7 BEST Things to do in Ica Peru

7 BEST Things to do in Ica Peru

Ica, a small city located 4 hours south of Lima, is often overshadowed by its neighboring towns, namely Paracas and Huacachina. While those towns do have their own unique flair, they tend to be overrun with tourists, making the prices extremely high.

Many travelers believe there are no attractions in Ica and skip the town. However, they cannot be more wrong.

Stunning oasis, beautiful oceans, desolate deserts, those are just some of the best places to see in Ica. The town itself is also one of the best places to observe local Peruvian lives and culture, something that is hard to do if you stay on the “gringo trail”

If you have just arrived and you’re not sure what to do in Ica, don’t worry.

We have prepared a personal list of the 7 best things to do in Ica, Peru. Enjoy!

Attractions in Ica Peru Map

Located above is a tourist map of the best places to visit in Ica. Using this map, you will be able to properly plan your visit to Ica and suitably allocate your time. As you can see, there are many things to do in Ica but they are spread out apart.

Click the toggle on the upper-left corner of the map to find out more about the highlighted points of interest on our Ica map!

What To Do in Ica: 7 Top Things To Do in Ica, Peru

1. See the Mysterious Nazca Lines

Located about 2 hours away to the southeast of Ica lies one of the biggest mysteries of the universe. Figures of animals, plants, and various objects are drawn into the sand, covering an area as big as 50 sq km (19 sq mi).

Debates have been going on for centuries regarding the mystery of the Nazca Lines. When were they drawn? What purpose did they serve? Were they from extraterrestrial beings?

Archaeologists, scientists, and historians have been trying to determine the actual purpose of these lines for years. Yet to this present day, the mystery has not been solved.

How to Get to The Nazca Lines from Ica?

There are actually two ways to see the Nazca Lines. The best way, though the most expensive, is seeing it from the air in a plane. Up in the skies, you will have the best views of the different figures. Your tour guide will also explain to you how they are made and what they believed happened there.

You will find tour companies located sparsely in the city of Ica.

I recommend you to book your Nazca Lines tour in advance. Check out our recommendations: 

The other option to get to the Nazca Lines is a DIY option. If you do pick this option, you will need to take a bus from the bus station to the Nazca Lines. I recommend taking Soyuz because they are economical and clean.

Once you arrive, you can climb the observation deck which takes you 13 meters (42 ft) up. It is not the best but you will get a good idea of what these Nazca lines are about! If you are adventurous, there are several hills nearby that offer better views at the top!

2. Explore the Paracas National Reserve (By Bicycle)

My favorite thing to do in Ica is definitely visiting the Paracas National Reserve. It is a place unlike any other place I have seen in the world, a place where the turquoise ocean meets the orange, desolate desert.

The Paracas National Reserve is a protected area of 335,000 hectares. Located in the arid zone, the Paracas National Reserve rarely gets any rain. Hence, the majority of the reserve is a desert.

You can find many tours in the town of Paracas. These tours are usually the ones that drop you off at the viewpoints, give you 20 minutes, then you get on the bus, and they take you to the other viewpoints.

If you are adventurous and reasonably fit, consider renting a bicycle and riding it across the desert.

How many people can say they have ridden a bike across a desert to reach the ocean? It is an unforgettable experience in Peru that will last a lifetime.

How to Get to The Paracas National Reserve from Ica?

To get to Paracas National Reserve from Ica, you will first have to get to the town Paracas. Luckily for you, Paracas is only a little more than an hour from Ica. Many bus companies have buses that go from Ica to Paracas but I’ve found Soyuz to be the most economical company and their buses depart frequently.

Once you arrive at Paracas, you will see many different tour companies offer tours to the Paracas National Reserve as well as places to rent bicycles. Paracas is a small town so you will not have any problems finding them!

3. Visit the Isla Ballestas and See Wildlife

Ballestas Islands, otherwise known as the “Poor Man’s Galapagos”, are a group of rocky islands located 24 km (15 mi) off the coast of Paracas.

Home to many animals such as penguins, sea lions, blue-footed boobies, and many more, the Ballestas Islands are some of the best places to catch a glimpse of the various species of wildlife in South America.

A visit to the Ballestas Island will take you on a 2-hour boat journey where you will get very close to the Ballestas Islands. However, no personnel is allowed to set foot on the islands because they are protected environments. An intrusion from humans can affect such a delicate ecosystem. 

How to Get to Isla Ballestas from Ica?

All tours for Isla Ballestas leave from Paracas at either 8 AM or 10 AM. There are times where there are tours at 12 PM but that depends on the weather. You will find an ample amount of tour agencies on the main street of Paracas, the street where you will most likely be dropped off.

To get to Paracas, you would have to take a bus from any of the bus companies in Ica. I recommend Soyuz because they are economical, comfortable, and their buses depart frequently.

If you want to secure your tour beforehand, check out our recommendations below: 

4. Visit the Huacachina Oasis to Sandboard and Ride Dune Buggies (My Favorite Attractions In Ica)

Huacachina oasis is the only desert oasis in South America and definitely one of the top things to do in Peru. After backpacking in Peru for 2.5 months, I can say I liked the Huacachina Oasis more than Machu Picchu (but the Salkantay Trek was amazing).

Connected only by one tiny road with the city of Ica, Huacachina feels like you are in the middle of the desert. You are completely surrounded by beautiful sand dunes on all sides.

Some of the most popular activities in Huacachina include sandboarding and dune buggies. Tours for both can be found throughout the oasis. However, if you want a more intense sandboarding experience, I recommend you rent out just the sandboard gears and do it on your own.

You can also take the sand buggy taxis as far out as you want and be in complete isolation! It is a surreal experience that must be on any Peru itinerary.

How to Get to Huacachina Oasis from Ica?

Take any mototaxi from the city of Ica to Huacachina. Mototaxis (tuk tuks) are cheap and the ride is only 15 minutes. You can also take a proper taxi but that will be more costly. 

5. Go to El Catador For a FREE Winery Tour

The region around Ica is one of the best places for wine and pisco production. Pisco is a liquor that originated in Peru and is one of the drinks you must try when visiting Peru

For that reason, there are many amazing wineries in that area. 

My favorite one to visit was definitely El Catador. Not only do they offer a FREE tour of their winery, but they also offer you FREE tasting at the end. That is a win-win-win situation right there. 

At the end of the tour, you can purchase their exclusive types of wine with flavors you have never tasted before. Some were definitely strange but some were good. Either way, you can’t complain about free alcohol!

How to Get to El Catador from Ica?

El Catador is located 15 minutes away from Ica. Take a mototaxi from anywhere in the city and the driver should be able to take you there.

6. Explore the Canyon of the Lost (Cañon de Los Perdidos)

Discovered recently, Cañon de Los Perdidos (or Canyon of the Lost) is one of the hidden attractions in Ica. It is a place that won’t be in most of the guide books. Located around 2 hours away by car, the only way to reach this place is either through a tour agency or a rental car.

When you visit Cañon de Los Perdidos, you will feel like you are in a desert. With nothing around you for miles, a sense of isolation rushes over you. You are alone with one of the most magical places in the world.

The geological formations of the canyon will tell you stories about what happened there many years ago. You don’t want to miss this place in Ica.

How to Get to Cañon de Los Perdidos from Ica?

Cañon de Los Perdidos is located about 2 hours away from Ica. The safest way to go there is through the tour agencies located in Ica, Huacachina, or Paracas. Though it is possible to reach by yourself with your own vehicle, I wouldn’t recommend doing so because you will be in a desert with no service.

7. Visit the City of Pisco (The City Named After the Liquor Pisco)

Located a little more than an hour away from Ica, a visit to the port city of Pisco is a great day trip idea. Many people that come from Lima to Ica will often pass Pisco on the way, but not many tourists actually visit Pisco.

Why? I am not so sure. The national drink of Peru, Pisco, is named after the city Pisco. You will find many stores and bars serving up some of the finest local Pisco sours.

Other than getting drunk, the Pisco beach is quite a nice place to relax. If you are into archaeological ruins, pay a visit to the Tambo Colorado. If you didn’t get a chance to try the seafood in Lima, the ones in Pisco are good alternatives.

How to Get to Pisco from Ica?

To get to Pisco from Ica, take any bus headed towards Pisco. My favorite company for that route is still Soyuz because they are economical and have frequent departures.

Where to Stay in Ica, Peru

Some of these recommendations might be in Huacachina because the abundance of high-quality accommodations there. To get to Huacachina from Ica, simply take a mototaxi (tuk tuk) for 15 minutes.

Best Hostel in Ica – Ica Adventures II

Located in the center of Ica, Ica Adventures II is a great budget accommodation with lots of local activity around. An amazing breakfast is included, the rooms are spacious and clean, the beds are comfortable, and it even has a bar on the roof. A great choice for budget travelers and backpackers.

Click here for more details!

Where To Stay In Ica Peru
Best Things To Do In Ica Peru

(Images Courtesy of Airbnb)

Looking for a cozy accommodation in Ica? Consider this apartment Airbnb in Ica! Located 5 minutes away from the Huacachina Oasis and Ica’s main shopping center, guests are within walking distance to the best Ica has to offer.

This 3-bedroom apartment can comfortably accommodate up to 5 guests, perfect for families traveling in Peru. Amenities such as air-conditioning, fast WiFi, smart TV, and a fully-equipped kitchen ensure that your stay is as perfect as it can be!

Click here for more information!

Best Luxury Hotel in Ica – Hotel Las Dunas

Hotel Las Dunas is like its own oasis inside Ica. 3 swimming pools, a tennis court, gym and spa facilities, and on-site bars, it has pretty much everything you need. If you have the money, I would recommend you to stay for at least one night, it is an experience you won’t forget.

Click here for more details!

How Many Days To Stay In Ica, Peru?

I recommend staying around 2 days in Ica. It all depends on what you want to do.

For example, if you only want to visit Paracas and Huacachina, you can do it in one busy day. 

If you want to visit more places in Ica such as the Nazca Lines or El Catador for a winery tour, then you will have to stay for at least 2 days.

I stayed a total of 3 days in Ica when I was backpacking Peru. 

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There you have it, the 7 best things to do in Ica, Peru. Many travelers that immediately jump into the Huacachina Oasis miss the numerous wonderful things you can do around Ica.

Don’t be one of those!

As always, if you have any questions, leave a comment or send us an e-mail!

Disclaimer: Some of the links above are affiliate links. That means if you book or make a purchase through the links, we will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you! The money will help run this site! Thank you 🙂

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The PERFECT 2 Week Peru Itinerary: The Best Of Peru

The PERFECT 2 Week Peru Itinerary: The Best Of Peru

Planning your next vacation in Peru? Do you want to spend 2 weeks in Peru? Great choice!

Peru is my favorite country by far and I am excited to share with you everything about it on our 2 week Peru itinerary. 

From the diverse and stunning landscape to the delicious and exotic Peruvian cuisines, the charm of Peru is irresistible. It was so irresistible that my intended 1-month Peru trip turned into 2.5 months!

Without further ado, let’s see the Peru highlights in our 2-week itinerary!

Where To Flying Into? Lima Or Cusco?

The first question many travelers have when planning their trip to Peru is whether they should fly into Lima or Cusco. Both cities seem like a good starting point for your 2-week Peru adventure.

In general, it really does not matter too much. In our Peru travel itinerary, you will visit both Lima and Cusco. If you fly into Lima first, you will see Cusco at the end of your trip. If you fly into Cusco first, you will save the country’s capital for last. In terms of what you see on your trip, it doesn’t make a big difference.

However, there are certain advantages of flying in Lima over Cusco. 

1. Flights to Lima are significantly cheaper than flights to Cusco. I don’t know if this is always but every time I have looked for flights to Peru, flights to Lima are always cheaper. But if you are flying out of Cusco at the end of your 2 week trip in Peru, it doesn’t make a big difference in price.

2. It is easier to acclimatize to the altitude if you start in Lima, especially if you plan on taking a bus to Cusco. Situated 3,400 meters above sea level, altitude sickness is inevitable in Cusco, especially if you fly into it from a sea-level city. If your plan is to fly from Lima to Cusco anyways, it doesn’t make a big difference.

When I spent 2.5 months backpacking in Peru, I took a bus to Cusco. The slow and steady increase in elevation helped me adjust to the altitude much easier.

Peru 2 Week Itinerary Map

Below is a personalized map for your two weeks Peru itinerary. Our itinerary will focus on the southern part of Peru, where most of the best attractions such as Machu Picchu and Rainbow Mountain are located. Northern Part of Peru does have its own charm and it is off the beaten path. If you have more time, I recommend you to include it in your Peru itinerary.

In crimson red are the places you will visit in Peru. They are numbered from 1 to 6, with number 1 as Lima and number 6 as Puno. This is the order you will follow for your Peru vacation.

If you have more than two weeks in Peru, check out the extra attractions we have indicated with the blue stars.

You will notice that there is a pin in Bolivia. That pin is the Uyuni Salt Flats. Though it is far away, there are tours from Puno (number 6) all the way to the Salt Flats in Bolivia. If you have a few extra days, consider adding it to create a Peru and Bolivia itinerary.

