40 Things Nobody Tells You About Backpacking in Peru

A supermarket aisle in Arequipa filled with Inca Kola. Peru is obsessed with Inca Kola! It's one of the things nobody told us about backpacking in Peru!
Backpacking in Peru? Heres' 40 things nobody tells you before you travel to Peru. Like that the entire country is obsessed with Inca Kola!Backpacking in Peru? Heres' 40 things nobody tells you before you travel to Peru. Like that the entire country is obsessed with Inca Kola!

If you’re going backpacking in Peru, chances are you’ll hear a lot about Machu Picchu, something like “don’t spend any time in Lima” (we disagree), and some generic advice about acclimating in Cusco for a few days before doing anything athletic, like getting out of bed or walking up a flight of stairs (we agree). And that’s about it. We arrived in Peru with very little idea of what to expect: we knew a whole lot about the history of the Incas and very little about the Peru of today. After a month of backpacking in Peru and figuring it out as we went, we’ve cobbled together some observations from our very gringo perspective, with varying levels of usefulness and in no particular order. Here are 40 things nobody tells you about backpacking in Peru!

The desert from a bus window in Peru. The frequency of deserts is something we did not know about before backpacking in Peru!
Bonus tidbit: There is a LOT more desert here than I realized. Most of our bus rides seem to involve passing through some kind of desert landscape.
  1. If you order a coffee at a restaurant, you are likely to receive a cup of hot water and a small pitcher of cold dark liquid. Surprise! That’s your coffee. It’s highly concentrated and often sweetened. You’re supposed to pour the concentrated coffee into the hot water until it stops tasting like watery coffee, which is usually about a 50:50 ratio, in my experience.  I will say that it’s way better than instant, but it’s not quite the cold brew of my snobby coffee fantasies, either (although there is incredible coffee in Lima).
  2. There’s more American music here than anywhere else we’ve been. But it’s all like, a few years behind. There’s a lot of classic rock, a weird amount of Jason Mraz, and more than anything else, Coldplay. This entire country is freaking obsessed with Coldplay. We hear it at hostels, restaurants, coffee shops. Acoustic Coldplay. Live recorded Coldplay. Acapella Coldplay. It’s very relaxing, but we’re very confused.
  3. When they’re not chillaxing to Coldplay, every coffee shop in Peru has the same acoustic cover album playing. Just hours of acoustic covers of American Top 40’s hits. Miley Cirus, Taylor Swift, Adele, and – above all else – James Blunt and that song “Let Her Go” from whoeverthehell. Seriously, we’ve heard it more here than we ever did in the states. It’s so odd.
    13 Things to Know Before You Go to Cusco and Machu Picchu, Peru
  4. Lúcuma is the Pumpkin Spice of Peru. It might just be our favorite Peruvian fruit, and we’ve never actually tried the fruit itself! Lúcuma is a flavor used all over Peru in sweets, ice creams, and desserts. It tastes like caramel and maple syrup mixed with brown sugar and heaven. We hear the actual fruit has the texture of a hard boiled egg yolk, which is why people use it for cooking instead of eating raw. We’re really curious to try it. If you see something flavored with lúcuma, get it!
  5. Sometimes when something in a restaurant includes ham, it’s literally pieces of lunch meat ham. This is maybe excusable – if a little weird – on pizza, but it makes absolutely no sense on pasta. And yet….

