Que Hubiera Pasado Emilio Historia de mi encuentro cercano con Emilio Estefan

Qué Hubiera Pasado, Emilio

Hace ocho años tuve la suerte de conocer a una de las personas más maravillosas que me he topado en mi vida, fue una corta e intensa experiencia  que contiene un 'para siempre' como moraleja. Quisiera contarles que esta historia tiene un final feliz, quisiera contarles que estoy en Miami trabajando en una de las mejores firmas audiovisuales del mundo, quisiera contarles que lo llamé y me contestó. Extrañamente lo único que les puedo decir es que estoy escribiendo esta pequeña historia desde mi habitación en Tailandia con ocho años más de experiencia, pelo corto, aretes en las orejas, una barba semi-crecida y muchos sueños por cumplir. Si estás buscando una historia con final feliz, este no será tu artículo, si estás buscando una historia sin final, adelante que al fondo hay fotos.

 

Que Hubiera Pasado Emilio Historia de mi encuentro cercano con Emilio Estefan
Este es el Henry del 2016 - Filipinas

 

Más de Henry: Carta Abierta a mi Mamá

 

Llegaba emocionado a la universidad al saber que a fin de año me iba a Estados Unidos. Pensaba todo el día en el viaje y en lo qué haría con el dinero que ganaría, los lugares que visitaría y a la gente que conocería.

 

El plan

 

    • Henry, ¿qué haces imbécil?
    • Estudiando inglés huevona, el próximo mes es mi entrevista para gringolandia y sigo clavado en el verbo ‘To Be’
    • Me estás jodiendo, a ver dame. 

 

Era mi amiga Marielly -samba-hermosa compañera de clase-, y se me cagó de risa por estar escuchando ‘mp3s’ que contenían clases de inglés 'al paso'. Yo jamás me avergoncé por nada, sabía que en ese momento era mi única forma de aprender inglés, no tenía con quién practicar, no tenía dinero para poder meterme a estudiar y el plazo se acercaba, la entrevista era en un mes. El sueño de ir a otro país solo dependía de mí. Marielly seguí ahí, riéndose.

Así pasaron mis días previos a la entrevista, entre Marielly y sus risas, mp3’s llenos de lecturas en inglés y yo tratando de recordarlas. Mi vieja puteandome porque no me veía estudiar y mis clases de la universidad. Épocas felices donde mi única preocupación era no gastar los 3 soles (1 dólar) que mi madre me daba a diario para ir a la universidad, los ahorraba para poder tomar algo con los muchachos en el barrio el fin de semana, o caer al ‘hueco’ de la universidad y aportar con un par de cervezas. Nunca fui de poner mucho dinero, mi situación me obligaba a ser el cómico del grupo, así se olvidaban de mi falta de aporte y sólo me pedían que joda a la gente.

 

  • Oe huevón, acá tengo unas preguntas para que vayas practicando en tu casa, quizá vienen en la entrevista
  • Gracias flaca, la firme que ando palteado por eso. ¿y si no paso?
  • Te vas de mojado pe. Si vas a pasar huevón, es fácil, además aplicaremos los tres juntos.

 

La que me habla así es Noelia -ahora australiana-, líder de nuestra pandilla en ese momento. Siempre miraba hacia delante y nunca te dejaba caer, hombre, la necesitaba más que al pan en ese momento. Una de las cosas que me mantenía tranquilo es que las entrevistas eran grupales, de dos, de tres, de cuatro, de lo que fuere. Era un punto a favor mío. Cualquier cosa que acontezca, volteo y pregunto, simple.

 

  • Hello, how are you?
  • I am pretty good, and you?

 

Tenía los huevos lleno de orgullo al ser el primero en hablar en la entrevista. 

Esa introducción que hice fue la que me salvó la vida. Las dos entrevistadoras -super amables y de personalidad muy norteamericana- se olvidaron completamente de mi y se abalanzaron hacia mis amigas, yo sólo sonreía y me reía cuando todos se reían, era lo más lógico y sensato que podía hacer. No me movía, intentaba sudar para dentro, intentaba ser ‘No-Henry’ hasta que todo vuelva a la normalidad. Los minutos pasaban y yo ya quería irme. Quería me nos digan que pasamos y que tenemos trabajo. Quería llamar a mi vieja y decirle que, finalmente, me voy. Quería buscar a Marielly y cagarnos de risa juntos, quería decirle que los mp3’s no funcionan, y quería gastarme los 3 soles del día en una cerveza con los alcohólicos de la universidad. 

Todo iba de maravilla, Henry estaba celebrando y de repente siento un codo duro y rápido en mis costillas.

 

  • Sonríe cojudo que nos acaban de aceptar a los tres.

La sonrisa fue automática, sincera y brutalmente brillante. Había un festival en mi cabeza y mis pies querían salir corriendo.

 

  • What are your shoes size?
  • -Silencio-
  • Tu talla de tabas, idiota
  • 42 (sin uñas)

 

Me gustaba el insulto de Claudia y Noelia, no me molestaba para nada. A veces me traía a tierra, a veces ya lo hacían de costumbre, pero siempre tenían que decirlo religiosamente, era parte de nuestro menú diario como amigos. Obviamente, minutos después de salir del salón llamé a mi vieja para contarle que su retoño se iba a gringolandia, me gasté mis pocos soles en unas cervezas para celebrar, y Marielly se siguió cagando de risa.

 

A embarcar

Primera vez que viajaba en avión a un país que no hablaba mi idioma. Ellos no hablaban mi lenguaje, era el problema de ellos. Los fantasmas comenzaban a rondarme y me hacían dudar. Hice una lista de cosas básicas para sobrevivir y las bajé a un papel. Estaba listo.

 

  • Ya me voy vieja, es demasiado tarde
  • Espera que todos nos vamos a despedir
  • Son las 10 y mi vuelo es a las 10:55

 

El pánico estaba instalado en mi super disco duro. A mi familia se le ocurrió comprar pizza sobrevalorada para cenar todos juntos en el aeropuerto antes de que salga mi vuelo. Yo, en vez de mirar la pizza, miraba con angustia la hora. Era tarde, estoy cagado, era tarde, todo el esfuerzo a la mierda por una asquerosa pizza, tenía que hacer algo.

 

  • Me voy, chau

 

Y así fue mi primera despedida en el aeropuerto. Sin drama ni novela, lamentablemente. No la que soñé pero fue la más pragmática. Me despedí de mi madre en la puerta de embarque mientras mis hermanos se terminaban la pizza, a lo lejos del recuadro.

Cuando hice el check-in del vuelo, me enteré que era uno de los privilegiados y poco elegidos para ir al salón VIP y disfrutar de todas las comodidades del primer mundo. La verdad, no me emocioné porque no tenía idea que era eso de VIP, suena macanudo pero nada

especial.

“Vamos a llamar a mi madre ‘la china’ desde estos momentos"

La china se enteró de que iba a hacer mucho frío en Estados Unidos. Mama pollito jamás dejaría a su henrito pasar frío, y menos lejos de ella. Así que se aseguró de comprarme más de 2 millones de cosas para dos diferentes climas extremos: ‘Para el frío y para el ‘por si acaso hace frío’. Cuando entré al salón VIP del aeropuerto estaba hecho una bestia de 350 kilogramos, no podía lavarme las manos porque no podía juntar los brazos. Era una especie de fisico-ropa-culturista, la china lo logró nuevamente.

El salón VIP era una fiesta sin música. Comida y bebida por doquier, cabecitas blancas bien vestidos leyendo diarios que no entendía. La película gringa había comenzado a rodarse en mi cabeza. Era hora de embarcar y me apuré en tomar mi Inca Kola para poder salir y volar de una vez. No comí nada por vergüenza, ni idea, sólo no quería pararme y pasar en frente de todos esos empresarios y darles la oportunidad de juzgarme. 

La estupidez y los estereotipos eran una constante a los 20 años, y yo lo sabía muy bien.

 

El terror de volar

Estaba exhausto. El trajín de este proceso migratorio me tenía agotado, sin paciencia y con ganas de taparme con la sabana, no salir de cama. Por otra parte estaba la emoción de llegar, de estar, de ser, de aprender, de conocer y ganar. Todo estas emociones ayudaron a que me olvidé uno de mis mayores temores: volar.

 

  • Vieja, ¿tu has volado alguna vez?
  • Pues claro, ya un par de veces, no te acuerdas huevón cuando me dejaste en el aeropuerto
  • ¿Es díficil?
  • Es lo mismo que viajar en combi con la única diferencia es que no te puedes bajar antes.

 

Así era mi vieja de relajada a veces, sabía cómo calmarte y cuando hacerlo, sabía cuando pegarte la cachetada y cuando abrazarte, sabía tantas cosas que cada conversación se tornaba en algo muy rico, muy sabroso y divertido. Al mismo tiempo que pasaba esto por mi cabeza, la señora del lado se estaba persignando, esa cruz me inidicó que no iba a ser un vuelo fácil para mi. El único lugar donde me persignaba conscientemente era antes de entrar al mar, y ocasionalmente cuando iba a misa, nunca más. Pero, ¿para volar?.

Le mandé los últimos mensajes de texto a la china despidiéndome de todos, y su respuesta me hizo volar aunque todavía estuviéramos en tierra: “Te amo mucho hijito, estoy muy orgullosa de ti y lo que estás haciendo”. Ahora escribiendo estas líneas, me doy cuenta que fui muy cruel con el Henry de 20 años, nunca le dije que estaba orgulloso de él, nunca le dije que era un bravo y valiente por ir a un país sin conocer la cultura ni el idioma, nunca le di la oportunidad de abrazarme, éramos dos personas muy distantes, muy diferentes.

 

El vuelo

Comida por aquí, bebida por allá. Mi vuelo hacia Washington estaba a punto de partir.

 

  • ¿Café o te?, señor.

 

Necesitaba esto más que nada. Un poco de servicio y sentirse atendido para alivianar el trauma de volar, sentir que mamá seguía ahí. 

Devoré, bebí, conversé, aproveche mi idioma al máximo, sabía que el otro vuelo no iba a ser lo mismo, sabía que habría una barrera gigante. Cada vez que el miedo se acercaba, pedía algo de comer para olvidar, total, todo era gratis para el chico de 45 chaquetas sentado en primera clase.

 

  • ¿Estamos cerca?
  • Ya estamos aterrizando, señor

 

Cinco horas a Miami se hicieron minutos con el servicio a bordo. Ya había superado el primer vuelo, ahora sólo tenía que pasar el monstruo de migraciones, mi penúltima barrera.

 

El ser humano y el multimillonario

Migraciones fue extrañamente fácil. Un par de palabras y sonrisas picaronas y el ‘bienvenido a Estados Unidos’ lo escuché como el ‘desayuno’ de mi vieja los domingos.

