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Born in the southern city of Arequipa in 1936, Mario Vargas Llosa stands as one of the lions of modern Latin American literature alongside Colombia’s Gabriel García Márquez and Mexico’s Carlos Fuentes.
In 2010, he became the first Peruvian to win a Nobel Prize - for Literature - which solidified his position as a literary great and a national hero.
Juanes is a traditional dish widely consumed throughout the Peruvian Amazon, especially the High Amazon.
It is designed for travelling: pre-cooked food that is wrapped in a leaf, normally from the endemic Cachibou tree (Calathea lutea) - known locally as bijao - which acts as a picnic box for the contents. The leaf also infuses the food with a subtle, but distinctive flavour.
It was not until 1935, the year of Lima's 400th anniversary, that Lindley created a carbonated soft drink based on the native plant Lemon Verbena (Aloysia citrodora). This was given the name Inca Kola and launched with the strapline 'Solo hay una y no se parece a ninguna' (There is only one, and it’s unlike any other).
The Spectacled - or Andean - Bear (Tremarctos ornatus) holds a special place in PeruNorth's heart, being the emblematic large mammal of northern Peru's dry forest and cloud forest. It is fitting, therefore, that we should give this attractive and endangered species some blog time!
Like Iquitos, Santiago de Lagunas (to give the full name) is a jungle town founded by missionaries, in the Amazonian province of Loreto; and like Iquitos, it is a jumping-off point for visiting the surrounding rainforest, especially the Pacaya-Samiria Reserve.
But, even though Lagunas is nearly 100 years older than Iquitos, having been founded in 1670 by a priest, Juan Lorenzo Lucero, it has a fraction of the population and receives a fraction of the visitors.
I first met explorer John Leivers at South American Explorers in 2007. Like many visitors to the clubhouse in urban Miraflores, he was dressed as if was just about to embark on an expedition to search for El Dorado - breathable fabrics, khaki colours, wide-brimmed hat and a well-worn rucksack that did not leave his back. But unlike other visitors, this really was the uniform of his day job!