    Lunch meat and alfredo pasta in Huacachina, Peru. Lunch meat on pasta is one of the things nobody told us about Backpacking in Peru!
    Mmm, delicious lunch meat alfredo pasta.
  6. Don’t forget to look up the altitude of your destination ahead of time! Altitude is no joke in Peru, where you can travel a few hours away from the coast and suddenly find yourself gasping  and sick. I got altitude sickness after taking a bus from Huancacho, at sea level, to Huaraz, at 10,000 feet. Try to plan your trip so that you climb gradually and have a few days to acclimate. Don’t go from coast to mountains and back to the coast and then back into the mountains, which is what we did – wtf were we thinking?? And bring altitude sickness pills!
  7. Coca Tea is your best friend. Don’t let its plant origins fool you: it’s nothing like cocaine! It  tastes like bitter dried leaves and smells a bit like weed, but it’s fantastic for soothing an upset stomach and easing the effects of altitude sickness.
    Hiking Laguna 69 in Huaraz, Peru: Everything You Need to Know
  8. There are a lot of very strong, unpleasant smells here. Inside, there is floor wax, gas, and strong chemical cleaners. Outside, it constantly smells like exhaust and gasoline. And anywhere that would otherwise be pretty, like the beach, a lake, or a small alley, smells like pee. We don’t know if it’s due to people or the many stray dogs, but the pee smell is even worse then in San Francisco, and that is really saying something. If you’re sensitive to strong smells, like Lia, it makes for a lot of headaches and nausea.
  9. Peruvian history is everywhere in Peru. From casually passing by thousand year old ruins while walking through a town, to shelves full of ancient pottery  in random shops or hostels, you can’t help but feel the ancientness of the Peruvian people (did I just make up a word? Whatever, it works.) The heritage of Peru is still proudly on display in their traditional brightly colored woven textiles and garments. From alpaca wool ponchos to tall hats and brightly skirts, Peruvian traditional dress is still alive and well!
  10. Inca Kola is a national obsession. Like … people LOVE this shit. We counted about 20 ads for Inca Kola just while sitting on the bus pulling into the station in Lima. It is a source of national identity and pride. And while some people rave about it, it’s … well, it’s kinda gross. It tastes like neon yellow bubblegum. But as much as we don’t love it, we still find ourselves ordering it and craving it. I think maybe they put something addictive in there….

    Fishing boats from Huanchacho, Peru
    Huanchacho, Peru is an awesome surfing town where fisherman paddle out into the sea on these unique hand-woven boats made from straw, and then surf the waves back to shore after collecting their catch! How awesome are these?
  11. Northern Peru is not on the typical “Gringo Trail.” We think we know why. Although we enjoyed the scenery crossing the border through Ecuador into Peru, we weren’t terribly into Cajamarca or Chachapoyas, the two most frequently backpacked cities in far northern Peru. We absolutely LOVED Huanchacho, a surfing town, and Huaraz, an adventure/trekking town, though – and they’re much closer to Lima. Don’t feel like you missed out if you don’t venture all the way north.
    La Balsa Border Crossing: from Ecuador to Peru
  12. While some countries tend to specialize in producing just one product, Peru is an overachiever. Ecuador does chocolate. Colombia does coffee. Peru, the Hermione Granger of South America, specializes in coffee, chocolate, wines, Pisco, rice, olives, cheese, and a huge variety of fruits and vegetables! This makes visiting local Peruvian markets exciting and also super affordable.
  13. Supermarkets are a rare luxury. We’ve only encountered them in big cities, like Lima and Arequipa. Instead, everyone shops at the huge local mercado for fresh fruit, veggies, fish and meats, locally made cheese, and more.
  14. Mercados are awesome. In Northern Peru, you can buy discs of dark, farm fresh chocolate for under $1 at the local mercado. In Arequipa, they sell caviar alongside fresh fish and crab – for cheap! Supermarkets are typically more expensive, but they’re also our only chance to find sugary breakfast cereal, so we still seek them out every chance we can.
  15. There is still no Cinnamon Toast Crunch here. That’s 3 countries and counting. We got SO close – they even had Captain Crunch! AND Crunch Berries!! – but not our fave. Also, American cereals are insanely expensive here. Like $7 a box! But after 3 months without cinnamony heaven, we’d pay anything. Seriously. (Side note: apparently there is no Cinnamon Toast Crunch in Europe either, and nobody there eats breakfast cereal. This breaks our hearts a little bit.)

