Traveling to Peru – Here’s What You Should Eat

If Machu Picchu is on your mind, then prepare yourself for a one-of-a-kind experience. Peru is one of the most beautiful countries in South America, rich in history and tradition. The people of Peru are warm and friendly. The county houses some of the most iconic Inca temples that travelers must witness at least once in their lives. But the true magic of Peru lies in its cuisine. Here are some the must-try Peruvian specialties.

Ceviche

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If you’re a lover of seafood, then Peru is the place for you. Ceviche, Peru’s most famous dish, is essentially raw fish that is marinated in citrus juice. The citric acid adds a delicate, tangy flavor while giving the meat a slight chewy consistency. The dish is typically served with sweet potato or corn and spiced with pepper and red onions.

Causa

This dish is traditionally a casserole made from potatoes and avocados. It is served cold and in slices. Some people might also add eggs, tuna, or meat.

Cuy

This Peruvian staple meat comes from guinea pigs. It is known to be rather bony and has the same flavor of game like wild fowl or rabbit. The meat is either barbecued or baked. It is served whole.

Aju de Gallina

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Image credits – Pixabay

This is a delicious rich stew made with yellow aji peppers, condensed milk, chicken, and white bread. The vegetarian alternative uses potatoes instead of chicken. It’s called the papa a la huancaina, which roughly translates to boiled potatoes in a creamy yellow sauce.

Lomo Saltado

This delicacy can be described as a stir-fry which consists of peppers, onions, tomatoes, and beef that are blended in a pan with fried potatoes and soy sauce. The dish is normally served over steamed white rice.

Anticuchos

This is basically the Peruvian version of the shish kebabs. These skewers of marinated meat are grilled over coal or open fire and served almost everywhere in the country. Street vendors offer them to you coated in garlic sauce. It is believed that the best anticuchos is made with beef heart.

Rocoto Relleno

This is one for the spice lovers. The dish is a super-hot red bell pepper which is boiled to decrease its spiciness. It is served stuffed with spiced ground beef and hard-boiled eggs. The dish is topped with white cheese and baked.

Peru is an endless treasure trove for people who love and enjoy everything that involves food. Although most dishes involve meat, there are some popular vegetarian dishes as well. Don’t forget to experience all of Peru, from its rich history to the sumptuous local food.

Top Travel Tips from Seasoned Travelers

Travelers who have been around the globe learn a thing or two on their adventures. They pick up tips from fellow travelers or through experiences, some of which may not be very pleasant. So, if you’re looking to hit the road, it’s best to be prepared before than learn things the hard way. Here are some travel tips collected from adventurers who have thousands of miles under their belts.

  1. Always keep your credit card and passport handy

If you ever run out of cash, you can always use your trusted credit cards. Popular cards like Visa and MasterCard credit cards are accepted almost all over the world. Just make sure that you don’t rake up a large bill by the end of your trip. Use your credit card only in case of emergencies. Also, always keep your passport close. It can get you out of tight spots and help with identification.

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Image credits – Pixabay

2. Make sure you’ve had your shots

Before you travel anywhere, make sure your vaccinations are up-to-date. Don’t take your health lightly. Other countries can harbor diseases you may not be familiar with that can be easily combated with regular vaccinations. Inform your doctor of where you’re going so they can inform you of potential health risks you could face during your travels.

  1. Say goodbye to checked baggage fees by carrying a backpack

If you intend on being a frequent traveler or already are one, you’ll need to learn to become cost wary. And one trick to help you save some bucks by avoiding baggage fees is by choosing to carry a backpack instead of regular baggage. Make sure you choose a backpack or rucksack that suits your needs best.

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Image credits – Pixabay

  1. Get all your information from hotels

Hotels are great sources of information regarding the local events, cuisine, sights, and landmarks that travelers should try. Even if you’re not staying at a hotel, you can always visit one and ask them for information. They’ll always be willing to guide you to the best places to eat, shop, and visit.

