it is a standard hand knitted sweater or pants, or something typically local such as ponchos or chullos, you will be amazed by the options you can find here.

What to do around Arequipa

As mentioned before, Arequipa is known for its raw nature in the dessert, surrounded with Volcanoes. This is also the perfect opportunity to mingle with some extreme activities like rock climbing, white water rafting, or even discovering uncovered Inca structures.

Just over 15 years ago, the mummy of Juanita was discovered in the mountainous area around Arequipa, a young girl that was sacrificed in the ancient days to save her people. Also, in 1998 more mummified people where found on the slopes of Volcano Misti. Many Inca and pre-Inca sites have been and are still uncovered in this area, where the volcanoes haves mainly been used for ancient rituals.

Lastly, a must stop just outside Arequipa is the Colca canyon, the worlds´ deepest canyon. This valley is known for the protected and impressive Peruvian Condors soaring over this valley. The valley is also known for archaeological sites, other unique wildlife and its many activities. This valley can be found around 3 hours away from Arequipa.

How to get there

From within Peru the two most travelled routes are leading from Cusco and Lima to Arequipa. If you take a plane from Lima you are looking at around 1.5 hours travel time, whereas the bus from Lima will take you around 13-14 hours.

From Cusco you can take a plane ride of around 50 minutes, or the bus for around 12 hours. Although Cusco is much closer to Arequipa than Lima, the impressive but rough environment also slows down the ease with which the bus can travel.

For travelling to Arequipa by plane look at companies like LAN Peru or Star Peru. By bus you can look up companies like Cruz del Sur, Ormeño and more.

9 great bars and clubs in party central Cusco

Cusco, known as the center of the ancient Inca civilisation, filled with culture and a standard travel hub for everybody going to Machu Picchu. Also, Cusco has become known as the southern mountain party town with an unlimited range in bars and clubs spread out all over this small town. This is THE place to experience partying and clubbing, whilst enjoying Peru’s amazing Inca culture in one breath!

As Cusco has become increasingly important for the backpack industry, a lot of hostels have joined the party scene, organizing  pub crawls, theme nights and live performances around town. This blends in greatly with discovering the nightlife till dawn and on. Our own Pariwana hostel Cusco has a great reputation in Cusco for its great parties, relaxed bar and live music performances.

Check out the list we made for you with Cusco’s major hot-spots.

5 great bars in Cusco

1. The Frogs – Pasaje Huarancallqu 185 (on the end of calle Ruinas)
This is a lounge – bar with also a restaurant attached to it. This bar has an amazing variety in great activities, like a cinema, billiard area and a foosball table, to mention a few.

2. Paddy Flahertys – Plaza de Armas
This festively decorated Irish pub is considered as the highest Irish Pub worldwide (10.739 ft), with a great location on the main square, the Plaza de Armas. With proper Guinness draft on tab, an international crowd and the familiar British sports on the screen, it is easy to get lost in this bar for quite some afternoons and evenings.

3. 7 Angelitos – Calle 7 Angelitos 638, in the area of San Blas
This intimate local hipster lounge is popular during evenings and the late nights. It is known for their motto: “Coffee, Music and Cocktails”. Most nights they offer live music from Peru’s creole (coastal) music, local rock bands and DJ’s.

4. Ukukus - Calle Plateros 316
In this artistic bar you can find an optimal combination of music and culture. You will find any music type here, from typical Andean music, to jazz, salsa, fusion and more local, national and international flavours. Also check out their (Spanish) website to get an impression about this “local” place.

5. Mushrooms Lounge & Bar - Plaza de Armas
This bar is known for playing the best electronic music in town. Located in the center, this bar is usually a must stop for most backpackers to go wild on great DJ mixes. Also national and international DJ’s play here frequently, adding to its international vibe and constantly renewing music taste.

There are plenty of other bars that are definitely not less attractive than the above mentioned bars. Here are some other bars you will easily find around on your wander through gorgeous Cusco: El Garabatos, Fallen Angel, Trotamundos, Norton’s, Aldea Yanapay, Los Perros, Inka Team and many more!

4 great clubs in Cusco

1. Mythology - Plaza de Armas
This popular and busy club is, as many, located on the main square and offers a wide range of entertainment. During the day it plays movies on the big screen, transforming into a proper dance club at night. Accommodating for both the locals and plenty of backpackers around, you will find reggae, rock, electronic, salsa and more here. No entry fee and free salsa lessons are the main reasons why it draws such a big crowd.

2. Mama Africa - Plaza de Armas
As one of the most famous party spots in town, Mama Africa has a solid reputation as must-stop-club in Cusco. You can find a wide variety in music and entertainment on any given day throughout the week, with packed weekends till the early hours. Travellers from all around the world get together here for a good time and are joined by many locals in search for a hot international hook-up. Also check out their website

3. Kamikaze – Plaza Regocijo 274 (2nd and 3rd floor)
Open since 1985, Kamikaze is the daddy of all clubs in Cusco. Conveniently located just a block away from the Plaza de Armas, you’ll find this party place on a corner of Plaza Regocijo, on the second and third floor. It has more of a bar-lounge vibe at the start of the night and eventually progresses into a full on party at the end of the night.

