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Discovering the Hidden Gem of the Incas

5 Foods to Eat in Peru

As you scale the heights toward Machu Picchu, either chugging your way up on the Hiram Bingham Train or hiking through the jungle, you enter the Incan city through a small, unimposing gate. Ducking underneath it, you walk along a small path until you come to a bend in the road where just beyond you lies a scene that takes your breath away -- the hidden city of the Incas. Peru is a lot like that, a place where the best things may not be the things you expected to find. And one of the greatest gems of this South American country isn’t the architecture or the amazing history, it’s the spectacular cuisine. Here are five foods you must try in Peru:


Image: Ceviche;, Flickr

Ceviche -- The waters just off Peru’s coast produce some of the sea’s finest catches. This raw fish dish, marinated in citrus juice and accompanied with red onion and aji pepper, is just one of the favorite local dishes.
Cuy -- Nowhere else on the planet will you find guinea pig as a main source of protein. But in Peru, the locals enjoy it baked or barbecued on a spot. The taste? A bit gamey and a lot like rabbit.

Causa -- If you go to any local market in Peru you’ll see authentic gaucho-clad cowboys bringing in their harvest and corn the size of your thumbnail. You’ll also marvel at giant avocados the size of a football and hundreds of varieties of tubers. These latter two, avocado and potato, are layered together into a cold casserole dish that is a local tradition.

Alpaca -- In the Andean highlands, this cousin of the llama has been a source of protein for centuries. It is lean and gamey and somewhat greasy -- making it ideal for jerky. From the word charqui, which means to burn, jerky is a Peruvian invention.

Anticuchos -- These skewers of meat are found everywhere from fancy restaurants to street food carts. They are served with garlic sauce and the most traditional varieties are made with beef heart, believed to be a custom that originated with the Spanish who would consume the choice cuts and leave the organs for the slaves.

Peru is a discovery for all your senses, and a place that is always more than you would expect.Travcoa, allows you to explore Peru in ways that would surprise you -- like offering superior accommodations in deluxe properties with the opportunity to upgrade your hotel stay as you see fit.

Travcoa is known worldwide for its small-group Escorted Journeys, Private Tours and Custom Travel to South America and other exotic travel destinations. To learn more, call your travel agent or a Travcoa Journey Consultant at 1-800-992-2003, or email

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Topics: Peru