Offering cultural encounters, outstanding gastronomic experiences, trendy new neighbourhoods and a myriad of vibrant festivals throughout the year, there are many reasons why Peru is a hot destination for Australian travellers.
With more scheduled to happen and open in the coming months, intrepid adventurers, hotel enthusiasts, culture buffs, foodies and beach lovers alike have much to discover – here are just a few reasons to add Peru to the hot list for 2014:
Barranco – Peru’s answer to Paris’ Montmartre
Located in the southern part of Lima, Barranco is where some of the trendy neighbourhoods of Europe were years ago; cool, sexy, young and energetic. It is considered the most romantic and bohemian area in Lima and the place musicians, artists, designers and photographers call home. Wandering through the streets of Barranco, travellers will find colourful art deco houses, a hip bar and restaurant scene and MATE, the only cultural institution in the world that permanently exhibits the work of the prominent Peruvian fashion photographer, Mario Testino.
Peru’s undiscovered surf scene
For an extreme coastal experience and to discover Peru’s surf scene, escape the city and head to Chicama, a surfing town in northern Peru where budding surfers are said to have found the world’s longest left-hand wave. Chicama is a must for the intrepid Aussie surfer. Surfers estimate the wave peels for an incredible four kilometres.
Lima is hot on the lips and hips of foodies
Lima has secured the title as South America’s gastronomic capital. Home to award-winning chefs including Virgilio Martinez, whose internationally acclaimed restaurant Central, based in Miraflores, attracts gourmets from all over the world, the city is on every foodie’s wish list. Martinez’s London based restaurant Lima has also recently become the first Peruvian restaurant to win a Michelin star. There is no shortage of delicious Peruvian cuisine to tuck into in this gastronomic hub.
Peru is no stranger to a fiesta
For travellers who like to shake their hips they have 6,800 Peruvian festivals to choose from. Depending on the celebration, Peru has local street festivals like the Marinera Festival that takes place on the streets of Trujillo in late January, traditional festivals like Ayacucho for Semana Santa in April, gastronomic celebrations like La Vendimia that takes place in the wine region of Ica in March and week-long cultural carnivals like Qoyllur Rit’i or Snow Star Festival that takes place in the Sinakara Valley in the Cusco region. Each festival is alive with incredible Peruvian dancing, singing and eating – lots of eating.
A top tip for any traveller heading to Peru in early 2014 – be sure to visit Lima for Pisco Sour Day, held on the first Saturday in the month of February. On this day only, the water in the fountain in Plaza Mayor is swapped out for Peru’s well-loved national drink, seeing 2000 litres of Pisco flow out over the course of the day.
Peru, with its fascinating mix of culture, colour and cuisine, should be on every traveller’s 2014 trip list.
Details, bookings: www.peru.travel