 

  • A continuación vendrá la parte donde me putearán y dirán que soy un idiota, todos los adjetivos calificativos, favor de añadirlos en los comentarios.

 

Faltaba el último vuelo hacia Washington DC, donde me esperaba el amigo de un amigo para enseñarme la ciudad. Ya era hora de subir a la última barrera de este viaje, era hora de enfrentar mi último vuelo, sólo tres horas más hombre, sólo tres.

Como siempre, pasé directamente al avión sin un minuto de espera. Primera clase tiene ciertos privilegios que en ese momento no entendía bien, y que luego de viajar en bus en Bolivia o Laos lo entendí perfectamente. Ya sentado en la primera fila de un avión muy pequeño, noté algo extraño. 

 

  • Espera -no lo podía procesar rápidamente.

 

Era yo mirando por la ventana y preguntándome si la persona que estaba a 2 centímetros de mi cuerpo era la persona que creía que era. Después de unos segundos de pensar, reaccioné y decidí voltear para confirmar mis sospechas. 

 

  • ES EMILIO ESTEFAN CONCHASUMADRE, grité pulmonarmente.

 

Si señor, uno de los productores más famosos de Estados Unidos estaba sentado justo al lado mío, tan cerca que podía oír su respiración y oler su perfume. Seguía mirando hacia la ventana sin poder creerlo; las manos me dejaron de sudar y la película empezó a rodar nuevamente, esta vez añadimos al actor principal a la escena.

 

  • Disculpe señor, qué tal como está, ¿usted es Emilio Estefan?
  • Si hijo
  • ¿Está seguro?
  • Creo que sí -con una sonrisa cómplice-

 

No podía perder esta oportunidad de hablarle, teníamos tres horas de vuelo juntos y una foto le tenía que sacar, un consejo me tenía que dar o alguna historia me tenía que contar.

 

  • Señor Emilio, me hace un favor. La verdad no me acuerdo como se dice ‘pan’ en inglés y tengo un poco de hambre, ¿me lo puede pedir por mi?

 

Encontré la manera más ingenua y estúpida de comenzar una conversación, pero lo logré.

 

  • Qué, ¿no hablas inglés?
  • La verdad que poco, estoy aprendiendo
  • ¿Y cómo vas a trabajar en Estados Unidos?
  • Buena pregunta
  • ¿Pa donde te vas?
  • Para Virginia, a trabajar en un resort por temporada de invierno
  • Hace mucho frío por allá
  • Lo sé, y mi mamá también lo sabe

 

Todos deberían estar orgullosos de mi. Le pregunté hasta ahogarlo, me contó como llegó a Estados Unidos, como sacó a su familia de Cuba, los planes que tenía con Gloria (sí, ya estaba en confianza y la puedo llamar así), sus hijos y su visión extraordinaria del mundo.

Se me abrían los ojos al escucharlo, cada segundo mi admiración crecía, no lo conocía pero sentía que ya era un ídolo para ponerlo en cuadro. No se preocupen, yo no me quedé atrás, le conté todo lo que hice, hacía y haré. Quería escuchar consejos, necesitaba un guía, la voz de un papá. Hasta ahora no sé cómo sucedió, pero, finalmente, llegamos al tema de dinero. Le conté que viajaba con poco y esperaba hacer mucho cuando empiece a trabajar. Cada vez que había una pausa en la conversación, él se echaba a leer y yo agarraba cualquier papel con letras para hacer lo mismo. Era un niño, imitaba todo lo que el maestro hacía, sentía que debía seguir su ejemplo.

 

  • Viajas con mucho dinero
  • Tengo lo suficiente para vivir el primer mes hasta que me paguen
  • Eres muy valiente
  • La necesidad es mi mayor virtud

 

Quería sonar inteligente, sabio, estar a la altura de la conversación. Era imposible, él me devoraba con historias y enseñanzas, yo seguía soñando, soñaba que me invitaba a trabajar con él, soñaba que todo era posible en ese momento, nunca soñé tanto en tan poco tiempo, y lo mejor era que estaba despierto.

 

  • Espérame un segundo

 

Nos acercábamos a Washington y la conversación pronto iba a llegar a su final.

"Tengo que decirle que estudio comunicaciones y quiero trabajar con él, no pierdo nada ni él tampoco, dilo, dilo”. Cada tanto le ponía comillas a la conversación para conversar con el Henry sin vergüenza, el que no tenía miedo, el que creció en Breña.

 

  • Toma hijo, esto te servirá

 

Las manos me comenzaron a sudar de nuevo, no lo creía. Justo cuando conversaba con el ‘Henry sin vergüenza’, Emilio, mi amigo en ese entonces, sacó un fajo muy grueso de dólares y contó un puñado con la intención de entregarmelo. Mis manos eran un carnaval, miré fijamente hacia la ventana decidido a no voltear. Dos segundos después de tomar la decisión:

 

  • Cómprate algo en Washington
  • La verdad señor Emilio, siempre me he ganado el dinero, se lo agradezco mucho pero lo no puedo aceptar

 

"No era verdad cabezón, necesitas ese dinero, tómalo, no sabes cuánto es, quizá es mil dólares, quizá más. Recuerda cuando le sustraías dinero a tu papá cuando estaba dormido, recuerda cuando limpiabas la casa los sábados a las 7 de la tarde para que la china te de unas monedas para comprar tu Punto G, recuerda cuando te demorabas más de una hora en dar vueltas por la casa de Carlos para tocarle el timbre y pedirle unos soles para ir a bailar. ¿Por qué ahora no?"

Todo era diferente ahora, no quería agarrar el dinero por orgullo. Sabía que Emilio lo hacía con la mejor voluntad pero, ¿qué pensaría de mi?

 

  • Bueno, ahí está

 

Mientras yo me atormentaba en recuerdos y enseñanzas, Estefan me clavó el dinero en el bolsillo. No sabía qué hacer, ¿se lo devuelvo?, ¿miro a la ventana de nuevo y me hago el que ‘no sintió nada’?, ¿me ofendo?

Sólo atiné a mirarlo con ganas de querer abrazarlo. No sé cuántas veces le agradecí, no sé cuántas veces lo quise besar como lo hacia con mi viejo, no sé cuantas veces quería llamar a la china y contarle que en mis primeras 10 horas del viaje conocí a Emilio Estefan. No sé cuántas veces miré a la ventana para poder llorar de alegría, algo estaba sucediendo conmigo.

 

  • Tome señor Emilio, esto le servirá a usted
  • ¿Qué es?
  • Es una pulsera bendecida por el Señor de los Milagros, tiene 12 santos y puede pedir un deseo por cada uno.

 

La verdad, era una pulsera que me regaló mi madre antes de venir al viaje, no sabía si estaba bendecida o no, aunque yo la bendije en cuestión de segundos para dársela a mi nuevo idolo. Inventé algo bonito, eso de los deseos ojalá sea cierto, no quise engañarlo, sólo quise que se lleve un bonito recuerdo de aquel peruano que conoció en el avión, sólo quise ser parte de sus anécdotas de viaje. Quizá ahora mismo está contando esta historia y yo soy el protagonista.

¿Ahora qué?, la intriga se apoderó completamente de todos los Henrys existentes. ¡Quería contar cuánto dinero me había clavado en el bolsillo!. 

"¿2000 dólares?, no demasiado, aunque sería genial, ¿no?. Quizá son billetes de 1, no no no, no tiene pinta de tener billetes de uno. Hasta que sucedió lo que estaba esperando. Emilio se paró, apoyó el libro que estaba leyendo en el asiento, se acomodó el saco y fue al baño. Era mi momento, la luz apareció al final del camino y tenía todo el tiempo del mundo de sacar la plata del bolsillo y clasificar los billetes por denominación (antigua costumbre). La pregunta era, ¿debía hacerlo?, pues, ¡CLARO QUE SI!

 

La supuesta despedida

El avión estaba apunto de aterrizar y tuve que pedirle el último favor.

 

  • Disculpe, no sé si es mucha molestia pero mi madre está muy angustiada por este viaje, sabe como son las mamás. Necesito llamarla y decirle que llegué bien a Washington. ¿cree que eso es posible?
  • Por supuesto, cuando bajemos del avión llamó a mi secretaria para que se conecte con tu mamá

 

Cachetada de modestia y humildad, nuevamente. ¿Cómo todo esto era posible en mis primeras 10 horas de viaje?, estaba pasando, era real. Cuando salimos del avión me contaba que se dirigía a la Casa Blanca para la reunión de navidad con el presidente Bush, casual.

 

  • Mamá, ya llegué a Washington
  • Mi vida, cómo estás, ¡qué alegría escuchar tu voz!
  • Si viejita, todo bien hasta ahora, ¿a que no vas a creer desde que teléfono te estoy llamando?
  • Desde rin
  • No vieja, te voy a pasar con él para que lo escuches 

 

A veces efusiva, otras veces, agresiva. La china siempre me sorprendía con sus actuaciones. Esta vez sucedió todo lo que no quería que sucedería.

 

  • Señora cómo está, su hijo está bien muy acá en Estados Unidos, hemos viajado juntos desde Miami.
  • Quién es este huevón ahora, pásame con mi hijo que quiero hablar con él

 

Lo dijo tan fuerte que pude escuchar a unos metros de distancia. Emilio solo atinó a devolverme el teléfono y decirme “no me cree”.

 

  • Madre, caramba, es Emilio Estefan, el esposo de Gloria. Pide disculpas por favor que me ha ayudado muchísimo.

 

La conversación posterior entre Emilio y la china fue más que amical, fue dulce y sincera. Mi mamá se deshizo en elogios y en bendiciones, él sonreía tímidamente y le agradecía por las palabras. Yo era un espectador de lujo de una de las historias más lindas que jamás me han contado. Unos segundos después me despedí de mi madre y de Emilio, era hora de separarse.

__________________

Si estabas esperando leer esto, pues si sucedió. Justo antes de darme el dinero en el avión, me sacó su tarjeta con el número de su mano derecha en la parte de atrás (era peruano) y me dijo que cualquier cosa que necesite, lo llame. No sabía cómo interpretar esto, quizá era todo lo que había soñado despierto, era lo que siempre esperé desde el inicio de la conversación, lo estaba viviendo.

 

La llamada que nunca sucedió

Nunca lo llamé, lo resumiré así.

Cuatro meses pasaron con la tarjeta en la mano, pero nunca sucedió. No tuve los huevos para levantar el teléfono y llamarlo, la oportunidad de mi vida estaba en un papel guardada en un cajón de mi habitación, mi futuro a 10 números de distancia.

Esta historia la conté miles de veces a mis amigos durante mi estadía en EEUU. Me miraban fascinados, alucinados de lo que podría pasar, me empujaban a marcar el número y ver que onda. Nunca lo llamé. 