    Mercado in Chachapoyas, Peru full of delicious fresh fruit.
    We’re totally obsessed with Mercados in Peru, like this one in Chachapoyas. You can buy insanely cheap fruits like Starfruit and Cherimoya, discs of farm-fresh chocolate, even prepared sauces so you can pretend that you know how to cook Peruvian food!
  16. Everywhere in Peru you’ll see menus with “criollo” food: Comida Criolla. The word translates as we expected, to creole, but with a totally different meaning. We’re used to thinking of creole food as what you might get in Louisiana. Here, it actually means food that originated with European descendants, like the Spanish, that has been mixed with traditional Peruvian food to create a whole new type of food.  Criollo food is sort of like a Peruvian history lesson: each of the ingredients used in the dishes has a different history that evolved since the Spanish conquistadors invaded. It’s now considered the typical and traditional food of Peru.
    The Best Third Wave Coffee Shops in Lima, Peru
  17. Don’t order Cau Cau. It is basically just tripe and some other stuff that isn’t as gross as tripe but also isn’t enough to hide the tripe-ness of the tripe. It’s disgusting and tastes disgusting and looks like it has veins and it smells bad and I ate it once not knowing what it was and I had a really awful time so just don’t do it. (Note: obviously if you’re the sort of person who is able to eat tripe in other dishes, like Mexican Menudo, such as my husband who also happens to be Mexican, you’ll probably be able to enjoy cau cau. For the rest of us gringos, it’s an acquired taste that I did not acquire.)
  18. Chinese food is incredibly common here.  It’s called “Chifa” and isn’t exactly what we’re used to as Americans: it’s a blend of Peruvian and Chinese food, and unique to Peru. If you’re craving some fried rice and stir-fry, it hits the spot.
  19. One of the most famous Peruvian dishes is called Lomo Saltado. It’s like a beef stir fry, deeply inspired by Asian ingredients, with a rich flavorful sauce that we’ve found perfect for dipping bread into like a French dip sandwich. It’s super good. Peruvians eat it for all 3 meals! We even tried it once made with alpaca (we were not a fan. Alpacas are for petting, not eating).
    The Kennedy Park Cats: Cat Lover’s Paradise in Lima, Peru
  20. Dairy is a big industry here. While nobody drinks fresh milk (it comes in a box and is shelf stable and sort of just tastes like creamer), they do eat all manner of fresh Peruvian cheeses. As a huge bonus, ice cream here is the best we’ve had in all of South America! And not even just the fresh stuff in heladerias in the dairy region near Cajamarca. Even the little coolers you see in bodegas and on the street sell delicious packaged Peruvian ice cream!

    Eating lúcuma ice cream in Peru! Lúcuma is our favorite flavor! Nobody told us about it before we went backpacking in Peru.
    Jeremy enjoying a delicious chocolate and nut covered lúcuma ice cream. If you’re wondering why he looks so irritated, it’s because I’ve taken a picture of him every time he’s eaten ice cream on our trip, which is nearly every day. I’m making a series called “Jeremy Eating Ice Cream.” You’ll probably see it in a museum one day.
  21. Chicharones are everywhere on every menu, and they’re so good. They’re sort of like deep fried nuggets of meaty deliciousness. We’ve tried chicken, fish, and pork chicharones, and they were all absolutely delicious! We highly recommend them, because what’s the point of travelling if not to eat unhealthy delicious food?!
  22. Chicha is a fermented corn drink that sounds gross but is actually pretty good! It’s sweet, a little corny, and delicious both hot or cold. It comes in purple and yellow varieties (from purple and yellow corn) and is included with almuerzo at loads of typical Peruvian restaurants.
  23. Chocotejas, or Tejas, are delicious chocolate treats, a bit like Peruvian turtles. They are made only near Ica (and Huacachina) and you will see them sold everywhere in that region. They consist of delicious manjar blanco  – a version of dulche de leche, similar to caramel – pecans, and chocolate. We’ve also seen versions with raisins, Pisco soaked raisins, fig, lime, and more. They’re so incredibly good. Do not miss out if you travel near Ica!
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  24. Very few hostels offer amenities such as towels (even rental towels!) or included breakfasts. It’s a bummer, because those were basically standard throughout Colombia and Ecuador, and we got spoiled. When they do offer a breakfast, it consists of bread, butter and jam, and coffee or tea. It’s not at all filling. They sell the same shitty “American Breakfast,” which is the same but with an egg, at restaurants for like 12 soles/$4.
  25. You must eat Ceviche. MUST. It’s so incredibly delicious here. It’s fresh and tangy (thanks to the Tiger’s Milk juice that it’s marinated in) and comes topped with crunchy salted corn on a bed of sweet potato. In the north, it was most frequently mixed with a variety of seafood: octopus, conche negra (shells, we think?), fish. On the coast, it was all fish. But it’s so crazy good.

