Peru is one of Latin America's most popular travel locations, and for a very good reason! The rich cultural history began with the region's pre-Columbian populations, which have also left behind a wealth of fascinating archeological sites. The Incan empire dominated much of the Andean region between the 12th century and the 14th century, forever altering the cultural blend of Peru.
After Columbus "discovered" South America in the 1500's, there was a period of turmoil as the Incans collided with the Spanish conquistadors. Eventually, in 1826 Peru achieved independence from Spain and moved forward in developing as a nation and as a distinct cultural force in Latin America.
There is an unending list of other cultural elements of Peru, such as Peruvian's love for soccer, the abundance of pre-Hispanic art and handicrafts, the influence of the Quechua language, and much more. Seeing Peru firsthand, you will learn more than any book could ever tell you about the beautiful customs, people, and heritage of this expressive country and culture.
The cuisine of Peru also reflects the rich cultural history of the country, incorporating the land's natural agriculture and the blend of cultural influences. Peruvian food is known all over the world as one of the most delicious, unique cuisines, so whether you're a foodie, a timid eater or just like to explore new dishes, come prepared to eat well.
Some of Peru's most popular dishes include ceviche, papa a la huancaina, picarones, and many more traditional ingredients native to the region. Peru is also the home of pisco, a type of liquor elaborated from white grapes. This is made into the popular cocktail called a pisco sour, which is known around the world.
I went on a group trip with Conquer Peru and it was the most incredible experience! I've never been on a trip that packed SO MANY activities and experiences into two weeks, but I truly feel like I got to see the best of the best. Not only did we travel across the entire country, seeing Machu Picchu and the Amazon, Lima and Lake Titicaca, but we knew every restaurant, hotel, and site we visited was an authentic, high quality experience because of Matilde's expertise and knowledge about Peru. It's so fun to travel with a local who can be both a guide and a friend as you take in all the sights. My favorite part was the unique hotels Matilde found for us, like the bungalows along the Amazon river. And of course, Machu Picchu exceeded all my expectations. It really was the trip of a lifetime, thanks to Conquer Peru's organizing!