Quedó como una historia bonita y una perfecta coincidencia, Estados Unidos llegaba a su fin y no podía creer que no lo haya llamado, no quería creerlo, a veces quería pensar que lo llamé y nunca contestó, eso hubiera sido mejor.

 

Meses después

Estaba con dos maletas -llenas de cosas que quizá las venda en Perú- en dirección al aeropuerto. Mi inglés mejoró notablemente y sentía el pesar de dejar un país que me regaló una experiencia impresionante. Pena por dejar algo que sentía que no debía dejarlo, no estaba listo para regresar a Perú, aunque la idea de ver a mamá sonaba atractiva.

Por alguna razón llegué super temprano al aeropuerto, hasta ahora no recuerdo cuál fue, pero por ser primera clase pude cambiar mi vuelo para unas horas antes sin cargo adicional. Me olvidé de recordarles que el vuelo en primera clase era de ida y vuelta. Cambié el vuelo para las 4 de la tarde y me despedí de Saúl. Abrazos y el clásico ‘nos vemos pronto’. Ya sentado en la sala de espera me vino a la mente Emilio de nuevo. ¿Qué hubiera pasado si lo llamaba?, ¿qué hubiera pasado si me contestaba?, ¿qué hubiera pasado si …?, sólo tenía adjetivos peyorativos en mi contra. 

Al fondo, un grupo de adolescentes corrían con dirección hacia algo que los hacía gritar con mucha emoción, cansado y bajoneado me asomé un poco para ver lo que pasaba. Hombre, me acerqué un poco más. Mierda, cada vez que me acercaba mi visión empeoraba repentinamente, no puede ser, no puede ser. Mis ojos comenzaron a brillar de emoción y el corazón comenzó a latir más rápido, no era verdad, no podía ser real, miré para todos lados, y volví a mirar hacia el tumulto. Era él, no tenía dudas, pero, ¿por qué?

 

El reencuentro

  • Disculpe señor Emilio
  • Hola hombre, hace tanto tiempo

 

Emilio volteó hacia el grupo de cabecitas blancas con pinta de empresarios y les contó -en lo poco que pude entender- que yo era el chico que conoció meses atrás en vuelo de Miami a Washington. Si no se dieron cuenta, acá hay un punto a favor, ¡me recordó!. A continuación pasó lo que imaginé que iba a suceder. Le pidió unos segundos a las cabecitas blancas y me llevo hacia una cajera.

 

  • Sabes, te pido disculpas por nunca haberte llamado para agradecerte, sólo que perdí tu tarjeta
  • Pues no hay problema, mira, este es el número de Janet, mi secretaria, llámala. En mayo voy a Perú a cerrar el concierto de despedida de Gloria, espero verte ahí

 

Nunca más quise hablar. Esbocé una sonrisa y me despedí.

¿Cómo pudo pasar esto?, luego de cuatro meses, cambiar el vuelo y encontrarte con la persona que nunca pudiste llamar por razones aleatorias. ¿Cómo carajos se llama esto?, ¿destino?, ¿coincidencia?, ¿casualidad?. Es una historia que siempre voy a querer contar hasta encontrar una respuesta. ¿Por qué nunca lo llamé?

Lamento decirte que esta historia no tiene un final feliz. Guardé el número de Janet en el cajón de mi cuarto y nunca llamé. Vi a Emilio por televisión llegando a Perú y pasó por mi cabeza ir al aeropuerto, pero nunca lo hice. 

Desafortunadamente ‘La China’ falleció de cáncer 6 meses después de volver a Lima y nunca entendió porque no lo llamé. Quizá si lo llamaba y me ofrecía algún trabajo, no hubiera podido estar con mamá en sus últimos días, o quizá no es verdad y estoy buscando una excusa para no sentirme más estúpido. Quizá si lo llamaba y me ofrecía un trabajo, no hubiera podido estar viajando en estos momentos por el mundo, o quizá sigo buscando una excusa para no sentirme peor. Después de 8 años puedo contarles que he cambiado mucho, pasó mucha agua debajo del río y creo no ser el mismo.

 

Que Hubiera Pasado Emilio Historia de mi encuentro cercano con Emilio Estefan
Este es el Henry del 2014 - Brasil
Que Hubiera Pasado Emilio Historia de mi encuentro cercano con Emilio Estefan
Este es el Henry del 2013 - Peru
Que Hubiera Pasado Emilio Historia de mi encuentro cercano con Emilio Estefan
Este es el Henry del 2012 - Ecuador
Que Hubiera Pasado Emilio Historia de mi encuentro cercano con Emilio Estefan
Este es el Henry del 2010 - Chile
Que Hubiera Pasado Emilio Historia de mi encuentro cercano con Emilio Estefan
Este es el Henry del 2009 - Peru
2009-1
Este es el Henry del 2009-II - USA (con Noelia)
2008-1
Este es el Henry del 2008 - Perú (con Bego y antes de todos los viajes)
Que Hubiera Pasado Emilio Historia de mi encuentro cercano con Emilio Estefan
Este es el Henry del 2007 - En casa
Que Hubiera Pasado Emilio Historia de mi encuentro cercano con Emilio Estefan
Este es el Henry que siempre voy a extrañar - Breña (1995)

 

 

Solo quiero contarles que soy muy feliz en estos momentos, mis prioridades han cambiado y ya no busco 'el dinero' como principal objetivo de vida. Sigo buscando respuestas a preguntas que me acompañan desde que comencé a viajar, poco a poco las voy respondiendo mientras me voy conociendo más. Me imagino que esa llamada me pudo cambiar completamente la vida, pero no hacerla también me la cambió. Ahora estoy aquí, viajando, conociendo, explorando cosas que para muchos no tienen sentido. Tengo la remota esperanza de que Emilio leerá este texto y me escribirá para darme una tercera oportunidad, total, nada se pierde.

 

Si leíste toda la historia, te lo agradezco de corazón. Si estás leyendo esto Emilio, escríbeme que te debo un abrazo y algunos dólares.

 

____________________________________________

Si quieres seguir nuestras aventuras diarias, vamos que tenemos más por aquí: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube y también puedes ver mi cuenta personal @hurrunaga en todas las redes sociales, ¡feliz viaje!

 

 

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column]

[/vc_row

 

Si quieres seguir nuestras aventuras diarias, vamos que tenemos más por aquí: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube y también puedes suscribirte a nuestro delivery de artículos ¡abrazo mochilero!


Two Thousand Fifteen

Two thousand and fifteen...what a YEAR. The wildest part is that this is our second New Year's post, so we've been at this for over one calendar year. Last year we spent New Year's Eve on the beach in Punta Hermosa, Peru, and this year we're ringing in the holiday from the city of Chiang Mai, Thailand. That alone is a good one sentence recap of our year. But we're hardly that concise.

Last New Year's was special because Megan had recently moved to Lima, Henry's hometown, which we called home for a few months. Celebrating New Years amongst family and friends, dancing to reggaeton and salsa, it wrapped up our Peruvian experience. Shortly after, we traveled by bus across the rest of South America, made the decision to keep following each other up to North America, and finally took the plunge and shipped ourselves to Southeast Asia, where we're now getting ready to head out to the Chiang Mai Countdown Festival. Like we said...what a year.

On December 31st, 2014, we made a post like this where we both answered questions about the year. The last question was, "Where do you want to be sitting in exactly one year?". We answered "Thailand" and "Somewhere in Asia". It's both an eerie and incredibly satisfying feeling to reread that, as we sit here in Thailand, somewhere in Asia.

So, for this year, we're going to sum up our favorite travel memories from 2015. Fifteen of them, appropriately. Thank you all for joining us on these adventures. They've been the memories of a lifetime, and it's incredible to think of the people in so many corners of the world that have shared them with us. Let's reminisce, and then let's set some lofty goals for next year, shall we?

1. Amazon

 

Megan Sloth Amazon Iquitos

 

From the minute we stepped off the plane into the sticky jungle air, we knew this would be a different trip. After a week of snuggling with sloths, eating daunting fish cooked by our tour guide's mother, wandering through the no man's land of Belem market, swimming with pink dolphins in the Amazon river, falling asleep to an Amazonian rainstorm under a mosquito net and eating bugs that didn't taste disgusting, it was hardly short of the experience of a lifetime.

2. A Peruvian Wedding

The first of Henry's siblings to get married, and the first wedding Megan had ever attended, spending our last day in Lima at a wild Peruvian wedding was easily a highlight. We participated in every tradition even without understanding, ate and drank until the sun came up, and spent our last few hours in Peru for the year surrounded by smiling loved ones.

 

3. South America by Bus

 

Sunset-Silhouettes-Punta-del-Este-Uruguay-Cropped--The-Borderless-Project

 

Together with our good friend and roommate, we stuffed our things into our oversized backpacks and began our bus journey from Lima, Peru to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil just in time for Carnival. In just a few weeks we rode through the south of Peru, along Chile's coast to Vina del Mar, Valparaiso and Santiago, across Argentina to Buenos Aires, ferried into Uruguay, lounged in Punta del Este, and then bussed our way to Porto Alegre, Brazil and finally arrived in Rio de Janeiro, the first night of Carnival.

 

4. Carnival Rio Together

 

Niteroi-Teatro-Popular-Oscar-Neimeyer-Rio-de-Janeiro-Brazil---The-Borderless-Project

 

After a year of Megan single-handedly running an informal advertising campaign for Rio de Janeiro's Carnival, Henry was dragged into the festivities for year two. Days of block parties in the streets, never-ending samba music, and waking up with glitter spilling out of our pockets, it was the perfect counterpart to our vivid memories of meeting during the World Cup in Rio.

 

5. Buenos Aires

 

Dancing at the Feria de Mataderos, Buenos Aires, Argentina

 

When the time came for Megan to return home, we spent our last couple of weeks in Argentina. Days of museums, parks, pizza, steak, wine and street fairs blended together into one of the greatest chunks of time in South America so far. With half a month in the city, we lived and ate like the city was going somewhere.

 

6. Going Home After a Year and a Half

 

Megan's South American adventure came to a head after a year and a half, and The Borderless Project team was separated by a sliver of Central American countries. Returning home after so long was a surreal experience, some good and some bad, but also brought up the question of, What next? We settled on Henry visiting for a start.

 

7. First Time Henry in LA

 

Los ANgeles

 

After Megan getting to know Henry's home and life, it was time for Henry to see the land of In 'n Out and Sugarfish that had been recounted during several bouts of homesickness. A culture shock from South America, Henry was thrown into the land of shiny things, "organization", traffic, Disneyland, beach clubs and Hollyweird. A new kind of madness a world away from Lima and Rio.