    Fresh fish ceviche in Huanchacho, Peru.
    Delicious fresh Ceviche in Peru! There are various types throughout the country. This version is just fresh fish ceviche.
  26. You can buy bus tickets online here! This is so exciting to us. It eliminates the very real possibility of showing up only to find that there are no tickets available, you missed the only bus of the day, or the next bus isn’t leaving for 7 hours. It also allows you to comparison shop for your bus company, meaning that instead of making a panicked decision while various people behind counters scream at you in a crowded bus station about a bus that is already late to leave, you can leisurely shop online in your PJ’s and plan things out well in advance. It’s so incredibly nice.
  27. Movies on long buses follow weird themes. Like one day it was the oddly specific “Men that don’t want babies that hilariously end up with babies:” (Instructions Not Included,  The Pacifier, Robin-B-Hood). Another day the theme was “Dog movies.” It started with a sweet, emotional tearjerker (Hachi: A Dog’s Tale) and then, once we were all softly weeping, moved on to a creepy horror movie that involved angry fighting killer dogs and a lot of blood (White God). What?! Don’t play with our emotions like that! Traumatizing.
  28. We’ve seen “Bus 657” 3 times now. Apparently movies about buses being hijacked are seen as thematically appropriate to watch on a bus. In related news, there’s nothing as exciting/terrifying as watching “Fast the Furious 16: A Fast Series of Furious Events” while careening at 90MPH along the edge of a cliff.
    30 Things No One Tells You About Backpacking in South America
    There are very few short bus rides in Peru. Like, the shortest we had was 5 hours. It felt like a dream compared to the 12-hour overnights and 21-hour all day buses we’ve been taking to get around the country. Thanks a lot, $200 foreigner flight tax. We could have hopped from Cusco to Lima in an hour instead of 21!
  29. The buses here are a LOT nicer than in other countries. There’s plenty of room, lots of amenities, and full-recline luxury seats complete with pillows and blankets for overnights. A lot of the buses are 2-story – and if you can sit in the very front of the 2nd story, it makes for a fantastic view of the scenery while you travel!

    At the stunning Colca Canyon near Arequipa, Peru.
    At the stunning Colca Canyon near Arequipa, Peru. This is the best place to view giant Condors as they soar through the canyon!
  30. Don’t expect to be welcomed with open arms, the way gringos are in Colombia or Ecuador. We got stared at a lot, and not in a friendly way. We’ve had several people try to trick us or take advantage of us – on a bus, a passenger tried to get us to pay him our fare instead of the bus attendant; and twice, taxi driver drivers have argued us into paying a higher fare than we had agreed upon – and we even had our bag stolen right from under noses in a bus station once! Luckily Jeremy chased the guy down, didn’t fall for his diversion tactics, and safely recovered the bag. But be doubly on guard in Peru, where backpackers and tourists are sometimes seen as targets. Always, always follow these travel safety precautions .
  31. There is always a stray dog or two in every restaurant. Nobody seems bothered by this. They just wander in and out as they please, stopping to beg at the occasional table. I like dogs and all, but I’d prefer to not be worried about fleas around my food!
  32. The stray dogs here aren’t always cute and friendly, like they usually were in Ecuador, Colombia, and Chile. We’ve had a few aggressive dogs chase us down the street, and we’ve seen some truly horrific hairless dogs that look like diseased nightmares (read more about the hairless dogs of Peru at Probe Around the Globe). Most of them are mutts with underbites and a chip on their shoulder. It’s a downer for a dog lover like Jeremy, who had never been forced to admit before that not all dogs are adorable loving puppies. (On the flip side, EVERY Peruvian cat we’ve met is both cute and sweet, ESPECIALLY the stray ones. You can find plenty of friendly kitties at Kennedy Park in Lima!)
    Why we're leaving South America early
  33. Mototaxis here are very unique. They’re sort of 3-wheeled rickshaw taxis. It’s like a motorcycle in the front, and a covered 2-seater in the back. There is only enough space for humans, so good luck with your baggage. We’ve also had them break down on us mid-trip. But they’re a quick and cheap way to get around, and just as common as regular taxis throughout Peru!