2 Weeks In Peru: The PERFECT 2-Week Peru Itinerary

Day 1-2: Lima (Peru’s Capital)

Welcome to Peru, my favorite country in the entire world! Are you ready to see the best places in Peru?? Luckily for you, you are in Lima, Peru’s capital. Featuring the perfect balance between Peruvian culture and a metropolitan city, Lima is a great introduction to Peru.

Lima is a place where you won’t find too many culture shocks because it is a big city that has adapted to many of the western cities. Here you will find international food, lots of English speaking locals, and a little bit of culture.

For anyone that wants an introduction to indigenous ruins before they visit the famous Machu Picchu can visit Huaca Pucllana.

Things To Do In Lima, Peru

1. Explore the Historic Center

Explore the old town of Lima and learn why the city is called “The City of Kings”. You are more than welcome to do a self-guided tour but I highly recommend a free walking tour with a local guide.

The service is free and tips are voluntary. So if you are unsatisfied with their service, you are not obligated to give them any money! However, it is a great way to learn about the history of Peru from a local expert and give something back in return!

2. Eat Delicious Peruvian Food!

Did you know that Peru is one of the top gastronomy destinations in the world? With 2 of the top 50 restaurants located in Lima, the flavors of Peruvian cuisine is absolutely orgasmic.

Part of the reason why I stayed for 2.5 months in Peru is because of the food. Luckily, there are many hikes in Peru to shed off that weight! If you like seafood, you must try ceviche, Peru’s national dish! Here are some restaurants we recommend for ceviche in Lima! Don’t forget to try Peru’s national drink, the Pisco sour, when you get the chance!

3. Walk along the Promenade in Miraflores!

The promenade in Miraflores is absolutely one of the most breath-taking places to visit in Lima. With endless views of the Pacific Ocean and romantic parks such as Love Park, the promenade is one of the best places to take your loved ones.

The promenade is situated above some dramatic cliffs, making it the perfect spot for some dope photos!

After visiting the promenade in Miraflores, either head to Barranco for some more amazing views and food or head to Kennedy Park, a park where numerous cats roam freely!

Where To Stay In Lima, Peru?

Selecting the right place to stay in Lima is imperative to have a good experience. That is because parts of Lima are still unsafe. Poverty exists in many parts of Peru and it is no exception in Lima.

The one surprising characteristic is that the historic center (centro historico) of Lima is dangerous at night. Usually, the center of a city is the safest part of a city but it is the opposite in Lima. Foreign visitors should stay near the “suburbs” of Lima, namely Miraflores and Barranco.

Miraflores and Barranco are the safest and most beautiful parts of Lima. There is no doubt that they are the best places to stay in Lima.

Here are our recommendations in Miraflores and Barranco:

Best Hostel In Lima – Pariwana Hostel Lima

Pariwana Hostel is one of the best hostels in Lima for any type of travelers. Are you traveling solo and wanting to meet other travelers? There are a bar and a ping pong table at the terrace for socializing. Are you traveling for work? You can take advantage of their business center.

The dormitory and privates rooms are both clean and spacious.

Located in the safe neighborhood of Miraflores, you will have access to nightlife and some of the best seafood restaurants in Lima.

Click here for more details!

Best Hotel In Lima – Andesmar Hotel

Where To Stay In Lima

Andesmar Hotel is one of the highest-rated hotels in Lima and it is not surprising why. Helpful staff, spacious rooms, amazing buffet breakfast, the pros of this hotel go on and on.

If you are looking for a quiet ad comfortable place to stay in Miraflores, Andesmar is the place for you. Located on a quiet street but not too far from the beach or the famous Kennedy Cat Park, there will never be a dull moment in your stay at Andesmar Hotel

Click here for more details!

Best Airbnb In Miraflores, Lima (Peru)- Ocean View Private Apartment

Best Ceviche Lima Peru Miraflores
Where To Stay In Lima For Ceviche

(Images Courtesy of Airbnb)

If you are looking for an affordable and cozy home in Miraflores, then look no further. This ocean view Airbnb in Lima is everything you will need.

Located adjacent to the Miraflores Malecon, guests are within walking distance from many of the best things to do in Lima. Before heading back to your cozy Airbnb every night, wander around the gorgeous Malecon and take in that deafening silence and peace.

Better yet, chill out on your private balcony with a glass of wine and take in beautiful Pacific Ocean views.

This 1-bedroom apartment in Lima can comfortably accommodate 2 guests, perfect for travelers in pairs or solo travelers! 

Click here for more details!

Day 3-5 (3 Days): Ica, Huacachina, Paracas

After your visit to the country’s capital, you will move south into a completely different environment: the desert region.

This area is drastically different from the dramatic cliffs of Lima. Featuring silky sand dunes that stretch beyond your eye’s reach, the landscape in this region is absolutely mesmerizing.

This region is also known for its wine, the Huacachina Oasis, and the wildlife that resides in Paracas.

To get to Ica, Huacachina, or Paracas, you have to take a bus from Lima. I recommend the company Soyuz. A clean and economical bus company, Soyuz provides amazing service in this region.

(Update: Soyuz is no longer in operation because of the challenges endured in 2020, for more info on buses to Ica, Huacachina, or Paracas, check here.

Where To Stay? Ica? Huacachina? Or Paracas?

Before you embark on your adventures, you need to pick the perfect place to stay. Ica, Huacachina, and Paracas are located close to each other but all provide a distinct experience.

Ica, the cheapest place to stay out of the three, is a local city. Here you will find low prices on accommodations, food, and culture. No wonder why it is the most popular to stay for budget backpackers.

Huacachina, otherwise known as the breath-taking oasis, is only located 15 minutes away from Ica on a tuk-tuk. The journey costs less than a few dollars but the prices in Huacachina are substantially higher. There are hardly any locals that live in Huacachina because the prices are just too high. Huacachina is also the spot to party!

Paracas is a coastal city located on the edge of the Pacific Ocean. As the home of the Paracas National Reserve and Isla Ballestas, Paracas is a must on any Peru itinerary. But is it a good place to stay? Depends. Paracas is a rather quiet town with not much to do at night. The only pro is staying in Paracas is that you get to hear the waves of the Pacific Ocean as you fall asleep!

Personally I stayed in Ica for the prices and because I love observing local life.

Whether you’ve decided to stay in Huacachina, Ica, or Paracas, here are some accommodations we recommend in the area:

Best Hostel In Ica/Paracas/Huacachina – Ica Adventures II

Located in Ica, Ica Adventures II is a hostel for budget travelers. With comfortable beds, a rooftop terrace, and an amazing breakfast, you can’t get a better deal anywhere else! No wonder why it is one of the highest rated hostels in Ica!

Click here for more details!

Best Hotel In Ica/Paracas/Huacachina – Hotel El Huacachinero

Located in Huacachina, Hotel El Huacachinero is a hotel close to the action. Featuring an outdoor swimming pool where guests can relax and admire the soft and silky dunes around them, Hotel El Huacachinero is one of the best hotels in the area. Their breakfast is the perfect way to prepare yourself for a day of exploring!

Check prices here!

Where To Stay In Ica Peru
Best Things To Do In Ica Peru

(Images Courtesy of Airbnb)

Cozy apartments can be difficult to find in Ica. But luckily, with Airbnb, there are plenty of vacation rental options.

This 3-bedroom apartment Airbnb in Ica can fit up to 5 guests, perfect for families traveling in Peru. With amenities like air-conditioning, fast WiFi, smart TV, and a fully-equipped kitchen, this Airbnb ensures your stay is as perfect as it can be.

This Ica Airbnb is located very close to Huacachina, perfect for anyone planning to spend more time there. Ica’s main shopping center is also a short walk away!

Click here for more information!

Things To Do In Ica/Huacachina/Paracas

For a complete list of things to do in the area, please check here!

1. Huacachina Oasis

If you aren’t already staying in Huacachina, a visit is something you must do. A stunning oasis in the middle of Ica, come here and ride dune buggies or try sandboarding!

I highly recommend coming to Huacachina during sunset. Hike up the dunes and watch the sun set behind the magical dunes as the skies burn with vibrant colors. They say people hallucinate in the dessert and see things they aren’t supposed to. Well, the view here is something I can’t even believe with my eyes. 

2. Ballesta Islands (Isla Ballestas) and Paracas National Reserve

Both located in Paracas, you can easily knock two birds with one stone in a single visit. Isla Ballestas are a group of islands closely located off the coast of Paracas. Here is the home of many South American species such as penguins, sea lions, and blue-footed boobies. It is definitely one of Peru highlights!

Paracas National Reserve is a huge protected area spanning 335,000 hectares. It is a magical place where the turquoise water of the Pacific Ocean meets the desert. If you are an avid photographer, the Paracas National Reserve will be a paradise for you. Don’t miss this bucket list item in Peru

3. Nazca Lines

Located about 2 hours southeast of Ica are some of the earth’s biggest mysteries. Figures of animals, plants, and other objects are etched into the sand, spanning an area of about 50 square kilometers.

To this present day, the mystery of the Nazca Lines has not been solved. Who made them? What were they for? Were there terrestrial beings?

If you want to see the Nazca Lines, I highly recommend seeing it in the air on a plane. Tours can be found in Huacachina and Paracas but you might want to consider booking in advance!

Day 6-11 (6 Days): Cusco (Capital of the Incas) and Machu Picchu

How To Get From Ica To Cusco

The next stop on our 2 week Peru itinerary is the capital of the Incas, Cusco. But how do you get there?

If you look on the map, Ica and Cusco are on opposite sides of the country. The fastest way to get there would be to get back to Lima and take a direct flight to Cusco.

The other option is to take a bus. There are buses that run from Ica to Cusco daily. However, let me warn you. Even though taking a bus is the most economical way, the journey is about 17 hours long.

You will start close to sea level and arrive at 3,400 above sea level. As you ascend higher, your body adjusts to the level of oxygen. Taking a bus to Cusco is a great way to acclimate to the high elevation.

To check the bus schedule, use busbud.com and enter your route. 

Things to Do in Cusco, Peru

Cusco was once the capital of the mighty Inca civilization before getting conquered by the Spaniards. Inevitably, you will see lots of remains of the Inca empire in Cusco. Matter of fact, many of the buildings you currently see are built by the Incas!

Situated in the Andes, the surrounding area is filled with natural wonders as well as Inca ruins. We will spend a total of 6 days in Cusco exploring the many unworldly attractions and acclimating to the altitude.

Here are some of the best things to do in Cusco, Peru.

1. Machu Picchu

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room, Machu Picchu. An abandoned ancient Inca ruins untouched by the Spaniards, Machu Picchu s one of the most spectacular Seven Wonders of the World.

Did you really think our Peru itinerary would not include Machu Picchu?

However, there are several things I need to clear up about Machu Picchu. 

1. Machu Picchu is not located in Cusco. In fact, it is located extremely far from Cusco. One of the main reasons why Machu Picchu was never discovered is because it was so inaccessible.

2. It is totally feasible to visit Machu Picchu in 1 day from Cusco. However, I would highly not recommend it because of the cost and your time of arrival at Machu Picchu. If you do want to visit in 1 day, you must take a train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes, then take a bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu, and then come back the same way. 

You will arrive at Machu Picchu midday, which is considered the worst time to arrive because of the number of tourists. Bunched up like sardines in a can, you will get smacked in the face by selfie sticks and pushed by aggressive visitors.

3. The cheapest option to visit Machu Picchu will take 2 days. You will spend one night in Aguas Calientes, otherwise known as Machu Picchu town. The way to do it is to take public transportation to Hidroelectrica. Hike two hours from Hidroelectrica to Aguas Calientes, stay the night there and then visit Machu Picchu early in the morning.

After visiting Machu Picchu, go back to where you were dropped off at Hidroelectrica to get a van back to Cusco. Of course, you can always get a tour from Cusco to do all the planning for you.

4. I highly recommend you to visit Machu Picchu as soon as you arrive in Cusco. Why? Because Machu Picchu is about 1,000 meters lower in elevation than Cusco. Visiting Machu Picchu first might actually help you acclimate to the high elevation of Cusco and prepare you for other future activities.

5. If you are doing the Inca Trail, Salkantay Trail, or any other treks to Machu Picchu, make sure you are acclimated beforehand. You might need more than two weeks in Peru in that case. Here are some things you should know before visiting Machu Picchu.

2. Sacred Valley (Namely Moray and Salineras de Maras)

The Sacred Valley receives its name from the numerous Inca ruins that starts from Pisac all the way to Machu Picchu, stretching about one hundred kilometers long. Before the ruins became ruins, they were ancient Inca settlements and villages where numerous activities such as mining and agriculture took place.

The Sacred Valley is a huge open area and technically it is free to enter. Because its attraction lies in the numerous ruins that are spread out across this lush valley.

The two places you must visit in the Sacred Valley are Moray and Salineras de Maras. 

When the Moray ruins were first discovered, archaeologists thought that Moray Ruins were an amphitheater with its circular levels. Later as more research was being done, they discovered that Moray was actually an agricultural lab. Each level was a different climate and by testing out where the crops grew best, the Incas could optimize their output!

Though not exactly an Inca ruin, the Salineras de Maras is an active salt mine that Inca used for mining salt. Nowadays, visitors are allowed to enter and see some of the salt ponds close up! It is one of the few places on Earth that produces pink salt!

