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South American Aspirations

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Machu Pichu, Peru
This month marks the hundred-year-anniversary of the "re-discovery" of this Inca citadel by Hiram Bingham. Machu Picchu deserves its clichés--'place of a lifetime,' 'bucket-list destination'...'mystical'...'amazing'... Sometimes, it's okay...
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Carmen Bajo 120, Cusco 08000, Peru
I planned on grabbing a quick lunch at Pacha Papa, located in San Blas Square, the heart of Cusco's artist and gallery neighborhood. But I ended up spending a couple of hours in the lovely outdoor courtyard, talking to my wonderful server, Ever,...
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Calle Chiwanpata 278, Cusco 08000, Peru
STAY During our stay in Cusco, Peru, we picked our hotel in the San Blas district of the city. I had read that this is where you could find great galleries, restaurants, and historical sites. They all proved to be true. Our hotel was the Casa...
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Cusco, Peru
This is another Incan site outside of Cusco, known for its canals, waterfalls and aquaducts. The water from this fountain is as clean and delicious as you could ask for.
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Cusco 08000, Peru
In the San Blas area of Cusco, Peru, it can get quite steep. This is one of many streets that is all stairs. Cusco is a magical place!
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Calle Carmen Alto 227, Cusco 08000, Peru
This store is just a little ways off the main street of the San Blas arts district in Cusco, but definitely worth the diversion. Inside, funky, modern jewelry and handbags are mixed with neatly hung vintage dresses, shirts, and jackets. The walls...
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15063, Jr. Unión 146, Lima 15063, Peru

By Mariana Tschudi

Everyone in Lima knows Canta Rana—some consider it the best cevicheria in the city. The owners’ son has a spot in the main market called Canta Ranita where the ceviche is just as good, and even though it’s a stall, the place has...

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Malecón Cisneros, Miraflores 15074, Peru
This statue can be found at Lovers' park, which is right along the boardwalk of Lima Beach. It is aptly called The Kiss and the park was packed with lovers when I was there on Valentine's Day, which is a national holiday in Peru. Every year on...
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Jr. Madre de Dios S/N, Cercado de Lima 15046, Peru
We got to play with water on our last day in Peru. This is a public park in Lima that from Wednesdays to Sundays put on a fountain show. There are a total of 13 different water fountains for the people to enjoy and to participate in if desired....
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Bajada de Baños 342, Barranco 15063, Peru
This square is surrounded by old Spanish buildings. Artisans’ fairs take place here, and weekend food stalls pop up. I like to buy picarones con miel, a dessert made of fried dough, usually containing sweet potato or squash, drizzled with honey. ...
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Calle 2 de Mayo, Villa María del Triunfo, Peru

By Mariana Tschudi

Casa Tupac is a center for artists. It offers residencies and provides studio space to people working in all different media. Every few weeks they host a screening or a party that’s open to the public. Two Peruvian visual artists...

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Cajamarca 212, Barranco 15063, Peru
Mari Solari is one of the foremost authorities on native folk art. She has the most amazing showroom. It’s part shop, part museum. If you’re lucky, she will show you some of her private collection. —Mariana Tschudi
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Jirón Sáenz Peña 295, Barranco 15063, Peru

A contemporary arts and crafts shop with an attached café in a lovely restored casona in Barranco. Dédalo, the brainchild of an artistic couple that studied arts and literature in Florence, features unique, carefully curated...

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García y García 175, Barranco 15063, Peru

By Mariana Tschudi

Amoramar is by far the chicest spot in the neighborhood. Part of the dining room is open-air, and an art gallery and a florist shop are on-site. The menu is half Peruvian classics and half fusion-y dishes. Their pisco sours with...

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Sanchez Carrion 199, Barranco 15063, Peru

By Mariana Tschudi

Some of the best bands in Peru play at this dive bar. It also holds an annual film festival. This year, I’m applying to screen my short film about the Peruvian sea, Madre Mar [Mother Sea]. Avenida Bolognesi 307, 51/(0) 1247-1012,...

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Juan Pablo II, Cercado de Lima, Peru

By Mariana Tschudi

The concept of this small organic restaurant- cafe is to reconnect with the pleasure of eating in tranquility. The atmosphere is very calm. I like to order tea in the pretty little garden. Jr. Sucre 335, 51/(0) 1247-8804. This...

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Av. Petit Thouars 5245, Lima 15074, Peru

A must-stop on the traditional handicraft circuit, this massive market—stretching four city blocks in Miraflores!—is home to stall after stall of kitschy bric-a-brac, pre-Columbian–style pottery, alpaca everything and an endless...