 

8. Las Vegas Together

 

Chandelier Bar in the Cosmopolitan Hotel Las Vegas, Nevada --- The Borderless Project

 

To really show Henry "America", where better (or worse) to go than Las Vegas? Personally, we expected Henry (lover of nature and all things casual) to take one look and realize that it's everything wrong with the country. Quite the contrary, my friends. Like the indulgent maniac child in all of us, Henry saw the beauty in a place where you can walk with an open container, act like a crazy person with little to no consequences, and gambling at any time of day. Turns out we both have a soft spot for the Vegas.

 

9. Amazing Grand Canyon

 

TBP-Team-Henry-Megan,-Grand-Canyon,-Southern-Rim,-Arizona-----The-Borderless-Project

 

From Vegas we booked it down to Arizona and saw a natural wonder that reminded us why the good ol' US of A should be as prioritized in our travels as any other "exotic" destination. Jaws dropped for an hour straight, and we stared out at some of the most impressive natural beauty we've seen. For Megan, it was a reminder of the value of traveling within your own country. For Henry, it was the realization of something he'd heard about for years...and it didn't disappoint.

 

10. Crossing the Mexican Border

 

With Henry visiting family in Washington, Megan was left alone with itchy feet...Resulting in a weekend trip across the border into Mexico. Cheap tacos, fresh guacamole, cheap beers and a stingray attack later and it was a pretty full little adventure.

 

11. Seattle & Portland

 

Pig Out @ Lardo Restaurant l Eating in Portland, Oregon: Our Food Journal, A Weekend's Worth of Food Porn ---- The Borderless Project

 

Joining forces again, we took on the Pacific Northwest in the wonderful cities of Seattle & Portland. With a week for each, we fell in love with the ever-present greenery and focused most on our sightseeing on the incredible craft beers and restaurants of the area. With Henry's brother as our tour guide in Seattle and Megan's best friend as our tour guide in Portland, it was one of those trips that combines everything we love most in this world.

 

12. New York after 6 Years

 

New York USA

 

Six years after Henry's first trip outside of Peru to the United States, he had the chance to revisit the city that had amazed his 20-year-old self. After years of traveling, he wasn't sure it would still impact him as it had before. Never one to let a tourist down, New York remained as impressive as ever, solidifying its place in Henry's global memory.

 

13. Thailand

 

6-Sticky-Waterfall-Chiang-Mai-Thailand-The-Borderless-Project

 

We talked about it and we talked about it. Do we take the plunge and go to Southeast Asia? Do we continue to put aside the typical job and chase the adventures? One day, we just bought a ticket and that solidified it. And nothing has ever felt better. Despite conflicting feelings about leaving family again, we decided that now was the only time to do this- we had one more big trip in us before we were ready to stay home for a bit. Soaking up our last days with loved ones, we finally boarded our flight, our first international adventure begun together, and went to Thailand.

 

14. Loy Krathong & Yi Peng

 

Yee Peng Lantern Festival, Chiang Mai, Thailand --- The Borderless Project

 

We planned our trip to arrive just in time for the lantern festival of Yee Peng & Loy Krathong in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Releasing our lanterns to let go of the bad from the year before and welcome in a new year of happiness and luck was easily a top travel moment of our lives. Surrounded by so much beauty, new friends, and six months of travel ahead of us, it set the tone for what lay ahead.

 

15. Our house in Chiang Mai

One month later, and we've been living in a little house in Chiang Mai. Every meal we eat is the best dish of our lives. Everyone we meet is different and kind. We live with a dog named Popcorn who greets us when we come home, and we have a place to call home. Sitting in our classic teak house now, we're getting ready to go say goodbye to this new city we've called home, our bags already packed to head out on a new journey tomorrow.

 

Popcorn the resident beagle at Indie House @ Muang in Chiang Mai, Thailand --- The Borderless Project

 

The details are wildly different from last year, but the feeling of starting yet another year with endless possibilities ahead remains. Let's see where it leads us to this time next year...Thank you again for sharing our journey with us, for being the fascinating people we meet on buses, for sending us food recommendations on Instagram, for caring enough to read about what we're doing, and for giving us a reason to keep going even when we start to get lazy. Looking back on everything we got to experience and accomplish last year, it's exciting to continue on such a fulfilling path together. Cheers to a wonderful two thousand and sixteen. We have a great feeling about this one.

 

Happy New Year & Happy Travels!

Want more? We’re also on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Youtube and Instagram! Throw on your backpack and wander with us daily!

 


Open letter to my mom

Open Letter To My Mom: The World Has Changed

I’m not criticizing you for anything mom, but some of the things that you taught me don’t work like we thought, the world has changed.

Mother, I have to tell you something you’re not really going to like to read, and I don’t really like to write about it either but I have to. Somebody has to do it, right? Yes Mom, that’s your famous phrase.

 

Open letter to my mom

 

 

The world has changed a lot Mom, so much that if you were here you wouldn’t recognize it, maybe you wouldn’t want to be here and you would want to go back there, but who knows, you were so wise that maybe you could help and make it better.

How has it changed son?

Well, it’s not like you told me it was, things don’t work the same, everything has changed.

Just answer me, what has changed?

Remember how you told me that there aren’t bad people in this world?

Of course, there aren’t.

I have to correct you Mom, this time you’re wrong, I’ve discovered a lot of bad people in the time you’ve been gone from me, people who are determined to see the bad in everything and and never satisfied with anything, selfish people who don’t share, many people who don’t give their seats to older people on the bus and I’ve even seen people leave food on their plates...

They leave food on their plates, that can’t be true.

I’ve seen people who walk without smiling and don’t say greet anybody, nor do they say goodbye when they leave, I’ve met bad people Mom and I don’t think you would like to see all that has changed. Remember Facebook?

Yes son, that blue window where people I don’t know wanted to be my friends but I didn’t accept them.

Exactly Mom, but you weren’t old-fashioned for not using Facebook, you were ahead of the curve, so many people hate going on there and everything is fake, sometimes I think nobody wants to use it, so you were right not to.

Mothers are always right.

Well, mom, let me tell you- I went to Europe.

 

London bridge - Open letter to my mom

 

Henry, don’t tell me you’re trafficking drugs.

No mom, I went to Europe with all of my own money, I didn’t ask anyone to lend me anything, I put together a little bit of money, fell in love and went. I saw England and Wales, I think you would like England more than Wales but...

Wait, wait, you went to Europe and didn’t even have an apartment yet?

No...

Not even a car at least?

That’s why I’m writing you mom, the world has changed. I don’t know if it’s for good or bad, but when you see it you can decide. Mom, I’m so sorry but I never practiced the career I studied, it wasn’t what I wanted, but it helped me realize what I don’t want in this life and that’s important.

Mom, I never went to graduation and let me explain to you why: (no questions, please mom)

You gotta be kidding me.

The reason I never graduated was because I was a coward, I thought that I couldn’t handle having accomplished something that you fought so hard for and you wouldn’t get to see it. Change your face mother, I found something better, I exchanged the diploma for my dreams, I’ll explain it better...

I hope so ...

I’ve become a full time dreamer, now I’m dedicated to achieving my dreams, inspiring other people to achieve theirs, or simply to helping other people by writing little things that people can read and feel free like me for a moment, it’s what I’ve always wanted and I’m passionate about it.

Mom, I have a big goal to see the whole world, and each year I am accomplishing it.

If you were here, you would be proud of me, I’m sure, you would be proud of our country, it’s gotten so much better, I see happy people and my generation travels so much more, so many people are going to talk about our happiness mom, but the day they get to know our family they will know what it is to live happily with only a little.

Remember the house we lived in in Breña?

Yes, where we lived 10 in one room.

Change the grumpy face, we have the best memories of our little house, where we shared everything, where we were excited and honored to have guests. Now, people pay to travel like that.

That can’t be true, this generation is crazy.

They stole our idea Mom, and they called it hostels, people share, live and smile together, crazy isn’t it? We complained about it, but we never realized that this was the root of our happiness.

Mom, I’m asking you to forgive me again because I’m not going to be able to buy you a house like I promised...

Not another word Henry Hugo.

Don’t get mad, I’m going to buy it but I’m going to take a bit longer than I had hoped, but in the meantime we can go walk on the beach and I can tell you the stories of my travels.

I can’t get over the house Henry, why...?

I can tell you that I saw one of the most beautiful sunrises of my life in Rio de Janeiro, or of the magical sunset in Marcahuasi in Lima, that I went to Machu Picchu with Alex, your youngest son, or that I almost died of hypothermia in Rupac four hours from Lima.

I can tell you that I’ve helped a lot of people along their journeys, and they have helped me without asking for anything in return.

 

Morro Dos Prazeres - Rio de Janeiro - Open Letter to my mom
Morro dos Prazeres, Rio de Janeiro
Marcahuasi, Lima - Open Letter to my mom
Marcahuasi, Lima

 

 

So you spend it all on travel?

No Mom, I have to correct you again, I spend it all on dreaming and trying to make my dreams a reality, all of them, because if we don’t, someone has to do it, right?

Don’t get carried away, that’s my phrase!

The world has changed, the generation too, and I think I know why.

We’re not so worried anymore about responding where we work and where we studied, we’re worried about finding our next destination.

We’re not worried anymore about getting married and having kids, we’re busy growing personally and spiritually. We’ve exchanged the house for our dreams and the car for experiences, we fall in love in a different way.

A different way?

Yea Mom, it seems that love has become shorter but lives intensely as well, I’ve met people that I can fall in love with in two days, and two days later the love ends, beautiful isn’t it?

Promiscuity.

Maybe you’re right Mom, but who are we to judge? I want to tell you that I have a blog and I help people travel, encourage them a little...

You’ve made people travel?

I don’t know for sure but I enjoy trying. And now I want to ask you a question, Mom.

Tell me, son.

What is success?

That’s a great question Henry, Success is getting yourself to the place you’ve always wanted to be.

Well Mom, I have a travel blog, I eat three times a day, I’m lucky enough to shower 5 times per week, I have been to more than 10 countries, I have made friends for life. I’m successful.

You don’t think about your future.

I have thought about it Mom, I see myself backpacking Europe and seeing magical places, meeting wonderful people and eating typical dishes, Mom, I don’t want to waste more time, I wrote you to tell you that you don’t need to go to university and have a diploma to be successful, even more, we don’t measure our happiness by the house or car, our generation has changed the rules of the games and I hope you can understand that.

Let me tell you Mom that we were wrong all this time, looking for happiness in things that weren’t worth it, I’m not criticizing you for anything, but things have changed.

I love you and I miss you mom.

Me more, son, seize your day.

Want more? We’re also on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Youtube and Instagram! Throw on your backpack and wander with us daily!

Let us deliver our adventures, travel hacks and stories directly to your inbox. Newsletter anyone? :)

Get Free Email Updates!

Signup now and receive an email once I publish new content.

I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )

I will never give away, trade or sell your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.