  1. Educate yourself on the local language

If you’re going someplace where they don’t speak your language, it’s always a good idea to learn some pleasantries, words, and numbers in the local language. It’ll become much easier to converse with the locals who can be very helpful.

Follow these simple, useful tips to make your trips easier and more eventful.

Here Are Some Trips that Will Help You Plan a Stress-Free Vacation

When planning their vacations people often become stressed out about the details (the destination, where they should stay, and what they should do during the trip). They forget that vacations are supposed to be relaxing and not stress-inducing.

The key to a stress-free holiday is right planning. Once you have everything set and working right, you have nothing to worry about. Here are some tips that will help you plan and enjoy a relaxing, stress-free vacation.

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Image credits – Pixabay

Create a flexible itinerary

 The key to not becoming stressed out and losing your mind is keeping things loose. The same goes for your vacation’s itinerary. During your holiday, you will come across several unplanned events that will eat away at your time and patience. Don’t let a delayed flight or cancelled tours disrupt your entire vacation. Keep a flexible schedule and allow yourself to relax.

Don’t pressure yourself

 If this is the first vacation you’re taking after several months, you feel pressured to make it perfect. The upcoming trip is the only thing on your mind, so you start planning. But if you try too hard to make your holiday perfect, there are chances that your plans could backfire. Focus on creating good memories and having a good time instead of choreographing them.

Do your homework

 Before you start planning your vacation, spend as much time as you can on researching your destination. Learn whatever you can about the local restaurants, public transport, visa requirements, climate and traditions. The more you educate yourself, the better during the vacation. Your research can help you find the best way to travel and also maybe help you with some discount deals on hotels.

Set a goal for the trip

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 Image credits – Pixabay

If you’re traveling with other people, understand that there are several ideas in everyone’s mind about what the vacation should be like. Some people might want quiet days at the beach while others might prefer treks and weekend parties. When you start planning, make sure your group discusses all ideas so that a collective goal can be set. This also helps with planning your itinerary.

Always pack light

Everybody overestimates the amount of things they assume they’ll need during a trip. If you over-pack, you’ll have to lug around all that baggage, exhausting yourself in the process. Instead, keep all your options easy and pack only the necessities. Make a list of things you want to pack and eliminate the things you will not need during the trip.

These tips are easy to follow and very effective if you’re looking forward to a stress-free vacation. Make sure you follow them and plan your trip wisely so you can have a good time and relax.

Alabama’s Best Beach Destinations

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Alabama’s shorelines stretch hundreds of miles. This can only mean one thing – it is a great place for a beach vacation and water adventure. Here’s a look at the top three beach getaways in the state.

Gulf Shores

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Known for their soft white sands, Gulf Shores’ beaches extend eight miles and provide a host of watersports opportunities. Popular activities include jet skiing, parasailing and banana boat rides. If you’re looking for a unique waterfront experience, head to Fort Morgan Beach, a 19th century military base with divine views and a smaller crowd compared to other beaches in the city.

The Gulf Shores Public Beach is a popular spot for lounging and relaxation. Its turquoise waters and white sands are a big draw for tourists, as are its restaurants, beachside bars and watersports opportunities. It can get quite crowded during mid-day so plan your arrival earlier in the day or during evening hours.

Dauphin Island 

Dauphin Island may very well be Alabama’s best-kept secret. It is home to two beautiful public and privately owned beaches, as well as lush beachfront parks. The island also happens to be one of the best places for bird-watching in the Southeast, home to over 300 species of birds. Fishing is also a popular activity in the island waters.

A major attraction is the Estuarium aquarium housing a stingray touch pool and species native to the state. Another is Fort Gaines, a historic fort with American Civil War exhibits, guided tours and historical reenactments.

Orange Beach

The beach city in Baldwin County has several beach-lined hotels and condos. A popular vacation destination for families, Orange Beach offers dolphin cruises and a range of recreational opportunities. You can take a kayak or boat to Orange Beach Islands comprising of four different islands, which serve as a park/recreational area. Boating and bird-watching are popular activities on the islands. Visitor traffic increases during long holiday weekends, and island parties are common during Memorial Day weekend.

