THE SMALL PORT GHOST TOWN OF ZAÑA IN THE LAMBAYEQUE NORTHERN REGION IS BEING PROMOTED FOR TOURISM
The town, which was one of the most prosperous towns during the Spanish Colonial times and was even taken into consideration to become the Capital City of the Vice Royal Spanish Empire in the Americas, is being promoted as a new tourist destination. The town, which holds an interesting array of remains of Colonial churches and buildings, was established in 1563 and attacked on several occasions in past centuries by Dutch and English pirates until it was destroyed by a flood. Today, visitors can still see the remains of the Colonial arches and walls left from the catastrophe that took place in 1720. It is located approximately 45 minutes by road from the City of Chiclayo and is being promoted as a part of the Northern Peru circuit. A journey back in time if any.
A THREE THOUSAND OLD TEMPLE HAS BEEN FOUND CLOSE TO THE CITY OF AYACUCHO IN THE PERUVIAN HIGHLANDS
Close to the Ayacucho Region Town of Vilcashuaman, excavations carried out by Japanese archaeologists in the Campanario hill, have turned up a temple built of stone, which age is calculated to 3000 years, thus making it contemporary with the famous Temple of Chavin de Huantar in the Ancash Region. The Japanese archaeologist Yuichi Matsumoto, spokesman of the team that made the discovery, informed EnjoyNews that the site so far has shown to share some characteristics with the mentioned Chavin site, such as several platforms and a sunken plaza. However, artefacts and other remains seem to point towards a link with the Paracas Ocucaje Culture, part of what archaeologists call the Early Horizon in Peru.
CUZCO GEARING UP FOR UPCOMING MAY FESTIVALS
As every May, this year will also allow visitors to the Cuzco area to enjoy several very interesting festivals this year. The first one in the calendar will be the THREE CANYONS ECO ADVENTURE SPORTS FESTIVAL, which will be held in the Cuzco Province of Espinar from May 1st to May 4th. Here you will have the opportunity to participate in the different adventure sports activities of this festival, such as kayaking and rafting, apart from hang gliding and bungee jumping from a bridge over the torrential Apurimac River, which name in the Inca Quechua language means the Old Man Loud Talker due to its many rapids and loud sounds it makes along its course. Even if you decide not to participate in the activities themselves; this will be great opportunity to get to know one of Peru’s major attractions and mingle with the locals.
THE QOLLUR RITTI FESTIVAL HELD FROM MAY 18TH TO MAY 20TH AT THE FOOT OF THE OCONGATE GLACIER.
Few festivals anywhere on the planet can compete with this festival with its synergy of pre Columbian and Catholic faith held every year on the main glacier of the Ocongate peak. Thousands of pilgrims coming from as far away as the highlands of Argentina, Paraguay, Chile and Bolivia; and, of course Peru, will gather here to see the chosen ones, climb up the steep slopes of the glacier, bringing with them on the way down, huge blocks of ice carried on their shoulders. The pre Columbian belief is that the planet Venus, believed to be a star, thus the name qollur meaning star in the old Quechua Inca language opens up a gateway by its reflection on the ice floe. The initiates, according to local lore, have to be smitten three times by lightning and survive, during their daring climb. Only those that survive this and come back carrying the blocks of ice will be considered masters, which will be sought after for their oracle powers acquired on the glacier during this festival.
CORPUS CHRISTI FESTIVAL
The big religious festival of Corpus Christi will be held on the Plaza de Armas Main Square in Cuzco this upcoming May 22nd. Considered one of the main festival attractions of Cuzco after the Inti Raymi Inca Sun Festival held every June 24th, the Corpus Christi festival is more a religious Christian festival where the different statues of the Virgin and the main Saints from the many churches in Cuzco are carried in procession through the streets of the Imperial City. Thousands of pilgrims from all over the highlands and other visitors from around the world will mingle in the crowds accompanying this unique manifestation of faith on the streets of Cuzco.
