There are endless sights to see when visiting Latin America, from the excitement offered in Argentina, to Nicaragua´s beautiful beaches. But what about Peru? This relatively small country in the northeast of the South America is often over looked, or used as a stop off point to see Machu Picchu before moving on to bigger places. Apart from this architectural wonder, Peru has so much more to offer!
Peruvian cusine for example, is often stereotyped as eating guinea pigs from street vendors. There is so much more to it; the food here is actually a reflection of the country’s rich cultural history, a mix of Indigenous, Spanish, African and Asian influences. Peru´s coastline provides a range of food, such as the signature dish ‘ceviche’, which is a tangy raw fish and shellfish marinated in lime juice and hot peppers. The local Cusqueña beer is well worth trying, or why not go for a pisco sour for something a bit stronger!
Peru also enjoys a geographical variety too, from the famous Andes mountains, to its pristine beaches. Yet did you know Peru is also home to the jungle? Almost 60% of the country is included in Peru´s selva terrain, a wide expanse of land covered by the Amazon rainforest. There is so much to explore here, from the unique wildlife to Peru´s tropical plants, the selva region of Peru is so different to its coastal or mountainous areas.
Then, there is the Peruvian party atmosphere! Most people know of the country´s Incan background, but the festival of the sun is spectacular. In Cusco, on June 24th every year, Peru hosts South America´s second biggest carnival after Rio. Known as Inti Raymi, (Quechan for ´Festival of the Sun´) this festival is the most important on the Incan calendar. According to Incan mythology, Inti was the sun god, and he was worshipped for being such an important aspect of life. Festivities take place outside the city, and the week-long celebrations include music, concerts, dancing, street fairs, exhibitions, religious ceremonies and elaborate traditional dress.
With all this and more to see and do in Peru, why not come and visit! There is also the fantastic opportunity to practice your Spanish here, especially with the friendly locals, and if you´re a beginner there are fantastic courses you can take, to make sure you get the most out of your time in Peru.