Categories
South America

RAW TRAVEL BROADCASTING & CABLE

See the article online https://www.nexttv.com/news/five-spot-robert-rose-producercreatorhost-raw-travel

Categories
South America

Help Us Feed Those Affected by COVID 19

WATCH RAW TRAVEL SEASON-ONE ON-DEMAND & HELP FEED HUNGRY IN COLOMBIA & GUATEMALA

As tough as the economic toll of this pandemic has been on the USA, it’s been devastatingly worse in many developing countries where the poorest of the poor live day-to-day. These folks, who struggle mightily in the best of times, have been unable to work to garner their daily meals due to lockdown restrictions.

The governments of these countries do not have much if any, social net to speak of. Only private individuals, companies, or NGOs are able to help and they are now struggling as well. The United Nations has issued dire warnings of hunger of biblical proportions is something isn’t done. So what can we do?

We can each do something big or small (a little goes a long way in developing countries) to help trusted and vetted partners address their communities’ hunger.

If you remember my pal Andres Ocampo from Medellin Colombia (Los Suziox lead singer, Raw Travel theme song composer & El Sub music venue owner) from Raw Travel Episode 706 – “Going Solo: Medellin Rocks”? Andres has turned lemons into lemon aid (pun intended). His venue, El Sub is unable to host any events or concerts during the lockdown, so Andres has turned the space into a repository for donated food & toiletry items for the poorest of the poor in El Castilla and surrounding working-class and poor neighborhoods in Medellin, Colombia.

Hungry Homes put out red flags to alert charities that there is a hungry
MEDELLIN, COLOMBIA Red flags indicate homes where there are locked in hungry people

People who are unable to feed themselves let their needs be known by placing a red flag outside of their home. As you can see by the photos and videos, there are lots of donated items, but there are lots of red flags outside of homes as well.

MEDELLIN, COLOMBIA: El Sub Video Tour

GUATEMALA: Our old friends at the orphanage of Casa Guatemala are doing something similar in rural Guatemala, collecting funds for their neighbors who are locked in and unable to work and thus feed themselves. Casa Guatemala is a much-respected resource in their rural area of Guatemala near Belize, and they understand that their neighbors are suffering.

We didn’t want to simply call attention, we wanted to come up with a way that our affiliates, vendors, advertisers, and viewers could help, either big or small.

Casa Guatemala is sharing food with their neighbors.

Between now and May 15th, 2020, donate $50 or more to either Casa Guatemala HERE:

or for El Sub’s Relief for Medellin, Colombia HERE: and we will donate the money directly to the organization.

Then simply send us an email of your donation receipt to RawTravel@aimtvgroup.com and we’ll forward you a pass for a free rental pass for Raw Travel – Season 1 good for all 19x episodes of Season One HERE

If $50 is too much to ask for this vulnerable time, we have smaller increments and rewards:

2) Between $6 and $49 donation will get you access to all three of Season One’s Colombia and Guatemala themed episodes:

Or if you prefer to rent any individual Colombia themed (#105 & #105) and/or Guatemala themed (#116) episodes between now and May 15th, the $1.99 entire rental will be donated and split between both organizations.

I know these are tough times, so we are trying to do our best to give you an avenue to help in a small or big way depending on your situation and hopefully at the same time help you remain entertained while at home.

But please if you are suffering economically yourself, do not donate. But if you are like me, feeling blessed at having a fairly secure job and outlook economically I thought this could be a good way to help.

As always, thank you all. God bless and stay safe… and sane. I know, I know… easier said than done.

* Please note this offer to view episodes is limited to viewers in the US only. Sorry Canada and others, it’s a territorial rights issue. But please do feel free to donate if you so desire and still send me an email and we’ll work out a way for you to be rewarded as well.

UPDATE MAY 17th, 2020 : Thanks to the following contributors who helped Casa Guatemala raise several thousand dollars and our pals at Justice for Andres in Colombia raise hundreds of dollars to help feed their neighbors in during the Covid 19 crisis. Special thanks to:

Stacey Pryor – Casa Guatemala

Laura-Lee Gosa.- Casa Guatemala

Rosalba Gordon – Colombia

Judy Smith – Colombia

Heather Pauli – Colombia

Brian Eubanks – Colombia

Lauren Wheat – Colombia

While our fundraiser is no longer active, if you do wish to donate, please feel free to do so at the links above and we will make sure the money gets to the right place as hunger, as you know, doesn’t take a holiday!