NEW ALTERNATIVE TOURIST CORRIDOR TO BE IMPLEMENTED BETWEEN CUZCO AND THE COLCA VALLEY IN AREQUIPA
According to the local Cuzco office of the Peruvian State Tourism Bureau – Dircetur, an alternative tourist corridor is being implemented, which will connect the Imperial City with the Colca Valley in the Arequipa Region. The Colca Valley, considered one of the deepest, if not the deepest canyon on earth, will thus be able to receive visitors coming overland from Cuzco. The corridor will traverse the Cuzco Provinces of Acomayo, Canas, Chumbivilcas, and Espinar, the last one on the border to the Arequipa Region. Along its route, it will allow visitors to enjoy the living culture of the highland provinces and share their ways of life, thus contributing to the process of the inhabitants of these villages towards the integration and the bettering of their quality of life through the sale of their handicraft products and services.
PERUVIAN HOTEL CHAINS INVESTING IN NEW SERVICES AND HOTELS AROUND PERU
The Peruvian owned hotel chains of Casa Andina and San Agustin announce future and ongoing investments in different segments of the Peruvian Tourist Hotel Market. Both chains, fully owned by Peruvian investors, have recently made major acquisitions in different parts of Peru, the Casa Andina chain through its recent purchase of both the former Hotel Cesar’s in the central Miraflores area of Lima, coupled with the old Colonial Mint in the City of Arequipa – the Casa de la Moneda, the Hotel Americano in the centre of the Northern City of Trujillo and Hacienda San Jose in Chincha in Ica, while the San Agustin chain announces its recent purchase of the Posada del Monasterio in the City of Arequipa, where they plan to invest US 2 million dollars in its remodelling. This will be in addition to its Hotel Resort San Agustin Paracas, which will be opened to the public in June 2009, which is expected to demand US 5 million dollars before finishing. They are also looking at investment opportunities in the Peruvian cities of Cajamarca, Tarapoto and Ilo, and in the Departments of Madre de Dios and Junín.
PERUVIAN GOVERNMENT OPENS UP THE MACHU PICCHU RAIL WAY LINE TO COMPETITION
The Peruvian Ministry of Transportation and Communications – MTC announces it has approved the application of the company Andean Railways to operate on the route Cuzco – Machu Picchu, thus ending the virtual monopoly held by Peru Rail. Peru Rail is owned by the company Orient Express, which also owns the Luxury Hotels Monasterio in Cuzco and the Miraflores Park Hotel in Lima and has been the sole concessionaire of the route after the Peruvian government privatised the rail services on its track system in the area. The new concession is expected to offer competitive prices of the present services of the Hiram Bingham Express and the Vista Dome coaches, presently operated by Peru Rail.
OVER EIGHT THOUSAND KILOMETRES OF ROADS ARE BEING PAVED ALL OVER PERU
The Peruvian Minister of Transportation and Communications, Mrs. Veronica Zavala, announce the ongoing paving of over 8 thousand kilometres of roads in all Peru. The investment is calculated at around 3000 000 000 US dollars and is part of the present government’s efforts to provide Peru with competitive advantages in transport costs in order to lower the prices of food and commodities and also allow for export goods to be moved freely in view of the recently signed Free Trade Agreement with the United States. The Inter Oceanic Highway, running from Brazil to the Peruvian Southern Pacific ports, which has been heavily criticised for cost over runs and environmental concerns, is included in this estimate.
PERU TRAVEL MART – PTM 2008 INAUGURATION CEREMONY IN PRESIDENTIAL PALACE YESTERDAY
Yesterday, the Peruvian president Alan Garcia inaugurated the XVth version of the Peru Travel Mart – PTM 2008 in a ceremony that took place in the Salon Dorado of the Presidential Palace in Lima. The ceremony counted on the presence of the Peruvian Minister of Tourism – Mrs. Mercedes Araoz and travel agents from more than 100 countries, which, together with specialised travel writers have gathered in Lima to discuss future business and investment opportunities with their local counterparts in the Peruvian tourism market. Also present were representatives of the Peruvian State Tourist Promotions Bureau – PROMPERU and members of the National Chamber of Tourist Operators – CANATUR. After the inauguration ceremony, the assistants visited the newly installed Water Fountains in the centrally located Parque de la Reserva, which offer a magical display of coordinated water fountains spouting with coloured lighting and sound effects. The evening ended with a cocktail and bash at the LarcoMar discotheque Aura in Miraflores.
