Due to the high demand on the Cusco-Puno-Cusco route, PeruRail will begin operating a new service starting Wednesday, May 31st.
With over 41 million international arrivals in 2015 and an average growth of 5%, Latin America’s travel and tourism industry has incredible potential to help generate growth, create jobs and enable regional development.
But which countries are best positioned to benefit most from the industry? You might not be surprised to find out that beautiful natural sceneries like the Iguassu Falls and iconic cultural landmarks like Machu Picchu aren’t the only factors that determine whether a destination is competitive.
So which are the 10 most competitive countries in Latin America? And more importantly, what do they all have in common?
In a region as vast and as close to nature as South America, many outdoor voyagers will find a bevy of adventures to explore. The continent is known for some of the best, most scenic day hikes, as well as the most challenging surfing waves, but there are still other activities that – in a way – defy modern convention. These ventures are aimed to take you out of your comfort zone; making sure that after your trip you realize there’s more to life than just city tours and hotel stays.
I read that Travel + Leisure has posted on its website the list of “The best places to visit in 2017” and Pisco, Peru has been included within this important list. What is it that makes Pisco an unmissable destination for visitors from all over the world (even though I think it is largely ignored by the majority of Peruvian tourists)?
For one thing, it is close to several other places that I found to be very interesting when I travelled to there:
I am re-reading a book I had read years ago (Tales of a Shaman's Apprentice) and it got me to remembering when I was researching my first trip to the Amazon over 20 years ago. I had been reading trip reports at an office in Quito and read things like:
As a person who loves exploring, I have an interest in going to places that might not be big tourist destinations, but should be (at least I think so). But it seems that not many others find those places interesting. Would you be interested in visiting places like these?
20 years ago I traveled to the Chachapoyas region of Peru with a friend of mine and a group of others that he put together. At that time the government had it in it's 5 year plan to develop the area as the "Machu Picchu of the north". Peter Lerche, the German in the video below, which was published last month, showed us un-excavated ruins on many mountain tops (as he mentions in the video, only about 10% have been excavated now). I sent a group there a few years later and they got to visit a lost city that had only been discovered the week before they arrived. Since that time, some of the highest waterfalls in the world have been discovered and in 2013, 35 sarcophagi belonging to the Chachapoyas culture were found. Archaeologists believe that the sarcophagi – painted clay coffins placed upright above ground – were placed in a cemetery for children because the figures measure some 70 centimeters tall.
Though you can read all types of lists of animals that have been spotted in certain areas over the years, wildlife is bound by no rules and does not always cooperate with hopeful viewers.
Some of the lodges in the Tambopata Reserve area combined sighting statistics from 2014 and came up with these results:
I guess the first thing that most people think about when they think about Peru tours is one that will include Machu Picchu. While that is a fantastic and popular site (as evidenced by the over 2,500 people a day who visit in in the peak season), it would be a shame to think that there is nothing else in Peru worth seeing. Even if you don't go to anywhere other than the Cusco/Machu Picchu area, there are still very interesting sites there that often go unnoticed, such as Maras and Moray in the Sacred Valley and the little weaving villages in the mountains surrounding the valley. A quick program could be 3 days or it could be extended to a week or so for a more in-depth experience
I had an interesting conversation with a person who has been a guide in the Peruvian Amazon for 26 years and has worked with several cruise companies over that time period, from moderate to upscale, and now has his own company, which operates the Cattleya ship
Jim has been an agent for over 20 years and has specialized in South America for much of that time