Gamarra : Best place for clothes shopping Lima Peru

I returned to La Gamarra in La Victoria, Lima, Peru today for a little shopping spree.  Got some Peruvian Butt Push Up Jeans for my wife which she loves.  They are the same as the Brazilian Jeans and I just love seeing her wear them.  I got myself a few Lacoste polo shirts for s./ 23 a piece or roughly $9 USD.  Great quality and no one’s going to know where they came from but me and you.  Hollister is the new brand on the block in the Gamarra.  Plenty of Hollister T-Shirts can be had for the same price. 

Popular brands of push up jeans include d’flavia , jeans roy , Baccarro , and Sombra to name a few of my favorites.  American knockoff brands include Abercrombie & Fitch , Lacoste , Aeropostale , Armani Exchange, Polo , Billabong , and Rip Curl .

Gamarra is a place to find a cheap deal on good clothes while visiting Lima, Peru.  Lots of Caballeros will attempt to entice you into following them to their store, but be sure that you check out a couple of stores before you decide on which one is the best deal and find the best quality as the prices are normally the same regardless.

Gamarra has shoe stores, evening wear, dress clothes, suits, tyes, polos, button up shirts, alpaca, plenty of jeans for both men and women, t-shirts, socks, undergarments, underwear, hats and accessories.  There are several banks and atm’s.  The banks are available during normal business hours and yellow vested money exchangers are available during business hours on every corner.  There is a food court with mcdonalds and pizza hut on the tops floor of Parque Canepa and many vendors in the streets as cars are not permitted.

Getting to Gamarra from Rimac we normally pay around 8 soles but be sure to tell the driver that you are ok with being dropped off outside the toll area as they will get charged 1 sole to enter the gates.  When you leave the further away you get the better deal you will find from the taxi’s.  I normally walk atleast 3 blocks outside the gates to find a ride home.  Be sure to keep your money out of site and in a safe place.  Also guard your purchases closely and never ever take a purse with you.

Happy Shopping

Mochileros Peru

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Cheapest Machu Pichu Tour

The cheapest way to get a guided tour of machu pichu is to get several prices from different tour operators.  I suggest you begin by inquiring at your hostel or hotel as most will try to push you on there tour which is usually more expensive.  Please remember that you can stay in Aguas Calientes overnight but beware of the alien mosquitos and bring plenty of deet.  Accomidation in Aguas Calientes is cheap to more expensive depending on what you find.  Once again check around before you decide which one is right for you.

After getting an idea of the cost at your hostel or hotel I suggest walking around the plaza de armas and inquiring at a few of the tour operators around the square.  I found the cheapest deal just past the McDonalds and it was a great deal.  You just have to check a few different places and then at each one just tell them what you have already been offered it is that simple and most speack english so dont worry.  Cusco is really laid back and dont be afraid to go after a bargain.

Chou

Menu in Peru

Menu Peru what is the deal?

In the United States we are accustomed to ordering our food off of the menu, be it at a drive thru or a fancy sit down restaurant. In Peru, Menu has an entirely different meaning. You will see the word Menu mostly on billboards sitting out in front of the local restaurants. In Peru, Menu means the specials of the day. Rather than choosing one item you order Menu and get a 2 course meal.

The first Menu serving normally is a soup or sopa which is sometimes referred to as caldo or chupe depending on the ingredients. Popluar choices are caldo de gallina (chicken soup made with a hen), caldo de camote (sweetpotatoe), Chupe de mariscos (seafood like muscles or clam), Chupe de pescado (white fish) or my most favorite Chupe de langostinos (a spicy shrimp soup).

Most often you will have a choice other than soup such as papa huancaina which is one of the most popular around the country. Papa huancaina is made of skinned and sliced boiled potatoes topped with the Peruvian favorite, a spicy sauce, made from aji amarillo or orange peppers and queso de casa which is fresh white cheese and saltine crackers blended together with milk.

