LOCAL Houston | The City Guide September 2016 - Page 72

continued from page 70 AN INSIDER’S GUIDE TO PERU With Peru being well above sea level, the most difficult part of my trip was getting used to the elevation. I found that the prescription pills I had brought, along with the consumption of cocoa leaves, to be helpful, and aided me in acclimatizing to the country. Compared to other countries I have traveled to, I found the clothes, jewelry and dyes made from the local crops to be some of the most amazing I have come across. These are the items that inspire me, and it is this inspiration that I want to bring back to my clients. In fact, it was the markets and bazaars of Peru that have inspired my newest event that will debut in the fall at J. Landa in Rice Village. Favorite sight: By far, Machu Picchu. A close second are the Incan and pre-Incan ruin sites around Cusco. These complete the historical narrative of a powerful people. Because of our party size, we passed on the four-day Inca hike to Machu. But based on the feedback, if you have the time, it’s probably the most experiential way to arrive at this truly awe-inspiring place. Favorite food: We loved the ceviche de pescado! It was served tossed with a large Peruvian white corn called choclo. The choclo is also served steamed on the cob as street food pared with local queso. If you happen upon a local selling choclo, don’t pass on it. Favorite hotel/lodging: Tambo del Inca – a Luxury Collection Hotel by Starwood located in Urubamba. Arriving late in the night after a winding descent into the sacred Valley (Valle Sagrado), Tambo greeted us with a roaring fireplace amidst a cocoon of beautifully woven alpaca throws and pillows. The rooms are as sophisticated as any in which we’ve stayed, and the staff is impeccably trained and didn’t miss a beat. The wine list in the cavernous dining room proved a joyous tromp through the best vineyards of South America. Local Bazaar Machu Picchu Do not miss: Don’t skip Cusco. Even though the high altitude can be intimidating, this ancient city is an absolute tapestry of culture, food, shopping, historic sites and, of course, pisco sours. Pop into the Rumi Bar at the Palacio del Inka – Plazoleta Santo Domingo 259, Cusco, Peru. Insider tip: Find a great guide with a passion and knowledge of the local culture. The Andean people are warm and inviting. Don’t pass on the local experiences. If someone offers you a chicharone the size of your head, give it a try. You won’t be disappointed. Paracas Beach 72 L O C A L | september 16