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  • Today’s recipe: Rocoto Relleno

    It is no longer a secret that Peru has a very authentic and flavorful cuisine; Peruvian cuisine is actually booming all over the world.  AMAUTA Spanish school in Cusco, therefore, offers an interesting workshop Peruvian Cuisine that can be combined with a Spanish course in Peru.

    One of the most famous dishes is the Rocoto Relleno, a stuffed hot pepper that is colorful, aromatic and incredibly tasty all at once. It is a traditional appetizer from the mountain city of Arequipa in the south of Peru, served alongside a delicious potato gratin; however in all fairness, it could make for a complete meal already!

    Spanish and Cooking in Cusco Peru at AMAUTA Spanish School

    This Peruvian recipe contains beef, pecans, raisins, olives and more. It can take some time to prepare as there are several preparation steps involved (boiling the peppers, filling, stuffing and baking) but once you taste its hot and unusual flavor you know it was all worth it. This heavenly meal will definitely impress at a dinner party.  Serves 8 to 10:

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    Carnival in Peru and Argentina

    So with Carnival around the corner, and Brazil charging through the roof for their extravagant celebrations, where are the best places in Peru and Argentina to celebrate?

    In Peru, this is a much more traditional affair, with dances and songs performed, along with street processions and ceremonies all over the country. The place best known for Carnival is Cajamarca, where there is all the above and more. Here all the city’s inhabitants and tourists alike will dance around a ‘yunsa’ (also known as ‘humisha’ in the Peruvian jungle), appropriately decorated and adorned with prizes, such as alcohol and toys.

    Carnival in Peru and Argentina

    The Master of Ceremonies kicks things off by attempting to chop down the tree in 3 blows, before handing the machete over to someone else. The fall of the tree marks the start of the fiesta as all surrounding people rush forward to claim the prizes attached to its branches!

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    Anyone in the area of southern Peru should head to Puno this coming month, due to the amazing Virgen de la Candelaria festival taking place there. Whilst the first ceremonial day is on the 2nd February, the main attraction is the following week with the dance and song competition in the Puneño stadium, where thousands of people flock to watch the proceedings.

    Make the Most of Februaryss Candelaria Festival in Puno

    For the rest of the month, Puno continues to celebrate with traditional songs, dances and alcohol, so even if you can’t make the principal weekends, turning up on any day of the month will see you enter the party. From Cusco, it makes for a great weekend for AMAUTA Spanish students, leaving the Friday evening and returning in time for Spanish classes on Monday, plus you can benefit from the student and cash discounts available when you book at the school administration in Cusco.

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    Preguntas Frecuentes de Machu Picchu

    Hoy en día, hay tanta información en Internet sobre tours a Machu Picchu que es muy fácil confundirse. Esperamos  que este artículo de respuestas definitivas y aclare algunas dudas con respecto a “la ciudad perdida de los Incas” en Perú. 

    1. ¿Es necesario contratar una agencia de viajes para ir a Machu Picchu (MaPi)?
      No, no es necesario. Puedes ir sin agencia, por tu cuenta, pero las ventajas de ir con una agencia de viajes es que arreglan todo el traslado al mismo precio o a veces más barato de lo que puedes encontrar que en la calle,  esto debido a que las agencias reciben ciertos descuentos.

      Machu Picchu

      Si vas solo tendrías que comprar cada cosa en un lugar diferente,  varias oficinas y páginas web en todas partes de la ciudad. Los trenes, buses, boletos de entrada, guías y hoteles necesitan una reserva anticipada, y todo esto resulta ser un proceso que consume mucho tiempo. También, hay trámites burocráticos y problemas de comunicación que terminan siendo una pesadilla para los  turistas. Para evitar todo este  inconveniente y experiencias que puedan arruinar tus  vacaciones, es recomendable que se tomar los servicios de una agencia de viajes en Cusco. Y lo mejor es que tendrá a su disposición a un equipo de personas con muchos años de experiencia, las cuales podrán absolver cualquier duda que tengas sobre todo su viaje.

      Además, las agencias tienen algunos descuentos con algunas, en los trenes y hoteles, debido a la gran cantidad de pasajeros que manejan. Por eso, si hicieras todo sin agencia, posiblemente sería más caro.

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    En torno a 400 metros más abajo del parque arqueológico de Machu Picchu, la ciudad de Aguas Calientes es el inevitable punto de parada para todos los visitantes. Los que toman  la excursión de un día a Machu Picchu no podrán pasar  mucho tiempo allí, pero cualquiera que se quede durante la noche para evitar las multitudes en Machu Picchu antes de la salida del sol a la mañana siguiente, y / o escalar el Huayna Picchu  tendrá  algo de tiempo libre en la ciudad (recientemente rebautizada como Machu Picchu pueblo, sólo para confundir a todo el mundo).