Getting to Know the Peaceful Isla del Sol Lake Titicaca Copacabana Bolivia

Getting to Know The Peaceful "Isla del Sol" in Copacabana, Bolivia

¡Adios La Paz! La Paz was a strange experience, full of highs and lows but definitely a city worth visiting. Now our trip is taking us North where we're going to visit the small city of Copacabana, home of "Isla del Sol" ("Sun Island"). From what we've heard, it's the most beautiful place in Copacabana and one of the best ways to leave Bolivia and say goodbye to this beautiful country.

 

Getting to Know the Peaceful Isla del Sol Lake Titicaca Copacabana Bolivia

 

Getting to Copacabana from La Paz

After several days of touring the city of La Paz, we decided to continue our journey to the North and visit Copacabana, where you'll find the Isla del Sol (lsland of the Sun). This island is surrounded by the magical waters of Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world. We had planned absolutely nothing for this trip because a friend had told us it was incredibly easy to simply show up and find hostels and buses, so without wasting time we headed to the bus terminal in La Paz.

The bus terminal in La Paz is anything but relaxing, as they shove bus tickets and food for sale in your face as you walk around, and hearing the names of every Bolivian city being shouted out in under ten seconds without having any idea what to do with yourself. We tried to mentally remove ourselves from all of this and focus on finding our bus to Isla del Sol. Tip: The buses from La Paz to Copacabana leave every 30 minutes and cost between $3-5USD.

When we took the bus we had no idea what we were getting ourself into. Once we were on the bus, we realized it wasn't going to be an easy journey. You literally travel with everything you could imagine, from live animals to the daily vegetables headed to the markets, and when you get on the bus and see this view you know it's going to be an interesting journey.

 

Read more: Salar de Uyuni: The Ultimate Guide to Planning Your Trip

 

Arriving in Copacabana

The good thing about this journey is that it's only 4 hours (anyone who has traveled South America by bus understands how "only 4 hours" is an incredible thing), but this depends largely on the driver's mood. Normally buses in Bolivia stop in the middle of nowhere to pick up passengers until the bus is completely full. This is very common in Bolivia, so you shouldn't be surprised when your journeys consistently take more time than expected to arrive at the final destination.

When we arrived in Copacabana, our first mission was to grab something to eat and find a hostel to spend the night: We found all of this right around the main square, since essentially the entire town sits in this one spot. We chose a "hotel" where we payed approximately $15USD for a room  with 3 beds and everything we needed except for internet (few places here do have it, chances are you'll have to find an internet cafe).

We left our backpacks in the "hotel" and left to find some food and climb Calvario hill, one of the two hills surrounding Copacabana.

 

Lago Titicaca Copacabana Bolivia Bitacoras del Viaje
View from Cerro Calvario - Bitacoras de VIaje

 

Climbing Calvario hill takes about 3 hours round trip, and the best time to go up is to see the incredible sunset over Lake Titicaca, it's absolutely priceless.

 

Boating to La Isla del Sol

We recommend that you get up and get ready early to go to Isla del Sol so that you can enjoy the entire day exploring there. This is what we did and it was perfect. By 8 in the morning we were already looking for a boat to take us to Isla del Sol, and once we bought a ticket found out that our driver also happened to be the receptionist from our hotel- a man of many talents.

The tickets cost between 15-20 Bolivianos ($3.50 USD), "depending on your face" as we say in South America. It's not much and it's definitely worth it. The company we used was called Andes Amazonia, and the service is equivalent to what you pay- It's not terrible, it's not great. It's a 2.5-hour journey through beautiful landscapes where you'll get to appreciate the immensity of this lake that looks like an ocean.
The island has two ports, the South port and the North port. Our first stop was in the South port, but we didn't get off and continued on the route to the North port which was further.  The reason is because the boats that return from Isla del Sol to Copacabana leave later from the South port than from the North port, so if you get off on the North side and do the hike over the island to end on the South side, you'll be able to catch a later boat than if you had done South to North and will therefore have  more time to enjoy the walk and take your time.

 

Going to La Isla del Sol Copacabana Bolivia

 

When you arrive on the island a ton of tour guides will be awaiting you. Most only cost about 20 bolivianos ($4USD), and it was definitely worth it because without them it's hard to even know where to begin. With our tour guide, we began the journey to The Golden Museum of the Sunken City of Marka Pampa and the Chinkana Ruins (the entrance costs 10 bolivianos). This ticket lets you into the museum (which is smaller than a tiny hostel dorm room), as well as giving you access to the hike to the ruins and sacred rock, and most importantly the Whillka Thaki trail (also know as the Sacred Route of the Enternal Sun) which is the trail that will take you from the North to South port.

 

Read more: A Beginner’s Guide to Machu Picchu

 

Rock formations Isla del Sol Copacabana Bolivia

 

Views from Isla del Sol Copacabana Bolivia

 

Hiring a guide was the best idea of the day, as he explained so much to us about the history of the Incas and the island. We were fascinated by the Incan myths (although we didn't understand all of them) and passed some beautiful spots, the most impressive of which was the sacred rock which was and still is a deeply beloved place by the locals. Crossing the island all the way from the South to North will take you about 4 hours, and it's a workout. We recommend to take light things that don't weigh much, as this will be a lifesaver when it's time to go up and down the hills. The total journey from North to South is 10km (6 miles), and you'll be walking between altitude of 3,200-3,500 meters above sea level (11,482 feet), a challenge for any backpacker.

 

Amazing views Isla del Sol Bolivia

Beautiful views Isla del Sol Bolivia

 

One of the most interesting things the guide told us was the history of the sunken city, which was found several years ago by foreign scuba divers. Our guide showed us where it was once possibly located, and told us that there are many submerged cities in the lake that haven't been found yet due to a lack of research funding.
At the end of our excursion and journey across incredible views on the island, we arrived at the South Port to take our boat back to Copacabana and see the sunset a second time. Sailing on Lake Titicaca is an incredible experience, and we were absolutely enchanted by it and are convinced that more people need to see this part of Bolivia.

How to get there from Puno, Peru to Isla del Sol, Bolivia

Buses from Puno departs every 1 to Copacabana (don't go at nightime bc hotels at Copacabana closes at 10 pm)

How to get there from Cusco, Peru (Machu Picchu) to Copacabana

From Cusco bus terminal, there are buses that goes directtly from Cusco to Copacabana, Bolivia. The problem with some company buses in Peru is that they do not have set schedule, it depends how full is the bus to start running

From Copacabana to Cusco, Peru (Machu Picchu)

It's about 12 hours, its better if you take a nightime bus to get Cusco in the morning

 

Lake Titicaca: Peruvian Side or Bolivian Side

The peruvian side is more "live culture", you will interact with some locals living on this floating islands, amazing landscapes

The bolivian side is more "landscapes", hikes and spectacular views

 

Read more about Bolivia:


Featured-Instagram-Photos-Article---The-Borderless-Project

15 Instagram Photos That Will Convince You to Come to South America

 

 

15 Instagram Photos That Will Convince You to Come to South America

 

 

Surely we can all agree that Instagram makes the world look a million shades of beautiful, and we'd be lying if we said the perfectly crafted shot has never inspired us to visit a certain spot .Currently in South America and constantly sharing and stalking as many photos of this beautiful continent as we can, we realized that Instagram alone could be a travel agency for the continent, every photo convinces us to go somewhere new. So, we've brought some of them to you here- just 15 of the thousands of shots that will make you realize why your next trip needs to be a South American one.

Have some of your own you want to share? Feel free to add links in the comments section, or hashtag #theborderlessproject when you post them!

 

Instagram-Photos-Article---The-Borderless-Project

 

 

 

 

1. Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

I wish I could have a breakfast like this everyday #saltedlove #Bolivia #Salar #uyuni

Una foto publicada por @andreama_rino el

 

2. Fitz Roy, Patagonia, Argentina

3. Escadaria de Selarón, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

 

4. El Desierto de Atacama, Atacama, Chile

#chile #atacama #mountains #volcano #laguna #miscanti

Una foto publicada por Natasha Melikoff (@celastrus) el

5. La Casa del Arbol, Baños, Ecuador

 

Fly high, do or die, dare to dream, cheer extream. #casadelarbol #ecuador Una foto publicada por mireyatello (@mireyatello) el

6. La Catedral de Marmol, Patagonia, Chile

Escapada de fin de semana. Capillas de Marmol. Un lugar increíble de la Patagonia Chilena. #Patagonia #Chile #CapillaDeMarmol

Una foto publicada por Cristian Gatica (@cristian.gatica) el

7. Machu Picchu, Cusco, Peru

 

 

8. Lençóis Maranhenses, Maranhão, Brazil

9. Valle del Cócora, Quindío, Colombia

 

Coffee Triangle Colombia!! #colombia #coffee #waxpalms #wanderlust #instatravel #travel #reizen #reizenopmaat #koffiegebied Una foto publicada por Exploring Colombia (@exploringcolombia) el

 

10. Amazonía Peruana, Iquitos, Peru

11. Islas Galápagos, Ecuador

 

 

12. Angel Falls, Bolivar, Venezuela

 

 

13. Santiago de Chile, Chile

Location: Santiago, Chile. Photo Credit: Paula Aravena @otropensamientomas

Una foto publicada por South America (@travelsouthamerica) el

14. Marcahuasi, Lima, Peru

 

 

 

Read more:


The Best Apps for Travel l The Borderless Project

The Best Free Apps Every Traveler Needs

 

 

The-Best-Free-Apps-Travelers---The-Borderless-Project

 

As much as we travel to 'escape it all', our smartphone manages to remain one of the items we continue to cling to. It becomes the witness to your adventures, parties, romances, moments of happiness, curiosity, and astonishment: it captures everything. In addition to holding your fondest memories, there are also a ton of useful apps that will make your phone a travel essential. Below are the best apps for travelers: for backing up your phones, locating lost or stolen devices, communicating with friends and family back home, and making all of your travel plans and reservations on the road.

 

Auto Save

Remember the massive leaks of celebrities' naked photos? Yes, Jennifer Lawrence was the most affected.

Well, this was due to the automatic backup that each device has installed in it's operative system, and it's one of the things that can save all of the information on your phone in case it gets lost. All of your photos and contacts are saved automatically in the cloud, and we're going to mention the two most important services:

iCloud

This is the service in Apple's cloud, and your phone will be synced automatically when you create your iCloud account. You have two options, to either create an iCloud email or synchronize your personal email. We go for the option to create an iCloud account in case something happens with our personal email. You need to be sure to synchronize IOS with your iCloud account often so if you do lose your device, you can connect your new device to the iCloud account and like magic, all of the information and photos will be there just as you left them on the old device.

