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Peru For Foodies

If you are a true foodie, you will have indeed heard that Peruvian food is popular the world over. Their food is constantly in the headlines showcasing mouth-watering dishes both in Peru and abroad.

Just recently (April 2017), Chef Virgilio Martinez won the Chef’s Choice Award in Melbourne, Australia. And rewind to December of 2016 when the World Travel Awards (WTA) labeled Peru as the World’s Leading Culinary Destination for the fifth year running. Not a year goes by where Peru doesn’t fail to get a nod for its gastronomic delights. These honors and awards are advantageous for the country and tourism in general.

When planning your trip, why not take the time to sample some of the leading dishes in the area? There is so much to choose from and, as the world is beginning to learn, Peruvian food is absolutely delicious.

Peruvian food is defined by the varied landscapes of the country. The coastal areas provide access to seafood such as fish, shrimp, scallops and squid, while the mountainous regions and lakes are based around quinoa, potatoes, cuy (guinea pig), trout and alpaca. And of course there are all the wonderful influences from other countries creating an exciting cultural and culinary blend. Chifa is the perfect example. It is Peru’s version of Chinese food and definitely worth trying at least once.

Here are some of the more traditional dishes you can expect to find in Peru.

Ceviche: A Peruvian delicacy consisting of raw fish marinated in lime juice.

Chupe de Camarones: A thick, tasty chowder made with shrimp.

Lomo Saltado: A stir fry combining beef, tomatoes, French fries, and onions served with rice.

Adobo de Chanco: A marinated pork stew with garlic, peppers, aji panca and chicha de jora.

Cuy Chactado: Deep fried guinea pig.

Rocoto Relleno: These stuffed peppers are a specialty of Arequipa.

Chicharrones: A dish made with fried pork rinds or pork belly.

Salsa Ocopa: A delicious creamy sauce made from huacatay (Peruvian mint), chili and garlic, often served over eggs or potatoes.

Picarones: Similar to a fried donut, picarones are made from squash and sweet potato served with sweet cane syrup.

Aji de Gallina: A sauce made with peppers and walnuts served over rice.

Quinoa Atamalada: A stew made with quinoa, chili peppers and cheese.

Alfajores: Soft butter cookies filled with caramel.

While visiting Peru, you must savour at least a few of these dishes to understand why their food is so popular the world over. And don’t forget to wash it down with one of Peru’s national drinks for example the chicha morada or Pisco Sour.

Uyuni, Bolivia – Quite Literally The Middle of Nowhere

The small town of Uyuni is a speck on the map of south-western Bolivia. With a population of just over 10,000 people, there is seemingly no reason to visit. However, this little town amazingly receives over 60,000 visitors a year from all over the world. Why? One reason, only – it is located in the world’s largest salt flats.

The Uyuni salt flats are a sight to behold. Formed by a number of prehistoric lakes, the salt flats are a unique sightseeing option for your Bolivian travels due to the extraordinary flatness of the region. The landscape of the salt flats is unlike anything else and will give you the opportunity to come up with some extremely creative photoshoots. If you cannot believe it, just Google images of the Uyuni salt flats to see what we mean!

The salt flats are also home to a number of breeds of pink flamingos as well as many other birds and wildlife including the Andean goose and the Andean fox. Large cacti scatter the surrounding areas of the flats.

Many of the tours of the area also include Laguna Verde (the green lake) in the National Reserve Eduardo Avaroa as well as Laguna Colorada (the red lake) situated at the foot of Licancabur volcano, and the hot springs.

If you have time to spare, it is also worth checking the aptly named train cemetery in Uyuni. It is located about 3 km outside town along the old train tracks. When the mining companies collapsed in the 1940s, the transport system dried up, and many trains were left abandoned. They now sit there left to rust in the elements and are a popular tourist attraction for those passing through the region.

Other sights of Uyuni include an old locomotive on Avenida Ferroviario as well as many other railway relics scattered all over town. Uyuni also houses a small archeological and anthropology museum featuring a handful of skulls and mummies.

If you intend visiting the region, remember to pack your winter woollies. The icy winds can surprise even the most prepared visitors.

The best places to visit in Lima

Lima is more than just a stopover on your way to other destinations in Peru. This cosmopolitan capital offers plenty of history and culture to keep you enthralled for at least a few days. And let’s not forget the fact that Peruvian food is award-winning on so many levels. Here are our top tips on what to see when you visit the exciting South American city of Lima. Don’t forget to plan for a few of these when you book your next trip to Peru.

Historic Center

The historic center of Lima will definitely be a highlight of your trip. It is a UNESCO World Heritage listed area with the central post office building, the Cathedral of Lima and the Presidential Palace. Take your time to admire the intricate wooden balconies, stop by Plaza Bolivar and admire San Pedro’s gold altars. Don’t forget to spend some time relaxing in Lima’s central plaza, the Plaza de Armas.

