By Georgie
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Representing the Worlds most inspired travel experiences, united by a belief in the singular power of travel to surprise, delight and transform. 

Posts tagged Enigma - Peru
There's more to Peru than Paddington Bear
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Peru offers a spectacular array of natural, cultural and active experiences for families and children of all ages. Over 60% of Enigma's trips are designed with families in mind, and since most of Enigma's travel designers are mums themselves, all the country experiences have been thoroughly tested first-hand.

A country well-defined in our imagination, it's impossible to think of Peru without thinking of its iconic dawn-lit Machu Picchu. Visit this famous Inca citadel with children to awaken their adventurous spirit. Enigma carefully select guides for children who create mystery, excitement and intrigue to the different theories behind Inca history. The soft and short Inca trail to the citadel is regularly trekked by children of ten years and more, who then enjoy a leisurely train ride back to Cusco. It's an otherworldly, magical experience to not only deepen an understanding of the old paths of the Incas and their beliefs, but a unique opportunity to marvel at one of the seven wonders of the world.

There is, however, so much beyond Machu Picchu. Peru's northern coast is perfect for Surfing and the wide Pacific swell in this tropical region means waves and balmy weather are pretty much guaranteed all year round. Mancora offers a combination of fantastic surf, pristine beaches and cozy hotels. Enigma work with local surf instructors known for their success in not only teaching children to surf but keeping their interest piqued. For already-trained surfers and wave seekers, Chicama is home to the longest, left-breaking wave in the world. Swimming with turtles, whale-watching and beach horseback riding are also firm favourites with families.

The Andes offer epic mountain bike rides along versatile routes, from the well-known Sacred Valley to the deeper area of Ausangate and its enticing rainbow mountains and alpaca-grazing fields. For children ten years and older, excursions include quad biking, rafting, paddle boarding, and horseback riding with Peruvian Paso horses. For older children, climbing 'Via Ferrata' style in the Sacred Valley before overnighting in a pod dubbed the world's first hanging lodge, nestled 400m up a cliff face, is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

In Lima, a visit to the Larco Museum is a must. Specialised curators with storytelling expertise offer exciting insight into pre-Inca culture for children of all ages. It's also a chance to view the fabulous pottery on display. The much-loved Choco Museum offers hands-on chocolate workshops in a country of world-class chocolate. A graffiti class in Callao, the new edgy and artsy neighbourhood in the city, will spark imagination and creativity. Or for those who love the sea, swimming with sea lions in the Palomino Islands just off Lima. The Magic Water Circuit at Parque de la Reserva is also great for a summer visit at dusk. Cool off from the heat of the day and enjoy its thirteen fountains incorporating music, colourful lights and interactive elements.

The Amazon basin, its fragile ecosystem and its wildlife is often a preferred choice for families with Enigma. Prominent guides share their expertise and love of the region with children - how to spot jaguars, identify monkey sounds, use new technologies to count species and take the best photographic shots of the beautiful macaws in the wild. The Amazon also provides once-in-a-lifetime cultural encounters with the Ese Eja, ancient inhabitants of the region, whose lifestyle and traditions are in danger of extinction. This traditional nomadic community offers families a unique learning experience and a reminder of how connected we all are to the environment and each other.

Connecting the native way: Peru's hidden roots
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One of Enigma's main focus is the movement of cultural and environmental sustainability. Their goal is to enrich a traveller's Peruvian experience - to really connect to the places they visit, understanding them rather than focusing on the major tourism offerings. Their vision is for travellers to get deep into the skin of Peru. Authenticity is key, under the guide of recommended conservationists, nutritionists, biologists and chefs with years of experience.

