Now on most travellers’ hotlists, Peru offers mouth-watering gastronomy, archaeological delights and stunning colonial architecture. But perhaps most importantly, this South American country has been modernised without losing any of its traditional heritage. Once the Inca capital of Peru, Cuzco is now the traveller’s capital and Brianna Barnes heads there to discovery why.
At over 3,500m above sea level, this Andean city may be one of the most beautiful cities in the Americas, but it’s certainly one of the hardest to breathe in. Luckily for Brianna she is staying in Palacio Nazarenas, one of the few boutique hotels that offer extra oxygen in the rooms to help visitors acclimatise. After checking in she visits the Coca Museum and is given an introduction to the rather more prolific remedy for altitude sickness – coca leaves.
Brianna can’t resist finding out more about alpaca clothing & heads first to Awana Kancha, a textile initiative that employs people from the surrounding villages. After going head to head with the Andean camelids and discovering that baby alpaca wool isn’t actually from a baby alpaca, she heads over to Peruvian fashion designer, Giuliana Testino. Testino only uses traditional Peruvian materials for her clothes – alpaca wool for winter and Peruvian pima cotton for her summer collections.
Wanting a greater insight into the artistic talents of Peru’s ancient cultures, Brianna visits the Pre-Columbian Art Museum and gets an eyeful of stunning jewellery, ceramics… not to mention Inca war clubs! She sees how these talents have been passed down generations into modern day Cusquenan life at the colourful Pisac Market, just an hours’ drive from the city centre in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Nothing in Peru exists without a reason and Brianna discovers that everything in the market tells a story.
Local traditions and handicrafts are now being transformed into contemporary Cuzco life. Brianna visits the home to modern day Cusco at the stylish Fallen Angel hotel and restaurant and sees how this fusion can really work.
Inspired by Andean traditions and Peruvian culture, designer Meche Correa perfectly incorporates her beloved culture into her sought-after fashion accessories. Brianna gets inspired herself and ends the show modelling some of Peru’s more outlandish traditional costumes for a fashion editorial.
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