Check out our recommended tour for Sacred Valley here!

3. Rainbow Moutain

You’ve probably seen this natural wonder somewhere on the Internet before arriving in Peru. The Rainbow Mountain, or Montaña de Siete Colores, is one of the most Instagram-worthy spots in Peru. Before visiting Rainbow Mountain, I doubted if the colors are actually that vibrant in real life. To my disappointment, they were not. 

The colors you see on the photos of the Rainbow Mountain are usually over-edited in post-processing. However, the colors are definitely more vibrant on a sunny day!

Try to find a tour in Cusco that leaves earlier than usual to beat the crowd. Having an unworldly place like the Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain to yourself is an unforgettable experience. 

Alternatively, visitors can hike the lesser-known Palccoyo Rainbow Mountain, an equally beautiful location in the mountains of Peru.

Secure your Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain tour online here!

Where To Stay In Cusco, Peru

Because of the high elevation in Cusco, it is a lot trickier to find the perfect place to stay. For example, you might need an oxygen-enriched room to help with altitude sickness. Therefore, we have written a complete guide on where to stay in Cusco here.

Best Hostel In Cusco – Blacky Hostel

Not only is Blacky Hostel one of the cheapest hostels in Cusco, but it also has amazing comfort and many socializing opportunities. I particularly like the super cozy and friendly atmosphere created by the amazing staff and guests! A great place to stay in Cusco for backpackers!

Check price here!

Best Hotel In Cusco – Tariq Boutique Hotel

Tariq Boutique Hotel is my favorite hotel in Cusco and it is easy to see why. The boutique hotel is small enough to get the individualized attention you need in case you fall ill. Their rooms have a huge window with jaw-dropping panoramic views of Cusco. It is also much more affordable than all the other “big name” hotels in the area!

Click here for more details!

Where To Stay In Cusco Peru
Best Places To Stay In Cusco Peru

(Images Courtesy of Airbnb)

There are many incredible Airbnbs in Cusco, but none is as spectacular as this cute getaway cabin. Located below the Sacsayhuaman Ruins, visitors have access to one of the biggest attractions in Cusco. The historic center of Cusco is a short 15-min walk away, allowing visitors the utmost tranquility and the ability to be close to the action at the same time. 

Inside this studio cabin is a double bed and allowing a maximizing of 2 guests to stay. The interior decor is sleek with wooden and stone elements. There is also a kitchen for guests who would like to cook! Visitors will love the outdoor patio, which is the perfect place to soak in the Peruvian sun with a cup of coffee!

Click here for more info!

Day 12-13 (2 Days): Puno and Lake Titicaca

Puno is the next stop on your Peru 2 weeks itinerary. We saved this city as the last place on our Peru trip because the city is located more than 3,800 meters above sea level. If you thought Cusco’s elevation was high, Puno is a whole new ball game.

But after spending several days in Cusco, you will be ready for the elevation of Puno. Located on Lake Titicaca, one of the biggest lake in South Ameria and the highest navigable lake in the world, Puno is considered Peru’s folkloric capital.

You can also find tours to Uyuni Salt Flats from Puno!

Things To Do In Puno, Peru

1. Lake Titicaca and Uros Floating Islands

Not only is Lake Titicaca the highest navigable lakes in the entire world, but it is also the home of the Uros Floating Islands, an archipelago made of artificial man-made islands. 

A visit to the Uros Floating Islands is a must on any Peru itinerary. Each individual island is made by totora, a plant of thin leaves that grows in the lake. The composition of the totora is exactly what makes the islands floatable.

Travelers can also visit the Taquile Islands located on the Titicaca Lake, where a group of indigenous Quecha-speaking people lives!

Besides the interesting history and science, the views are spectacular on Lake Titicaca. You can see across the border to Bolivia and some of the snow-capped mountains!

You can find full-day tours for Uros Floating Islands and Taquile here!

Where To Stay In Puno, Peru

Best Hostel In Puno – Bonny Hostel

Bonny Hostel is one of the few good hostels in Puno, Peru. Featuring comfortable single beds in dormitory rooms, guests can finally have undisturbed sleep. The showers are hot, which is something rare for a cheap hostel. Their breakfast is also very tasty and filling.

Learn more here!

Best Hotel In Puno – Tierra Viva Puno Plaza

Located next to Puno’s main plaza, Tierra Viva Puno Plaza is one of the prime hotels in Puno. Everything from the spacious rooms and comfortable beds to the helpful staff was amazing. You cannot go wrong with this hotel in Puno!

Check price here!

Best Airbnb In Puno – Uros Titicaca Sleep

Where To Stay In Puno Peru
Puno Peru Hotels

(Images Courtesy of Airbnb)

One of the most unique experiences you can have in Puno is to stay at one of the Uros Floating Islands in Lake Titicaca. Thanks to Airbnb, you can rent a vacation rental there!

By staying at one of the houses on the man-made artificial floating islands, guests can learn the inhabitant’s ancestral traditions. Guests will sleep in complete tranquility as they drift off to the sound of the soothing lake.

We highly recommend you to stay at one of the floating islands, at least for one night!

Click here for more details!

Day 14: Back To Cusco for Your Flight

It is highly recommended that you leave from a city different than the one you came in. If you came into Peru from Lima, then exit in Cusco and vice versa.

If your flight out of Cusco is at night, you can take one of the morning buses from Puno to Cusco. If your flight leaves in the morning or afternoon, you should leave in the night on Day 13 to arrive in Cusco early morning. Either way, check busbud.com for all bus schedules.

It will be sad to leave such a beautiful country but don’t worry, you can always come back. Northern Peru has plenty of hidden gems such as Chachapoyas for you to explore next time!

More Than Two Weeks In Peru?

Do you have more than two weeks in Peru? If you have 3 weeks in Peru or even 1 month in Peru, here are some recommendations to add to your Peru itinerary!

1. Huaraz, The Hiking Captial of Peru

Are you an avid hiker? If you answered yes to that question, then you must visit Huaraz! Located about 8 hours away from Lima on a bus, Huaraz is a small local city surrounded by stunning snow-capped mountains.

There are many gorgeous day hikes in Huaraz such as Laguna 69 and Lake Paron, but the most incredible ones are the multi-day treks that take you on extensive journeys on the Cordillera Blanc.

Make sure you have a proper hiking camera when you hike in Huaraz!

2. Arequipa, Peru’s White City

Arequipa is known as the white city of Peru because of the sillar (a type of white volcanic rock) used in the construction of the buildings.

The city is filled with so much history that the historic center is crowned as a UNESCO Heritage Site. Visitors coming to Arequipa cannot miss the mysterious Monasterio Santa Catalina. Stretching over an entire block, the Santa Catalina Monastery is one of the most fascinating religious buildings.

Travelers also cannot miss Colca Canyon. A canyon with twice the height of the Grand Canyon in the United States, the marvelous natural wonder will take your breath away!

3. Salar de Uyuni (Uyuni Salt Flats)

If you want to visit the magical Uyuni Salt Flats in Bolivia, it is completely feasible with a few-days trip from Puno. 

If you are not sure why the Salt Flats are so impressive, read here!

You will find many tour agencies in the historic center of Puno offering tours to Uyuni Salt Flats.

Combine Salar de Uyuni for a perfect Peru and Bolivia itinerary!

Peru Cost Of Travel: How Much Money To Take To Peru For 2 Weeks

The truth is, Peru can be cheap, but most visitors don’t find it that way. Why? Because they fall into tourist traps. They eat at tourist-targeted restaurants, shop from tourist-targeted vendors, and they get scammed easily.

The cost of travel in Peru doesn’t have to be high if you know where to look. If you are a budget backpacker, you can live comfortably off of 30 USD a day. A hostel in Peru costs at most 10 USD, a meal 3 USD, and the rest for transportation and attractions.

However, if you are not keeping track of money and go to places designed for tourists, a meal can cost 10-15 USD and a hotel can cost a few hundred USD.

So the question of how much money to take to Peru for 2 weeks really depends on what type of traveler you are. If you are a budget traveler, 50 USD a day will be more than enough (not including the flights). If you prefer to travel luxuriously, you can spend a few thousand dollars in 2 weeks. 

Getting Around Peru

If you are traveling for a few weeks in Peru, you will inevitably have to use some of its public transportation systems. Even though the big cities such as Lima, Cusco, and Arequipa have Uber, you can save some money by knowing how to use public transit.

For most of the cities, you will be staying in the historic center, an area where it is walkable. It is rare that you will need to take public transportation inside the city. If the distance is short, I recommend Uber for safety and convenience.

If you are traveling between cities, you must take long-distance buses. There are many different long-distance bus companies and they all have distinct features. Some are more comfortable while others are more secure.

Here are some of the most reputable bus companies in Peru:

1. Movil Bus

Movil Bus is my favorite long-distance bus company in Peru. It is affordable and comfortable. Most seats recline enough so you can sleep comfortably. VIP seats are also in each and every bus for anyone that would like more space and more reclination.

My favorite part of Movil Bus is the amazing food they provide on the journey!

2. Cruz Del Sur

Cruz Del Sur is probably the most luxurious bus company in Peru. Their buses are comfortable, their amenities are sufficient, and they have amazing security. However, the only downside is the price!

3. Oltursa

Though I haven’t been on an Oltursa bus (because I keep picking Movil for their food), I have heard great things about it as well. It is a little more pricey than average but cheaper than Cruz Del Sur!

4. Soyuz

Soyuz is the best bus company for traveling up and down the Peruvian coast near Lima, Paracas, Ica, and Nazca. It is a no-frills company. They don’t offer food or anything but your time on the bus should not be longer than a few hours!

Is Peru Hop Worth it?

First-time travelers in Peru that are looking for ways to get around will inevitably stumble upon Peru Hop, a private company responsible for transportation and tours in Peru.

Peru Hop is specifically targeted at tourists (because they are pricey) so you will not see any locals on their buses. Using their service is definitely guaranteed to be more expensive than using any of the Peruvian bus companies. However, there are some pros to using Peru Hop.

Peru Hop will pick you up at your accommodation and drop you off at your accommodation in the next city. If Spanish is not your strength, don’t worry, the staff in Peru Hop is fluent in English.

Each bus has an English tour guide that will give you a little bit of information about the place you are going to (and sell you their tours). They are also the safest bus company in all of Peru, with GPS tracking of the buses. This is especially important if you are traveling to Peru with kids or elders.

Though safety has never been an issue when I was in Peru, traveling with Peru Hop and purchasing travel insurance will give you the peace of mind you need for your Peru trip.

Click here for more details about Peru Hop!

Packing List For Peru 2 Week Itinerary

For your 2 weeks in Peru trip, you will experience high elevation, long bus journeys, and possibly extended hikes. 

Consequently, you will need a specific packing list in Peru to endure those conditions.

After spending 2.5 months backpacking in Peru, here is what I would recommend you to pack.

1.  Sunscreen – The sun at high elevation is much more detrimental than at low elevation. Pack some high-SPF sunscreen to protect yourself.

2. Melatonin, Ear Plugs, and Blindfold – These items are essential to help you get proper sleep on the long bus journeys. You will be doing a lot in our 2-week itinerary for Peru so you will need to get as much sleep as possible!

3. Filtration Water Bottle – One of my favorite traveling items. With this filtration water bottle, you can drink tap water and any water source you encounter on hikes!

4. Proper Rain Jacket (Him/Her) – The weather can be unpredictable in Peru, especially at high altitudes. Pack a light rain jacket so you will be ready when Pachamama (Mother Earth) decides to throw some rain at you! Here are some of the best light rain jackets. 🙂

5. Travel Medicine Kit – A travel medicine kit will contain the first-aid items needed when you fall ill. With a variety of medicine, you will be prepared for many different scenarios!

6. Altitude Sickness Remedy – Altitude sickness is a serious issue in Peru. This natural altitude sickness remedy will help prevent and alleviate altitude sickness. However, I do recommend getting a proper prescription from your doctor or purchasing altitude sickness medicine from Cusco!

7. Warm Wool Socks – Wool socks are essentials when traveling to cold places. Due to the high elevation of most places in Peru, it will be cold at night. Not only will wool socks keep you warm in bed, but you can also wear them on hikes!

8. Compact Travel Camera – You don’t want to miss the stunning attractions in Peru but you also don’t want to be carrying a dumbbell-like camera with you. A nice compact traveler camera is the way to go!

9. Warm Clothing – As I said with the high elevation, Peru will be cold even in the summers. It is possible for the temperature to drop below freezing in the summer at high altitudes! Please pack some warm clothing! OR buy alpaca products in Cusco! 🙂

Best Time To Visit Peru

Winter is by far the best time to visit Peru. You will have clear skies in the day time and cold nights. Winter also corresponds to dry season in Peru so you won’t see lots of rainfall. However, winter is also the peak season. Winter in Peru is from May to October. 

Summer, or the wet season, is from November to April. During this time, you will see fewer tourists and heavy rainfall. The Inca Trail is closed in February because February is usually the month with the heaviest rainfall.

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This is the end of our 2 week Peru itinerary! I hope this at least gave you a rough idea of the things you can do in Peru in 2 weeks

Any questions? Leave a comment!

