WHAT’S NEW IN PERU: New Transat flights and more
Energized by new flights to the country by Transat starting this winter – the first direct flights from Canada since the pandemic – PromPeru hosted a gathering in Toronto last week to update the trade on the latest news from the South American country. Among the guests were reps from tour operators offering Peru tours and product: Goway, G Adventures, Intrepid, Collette, and TTC Tour Brands.
Among the news highlights:
Air Transat: The carrier will offer exclusive direct flights to Lima from Toronto and Montreal, with previously announced seasonal flights now expanded to year-round. Besides being the only direct flights from Canada, Air Transat’s national sales manager Jhadyd Gonzalez said the best thing about the flight is the timing: it flies overnight, arriving in Lima at 6 a.m., giving travellers a full extra day in the capital. Moreover, flights are aboard ultra-comfortable new Airbus A321LR, featuring 199 seats in the widest single-lane air cabin available plus wider seats, state-of-the-art entertainment features and “perfect for sleeping.” Flights from Toronto will be operated twice per week on Wednesdays and Saturdays, starting Dec. 20, and flights from Montréal will depart once a week on Fridays, starting Dec. 22.
Jorge Chávez International Airport: An expansion at Lima’s airport, expected to be completed by 2025, envisions creating the first Airport City in South America. This project covers an area of more than 890 hectare and will feature two future landing strips, a passenger terminal, and multiple commercial zones. The new Jorge Chávez International Airport will transform Lima into a significant regional hub, enabling growth in alignment with passenger traffic demands.
The NOMAD Hotels Group: The Peruvian “home-boutique” hotel network recently launched
its first hotel, NOMAD Urban AQP in the heart of Arequipa. The contemporary and ecofriendly hotel is a vibrant hub for digital nomads, with designated areas for work, meetings, and events as well as entertainment offerings, including the “Music Corner,” INDIGO restaurant, and AMBAR rooftop bar.
Andean Experience (AE): The company soft-opened Peru’s first tented exploration camp, PUQIO in September. An extension of AE’s Southern Route, including Titilaka on Lake Titicaca and CIRQA in Arequipa, PUQIO is situated in the remote Colca Valley in the Southern Peruvian Andes, a region rich with biodiversity – including a large population of Andean condor – hot springs, volcanoes and one of the world’s deepest canyons, the Colca Canyon. Guests can choose from three distinct and locally designed tents and anticipate a range of activities and outings, including trips to local markets, Andean fishing, visits to thermal baths, wildlife watching and more.
The company has also recently opened Fausto, a new guest house in the lively Miraflores district of Lima. Fausto is a contemporary six-room guest house that offers Andean Experience’s signature service in a smaller format. Like in a family friend’s house, Fausto’s open pantry is always full with daily-baked sweet and savoury snacks, fresh local fruit and other refreshments. Other house services and amenities include a hearty breakfast, welcome drink, teatime, house bicycles, work-out kits and morning walks around the neighbourhood.
New Nazca Lines: Scientists from Japan’s Yamagata University announced that they had discovered new Nazca Lines in the Nazca Desert of southern Peru. The researchers reportedly used sophisticated Deep Learning AI technology to identify a human figure, a pair of legs, a bird, and a fish. Research is ongoing, and it’s believed DL technology will revolutionize the process of identifying more geoglyphs at increased speed.
Kuélap fortress: Atop the Cerro Barreta summit in the Utcubamba river valley, Peru’s crown jewel of the north-east – Kuélap – was recently re-opened following over a year of restoration efforts. Amidst the dense cloud forest of the Amazonas region, the fortress rests at an altitude of 3,000 metres and comprises administrative, religious and residential sectors meticulously crafted by the Chachapoyas culture between the 11th and 14th centuries. To experience Kuélap, visitors must travel to the city of Chachapoyas before making their way to the town of Nuevo Tingo where a cable car offers access to the fortress. Travellers can also opt to embark upon a 9-km hike to the site. Free access to the site will be available to 144 visitors daily until Dec. 19.
Intrepid: Along with the Lares and Salkantay treks, the 26-km Quarry Trail has emerged as an alternative to the Inca Trail for hikers looking to explore the Sacred Valley around Machu Picchu. Intrepid Travel has been offering Quarry Trail itineraries for several years, but starting in 2024, will include a new section of the trail previously unseen by travellers. Intrepid has worked with local communities in the area to develop this new section, and for every guest booked on a Quarry Trail trek, the company will donate to local organizations to ensure the ongoing protection and conservation of the historic area. Quieter than the Inca Trail and not requiring permits, highlights of the Quarry Trail include the Perolniyoc Cascade waterfall, the 4,450 metre-high Kuychicassa Pass, and a sun gate overlooking Ollantaytambo.
World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2023 list: Peru is already recognized as a destination with a culinary scene that’s among some of the finest in the world. This culinary reputation was further solidified with Lima’s Central restaurant crowned The World’s Best Restaurant 2023 – and with three more Lima restaurants making the list. Led by award-winning chefs and spouses Virgilio Martínez and Pía Léon, Central showcases the diverse flavours of Peru’s indigenous ingredients sourced from 15 different altitudes. The restaurant has made remarkable progress since its initial appearance at number 50 on the list in 2013 and made history by being the first Latin American restaurant to secure the top spot in 2023.
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First published at Travel Industry Today