You might like this article: Who's Been Taking Selfies on My Phone? Owner Traces Mystery Woman Taking Snaps of Herself on Stolen Handset

iCloud Website

Google Backup

Like IOS, this is the service for Android users. It synchronizes your phone with all of the Google services (Gmail, Google Drive, etc.). Maybe many of you have noticed that each time you enter your Gmail account, you'll see the most recent photos you've taken on the right side of the screen. This is what Google does with your photos, it guards them in a specific place so that later you can recover them.

Read more: Google Backup

Dropbox

One of the best apps that exists for saving photos, its synchronizes your phone with the applications and uploads your photos automatically when you connect to wifi. The one downside to the application is space, because it's limited and sometime insufficient. But, we have a trick for getting more space! Before you travel, recommend friends to use the application, and for each recommendation you'll receive extra space so you'll have more room for all of your travel photos!

For IOS / For Android

Drive

If you use Gmail and hate downloading a lot of applications on your phone (especially ones that take a lot of space), this is your best option. Google Drive is an incredible service from Google for saving backups and creating documents. The disadvantage of Drive is that you can't synchronize with your phone, you have to upload photos manually. All of the photos you take with your Android will go directly to Google Auto-Backup and you will be able to find them in Google Plus in the "Photos" section.

For IOS / For Android

You might like this article: 5 Tools To Sync & Auto-Upload Photos From Android To Cloud Storage

 

Lost & Stolen Devices

Find My Iphone

If your iPhone goes missing, don't panic! iCloud can now help you find out where it is using this application. Go to iCloud.com or use the Find My iPhone Application on another device to locate your missing device on a map. With the "Lost Mode" feature, you see where it currently is in addition to where it's been, so you can decide your best course of action. You also have the option to immediately lock your device and send it a message with a contact number, so that whoever has it can call you from the Lock screen without accessing the rest of the information on your device. One piece of advice: make sure you have it downloaded on your Apple device and test it right away, so you know it's connected and will work when you need it to.

Find My Iphone App

Prey

This is an excellent application to track your lost devices. The free version allows you to add three devices to your account, and from this you can block and monitor your phone, tablet or laptop from wherever you are.

For IOSFor Android 

Hostel/Hotel Reservations & Reviews

Tripadvisor

The best application for reading reviews of hotels and hostels, as well as everything else in a city, from restaurants to monuments.

For IOS /  For Android

Booking

One of the best appications for reserving hotels and hsotels, the truly valuable thing that this application has is that you can use it to find really great deals at the last minute.

For IOS / For Android

Hostelworld

The biggest hostel website in the world, the application lets you read reviews and book hostels in real time.

For IOS  / For Android

Airbnb

You can rent entire apartments, houses or rooms fully furnished and live like a local. Options range from budget rooms in a shared apartment to an entire ocean-view penthouse, so there's quite literally something for everyone.

For IOS  / For Android 

Couchsurfing

The perfect choice for budget travellers, if you are looking for free accomodation or a local friend in a new destination, this is an application you definitely need to try out.

For IOS For Android

 

Communications

Viber

One of the few apps that will let you call any number in the world for free! But you must be connected to wifi, and the other person must have wifi or a connection to a network. It also lets you message for free on wifi. The new option to "Viber Out" allows you to pay to make calls without wifi.

For IOS / For Android

Google Hangout

This is an incredible application from Google for communication in general. If you're a Gmail user, you automatically have a Hangout accound, you just need to download the app and you will be able to use all of the benefits, such as making group calls, video or voice calls, and leaving messages. The good thing about this platform is that it doesn't use a lot of internet, so you can communicate really well with a weaker signal.

For IOS / For Android

Skype

By now, we're sure all of you are familiar with Skype, the most used platform for video calling. You can also instant message, voice call, and Skype Out (add credit to call any phone number, rather than video calling another Skype user who is currently online).

For IOS / For Android

Facebook Messenger

Facebook Messenger, previously just for instant messaging, now allows you to make voice and video calls to other users.

For IOS / For Android

Whatsapp

The most commonly used app for texting while abroad or between numbers from different countries, you just need wifi or 3G to send texts, photos or voice messages.

For IOS / For Android

 

Apps for Booking and Comparing Flights

TripIt

TripIt Pro gives you real time alerts on flight deals, and offers an alternate flight finder. It monitors your current flights and alerts and notifies you of any changes so you don't have to worry about constantly checking back.

For IOS  / Android

Flight Aware

FlightAware provides live flight data, airport delays, fuel prices, FBO reservations, weather maps, flight planning, flight routes, oceanic tracks, and navigation charts, as well as aviation news and photos via the FlightAware.com web site as well as apps for iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows Phone, and Windows 8.

For IOS / For Android

SkyScanner

The app and website are very popular among travelers looking for the best deals on flights. It scans various travel websites for flight deals, and can tell you the cheapest flights from where you are, as well as the different prices for a wekk surrounding the flight date you entered. You can also set alerts for when a certain route drops below a certain price.

For IOS / For Android

Kayak

Another tool for searching the lowest deals on flights, compatible with most American airlines.

For IOS / For Android

ITA Software by Google / OnTheFly App

Google Description: ITA's original airfare shopping engine. It has given us insight into the needs of travelers and produced valuable ideas for enhancing a lot of our flight products.

For Android / IOS

 

Reading

Adobe Reader

This is the best PDF reader in the world, you can download ebooks and read them here comfortably. The trick for downloading PDFs directly to the application is to send them to your email, and then open your email from the web navigator (not your email app!) on your device, find the email with attached PDF, open the file, then use the option to "open in" and select Adobe Reader. And there it will appear on your device!

For IOS / For Android

Google Books

Download your favorite books in the app and enjoy your trip! You just need to have a Gmail account to access all of the free books that Google provides.

For IOS / For Android

 

Share Payments

Venmo

Typically used for paying friends back for a bar tab or whenever you owe someone a little money, it’s designed to take the place of any instance where you would normally use cash or a check to give someone money, but instead transfers money from your account to theirs.

For IOS / For Android

 

Other

From identifying that song you keep hearing to keeping up with currency rates, blogger Malia Yoshioka from ShoyuSugar.com also has some great apps to add:

Shazam

"It’s literally helped me to create a soundtrack of my travels by being able to instantly tell “what’s that song?!?”. And I recently learned that if you don’t have an internet connection, you can still “Shazam” something and it will store it to identify the next time you connect! So cool."

Download Here

Xe

"For checking currency rates in real time (up to 10 currencies) and calculating how much things cost."

For iOS / For Android

Foursquare

"Even in really remote places, it's helped me to get tips of places to eat or sightseeing spots. I use the "lists" function to bookmark places people have told me about, then when I switch to the map view, I can see where everything is relative to wherever I happen to be."

Download Here

Postagram & Ink Cards

"Lets you send really cool postcards from your photos to friends and family back home for a dollar or two. Ink lets you schedule ahead so I use this to send birthday cards to friends!"

Download Postagram Here

Download Ink Here

 

Not Free, But Close

Turboscan

Malia says, "It's not free, but for $2.99 it allows me to easily snap a photo and turn any piece of paper into a PDF and to save to Dropbox (or email). I use this to keep copies of things like brochures and menus to refer to later without having to physically carry them around or take lots of notes. And for saving copies of receipts, which helps with taxes or in case I lose something or want to remember prices later."

 

What are your favorite apps for traveling? Share them with us in the comments below!

 


Rio de Janeiro Christ the Redeemer l The Borderless Project

Brazilian Superfood: The Anatomy Of An Acai Bowl

Brazilian Superfood: The Anatomy Of An Acai Bowl

When you've spent time in a foreign place, long or short, there are always certain tastes, sounds and smells that will take you back there in a second. You can't help it, it's a type of physical nostalgia that never really lets you forget a place. Acai is the taste that brings everyone back to Rio de Janeiro in seconds. On every corner of the city you can find it waiting for you: cold, refreshing and as irresistible as anything can be. It's actually from the Amazon and found all throughout Brazil, but something about the heat and beach lifestyle of Rio just leads us to eat it constantly whenever we're there. You may have heard of it as it's becoming much more popular in other countries- as one of the newest "superfoods" that do miracles for your body. So let us introduce you...Here's why and how to get starting eating Acai, wherever you are!

 

Source: Sambamazon

 

Sambazon_-ANATOMYofAcaiBowl_webFINAL


World Tourist Scams To Avoid - The Borderless Project

40 Worldwide Tourist Scams to Avoid This Summer

40 Tourist Scams to Avoid This Summer

We're exposed to all sorts of things while traveling: one of the most common, and worst, is being scammed. Just The Flight has compiled the most common scams around the world for you to look out for this year, so you can be aware of what can happen before you arrive. Safe travels!

Source: Just The Flight

 

touristscamsl - the borderlessproject

 


Colorful fabrics in Salta, Argentina---The-Borderless-Project

Budget Traveling Tip #1: How to Haggle Like a Pro

One of the most important things we've learned in our travels, particularly our budget traveling, has been the value and art of bargaining: confident and shameless yet strategic bargaining. Backpacking around the world has shown us that there's always a better deal than what you're offered, and if the locals can get it, so can you! (Ok, maybe not the same deal, but close!) Bargaining isn't just about the price though- it's a cultural institution around here. It's another way to experience local daily life and throw yourself into the mix of things, while also making the most of traveling on a budget. As you haggle for that beaded llama keychain you don't even need you'll make brief and wonderful connections with the people you meet, get the thrill of interacting with locals in markets, and see why the backpacker mindset helps any traveler, budget or not, get the most out of their experience. So let's all appreciate the art of the haggle, and let us show you how to bargain like a pro!

 

 How-Haggle-Like-Pro---The-Borderless-Project

 

So- How do you haggle like a pro?

Successful bargaining is an art, no doubt, and traveling on a budget and bargaining go hand in hand. Bargaining revolves around the mutual understanding that everyone wants the best deal, it's just a matter of who's most willing to ask for it. Both the seller and buyer should feel satisfied with the end price and enjoy the game along the way. Just keep in mind- if you're dealing with the person who actually made the item you want to buy, don't belittle the workmanship in order to get a discount. The general rule on all items is to take the approach that you appreciate it and want it, but can't afford the current price. Even when things already seem dirt cheap- the vendor is anticipating the haggling dance, don't let them down! (And if you're backpacking on a budget, those dirt cheap gifts have a sneaky way of adding up!)

After bargaining across the world, we've rounded up our best tips for you so you can go get that authentic baby alpaca sweater for cheap and have your local moment on a budget. Go get 'em!

Be Strategic with Your Money

Change. Bring small bills and have it separated so when you see what you want and have a price in mind you can always fall back on "this is all the cash I have". Also, don't bargain something from $10 down to $7, then give them a $10 and expect your change. Rookie mistake.

Take Your Time

Never buy right away! Look at other places, other versions, and if you don't find a better deal you can always return. Play hard to get! (Also, mentioning the neighboring stalls' cheaper prices will help you get a better price).

