Peru has a variety of different climates and geographic wonders to take advantage of. If you have booked a trip there, get ready to experience a place that will leave you breathless. The climate often ranges from the driest (almost desert like conditions) to a wet tropical jungle, and even below freezing in some mountaintops. There are a variety of beaches, mountains, and jungles to explore. If you are at a loss of where to start with all this, here’s a list of things to keep in mind during your travels:
Your first stop when you land in Peru will probably be Lima, and while most people cruise right past it, there is plenty to do there. Lima is the biggest city in the country, with a vibrant city center and excellent restaurants. You can talk a walk by some of the beautiful beaches by the Miraflores district, or check out some of the museums in the city. There are plenty of places open late, with delicious Peruvian food, and friendly people all around the city. Whether or not you are fluent in Spanish, most people make an effort to understand you and make you feel at home.
The Ceviche Is To Die For
Ceviche is generally the more magic among foods, but Peruvian ceviche leaves something special in the taste of your mother. The fish is fresh and seasoned over at least 24 hours, making it very much seep into the dish. If you are passing through Lima, you should out La Mar. There are plenty of restaurants to try it and you genuinely won’t go wrong if you pick something with a little bit more of a local vibe.
Put Your Toilet Paper in the Garbage
There will usually be signs around, but make sure you put your toilet paper in the garbage instead of flushing. This may seem like an odd rule but much of the plumbing in Peru is not built for mass amounts of toilet paper. It’s a bit annoying (not to mention awkward) to have to deal with it if you do clog a toilet.
Visiting the Incas
While the Incas are not the only tourist wonder in Peru, they are a huge one. It’s worth it to the take trip up to Machu Pichu, but keep in mind the journey can often be arduous and long. Besides the slight motion sickness that might overtake you, you have to get yourself to Cuzco first. From there, there is a bus that takes you to the base of the mountains, where you will start the long climb. You should definitely take a tour with a company as it is not the sort of voyage you can make without having someone who knows the area. Most companies are fairly reputable but keep an eye on reviews and ask around for the best ones. Make sure to pack comfortable shoes and water because the steps are huge and it is not a joke of a climb.
Before you get ready for the climb, make sure you keep hydrated and get a lot of sleep the night before. And definitely do not go drinking. The very last thing you want to do is start the voyage with a hangover and not having slept enough. It’s important to be up and alert as you start the task of getting up the mountain.
One of the classic drinks in the country is Pisco, which is a brandy that they have made out of grapes. It’s also very popular in Chile and there is a bit of a rivalry between the two countries as to the origin of the drink. In any case, it is worth trying while you are there. If you are at the bar, ask the barman to make you a pisco sour, whereby he will add syrup, lime juice, egg whites, and Angostura bitters mixed in with some ice. The result is a sweet and delicious drink that will leave you wanting more and more.
If you are not that into the cocktail scene, that’s okay too. There are plenty of local beers to try out. Just make sure you always have cash on you. People are not as keen on taking card, just because of the pain of putting in the machine and having transaction. Your best bet is to take out cash beforehand and make sure you break them at some point. Some places won’t even take your bills if they are too big. Go to a bank and make sure you get all your soles, that is Nuevo sol, in bank notes of less than 50.
Peru is a beautiful country and definitely worth visiting. Just make sure you know what it is you’re getting into. People are kind and willing to help you but at the end of the day, the best thing you can do is to help yourself. Stay alert, be ready to immerse yourself in local culture, and have a life changing experience.