PERUVIAN PRESIDENT CALLS PERU A SYNTHESIS OF THE SOUTH AMERICAN CONTINENT
The Peruvian President Alan Garcia, during his speech yesterday at the inauguration of the XVth version of the Peru Travel Mart – PTM 2008, compared Peru to a synthesis of the whole South American continent. Since the first civilisations, which contributed with their skills in metallurgy, textile making and social organisation from long before the birth of Christ and even longer before the Inca Empire came into being and then the arrival of the Spaniards and the creation of their Vice Royal Empire, through Republican times up till the present day, Peru has always been a melting pot of all the contributions in technology, races and cultures that these have left behind, as shown in the buildings, gastronomy, language and local people and their customs, he told the audience of travel agents from abroad and Peru assisting at the inauguration of the event.
CUZCO HOSTS SEMINARY WORKSHOP ON GLOBAL WARMING AND CURBING OF DEFORESTATION
The effects of global warming are felt more each day. In the Cuzco area the every time more frequent presence of cold spells, hail storms and sudden out of season summer temperatures are all indications of the adverse effects of this phenomena. Experts and local residents who recently gathered in the Imperial City to exchange views and ways to mitigate the effects of the climate change agreed on the importance of protecting watersheds and reforestation as means towards this end.
PERU TO CREATE A MINISTRY IN FAVOUR OF THE ENVIRONMENT
The Peruvian Council of Ministers is expected to approve the creation of a Ministry dedicated to the protection of the environment this upcoming month. The world renowned Peruvian biologist and environmentalist, Dr. Antonio Brack Egg, who wrote up the proposal, at the behest of the Peruvian President Alan Garcia, is expected to occupy the post as its first minister. Although Peru is considered one of the most bio diverse countries on the planet, lack of adequate legislation and slack oversight have contributed to cause serious concern about damage to the environment, basically as regarding the lack of clean and adequate sources of wate; forest and habitat destruction through illegal logging; and water and air quality through informal gold mining and industrial and urban pollution. Industrial residues, including lead products and the collapse of the Lima sewage disposal system is putting thousands of people in danger of their health in the Peruvian capital. Similar deficiencies are also present in many of the diverse regions of the country.
PERUVIAN DELEGATES TO APEC MEETING IN CHICLAYO IN SEPTEMBER WILL WEAR LORD OF SIPAN OUTFITS
As a homage to the past of the Lambayeque Region in Northern Peru and its emblematic ruler – the Lord of Sipan, the Peruvian delegates assisting the APEC meeting in September will wear copies of the funeral masks and outfits of this ruler whose tomb was found in the area and was named the Tutankhamen of the Americas for the riches adorning him. Nose jewels, ear adornments and spectacular collars and funeral mask made of hammered silver and gold were some of the most outstanding examples of the high cultural and technological level reached by this pre Columbian society.
CUZCO TO CELEBRATE INTERNATIONAL DAY IN DEFENSE OF IMMATERIAL PROPERTY RIGHTS
Cuzco is getting ready to celebrate the International day in Defence of Immaterial Property Rights with a gastronomic feast and activities that will highlight the defence of traditional knowledge, ancient textile patterns and gastronomy. Thus the citizens of Cuzco joins the chorus of other indigenous people around the palnet in defence of their traditional crafts and knowledge.
PERUVIAN SWIMMER TRIES TO BEAT OWN RECORD CROSSING LAKE TITICACA
The Peruvian swimmer Rubén Medina Cruz, also known as the "Triton of Lake Titicaca", will soon try to beat his own former record of 6 hours 15 minutes to cross the freezing waters of the highest navigable lake in the world, situated at 3180 mts of altitude. The crossing will take place between the Peruvian port of Yunguyo and the Bolivian port of Copacabana. The distance is approximately 12 km and the event is part of the activities to put the lake Titicaca amongst the Seven Wonders of the World.
