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[1 Apr 2010 by Jessie Kwak | 3 Comments | ]
A closer look at Lima:  Pueblo Libre

If you’re interested in a hearty dose of Peruvian history, check out Pueblo Libre. Spend an afternoon wandering through the quiet colonial streets, sipping pisco in historic bars, paying homage at ancient crossroads, and, of course, allow plenty of time for the museums. Pueblo Libre is a quiet residential area just a short taxi ride from Miraflores or Downtown, just north of Magdalena del Mar. Today its citizens are beginning to promote their tourist appeal, with signs like “No tocando el claxon tendremos mas Turismo … Al Turista Pueblo Libre conquista!” (“By not honking our horns we’ll attract more Tourism … Pueblo Libre will conquer the Tourist!”). More power to them: their little neighborhood kicks ass, and has done so for centuries.

Cities Indepth »

[22 Mar 2010 by Jessie Kwak | 17 Comments | ]
A closer look at Lima:  Magdalena del Mar

Most tourists who come to Lima stay in the Miraflores district, and for good reason, sometimes it’s nice to stay in a neighborhood that resembles, well, Lima. Magdalena was by far our favorite neighborhood in Lima, in part because of its great location (just a quick bus or taxi ride to Miraflores, the airport, or Downtown), and in part because of its quiet neighborly feel. Magdalena is the sort of place where your neighbors will greet you on the street, where old couples go out for an evening stroll, where neighborhood kids play impromptu fútbol games in quiet intersections.

Cities Indepth »

[22 Feb 2010 by Jessie Kwak | 13 Comments | ]
This is Huanchaco, Part 4:  Housing

If you can’t tell by how much time we’ve spent talking about it, Huanchaco is a great place. There are basically two options for long-term accommodation: staying in a hostel or renting a room. Whether you’re in need of a base camp for surf trips up the coast, wanting to volunteer in the nearby area, or just needing a break from traveling, here’s a guide to finding “home” in Huanchaco. Huanchaco is home to many great cheap housing options. What is offered everywhere varies wildly, but the best options have a private, secure room with kitchen access and wifi.

Cities Indepth »

[15 Feb 2010 by Jessie Kwak | Comments Off on This is Huanchaco, Part 3: Volunteering | ]
This is Huanchaco, Part 3:  Volunteering

Huanchaco’s proximity to Peru’s third largest city, Trujillo, makes it a good base if you’re looking to spend a few months (or even just a few weeks) making a difference in someone’s life. Trujillo has seen its population grow rapidly in the last few decades as impoverished rural farmers moved there looking for work, and the pueblos jovenes (young towns) that they built on the city’s edge often still lack basic infrastructure. Enter Trujillo’s many NGOs, and the volunteers that keep them running. In this article, I’ve only included NGOs that we’ve had personal contact with, or which have been referred to us.

Cities Indepth »

[8 Feb 2010 by Jessie Kwak | 3 Comments | ]
This is Huanchaco, Part 2:  Surfing

There are many who would claim that the Mochica fishermen of Huanchaco were the world’s original surfers, riding the waves on their caballitos de totora (“little reed horses”). While this may be debated, the Mochica’s legacy is living on in Peru’s growing role in surfing tourism. From the little-known beaches far from civilization to the crowded waves of Mancora and Lima, surfers won’t have a hard time finding the perfect fit. Huanchaco draws its fair share of Peru’s surf tourists. With up to 7 left-breaking and 2 right-breaking waves of various skill levels, it makes an chill place for both beginner and intermediate students, and a great jumping-off point for trips to more advanced waves.

Cities Indepth »

[1 Feb 2010 by Jessie Kwak | 7 Comments | ]
This is Huanchaco, Part 1

This is the first article in a four-part series on the fishing-and-surfing village of Huanchaco, Peru. Most days you’d never know you were 30 minutes to Trujillo, Peru’s third-largest city when walking Huanchaco’s nearly-empty beach and crumbling colonial backstreets, but on summer weekends the malecón (boardwalk) explodes with Peruvian tourists and foreign surfers. While its position in the Humboldt Current makes the water cooler and the skies cloudier than its famous northern neighbor Mancora, it also thins down the crowds to people serious about their surfing and their relaxing.