Entries in ‘Peru’ Journal

Win 15 Day Trip to Peru

Thursday January 22, 2009 at 5:05 PM | 1 Comment

Posted by Nancy D. Brown

I've written about Peru, attended trade shows about Peru and listened to Jim Kane Founder and President of Culture Xplorers talk passionately about his CX Weavers Awards in Peru, yet I haven't been there myself.

If you've ever wanted to visit Peru and fancy yourself a writer, you have a few days before the entries close for the writing contest at Wanderlust and Lipstick. Along with fellow judges Amanda Castleman; Stephanie Elizondo Griest; Greg Hubbs, Editor Transitions Abroad; Tim Leffel, Editor Perceptive Travel and Pam Mandel of Nerdseyeview, I look forward to reading your entry.

Intrepid Travel is co-sponsoring the contest with Travel Writer Beth Whitman. The grand prize winner will journey from Lima's coastal shores through the Amazon Jungle and onto the snow capped peaks of the Andean altiplano. For more details on the contest, click here. Good luck!

Photo courtesy Craig Isaacs

Luxury Travel Trends 2009

Tuesday December 9, 2008 at 10:10 PM | 2 Comments

Posted by Nancy D. Brown

What does a luxury traveler look like? I recently returned from Las Vegas, home to the Luxury Travel Expo, a convention that delivers pearls of wisdom to luxury travel professionals. As a freelance writer, I'm happy to report that I walked away with a lot of information to share with you, the luxury traveler. I also walked away with $13 that I was able to grab during a game in the exhibit hall. That's me in the money booth.


A Hawaiian luxury traveler is an avid and active vacationer, according to the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau. Their statistics say that a luxury traveler stays longer and spends more, while demanding a high level of service. Luxury travelers "sight do" not "sightsee." They are highly educated and well traveled. I was suprised to learn that their idea of a luxury traveler was someone who earns $100,000 or more.


Some of the top destinations for 2009 will be Greece, Spain, Ireland and Egypt, according to Insight Vacations. I recently dined with Tom Heneghan, Marketing Manager of Tourism Ireland while Ireland's President Mary McAleese addressed supporters of the American Ireland Fund at a San Francisco luncheon. If Ireland is a wee bit as charming as President McAleese, I look forward to visiting. In fact, Aer Lingus flys non-stop from SFO to Dublin. I would love to visit the five star Dromoland Castle in Clare, Ireland, however, Nil Gaeilge maith agam. Translation: I cannot speak Irish very well.


While we are now in an official recession, "Las Vegas is not having a fire sale," according to Art Jimenez, director of leisure sales, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. The Expo took place at Mandalay Bay, yet I stayed at the budget-friendly Luxor. With over 14,000 new hotel rooms in Las Vegas, Jimenez said their state bird should be the crane.


The cruise industry continues to invest in the future, with 35 new ships expected for 2012.  According to Cruise Line International Association (CLIA) President and CEO Terry L. Dale, the "luxury market is expected to jump by 71% by 2012."

Finally, Katie Taylor, President and COO, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, offered her take on  the two things elite consumers looks for in a brand; craftsmanship and quality.  "Service is why the Four Seasons exist," reflected Taylor. "Guests want 'just-for-me' service."

Next year's Luxury Travel Expo will take place December 1-3, 2009 at the Signature at MGM Grand, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

New Zealand with teens, Peru for runners and Kenwood’s Landmark Vineyards – What a Trip

Friday February 29, 2008 at 3:03 PM | 0 Comments

sPelletreau New Zealand 

 Contra Costa Times

Article Launched: 02/29/2008 03:18:20 AM PST

Are your teens dreading the “F” word, as in family vacation?  Lafayette’s Ernie Furtado and Barbara Pelletreau recently returned from New Zealand with rave reviews.  “Both kid’s thanked me independently for taking them on this trip,” enthused Pelletreau.  “I would return in a heartbeat!” The family hiked glaciers, drove all terrain vehicles, mountain biked, swam in waterfalls, and helicopter toured their way through Lake Tekapo and the Church of the Good Shepherd in the Mackenzie Country of South Island, New Zealand over Christmas break.

“I loved the bungee jumping because it was such an adrenaline rush,” says David.  An avid snowboarder, David liked free falling and flying upside down.

If your High School or college student is looking for a way to give back to the community while traveling, Lafayette’s Ibis Schlesinger has launched the non-profit Ties to the World.  The organization’s goal is to enable orphanages to be self-sustaining through the creation of social entrepreneurial businesses.  

Based in Lafayette, Schlesinger travels to her native Guatemala with groups of students. Each participant takes their unique talent like singing, painting, teaching English and shares it with the children.  Those interested in the business aspect spend time researching and meeting business people and local students who share the same zeal for entrepreneurship. There is the opportunity to meet Guatemalan people from all walks of life.

Hogar San Francisco Xavier is on Kilometer 21.5 on the way to Antigua.  The Hogar shelters 100 boys, ages 4-13.  Boys and girls from the neighboring community attend the 1-6k school.  Check Ties to the World website for information on Summer volunteer opportunities.  Applications are due February 28.   www.Tiestotheworld.org Macchu Pichu

Last month I reported on Peru from an eco-tourism perspective.  This month we visit Peru with a trekker’s point-of-view.  Kelly Berry and Ed Bottoroff are a sporty couple.  You know the type; they run the Reservoir rim trail to jumpstart their morning!   In Peru they boarded the “backpacker” train for a two hour ride to Kilometer #104.   They met their guide at the Inca Trail check point after crossing the Urubamba River and began the 6.8 mile climb to Machu Picchu on an overcast day. 

The drizzle turned into a torrential downpour which flooded the trail.  They climbed rows and rows of terraces where natives grew their crops.  Finally, they reached the top of the trail known as “Sun Gate,” which could have been called “White out Gate” that afternoon.  On their decent they were rewarded with a spectacular view of Machu Picchu.  Tired and hungry, they boarded the bus for Aguas Calientes and the Inkaterra Hotel.  The Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge, at $800 per night, was full.

The night’s rainfall had caused a huge landslide, closing the railway and all trains to the mountain.  Rather than the daily 2,000 visitors, the hilltop welcomed 400 people.  This was the day the Lafayette couple would conquer Wayna Picchu mountain peak as climbers 31 and 32 and take in commanding views of Machu Picchu.  And now we leave Peru’s terraced grounds to visit Sonoma’s terraced vineyards. 

 Landmark Vineyards Wagon Ride

Have you dreamed of owning a vineyard?  Imagine becoming a gentleman farmer without securing a mortgage.  Visit Kenwood’s Landmark Vineyards; take a horse drawn wagon tour and stay overnight in the cottage.   As a member of Friends of the Vineyard you’ll adopt a row of vines and in 2010 receive custom-labeled wine bearing your name.  www.Landmarkwine.com.

Now take that wine and pair it with some chocolate during Concord's Chocolate Festival, March 9 from 1-5 p.m. at the Crown Plaza Hotel.  The festival features a teen culinary competition, cooking demonstrations and of course, plenty of chocolate.   www.Concordchocolatefestival.com.