 

Read more: The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Rio de Janeiro Carnival

Read more: Marcahuasi: Peru's Most Underrated Trek

 

Be Friendly

Always smile and talk with the vendors, it only takes a couple minutes to make a friendship as you shop around and they may throw in a few free things with your purchase (and you're guaranteed to meet someone interesting, or entertaining at the very least).

Have a Friend

Team up- It's great to have a friend to give you advice, to weigh in if you're being ripped off, and to "notice a lower price a few stalls down" just as you're about to complete the sale. The vendor will be so ready to sell it, they'll usually just offer you the lower price your friend just "saw" (or actually saw).

(Also- Markets everywhere are crowded tight spaces with a lot going on, it's easy to miss someone pickpocketing you if you're alone and digging through piles of coinpurses for the "perfect one", so friends are useful on that front as well).

Be Quick to Offer

When you hear the price you've been waiting for, get your cash out instantly. Some vendors try to take it back, or start increasing again, so when you hear it, buy it

Walk Away

You have to get a little bold here, this is the most difficult, but effective, strategy. Even if you're hopelessly in love with something and it's the perfect color no other vendor has, if the price is still to high you need to walk away. Walk to other stalls. Criss cross back past the original stall a couple times, make sure they see you checking out the competition. You wouldn't believe the number of times we've been called, even begged, back

Buy in Bulk

When you decide to buy, try to localize your shopping. Instead of buying clothes for yourself at one place, souvenirs for the family at a second, and last minute keychains at a third, find a place with everything you want. Bargain per unit first, then make it clear how many things total you want (and do some mental math before you do). Suggest a total price that is lower than the individual bargained for prices, emphasizing how much you're buying. Another reason to shop with friends!

Now go haggle your way through every local market you can find!

We hope our tips can help you avoid tourist traps and higher prices- you're a seasoned traveler (or at least ready to act like it), so you know that with some tricks and humor, you can travel local style and enjoy the benefits.

 


que no te gusta lima henry

The Best Treks Around Lima

If you arrive to Lima thinking of it as a coastal city with great food, you're not wrong. But there's a bit more to it that many tourists miss as they pass through- you can find some of the greatest treks in Peru just outside the capital city. Anywhere from 1-4 hours outside of the main tourist areas, you'll feel a million miles away surrounded by highland culture and some of the most beautiful views in the country.

 

Best-Treks-Lima-Peru---The-Borderless-Project

People always ask how long to stay in Lima, and considering all the surrounding activities might keep you around a bit longer: while 2-3 days is enough time to explore the city, you should definitely allow time for some of these off-the-beaten-path treks that a majority of travelers miss. If you're a fan of trekking, want to see something most people don't, or just have a little extra time to explore, you'll absolutely enjoy visiting any of these spots not listed in the guidebooks. Just get there before everyone else fnds out!

 

Lomas de Lucumo

From June to November you can feel like you're in the jungle without leaving the capital, Las Lomos de Lucumo is a nature reserve one hour from central Lima, full of giant green valleys and stunning rock formations. Getting there is easy, simply take a bus from the center of Lima to Pachacamac (South of Lima), and tours leave from here.

 http://www.lomasdelucumo.org/

 

Read more: The Best Ceviche in Lima: Local Spots That Are Way Better Than Five Stars

Read more: The Best Bars of Lima: For Locals and Travelers Alike

 

Lomas de Lachay / Castillo de Chancay

Only two hours north of Lima (Chancay District), you'll find the green paradise of this scenic reserve. A protected area of the city, it's also home to an incredible variety of birds and mammals that most people have never even heard of.

 

Palakala Falls

Just three hours from Lima are beautiful waterfalls high in the mountains of San Jerónimo de Surco (district of Huarochirí, less than one hour from Chosica). The complete hike from the town to the Palakala Falls should take about 4 hours, and along the way you'll see views of the town and valley below, archaeological sights, a chapel and a few other waterfalls (Huanano and Machay). The locals in the area are extremely friendly and will often walk with and guide visitors. Some people camp for a night, others just make a long day out of it. If you stay overnight though, you can also allow time to spend in the little town of San Jerónimo de Surco, which often have festivities associated with the church each weekend. Definitely not the typical Lima experience.

To get there, take a bus or collective car from Central Lima to Chosica (about 1 hour), and from Parque Echenique in Chosica you can catch a combi to San Jerónimo de Surco (2 hours). From there, any local will point you in the direction to start the hike.

 

Rupac

Called the "Machu Picchu Limeño", it's an Incan ruin in the middle of beautiful green mountains and jungle. It's definitely more of a journey to get there than to some of these others, but it's a wonderful trek and the ruins are a major reward at the end. In total, it will take you 9 1/2 hours to get from Lima center to the ruins, but there are places you can stop or camp along the way, and it's worth the journey.

From Parque Universitario in downtown Lima you can grab a bus to Huaral, a town 2 hours north. From there, take a collective taxi to the town of Florida (2 hours; Keep in mind, if you plan to go home on a Sunday, that you will need to arrange with your taxi driver to return to pick you up after the trek. Nobody works on Sunday in Florida and you won't be able to get a ride out otherwise). From Florida you will begin walking, it's 1.5 hours to "Pueblo Fantasma" ("Ghost Town"), and your driver will point you in the direction to walk. This is the best stopping point if you want one, some people camp here and continue the rest of the way in the morning. This is your last stop before Rupac's "Machu Picchu".

From "Fantasma", walk 4 hours uphill. When you see a sign that says "Welcome to Rupac" you can use your anger towards whoever put the sign 30 minutes early to fuel the rest of your hike. And then, at long last, you will reach the campsite with the ruins directly in front of you.

Rainy season is November to March, so if this is when you're going, be prepared!

 http://mundoaventuratravel.com/tour/rupac/

 

Marcahuasi

This spot, only four hours from Lima, is one of the most magical places you'll find in the country, and our personal favorite. Four hours from Lima you'll find yourself at the base town of San Pedro de Casta, a peaceful pueblo at the top of a giant valley. Two hours walking up and you'll pass all of the terraced farmland of San Pedro de Casta, you'll see local farmers and their animals on the same path as trekkers, At the top, you'll understand why we endlessly recommend this trek: the campground is an old ritual ground for the town surrounded by bizzare giant rock formations, and the back side of the mountain is where you will see the most incredible sunset amid dramatic scenery. (We were so in love we wrote all about our experience here.)

 

Marcahuasi-Sunset-Side-Rocks---The-Borderless-Project

 

When trekking up, you'll see the path splits at one point: difficult to the right, easier and longer to the left. The right offers views of a ton of ruins and the treks most famous rock formations, while the left offers sweeping views of the mountain ranges beyond. We recommend taking the long way up, short way down (or opposite if you want a challenge), because you'll want to see both.

Getting there is an adventure in old buses along steep cliffs, but you will leave having had an incredible experience. Details on how to get there here.

 

If you LOVED this post and want to see MORE like it, GO like our page on facebook, follow us on twitter, or join our latest adventures on instagram. ¡Muchas gracias!

 


12 Sights & Sounds of Lima

Coming to Lima you'll hear a million different things, good and bad, about the city. The food is amazing, go! The sky is always grey, don't go! It goes on forever. But we are particularly fond of this city, and think too many people pass it up to head straight to Cusco, while Lima has a personality all of it's own that is worth getting to know. With everywhere, we've found that instead of listening to rumors or hype, you just need to see for yourself.

While we're always searching for new and undiscovered places, and love finding the spots off the typical tourist path, this capital has plenty off the beaten path and is worth adding to your list. We added some places that are outside of the tourist bubble of Miraflores to help you fully experience the charm and diversity of the city so you can understand why we so highly recommend it. Bring your adventurous spirit, leave your preconceptions behind, enjoy, have fun, get lost and explore like a true backpacker!

 

Read more: Sandboarding in the Desert Oasis Town of Huacachina, Peru

 

Centro del Callao

Undervalued and hardly visited by foreigners, Callao is a gem of the area. It has the ghost of being a "dangerous place" in Lima, but the main tourist areas have cleaned up their act and it has a lot to offer. Many famililes live here, and it's a wonderful place to visit a see a different piece of the city, sans other tourists. You can find the best seafood here, do a walk through downtown and enjoy the many museums it boasts. Walk along the Real Felipe and visit the colorful district of Chucito, full of extremely kind and friendly people.

 

Malecon de la Punta

 

 La Punta Beach Callao Peru

 

This is one of the places that we love most in Lima (okay technically it's part of Callao, but it's right next to Lima). It's a charming resort of a town with colorful little beach houses and a beautiful plaza. It feels like the beach getaway it is, and everything has a laidback summertime seaside vibe. It's wonderful to walk along the beachfront and sit on the benches along the sea, or join the locals who don't mind that it's a rock beach and lay out. If you're into sailing, you'll find your people here. This is one of the places you won't find in guidebooks, thankfully, and something that makes it a much better experience.

P.S.: If you love ceviche, you'll find the freshest of the freshest here, usually at cheaper prices than Lima! Every single place we've tried has been incredible, as with any ceviche it's best to go for lunch or earlier for the freshest fish.

 

Read more: Mancora, Peru: Surf, Ceviche & Party Hostels

 

Cementerio Presbitero Maestro

When first told of the cemetery tours, it definitely seemed like a strange (and terrifying) idea. It's one of the biggest cemetary-museums in South America and one to experience. The best part of visiting is that most of the tours are at night, and whether it's real or your friends tricking you, you're going to see and hear things that are going to make you feel like a tiny kid watching their first scary movie. The tour is 20 soles and runs every weekend.

 

Cerro San Cristobal

 

Cerro San Cristobal Hill Lima Peru

 

This area will show you a different side of Lima, not many tourists go up and it can be a bit sketchy, but if you go it's very worth it to see the city from this perspective. It's one of the most picturesque hills of the city and if you're up for an adventure, you should go and chec it out. And now you can do paragliding from the top, which is definitely a memorable way to see the city of Lima.

 

Catedral de Lima (Plaza Mayor)

When you get to the main square in Lima (Plaza Mayor), this building will pull your eye immediately. Full of beauty, grandeur and a mysterious feel, it's arguably one of the most beautiful cathedrals in Lima. If you're interested in seeing the vault of religious art that exists inside, this stop can take a while. If that's not so much your thing, coming here will bring you to one of the most beautiful plazas in Lima, where Lima's colonial architecture is perfectly showcased and the downtown buzz of people and activity is everywhere. If you go on a weekend and you're lucky, you may even see one of the many weddings that take place here!