    A stray dog eyeing us suspiciously under a 3-wheeled Peruvian moto-taxi. As soon as I snapped this picture, the stupid dog attacked us. Stray dogs here are not our favorite.
  34. In Soles, the Peruvian “sun” money, coins are more popular than paper change. One day we counted up all of our change and realized we had $60 worth of coins! It’s because of the 2 and 5 soles coins. We once got change for a 50-sol bill with all coins. This also means that everyone wants you to give exact change, and get pissy when they have to break anything bigger than a 20.
  35. Do not take a ripped bill from anyone, because nobody will take it from you. Ripped or too-crinkled bills are totally not-ok with vendors – everywhere from hostels to taxi drivers refuse to take them. Oddly, we’ve been told by some of those same vendors that banks will take them, so we aren’t really sure why they’re so taboo.
  36. Counterfeit money is REALLY common in Peru. Don’t accept any US $100 bills while you’re in Peru, just in case – or be extremely careful to confirm that they’re real. While most businesses accept US dollars, they’re also on the lookout for counterfeit bills, and will destroy them on sight at your loss. I honestly have no idea how to identify Peruvian counterfeit soles, but those are common too.
    Travel Safety Tips: How to Protect Yourself and Prevent Theft while Traveling
  37. Crossing the street here is like playing Frogger. Stop signs don’t exist, and when they do, they’re completely ignored. You have to look death in the face and just run across and hope people will stop before they hit you (they usually do).
  38. Walking down the street as a gringo means being honked at constantly. Every other car is a taxi, and all of them assume that being a gringo equals needing a taxi. Even if they watch you get out of a taxi, they will honk. Even if you tell all 5 cars in front of them that no, you don’t need a taxi, they will still honk at you. It’s especially stressful when you’re trying to get up the will-power to run across the street, Frogger style.
  39. Pisco is THE Peruvian liquor, and it’s so good. You absolutely have to order a Pisco sour in Peru! Even better is visiting a Pisco winery near Ica, where it’s possible to taste both delicious strong Pisco made from various types of grapes, AND the sweet wine that is actually created as the first step of the Pisco distilling process! We bought a bottle of sweet Amor wine that is nicknamed “The Babymaker.” Ooh la la! For more information about Pisco and visiting Pisco Wineries check this post on Pisco in Peru by Salt & Sandals.
  40. Yes, they eat guinea pig in Peru. “Cuy” is a national delicacy. And yes, it just looks like someone fried up your childhood pet hamster.  You’ll see them all over Peru, strung up in mercados and on the menu at fancy restaurants We couldn’t bring ourselves to try it: Jeremy kept having flashbacks to Sir Sassafrass, his childhood hamster, plus his little sister informed us that she’d never speak to us again if we tried it. So we didn’t. We hear it’s a bit like eating a very small fried chicken. Let us know if you’ve tried it!

And there you have it: 40 weird and random things that nobody told us before backpacking in Peru! Did any of the things nobody tells you about backpacking in Peru surprise you? Leave us a comment below!

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Backpacking in Peru? Heres' 40 things nobody tells you before you travel to Peru. Like that the entire country is obsessed with Inca Kola!

From lunchmeat on our pasta to the national obsession with Inca Kola... 40 things nobody told us about backpacking in Peru!

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Hey, I'm Lia! I'm a Kentucky native living in San Francisco. I'm extremely practical and also entirely addicted to travel, which I'm forever trying to reconcile. If I had a patronus, it would a spreadsheet. Or a llama. Possibly a llama creating a spreadsheet. I'm married to Jeremy and I'm obsessed with him and it's super gross, unless you're us, in which case it's the best.

34 Comment

  1. Neni says: Reply

    I love this! Especially all those little tips and quirks about Peru. 🙂

    1. Lia says: Reply

      Thanks Neni! We loving hearing about all those little quirks and fun facts about a place that you you don’t find out about until you go visit!

  2. This was fun to read and full of really useful information! Peru is definitely on my travel bucket list!

  3. Joanna says: Reply

    I remember a lot of these thing from my Peruvian 3 weeks trip in 2013. I still didn’t try the Inca Cola but I am going back in December and I plan to. The Peruvian food is sooooo good though.

    1. Lia says: Reply

      Honestly, you’re not missing much. I don’t really get the obsession. It tastes like bubblegum and a heart attack! Where are you visiting in December?