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Jirón Carabaya 100, Cercado de Lima 15001, Peru
In a rush to make it to the Monastery of San Francisco in historic downtown Lima, I almost missed this place. The bar is located on a corner, behind wood and glass doors. "Hemingway" was my first thought as I passed in a rush—I knew I had to come...
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Jirón Lampa, Cercado de Lima 15001, Peru

Centuries-old catacombs decorated with human bones pepper the crypts at this Franciscan monastery dating to 1774. Decked out in impressive Spanish Baroque architecture, the canary-yellow church and monastery also house a remarkable library with...

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Avenida San Martin, 1090 Pueblo Libre, Lima 15084, Peru
All of my memories of Antiqua Taberna Queirolo are fuzzy at this point--not because of time, but because, well, when I was there, I usually got really drunk. This, of course, was precisely the point; the place is one of Lima's oldest pisco bars....
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Pisac, Peru
One of the best things to do while in Cuzco is to visit the Sunday farmer's market in the nearby Andean town of Pisac, taking either a taxi or a more economical bus to get there. The villagers surrounding Pisac come from miles around to sell their...
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Sacsayhuaman is an impressive Inca fortress on a steep hill that overlooks all of Cusco. The ruins are humongous, but archeologists believe that the original site was as much as four times larger. What remains today are the impressive outer walls...
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Calle 26A, Bellavista 07011, Peru
For those of us used to seeing chicken cut into parts, wrapped in plastic, and cooling in supermarket refrigerators, a trip to a local Peruvian market is fascinating and a bit daunting. At the biggest market, San Pedro, just up the...
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Latin America
Lake Titicaca is the largest navigable lake in the world. It's worth taking advantage of it's navigability to find your way onto a boat to Isla Taquile from Puno. The island is inhabited by a cooperative society of people who welcome travelers to...
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Jirón de la Unión 224, Cercado de Lima 15001, Peru
You need to make an appointment to visit, but cannot leave Lima without seeing this stunning historic home near Lima's main square. What is most astonishing is that the home has been in the same family since 1535, when Francisco Pizarro founded...
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Calle Las Begonias 450, Lima 15001, Peru
The Westin brand’s first foray into South America was, at least when it opened in 2011, the tallest building in all of Peru. That distinction has since been taken over by the Edificio Banco Continental (BBVA) nearby, but the glass-and-steel...
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Larcomar, Malecón de la Reserva 610, Miraflores, Lima 15074, Peru
Mangos Restaurant in the Miraflores neighborhood of Lima is a good place to take in the ocean views over breakfast. The restaurant has a big outdoor patio area and the food is decent, but you're really there for the view.
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Lima, Av. Pedro de Osma 301, Barranco 15063, Peru
A few years back, when Lima's Central Restaurante was closed because of zoning issues, Peru's celebrity chef, Gastón Acurio, was one of many who petitioned for it to be reopened. I knew that meant the young chef at Central, Virgilio...
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Centro Empresarial Real, Av. Sto. Toribio 173, San Isidro 15073, Peru
Pisco Chilcano cocktails, salty snacks, juicy Peruvian olives, and live music from the grand piano—what more could you want? Every bar in Lima makes a Pisco sour, but Chilcanos (Pisco, lemon, bitters, and ginger ale or soda) are the new cocktail...
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Jirón Carabaya, Cercado de Lima 15001, Peru
A city tour of Lima isn’t complete without visiting the catacombs of the Monastery of San Francisco. The basement of the working monastery reveals the bones of wealthy Limeños who believed they would be the last to rest in their expensive plots....
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esquina con avenida El Rosario y, Av. Nicolas de Rivera 201, Distrito de San Isidro 15073, Peru
Explore the burial temple of the Hualla tribe, a pre-Incan group that inhabited Lima from the sixth to the 15th century. The name of the temple comes from the Quechua dialect and means “home of the Hualla tribe.” Though theoretically open 9 a.m....
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Malecón Cisneros, Miraflores 15074, Peru
The most popular destination (and one of the only) for running in Lima is along the Malecón bike path. Be warned that the name changes from Malecón de la Reserva to Malecón Cisneros and finally to Malecón de la Marina. But the more than two miles...
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Av. Los Conquistadores 695, San Isidro 15073, Peru
Unlike most of the shops on upscale Avenida Conquistadores, Atomika caters to a younger crowd of fashionistas. Run by Peruvian designers, the boutique’s womenswear has a cool, urban, and very feminine style. This is where you want to shop before...