    No vamos a tratar de andar con rodeos, Aguas Calientes es una trampa para turistas. En la  mayoría de  guías turísticas que hablan del lugar  se dice que es una ciudad irrefutablemente basada en el hecho de que muchos  turistas ricos pasan por allí.

    Por la noche, los bares pasan partidos de fútbol europeo o americano y afuera  hay una explosión musical a todo volumen. Los jaladores o ‘tiburones’ están a las afueras de los restaurantes prácticamente rogando a los turistas entrar a sus locales, en el mercado los precios suelen ser más caros que los de Cusco y sin duda el Valle Sagrado. A pesar de todo lo anterior, creemos que hay algo en Aguas Calientes que todas las guías turísticas han olvidado mencionar.

    Entonces, ¿Qué puedes hacer mientras estas a la espera del tren de la noche a Cusco, o en tu  tiempo libre alrededor de Aguas Calientes?, Aquí  te damos algunos consejos para sacar el máximo provecho de tu tiempo aquí:

    Aguas Calientes
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    Santurantikuy is a Christmas fair which happens in Cusco ever since the vice-regency in the 16th Century. The fair lasts all day from 4am when the artisans start to arrive with their coloured blankets full of crafts to sell, until well into the night of the 24th of December at the central Plaza de Armas.

    Santurantikuy literally means ‘Selling of the Saints’ in the Quechua language. In Cusco, a city characterized with deep Andean roots, the image of baby Jesus is adored throughout the whole year especially during Christmas Eve. Ceramics of this religious nature dominate the market, which according to the artisans, requires around 6 months of preparation. The spiritual devotion is best described in the words of this Santurantikuy spokesman: “to create one has to believe, and this faith of the Andean community is fomenting the hope to keep alive traditions, culture and even humanity”.

    The Santurantikuy market in Cusco, an Andean Christmas affair
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    Santurantikuy es una feria de Navideña que se lleva a cabo en Cusco desde el virreinato en el siglo 16. La feria dura todo el día desde las 4am cuando los artesanos empiezan a llegar con sus mantas de colores llenas de artesanías para vender, hasta bien entrada la noche del 24 de diciembre en la céntrica Plaza de Armas.

    Santurantikuy significa literalmente ‘Venta de los Santos “en el idioma quechua. En Cusco, una ciudad que se caracteriza por sus profundas raíces andinas, la imagen del niño Jesús es adorado durante todo el año, especialmente durante la Nochebuena. Las cerámicas de naturaleza religiosa dominan el mercado, que de acuerdo a los artesanos, requiere alrededor de 6 meses de preparación. La devoción espiritual se describe mejor en las palabras de un portavoz del Santurantikuy: “para crear uno tiene que creer, y esta fe de la comunidad andina está fomentando la esperanza de mantener vivas las tradiciones, la cultura y la humanidad “.

    The Santurantikuy market in Cusco, an Andean Christmas affair
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    When I started my internship about 3 months ago I knew already I was going to spend Christmas in Peru. I did have aims of eating ‘peru’ in Peru, until I realised that this Portuguese word for turkey is not the same in Spanish. Instead, I need to find ‘pavo’ in Peru. With all the invites I have received from my colleagues at Dos Manos travel agency in Cusco and their ‘big’ sister AMAUTA Spanish School in Cusco, that shouldn’t be an impossible quest. In between now and then, however, there is much festivity to be had in and around the school’s premises.

    A Brit’s perspective on Christmas time in Cusco!

    The first item on the festive agenda is the company’s Christmas party, known as a posada or in this case a ‘pollada’. Whilst online dictionaries haven’t helped me, I have deduced that this is a big chicken feast which is almost the same as turkey anyway. The staff, teachers and employees of AMAUTA and Dos Manos have been put in charge with selling tickets to the students at 10 Soles a pop. This has caused a number of interesting sales tactics between staff (mock-bribing by withholding food not excluded!) to avoid having to pay for the difference in tickets that aren’t sold by the end of the week. Surely if I have 5 tickets left over and I pay for them, I will be entitled to 5 courses of chicken! Whilst I would be the fattest man in Cusco if this came to pass, at least I could pull off a half-convincing Father Christmas!

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    They say that food is the way to a person’s heart. Well, that is certainly the case in Argentina and Peru where national cuisine is treated with enormous pride and passion. And to their right, as both countries in their respective ways, have caught the world’s attention with exceptionally tasty and unique dishes.

    If Latin American cuisine tickles your fancy, you now have the opportunity to share the passion of cooking with the locals through the newly introduced ‘Spanish and cooking course’ at the AMAUTA Spanish school in Buenos Aires and Cusco. There is no better place to immerse yourself in the local culture than the kitchen, the center place for family socializing, while learning cooking techniques and recipes passed down from generation to generation.

    Discover the flavor of language with the Spanish & Cooking course!
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