  4. Yara says: Reply

    Coldplay everyhere? What part of Peru did you go to? Where I live is all about reggaeton, cumbia and salsa, honestly not my favourite thing

    1. Lia says: Reply

      Haha that actually sounds like the music we heard most in Colombia! We actually ended up missing reggaeton and cumbia because we heard it so little! We spent 2 months in Peru and visited Chachapoyas, Cajamarca, Trujillo/Huanchacho, Huaraz, Lima, Arequipa, and Cusco. Coldplay is insanely popular in Lima, Arequipa, and Cusco, and our hostel in Huanchacho was playing it almost nonstop too! It was so odd. Other favorites we noticed: Aerosmith (almost as much as Coldplay, but not quite) and random acoustic covers of American pop songs from 10 years ago 😛 Where do you live?

      1. Yara says: Reply

        I live in Lima but i just came back from Puntal Sal and it was just like you said: coldplay and covers (especially guns n roses) everywhere

        1. Lia says: Reply

          lol!! Isn’t it weird? We just started noticing it everywhere and thought it was so funny.

  5. matt says: Reply

    a quick amend to the chicha. there are 2 kinds chicha morada (purple) and chicha de jora (yellow). The first one is sweet made by boiling the purple corn with pineapple and cinnamon, cooling and adding lemon juice. TopTip. always ask for bajo de azucar in peru as they make everything too sweet! Chicha de jora is the fermented one, its alcoholic but not strong normally. Confusingly depending where you are both are referred to as just chicha. in central lima though chicha nearly alway means chicha morada.

    1. Lia says: Reply

      Thank you for the clarification! We had both kinds of Chicha (although the yellow chicha we had was never alcoholic, as far as we noticed) and didn’t care for either – because you’re right, everything is SO sweet! We should have tried some without added sugar, but they always seemed to come unasked-for with our meals from a premade jug. I was tempted to try some alcoholic yellow chicha on our Inca Trail trek, but I doubt it would have had the same performance-enhancing effect on me as it seemed to have on our porters 😛

  6. rhiydwi says: Reply

    “The Hermione Granger of South America” – love it! When I was there in June every single bus journey I took played the same movie. I don’t know what it’s called but it had Nicolas Cage and Chad Michael-Murray in it. It wasn’t a very good film but Spanish-dubbed Nicolas Cage is the best!
    Have you heard the panpipes version of Robbie Williams – Angel? That seemed to be playing absolutely everywhere!

    1. Lia says: Reply

      Hahaha that sounds about right! That’s hilarious. We did hear a lot of panpipes covers, mostly “The Sound of Silence” but I’m not sure I’ve heard that one! How funny.

  7. Peru sounds like a really fascinating, culture-rich and vibrant country to explore! Those tuk tuks look really unique and are definitely very different from the ones I used in Guatemala! That’s super helpful that you’re able to book all your bus tickets online. I will have to remember that for when I decide to go there! Thanks for sharing this insightful and entertaining article.

    1. Lia says: Reply

      Thank you! We never saw any other vehicles like it in all of our time in South America, really they were like VIP moto-taxis and quite fun to ride in. Booking your bus tickets online is SO helpful, unless of course you’re prone to accidents in which case chances are you’ll run into a few situations of missed or near-missed buses 😛 But if you’re capable of booking a bus and then leaving on time to catch it, it’s wonderful! (I’ll let you guess which camp we fall into ….)

  8. Maggie says: Reply

    Truthfully as a Peruvian I feel insulted by half of the 40 things “nobody” tells you. I was born in New York and lived in Peru my early years so yes I’m a gringa and didn’t encounter such terrible experiences as you place.

    P.S: Cau Cau is delicious.

    1. Lia says: Reply

      I’m sorry to hear that! We don’t mean to insult anyone. We enjoyed Peru, and we thought some of the things that we noticed might be humorous or helpful to someone planning a trip to Peru. Perhaps our experiences were less due to being gringos and more due to being backpackers – it’s hard to blend in with a huge backpack on your back! Although I must say I just didn’t like Cau Cau … but that’s just personal taste.

      1. Jill says: Reply

        I agree Maggie. Didn’t like her review at all.

