Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas in Peru

Christmas is the one of the most important celebrations of the year among Peruvians and is very family oriented. Christmas in Peru is called as La Noche Buena, which means "The Good Night" in Spanish.

Christmas is celebrated on 24th with much fanfare. In the evening, there is a family get-together to celebrate Christmas which is also called the Christmas for Children as this is the time children open gifts. There is preparation of pavo (turkey) in most of the houses as well as apple sauce and tamales. Panatones (sweet breads) are also very popular. The Christmas meals is served at midnight along with homemade hot chocolate made with rich chocolate, cinnamon and cloves.

After the dinner and the children are put to bed the party starts with furniture moved aside to allow for dancing. These parties often go on until daylight. Christmas Day itself becomes a day of well-needed rest.

Nativity scenes are placed in churches, homes and the main plaza. They often have a regional flare as can be seen in the photos of the Nativity scene from the Plaza de Armas in Iquitos below.

Click on photos to enlarge


Monday, December 6, 2010

GreenTracks Amazon Cruises

A cruise aboard a comfortable riverboat is your best opportunity to see the magic of the rainforest and the Amazon River, one of the most exciting places on earth, with GreenTracks, a company that is known world-wide for it's intimate knowledge of this exotic land. You will have the Amazon Riverboat experience of a lifetime.

Our cruises on the Ayapua & Clavero riverboats travel to the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve, the largest protected natural area in Peru, with 5,139,680 acres - 10,800 square miles, it stands today as one of the largest and most important wildernesses in all the tropics. The Pacaya-Samiria is home to some of the largest populations of wildlife in all the Amazon. Hordes of pink and gray river dolphins, packs of howler and squirrel monkeys, massive flocks of brilliant macaws, huge lagoons covered in giant lily pads teeming with fish of all sizes and colors....all of these and more mark the region as Another World. Simply put, it is one of the least visited and most beautiful parts of the Amazon Basin.

The Ayapua is the only boat still operating that was used to transport rubber on the remote rivers of the Brazilian and Peruvian Amazon during the early part of the 20th century. She was built in Hamburg, Germany in 1906 and from 2004 to 2006 she was restored to her original splendor with many original features incorporated.

The Clavero is the oldest historic riverboat on the entire Amazon. She was originally built in Paris, France in 1876 and brought over to the Amazon for use as a Peruvian naval boat. The Clavero was used for government expeditions exploring the Peruvian Amazon and as a mail boat. She was completely restored between 2007-2009 with many of her original features incorporated.

On the 7 Day cruise, you will observe wildlife along the Samiria River with activities to include: Small boat excursions for river dolphin, macaw, monkey and other wildlife observation, rainforest hikes in search of wildlife, piranha fishing, nighttime caiman observation and night hikes in the forest. There is a lot of wildlife to observe and a lot of excellent photo opportunities. Visit to a local Cocama indigenous village and meet the people and see how they live and interact with the rainforest.

GreenTracks Amazon Cruises