The world's most biodiverse forest - the vast and beautiful Peruvian Amazon - is one of the best places to experience the rainforest. With its richness, conservation, wellness and cultural heritage, it also allows this movement of sustainability to flourish. Starting at Puerto Maldonado (a gateway to the Southern Amazon basin), clients are transferred to a local community, unreachable to most visitors to Peru, to experience an authentic and responsible intercultural exchange. Against the tropical forests teeming with wildlife, Enigma's Conservationist expert educates clients in all that this beautiful region can offer. Other explorations include visiting the stunning wildlife spectacle of a macaw clay lick, where hundreds of macaws and parrots gather to munch on nutrient-rich clay. And for those who value the rich cultural aspects of the area, spending time with the traditional nomadic community of the Ese Eja, of which only 700 remain today, remains a unique cultural encounter. Or experiencing the "icaros" by the original 'Yine' women - healing chants practiced since centuries.

On the outskirts of Puerto Maldonado lies a 14-hectare Amazon centre run by a Hatha and Yin Yoga teacher, who is also a biologist. The centre facilitates wellbeing through the practice of yoga and meditation, but also offers a truly unique and transformational experience through direct contact with the country's cultural heritage. Their aim is to offer a journey of connection with nature and an understanding of the importance of preserving the environment. Ten guest bedrooms are separated by a short trail covered in Brazil nut rinds, with the rooms open to the air, allowing the sounds of the Amazon to soothe guests to sleep. Nutritious local food, nature walks, Amazon visits, meditation and mindfulness are all on offer for those looking for a more holistic experience set apart from the norm. Days close with warm campfires and delicious, nutritious dinners cooked with locally gathered superfoods, while guests learn about environmental conservation in the expert hands of their chefs and biologists.

Authenticity beats in the heart of everything that Enigma offers. The Sacred Valley of the Incas is the cradle of one of the most exceptional corn varieties in the world, adapted to grow only within its boundaries. Visit a real 'White Giant' corn Hacienda to learn how the Incas developed such a unique corn variety, and how ancestral techniques have survived along with the modern production of corn. Afterwards, guests enjoy a delicious 7-course gourmet tasting lunch, savouring local indigenous ingredients and cuisines inspired from Colonial times. All accompanied by the Hacienda's very charming and educated owners, who share their unique life experiences and background.

Enigma's exclusive unmapped journeys combine the very finest of Peru's hidden treasures. Journey on a handcrafted experience to uncharted corners of Peru that will raise the eyebrow of even the most discerning traveller. Designed with the utmost attention to detail, with an emphasis on cultural creativity and luxury, private jets give unprecedented access to bespoke hotspots, whilst revealing and placing the true flavours and essence of Peru right in the palm of traveller's hands. Private dining with top Peruvian chefs and pisco experts allow for a culinary insight that far exceeds expectation.

Peru opens an array of different transformative experiences and encounters that Enigma is always pleased to explore and arrange innovatively, offering a lifestyle the discerning travellers may never have experienced.

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Healing for body and soul
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Peru has recently become a hotspot for wellness retreats, with Cusco said to be one of the magnetic centres of the planet, and one of the most powerful spiritual energy centres on earth. Spiritual masters, pilgrims and believers gather year-round in this city to benefit from the powerful vibrations radiated by the Andes, get recharged with positive energy, venerate the sacred spirits of the mountains and make traditional offerings to Mother Earth. 

Peru’s wellness can be experienced in a full range of different ways and can expand beyond its spirituality. The country is now well-placed with top-end properties offering retreats, yoga, body massages and treatments, carefully curated menus using only local produce to support sustainability and the very praised superfoods. Healthy food lovers may find a haven in Peruvian markets and organic food fairs. Andean grains, Amazonian fruits, plants and roots and the Andean and Amazonian natural remedies reign in daily dishes and top restaurants alike, and are the basis for new healthy nutritional diets in everyday life. 

Enigma’s Yoga Treks offer remote, inspiring environments to practice, free from distraction, along some of the most famous paths in the world, including the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Spiritual Treks are transformative, allowing clients to participate in daily traditional Andean ceremonies, whilst also reconnecting with nature. These ceremonies, which may be adapted to each person’s needs, are all led by an original and reputable “paqo,” and take place in specially chosen locations. The daily ceremonies combine with meditation, music therapy sessions and traditional Andean superfoods, designed to nurture the soul, body and spirit. 