Disclaimer: Some of the links above are affiliate links. That means if you book or make a purchase through the links, we will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you! The money will help run this site! Thank you 🙂

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9 Best Treks and Hikes in Huaraz Peru

9 Best Treks and Hikes in Huaraz Peru

Huaraz, a small city located 8 hours north of Lima by bus, is filled with amazing snow-capped mountains, exotic flora, and stunning landscapes. 

As the capital city of hiking in Peru, it shouldn’t surprise you that many travelers come to Huaraz to chase some of the most breathtaking treks and hikes in the world. It is also probably the only thing to do in Huaraz.

But with Huaraz surrounded by mountains such as the famous Cordillera Blanca, which hikes and treks should you pick?

Below we have compiled a list of the 9 best Huaraz hikes and treks so you can jump straight into action!

Best Day Hikes in Huaraz Peru

There are some beautiful day hikes that you can do from Huaraz. Some of these are a good way to get acclimatized to the high altitude of Huaraz or used for training for the more difficult multi-day treks. 

But don’t underestimate the beauty and difficulty of these treks. Some of these day hikes and treks definitely took my breath away (physically and metaphorically).

1. Laguna Paron

Laguna Paron, or the Paron Lake, is definitely one of the most beautiful lakes in Huaraz. As the largest lake inside the Huascaran Nation Park, it is no wonder why Laguna Paron is a must on any Peru itinerary.

Pastel blue glacial lake surrounded by sheer cliffs and snow-capped mountains, Laguna Paron is a landscape photographer’s paradise or a regular person’s fairytale.

The beauty of Lake Paron has successfully earned it as one of the most popular day trips from Huaraz. Hikers can find Day trips to Laguna Paron in every tour agency or accommodation there is in Huaraz.

The transport drops you off at the edge of the Lake Paron where visitors can marvel at its elegance. However, that is just the beginning of the hike. The short 1-hour hike takes you on top of a cliff adjacent to Laguna Paron, where visitors can get panoramic views of the beautiful geological features of the region.

Along the way, there is a little bit of scrambling and jumping from one rock to another. There are lots of big rocks and boulders near the top, probably due to frequent seismic activities in Peru.

Once you arrive at the vantage point on the cliff, visitors can see Artesonraju, a 6,025-meter peak that is depicted on the Paramount Pictures logo. The film company? Yes!

Paron lake sits at 4200m above-sea-level so if you just got to Huaraz, I would recommend you to take a day or 2 to acclimatize.

Duration: 2-hour hike round-trip
Difficulty:
Moderate
Maximum Altitude:
4200m

2. Laguna Wilcacocha

Laguna Wilcacocha is probably one of the easiest day hikes in Huaraz. About 4 hours of hiking in total, not only is the path easy, but the way to do-it-yourself is easy as well. If you are lucky with the weather (unlike us), you should see a range of snow-capped mountains behind Wilcacocha Lake.

To do it yourself, simply take the Route 10 or Route E van at the northeast intersection of Antonio Raymondi and Hualcan Street. You will see a bunch of vans pass by but just make sure you get on the right one. If you are unsure, you can always ask the locals for Route 10 or Route E.

When you get on the bus, tell the bus driver you are going to Laguna Wilcacocha. The other option is to download the app maps.me and look for the Wilcacocha trailhead on the map. Get off when you are close to the trailhead.

Laguna Wilcacocha is the perfect hike to acclimatize to the altitude and prepare for your other big hikes in Peru.

Duration: 3-4-hour hike round-trip
Difficulty: Easy
Maximum Altitude: 3786m

3. Laguna Churup

Credit: Heiner Amado Cadillo

Laguna Churup is the hidden gem of Huaraz. Though fairly unheard of compared to the other popular hikes such as Laguna 69, Laguna Churup offers some spectacular views as well as a challenging and fun hike minus the crowds.

There are few parts towards the end where you have to free climb and use a rope to pull yourself up!

The best thing about Laguna Churup is that you can do it completely by yourself without a guide. Though a guide is recommended if you don’t speak much Spanish.

To get to Laguna Churup, you have to take a shared van at the corner of Av. Agustin Gamarra and Las Americas. This van will take you to the town of Pitec where you will be dropped off at the beginning of the hike.

The van leaves at 7 AM so make sure you get there by then. There are more vans that leave at different hours but ask the reception at your accommodation for more precise information.

When you get off, the driver will tell you he will be back at a certain time to pick you up. If by any chance you cannot make it on time, you can walk to the town of Llupa and catch a shared van from there. It will be an extra 1-hour walk to get to Llupa.

Duration: 5-hour hike round trip
Difficulty: Moderate
Maximum Altitude: 4450m

4. Laguna 69, The King Of Huaraz Day Hikes

Trekking Laguna 69 is probably one of the hardest things to do in Huaraz. Chances are, before you even decided to do this hike, travelers and locals are already urging you to do it.

Why? Because Laguna 69 is absolutely gorgeous. The hike is jaw-dropping, the final Lake 69 itself is beautiful, everything about this hike is so perfect. If you only have a few days in Huaraz, I would highly recommend you to skip all the other hikes (except maybe to acclimatize) and just hike Laguna 69.

The good and bad thing about Laguna 69 is that it is a difficult hike. The hike up is only about 3 hours but you are gaining a lot of altitude in a short period of time.

If there is one thing you do in Huaraz, it has to be hiking Laguna 69.

Duration: 6-hour hike round-trip
Difficulty: Hard
Maximum Altitude: 4600m

5. Lagunas Llanganucos

Lagunas Llanganucos, or Llanganucos lakes, are comprised of two small lakes, the Orkoncocha and the Chiancocha. Typically people arrive at Llanganuco through an organized tour or taxi and then walk around the lake and trails.

The trail is very easy, lasting 1-2 hours and you get to see the beautiful Llanganuco lakes from different perspectives.

This is a very good activity to help you acclimatize to the altitude of Huaraz.

If you do the Laguna 69 tour, you will pass Laguna LLanganuco, where you will be dropped off for 10 minutes to take photos.

At the Laguna LLanganuco, you also have the option to ride boats and cross the lake.

Duration: 1-2-hour of hiking if desired
Difficulty: Easy-Moderate
Maximum Altitude: 3800m

6. Laguna Rajucolta

Credit: Lapalabranecesaria

Laguna Rajucolta, or Rajucolta lake, is a rather unpopular destination in Huaraz. However, that doesn’t mean it is not beautiful. The hike to Laguna Rajucolta takes you through 3 hours of flat and peaceful trail through the Nevado Huantsan mountains.

Rajucolta lake is a very good hike to acclimatize to the altitude of Huaraz and prepare you for harder hikes.

As far as I know, only tour companies offer transportation to Laguna Rajucolta. However, you can try your luck asking around the reception of your accommodation to see if you can do it yourself.

Duration: 6-hour hike round trip with 1 hour of driving each way
Difficulty: Easy-Moderate
Maximum Altitude: 4270m

7. Glacier Pastoruri, One Of The Highest Hikes In Huaraz

If you are getting tired of the beautiful lakes in Huaraz, why not change it up and see a glacier instead? Glacier Pastoruri is located 5000m above sea level but don’t be intimidated by that. The walk up to the glacier is well paved and extremely easy but you should still take it easy because of the altitude.

Nowadays, visitors can no longer walk on the glacier because of how much it has declined. Matter of fact, glacier Pastoruri isn’t even a glacier by definition. It no longer builds up ice in the winter due to GLOBAL WARMING so by definition it is just a piece of ice. Peru makes up for 70 percent of the world’s glaciers and it is extremely sad to see some of them disappear.

Glacier Pastoruri probably would not even exist in the upcoming years, so check this out before it is too late.

Duration: 2-hour hike round trip
Difficulty: Easy-Moderate
Max Altitude: 5000m

Best Multi-Day Treks in Huaraz Peru

Other than day-hikes and treks, Huaraz also offers plenty of options for those interested in longer hikes. Though these multi-day treks in Huaraz are extremely beautiful, probably some of the bests in the entire world, they can also be long and tough.

The shortest multi-day trek is 3 days and the longest is 12 days! That is almost 2 weeks! 

1. Santa Cruz Trek, The Famous Cordillera Blanca Trek

Credit: Esmée Winnubst

The Santa Cruz Trek is a great introductory multi-day trek to what Huaraz has to offer. On the Santa Cruz trek, you will pass by many local villages that live in the Cordillera Blanca and have some stunning views of the beautiful snow-capped mountains nearby.

The Santa Cruz duration is usually about 3 to 4 days, with each day composing of 3 to 8 hours of hiking, depending on your fitness level. You definitely want to be acclimatized and trained for this hike.

The Santa Cruz trek is also a Huaraz trek you can do independently!

Looking to do a 5-day trek to Machu Picchu, check out this guide to Salkantay Trek.

Duration: 3-8 hours of hiking per day, 3 or 4 days of hiking
Total Distance: 50km (31miles)
Difficulty: Moderate-Hard
Max Altitude: 4750m (Punta Union)

2. Cordillera Huayhuash Trek, The Hardest Trekking In Huaraz

The Cordillera Huayhuash Trek is the most impressive multi-day trek in Huaraz. And let me tell you, it is definitely the most beautiful trek I have ever seen in my life. Travelers fly from all over the world just to hike this trek and see the beauty it has to offer with their own eyes.

Though not as difficult as the Mt.Everest hike, The Cordillera Huayhuash trek is pretty much the Mt.Everest trek of Peru.

On the trek, you will see Peru’s second-highest mountain, Yerupaja, sitting at 6634m. You will also see Siula Grande, made famous by the book and movie, “Touching the Void.”

It is the most amazing thing to do in Huaraz.

There are many variations of the Huayhuash trek but the most common one is 130 km (81 miles) in 9 to 10 days. Though I have heard of a 4-day Huayhuash trek as well as a 12-day Huayhuash trek. The travel agencies will have more information on that.

After you finish that trek, make sure you treat yourself with food you must try in Peru.

Duration: 4-12 days depending on the trek.
Total Distance: 130 km (81 miles) the typical one.
Difficulty: Hard
Maximum Altitude: 5000m

How to Prepare for Hiking in Huaraz Peru

Many of the hikes in Huaraz are at very high altitude. Even the city of Huaraz is at 3000m, an altitude that can give you altitude sickness easily if you are not careful. 

No. 1 thing to not do is arrive at Huaraz from 0 elevation and immediately start a trek. Huaraz trekking is no joke.

I arrived in Huaraz and immediately went hiking Laguna Paron (4200m) the next day. I couldn’t breathe the day after because I had HAPE (High Altitude Pulmonary Edema), a condition that happens when you don’t have enough oxygen in your blood. The scary thing is HAPE is the reason for many people’s death while hiking Mount Everest.

A great tip for traveling in Peru is to always bring some Acetazolamide, or Diamox, with you. They are great medication for cases of bad altitude sickness.

So, please don’t rush your trips, especially for people on a short vacation. Take time to get acclimatized.

No. 2 thing to be aware of is that most of these treks are difficult, especially the multi-day treks. It is a good idea to hike around Huaraz and use some of the easier hikes to acclimatize and train for your multi-day treks.

Things to Bring on Your Hikes and Trek in Huaraz

Depending on which hike you pick and the duration of your hike, the items you need to bring might alter slightly. But in general, these are the things you should bring:

1. Sunscreen is a necessity. The sun at high altitudes is much stronger than the sun at sea level. Plus, the reflection of the sun from the snow makes the damage much worse.

2. Rain poncho or raincoat. Weather can change so quickly at such high altitudes. Pack one for safety.

3. Filtration Water Bottle. It will help you in dire circumstances, especially if you are on a multi-day trek. You can save weight and money by having a filtration water bottle.

4. Gloves and hat. For the cold weather you will encounter at high altitudes.

5. Hiking shoes. No surprises here.

6. Coca leaves. Trust me, you will need (want to) have some for your hikes. They built Machu Picchu using these things.

7. Food/Snack/Water. Pack accordingly to how long your hike is going to be.

8. Money! A lot of these parks will charge an entrance fee. Also some villages you pass by will also require you to pay them.

All other questions should be addressed to the tour companies before the start of your trek! There are plenty of tour companies to choose from on the main street (Centernario) of Huaraz.  

Where to Stay in Huaraz Peru

Best Hostel in Huaraz – Selina Huaraz

Selina Huaraz is one of the best looking hostels in Huaraz. With comfortable beds and spacious rooms, guest can enjoy spending their days here relaxing and acclimatizing to the altitude! The most important thing is that their showers are boiling hot, one of the things you must need in Huaraz!

Click here for more details!

Best Airbnb in Huaraz – Fantastic View Apartment

Where To Stay In Huaraz
Best Hikes And Treks In Huaraz Peru

Hotels in Huaraz are nice but don’t often provide you with the cozy and homey atmosphere of an Airbnb. That is why one of the best places to stay in Huaraz is this Fantastic View Apartment.

Featuring 3 bedrooms in total, this Huaraz Airbnb can comfortably accommodate up to 4 guests. Here guests can lounge in the comfortable living area, cook up a homemade view in the fully0equipped kitchen, or admire the stunning mountains of Huaraz outside their window.

For sunset, there is a roof on the 5th floor that will take your breath away!

