If you think of Peru chances are the first thing that springs to mind is Machu Picchu and the Inca trek. Yes, Machu Picchu is an incredible and awe-inspiring experience, but when a country with as much to offer as Peru only seems to be celebrated for one attraction, it’s a massive shame.
I was guilty of this a bit myself before I visited Peru earlier this year on my South America adventures. I did know there was more to Peru than Machu Picchu, the Nazca lines for example, but I didn’t quite appreciate just how much more.
So what does Peru have to offer?
Peruvian cuisine is fast becoming the next big thing. We’ve had Japanese sushi and Mexican well, er… Mexican, now its’s time for Peru to shine. Bring on the causa, Lomo Saltado, Ceviche and, for dessert, the delicious taste of Picarones.
Gastón, a Peruvian chef, is arguably Peru’s biggest celebrity. Children aspire to be him and adults just want to be him. Peruvians love what he’s done to take Peruvian cuisine Worldwide. The year 2014 was even named the ‘year of Peruvian cuisine’ by the Culinary Institute of America.
One of the best ways to enjoy Peruvian cuisine is to take part in a cooking class, this way you can learn how to cook up delicious recipes when you return home. I took part in a fantastic class at Sky Kitchen in Lima and would wholeheartedly recommend it.
One thing’s for sure, you should arrive hungry, especially when you visit Lima!
Authentic Amazon Adventures
Forget Brazil, not only are there may doorways into the Amazon from Peru, but it’s a lot cheaper too. Choose Puerto Maldonado for Manu and Tambopata National Parks if you’re in the South. If you’re in the North visit Iquitos: the largest city in the World that is inaccessible by road. You could fly to Iquitos from Lima, but why do that when you could have a real adventure and spend your days swinging from hammocks on board a riverboat? I highly recommend it! The Peruvian Amazon has unbeatable wild life – don’t overlook it!
If adrenaline is what you’re after it’s not hard to find it in Peru. Complete a seven-section, 2500m long zip line; one of South America’s highest, at Cola de Mono in Santa Teresa; take part in the exhilarating sand boarding and dune buggy riding in Huacachina; para-glide over Lima; piranha fish in the Amazon for the most exciting fishing trip you’ll ever have; canopy climb through the Tambopata jungle and check on the birds’ nests; master the white water on a white water rafting tour in the Sacred Valley; or, if mountain biking is your thing you won’t be short of options in a country that’s home to the Andes.
Peru is home to some stunning coastline which deserves to receive more attention. Go South for wide empty beaches frequented by Lima’s elite during the summer, or head north to Mancora and nearby Pocitas where you can surf all day and party all night. If that’snot your style then do as I did and find a comfy sun lounger, milkshakes on tap and a good book to keep you entertained.
Rich Cultural History
Peru has a vast history. Ancient sites of interest are still being uncovered, some are rumoured to be even more spectacular and important than the ruins at Machu Picchu! The Incas weren’t the first to inhabit Peru, with civilisations dating back many more years. Museo Larco in Lima is an supposedly a great place to start if you want to learn more. Just don’t get the wrong bus like we did… There’s also the unique floating islands of Uros for you to explore!
Of course there’s even more on offer! What would you recommend in Peru?