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What do you want to know about Peru?

I am heading to Peru for 3 weeks of meetings with fellow travel professionals; visits to famous sights; trekking and tours with various vendors.
My mission is to experience Peru first hand so that I can direct my clients to the right Peruvian adventures for them.
What places do you want me to report back on?
What questions would you ask the local Peru pros?
What foods do you think I should try?
Follow along with me and give me your feedback, questions and queries. It should be a great adventure!

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Grey on the outside, colorful on the inside

Lima Posted on Thu, June 15, 2017 12:32:29

A number of guides have mentioned that because Lima is so grey (it has an intense marine layer/fog blanketing the city most of the year) the residents take special pains to bring color into their homes and lives. I think this is a good description of Lima in general. Your first impression is of a grey, dusty, traffic filled metropolis; but if you give the city a chance and look past the grey, it is filled with colorful places and people.
The neighborhoods of Miraflores and Barranco are known as bohemian, artist enclaves. Filled with small art shops and museums, home to famous writers, poets and musicians a walk through the area also reveals a bevy of public art and murals.
Then in downtown Lima, inside a massive grey warehouse is a market filled with fruit, vegetables, spices, nuts and multiple types of potatoes (Peru has about 4000 varieties of potato!)

This is a slice of squash! All the produce is huge compared to what you find in the U.S.!
A wide variety of nuts, spices and chilies are available too.

As befits a city filled with fresh food markets, meals in Lima are a special treat. Every meal, every day at every restaurant is fantastic. The city is home to an outlet of the famous Cordon Bleu cooking school and many a famous chef has set up shop here.
One fun activity is to visit the markets with a guide/chef and then return for a cooking class with fresh ingredients and friendly instruction.

On tonight’s’ menu: Causa Rellena
Causa takes its name from the old Incan Quechua word kausaq, which means “giver of life,” another name for the potato. Rellena is the Spanish word for “stuffed” or “filled.” Ours are stuffed with alternating layers of tuna, avocado, homemade mayo and homemade chili sauce.

I’d like to blame the sideways picture on the homemade Pisco Sours, but it is really the computer’s fault for refusing to place us right side up!

The main course was Ceviche, but of course. Yum!
Next step, Paracas!

I hope you have enjoyed this snapshot of Lima.
Want to visit Peru? Contact me. I will prepare a trip tailored to your wishes.

Contact Lauren Rock 404-372-3403 or

Click here to return to my website’s “About Me” page

Well? How is Lima?

Lima Posted on Mon, June 12, 2017 23:24:49

It has been a long full day in Lima. We landed at 6AM, braved some CRAZY traffic to make it to the hotel in time for breakfast before heading out for a tour of the city. I know many people have a negative image of Lima – it’s grey, smells bad, is post-apocalyptic looking, an, there are stray dogs everywhere- are among the main comments I heard pre-arrival. And yes, the area near the airport is all of those things. But if you give Lima and chance, and take the time to venture out and look behind the building facades, you realize the city is more than your first impression.
It is a multi-layered place with ruins right in the city, pictured here is La Huaca Pucllana. An Adobe and clay pyramid structure circa 500-900AD
Grand public spaces – Plazas, are central to life in Peru, here is one of the best examples, Plaza San Martin A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Another grand space in the Historic Center of Lima is the Plaza Mayor, the birthplace of Lima first built in 1535 these beautiful buildings are now home to the present day Presidential Palace; the Cathedral of Lima- whose center is original but towers were rebuilt due to earthquake damage; the Archbishop’s Palace with it’s magnificent Baroque wood balconies; and the yellow toned Municipal Palace home to Lima city government. The video was to big to download but here is a series of pics to give you a 360 glimpse of the Plaza. Be sure to zoom in on the hand carved facades.

Next up is church of Saint Francis of Assisi and next door Monastery with magnificent tile work, paintings, wood carved ceilings, and catacombs below. Alas, pictures are not allowed. Zoom in on the front entrance of the church for a hint of craftsmanship that lies within.

