• TTT - Cebiche

Indisputably Peru's flagship dish, visitors can try this versatile cured raw fish classic pretty much anywhere in the country, from humble huarique street carts to fancy restaurants. Taking full advantage of an extensive 1,500-mile coastline, cooks marinade fresh seafood such as sand smelt, sea bass, tuna, octopus, sole, black clams or sea urchin in lime juice before turning up the heat by adding limo or rocoto chillies. Seafood bathes in this spicy yet creamy concoction, called leche de tigre (tiger's milk), for a few hours: it's even said to cure hangovers. Fine slivers of red onion, sweet potato, cancha crunchy corn and cilantro balance out the acidity in this heavenly, fresh dish. Where to try it: Prepare for a show before tucking into the cebiche at Chez Wong. Owner/chef Javier Wong fillets whole fish with a huge blade like he's slicing through butter. Chez Wong | Calle Enrique Leon Garcia 114, Lima Peru

  • TTT - Nikkei cuisine

Maido's take on Nikkei cuisine is widely regarded as the best in Lima. When two peoples as passionate about food as Peruvians and Japanese are come together, the only possible outcome is a culinary firework display of epic proportions. The prominent Japanese migration to Peru in the early 20th century spawned Nikkei, which blends Japanese culinary techniques with Peruvian ingredients, fusing the best of both worlds. An exciting and refreshing cuisine comprising many hybrid dishes, standouts include tiradito, a mixture of sashimi and cebiche, and pulpo al olivo, octopus drenched in a vibrant olive sauce. Where to try it: Peru-born chef Mitsuharu Tsumura has given Nikkei the haute cuisine treatment at Maido: his glorious 15-step tasting menu earned him a spot on the World's 50 Best Restaurants list in 2015. Maido | Calle San Martin No. 399, Miraflores (esquina con calle Colón), Lima Lima 18 Peru

  • TTT - Quinua

A food staple that's formed part of Peru's diet since pre-Hispanic times, this grain crop is considered so beneficial the United Nations named 2013 International Quinoa Year. Highly versatile and revered by people with celiac disease given that it's a tasty substitute for wheat, this superfood grows in the Puna and Andean regions, finding its way into any number of dishes such as tamales, soup, picante de quinua stew, and solterito salad. Where to try it: For a taste of the Andes in Peru's capital, San Ceferino serves up paiche fish skewers with tacu-tacu, replacing rice with quinoa. Central's Virgilio Martínez also uses it in his Mater Elevation tasting menu. San Ceferino | Av. Dos de Mayo 793, San Isidro, Lima Peru

  • TTT - Causa rellena con pollo

Taking advantage of the Andean nation's 4,000-plus varieties of tubers, causas is a classic supporting cast member to cebiche. Another dish dating back to pre-Colombian times, causa was traditionally made by mashing yellow potatoes with chili. These days, lime juice is added to the mix for extra zing. Rather like a sandwich where potato substitutes bread, causas are filled with chicken or tuna salad and topped with mayonnaise. Served cold, this colorful, starchy food tower is perfect for mopping up leche de tigre juice. Where to try it: The causa limena at La Mar Cebicheria in Miraflores neighborhood is made with avocado, chicken, boiled egg and tomato. La Mar | Av. La Mar 770 Miraflores, Lima Peru

  • TTT - Picarones

Even better than donuts. In need of a sugary pick-me-up? These donut-like rings are fried up freshly in front of you from huarique food carts and served hot. But picarones are no ordinary donuts. Made from sweet potatoes and a large green squash called zapallo macre, they are also spiced with aniseed and cinnamon then drizzled with fig, passion fruit or sugar cane syrup -- a deliciously exotic combination that beats the pants off lesser fried dough rings. Where to try it: There are huariques dedicated to making picarones under the Bridge of Sighs (Puente de los Suspiros) in Lima's Barranco neighborhood.

  • Amazon rainforest

Best accessed from: Iquitos, Peru is one of this massive jungle’s best jump-off points. Best hike: Most tours take place on the river, but several lodges near Iquitos offer access to a canopy walkway where the forest can be viewed from the top, down. The Earth’s largest rainforest spans over eight countries and 1.4 billion acres. It’s fertilized (via natural phenomenon) by dust from Africa’s Sahara Desert and it’s home to jaguars, pink dolphins, toucans and -- our Saturday morning spirit animal -- sloths. Not to mention the isolated tribes who still live in this forest and are lucky enough to not know that Facebook is a thing.

  • Looking for ancient ruins, mountainous vistas and warm hospitality? Greece may come to mind, but Peru checks all of those boxes and more. Like the Acropolis, the ancient Inca citadel of Machu Picchu draws over a million of visitors each year. You’ll need to plan in advance to see its mystical peaks: Daily tickets (starting at $50) are limited and tend to sell out, particularly during high season (July and August).

You can launch your trip to Machu Picchu, perhaps an Inca Trail trek, from the city of Cuzco, which sits 11,000 feet above sea level. Even if you’re not planning on hiking, it’s worth spending a few days here to acclimate to the high altitude. And there’s plenty to do. Visit San Blas, an artisan neighborhood filled with shops specializing in pottery, sculpture and textiles. Or stop by the Museo de Arte Precolombino ($6), which is housed in a colonial mansion and contains an Inca ceremonial courtyard. Wrap up evenings with a meal at one of Cuzco’s growing number of top-notch restaurants such as Chicha or Limo to try the local cuisine and, of course, a pisco sour.

nov 25 2015 ∞
may 3 2018 +