4. Uptown – Calle Suecia 302
This is another popular nightclub, staying open the entire night. Like most other clubs you can see plenty of videos during the day time, hiding from the sun and recovering from the hangover of the last night. And at the same time getting some salsa lessons in for free.

If you are looking for a place to stay close to party central (basically; Plaza de Armas), then check out our Cusco hostel on only two small blocks away from all this great nightlife!

The deep Amazonian jungle; Pucallpa and Puerto Maldonado

Most of the eastern part of Peru is covered by endless miles of jungle, ruled by the laws of nature and the world’s longest and mighty Amazon river. This part of Peru is where on a daily basis you will be challenged, amazed and astonished, seeing the biggest variety in wildlife you can imagine, visiting genuine jungle tribes and experiencing local customs in this gorgeous piece of flora and fauna.

The Amazon region covers three main regions in east Peru; Loreto in the north, Ucayali in the middle  and Madre de Dios in the south. If you are backpacking in Peru you are bound to hear some great stories about the Amazon region, where people mainly refer to the main cities in the respective regions – Iquitos in Loreto, Pucallpa in Ucayali and Puerto Maldanado in Madre de Dios.

Iquitos is basically the main stop in the Amazon, in Peru, forming a great travelling hub to backpack onto Brasil and Colombia over the Amazon river. Also check out the article we put on our blog specifically about Iquitos and its surroundings.


A bit more located to the south of Iquitos, you’ll find the famous city of Pucallpa, in the Ucuyali region. Pucallpa is also located along one of the arms of the Amazon river, so it might be worth visiting this place along your way to Iquitos, if you decide an Amazonian boat trip.

Inside the city you can find “Pucallpa’s National Park”. This park represents a zoo where various protected species can be seen. The entire region is mainly known for its many parks and reserves, like the Tambopata National Reserve (locally known as “Yarinacocha”), the Von Humboldt reserve and, Padre Abad, amongst many others.

Many native communities still live inside this region. So if you have a keen interest in Peru’s culture and want to get acquainted with the local way of life within the tribes, this can offer you a great and unique adventure!
One of the most known tribes is located in Shipiba – Coniba, located around 15 minutes by car from Pucallpa. This place is full of strange and traditional behaviour and rites. You can even practise “trueque” here, which means the actual trading of objects instead of using regular money. So pack your backpack practically and collect some unique souvenirs here!

To get to Pucallpa from Lima, you can take ground transport for around 20 hours in total, leading you via the towns of La Oroya, Cerro de Pasco, Huánuco, and Tingo María to Pucallpa. Keep in mind to travel in the dry season to avoid unexpected road closures (keep in mind that dry/wet season differs whether you are north or south, inquiry about this).

Alternatively, you can also catch a plane that takes just under an hour. If you travel from Iquitos, it is 5 – 7 day journey depending on the Amazons’ flow of the river.

The climate in Pucallpa is similar to the climate in Iquitos, just a bit milder with a minimum of 20 degrees Celsius and a maximum of 31 degrees in the hot days.

Puerto Maldonado

If you are going a bit more southwards into the Peruvian jungle, you can find Puerto Maldonado close to Bolivia’s border and near Cusco. Puerto Maldonado is known as “The Capital of the Peruvian Diversity” in the Madre de Dios (Mother of God) region. Most importantly, it is renowned for Peru’s most famous reserve, “El Manu”, which until today is still untouched by any man’s hand!

This reserve gives you the opportunity to observe a huge variety of birds, mammals, reptiles, and so on. Also it is home to Peru’s national bird, “El Gallito de las Rocas” (Little Rooster of the Rocks). To stress its wilderness, when you go to this park, paths won’t last longer than 3 or 4 days making it an extreme and not often tried experience.

The tours to “El Manu” include boat trips on various rivers and also the “Colpas de los Guacamayos” expedition. This is an impressive experience where you can see thousands and thousands of birds flying at the same time. It also includes a visit to Ashaninca, which is a native community living in the park. The exclusiveness and adventure of this reserve can easily be stretched to 10 days to appreciate this southern part of Peru’s untouched jungle.

If you are finding yourself in Cusco, you can also get to this park. From Cusco it is a 10 hour trip by bus, followed by a boat trip of another 6 hours. Alternatively you can take a flight from Cusco (30 minutes) to the Boca Manu airport.

From Lima it will take you at least 42 hours over the road to reach Puerto Maldonado, whereas a plane will take you around 1,5 hours.

Besides the necessary repellent, you will be a bit fresher than the other areas in the Amazon, with a high of 31 degrees Celsius in the summer and around 16 degrees in the winter.