After seeing the heart of Lima we headed to Miraflores and Barranco. These neighborhoods are home to boutique shops and restaurants, quieter neighborhoods then Lima proper and a coastline that sparkles when the sun comes out. Here are some shots:

Last but not least, one highlight was the Choco Museo which has all kinds of tempting treats including Pisco drinks mixed with Chocolate and various other flavors. Taste testing was fun!
And now, for the first time in 48 hours, I’m off to sleep in a real bed!

I hope you have enjoyed this snapshot of Lima.
Want to visit Peru? Contact me. I will prepare a trip tailored to your wishes.

Contact Lauren Rock 404-372-3403 or

Click here to return to my website’s “About Me” page

Next stop, Lima!

Getting Ready to Go Posted on Sun, June 11, 2017 22:21:30

From Atlanta to UGA, to Wake Forest, to Raleigh airport to JFK and now, finally, on the way to Lima!
Click here to return to my website’s “About Me” page

How do you prepare for Peru?

Getting Ready to Go Posted on Wed, May 31, 2017 16:47:52

I’ve gotten some great questions about how I have been preparing for Peru. Here is a brief rundown of what I’ve done in various areas:

Physical Prep – I have gone hiking every weekend for the past 4-5 months. Picking progressively steeper and longer routes each time.

Altitude Prep – Based on all the research I have done there is nothing you can do to prep for being at high altitudes. Being in shape can help, but has no bearing on who will, or will not, have difficulty adjusting. Once at altitude you can mitigate it’s effects by staying hydrated and avoiding/limiting alcohol. It’s also important to build in a few days down time at altitude before beginning a trek. As for medicinal “support” – There are some prescription meds that may help, but speak to your doctor as some have side effects and/or are dangerous for folks with sulfa or other allergies. I have been told of local remedies – including the infamous Coca leaf tea…we’ll see..smiley.

Medicine Bag Prep – Be it a headache, sore muscles, sinuses or the dreaded Montezuma’s revenge, being prepared can make a huge difference. I always travel with basic OTC supplies – in their original packaging. And double check your prescription med supply too (again, in properly labelled containers). Lastly, just in case things get “out of control” travel insurance with medical coverage is a must have.

Gear/Clothing Prep – I needed new hiking boots and got these back when I started my weekly walks. Making sure that your boots, socks and other trekking clothes and gear are comfortable and broken in is a priority! Also important are layers for rain, wind, cold and heat- all of which could be encountered in a single day.

How to Know Where to go Prep? – I did extensive research, spoke with colleagues in the travel industry, read some great books ( “Turn Right at Machu Picchu” by Mark Adams was my favorite), and mapped out all possible routes against the time I have to spend. In the end my final choices are all places Peru experts have recommend and clients have inquired about.

I also must acknowledge the wonderful on the ground sponsors who are making my trip possible. Their offers of space on tours and accommodation not only give me first hand experience with what my clients will enjoy, but makes my extended exploration possible! I will specify each sponsor/Tour company when I post about my time with them.

Keep your questions coming!

Click here to return to my website’s “About Me” page

Only 2 weeks to go!

Getting Ready to Go Posted on Mon, May 29, 2017 21:42:53

2 weeks from now I will be on the plane to Lima! To say I am excited is an understatement. I have made arrangements to meet all my local contacts, obsessed about which tours and tour companies to check out – there are so many great choices. Some things are booked, others are TBD so I can add in what YOU want to know. So… here is your chance. Let me know what you have always wondered about visiting Peru. I’ll do my best to visit, learn and/or ask about everything you bring up.

In the meantime I will begin pouring over my packing list. Gear and clothes for the city, the beach, the Amazon and trekking – all in the allowable size and weight limit. This could take awhile.

Click here to return to my website’s “About Me” page

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