Away from the Andes, Peru’s wild and beautiful Northern Coast, with whiter sands and warmer waters than the neighbouring Southern Coastline, is somewhat of a draw not just for the many surfers that it attracts. KiChic, on the peaceful Las Pocitas beach, is a beautiful boutique beachfront resort and a haven of calm to retreat from the hustle and bustle of life. KiChic offer nourishing, healthy Peruvian dishes designed for the mind, body and soul - and as much seafood as you can handle. Deep breathing and relaxing come naturally here.

Peru is also a place for the health-conscious adventurer - hiking, biking, rock climbing, horseback riding, swimming…the options are endless! In addition, the altitude of many attractions in Peru adds an extra challenge that helps to burn calories.

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TAKE YOUR LOVE TO NEW HEIGHTS
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Enigma's goal is that every guest should be totally Peru-spellbound.  However there is room for guests to be spellbound with one another too! With beautiful architecture, mysterious Inca ruins and stunning landscapes, Peru offers romantic settings at every turn.  The country's accommodation also ticks all the boxes; from private hideaways and charming lodges, to restored former palaces built of Inca stone. 

Combine the fabulous food and vibrant art scene of Lima with a romantic sunset yacht cruise along the Pacific Coast - wonderful scenery is enhanced by champagne and appetizers. Or head to the Palomino Islands to swim with sea lions, while a chef prepares a delicious private lunch for two. 

Couples seek out the quiet romance of Paracas due to its tranquil nature and ocean-view seafood restaurants.  The Paracas Desert, an uncommonly rich ecosystem, is a must-see, not only for the abundance of wildlife, but the beauty of the ocean and desert landscapes.  After an epic 4x4 drive through sand dunes, guests enjoy a luxury picnic under the stars, whilst a chef prepares a delicious meal, pours the pisco sours and tends the campfire. 

For truly adventurous lovers, Peru's Sacred Valley offers spectacular scenery and the world's first hanging hotel.  The Natura Viva Sky Lodge Adventure Suites are three transparent capsules, rigged to the side of a 121-metre cliff, offering panoramic views of the heartland of the Inca Empire.  To sleep at Sky lodge, guests must hike & climb using a Via Ferrata and descend using a series of zip lines - it's not for the faint-hearted and sharing the experience is sure to deepen one's appreciation for their partner. 

If clients prefer their feet on terra firma, they can enjoy a beautiful picnic lunch in the valley of the Incas followed by a very personal, shamanic ceremony, to ask the blessings of the Pachamama (Mother Earth) on their life journey together.

Remote and romantic, Iquitos is a tree house lodge offering an entirely different perspective on the Amazon Rainforest.  Watch five different species of monkeys, sloths, macaws, parrots and parakeets at eye-level, swim with pink dolphins in a quiet yet mind-blowing lagoon.  A peaceful paradise bound to pull at the heartstrings of any romantic soul. 

There's much more too - talk to Enigma about champagne suppers aboard a Pullman-style train; their extraordinary take on walking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, and luxury beach resorts perfect for surfing, whale watching and relaxation.

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A CULINARY DISCOVERY OF PERU
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Peruvian food is so hot right now and travellers who once made a beeline for Machu Picchu will find the food scene as much of a draw.  When a country's children name 'chef' as one of their primary 'when I grow up' occupations, you know it's a country that takes food seriously! Peru's cuisine begins with the quality of its ingredients: abundant seafood, meats and produce are found here, including many so-called super foods that the world has only recently taken notice of, such as quinoa, amaranth, lucuma and maca.  Combine this with its multicultural population and you get a thriving local food scene with regional variations just waiting to be explored.  

In Lima, food has long been an important part of its culture; it's a city that prides itself on its reputation as the culinary mecca.  Limenos won't ask travellers what sights they've seen or suggest a stroll; they'll ask what dishes you've tried or invite you to have a meal. 

The team at Enigma have walked Lima's districts to unearth the culinary delights within.  Their food tours, led by culinary expert Marisol, take you through the districts of the capital that best represent the traditional and modern aspects of their culture. Your guide will lead you to local restaurants serving traditional home-style cuisine around two communal tables, as they would in a traditional Picanteria.  You will also have the chance to sample the "chica de jora" Peruvian corn beer -  arrive with a big appetite! 