The second dish is dependent on what was fresh in the market that day. Items range from cebiche with chicharrone de calamar also known as fried calamari, lomo saltado (a spiced steak and pepper mix served over fried potatoes and rice just to name a few. The second dish will vary widely depending on which area of Peru that you are visiting.

In addition to the two courses you will sometimes be served a refresco which is some sort of drink as well. Refresco can range from a sweetend tea to maracuya passion fruit drink.

To sum up the meaning of Menu in Peru it basically means that you are going to get a full meal and sometimes a beverage as well. There is usually a set price listed on the billboard which will let you know the price for the meal. In Lima and in Cusco I normally pay between 4 and 7 soles for Menu when eating in the markets, but places outside of the markets can be much more costly. In Mancora Menu can be as pricey as s./ 12 soles on the avenida grau.

My all time favorite place to get Menu is the Cristo Rey Cebicheria which is close to where I stay in Rimac not far from the Plaza de Armas where prices are normaly 6 or 7 soles depending on how big a portion you decide on. Remember the Menu and one thing is for certain you will not go hungary while visiting Peru. Bon Appetite!

Restaurant Mechita Mancora Peru Review

Cebiche de Langostinos
Cebiche de Langostinos

Restaurant Mechita
av. grau n. 229 mancora talara

On my recent vacation to Mancora Peru we decided to eat at a little place on the main street running through town call Restaurant Mechita. We found the place while we were looking for a place to get Menu for cheap. We noticed that they had Menu advertised out front on the billboard for s./8 soles so we decided to give it a try. The menu lists various marisco’s seafood and criolla fare and the prices are about half what you will pay at the Espada, which I did not visit after reading several bad reviews.

We ordered chicharrones de calamar which is fried calamari for our girls for s./8 soles. The menu came with a starter of papas huancaina which was decent although it is pretty hard to screw up skined boiled potatoes in huancaina sauce, it was good though as I tried a taste. The chicharrone de calamar was very fresh and cooked to perfection. I was in the mood for some fresh shrimp and decided to try their cebiche de langostinos which is priced at s./15 soles or about $5 usd.

The cebiche de langostinos was absolutely superb! The shrimp were fresh and plentiful as I did not expect to get so many shrimp for that price. The leche de tigre was perfectly spiced with ricotta pepper and red onions combined with key limes. The dish was served with a piece of choclo corn and camote sweet potatoes on the side.

The restaurant has outdoor seating on the front patio and ample room inside. They were showing the world cup game inside which is where we were seated. If you are going to try to get Menu on avenida grau rather than the boardwalk this is a good choice. I give Restaurant Mechita (***) 3 stars for a delicious quick lunch.

Best Pizza in Peru Pizza Palace

Pizza Palace – Best Pizza in Peru

The Pizza Palace located in the Plaza de Armas is my favorite place to stop in for a quick bite and the Pizza is the best I have had in Peru. The ingredients are fresh and the pizza is great. The atmosphere is perfect for a stop on a date if you are enjoying a walk through the Plaza de Armas to see the fountains, touring a nearby museaum or shopping in the jiron de la union.

Pay for a gaseosa y pizza personal (a slice) at the caja and grab your food and head to one of the many bar stools for seating. Cost for a soda and a slice of the best pizza in Peru is s./ 2.50 or about $.95 usd.

I give the Pizza Palace a rating of (****) stars for the excellent pizza and budget friendly prices it is a must try when visiting the Plaza de Armas in Lima, Peru.

Costa Blanca Hotel Mancora Peru (****) 4 Stars

Upon arriving at the Vichayito Costa Blanca Hotel located just south of Mancora, Peru we were greeted and shown around the property. They have 33 rooms including Matrimonial, Doubles and Triples. The rooms are larger than most that I saw while visiting Mancora. The bathrooms were very clean aswell. Ammenites include WIFI, tv with free dvd library, hot water 24 hours a day, and a patio overlooking the beach with table chairs and hammock. Vichayito Beach is fantastic! It is very clean and the water was very calm and serene. The pool is very clean and surrounded by a very nice deck with recliner beach chairs overlooking the ocean. The have a very nice restaurant which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. We were quoted for the triple with 2 adults and our 3 kids at a rate of $60 per night with a 3 night minimum stay which included continental breakfast for all of us.

