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Welcome to delicious Destinations, a GourmetStation blog. Through the charater of T.Alexander and occasional real-life guests, our aim is to share with you light-hearted fun ideas about food, gift giving, entertaining and culture. At the same time we would love you hear from you. Please share your experiences from home or abroad.

Peru - Set Your Senses On Fire

Posted: December 5, 2007
by: Alvaro Bedova

This article is inspired in the many trips I have made all over this vast country. Soon I will be leaving. I am moving to Europe for a while and it made me reflect over all that I will leave behind, all the moments, people, colors, smells, flavors and all that makes this wonderful country what it is. I would like to share with you my idea of an ideal trip to reencounter this land and feel all the unique experiences and sensation that are grinded in my mind.

Any trip to Peru starts off in Lima. Many people don’t spend the proper time here because they don’t know it very well. It takes a few days to actually get the sense of the city and its diversity. You need to take your time to discover its ancient history and of course try the world-class cuisine it offers. I would start my day early and visit “Las Delicias” to enjoy one of their many fruit juices which freshness and combinations are unique. I would continue across the street to the market and look for the lady who sells tamales, this corn mixture accompanied by a strong black coffee is a perfect start.

Later in the morning after a walk along the malecon watching and smelling the vast pacific ocean, I would continue my quest and go to the classic bodega “ La Preferida “ here the specialties are fresh seafood snacks.  There is something about this place that will make you remember it and want to come back for more, I recommend everything. For a proper lunch, nothing better than one of the many excellent restaurants my personal favorite is “El quierolo”. Right next to is we find a classic bar where you should go and try some “Pisco” this emblematic spirit produced from the distillation of the grape, is unique and characteristic for Peru. The place to try it would be “Taberna quierolo” classic bar, here I would recommend you to try the different blends straight first, then look, smell and finally tast this fantastic liquor, I cannot leave this bar without enjoying some “chilcanos” it’s a very simple yet appetizing drink made from Pisco, ginger Ale, ice and a slice o lemon, I will fall for the delicious “butifarra” they serve here. Later on I will continue my way to down town Lima where I intend to visit its streets, the main plaza all litted and continue to the Chinese neighborhood  and dine in the “Walok” Chifa. This type of restaurant is a unique fusion of Peruvian and Chinese, I strongly recommend the “Pato Pekines”, the “Kam lu wantan” or the “Wantan soup”. To continue the night I would visit one of the local bars “Huaringas” is a perfect option. Days like these we can have many in Lima this is only one of many combinations, we can do the same but eating different specilaites, on day crab, next day octopus, shrimp, oysters, sea urchin the possibilities are many in Lima. 

A visit to Arequipa is obligatory, I love this part of Peru, maybe because of its unique and traditional cuisine, nature, architecture, history, I think actually it is mainly because of the “ Chupe de Camarones”. This shrimp based soup, originally from Arequipa, the flavours and sensations it produces while eating it are impossible to describe in words, I invite you to try and what a better place than in this old an traditional Picanteria “La Lucila”, here you will find doña Lucila 88 years old, next to her clay pots, cooking with wood fire and the traditional “Batan”, (type of ancient stone grinder ) still cooking the same recipes passed over generations, that stuffed hot pepper, that spicy shrimp accompanied by a big glass of corn beer, will just be recorded forever in your mind.

Next in our reencounter experience I would continue to Cusco. The Incas capital is something special one has to be there to feel it, something in the air, sounds, the people, its history, captivate me and made me establish and start a business there. Cusqueñan gastronomy is determined by the season and their products, in summer we find that fabulous corn from the sacred valley, the wild mushrooms from the heights that grow after an electric storm, in winter the potatoes, the freshness of the huacatay ( traditional aromatic herb), just baked bread in a cold morning, or just follow one of the many festivities and try the official dish that accompanies the celebration.  Cusco also offers many fusion type of restaurants, we have many and too good, a culinary adventure to rediscover them is a must.


Machu Picchu is mandatory, after visiting this magic place and really felt and connected with it, I would continue to the hot springs, to finish the day nothing better than a dish from my lodge & restaurant “Rupa Wasi”.


Here Julio, our talented chef, has learned the best from me and my two chefs partners.  Julio fuses it together and now amazes visitors with marvelous creations. I cannot figure out what makes so special his “Trout Cebiche” – I  invite you to try it and  find out for yourself.

As we are so close, I would take 2 or 3 days and fly to Puerto Maldonado, is just an experience to land in the middle of the rain forest and find this vibrant small city, full of color, life, smells and cheerful people, I have many good memories from this part of Peru, the raw nature, the rain forest the sounds and of course the exotic gastronomy, unthinkable fruits, fresh water fishes, freshness, the simplicity of the dishes make it unique is not the same, one has to be there to feel it, 30 degrees [c], hot, sunny, damp, rainy - all this contrast results in a fantastic experience that will make you think “when can I come back”.

A perfect way of ending this trip is going off north of Peru, along its coastline, if I have to number all the places to visit it would require a trip by itself. But there are a few places I wouldn’t miss. I would first visit “Chicalyo”, known also as the capital of happiness, maybe because of its fantastic gastronomy, its blessed weather or the beautiful landscapes. This land is full of mysteries, histories and specially flavors, there are some dishes that cannot be missed, starting with the “rice & duck”, “ baby goat stew”, “dry ray cebiche” the fish stock soups, the fabulous cebiches or the sweet desserts.


A place I would not miss is Lamabayeque here I would visit the “Tumbas reales” museum, in my opinion the best in Peru, the Lord of Sipan was a ancient lord that ruled this valleys, with the findings of his tomb they built a whole museum - the amount of gold and silver is just breathtaking. Next to this museum is a famous restaurant called “Rincon del Pato”, one of the best in northern cuisine. After this delightful experience, I would continue north non stop until I get to Tumbes, I was saving the best my favorite dish for last, the mule foot clams, this fat and meaty mollusk, it only grows in the mangroves around “ Puerto Pizarro”. The best way to eat it is in Cebiche, marinated in lemon and its own juices, truly a world class dish, my personal favorite, of all Peru. After such a voyage , I would just sit in a table over looking the sea with a cold beer and just see the sun set over the mangrove,  overwhelmed by the explosion of colors and  sensations and just thank that I am back.

Alvaro Bedova

Eco Lodge Near Machu Picchu - Rupa Wasi

South American Culinary Tours - Thousand Flavors


Your Comments

Peru is one of the best cuisines of the world! ;-)

Posted by: Giselle Benites at Jun 11, 2009 12:48:45 PM

Lima makes use of Seafood as a staple in their diet. Lima hotels can direct tourists to visit, including the best fishing wharf spots which are located on the coast line of Lima. Great Writing!

Posted by: Lima at Oct 20, 2010 3:30:09 AM