Larco Museum

The Larco Museum is full to the brim with pre-Columbian art which is stored in an 18th Century building built over a 7th Century pyramid. There is so much history in the building and the amazing artifacts it holds. You might be surprised to learn that the most talked about aspect of the museum is a collection of erotic pottery. (Yes, there really is such a thing!)

Saint Francis Monastery

The Saint Francis Monastery and Church, with its catacombs, make an enjoyable stop on your tour of Lima. Over 30,000 people have been buried in the catacombs, and today you can wander through the crypts filled with skulls and other human remains. The building also represents a wonderful example of colonial architecture in Lima and houses over 25,000 books, detailed wooden carvings and a large collection of colonial paintings.

Museo de Oro

Lima’s Museo de Oro is a great way to spend a morning or an afternoon. It showcases many fabrics and decorations of the pre-Colombian era, some of which are over 2,000 years old. It also holds an interesting collection of antique and modern weapons and firearms from various continents around the world.

Parque de la Reserva

If you happen to be in the city in the evening, it is worth stopping by the Magic Water Circuit at Lima’s Parque de la Reserva. The 13 fountains are a great modern addition to many of the traditional things to do in this busy city and even made it into the Guinness Book of World Records. Do try to time your visit to coincide with the Fantasia Fountain water show which occurs later in the evening.


Making a change from the sophisticated center of Lima, Barranco offers a charming respite with its bohemian atmosphere. Walk the Bridge of Sighs overlooking the ocean and enjoy a coffee in one of the trendy cafes and eateries. The Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC) and the Museo Pedro de Osma are both located there and come highly recommended.

Six Amazing Reasons to Visit the Peruvian Amazon

The Peruvian Amazon is one of the most magnificent and unique places on Earth. Where else can you see the macaws in all their glory or spy pink dolphins in their natural habitat?

Peru offers three wonderful springboard points to visit the Jungle – Puerto Maldonado and the nearby Tambopata National Park, Iquitos, the well-known port city, and the protected reserve of the Manu Biosphere Reserve. June through to October are the most popular months as it is the dry season in the jungle. Outside of these months be prepared for lots of rain and even more humidity. Whichever destination you visit, there is no denying that you will have some amazing memories.

Unique wildlife

The wildlife that inhabits the Amazon Jungle in Peru is one of the reasons why many people visit the area. Depending on your destination, you might be able to see capybaras, caimans, turtles, puffins, poison dart frogs, fresh water dolphins, otters, monkeys, macaws, coati, tapir, sloth, toucans, parrots, capuchins, jaguars and more. And don’t forget the colorful Amazonian butterflies and the unusual insects which call this place home. Whether you venture out during the day, or in the evening, there are so many incredible experiences waiting to happen.

Tropical flora

You may be surprised to learn that the Amazon Jungle features a large number of plants with amazing medicinal properties as well as plants that are only found in this part of the world. Did you know over 3,000 species of orchids can be found in the wilds of Peru alone? Jungle treks are great opportunities to explore the flora and learn about the plants and plant remedies such as ayahuasca.

Boat rides

The Amazon River is a huge draw card to the area. As soon as you see it, you can feel its amazing power and understand why explorers have been drawn to the waters for thousands of years. Imagine taking a boat ride up the Amazon River at night on the lookout for caimans? You can even fish in the lagoons or ride on the lakes spotting the myriad of animals in and around the water. Visiting the Amazon Jungle in Peru, these and other amazing adventures, are indeed possible.

Nature walks

Imagine hiking the pristine trails in the Amazon jungle? There are so many fascinating things to see and do; and, if you are lucky, you may even spot a monkey or two. There is just no better way to connect with nature than a relaxing ethno-botanical walk. This bio-diverse area is a treat for all the senses, and don’t forget those fabulous sunsets which are not to be missed.

Eco-friendly accommodation

The jungle offers a fantastic array of lodgings, many of which cater for eco-friendly tourists. They are often located directly in the jungle habitat, allowing the local fauna to venture close to your door. Jungle huts with mosquito nets and traditional set dinner menus are the norm for those visiting the Selva. And all accommodation offers nearby access to expeditions, hikes and boat rides as part of the remarkable jungle experience.

Fun experiences

Do you like action and adventure? How would you like to zoom through the jungle on a zip line or kayak down the river? Would you like to visit a Manatee Rescue Center or learn about the traditional culture of the indigenous population of the jungle area? Perhaps you would like to try your hand at fishing in a lagoon or undertake a canopy walk? These are all experiences that you will not forget in a hurry.

Seemingly endless and naturally beautiful, a trip to the Amazon Jungle or a ride down the Amazon River is unlike anything else. Tours can be arranged to suit your timetable and your budget. Contact Perú InsideOut for more information.