Exploring the famous Surquillo market you will discover the best chirimoya, or picarones (Peruvian donuts) from a food cart and the vibrant San Pedro market in Cusco helps you experience first-hand how the locals live day-to-day.  

Unique to Enigma is a rustic-chic picnic lunch above the sacred valley of the Incas.  Stylish canopies provide adequate shade in the dry season and beautiful tents (designed by one of Peru's top interior designers) offer protection as the rainy season draws closer.  The menu includes "piqueos" or Peruvian tapas with generous portions topped by petit-fours.  

Enjoy, savour and embrace food from the gastronomic powerhouse of South America. 

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TREKKING THE ENIGMA WAY
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Trekking is not only good for your physical health - by getting outside, reconnecting with nature and taking yourself away from the constraints of technology and daily commitments but it is also a stress relief and, in our opinion, will improve your mental health too. In Peru, you'll trek the Enigma way, meaning your load will lighten after every step. 

A trekking excursion with Enigma Peru ensures high-quality Eureka tents, chefs trained by culinary experts and a program designed to put you ahead of the crowds.  There is, of course, always the option to upgrade to their premium services which can include massage therapists and natural, biodegradable amenities to help you refresh after a long day of hiking.  Additionally, Enigma has operated and can organise several 'feature treks' that could focus on spirituality, yoga, trail running, interaction with a local celebrity chef or team bonding experiences for companies - the possibilities are endless! 

Enigma were the first to offer luxury treks in the Andes and still offer the best guide and porter service available in Peru.  With that in mind Enigma is your ideal option for the famous Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.  Whether you trek for four days and three nights or  two days and one night, you'll be afforded an unforgettable experience visiting mysterious archaeological sites and taking in the breathtaking mountain scenery of the Andes before reaching the world-renowned Inca citadel.

However, it is important to note that Peru is more than just the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu. As a country characterized by dramatic and diverse landscapes, some of the lesser-known treks, including the Salkantay, Ausangate, Choquequirao, Lares Valley and Huchuy Qosqo highlight some of the best countryside Peru has to offer.  Additionally, if you prefer to go even further off the beaten track, Enigma offers unpublished treks that really take you away from the hustle and bustle, and reconnect you with nature.

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FREDY CONDE HUALLPA
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Fredy Conde Huallpa has been a tour guide for over 17 years, and for the most part, has been guiding Enigma guests in and around the Cusco region as well as taking them on adventurous treks. He is not only one of the best and most interesting tour guides in probably all of Peru, but also has his own story to tell.

Since he was young, Fredy has loved playing musical instruments and besides the bass drum, his favourite is the Quena. The Quena is a traditional Peruvian instrument and Andean flute dating back to pre-Hispanic times. Fredy loves playing the instrument during treks to Machu Picchu and the surrounding region. Just Imagine the view of the mountains around you and listening to the sounds of an ancient wind instrument – incredible!

Fredy is also known for his spirituality and his knowledge of the spiritual practices of the Andean world; this led him to co-author the book 'The Fourth Level' with author Elizabeth B. Jenkins.  'The Fourth Level' is a culmination of her 25 years of study, exploration and practice of the Inka Nature Wisdom Tradition.  As a member of the board of the 'Wiraqocha Foundation', which focuses on education, health, traditional medicines and cultural, community and ancestral knowledge preservation, Fredy travels to attend conferences, seminars and talks at universities around the world.  

Fredy is a very unique guide in many different ways but what truly makes him special to Enigma is the immense knowledge he has on all facets of Peruvian life, nowadays as well as historically, and the understanding of guests needs. He has created memories for the clients in very different ways; ranging from short meditation sessions at Machu Picchu to spontaneous visits in communities to see how a traditional Pachamanca, a dish cooked underground over hot stones, is prepared.

Fredy is a true Peruvian soul and someone who makes your journey more magical! 

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