Click here for more details!

Best Luxury Hotel in Huaraz – Hotel & Bungalows Villa Valencia

Located in a quiet part of town, Hotel & Bungalows Villa Valencia is perfect for a good night’s sleep after a day of hiking in Huaraz. With their comfortable beds and warm covers, you will be sleeping like a baby! Their interior design is very modern, the breakfast is good, and is one of the best overall choices for accommodation in Huaraz. 

Click here for more details!

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Best-Hikes-And-Treks-In-Huaraz-Peru

Here are the best hikes and treks in Huaraz Peru. Which hike is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!

Disclaimer: Some of the links above are affiliate links. That means if you book or make a purchase through the links, we will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you! The money will help run this site! Thank you 🙂

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Where to Stay in Cusco, Peru: Best Hotels, Hostels & Airbnbs!

Where to Stay in Cusco, Peru: Best Hotels, Hostels & Airbnbs!

Cusco (Cuzco), a colonial city that used to be the capital of the Inca empire, is filled with beautiful cobble-stoned streets, cute alpaca on the streets, and amazing Peruvian gastronomy. Not only is the city one of the places you must visit in Peru, but Cusco itself is a good place to visit all the attractions nearby. Rainbow Mountain, Macchu Picchu, Sacred Valley, these are just some of the places you can visit from Cusco.

Due to its popularity with tourists, there are so many different accommodations in Cusco. Selecting the best place to stay in Cusco from the hundreds of choices is quite a challenging task. Luxury hotel, hostels, bed and breakfast, boutique hotels, what do you pick?

Don’t worry! In this guide, we will help you decide where to stay in Cusco to make sure you have the perfect visit to this UNESCO Heritage Site

Want a Quick Tip on Where to Stay in Cusco, Peru?

In a hurry to decide on where to stay in Cusco?

Our favorite neighborhood in Cusco is San Blas!

San Blas is a neighborhood immediately north of the Plaza de Armas, or the Main Square of Cusco. Though still considered as part of the historic center, San Blas is concentrated with some of the best things to do in Cusco.

A beautiful and colonial area filled with artisan crafts and traditional Peruvian restaurants, San Blas is undoubtedly one of the best places to stay in Cusco. The whole neighborhood is filled with Inca architecture and artifacts such as the twelve-angled stone.

This is one of the most tourist-friendly neighborhoods in Cusco. As a result, there are some of the best hostels and hotels in Cusco in this neighborhood.

Best Place to Stay in Cusco, Peru

Cusco is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Peru. Consequently, many travelers believe that there are many different neighborhoods to stay in Cusco.

That is not true.

Most hotels and hostels are near Plaza de Armas, or the Main Square of Cusco. This entire area is called the historic center, or Centro Historico in Spanish, and it is the best place to stay in Cusco. Restaurants, the Cusco Cathedral, souvenir stores, and tour agencies (for Machu Picchu, Rainbow Mountain, Sacred Valley, etc) are all located in the historic center. 

Any accommodation in the historic center is a good place to stay in Cusco. The entire neighborhood is very walkable and you can go from one end to the other end in 20 minutes.

There is a sub-neighborhood in the north and northwest parts of the historic center called San Blas. San Blas is a historical area filled with handicrafts, Peruvian souvenirs such as alpaca clothing, and restaurants with amazing Peruvian cuisine. 

Known for its hippie culture and artistic vibes, travelers interested can stay in San Blas. It is not particularly important to stay in the San Blas area because you can simply walk to it in less than 15 minutes.  

Best Hotels in Cusco, Peru

Selecting the right hotel for your Cusco trip might be daunting because of the countless number of hotels in Cusco. Not only that, the language barrier and the high altitude (3399m) are obstacles that you will inevitably encounter on your visit to Cusco.

The typical hotels that are amazing for your normal trips are no longer suitable. You need an accommodation in Cusco that is accustomed to the problems tourists face in this new foreign land.

You might suffer altitude sickness in Cusco due to its high altitude (most do), so your Cusco hotel needs to be able to provide oxygen support. The staff in the hotel should be able to tell you the best things to do in Cusco and the most economical way to go about those activities. It should recommend local Peruvian dishes to try, but also not try to scam you because you are a tourist.

Just having big spacious rooms with comfortable beds, luxurious decorations, and free high-speed wifi is no longer sufficient. Below we have listed our favorite hotels in Cusco that will make your visit perfect! 

Best 5-Star Hotels in Cusco, Peru

JW Marriott El Convento is one of the best 5-star hotels in Cusco. Come and enjoy the beautiful and ancient courtyard and play with the baby alpaca Panchita. Stay in one of the oxygen-enriched rooms with real historic Inca walls. The hotel itself feels like its own lost city inside Cusco, a relic of the past. The staff is happy to assist you with anything including planning your trip to Machu Picchu.

If you don’t feel so well after hiking in the Andes, visiting Machu Picchu, or for any altitude-related sickness, the hotel offers free oxygen treatment that will make you feel better. After the oxygen treatment, relax in their indoor relaxation pool or their spa.

Their breakfast buffet is filled with international and Peruvian delicacies and is the perfect way to start your sightseeing in Cusco.

The personalized attention you get from this hotel makes it feel like a 5-star home, not a hotel.

Click here for more details!

One of the best 5-star Cusco hotels with oxygen, Palacio del Inka is located in a historic Inca site. The hotel is named Palacio del Inka because it used to be a palace for the Inca.

Daily tours of the hotel are offered to explain the significance and the history of the Inca. Lessons for Pisco sour, the national drink of Peru, are also offered daily. 

The hotel is one of the few hotels with a gym, perfect for travelers who need a little bit of training before doing the Inca Trail, Salkantay Trek, or any other hikes to Machu Picchu.

Travelers that have not adapted to the altitude of Cusco can visit the adjacent Qorikancha, the most important temple in the Inca Empire.

The staff is attentive and will personally go above and beyond to make sure you have a good time in the hotel and outside the hotel in Cusco.

Click here for more details!

Was it ever your dream to stay in a monastery? Well here is your chance. Belmond Hotel Monasterio is a beautifully restored 15th-century monastery. Most of the design of the monastery has been kept the way it was, as visible by the beautiful courtyard and architecture. It is an attraction in Cusco on its own

The experience of staying in this hotel is a bucket list item in Peru. If you are not sure where to stay in Cusco and want a unique accommodation, consider staying at Belmond Hotel Monasterio.

This 5-star hotel also has one of the best breakfast buffets in Cusco. Their oxygen-enriched rooms can help anyone suffering from altitude sickness. This 5-star hotel is a great base for all the activities you will be doing in Cusco.

Click here for more detail!

Best Cheap Hotels in Cusco, Peru

If you want to stay in a monastery but don’t want to spend big money on the hotel? Consider Hotel Monasterio San Pedro. Located across the local market San Pedro, you can eat local Peruvian food, shop for alpaca souvenirs, and observe Peruvian culture just right across the street.

As a restored monastery, the hotel has one of the most beautiful courtyards in Cusco. It is the perfect place to relax after a day of exploring the Cusco or visiting Machu Picchu.

Click here for more details!

Hosteria de Anita is a small cheap hotel located in the San Blas neighborhood of Cusco. Many of the famous attractions such as the twelve-angled rock, Plaza de Armas, and Cusco Cathedral are just within a 10-minute walk. With affordable and spacious rooms, an amazing breakfast buffet, and a cute courtyard to relax, guests will surely fall in love with this economical hotel. 

Click here for more details!

Not only is Los Aticos B&B a cheap accommodation, but it is also one of Cusco’s best bed and breakfast establishments. Located close to the main square Plaza de Armas, guests can enjoy the convenience of visiting Cusco’s best attractions.

This bed and breakfast is situated in a small alley with just foot traffic, so guests can rest in peace and quiet, something that is rare so close to the historic center.

The buffet breakfast, big spacious rooms, and the friendly staff working at the 24-hour reception make this cheap bed and breakfast one of my favorite places to stay in Cusco!

Click here for more details!

Best Airbnbs in Cusco, Peru

Staying at an Airbnb in Cusco is an excellent way to directly give back to the local communities. Often time, these accommodations offer a more cozy environment compared to traditional hotels, as well as unique amenities such as fully equipped kitchens, access to rooftops and terraces, laundry machines and more.

The hosts of the Airbnb are often locals who have been in the area for a long time. They will not only be able to assist you with basic tourist information but can also tell you about the hidden gems in Cusco. It is one of the better ways to fully experience the culture of Peru!

Here are some of the best Airbnbs in Cusco, Peru! 

Where To Stay In Cusco Peru
Best Places To Stay In Cusco Peru

(Images Courtesy of Airbnb)

If you are looking for a cozy getaway in a cabin in Cusco, then consider this Cusco Airbnb. Located below the Sacsayhuaman Ruins, visitors can far enough from the hustle and bustle of the historic center, but close enough that visiting there wouldn’t be a hassle.

The 15-minute walk to the city center offers a unique insight into the people living right outside of the historic center. The Incan Sacsayhuaman Ruins are also located on your doorstep.

Inside this studio cabin is a double bed and allowing a maximizing of 2 guests to stay. The interior decor is sleek with wooden and stone elements. There is also a kitchen for guests who would like to cook!

Click here for more info!

Hotels In Cusco Peru
Cusco Best Hotels

(Images Courtesy of Airbnb)

If you are looking for visiting Cusco as a family or a big group, then consider this luxurious and cozy duplex apartment. Featuring a total of 5 bedrooms, this Airbnb in Cusco can comfortably accommodate 10 guests!

With a high ceiling and spacious areas, guess will feel like they are staying in a luxury hotel. Its floor-to-ceiling windows in the living rooms offer incredible views of the charming city of Cusco.

This Cusco Airbnb is located a 5-minute ride from the historic center, or a 25-minute walk. The neighborhood is quieter than the center but has enough eateries and shops around. Travelers with kids would unquestionably fall in love with this place!

Click here for more information!

Cusco Airbnb
Cusco Hotels

(Images Courtesy of Airbnb)

Located a few blocks away from Plaza De Armas, this Airbnb is the perfect place to stay for anyone that likes to stay near the action.

With features like a balcony overlooking Cusco, a wood-burning fireplace in the living room, a fully-equipped kitchen in a total of 2 floors, guests will find the utmost comfort and coziness here.

Wake up to the beautiful view from the balcony, make a delicious cup of coffee from the French coffee maker, spend the day exploring the nearby sights, fall asleep in your dreamy double size bed, and repeat!

This Airbnb can comfortably accommodate 4 guests with its double bed and sofa bed!

Click here for more information!

Best Hostels in Cusco, Peru

Cusco is one of the top destinations for travelers backpacking Peru. As a result, there are over hundreds of hostels in just the historic center of Cusco. 

With so many hostels to pick from, it might be difficult to which one is the best hostel in Cusco for you. 

Are you looking for a party hostel? A capsule-style bed hostel? Or are you looking for a quiet hostel? 

For me, I prefer a hostel that is social. A little bit of partying is fine but it should by no means disturb anyone that wants to sleep. The beds must be comfortable and the rooms cannot be too crowded. Hot water is a plus (Many cheap accommodations don’t have that in Cusco). And most importantly, it should be an affordable hostel.

Based on those criteria, I have selected what I believe are some of the best hostels in Cusco. 

Best Party Hostels in Cusco, Peru

Wild Rover is one of the most famous party hostels in Cusco. With many other locations in Peru such as Mancora, Huacachina Oasis, and more, Wild Rover hostel knows how to throw a party. Every local knows that if you want to have a wild night, you go to Wild Rover. The only downside of Wild Rover is that it is a little far from the main square and you won’t be getting a lot of sleep with the noise!

Click here for more details! 

Cusco has two famous party hostels, the first one is Wild Rover as we mentioned above, and the second one is Loki. Both are them are battling each other for the title of the best party hostel in Cusco. Luckily for travelers having a difficult time deciding which one of the two to stay in, the two hostels are right next to each other.

Loki, similar to Wild Rover, has locations throughout Peru as well. And similar to Wild Rover, don’t expect lots of sleep but do expect an amazing social hostel full of partying.

Click here for more details! 

Best Cheap Hostels in Cusco, Peru

Blacky Hostel is one of my favorite hostels in Cusco, Peru. Not only is it one of the cheapest hostels in Cusco, but it is also comfortable and social. The staff is friendly and offers tours to many of the best attractions in Cusco such as Machu Pichu and Rainbow Mountain at a cheaper price than more tour agencies. The common areas have a very homey atmosphere and it is very easy to make friends there!

Click here for more details!

The Point Hostels is a high-quality cheap hostel in Cusco, Peru. A social hostel with amazing activities to help you meet fellow travelers, you will never spend a day alone in The Point Hostel. They do have a bar and a common area that tend to get a little rowdy at night, but you will never hear the noise from the rooms. It is a perfect combination of good rest and social atmosphere.

Click here for more details!

Best Overall Hostels in Cusco, Peru

Closely located to the best sights, Nao Victoria is one of the best places to stay in Cusco. The main square Plaza de Armas is located a few minutes away. Though its location is amazing, it isn’t even close to Nao Victoria’s best features.