Tips on planning your trip

Alabama’s beaches are teeming with tourists during the summer months. Consider visiting in November or December when the crowds are thinner, hotel deals abound, the temperatures are cooler, and there are a slew of festivals and events, including Snowbird Bratfest, Orange Beach Seafood Festival & Car Show and the Mardi Gras Boat Parade.

What Not To Do When You’re In Las Vegas

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What happens in Sin City stays there….or does it? The temptation to let loose in Las Vegas and take chances often runs high. Problem is, some choices we make may not be in our best interest, and the truth may dawn on us after appropriate ‘punishment’ has been meted out! Sometimes, it’s not the silly risks we take but the stupid decisions we make that can make our wallets lighter or our stomachs sicker (and we’re not talking about the excessive alcohol drinking here!).

  1. Buying bottled water from peddlers on the Strip

There have been incidents were the police have hunted down on dubious vendors re-packaging used bottles with tap water and selling them to unsuspecting tourists. While vendors are must now have a business license to sell water, it is best not to take any chances with peddlers on the Strip, and focus on getting to your hotel as soon as you can.

  1. Trying to get lucky at the AVN awards

Adult-movie fans flock to the ‘Oscars of Porn’ – the Adult Video News awards – to catch a glimpse of their favorite stars, get into the convention’s official parties, attend Q&A sessions with adult stars and even live chat with some of them. If you have plans to attend one as an adult movie watcher or just for a kick, partake in the festivities but avoid trying to get handsy with a starlet. Not only is it bad manners, but you could end up with more than a black eye once the bouncers are done with you!

  1. Being clueless about how to get around

On the Strip, cab drivers are barred from stopping on the street as it poses a grave safety risk. There are designated cab stands at shopping malls, casinos and clubs where you can easily hail one. If you cannot access one for some reason, stand at a place where the cab driver doesn’t have a chance to block traffic.

Jaywalking is a minor offense in Las Vegas, but if it leads to an accident, you could be charged with a more serious offense. 

  1. Not checking the dress rules at the casino you plan to visit 

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Not all major casinos in Las Vegas have a relaxed dress code. Some may not let you in if you’ve arrived in sneakers or worn a casual outfit. It is best to confirm the dress rules in advance to avoid nasty surprises.

Five of the Coolest Outdoor Activities in Sedona

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At the heart of the Arizona desert lies an oasis they call Sedona. The desert town is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. It also attracts bird-watchers, art lovers, and healers. In this post, we will focus on the outdoor activities that make it possible to experience the best of the geological bounty of Sedona.

Off-roading

Sedona is famous for its red sandstone formations, which are unlike anything elsewhere in the United States. The red to orange colored sandstone is particularly intense during the evenings. You will see jeeps basking in the crimson red landscape, ready to take visitors to nooks and corners where the rock formations are particularly unique, to vantage points that promise sweeping views, and Native American ruins. You can also sign up for four wheeled tours that take you on backcountry expeditions to canyons and desert peaks. Wine tasting and wildlife spotting is also included in some  packages.

Hiking

Hikers abound in Sedona for the same reason that jeeps and ATVs are so common – to view the majestically rugged topography in the flesh. A number of well designed trails are accessible to hikers across all experience levels. If this is your first time to the town, consider going on a guided hike that may include a single-day trip or a multi-day backpacking trek. Some of the packages may also include camping, yoga and meditation.

Vortex hunting

Vortexes are natural sources of electromagnetic energy located in certain sites across Sedona. The rock formations are regarded to be spiritual sources of energy that nurture us and balance our bodies’ yin and yang energies. Visitors seeking mind-body exploration set out to vortex sites that can be found in maps at New Age stores. Some of the town’s vortexes are supposedly at Airport Mesa, Bell Rock, Boynton Canyon, Spaceship Rock, Munds Trail and Cathedral Rock. The lure of vortex hunting brings healers and spiritualists from all across the country.