Our stay at the Costa Blanca Hotel ended up being 6 days and 4 nights and we were allowed to check in upon arrival at 11 AM. We headed straight to the beach and then to the pool. It was the middle of June and the water temperatures were perfect. The sun here is very bright as Mancora, Peru is located in the Tropics, so do not forget your sunscreen. There are beach cabanas with chairs for guests. The beach is very clean and there is great snorkeling here just 200 meters to the north. We found around 10 sea horses washed up on the beach along with lots of sea shells.

Other activities include horseback rides right on the beach for 15 soles for 30 minutes per person to fooseball for the kids.

The pool at the Vichayito Costa Blanca Hotel is very warm and very clean. There is plenty of seating around the pool which is located just below the covered open air restaurant which houses a complete bar. Boat drinks such as Pina coladas and frozen daquaris are 15 soles along with spirits, wine and ice cold Pilsen beer in a bottle can be had for 6 soles. The restaurant serves food from 8AM until around 9PM. The menu ranges from large delicious chicken sandwiches for 10 soles to Langosta or Lobster a lo macho for 100 soles. Other items include fresh fish, shrimp, as well as lomo saltado and steaks. The food is first rate and the price is right on. We charged all of our meals to our room and paid the night before we checked out.

The nights are quiet and very peaceful with the rolling sound of the breaking waves heard from the balconies. Transportation to and from Vichayito Beach to Mancora is best done by mototaxi, which can be found in front of the hotel at the moto stand from 7AM-8PM or later. To get to the hotel as you are coming into Mancora heading north you take a left turn before the main bridge on the Panamerican Highway and head down the dirt road 2.5 Km. The do have parking and at night there are 2 security checkpoints to pass through when coming back from Mancora. A wide range of guests from Gringos to vacationing Peruvians, couples and families. We enjoyed our stay very much and plan to return. I rate the Costa Blanca Hotel at Vichayito Beach Mancora Peru 4 Stars for travel on a budget! (****)

Thank you for a wonderful stay and we’ll see you next time!

video credited to http://www.costablancademancora.com

Peru Top Rated Bus Tour – Civa Exclusiva 5 stars

Traveling cheap in Peru is easy and Civa bus lines is awarded my 5 star imperial ranking following my recent trip from Lima to Mancora Peru.  I set out to find the best deal on the best bus and took Civa Exclusiva line to Mancora because they had the best price and the newest buses.  I compared prices and accomidation for Civa, Cial, Flores and Cruz del Sur.

Civa Exclusiva’s rates are probably the best deal on the planet for the service provided.  The Price 150 soles about $52 USD for 180 degree realmente is more than 180 it should have said Luxury Rockstar Motor Coach.  Upon entering the brand new bus I was utterly amazed!  Brand new and you would not believe how much space you get!  Each 180 seat was in its own suite complete with personal 16″ LCD TV display, Plush super pluffy leather seat that reclined back way further than any other I have experienced and First Class service. .

Civa’s rate was 12 soles cheaper than all of the other bus lines 180 degree service.  They also have 1st piso 160 degree which was also very nice, just not as much room.  The 180 2nd piso is like none other that I have experienced.  You get 3 times the room and dont feel cramped at all.  I likend it to a private Leir Jet with atleast twice as much room as any other 180 cama bus line available.

The bus left on time and departed promptly heading north we enjoyed the typical bus food although it was a little better quality.  The ride was like being in the clouds with a super soft experience the entire way.  The Movies shown were currently in the movie theaters and dubbed in spanish with english sound.  The bathrooms were clean.  Even though we were on the second level the bus did not shake from side to side at all.  We arrived a little ahead of schedule the following morning.

After trying countless bus services throughout Peru I will only travel long distances on Civa Exclusiva from now on.  The price is better than the rest and the service in unmatched.  (*****) 5 Star Rating!

Thank you Civa for an amazing journey.