Categories
South America

Raw Travel Season 7 Trailer

Welcome to Raw Travel’s record-breaking Season 7!

Raw Travel Season 7 – Travel by the Numbers Trailer
Categories
South America

Raw Travel Hits Record Growth 6th Straight Year

Raw Travel visits Omo River Valley in Ethiopia for Season 7

RAW TRAVEL TV HITS ALL-TIME HIGH AUDIENCE GROWTH, YET AGAIN 

– Series Proclaims Authentic Travel is Stronger Than Political, Paranormal or Gossip – 

NEW YORK, NY: December 18th, 2019 – AIM Tell-A-Vision® Group (AIM TV) announced today that its internationally syndicated television series Raw Travel® recorded its most substantial audience full season figures to date for its just completed 6th season. With a still-growing affiliate list that includes 173 cities in 95% of U.S. TV households, the 2018-19 Season 6 of Raw Travel was the sixth straight year of both audience and distribution growth.

The producers further crowed that the soon to be completed calendar year of 2019 is on track to be Raw Travel’s best year ever with +4% year to year total audience growth over calendar year 2018. Raw Travel’s continued growth, as most shows face eroding audiences due to fragmentation, continues to surprise observers.

The recently launched Season 7 (2019-20) includes a roster of far-flung destinations including, China, Ethiopia, South Korea, Indonesia, Georgia (the country), Turkey, Ukraine, Lithuania, and more. Closer to home destinations in South America, the Caribbean, and the USA are also featured.

With outlets such as the former Travel Channel switching to “paranormal,” Raw Travel has diversified to showcase a more extensive array of travel, such as Recreational VehiclesRoad Trips, Sailing ExcursionsSolo Travel, Voluntourism, Ecotourism, and more. 

“There is such an obvious void on U.S. television of authentic travel content,” states Robert G. Rose, Executive Producer, and Host. “Cable seems to have lost its bearings, is floundering and frankly seems desperate. We believe this presents a great opportunity for Over the Air, Free Broadcast TV, assuming broadcasters answer the call,” said Rose. “As cable continues to zig, we’ll continue to zag, and as they continue to lose their audience, we’ll continue to grow ours. If they are going to leave the entire niche up to us, we’ll gladly serve it,” Rose Continued.

Also bucking current media trends, Raw Travel has continued to attract younger demographics to broadcast TV while growing traditional core demographics from lead-in programs all across the country. The fiercely independently produced show has ranked #1 or #2 in key demographics in time-slots in significant markets the past six seasons, even when up against network or large studio productions, showcasing viewers’ appetites for authentic shows with socially relevant messaging.

Besides pay-TV outlets in Europe, Asia, and Africa, several major commercial airlines and cruise ships have begun licensing the series, spreading the Raw Travel movement of socially conscious, authentic adventure travel to viewers in all corners of the globe.

A short trailer showcasing Raw Travel’s Six Season growth spurt seasons can be found at www.RawTravelTrailer.com while www.RawTravel.tv and www.RawTravel.tv/wheretowatch offers more info, listings of U.S. cities, affiliates, and time slots.

# # #

ABOUT RAW TRAVEL TV

Raw Travel is an adventure travel & lifestyle series showcasing socially and environmentally aware, independent travel. The series weaves together themes of eco-tourism and voluntourism (giving back) with underground music and authentic culture in a unique way. Each weekend the show is seen in over 173 U.S. cities on major broadcast affiliates as well as in several international territories (Asia, Africa, Europe, etc.). It can also be found on several major airlines and soon in Over the Top (OTT Digital) platforms as well.  AIM Tell-A-Vision Group produces and distributes the show domestically. Visit www.RawTravel.tv for more information.

ABOUT AIM TELL-A-VISION GROUP

AIM Tell-A-Vision (AIM TV) Group is an independent content and distribution company founded by media veteran and entrepreneur Robert G. Rose. Since 2000, AIM TV has been producing and distributing positive, compelling content that reflects a mission of presenting “Media That Matters.” Visit www.AIMTVGroup.com for more information.

Categories
Peru South America

Lovable Lima Premieres in the U.S.A.