Golfing

Interestingly, Sedona also beckons golf enthusiasts who take some time off from sight-seeing and jeep tours to tee off at the top-rated Sedona Golf Resort, one of Southwest’s most beautiful golf courses. The par-71 course enjoys a picturesque desert backdrop, a luxury spa, and an urban chic atmosphere.

Hot Air Ballooning 

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Sedona’s best views may very well be from the top! Many hot air balloon rides are scheduled before dawn to give you a fantastic views of the sun rising over the red rocks and canyons. Some adventures take you close to the waters meandering through red rock formations. Either way, the experience is unforgettable.

Meta description : Blessed with uniquely rugged topography, Sedona is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise, offering hiking, offroading, hot ballooning, vortex hunting and golfing opportunities.

Three Honolulu Attractions to Include in Your Itinerary

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The capital of Hawaii, a surfers’ paradise, a historical site, and the birthplace of President Barack Obama, Honolulu is firmly imprinted in the public imagination for various reasons! Located on the island of Oahu, it attracts millions of tourists each year who – according to govisithawaii.com – stay for 9.19 days on average.

With a mix of cultural tourism, adrenaline pumping watersports and luxury shopping, Honolulu offers a wholesome vacation experience, whether you’re on a solo trip, with your significant other or you’ve arrived with family in tow.

Aloha Waikiki!

The Waikiki neighborhood with its namesake beach is as much a popular spot to ride a wave as it is to marvel at the panoramic views of the island from the 350-acre volcanic crater Diamond Head. Indulge in snorkeling and swimming after which you can relax on the honey-colored sands, sip on cocktails at a restaurant on Kalakaua Avenue along the beach, and if you have the energy for it, soak in the opulence of a Chanel, Louis Vitton, Yves Saint Laurent or Moncler store on Luxury Row.

Pearl Harbor and USS Arizona

 
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 While the lines at the USS Arizona Memorial in downtown Honolulu are long (it is, after all, one of the country’s most-visited WWII memorial sites), the experience is emotional and memorable. The memorial is built over the remains of the USS Arizona, the battleship and final resting place of the 1,102 sailors who lost their lives in the Pearl Harbor attacks. A boat ride operated by the US Navy ferries you to the memorial, after which you begin your tour of the historic site. The ship’s oil still leaks out a few drops at a time, and you have the opportunity to toss flowers in memory of fallen soldiers.

Manoa Falls

Gushing 150 feet downwards, Manoa Falls is your reward for hiking through Manoa Valley, a verdant rainforest valley. This trail can be pretty tricky thanks to a gravelly surface at the beginning and muddy terrain as your proceed, as well as the occasional encroaching tree root. The lush greenery and diverse flora of wildflowers, bamboo plants and eucalyptus trees may remind you of scenes from blockbuster movie Jurassic Park, which was shot here.

Getting around

Waikiki’s urban areas can be explored by foot or bike. For an affordable and extremely reliable commute, take TheBus, the local bus service connecting all major towns on the island. With many bike and moped rentals available, you shouldn’t have a problem visiting every nook and corner, provided you’re fine with driving relatively long distances.

Cultural and Historical Immersion in Richmond

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Richmond, the capital of Virginia, is seeped in history and culture. Where before, it was about strictly business or family visits, the city has been steadily attracting tourists and out-of-towners in recent years.

A brief or longer stay?

Richmond is ideal for a weekend trip where you can experience the best attractions. If you have more time on your hands and fancy an outdoor bicycling adventure, give the Virginia Capital Trail a try. Extending 52 miles between Richmond and Jamestown, the route is scenic and takes you past a number of historic sites. The byway is lined with a tree canopy that provides shade and cools riders and cyclists down.

Landmarks you simply cannot miss
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As the seat of the Confederate Congress, Richmond has strong historical ties to the Civil War. It is home to the Museum and White House of the Confederacy, and Historic Tredegar housing the biggest record of Confederacy artifacts.

