10 Cultural Tips and Facts From South America

Wednesday Wanderlust

10 Cultural Tips and Facts From South America

All the following cultural tips and facts are taken straight from five of our many guides within the South American region. The titles used within this blog post include: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, and Peru.

Argentina:

 

  1. Be careful with gestures when visiting South America. In Argentina, the “thumb and forefinger circle” gesture stands for OK – unlike in neighbouring Brazil, where it is vulgar and offensive. The “thumbs up” gesture can be used freely as it also stands for OK.

 

  1. Whether in the afternoon or in the morning, facturas are a must. The delicious pastries come in various shapes with different fillings such as custard, cream, and jam. Media lunas (croissants,) are perhaps the most common facturas usually accompanied by a cup of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. Be aware facturas is also the Spanish word for “invoice”.

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Peruvian Delicacies: The Essential Guide to Food in Peru

‘What’s your favourite Peruvian food?’ is a question that you are guaranteed to be asked over and over when traveling in Peru. Food is an obsession for most Peruvians but a justifiable one as their cuisine is recognised as one of the best in the world.

Peruvian cuisine has its roots in ancient superfoods such as quinoa, avocados, maize and potatoes as well as integrating more recent influences of Japanese and Chinese cuisines.

However, your answer to the question will very much depend on where you have been in Peru as there are significant variations around the country.

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A Sunny Break on the Playas of Peru

By John Forrest

Beaches all along the Peruvian coast come alive as dormant condominiums, restaurants, clubs and shopping centres reopen. The renewed activity starts at New Year and runs through to April. Peruvians, as with most residents of the southern hemisphere, take their main annual holiday in the first three months of the year, if they can. For many, this means spending a week, or two, at the sun-drenched coast where growing affluence from the mining boom is bringing about radical changes.

The wealthiest Limeño families, who can usually trace their lineage back to Spain, decamp to luxurious, gated developments with private beaches stretching along 30 kilometres to the south of Lima. While mothers and children enjoy several weeks at the beach, fathers remain working in Lima and visit at the weekend. Many families bring their housekeeper, who is usually of Andean origin and may have been with the family for years. Housekeepers will cook, clean and help look after the children, and some are still expected to wear a white uniform on the beach, making them easily recognisable.

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