“RAW TRAVEL – LOVABLE LIMA” PREMIERES  IN THE U.S.
– Nation’s Most Watched Authentic Travel Show Shines a Spotlight on Peru’s Surprising Capital City –
 
NEW YORK, NY: May 17th, 2017 – AIM Tell-A-Vision® Group (AIM TV) announced today that its syndicated television series Raw Travel® will premiere “Lovable Lima” this weekend, May 20-21, 2017.
 
To produce “Lovable Lima”, the producers worked with a mix of locals, travel experts and expats to shine a spotlight on the hidden and not-so-hidden charms of Peru’s largest city.
 
In addition to discovering the appeal and diversity of the different neighborhoods of Central Lima, Barranco, Miraflores and Callao, “Lovable Lima” explores the unique Asian influence on the South American country’s culture with a visit to historic Chinatown.
 
With a host of gastronomical influences and a plethora of homegrown, organic produce, Lima is also arguably the foodie capital of Latin America. Raw Travel explores this aspect of Limeño culture, with a visit to local markets and hidden gem restaurants to get a taste of the city’s heralded gastronomical delights.
 
“Lovable Lima” then gets a shot of adrenaline as Lima’s scenic cliffs, overlooking the Pacific Ocean, provide the perfect backdrop to paraglide over the city in one of the most unique adventure travel experiences available to urban explorers. Raw Travel also visits the Cemetery of Nueva Esperanza, the picturesque and surreal indigenous cemetery on the outskirts of Lima, that some claim is the second largest in the world.
 
Keeping with Raw Travel’s mission of showcasing ways in which travelers can give back through voluntourism, Raw Travel visits the French based organization “Niños Del Rio” (Children of the River), which works to get abandoned and runaway children off the streets of Lima and into a loving home.
 
“Travelers too often ignore Lima and the rest of Peru in a rush to more publicized areas such as Cusco or Machu Picchu. We want to show visitors what they’ve been missing, beginning with Lima, one of the most unique cities in all of South America” states Robert G. Rose, Executive Producer and Host of Raw Travel.
 
“Peru is a large, diverse and magnificent country. Stampeding to the same sites in a quest to check things off a bucket list is neither authentic nor responsible. We want to encourage visitors to diversify and explore Peru in a more sustainable and potentially more fulfilling manner” Rose continues.
 
The “Lovable Lima” Episode will be followed by a road trip down Peru’s southern coast which will kick off Season 5 of Raw Travel in late September and early October.
 
Visit www.RawTravel.tv for more info, www.RawTravel.tv/wheretowatch for local listings in 160 cities and http://rawtravel.tv/video/raw-travel-416-lovable-lima-trailer/ to for the “Lovable Lima” video trailer.
 
# # #
 

ABOUT RAW TRAVEL
Raw Travel is an authentic, adventure travel and lifestyle television series currently in its 4th season and airs in over 160 U.S. Cities (93% of the U.S.). It is broadcast in syndication on local affiliates (Fox, CBS, ABC, NBC, CW, My, etc.) as well as on a variety of international outlets such as National Geographic, Amazon, Fox, etc. in Asia, Europe, Africa and more as well as featured video entertainment on several airlines. Raw Travel showcases the rapidly growing wave of socially and environmentally aware independent travel. The series weaves together themes of ecotourism, voluntourism (giving back) with underground music and authentic culture in a way unique to U.S. television. More information can be found at www.RawTravel.tv and viewers can visit www.RawTravel.tv/wheretowatch for a complete listing of cities, affiliates and time slots in the U.S.
ABOUT AIM TELL-A-VISION GROUP
AIM Tell-A-Vision Group (AIM TV) is an independent content, production and distribution company founded in 2000 by media executive and entrepreneur Robert G. Rose. AIM TV aspires to produce and distribute positive, compelling content that reflects its mission of presenting Media That Matters. Visit www.AIMTVGroup.com for more information.
 
SPECIAL THANKS
The producers want to thank the local travel partners featured in “Lovable Lima” including “Vamos Expeditions”, “Eureka Travel”, “‘Viento-Sure Parapente” and “Aracari Travel” for their help.
Categories
Peru South America

Saving the Street Children of Lima, Peru

 

Lima Peru is one of my favorite international cities. Yes, it’s large and congested, but the atmosphere is relaxed, people are friendly, the food is amazing and there is loads of culture around every corner.

But of course, like most of Latin America, there is also crippling poverty. To me at least, poverty is especially heartbreaking when it impacts children.