The hostel’s stylish and modern decoration along with its cleanliness makes it feel like a hotel more than a hostel. Each dormitory bed is equipped with individual lights, a curtain, and an electric socket. The staff becomes your best friend on your arrival day and helps you with your visit to Cusco, including information about Machu Picchu. This is one of the best hostels in Cusco. 

Click here for more details!

Pariwana Hostel is a jack-of-all-trade hostel. A social hostel with some partying but yet clean and comfortable for travelers looking to rest, it is a hostel that will satisfy most traveler’s needs. The reception also has a tour agency that will provide information about the various things to do in Cusco.

My favorite part is definitely the rare spacious rooms in a hostel. Most hostels tend to jam as many beds in a room as possible, but not at Pariwana Hostel. If you are looking for a hostel and are not sure where to stay in Cusco, Pariwana Hostel is a top choice. 

Click here for more details!

Best Boutique Hotels in Cusco, Peru

Staying in a boutique hotel is becoming more and more popular with travelers. The small-sized hotels often time give more personalized services than other large hotels. The atmosphere is more intimate and more often than not the boutique hotel feels like a second home. Boutique hotels are usually more economical than regular hotels.

Here are some of the best boutique hotels in Cusco, Peru. 

Tariq Hotel Boutique is a cute little hotel located in the bohemian neighborhood of San Blas. The rooms are some of the best-decorated rooms I have seen in all of my travels in South America. Each room has a big beautiful window overlooking the entire city of Cusco. No need to hike to the top of Saqsaywaman to get a panoramic view of Cusco, you have it in your room at all times. 

Everything about this boutique hotel in Cusco is just gorgeous. If you are all about the aesthetics of a hotel, Tariq Hotel Boutique is the hotel for you.

Click here for more details!

Located in a refurbished Inca building, many of the rooms in the Loreto Boutique Hotel have historic Inca walls. The rooms are very spacious and you will have plenty of room to put your luggage. The staff is extra friendly and will assist in with anything you need inside and outside the hotel. My friend was looking for a camera bag and a member of the staff escorted us to the shops! 

Situated adjacent to Plaza de Armas and walking distance to San Blas neighborhood and the San Pedro local market, this hotel is the perfect base for exploring Cusco.

Click here for more details!

Casa Montesinos Boutique is a hotel that feels like a mansion. Beautiful decor in an old historic building, vintage vibes with every little detail, and a balcony that looks into the antique cobble-stoned streets of Cusco, staying here is a luxurious experience.

The staff is very friendly and gives you personalized tips to plan your activities in Cusco. They will help you rent a car if you need it to visit the Sacred Valley, Inca ruins, or the Andes.

Click here for more details!

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Deciding on where to stay in Cusco can difficult with the number of accommodations there are. Hopefully, this guide helped you decide on the best places to stay in Cusco!

Any questions? Leave a comment below!

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Best Peruvian Ceviche in Lima On A Budget: 7 Top Restaurants

Best Peruvian Ceviche in Lima On A Budget: 7 Top Restaurants

Lima, the capital of Peru, is one of the most visited gastronomical destinations in the world. In fact, Peru has been the best culinary destination in the world for many years now.

Though there are plenty of incredible Peruvian dishes, Peruvian ceviche, the national dish of Peru is probably the one that has everyone drooling.

No Peru itinerary is complete without including a visit to some of the best cevicherias (ceviche specialty restaurants). Guess where are some of the best places in Peru to try authentic Peruvian ceviche? The capital of Peru, Lima.

To try this amazing Peruvian national dish, you probably think you have to spend a lot of money. However, this is far from the truth.

Peruvian ceviche does not have to be expensive. There are plenty of restaurants that allow you to try good and authentic Peruvian ceviche for cheap. But if you want to splurge on some of the best food, Lima has 2 of the top 50 restaurants in the world.

Here are 7 of the best restaurants for ceviche in Lima on a budget!

Best Restaurants For Ceviche in Lima On A Budget

1. El Cebiche de Ronald

El Cebiche de Ronald is a small hole-in-the-wall restaurant that only serves ceviche.

It only has a few options on the menu but the most popular one and the one I recommend is the ceviche with just fish and chicharron de calamar. Chicharron de calamar is delicious fried calamari. For 27 soles (Less than $8 USD), you can have a ceviche with calamari that also comes with sweet potato and corn.

El Cebiche de Ronald makes the ceviche fresh in front of you. Their kitchen is in open-air so you can see every single step of the process.

From cooking the fish with their fresh lime to putting the final touch into the dish, you can see where your food is coming from and how it is made.

As a result, their ceviches are some of the freshest I have ever tried in Lima, and surprisingly one of the cheapest too.

In fact, El Cebiche de Ronald used to be just one restaurant but now has opened up many other stores around Lima. I definitely recommend trying the original restaurant.

Address: Av. Ignacio Merino 2427, Lince 15046, Peru
Hours: 11:30 AM – 4:30 PM Daily (Closed Tuesdays)

2. Barra Maretazo

Credit: Barra Maretazo

Barra Maretazo is a restaurant that has 23 years of experience cooking Peruvian cuisine. Without a doubt, you already know this is one of the best restaurants in Lima for Ceviche.

Located in Miraflores, one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in Lima, Barra Maretazo has some amazing interior aesthetic to match its mouth-watering food.

They believe that if you are having seafood or ceviche, it should be more than just a “taste” experience.

For that reason, they have boats where you can sit and enjoy your meal. Or if you want to be even closer to the sea, they have a sand bar where you can dip your feet in the sand while you sip on a Pisco sour (the national drink of Peru) and enjoy a traditional Peruvian ceviche.

Their price for a traditional or mixed ceviche is 33 soles (10 USD), and a combo is only 36 soles (11 USD)!

Address: Calle Alcanfores 373, Miraflores 15074, Peru
Hours: 12 PM – 11 PM Daily

3. Costazul Seafood

Costazul Seafood

Credit: Costazul Seafood

Costazul Seafood, or Blue Coast Seafood in English, is a restaurant that uses some of the freshest ingredients to prepare their affordable dishes.

Located in the beautiful and safe neighborhood of Miraflores, Costazul Restaurant is a small space with big flavors and friendly services. Their menus are diverse but the waiters are more than happy to explain to you what the dishes are.

If good service in a very warm and cozy atmosphere paired with extremely good ceviche sounds like something up your alley, don’t forget to check out Coastazul Seafood.

The ceviche is also incredibly affordable at 35 soles for the traditional and 38 soles for the house specialty.

Address: Calle Berlin 899, Miraflores 15074, Peru
Hours: Sunday: 12:30 PM – 7PM | Monday: Closed | Tuesday to Saturday : 12:30 PM – 8:30 PM

4. Punto Azul

If you have ever walked around the neighborhood of Miraflores, then you have probably walked past by Punto Azul. Frequently indicated by a line of people waiting, Punto Azul is definitely a restaurant that is worth the wait. If you come during off-peak hours, you might not have to wait in line.

Their ceviche is definitely one of the best I have ever had in my life. The fish is seasoned and cooked so perfectly that it melts in your mouth.

Every bite was just one step closer to heaven.

The flavor of the spices combined with the freshness of the fish was nothing like I have ever tried before. It reminded me of some of the best sushi I have had in Japan, but better. Come here and your taste buds will thank you.

Punto Azul has the traditional ceviche and the Punto Azul ceviche. Personally, I liked the traditional ceviche more than the Punto Azul one. The Punto Azul ceviche uses Aji, which is the orange sauce you see in the picture above, to make the dish a little spicier and adds a little twist to it.

A traditional or Punto Azul ceviche costs 39 soles per serving. Don’t forget to try the chicha morada (one of the oldest Peruvian drink) here as well.

Address: Calle San Martin 595, Miraflores 15074, Peru
Hours: Sunday: 11 AM – 5 PM | Monday: 6 PM – 12 AM | Tuesday to Saturday: 11 AM – 12 AM

5. Canta Rana

Canta-Rana-Lima (1)

Credit: Canta Rana

Canta Rana is not your typical restaurant. The spaces are cramped and it could be noisy especially during peak hours. However, that does not stop the locals and the tourists from going there.

Canta Rana has some of the best ceviches in town that brings tourists and locals from every part of town. The atmosphere is more local, which is amazing if you are a traveler that wants to mingle with the natives.

If you are here during a football game, expect the place to be crowded and rowdy. Peruvian are die-hard football fans and one of the best places to watch the game is at Canta Rana.

If you like to enjoy your ceviche in a more pleasant and quiet environment, you should head over to Punto Azul. It is a short 10 minute Uber ride from Canta Rana.

But if you are in the area and would like to try Canta Rana in peace and quiet, I recommend going at off-peak hours. There is usually no wait and the atmosphere is calmer.

A traditional ceviche at Canta Rana costs 40 soles.

Address: Genova 101, Barranco 15063, Peru
Hours: Sunday and Monday: 11 AM – 5 PM | Tuesday to Saturday: 11 AM – 10 PM

6. Mi Barrunto

Mi Barrunto is probably the most famous restaurant for ceviche in Lima. It is a restaurant that is located a bit further away from the main tourist area. For that reason, Mi Barrunto is mostly visited by locals.

Now you must think, if this place is visited by locals, it must be cheap. That is far from the truth. Mi Barrunto is actually a quite expensive restaurant, more expensive than some of the nicer restaurants in the fancier neighborhoods such as Miraflores or Barranco.

Even with such high prices, the locals flock here. Why? The seafood and ceviche here are top-notched. The atmosphere is welcoming. Locals come here to hang out on a Saturday night, chat with friends, and enjoy some amazing food.

If you don’t believe me, just check out, Mi Barrunto’s extensive menu.

The downside is since it is such a local restaurant, the interior is not as posh as the other restaurants in Miraflores or Barranco. The restaurant is also located quite far and it is unsafe to walk in the surrounding area of the restaurant. For that reason, the only way to get there is pretty much just with an Uber.

A traditional ceviche there costs 39 soles. You must also try the chica morada (traditional Peruvian drink), it is the best one I had in my 2.5-month journey in Peru.

Make sure you visit this cevicheria on your visit to Lima!

Address: Jiron Sebastian Barranca 935, La Victoria 15018, Peru
Hours: 11 AM – 5 PM Daily

7. Delfino Mar

Delfino-Mar-Lima

Credit: Delfino Mar

Last but not least, Delfino Mar is probably the fanciest of all the ceviche restaurants on this list. Located in the neighborhood of Miraflores (a great neighborhood for ceviche), Delfino Mar is easily accessible.

The restaurant’s atmosphere itself is quite the opposite of Mi Barrunto or Canta Rana, it is peaceful and quiet. It is almost as if you were at a Michelin-starred restaurant in New York City.

Here the tranquility lets you focus on your food better. Every mouthful of ceviche is an unforgettable memory that you can savor for the rest of your life. This is also a great place to take someone on a date!!

The price for a traditional ceviche at Delfino Mar is 38 soles (12 USD), and it is definitely well worth the price.

Address: Jorge Chavez 509, Miraflores 15074, Peru
Hours: 12 PM -10 PM Daily

Where to Stay in Lima to Eat Good Ceviche

The best place to stay in Lima for ceviche has to be either Miraflores or Barranco. I personally like Miraflores a little more because there are just so many cevicherias to choose from.

Other than that, the neighborhood itself, especially the cliffs by the Malecon are gorgeous. Miraflores is safe and quiet, but night clubs and bars are also within walking distance.

There are plenty of amazing things to do in Miraflores as well!

Even if you are not here for the ceviches, Miraflores is the neighborhood you want to stay in when visiting Lima.

Here are some recommendations for specific places to stay in Lima, Peru!

Best Airbnb In Miraflores, Lima (Peru)- Ocean View Private Apartment

Best Ceviche Lima Peru Miraflores
Where To Stay In Lima For Ceviche

(Images Courtesy of Airbnb)

If you are looking for an affordable and cozy home in Miraflores, then no further. This ocean view Airbnb in Lima is everything you will need.

Located adjacent to the Miraflores Malecon, guests are within walking distance from many of the best cevicherias in Lima. After stuffing yourself with delicious seafood every night, stroll down the scenic promenade as you make your way home before resting in your comfortable queen size bed.

If you still have more energy, sit out on the balcony and get some of the refreshing seawater. Halotherapy has some great health benefits!

Click here for more details!

Best Hotel In Miraflores, Lima (Peru)- Apart Hotel San Martin

apart-hotel-san martin Miraflores Ceviche
apart-hotel-san-martin-Lima Peru Ceviche

Anyone looking for an accommodation with traditional hotel decor and amenities of an Airbnb mustn’t miss Apart Hotel San Martin. Featuring kitchen facilities, guests can have the convenience of making their own meals.

This Lima hotel offers a complimentary free breakfast for all their guests, perfect for a day of exploring in Lima. After an exhausting day, come back and sink into your dreamy bed and drift away!

Click here for more info!

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Have you tried Peruvian ceviche? What did you think of it?? Peruvian ceviche is the reason why I was over my budget when I was backpacking Peru!

Disclaimer: Some of the links above are affiliate links. That means if you book or make a purchase through the links, we will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you! The money will help run this site! Thank you 🙂

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27 Traditional Foods You Must Try in Peru

27 Traditional Foods You Must Try in Peru

One of the best reasons to visit Peru is gastronomy. In fact, Peru has been the best culinary destination in the world for many years now. The wide variety of climates, ecosystems, and environments allow for a multitude of products to be grown, making the Peruvian cuisine very diverse. 