ENDEMIC PERUVIAN BIRD NAMED REGIONAL SYMBOL IN ITS REGION
The Junin Grebe (Podiceps taczanowskii), which can only be found in the wild in the Junin Lake in the Peruvian Department by the same name, was named Regional Bird on February 11th 2008, through the publication of Ordenanza Regional No. 077-2008-GRJ/CR -2008.
At the same time groups of local people, tourists, students, NGOs, municipalities and other organisations dedicated a full day to the clean up of the Lake from residues and other contaminants.
CUZCO AIRPORT UNDER EVALUATION TO QUALIFY FOR NIGHT FLIGHTS
The Airport of Cuzco is being studied by experts to evaluate the possibility of realising night flights. Experts, including functionaries from the Peruvian National General Direction for Commercial Air Traffic, although declining to comment, were seen to make detailed inspections of runways, take off areas, aircraft parking areas and also showing a keen interest in the general illumination, both inside and outside the airport proper. Other aspects, which were investigated were the access and departure areas of passengers and freight. Inside and exterior security aspects were also contemplated. No date has been given for the publishing of a report on the findings by the experts.
STAR PERU AIRLINE ANNOUNCES ADDITIONAL FLIGHT FREQUENCIES TO CUZCO AND NEW CONNECTIONS FROM CUZCO ONWARDS
Star Peru announces the addition of a new aircraft, BAe 146-100, made in the UK with a capacity of 72 passengers, which will be used to provide a third daily flight to Cuzco by the company. Yet another aircraft with similar characteristics will soon arrive in Cuzco and with Cuzco as its base, will be used for new frequencies, such as Cuzco-Arica in Northern Chile; Cuzco-La Paz-Santa Cruz in Bolivia and Cuzco Río Branco in Brazil, thus allowing visitors to the Imperial City further options for their travel itineraries.
HUGE CONDOR FIGURE AND SEVERAL SMALLER IN THE STYLE OF THE NAZCA LINES ARE FOUND IN THE VALLEY OF OCUCAJE
A giant geoglyph measuring 137 metres (400 feet) by 87 metres (250 feet) showing the figure of a Condor has recently been discovered on a hillside just outside the Town of Ocucaje, located on the Pan-American Highway South of the City of Ica on the road to Nazca. The geoglyph, accompanied by three smaller sized figures that apparently depict a smaller bird, a mollusc and an insect is believed to form part of the Paracas Cavernas archaeological period and is believed to have been traced by this culture around 800 to 600 BC, during their expansionist period. The Peruvian Institute of Culture INC and local authorities are seeking protection for this exciting new discovery.
GOURMAND WORLD COOKBOOK AWARD 2008 DISTINGUISHES SEVERAL PERUVIAN COOKBOOKS
The excellent Peruvian gastronomy was recognised by the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2008 during its 14th annual award ceremony held in London last Sunday. The book “Panes del Perú, el encuentro del Maíz y del Trigo – Bread from Peru, the Meeting of Maize and Wheat ” was awarded first prize in its category. Among other books that were distinguished we find the book written by Blanca Chavez “Entre Hornos y Rocotos, La Comida de Arequipa”, (Among Ovens and Hot Peppers) extolling the excellent food, which has put Arequipa on the world gourmet map.
INTER OCEANIC HIGHWAY BETWEEN BRAZIL AND PERUVIAN PACIFIC PORTS FACES COST OVERRUNS OF 50%
The 1,000 km long Inter Oceanic Highway that will connect Brazil to Peruvian Pacific ports, will allow for Brazilian mainly soy bean products to reach their Far East markets without going through the Panama Canal or around the Southern tip of South America. The highway, locally known as the Interoceanica will cross the Peruvian departments of Madre de Dios, Cuzco (and Puno) Arequipa and Moquegua and will end in the port of Ilo on the Peruvian Pacific coast. The contract was signed at the end of the former president Toledo’s regime and was at that time estimated to cost 810 million US dollars. Today it seems that the total cost of the highway will be USD 1,200 million dollars, a 50% increase. The highway, although greeted by many local residents in the Southern departments of Peru as a blessing, allowing for better inter connectivity, and lower transport costs, has been heavily criticized by NGOs questioning the environmental and social impacts along its route.
