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|Inveterate travelers have a new destination to target since Machu Picchu was voted one of the 7 Wonders of World last year. Previously on the radar of adventure travelers and those with an interest in places of rich cultural history http://www.carolinahurricanesteamstore.com/adidas-justin-faulk-jersey , Peru has gone mainstream and it's about time.
One trip will never do justice to this magnificent land and those who have the good fortune to spend a week or two inevitably leave with the promise of return on their lips. Any trip includes the majestic ruins of Machu Picchu where the experience is so much more than the ubiquitous photographs of green mountains and vast terraces can capture.
Walking the paths through the "Lost City" is a privilege and an unfathomable luxury when you consider that in most other countries, this historical monument would be cordoned off and only available for viewing from behind carefully guarded ropes. Llamas roam the lower grassy areas, lounging in the warm sun while guides at chosen vantage points explain the construction of the Incan walls, made from tons of stone transported from miles below to build this fortress that was never discovered by Spanish conquerors.
Colonial cities were built by the Spaniards with a Plaza de Armas in the center of each. The beauty of these main squares with their soaring Cathedrals and stately City Halls is marred by the knowledge that they were often built on the foundations of Incan temples, torn down to impose Colonial rule and replace the Incan worship of the Sun and the Moon with the religion of the Catholic missionaries. While modern Peruvians are proud of the beauty of their cities they also carry in their hearts a love for their true heritage.
When Colonial rule was established in Peru, the choice of Lima as the Capitol City for the Vice-royalty brought with it many waves of immigration, creating a melting pot not unlike that of the United States. This mix of cultures and races is most dominant in the exquisite cuisine of the country. Complex and varied, the dishes range from seafood on the coasts, to guinea pig and alpaca in the highlands. Stews, sautes, ceviches and soups with flavorings and techniques that represent fusion cuisine long before it became famous in the modern culinary world. A taste of Peru in the literal sense becomes a longing that lingers long after the vacation ends.
While the flavors of Peru are difficult to transport home, the superior craftsmanship of the artisans is not, from the rich textile traditions to the ancient traditions of silver jewelry artisans. A visit to the artisan markets in each of the small provinces in the country is a highlight of any trip. Unique treasures abound and a tourist with a discerning eye can gather a suitcase full to give as gifts or keep as a reminder of moments spent suspended in the magic that is Peru.
Author's Resource Box
Elaine Rojas is a writer, entrepreneur and inveterate traveler who shops artisan markets around the world. To see some of her Peruvian artisan treasures visit her site, Tikanchay which showcases Peruvian silver jewelry handcrafted by master artisans who produce only the highest quality silver jewelry.
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