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This week we are in the midst of Semana Santa here in Cusco. As a traditional city in a Catholic nation, this week brings events for worship and family to Cusco. As always in Peru, the complex cultural history of our nation brings some indigenous traditions in to the mix as well.

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Few things are more beautiful than Cusco in the sunshine. Click through to see our dazzling Historic Center on a sunny day! Continue reading

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Follow the jump for the travel insights and Peru stories that caught our eye this week! Continue reading

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From the daily bustle of of San Pedro, to the relaxed weekend vibe in the Plaza Tupac Amaru, market life is an important part of the culture of Cusco and Perú. Locals do most of their shopping in neighborhood markets, and that makes for a great variety of goods for sale. From the rainbow of fresh fruits and vegetables, to woven handicrafts, you can buy almost anything under one roof. A must for any visitor to Cusco is to explore the local markets.

This weekend we went out to explore a few markets and share the experience with our readers!

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Peru is finally getting deserved recognition in luxury tourism! Sol y Luna Lodge in Peru’s Sacred Valley was just voted to Trip Advisor’s Top 25 Hotels Worldwide. Plan your stay at Sol y Luna with great rates from Pride Peru Travel!

Luxury Travel Blog also has some great tips for Peru Travel. Check out why Peru makes a great honeymoon destination, and five reasons to travel to Peru in 2013.

Peru is celebrating Chilcano week. Don’t let Pisco Sours steal the spotlight, the Chilcano is another great way to enjoy Peruvian Pisco.

Peruvian cuisine is getting tons of buzz, but our coffee is catching up. Three Peruvian coffee brands were recently voted in the world`s Top 10!

Finally Happy 478th Birthday to Lima today! May the capital of cuisine and culture in Peru enjoy some fantastic birthday celebrations!

Pride Peru Travel is also now on Twitter, follow us @prideperutravel, and Pinterest!

Stay tuned next Friday for more Peruvian news and travel inspiration. To plan your adventure in Peru, check out our tours and learn how to travel with pride in Peru!

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Best wishes to all in 2013 from Pride Peru Travel!

If Christmas in Cusco is a time for family, New Year’s is the time to celebrate! Hostels and hotels fill with guests looking to ring in the New Year amongst the famous festivities in Cusco’s historic center.

Peruvian New Year’s traditions are unique, and contain a few special customs thought to bring luck and prosperity in the upcoming year. Fist, the color gold is believed to attract wealth, so the people of Cusco deck themselves in yellow regalia, from top hats and glasses, to the traditional new pair of yellow underwear. Many people also have rituals meant to put away the past and start the New Year off fresh. In this spirit, dolls are made, dressed in old clothing and burned on New Year’s Eve.

At midnight, the Plaza de Armas is the place to be. Thousands of revelers from all around the world gather in the square to watch live music and soak up the energy of the crowd. At the stroke of twelve a fireworks show begins, yellow confetti fills the air, and hugs are exchanged with best wishes for the upcoming year.

Many also take a celebratory lap of the plaza, believing that you can bring travel into your life by literally starting off the New Year running.

Cusco is definitely the place to be in Peru to bring in the new year!

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Happy Holidays from Everyone at Pride Peru Travel! Here in our Cusco office, we have been busy with Christmas celebrations in the city. We wanted to share with all of you a few special events that make Christmas in Cusco special.

Most Peruvian families have their main Christmas celebration on December 24th, or Noche Buena. To prepare for the festivities, on this day the streets around the Plaza de Armas in Cusco are closed and transformed into an enormous Christmas market. Dating back hundreds of years, the market is traditionally called Santurantikuy or “Selling of the Saints”.

The market fills with thousands of locals and tourists alike, perusing the variety of items for sale- everything from woven artisan crafts to clothing and jewelry.  The stars of the market are the nativity figures, as families traditionally build and add to their nativity scene each year. One can find doll-like clothing meant for El Niño Manuelito, the Andean Jesus figure, tiny ceramic animal figurines, as well as moss and grasses to decorate the family’s nativity.

In the evening there are many fireworks displays, and families gather for dinner and celebrations late into the night. The following morning, the 25th is used to rest up after all of the merrymaking the night before.

Chocolatadas are also a big event leading up to Christmas, especially for the cities children. Business patrons, churches, and community organizations distribute hot chocolate and paneton, a traditional Peruvian fruitcake, to the children. This is a way of the community giving back, as it is common practice to donate to fund the chocolatadas.

When it comes down to it, the holiday season is really about the same thing all around the world- spending quality time with loved ones and giving thanks for the blessings we receive throughout the year.

Next week, we will take a look at the New Year’s Eve festivities here in Cusco!

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