Peru is one of the most diverse and dramatic countries in South America, providing a real snapshot of all the delights this buzzing continent has to offer. Our Peru specialists have put together their top ten reasons to visit this stunning country…
Eat your way around Peru
Peru, undoubtedly boasts the finest cuisine in Latin America and its capital city Lima is one of the culinary capitals of the world. The countries varying terrain, numerous micro-climates and ancient history intertwine to create a host of tantalising and diverse flavours. Our Peru experts have put together their favourite dishes (and drinks) to inspire and whet your appetite for a holiday to Peru.
Peru’s coast is home to the country’s national dish, Ceviche. This is the preparation of raw fish marinated in citrus juice, onions and chillies and traditionally served with corn or potatoes. Over recent years, the dish has become synonymous with Peru and although it can be eaten throughout the country we’d say it’s best tried in Lima.
As Peru’s national drink, we think it deserves a mention here. There is an on-going debate between Chile and Peru with both countries claiming to have invented the cocktail first, either way it is an essential try on any visit to Peru. The perfect Pisco sour is made from a mixture of lemon juice, sugar syrup, egg white and Pisco - it is so popular in Peru that the first Saturday of February is celebrated as ‘national pisco sour day’ and once you have tried it, we can guarantee that it will leave you ordering a collection of the stuff in duty free on the way home.
This is another national favourite and believed to have originated from the Antiplano region such as Cusco and its surrounds. Once eaten by Incan Royalty, this dish is traditionally served on special occasions. Cuy is what we know as guinea pig and usually barbecued and served whole- often with its head, feet and teeth and so be warned if you’re squeamish.
This dish showcases the Chinese influences in Peruvian food today. Typically found in every region of the country, this dish is best eaten on the coast. Made up of strips of beef with onions and tomatoes sautéed in soy sauce and served with chips or rice. This hearty-meal has to be one of our favourites!
Mostly eaten in the Andean Highlands, Alpaca belongs to the camelid family and has been a source of meat for centuries. Rich in taste and tasting slightly like pork, this meat tastes best when served with a French-style white wine sauce.
Papas a la Huancaina
Peru is the potato capital of the world and home to more than 4,000 varieties of potatoes. With so many potatoes to work with it’s no surprise that it is a frequent ingredient in many dishes in Peru. Our favourite has to be Papas a la Huancaina, which is a simple dish made of boiled Peruvian yellow potatoes and olives served in a spicy cheese sauce. Again found throughout the country it is more common in Lima and its surrounds.
This artisanal ice-cream is found in Arequipa and has become a popular dessert in Peru. Translating into cheese ice-cream in English, there is no cheese actually in it and the name stems from its traditional preparation, which makes the dish look more like sliced cheese than a scoop of ice cream.
This golden sweet liquid is consumed all throughout Peru and is the only national soft drink to outsell Coca-Cola. It is incredibly sweet and often described to taste like bubble-gum or cream soda, and whilst it’s probably not our favourite thing to come out of Peru it is a massive part of the national identity.
If that’s got you hungry for a holiday to Peru take a look at some of our favourite itineraries for more inspiration:
Luxury Highlights of Peru
Combining ancient history, breath-taking landscapes and living culture, this itinerary packs in the ultimate highlights of Peru, all whilst staying in some of Peru's most luxurious and unique accommodation along the way.
With only one week to spare, discover Peru's prime highlights on this express itinerary. Combining stunning landscapes with colonial charm and ancient treasures, it captures the essence of Peru and is sure to leave you wanting more.
This all-encompassing itinerary combines the best of Peru. Discover lush dramatic landscapes, ancient cultures, and an array of incredible wildlife, all whilst staying in boutique and characterful accommodation.