How to Plan the Perfect Trip to Peru

Peru is a once-in-a-lifetime destination, so you want to make sure it is as magical and as spectacular as you imagine. As experts in creating customized tours to Peru and other South American countries, our team at Perú InsideOut would like to share their expertise with you. Here are our tips on how to plan the perfect trip to Peru.

  1. Do your research

Before you book your trip, do some research to learn a little bit about the culture, the history and the amazing selection of destinations available to visitors, Peru is a vast country and offers exciting trips to the desert, the jungle, mountainous villages and busy cosmopolitan cities. You can visit the floating islands, or hike the Inca trails and canyons. Once you know what there is, you can start to plan your trip.

  1. Consider your Peruvian bucket list

After you have done your research, you can plan your bucket list – the ultimate must-see destinations you don’t want to miss. Do you intend to go to Machu Picchu? Do you want to visit the Amazon jungle? Is Lake Titicaca on your wish list? Did you want to fly over the Nazca Lines? Once you have decided on what you don’t want to miss, it is easier to come up with your itinerary.

  1. Take into account time restrictions

If you are planning to hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and visit Lima, Cusco and Arequipa, with side trips to Nazca, Lake Titicaca and the Ballestas Islands, you will obviously need more than a few days. Some places require a couple of days to visit, whilst others, such as Cusco, need a bit of acclimatization due to the altitude. Your destinations will act as a base guide to the length of your tour.

  1. Think about the best time of year to travel

The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is closed in February although the ruins remain open all year long. May to September is the best time to visit Peru as it is the dry season. December through to March is the wettest period with constant showers, although you can still visit during these months and create great memories.

  1. Consider your budget

Your budget will also have something to do with the planning of your trip. If you are looking at the train ride to Machu Picchu, a boat road on Lake Titicaca, a 3-day hike to Colca Canyon and a flight over Nazca Lines, then you will need to cost it out to see if you can manage the expense. Remember you will need to take into account accommodation costs, dining out expenses and enough money for souvenirs.

Once you are ready to book your travel, contact the team at Perú InsideOut, and we can work with your plan. We offer both packaged and personalized plans to Peru and will be happy to advise you on your trip.

How to plan a perfect trip

Travel is fun until something goes wrong, so it is important to ensure you have covered all the basics before you set off. Here are our 5 useful tips to help you plan the perfect trip.

  1. Decide where you want to go

The first thing is to decide where in the world you want to go. Are you dreaming of far-flung destinations like Peru or Bolivia? Or are you looking for something a little closer to home? Think about what you want to see and how much time you have for your vacation. Research your destination and start planning. Let your imagination run wild.

  1. Check your documents

Check your passport  to ensure the validity will expire after you return from holiday. If it is your intention to apply for a passport, make sure you allow enough time for processing and delivery. There are expedited services available, but these, of course, will incur extra fees. If you plan to drive abroad, you may need to consider getting an International Driving Permit. Double check whether a visa and whether vaccinations are required for your destination.

  1. Set a budget

Once you have decided where you want to go and what you want to see, its time to budget for your holiday. Are you aiming for a personalized tour or prefer a group experience? Do you want to travel solo or arrange a trip with friends? Look at the options and assess all costs involved, leaving nothing to chance. Once you have a budget, you can start making a plan.

  1. Create a rough plan of your itinerary

When you know how much you can spend on your trip, you can start to plan your itinerary in more detail. Research the cities and sites you want to visit and ensure you exploit at best the allotted time, staying within your budget. Firm up dates and timing as much as possible, allowing some time for relaxation.

  1. Start saving for your trip

It is important you have enough money, so you have no worries whilst you are away. Also make sure you have enough to let your hair down a little at least once or twice during the trip. 6. Book your flights and accommodation

Once you know you can take the necessary time off work and have enough money available, you need to book your flights and accommodation, maybe also tours. When your flights are booked, you can refine the rest of your itinerary.

  1. Notify your bank and let them know you are traveling

It is always a good idea to let your bank, and/or credit card issuer, know you will be traveling. Banks can be very quick to put a hold on cards if you are in faraway countries. To ensure your transactions are not marked as fraudulent, give them plenty of notice. There is nothing worse than being on holiday without access to money or credit card payments.

  1. Pack well in advance

Make a packing list and make sure you have all you need. Allow yourself enough time to have everything ready so you aren’t running around at the last minute.

  1. Travel insurance

You may not think travel insurance is necessary, but it is definitely worth looking into. It may cover flight delays or lost luggage. Read the fine print and make sure you understand the terms and conditions. You may need to shop around and compare policies to find one to suit you.

  1. Have fun

Once everything is pre-arranged and you are ready to go, don’t forget to relax. It is a holiday after all!

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