However, in all my travels, even in brutally poor areas,  I’ve found that the youngest children do seem outwardly happy, even in what we in the developed world consider mind-numbing poverty.

They are born incredibly resilient and their needs are pretty simple. Something as simple as a bag on a string or a discarded roller blade, can serve as a distraction.

Rimac River Where Many Street Children Live

But as they get older, the temptations in poor areas are intense as the reality of their situation begins to dawn.

There are estimated 120 million children living on the streets around the world with almost half estimated to be living in South America.

Young boys (typically ages 5-17) in particular are drawn to gangs, violence and drugs. Many, for whatever reason, either run away or are abandoned by their parents and become street children, forced to try to get along with their peers on the harsh streets of Lima Peru. They are young, vulnerable to abuse and scared.

Many of Lima’s street children live along the Rimac River. In 1999 a young French student traveler got to know some of these children and decided to do something about their situation. He created the Ninos Del Rio (Children of the River) organization  in 2000.

Today, years later this Paris & Lima based non-profit association continues to works with street children, establishing trust, providing food, shelter and mental counseling and when the time is right, promoting their return to their own home or  reintegration into another home.

They also work with the children currently on the streets in the district of San Juan de Miraflores, and help provide these kids an afternoon or so of diversion, where the kids can be kids.

We were able to stop by and meet some of the kids at the shelter, local staff and (mostly) French volunteers during our final day filming in Lima. I’m used to seeing young children in various situations in my travels, but I was surprised at moved I was by meeting these adolescent, teen boys.

Despite their harsh situation and past, I could literally feel their need for love. It was a similar feeling I’d had when visiting the really young Restavek (Child Slaves) at Freedom House in Haiti.

Kids need food, shelter, medical care, structure, discipline…. yes, but mostly they need love. Without it, their future is bleak. With it, their lives can completely change to a future capable of anything.

Ninos del Rio is a non-profit so they rely on donations and volunteers.

If you’d like to volunteer or donate please visit HERE. (Their web site is in Spanish  but Google Translate can translate to English for you).

I’ve seen first hand the good work the folks at Ninos Del Rio are doing. I can tell you that I don’t think you’ll regret helping.

I know I don’t regret visiting, and I hope I can come back soon and spend more time with these brave kids and the big hearted staff and volunteers.

Look for our “Give Back” segment on Ninos Del Rio coming up in our Lovable Lima episode set to premiere in the USA in May 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories
Peru South America

School Supplies in Pisco, Peru – DELIVERED

A little update from our DIY Voluntourism segment in Peru.

For those of you who so generously donated to our fundraiser for school supplies for the elementary school 1.5 hours outside of Pisco, Peru, yesterday was a big day when the supplies were delivered.

Most of the kids were off on summer vacation, but some came in anyway along with some very dedicated teachers to get their gifts. Each and every student will begin school next month with pens, pencils, paper and other basic school supplies thanks to you.

This special “Give Back” segment will be part of Raw Travel – “Peru’s Southern Coast” episode which is going to kick off our 5th Season (Yep, can’t believe it either) 9/30/17.

In the meantime, enjoy the photos and if you weren’t able to donate, don’t worry, your support and encouragement helps us keep doing what we’re doing, so feel good about yourself, you deserve it!

And besides, you’ll get another chance to make a difference, I promise.

Big Mil Gracias to Sascha Rossaint who took these photos and to his wife and her friends, who coordinated this effort. Giving Back is not as easy as it sounds sometimes, but I think the smiles on these faces are worth it don’t you?

Visit HERE for more photos and how you can help these kids.

Categories
South America

Cuba Undercover Outdelivers Bourdain’s Cuba Episode on CNN

Sometimes it’s fun being the indie, scrappy DIY producer. It allows us the ability to do things that “larger” production companies and networks just can’t do, like posing as regular tourists in Cuba in order to document a more authentic story and travel experience.

Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown” show on CNN is a show I respect. It makes A LOT more money than Raw Travel. In fact, I doubt there is even a worthwhile comparison. I won’t get into all the reasons but suffice it to say that marketers have gotten overwhelmed  with the plethora of media choices available these days and despite the lack of good, travel programming in the USA, it’s hard to compete with outlets like the NFL and Cable News Channels during an election year.

