3 Things to know before visiting Peru
Peru has a population of approximately 30 million people. Roughly a quarter live in Lima, the capital, which is by far Peru’s largest city. Lima is by the sea, it has a wonderful gastronomic offer and exciting museums to visit.
1- Get ready to adjust to altitude
Peru is a mountainous land, and you have to handle heights if you’re going to Cuzco, Machu Picchu and other landmarks of Incan culture.
How to prepare? The easiest method is drink lots of water, get plenty of sleep and ease off the alcohol. You can also consume stimulating coca leafs, whether in tea or by chewing them.
2- Always carry cash on you
Although it is totally possible to find places that accept cards, especially in big cities like Lima or Cuzco, however, Peru has a developing economy, and it is likely that the further away you go from big cities, the more likely it is that local shops won’t accept cards. Always ask if an establishment accepts cards anyway, even if they have a sticker on the window saying they do, because it is not uncommon for some stores or restaurants to put a Visa sticker on the door without ever accepting Visa cards in the first place. And for your own sake, don’t restrict yourself to places that accept cards. You’ll end up missing out on most “authentic” Peruvian experiences.
3- Eat your ceviche in the morning
Ceviche is a traditional Peruvian dish that originated in the country and later spread in popularity throughout most of South and Central America. The dish consists of raw fish, generally corvina or sea bass, which is then marinated in the juice of freshly-squeezed limes or bitter oranges, essentially “cooking” the fish with its acidity. Peruvian restaurants don’t generally buy their fish from wholesalers or the grocery store, they buy directly from fishermen who bring their catch to shore early in the morning, thus, the sooner you eat it, the fresher it will be, and this is especially important since ceviche is served raw.