About.com will be launching a fairly extensive site redesign in the next few months. One of the upcoming changes involves blog posts (such as the post you're reading right now), which will soon be retired.
You'll still have plenty of new articles to read (which will appear on the Peru Travel homepage), you just won't have any more of these shorter and more time-sensitive blog posts.
With these posts soon disappearing, I'll be keeping you up-to-date with all the breaking news and travel-related announcements from Peru in other ways. There's my Peru-related Facebook page, of course. And there's also my non-About.com blog, HowtoPeru.com. You can also follow me on Google+.
In other words, you'll still have plenty to read, including in-depth articles and shorter snippets pertaining to all the latest news and events in Peru.
The first national earthquake simulation of 2014 will take place at 3 p.m. on May 30. You might not even notice it, but if you do see people exiting buildings and hanging around in the streets, at least you'll know why.
The timing of the drill could perhaps have been better, considering that many Peruvians will be halfway through the England vs Peru soccer match, which kicks off at 2 p.m. local time...
On May 30, 2014, the Peruvian national soccer team will face England at Wembley. This will be the first encounter between the two teams in 52 years, and Peru's first ever trip to the historic Wembley Stadium in London.
The last head-to-head between the two teams took place at the Estadio Nacional in Lima, with England traveling home as clear 4-0 winners. With the World Cup just around the corner, the English will be hoping for another confidence-boosting win against the Peruvians.
Peru, meanwhile, is looking for a much-needed boost to national footballing pride following an unsuccessful World Cup qualifying campaign.
If you're in Peru on May 30, you shouldn't have too many problems finding a bar or restaurant in which to watch the game. The game will kick off at 8 p.m. in England, or 2 p.m. in Peru.
Here's a quick post to point you in the direction of an interesting new article on the Peru Nature Blog (Rainforest Expeditions).
"Capuchin monkey economics" by Geoff Gallice isn't specifically about monkeys in Peru, but it's well worth a read whether you're heading to the Peruvian Amazon or not. So if monkeys budgeting coins for Jell-O and offering money for sexual favors sounds intriguing, head over there now and read the full article...
Photo © Frans de Waal, Wikimedia Commons (link)
If you're interested in the history and preparation of Peruvian cuisine, "Peruvian Markets and Mobile Street Food Stands" might be right up your alley.
The aforementioned title is a free-to-download eBook by Teresina Muñoz-Nájar Rojas, created for and released by two electric power companies called Edelnor and Endesa (don't ask me why).
Anyway, it's an interesting read with some great recipes and plenty of fascinating facts about the history and development of Peruvian food. The focus is on street food and traditional market fare, with sections covering breakfasts, main courses, hangover food and more.
You can download the eBook for iPad, Android, smartphone, PC or as a flash version from the El Rincón de Endesa website.
Click your heels together three times and say, "there's no place like Machu Picchu." Poof! As if by magic, the Lost City of the Incas appears before you. Well, almost...
The above link takes you on an impressive virtual tour of Machu Picchu, created by a Peruvian company called Panoramas del Perú. Produced with the support of UNESCO, the tour lets you view Machu Picchu from various locations around the site, as if you were standing there in person.
Video gamers might be disappointed at the lack of running, jumping and rocket-launching abilities, but the interface does allow you to zoom and rotate your field of view. By clicking on the pulsing white circles, you can travel through the ruins.
If the virtual tour has inspired you to take a real trip to Cusco and the Sacred Valley, get your plans off to a good start with these tips for picking a Machu Picchu tour.
Photo © Tony Dunnell
The ever-popular Noche de los Museos (Night of the Museums) returns on May 23 as part of the "Museum Month" celebrations.
For one night only, more than 50 cultural spaces across eight districts of Metropolitan Lima and Callao will open between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. at reduced prices -- with many granting free entry.
Museums taking part include the Museo Nacional de la Cultura Peruana (free), the Museo de Arte Italiano de Lima (S/.1), the Casa de la Gastronomía Peruana (S/.1) and the Casa Museo José Carlos Mariátegui.
- History and Archaeology Museums in Lima
- Art Museums in Lima
- War and Military Museums in Lima
- Science and Technology Museums in Lima
- Transport Museums in Lima
- Currency and Postal Museums in Lima
There are always plenty of festivals and events taking place each month in Peru, and May is certainly no exception.
Religious festivals in May include the Virgen de Chapi pilgrimage in Arequipa and the Fiesta de las Cruces in various highland regions. Other notable events include the Fiesta de Alasitas in Puno, the anniversary of the Battle of Tacna and the anniversary and reenactment of the Battle of Callao.
Culinary travelers should try to attend the Perú Mucho Gusto gastronomic fair in Pisco from May 1 to May 3, while music fans have various concerts to choose from in Lima, including Thirty Seconds to Mars, Peruvian operatic tenor Juan Diego Florez, and the Electo Selvámonos and Festival Vivo X el Rock music festivals.
For more information about these and other events, read:
Military history fans take note: on May 2, 2014, a reenactment of the Battle of Callao will be staged down at the docks in Callao.
The Battle of Callao, known as the Combate del Callao or Combate del Dos de Mayo in Spanish, took place on May 2, 1866, when a Spanish fleet bombarded battery emplacements in the fortified Peruvian port city.
According to Peruvian sources, the defense was a resounding success and the Spanish fleet sailed away with Callao still standing proud. According to Spanish accounts, the coastal defenses were thoroughly beaten.
Despite both sides claiming victory, I'm fairly sure the reenactment will be at least slightly biased in favor of the locals.
The reenactment will take place between midday and 1:00 p.m. Various institutions have come together to stage the event, which will feature ships, cannons and uniforms of the period alongside modern special effects. If successful, the reenactment might become an annual event -- and will almost certainly take place in 2016 to mark the battle's 150th anniversary.
Image shows a detail from Combate de El Callao, painted by Rafael Monleón (1847-1900); Wikimedia Commons, public domain.
The ninth edition of the Perú Mucho Gusto gastronomic fair will take place from May 1 to May 3 in the city of Pisco.
The food festival will feature chefs representing restaurants -- and culinary styles -- from various regions of Peru, including Ica, Ayacucho, Madre de Dios, Apurímac, Cusco, Puno, Moquegua and Tacna.
Food fans should definitely try to attend the three-day event. I went to the Perú Mucho Gusto fair in Tarapoto back in 2011 and it was a memorable day out with great food from across the country.
The Pisco edition promises to be just as good -- if not better -- so get there if you can....
Photo © Tony Dunnell (Perú Mucho Gusto, Tarapoto, 2011)