By the coastal region of Lima, you can have some of the best Peruvian ceviches in the world. While higher up in the mountains in the city of Cusco, dishes using alpaca meat are more common. In the southern part of Peru near Pisco, you will find a region where they produce a liquor called Pisco. Peru has so much diversity when it comes to food.

In fact, the capital of Peru, Lima has 2 of the top 50 restaurants in the world.

However, there are hundreds of Peruvian dishes. Below we have selected our favorite 27 foods you must try in Peru.

Traditional Peruvian Dishes

1. Aji de Gallina (Peruvian Chicken Stew)

Aji de Gallina is a Peruvian stew made with chicken and cooked with yellow chili peppers, walnuts, garlic, turmeric, and other spices. The dish traditionally comes with half a hard-boiled egg.

The Aji de Gallina was believed to be introduced to Peru in the 16th century by the African slaves. Now it has become a staple dish in Peruvian cuisine.

At first glance, you might think this dish is packed with flavors. Actually, the taste is quite mild. The yellow chili peppers are not as spicy as you think they are. The flavors are just enough and not so salty that you have to drink glasses of water afterward.

Where can you find Aji de Gallina? 

Most of the restaurants will have Aji de Gallina on their menu. But if you are trying to get it cheaply through “menu del dia” (menu of the day, usually with drinks and soup included), you may have to look around.

Generally, Cusco has some of the best Aji de Gallina. My favorite was from a restaurant in Cusco named Pachapapa!!

Address: Carmen Bajo 120, Cusco 08003, Peru
Hours:11 AM – 11 PM Daily

2. Alpaca Meat, An Exotic Traditional Peruvian Food

Yes! You can eat alpaca meat in Peru.

Those cute little animals running around the city of Cusco and in the Andean mountains are actually traditional Peruvian food. Some of you are probably thinking “alpacas are too cute to eat” but they are also extremely delicious. Sorry not sorry!

Like beef steaks, there are different parts of the alpaca that will have different tenderness and taste. A good alpaca meat/steak is tastier than some of the best steaks I have ever had!

Where can you find alpaca meat? 

The only city in Peru that I encountered alpaca meat was in Cusco, the ancient capital of the Incas. Many restaurants will offer grilled alpaca (Alpaca a La Plancha) but those are usually bad cuts and aren’t as tasty. The best alpaca meat I had in Peru was at Pachapapa in Cusco.

The alpaca skewers at Pachapapa was nearly orgasmic!

Alpaca meat is a dish you MUST try in Peru when you visit Cusco!

Address: Carmen Bajo 120, Cusco 08003, Peru
Hours:11 AM – 11 PM Daily

3. Anticuchos, The Strange Peruvian Street Food

Credit: Ricardo Diaz

At first glance, Anticuchos looks like your typical shish kebab or just your regular skewers.  While that is true, they are not your typical chicken or beef. Anticuchos are typically made with the heart or the liver of a cow.

I still remember ordering it for the first time and getting really excited for some beef skewers. But when I bit into it, I knew something was off completely. The tenderness and the taste were nothing like what I was expecting. It felt like I was eating street food in Southeast Asia again.

Even if you are not into that type of stuff, Anticucho is a Peruvian street food you must try. It originated from the Andes part of the region and has been a traditional food for a very long time.

Where can you find Anticuchos?

You can find Anticuchos easily on the street. Anticuchos are very common street food in Peru. Just make sure you pick the street cart with more people so you know the meats are a little fresher.

Make sure your meats are cooked thoroughly, or you might end up in the hospital with typhoid fever or salmonella!

4. Arroz con Pato (Rice With Duck)

Arroz con Pato (Rice with Duck), is a traditional Peruvian dish from a city in Northern Peru called Chiclayo. Over time, this dish has become so popular that you can find it almost everywhere in Peru.

Ducks have always been a native species in Peru. With the arrival of new ingredients such as rice, onions, and cilantro, all of these ingredients are cooked with the duck to create a rich flavor.

The original Arroz con Pato can be easily found in Chiclayo, where the rice is green due to the spinach and cilantro they put in it.

Where can you find Arroz con Pato?

If you want to find the traditional Arroz con Pato, you will have to go to Chiclayo. The only problem is that Chiclayo is off the tourist path and there is not much to do there.

Lima, the gastronomical capital of Peru, has some amazing Arroz con Pato as well. If you decide to try Arroz con Pato in Lima, you have to go to Fiesta Restaurant Gourmet!

Address: Av. Reducto 1278, Miraflores 15074, Peru
Hours12:30 PM – 12 AM Daily EXCEPT Sunday. Sunday they are closed.

5. Caldo de Gallina (Hen Soup)

Caldo de Gallina, or Hen Soup, is one of the oldest traditional foods in Peru.

The traditional soup consists of hen (not chicken), noodles, eggs, different types of potatoes (Peru has over 3,000 types of potatoes), and Chinese onions. The hen is usually cooked in the soup for hours so the flavors of the hen can come out.

Keep in mind that you can also get Caldo de Pollo, which is chicken soup. You might think they are the same thing but it is not. Hens are kept in the wild and eat everything organic, chickens are not. As a result, the meat of the hens will be much tougher and tastier.

Where can you find Caldo de Gallina?

You can find Caldo de Gallina throughout the entire country. It is a very popular dish. However, my recommendation is to eat it in Cusco because Cusco is really cold. The warmth of the soup and the flavor of the hen will be the perfect dinner after doing the Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu or other hikes in Peru.

Looking for tours and treks to Machu Picchu? Check out our recommendations below:

6. Causa Rellena

Causa Rellena Peruvian Food

Credit: Rulland78

The Causa Rellena is a unique traditional dish with lots of history from Peru. On the surface, it looks like a cake stuffed with vegetables, kind of like a healthy dessert that your parents tricked you into eating when you were a kid.

In reality, it is a dish made with two slices of fried potatoes with different kinds of ingredients stuffed in the middle. The filling in the middle can be a permutation of chicken, salad, or seafood.

In English, Causa Rellena translates to a stuffed cause. This translation literally does not make any sense unless you know the history behind it.

Back in the Pacific war, Peru was fighting Chile alongside Bolivia. When supplies and food came short during the war, the women would go around villages asking for whatever they could get.

With more than 3,000 types of potatoes in Peru, it wouldn’t surprise you that they were able to gather some potatoes and vegetables such as corn, cabbage, and carrots.

With all the ingredients, the women made what is today known as the Causa Rellena for the soldiers. And when the women were handing the “stuffed causes” to the tired soldiers, they would say “This is for the cause”. Hence, the name Causa Rellena was born.

Where can you find Causa Rellena? 

Causa Rellena can be found throughout all of Peru, but Lima definitely has some of the best I have ever tried.

Punto Azul in the beautiful and safe neighborhood of Miraflores is the restaurant to go to if you are in Lima. Not only does Punto Azul have some killer Causa Rellenas, but it also has some of the best Peruvian ceviches!

Address: Calle San Martin 595, Miraflores 15074, Peru
Hours: Sunday: 11 AM – 5 PM | Monday: 6 PM – 12 AM | Tuesday to Saturday: 11 AM – 12 AM

7. Charqui (Dried Alpaca or Llama Jerky)

Credit: Sonia Barboza

If you thought you were done with alpaca meat, then you are wrong. Charqui or Ch’arki in the indigenous language in Peru is alpaca, llama or a mixed jerky.

Do I need to say anymore? This is one of the most authentic Peruvian snacks to try! You can even take some with you back home or for your Machu Picchu hike!

Where can you find Charqui?

Charqui is going to be hard to find if you are not looking for it. It won’t be in restaurants, stores on anything like that. Your best bet is the mercados or markets around town. You can try finding it in the Mercado Central de San Pedro in Cusco.

Address: Tupac AmaruCusco 08003, Peru
Hours: 9 AM – 6 PM Daily

8. Chicharrón, A Delicious But Unhealthy Food You Must Try In Peru

Chicharrón is a classic dish made of fried pork belly or pork rinds. This is probably the dish you want to stay away from if you have any sort of heart problems. It is no joke how unhealthy but tasty this dish is.

In Peru, you can often find street carts selling Chicharrón, either just the meat or in a sandwich. You can usually tell when you start to smell it from a street away. When the pork is fried in its own fat, the smell will have you salivating before you even see it.

But in my opinion, chicharrón definitely smells better than it tastes. But don’t let that discourage you, you must try this food in Peru at least once.

Where can you find Chicharrón?

Typically the street carts will sell some decent quality Chicharrón. But if you are looking for some of the best ones I have ever tasted, you have to go to a place called El Chinito in Lima. They have some amazing Chicharrón (sandwiches).

Address: Av. Almte. Miguel Grau 150, Barranco 15063, Peru
Hours: 9 AM – 12 AM Tuesdays to Thursday | 9 AM – 3 AM Friday, Saturday | 9 AM – 1 AM Sunday | Closed Monday

9. Cuy (Guinea Pig), One of the Classic Peruvian Dishes

Cuy, or guinea pig, is probably the most famous Peruvian food. Unlike the name suggests, guinea pigs are not actually pigs. They are rodents like rats and hamsters.

Cuy has been a Peruvian delicacy way before the Incans or the Spanish came around. They were more than the typical livestoks such as cows or pigs because they were much easier to breed and more nutritious.

Where can you find Cuy?

Cuy is one of the most popular dishes in the Andes. For that reason, the city of Cusco will have some of the best Cuys you will ever find. The best place I had it was at Pachapapa in Cusco. They also have some of the best Aji de Gallina and Alpaca meat.

Address: Carmen Bajo 120, Cusco 08003, Peru
Hours:11 AM – 11 PM Daily

10. Leche de Tigre (Tiger’s Milk)

Leche de Tigre, or tiger’s milk, is commonly confused as the leftover juice to Peruvian ceviche. However, that is not entirely accurate.

Leche de Tigre is prepared beforehand using a fish stock made with actual fish, a lot of lemon juice, salt, and pepper to give it some spice. The resulting juice itself is sometimes consumed straight or sometimes used as a sauce for ceviche or other kinds of seafood.

Many Peruvians believe that the Leche de Tigre is a restorative drink, a drink that will give strength back to the user. Some also believe that it is an aphrodisiac.

Where can you find Leche de Tigre?

Lima! Lima! Lima! You should only try Leche de Tigre from Lima. It has some of the freshest seafood in all of Peru. Go to Astrid & Gaston and you won’t be disappointed.

Address: Avenida Paz Soldan 290 Av. Paz Soldán 290, San Isidro, Lima, Lima 15073, Peru
Hours1 PM – 3 PM, 7 PM – 11 PM Monday to Saturday | 12:30 PM – 3:30 PM Sunday

11. Lomo Saltado, One of The Most Popular Foods in Peru

Lomo-Saltado-1

Lomo Saltado is a local Peruvian dish that many Peruvians enjoy on the daily. It is usually made with marinated beef strips, onions, peppers, cilantro, tomatoes, and other ingredients.

From the photo, it might look like the typical stir-fry beef that you get at a Chines takeout. In fact, there is some truth to that. Lomo Saltado originates from “chifa” traditions, or the Chinese part of Peruvian cuisine.

Unlike typical stir-fry which is just rice and beef with vegetables, Lomo Saltado comes with fries. The potato fries is the Peruvian influence on the Chinese stir-fry, hence the name “chifa”.

This is the dish you want to try if you are “playing it safe.”

Where can you find Lomo Saltado?

Literally everywhere!! Lomo Saltado is so popular that you will often find it as a menu of the day option.

12. Papa a la Huancaina, The Classic Pervuian Appetizer

Papa a la Huancaina is a popular Peruvian appetizer that originates from Lima. The potatoes are boiled and served with a creamy and spicy yellow sauce made from chili peppers. The yellow sauce is called Huancaina, hence the name Papa a la Huancaina.

It is also one of the few vegetarian Peruvian foods.

Where can you find Papa a la Huancaina? 

Pretty much everywhere in Peru. They can be found easily as appetizers in restaurants that have a menu of the day!

13. Peruvian Ceviche, Peru’s National Food

Peruvian ceviche is the national dish of Peru. It is the one dish you must try when you visit this gastronomically diverse country. In fact, many travelers come from all over the world just to get their hands on some of the freshest Peruvian ceviches.

But what exactly is ceviche (sometimes called cebiche), and is it safe to eat? The answer is YES.

Ceviche’s most important ingredient is the fish, followed by the quality of the lemon. The lemon in Peru is unique to the region and much more suitable for making ceviche than any other lemons. The acidity of the lemon juice actually cooks the fish, killing all the harmful parasites and bacteria.

That is how strong Peruvian lemons are!

Combined with other fresh ingredients such as red onion and cilantro, the Peruvian ceviche gives off a flavor that is unique in its own ways. Traditionally, it is made with chili peppers to give it some spice, making the Peruvian ceviche much different than any other ceviche.

Where can you find Peruvian Ceviche?

Peruvian ceviche requires some of the freshest fish, so it would make sense that the coastal city of Lima has some of the best ceviches. Even though you can find ceviche in places like Cusco, the fish they use is trout.