UNESCO TO EVALUATE PERUVIAN AUTHORITIES CONSERVATION OF WORLD HERITAGE SITE MACHU PICCHU
In June this year, experts from the Peruvian National Institute of Culture, locally known as INC, will present their report on the state of conservation and mitigating measures towards the conservation of the World Heritage Site of Machu Picchu. This is in response to the misgivings expressed in a letter by Mr. Martin Irigoyen, the UNESCO Sub-secretary of Exterior Cultural Policies, to the local authorities regarding a recent decision to once more allow for helicopter flights from Cuzco to the Citadel, rediscovered by Hiram Bingham in 1911. Formerly allowed over flights of the Inca Citadel were discontinued a few years back as part of UNESCO concerns of damage to the structures by the vibrations of the aircrafts and also the sound pollution factor.
AUSTRALIAN SURFERS SEE PERU AS A PREFERRED DESTINATION
The Australian ambassador to Peru, Mr. Crispin Conroy, asserts that Peru has a great potential to offer for Australian surfers. During the recent APEC meeting held in Lima, he mentioned that Australian tourists do not come to Peru only to visit Machu Picchu and try Pisco Sours but many also come for the surfing opportunities the country has to offer. With a 1500 km coastline, Peru has much for surfers, from the world’s longest wave just South of Lima to the eternally sun drenched beaches of Mancora and others in the North. The Female World Surf Champion since a few years back is a Peruvian, Ms. Sofia Mulanovich.
YALE UNIVERSITY STILL HOLDS OVER 40,000 ARTEFACTS TAKEN BY HIRAM BINGHAM FROM MACHU PICCHU IN 1911 TO 1914
Peruvian authorities have sent a counterproposal to the Peabody Anthropological Museum at Yale University regarding the final destination of the more than 40,000 artefacts, which were collected and sent to the US by Hiram Bingham and other researchers from the Peabody Anthropological Museum between 1911 and 1914. The proposal offers Yale University certain facilities for academic cooperation and research with Peruvian universities and archaeological sites. It is hoped that the proposal will be accepted with minor changes and thus put an end to decades long negotiations regarding this collection, which includes, not only pottery and minor gold artefacts, but also human bones found in graves from the Inca period. The last theory regarding the Citadel places it at the time of the Inca emperor Pachacutec ( AD 1480’s) or the world shaker as his name means, and is supposed to have been built as a resting place or summer palace for the use of this most expansionist Inca emperor.
APEC MEMBER STATES TOURISM REPRESENTATIVES SIGNED THE PACHACAMAC DECLARATION
The 5th Tourism Ministers Meeting of the APEC Forum ended with the subscription of the so called Pachacamac Declaration in the archaeological site by the same name located a few miles south of Lima. Among other things it states that responsible tourism is a means of respecting the environment, thus reducing negative effects. This will depend on the commitment and participation of all tourist operators. The need for more frequent direct air line flights between the different countries was also noted something which had been expressed by not only China but also Singapore and Korea.
PERUVIAN TOURISM MINISTER MERCEDES ARAOZ SHOWS OFF HER SKILLS ON PERUVIAN PACE HORSE.
After the signing of the Pachacamac Declaration, the participants were treated to a lunch and an exhibition of the world famous Peruvian Caballo de Paso or Pace Horse and a handicrafts exhibition. The Peruvian Minister of Tourism and Foreign Trade, Mrs. Mercedes Aráoz, accepted the challenge by Eduardo Risso, the President of the Peruvian Pace Horse Breeders Association and, encouraged by the applause of the other participants, showed off her equine skills.
PERUVIAN MINISTER OF TOURISM EXPECTS FLOW OF TOURISTS TO PERU TO INCREASE BY 10% A YEAR.
The Peruvian Minister of Tourism declared that one of the goals of her Governmental portfolio was to increase the flow of visitors to Peru by 10% a year. In that context, she stated the need for local operators to increase the capacity and quality of the services offered. She also mentioned the importance of the tourism activity in the local communities, where, as she stated, there is often not any need for big capital investments, but can be carried out by local efforts and include all members of the community, from the local handicrafts producer to a local guide service.