        1. Lia says: Reply

          I’m sorry to hear that Jill! Can I ask what you didn’t like about it? I’m always open to feedback and it sounds like perhaps I need to tweak the post.

  9. These are all great though I’m not sure what you are referring to with the $200 foreigner flight tax? I took a couple flights in Peru: Lima -> Iquitos (~$100 USD), Iquitos -> Lima (~$70 USD), and Cusco -> Lima (~$80 USD) never saw a foreigner tax. I booked some flights online and some through a travel agent in town. I would suggest going to the travel agency while knowing the price you can get online. I found that the travel agencies were always cheaper

    1. Lia says: Reply

      That’s such a great suggestion! We didn’t book any flights, because when we went to book online, each airline had this giant warning that the discount/cheaper flights were only for Peruvian residents, and foreigners would be subject to an insane tax per flight (maybe based on our IP address when we searched?). We didn’t want to book the lower rate and then get in trouble at the airport. Perhaps we should have given it a try. It never even occurred to us to visit a local travel agency, that’s such a great idea! Thank you for your tip.

  10. Definitely appreciate the travel tips and have added a few to my already extensive list.

    1. Lia says: Reply

      Happy to help! Let us know if you have any other questions that we can help answer!

  11. Patty says: Reply

    You didnt mention if you try “Cuy”, we ate what you consider pets, lol. Or tried Llama, alpaca?

    Even though i liked it.

    1. Lia says: Reply

      We could not bring ourselves to try Cuy (too many memories of cute hamster pets – plus Jeremy’s little sister told us that if we did, she’d never speak to us again). But we did try alpaca! … we weren’t fans of the taste or texture. And they’re cute too 🙁

  12. Jenn says: Reply

    Just FYI, Danlac makes leche fresca in glass bottles that we can get many places in Lima. My kids refuse the shelf stable stuff. We can also get it from a few smaller producers as well. I loved some of your points. I was just talking about the weird lounge cover music with my husband today. I think maybe it’s something to do with licensing because they play it at all restaurants, shops and hotels.

    1. Lia says: Reply

      Good to know! We definitely find the most variety of food in Lima (the mercados there are AMAZING!!) but the smaller the towns we visited, the more difficult it was to find!

  13. Mia says: Reply

    Good post 🙂 you’ll be happy to know that they actually do eat cereal in Europe, at least where I’ve been in England, and I’ve lived in Spain for awhile now and they have a lot of cereal. I’m Canadian and they definitely have larger cereal ilses in Canada, but they had all of my favorites (specifically cornflakes and golden grahams). I didn’t check for cinnamon toast crunch because while it’s good, it’s never been a go-to for me and I often forget it exists! UHT (boxed, shelf stable) milk is also extremely popular here (and really quite cheap) although it is possible to find fresh milk too.

    1. Lia says: Reply

      I’m so relieved! hehe.

  14. Scott Sandel says: Reply

    We will have to agree to disagree about Northern Peru, the land of the Chachapoyas. We both LOVED it (last year, our third time in Peru). But we love the countryside and the high cloud forests, not so much the cities per se. Keulap, Leymebamba (horseback trip), Gocta Falls, …) Agree with most of your other comments, such as liking Huaraz area (not the town so much). But we’re not a fan of Lima, except the high-end restaurants.

    1. Lia says: Reply

      Interest, Scott! I have to admit, we skipped out on Kuelap and Gocta Falls because we were just exhausted from crossing the border from Ecuador. That’s totally our bad. I’m sure we would feel differently if we went! And you know, we mostly loved Lima for the amazing food, so I’m with you on that one!

  15. Luana says: Reply

    Such a lovely post! As a peruvian reading this is so funny! Inca kola and cau cau is awesome 🙁
    PS: I know they are cute, but Cuy is freaking delicious. You should have tried it haha

  16. Angelique says: Reply

    How can you not like Inca Cola?! It´s the best drink in the world! T-T
    But apart from that I liked your post, because most tourists forget that not every Country ist save like their homecountry. Good luck with the next post!

    1. Lia says: Reply

      Haha! My husband agrees with you 😛 It’s just a bit too sweet for me! And by a bit I mean like 10 spoonfuls of sugar or so 😛

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