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is for the art lover in you. It houses the works of famous abstract artists John Walker and Sean Scully, exhibits by Gustav Fabergé, and a roster of exhibitions encompassing various styles, movements and eras. For an extended trip, try staying at the iconic Jefferson Hotel located in proximity to other city landmarks, including Richmond National Battlefield Park and Edgar Allen Poe’s house.

If you want to experience the city as a local would, the eminently strollable Fan District with its plethora of bars and restaurants is an excellent choice, as is the shopping district of Carytown.

Or you could head to Libbie/Grove avenues in the West End for a movie, meal and window-shopping. For wood-fired traditional breads, make some time for Sub Rosa and dig into gastropub delights at Dutch & Co.

Monument Avenue is architecturally significant for its historic and religious architecture, public art, and use of public land which come together in the Grand American Avenue city planning style. A tour of Jackson Ward, a center of  African American cultural and economic activity with a profound sense of history and national importance, is highly recommended.            

Getting around

The interstate highway links Virginia to all major cities and towns, giving you the flexibility to choose scenic routes to make your trip even more special and for the photo ops. Traffic can get quite busy in Richmond, so you can ditch your four wheeler for a segway through rentals or a segway tour/microtour. For trips downtown or a wine tasting tour in New Kent County, tourists prefer to rent a bicycle. Another option is the GRTC bus transit, but you may want to read reviews and ask around before hopping into one.

Austin is Weird, and You Will Like It

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Austin is the funky, cool kid born to conservative parent Texas. It is a blue city in a red state. Home to IBM, Apple Inc, eBay/PayPal, Hostgator and Blizzard Entertainment, as well as a host of local businesses and mom-and-pop shops. And a creative unofficial slogan – ‘Keep Austin Weird’ – reminding residents that they have a responsibility toward small, local business owners.

Festivals to catch

There’s never a dull moment here – except in winter, a briefly quiet period where the city seems to take a break from itself. Still, festivities can be enjoyed at the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar and Austin Trail of Lights.

Spring and fall are marked by a number of festivals that attract people from all over the world. Among the five biggest are:

  • South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference and Festivals with its enviable and impossibly long line-up of music acts across genres, and a showcase of new talent from the film and interactive media worlds.
  • The exclusively independent, underground music and musicians at the Fun Fun Fun Festival.
  • The Statesman Capitol 10,000 – Texas’ largest 10K race attracting participation from elite athletes to runners in chicken suits or less traditional costumes.
  • Austin Wine and Food Festival featuring award-winning wines, celebrated chefs, local food trailers and live music.
  • Sherwood Forest Faire, a family-friendly Renaissance fair featuring music, comedy, jousting, dancing, food vendors, stout beverages, jugglers, jesters, pirates, lords and ladies and fantasy creatures!

Summer is bat-watching season. Set your eyes on the late evening sky when thousands of the winged mammals fly out to hunt for food.

Neighborhoods and top landmarks to explore

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When in Austin, you can hang out in the downtown that resembles a regular business district in the mornings and transforms into a party and live music hotspot after sundown. Or check out South Lamar, home to abundant green spaces, dive bars, blue waters and cheap eats. Maybe even head over to the laid-back, tree-lined neighborhood of North Loop with its colorful buildings and vintage boutiques.

Even as you take in the sights and sounds of neighborhoods, stop by these attractions to experience Austin in its element!

  • The historic and haunted Driskill Hotel known for its awesome live music and bar
  • Museum of the Weird where bizarre displays and props greet you at every turn
  • The State Capitol for an interesting history lesson, awe-inspiring architecture (be sure to visit the Senate chamber) and lovely open grounds
  • Lady Bird Lake for a bit of canoeing, paddleboarding or kayaking.
  • Baylor Street Art Wall, a huge graffiti wall and a vantage point for great city views

Take a breather from the sight-seeing with a pint at one of the city’s hipster bars, traditional saloons or beer gardens. Hire a bike, car share or take a pedicab to get around. Bicyling is one of the most popular modes of traveling in Austin, with a number of bike paths and hundreds of bicycle racks in the downtown.