Trout is not a fatty fish and contains many bones, making trout ceviche one of the worst dishes I have ever tried in Peru.

Trying Peruvian ceviche doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money. There are many good and affordable places for Peruvian ceviche in Lima. My favorite place is definitely Punto Azul in Miraflores.

Address: Calle San Martin 595, Miraflores 15074, Peru
Hours: 
Sunday: 11 AM – 5 PM | Monday: 6 PM – 12 AM | Tuesday to Saturday: 11 AM – 12 AM

14. Pollo a la Brasa (Rotisserie Chicken)

Credit: Krista

Pollo a la Brasa (sometimes referred to as Peruvian chicken) is simply known as rotisserie chicken in the United States. It is a dish that originates from Peru and was only served in high-end restaurants back then. Nowadays, it is one of the cheapest and most consumed classic Peruvian dishes.

Where can you find Polla a la Brasa?

You can find Polla a la Brasa pretty much everywhere in Peru. They are so common that you will see them being roasted as you stroll down the streets of Lima or Cusco.

15. Rocoto Relleno, The Most Spicy Food In Peru

Credit: astuviaje

Rocoto Relleno, or stuffed pepper in English, might look like the typical stuffed pepper that you can find in other countries. But don’t be fooled by its innocent appearance.

Is Peruvian food spicy? A rocoto pepper is a least 10 times spicier than a jalapeño when raw. If you like spicy food, then this is the one food you must try in Peru. If you can’t handle it, my advice is to stay away from it.

Rocoto Relleno is stuffed with minced meat among other ingredients and then topped with melted cheese. The taste is great if you can handle the spiciness.

Where can you find Rocoto Relleno?

Rocoto Relleno is popular in the city of Arequipa, a city one-night bus away from Lima or Cusco. Arequipa has many local restaurants known as Picanterias. My favorite one to try Rocoto Relleno is Picantaria La Capitana.

Address: Calle Los Arces 209, Urbanización, Cayma 04014, Peru
Hours:12 PM – 5:30 PM Daily EXCEPT Thursday when it’s CLOSED

16. Tiraditos

Credit: Dale Cruse

Tiraditos look like the Peruvian form of sashimi from Japan. In fact, tiraditos are what many considered to be a fusion of Japanese and Peruvian food.

It combines the sashimi from Japan and the tiradito sauce from Peru. The tiradito sauce is a spicy sauce usually made from a mixture of lemon juice, various seasonings, peppers, and sometimes even rocoto.

Like ceviche, the main ingredient is raw fish. The difference between the tiraditos and the ceviche is that ceviche is submerged in the sauce before it is served. Tiraditos are not.

The sauce of tiraditos is poured on top right before it is served, therefore the fish is still uncooked. You can taste the freshness of the fish much better in tiraditos than ceviches.

Where can you find Tiraditos?

The city of Lima has some of the best tiraditos due to its geographical location on the coast. Many seafood restaurants will serve a fairly decent tiradito but I had my favorite tiraditos at La Mar.

Address: Av. Mariscal La Mar 770, Miraflores 15074, Peru
Hours:12 PM – 5:30 PM Friday to Sunday | 12 PM – 5 PM Monday to Thursday

17. Trucha Frita (Fried Trout)

Trucha Frita (fried trout) is a typical cuisine in the Andes of Peru.

The Andes mountains provide freshwater resources where trouts can easily reproduce. Many cities up in the Andes (such as Puno) will have trout farms. If you are lucky enough, you can even catch your own trout at one of these trout farms and have it cooked in front of you.

Peru is one of the largest exporters of rainbow trouts. They have shipped trouts all over the world including the United States, Europe, and many other countries. Trouts in Peru are considered some of the best trouts in the entire world. So don’t forget to try this dish when you are in Peru.

Where can you find Trucha Frita?

Trucha Frita can be easily found throughout all of Peru, but I recommend eating at places closer to the Andes Mountains. Cities like Puno and Cusco will have some of the freshest truchas you will ever encounter.

Trucha Fritas are usually offered as one of the options for the menu of the day. These restaurants can be found easily throughout the cities.

Going to Puno and looking for some tours on the floating islands? Check out our recommendations: 

Best Drinks In Peru

I have to be honest when I first went to Peru I was overwhelmed by the various types of drinks. Food will always be familiar, a chicken will always look like a chicken, beef will always look like beef. But drinks, those are some things that will confuse you.

Here are some of the drinks in Peru that you must try.

18. Chicha Morada, The Most Popular Peruvian Drink

Chicha Morada is the number one local drink in all of Peru. I can guarantee that you will find it in every restaurant that you encounter. You will find it on the streets, in the markets, in a cheap restaurant, or even in the fanciest restaurants. Peruvians drink Chicha Morada like it’s water.

Chicha Morada is made using purple corn grown in the Andes mountains. Yes, there is a thing called the purple corn. In fact, Peru has 55 different varieties of corn. Chicha Morada is a mildly sweet drink that tastes like some kind of expired grape juice. One thing for sure is that it definitely has its own unique taste.

Can you believe that the Incans used to drink chicha?

Where can you find Chicha Morada?

In Peru, you don’t find Chicha Morada. Chicha Morada finds you. You can run and you can hide, but Chicha Morada will find a way to you.

You can find Chicha Morada in literally every restaurant in Peru.

19. Chicha de Jora

Chicha de Jora Peruvian Drinks

Chicha de Jora is pretty much Chicha Morada’s cousin, expect that Chicha de Jora is fermented and has alcoholic content. Jora is a type of yellow corn found commonly in the Andes mountains.

The process of fermentation is very similar to the fermentation process of European-styled beers. However, Chicha de Jora usually contains only around 1-3% alcohol.

Chicha de Jora is known as the corn beer of Peru.

Where can you find Chicha de Jora? 

Chicha de Jora is a lot harder to find than its counterpart, Chicha Morada. I have only seen Chicha de Jora is some of the fancier restaurants. The restaurant that had the best Chicha de Jora was Pachapapa in Cusco.

Address: Carmen Bajo 120, Cusco 08003, Peru
Hours:11 AM – 11 PM Daily

20. Inca Kola, Peru’s Most Popular Non-Alcoholic Drink

Credit: Amanda Kelso

The second most popular drink in all of Peru after the Chicha Morada is definitely the Inca Kola. Inca Kola, with a yellowish appearance, might not look appetizing at first. But once you take a sip of it, you will understand what the hype is all about.

Inca Kola is a drink that originates from Peru but can now be found in many parts of the world. Many say it has a bubblegum flavor to it. Honestly, at first taste, yes it has hints of bubblegum flavor to it. But soon your brain forgets about it due to the heavy amount of sugar they put into Inca Kola.

Where can you find Inca Kola?

Literally everywhere in Peru. Restaurants will have it. Bars will have it. And grocery stores will have more than you will ever need. 

21. Mate de Coca (Coca Tea), aka Peruvian Coffee

Credit: audrey_sel

Mate de Coca, or coca tea, is a traditional drink that originated from the Andes. There are certain myths surrounding coca leaves and if they actually contain cocaine or not. The answer is YES. The cocaine alkaloid content in coca leaf ranges between 0.5 and 1 percent.

Coca leaves are used to make cocaine. And if you ingested coca tea or coca leaves in Peru, you are at risk of failing any upcoming drug tests. Many countries such as Canada and Netherlands consider coca leaves the same as cocaine! And if you fly into Singapore airport with coca leaves, you might receive the death penalty! Even though the actual amount in coca leaves are minuscule compared to actual cocaine.

History says coca leaves were used by the Incas to help build some of their ruins such as Machu Picchu. The coca leaves give them the energy to work for long hours a day and can suppress hunger in large quantities.

Nowadays, coca leaves are used to give people a little extra boost. They are also known as Peruvian coffee. Coca leaves will help you overcome the high attitude in many regions of Peru.

And most definitely don’t hike in Huaraz without having a few coca leaves with you.  

Where to find coca tea/leaves?

You can easily find coca leaves at markets and stores around Peru. Cusco is the best and easiest spot to find them. You can pay 1 sol for a huge bag of coca leaves in the central market in Cusco.

Coca tea can be found at restaurants and hostels. There are also tea bags they sell in the supermarkets.

22. Pisco Sour, The National Drink Of Peru

Credit: Cathrine Lindblom Gunasekara

Now let’s get to our favorite drink in Peru, the Pisco Sour! Pisco sour is an alcoholic drink that uses Pisco as the base liquor. Different ingredients such as fresh lemon juice, syrup, bitters, and egg white are then added to it.

Yes, you got that right. Raw egg whites are added to the drink, creating that foamy substance you usually see at the top of a Pisco sour.

However, unlike the name sounds, the drink itself isn’t really that sour.

Peruvians love their Pisco sour so much that they named it after the city of Pisco, similar to the city Tequila in Mexico!

Where can you find Pisco sour?

Lima has some amazing Pisco sours. But obviously, you can also visit the city of Pisco to sample the drink directly from the source.

Traditional Desserts In Peru

No meal is complete without a nice dessert. Luckily for you, the amazing traditional desserts in Peru will send your taste buds to heaven. Here are some desserts you must try in Peru. 

23. Arroz con Leche (Rice with Milk)

Credit: Dario Alvarez Arroz con leche is the Peruvian form of rice pudding. However, they are known to be a lot sweeter than their western counterparts. Arroz con leche is not the fancy dessert that you have in a French restaurant. In fact, it takes pride in its simplicity. Arroz con leche is simple and delicious but not too heavy on your stomach. It is the go-to dessert when I am stuffed from eating other delicious food Peru has to offer. Where to find Arroz con Leche? Many bakery shops, or pandeleria in Spanish, will sell arroz con leche. With a proclaimed origin of Lima, your best bet would be to try it there.

24. Lucuma Ice Cream

Lucuma-Ice-Cream

Is there any other dessert better in the world than the classic ice cream? The answer is YES!!

A lucuma ice cream!

Lucuma is a fruit native to the regions of Ecuador and Peru. When eaten raw, the fruit is very dry and not very tasty. But for some miraculous reason, when you put it into a milkshake or an ice cream, it suddenly becomes a gastronomical masterpiece.

Where can you find lucuma ice cream?

You can find it in most ice cream shops in Peru. However, my favorite lucuma ice cream was definitely from Blu il Gelato del Barrio in Lima. 

Address: Calle Miguel Dasso 115-101, San Isidro 15073, Peru
Hours:12 PM – 8 PM Monday to Saturday | 11:30 AM – 8 PM Sunday

25. Picarones, Popular Dessert Street Food

If you have been on the road for too long and miss the donuts from Dunkin Donuts, fear not. Picarones, or what I call the Peruvian donuts, will have your cravings satisfied.

Picarones are made from squash and sweet potato, making the donuts themselves mildly sweet. Then they are fried until they are nice and crispy on the outside and served with syrup.

Where to find Picarones?

Picarones are common street food in all of Peru. Go to your nearest Plaza de Armas and you will be able to find these sweets quite easily. If you are in Lima, head to Puente de Los Suspiros or Parque Kennedy and you will find quite a few places selling them!

26. Queso Helado, Arequipa’s Traditional Dessert

Credit: _e.t

Queso Helado, translated literally to cheese ice cream, is a dessert strictly from the city of Arequipa in Peru. I mean strictly. I was not able to find it in any of the big cities like Lima or Cusco.

It is such a popular dish that every 4th Sunday of January, it is “Day of Queso Helado”. Yes, Queso Helado has an official day of celebration like Day of the Dead in Mexico or Thanksgiving in the United States.

That’s how big of a deal Queso Helado is.

A little misleading but Queso Helado actually does not contain any cheese. It is a Peruvian dessert that is made with condensed milk, through a very complicated procedure.

Where can you find Queso Helado?

I am sure there are vendors that sell Queso Helado throughout Peru but I was only able to find them in Arequipa!! My favorite Queso Helado was in an old traditional restaurant called Tipika Restaurante.

Address: Av. Luna Pizarro 407, Arequipa 04001, Peru
Hours:
9 AM- 5 PM Daily

While you are in Arequipa, make sure to check out Colca Canyon. It is twice the height of Grand Canyon in the US!

27. Suspiro a la Limeña

Credit: astuviaje

Suspiro a la Limeña, or sigh of the Lima lady, is a traditional Peruvian dessert that should have some interesting history. However, the history of the Suspiro a la Limeña is actually quite simple.

A poet named Jose Galvez tried this dessert that was made by his wife and found it sweet and light, “like a woman’s sigh.” Just like that, the dessert has been called Suspiro a la Limeña ever since.

Suspiro a la Limeña is made out of manjar blanco, which is something made out of milk, sugar, almond vanilla, and egg yolks.

Where to find Suspiro a la Limeña?

Many dessert shops around Peru will sell Suspiro a la Limeña. But the best place to try it is definitely where it originated from, Lima. The shop called El Buen Gusto is one of the most famous pastry shops for Suspiro a la Limeña.

Address: Torre Tagle 249, Lima 15074, Peru
Hours: 8 AM – 8 PM Daily

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There you have it, the 27 foods you must try in Peru. Have you tried any of these Peruvian foods? Which one is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!! 

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