Yet Raw Travel’s audience is consistently larger than Mr. Bourdain’s on CNN which is quiet remarkable when you consider that CNN is a very well known national brand with huge marketing resources and that “Parts Unknown” airs in primetime.

This is not a business blog, so I won’t get too far into the weeds on this one but I will just say I’m proud of what Raw Travel – Cuba Undercover was able to accomplish and from the looks of the audience tune in and reaction our work paid off.

We way over delivered an established celebrity on an established show (Parts Unknown) in primetime (Sunday @ 8PM) on a major news channel (CNN).

His Cuba episode aired to much ballyhoo just when the travel thaw was developing between Cuba & the USA and ours aired a year later during an election cycle (November 2016) when folks were more interested in Hillary vs. Trump than seemingly anything else on the planet.

Do the right thing and the money follows? We’ll see about that.

But at least we know we’re doing the right thing, and that my friends is worth way more than any money any marketer can throw at us.

Thank you for helping us to become the #1 most watched travel show in the United States.

SUMMARY: 

Anthony Bourdain in Cuba Vs. Raw Travel in Cuba                                    In the Fall of 2015, CNN aired Anthony Bourdain in Cuba to kick off Season-3 of “Parts Unknown”

In the Fall of 2016, “Raw Travel” kicked of its Nov’16 sweep with “Cuba Undercover”

Raw Travel out-delivered “Parts Unknown” by more than +50% in all key demos…

“Parts Unknown – Cuba” CNN Sun/9-10P (9/27/15) – FALL 2015  HH 496K                                                                                                                        A18-34 45K                                                                                                                    A18-49 197K                                                                                                                     A25-54 256K

 “Raw Travel – Cuba Undercover” (Wknd of 10/29-10/30/16)        HH 725K (+46%)                                                                                                        A18-34 117K (+160%)                                                                                            A18-49 331K (+68%)                                                                                              A25-54 391K (+55%) 

 

 

 

 

Categories
Press South America

OFF THE FENCE TAKES RAW TRAVEL GLOBAL

IMG_1194

  AIM Tell-A-Vision® Group Signs Distribution Agreement for Hit US Series

 New York, NY – March 17, 2014 – AIM Tell-A-Vision® Group (AIM TV) announced today that Raw Travel® the U.S.-syndicated adventure travel & lifestyle series, will be represented internationally by Off The Fence Distribution.

Off the Fence will be responsible for licensing Raw Travel (18 x 30’) to media outlets outside of the United States and will represent the show at global television markets, including at MIPTV in April.

Raw Travel is a weekly 30 minute adventure travel & lifestyle series that incorporates two of the fastest growing segments of travel: eco-tourism & voluntourism. The fast paced show focuses on authentic experiences to often off-the-beaten-path destinations as well as other more mainstream destinations. Season 1 focused on Latin America & the Caribbean with Season 2 plans for travel to Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia as well as parts of North America.

Raw Travel has been on an explosive growth track since launching in 70% of the U.S. via broadcast syndication last October. The show has been adding more cities to its coverage while growing and winning key demographics in major domestic US markets such as San Francisco, Chicago, Dallas, Portland and Orlando.

“U.S. passport possession has exploded as international travel has become more accessible than ever. Raw Travel’s ability to bring young demos back to broadcast TV surprised even me,” stated Robert G. Rose, Executive Producer. “Travel programming is extremely popular internationally. As we fill the void in the U.S., having a respected partner like Off the Fence gives Raw Travel an international footprint that’s key to building a global brand” Rose continues.

Georgina Eye, Head of Acquisitions, Off the Fence, added: “Travel and Adventure is a genre that continues to do well for us, and Raw Travel offers a really fresh and exciting take on it. The series gets under the skin of the countries and cities featured, and really taps into the current travelling zeitgeist of treading the less well-worn trail and seeking new experiences. It is a series that has really taken off in the US, and has attracted a younger demographic of viewers, and we know that it will have great appeal to buyers globally.”

Visit www.RawTravel.tv for more information. 

                                                                      # # #

About Off the Fence – http://www.offthefence.com

Off the Fence is the leading global non-fiction content company of global scale and reach, producing and distributing exceptional programming.

Our independent spirit and personal approach enables us the flexibility and dynamism to deliver the best for our partners. We bring a bespoke and commercially-savvy approach to our global business and have a deep understanding of local markets.