 

 Plaza Mayor Cathedral Lima Peru

 

Read more: A Begginer's Guide To Travel To Machu Picchu 

 

Iglesia San Francisco / Catacumbas 

If you go a bit deeper while exploring central Lima you'll find this classic church, with pigeons welcoming you to the Baroque style building. Inside you can visit one of the oldest libraries of Peru (and one of the most beautiful spots in the city) and our favorite: The Catacombs. As the name says, you'll get a short tour of tunnels fulls of skeletons, piles of skulls, designs made in human bones, everything. It's definitely creepy, but very cool to see. Whether you're superstitious or not, you're going to feel the bizarre energy in this place for sure, and the open mass graves definitely separate from being like any other church tour. The rest of the tour guides you through the above-ground rooms with giant paintings, a beautiful courtyard, the choir section of the church and the breathtaking library. Mass is held everyday if you want to get the full experience.

 

Museo Larco

One of the most historic museums in South America full of culture and tradition, you'll find samples of pre-Inca cultures, fabrics, ceramics and a ton of color. While this stop is some people's favorites, those not interested in history may find it extremely boring (we've heard mixed reviews). If you want to learn and see a lot, head here. If you're more into city sights and wandering, it may not be worth it for you. We appreciated that it has an extraordinary collection of artifacts, and we were particularly interested in the Incan erotic sculptures and the fact that that's what some Peruvians were dedicating their time to in those days.

 

Parque de la Exposicion

 

 Relaxing at Parque de la Exposicion Lima Peru

 

One of the most picturesque parks of the city, it's the perfect place to relax and spend a sunny afternoon. It will also get you out of the Miraflores bubble to see a different area of Lima that's just as beautiful. Inside the park is the MALI (Museo de Arte de Lima), with some great exhibits hosted in a beautiful building. If you come here for an afternoon, you can grab lunch or snacks from one of the many food carts and enjoy the liveliness of the area.

 

Parque de las Aguas (Water Park)

 

The Borderless Project at Water Park Lima Peru

This is not just a park: this is a full-scale, world-class production of incredible fountains and lights. This is definitely one of our favorite places in the city, and the best time to see it is at night when every fountain is lit up in a variety of bright, beautiful colors. Some of the fountains are even interactive, meaning in the summer you'll see children and families in bathing suits running through the jumping water. For only 4 soles you can enter, and in the evenings they offer an hourly show that rivals the water projection shows at Disneyland. With giant light projections on a backdrop of water, and music to match, it's a must-see. Best 4 soles you'll spend, and there's no other park like it.

 

Read more: The Best Bars of Lima: For Locals and Travelers Alike

 

 

Malecón Cisneros / Miraflores

Whenever there is sun, this is the first place you need to get out and walk around. It's the stretch that runs along the cliffs, so sweeping ocean views and a beautiful breeze are part of the package. Sights to see include the Lighthouse, Parque del Amor (Love Park; full of love quotes in mosaic and some very love-y sculptures right on the cliff), Larcomar (giant mall on the hillside with food and drinks) and if you want a long walk you can go all the way to Barranco. We recommend walking from Park Kennedy in Miraflores and straight down towards the Malecon- at this point you can also choose to walk below the bridge down to the ocean, or stay at the top and continue your walk

 

 Malecon Miraflores Lima Peru

 

Malecón de Barranco

The charming neighborhood of Barranco, with its traditional houses and a colorful, bohemian spirit, is only a 10 minute walk from Miraflores and more than worth it. Start walking along the cliffs so you can see the colorful homes and museums in renovated colonial houses, and end at El Punte de los Suspiros (Bridge of Sighs), a captivating place to watch sunset and end the day. Barranco is one area of Lima you absolutely can't miss, and offers great restaurants, bars, museums and a beautiful outdoor areas and plazas to hang out in.

 

Explore Lima Markets

 

Fruit Stand at Surquillo Market Lima Peru

 

Something you can't miss are the famous Lima mercados (markets), places that display and worship the gastronomic culture of Peru and it's dedication to fresh ingredients and perfectly-crafted dishes. You can seee exotic ingredients and spices, and a large part of daily life for locals. With markets in literally every neighborhood in Lima, it may be hard to pick so we've laid out our favorites here, where you can see, touch, taste and experience the most: Experiencing Lima's Markets: 8 You Can't Miss

 

If you LOVED this post and want to see MORE like it, GO like our page on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or join our latest adventures on Instagram. ¡Muchas gracias!

 

 


Experiencing Lima's Mercados: 8 Markets You Can't Miss

Markets have always been a part of my daily routine and visiting them has always been a great experience. I believe you can find the essence of a city in its local markets from the customs, colors, foods, interactions, and people. The markets are where you bargain while smiling, all business is done through friendly negotiations and each stall has it's own unique history behind it. This is what brings me back to the markets even as newer supermarkets constantly pop up closer to home, and why any traveler should be a part of this truly Peruvian experience. In Lima there are countless local markets like this, where you can find literally everything, from everyday supplies and goods to the strangest things you didn't know could be sold. And this is what makes visiting a Peruvian market so wonderfully unique. While you're in Lima, take the opportunity to visit it's markets, full of history and wonderful people, and get a glimpse into thee daily life of a Peruvian. Here's our list of the markets you can't miss while visiting the Peruvian capital and some of the things that await you in each one. Bring small change, be ready to bargain, and go hungry!

 

Mercado Numero Uno / Surquillo District

A 5 minute walk from the center of Miraflores is a world full of colors, sounds, smells and tastes in the Mercado #1 Surquillo, one of the most famous markets of Lima and one of the richest experiences of the capital. From pig heads, chickens hanging and even ingredients to make Thai curries, this market is incredibly diverse and has a lot to offer in a small space. You'll see fruits and vegetables you've never heard of, smell spices from every corner of the world, and have some of the best ceviche in the city (go to any of the seafood stalls, but El Peruanita is our favorite).

Every Sunday is "The Bioferia" just outside, where only organic produts are sold. Health nuts will find all of the things they've struggled to find elsewhere while traveling.(Lima actually offers some great health food and this is where everyone gets their ingredients from- the perfect stop for people looking to eat or cook vegan, vegetarian or gluten-free while in Lima!).

 

Read more: “Foodgasm” In Lima: A Beginner’s Guide to the Best Dishes

 

Mercado Numero Dos / Surquillo District

While some of the best meals can be found at Surquillo #1, #2 is only a couple blocks away, feels much more authentic and has a pretty thorough selection of...supplies, if you will. While #1 offers mainly food, #2 is where you can find things such as fabrics, antique furniture, and seamstresses, in addition to a large array of produce and meat stalls. For ceviche, we prefer #1, but it's worth walking to #2 to look around, and it's perfect for those not trying to stray too far from tourist areas but wanting to see a very local and gringo-free market.

 

Mercado Numero 1 Surquillo Lima Peru

 

Mercado Central / Centro - Downtown

The Central Market is only about 5 blocks from the Plaza de Armas downtown. This is the biggest market you're going to find, and in my opinion, the most exciting. The official market is a tall building full of vendors booths, selling every kind of food you may need. You can wander the endless aisles and see the wide variety of vegetable that exist in Peru, with some vendors dedicating their entire booth to the many potatoes, corns or avocados found here (Peru definitely has the best avocados). You'll see vendors husking corn for tamales, offering samples of fresh fruits, and crabs that are still kicking in the seafood section.

But the best part, in my opinion, is the chaos filling the streets surrounding the building, which are an even bigger extension of the market itself. Every toy, type of clothing, party decorations, pet animals- you name it, it's here. It's a bit of a sensory overload, but in an exhilerating way. A "can't-miss" while in Lima.

 

Mercado Chino o Calle Capón / Centro - Downtown (Chinatown)

A few steps from the Central Market is the "Chinatown" of Lima. While it may not be as spectacular as the Chinatown's or other major cities like New York, it's as diversee as any. For lovers of Thai, Japanese and Indian food, you will also find all of your ingredients here. Cheap Chinese food is available on every corner, and the famous "Chaufa" (Peruvian-Chinese fusion food) is naturally best here. When you hear the sudden decrease in Spanish and notice all of the vendors speaking to each other in their native languages, you'll forget you're in Lima for a moment.

 

Read more: Viñac: Five Hours and a World Away from Lima

 

Terminal Pesquero / Villa Maria Del Triunfo District

 

Fish Market Villa Maria del Triunfo Lima Peru - Markets Can’t Miss Lima

 

This is the largest fish market in Lima, as you can imagine, there is an incredible variety of fish, many with names we'd never heard of before. But as they say in this seafood-loving city, the rarer sounding the name, the more delicious the fish (but even the most basic weere incredible here). This market is the most impressive seafood selection we've seen so far in Lima, with thousands of live crabs, giant fish, sharks, clams, mussels...Anything that lives in the sea is available on a bed of ice for you here! The reason we went was because of our undying-love for seafood and wanting to see where it comes from, buy like a chef, and go home and make the best ceviche and chicarron de mariscos possible. Anyone interested in this will love the experience, you'll even recognize some very famous faces selecting the fish for their restaurants if you go early enough. But make sure to wear boots or some type of higher  shoes- the floor is wet and the fish smell in your shoes when you get home is not the prettiest!

If your plan is to make your own ceviche, which anyone who has a few days in the city should try, you can buy the whole fish for much cheaper than pieces and have it cut and cleaned for just 2 soles. It's almost unfair that ceviche this fresh is that cheap!

 

Read more: The Best Ceviche in Lima: Local Spots That Are Way Better Than Five Stars

 

Gamarra / Biggest Clothes

One of the busiest and craziest streets of Lima, this is the largest shopping mall in South America where you can find everything. It's overwhelming the unmber of people who will be yelling deals and shoving a million things in your face, but it's an adventure nonetheless. If you need to stock up on clothing for your trip, this is the place in South America to do it- there's nothing quite like it!

 

Las Malvinas / Black Market

The Lost & Found of the city, where you can find and recover just about anything. On our trip there we saw a jetski, camping gear, laptops, cellphones and brand name clothing, Because it's the black market, that iPhone you see probably didn't come from an Apple store- but you are going to get an incredible deal on it. You can buy and sell, so if you have electronics or other valuables you don't need, they'll buy it from you on the spot. This one is further from most tourist areas and you have to be a very wary shopper, but it's an experience. How many tourists have shopped the black market? A tamer version of the famous Ciudad del Este en Paraguay.

 

Jesus Maria Market (Jesus Maria Neighborhood)

 

 Mercado de Jesus Maria Lima Peru - Markets Can’t Miss Lima

 

Further from Miraflores than Surquillo, but close enough for tourists, this little market won't have any other foreigners in it and it offers some of the best food at a much better price. It's small and doesn't have too much to explore, but the food is delicious and it'll show you a different area of the city, it's definitely more of an authentic feel. Don't leave without getting ceviche at one of the stalls!

 

If you LOVED this post and WANT to see more like it, GO and like our page on facebook, follow us on twitter, or come with us in our latest adventures on instagram. ¡Muchas gracias!