Off the Fence Distribution acquires, sells and deliverspremier non-fiction programming, representing independent producers and key broadcaster partners. Our catalogue now stands at over 6000 hours of diverse content across Lifestyle, People, Places & Culture, Wildlife, Travel & Adventure, Science & Technology and History genres.  We pride ourselves on our long-term partnerships and have exclusive distribution arrangements with Smithsonian Channel, WEtv, Fox International Channels, and Nuvo TV. 

Off the Fence Productions makes award-winning programming and films that give a fresh perspective on human stories, and celebrate and explore the natural world around us. We have created over 300 of content for broadcasters including MTV, BBC, Channel 4, MSNBC, PBS, National Geographic Channel, Discovery and The Weather Channel. The creative team have been recognised by more than 80 awards, including Royal Television Society, Emmy, Golden Panda and Grand Teton.

We are proud to be celebrating our 20th anniversary in 2014, having grown from our roots in Amsterdam to being a global operation with presence in the UK (London, Bristol), USA (Los Angeles, New York), South Africa (Cape Town) and Germany (Mainz).

Off the Fence is a Realscreen 100 company, and Off the Fence Productions ranked at 18 in the Top 30 True Indies in the 2013 Broadcast Indie Survey and at 14 in the True Indies of Televisual’s 2013 Production 100 Survey.

About AIM Tell-A-Vision Group

AIM TV is an independent content production and distribution company founded by media executive and entrepreneur Robert G. Rose. AIM TV aspires to produce and distribute positive, compelling content that reflects their mission of presenting Media That Matters.

Visit www.AIMTVGroup.com and www.RawTravel.tv for more information.

 

 

Categories
Peru South America

Surprisingly Lovable Lima

Lima, Peru – After living abroad in Latin America off and on for almost a year, I’ve come to expect the unexpected, both good and bad. I was not prepared, however, to fall in love with Lima, especially in the middle of their cold, damp and grey winter when the sun rarely if ever makes an appearance.

In fact, my eyes are super sensitive to sunlight so when out doors I almost always wear my sunglasses but in two weeks while in Lima, I never once wore them .

The cold, grey Lima beach in winter

Lima, Peru is a huge city and if you are visiting Peru, chances are you are at least stopping through this city of 8 million souls. Most travelers will spend 1 or maybe 2 nights here.

If you’ve done the Machu Picchu thing, you already know that while it’s stunning it’s also a little like visiting Disneyworld, albeit more beautiful, natural and spiritual. When I was there in 2007, I couldn’t escape the feeling I was trampling on something sacred.

At the time there were almost 1 million visitors per year and geologists, archeologists and even the U.N. were calling for limiting the number of visitors for fear of doing irreparable damage. Since then, I’ve heard that some steps have been taken to limit the number of visitors to Machu Picchu.

Luckily for Peru, there is so much more to this incredible country than Cusco and Machu Picchu and that includes the capital city of Lima.

The Modern Streets of Miraflores

This was my first time to spend a significant amount of time in Lima, so I wanted to live as much like a local as possible. After staying a few days in a hotel, I secured a small apartment  in the somewhat upscale and modern neighborhood of Miraflores.

Miraflores is where many tourists end up and I heard English being spoken almost as much as Spanish. Normally in such circumstances, I’d flee another direction, but after so many months of basic, survival conversations in Spanish (ordering food, securing a room, etc.) I was ready for just a touch of English and yes, even some Gringo culture.

Shopping in Parque Kennedy - Miraflores

Miraflores and nearby neighborhoods like San Isidro  are so modern, clean and full of high rises, it’s easy to forget you’re in a third world country.

In Miraflores life seems to revolve around Parque Kennedy, a beautiful park dedicated to the slain U.S. President. The park is surrounded by restaurants, hotels and hostels with tourists seamlessly mixing in with the locals.

Local kids playing in Parque Kennedy

Just off Parque Kennedy is Calle Pizza (Pizza Street) which is named after the inordinate amount of pizza restaurants. It could be renamed to Calle Tout, as a lone traveler this was really the only place I felt pressured and slightly harassed to buy stuff (legal or otherwise). Overall, I’ve seen much worse in my travels abroad and most travelers can freely roam around Miraflores without too much unwanted attention.

Outside the Inca Market in Miraflores

If you want souvenirs in a hassle free environment, at night vendors come from all over to the center of the park to ply their wares. Or try the massive Inca Market, just a few blocks away.

I think the thing I welcomed most about being in Lima was the wide variety of restaurants. I probably appreciated it more after spending so much time in Medellin, Colombia, where the local cuisine is awesome but can be a little redundant after a few weeks.

Manolo's in Miraflores

Of course I sampled the ceviche and sushi, which I had been craving for months, but I also tried some pretty good Middle Eastern food, vegetarian cuisine and of course street food, which in my case was a pavo (turkey) sandwich that was cheap and out of this world good (and cheap).

I also tried a longstanding, favorite restaurant for locals and travelers alike called Manolo’s, which is pretty legendary for their over sized deli sandwiches and churros, a common South American pastry that you can get filled with chocolate, dulce (caramel) and other flavors.

Churros @ Manolo's

In addition to the wide variety of food and accommodations, Lima has a decent amount of sites and cultural activities that could keep a traveler busy for a solid week or more.

Mural at El Averno Cultural Center

In El Central, the downtown area of Lima, there is the beautiful and picturesque area of San Martin that is also a good spot to sample a bit more authentic Lima nightlife. I was able to check out the area with some local residents who took me down a couple of side streets to see the El Averno Cultural Center, an important and very colorful cultural center well known in the Lima underground scene.

Plaza San Martin in Downtown Lima

Like most downtown areas in major cities, you want to be a little careful with your belongings and follow precautions like taking taxis and trying not to wander the streets alone at night.

Also near San Martin is the famous Magic Circuit of the Water in the Parque de la Reserva, which is reportedly one of the biggest outdoor water/light shows in the world. I’m disappointed to say that as close as I was, due to time constraints, I was unable to get by there and take this in, but I hear it is the thing to do.

The Huaca Pucclana Ruins in Lima

And if you are in the mood for ruins and don’t feel like paying the exorbitant fees to assist in the trampling of Cusco and Machu Picchu, then check out the  Huaca Pucclana ruins located right in the middle of the city on the outskirts of Miraflores.

The Huaca Pucclana ruins were settled sometime around 500 AD by the Lima Indians as a temple to worship the sea. The ruins are still being excavated and archeologists are still discovering fascinating details of what life was like for the Lima Indians every year.

I’ve seen a lot of ruins over the years (including the aforementioned Machu Picchu) and let me tell you I found Huaca Pucclana to be fascinating. Tours are provided in Spanish and English and last for about 45 minutes. Admission is only 10 soles (about $3.50 U.S.) and in my opinion that was money well spent.

In addition to ruins, they also raise animals that would have been typical during the time of the Lima Indians. These include llamas, alpacas, cuy (guinea pigs) as well as a hairless Peruvian dog that the Lima Indians bred and while nothing beautiful to look at, petting him was highly addictive.

"Shout" the hairless dog

His body temperature was so warm (evidently to compensate for lack of hair) and his hide felt a little like maybe a really warm elephant might feel. He enjoys being petted so much that he barks loudly when people stop, so the guy is a little spoiled and perhaps explains what I understood his name to be “Shout”.

According to our tour guide, this breed of dog was almost extinct just a few years ago, so the Peruvian government has taken steps to save the dogs, including making them the official dog of Peru. On the day I was at the ruins, there were folkloric dancers as well.

Now if you’re an adrenaline enthusiast, then just head to the Malecon overlooking the beach area of Miraflores. There are professional Parasailers that jump off the cliffs and travelers can either watch (like me) or for around a $50 U.S. fee, take a dive with the pros. Finding the parasailers is easy, just head to the hard to miss Parque del Amor (Park of Love) statues and look up or out to sea. Chances are you’ll see one flying by.

Parque Del Amor (Park of Love)

As I said, in Lima in winter, the sun does not shine much. In fact, it can be a bit gloomy and depressing with the heavy clouds and fog on a daily basis. But maybe because I found Lima to be such an international city with restaurants, nightlife and friendly but not overbearing locals I was really glad to be there.

After so much time in Latin America, I found Lima to be a good transitional city for me to  ease the culture shock of returning back in the U.S. Overall, it’s a good city for any city slicker traveler who’d like to experience authentic culture without missing some creature comforts.

So next time you’re in Peru, be sure and allocate a couple extra days to take in the sights, sounds and tastes of Lima and if you happen to visit outside of winter bring your sunglasses. I hear you’ll need them!