July 28 is Peruvian Independence Day, also known as the Fiestas Patrias. The celebrations take place over two days, and the entire country from the main cities to small villages are animated with festivities: from parades to military salutes to parties, it is a day when Peruvians are beaming with national pride. For Pitusa, the day holds a very special place in our heart. From the very beginning of Pitusa’s inception, our founder, Clara, was convinced that Peru was the place to achieve an authentic and ethical process for creating her vision.
She was right, and now, 7 years on — Pitusa employs female owned ateliers based in Peru, who have been working with cotton for generations. From the very beginning we have been #MADEINPERUWITHLOVE.
In celebration of the day, we are offering 30% off all our Peruvian Styles through July 30, and here on the blog we are offering some of our best insider tips for traveling to Peru. Peru truly is one of those little known gems of the world – those who make the trip to this beautiful, storied country come back with a sparkle in their eye — as if they have stumbled on some secret the rest of us have not quite cottoned on to. Of course, what we often associate with Peru is Macchu Picchu and healing retreats in the jungle. And although we are not ones to turn our nose up at one of the seven wonders of the world nor a good healing — there is oh so much more to the country than that – there is something breathtaking to look at seemingly at each new place you visit.
Two of the amazing Peruvian women in our Pitusa fam, Thais and Francesca, helped us put together a guide for some of the lesser known spots. This is a real treat, because it’s not often one gets the real-deal insider info. They even put together lists of local dishes to try so you know what to order! They have an amazing breadth of knowledge and after putting this guide together, we honestly can’t stop looking at flights to Peru and planning a month long sabbatical.
Haven’t heard of Piura? Well you’ve been missing out. To the north-east of the country, it shares a border with Ecuador. It’s known by Peruvians as the “land of eternal summer”, and is a very popular destination for surfers and beach lovers alike. Some of the most beautiful beaches to visit are Mancora, Cabo Blanco, Lobitos, Los Organos, and Colan. Also not to be missed: some of the freshest, most delicious seafood available — definitely try every ceviche you can get your hands on. In particular, if you come across “ceviche mixto”, definitely order it.
LOCAL DISHES TO TRY: Chifles, majado de yuca con chicharron, seco de chabelo, ceviche de conchas negras
Capuccino, Rio Verde, Chifa Canton, El Chalan (try the cremoladas), La Negra Teresa, Country Club, El Ajicito, El Cacheton (try the Conchas Negras)
La Sirena, La Bajadita, Antica Pizzeria
Cusco is to the south of the Peruvian Andes, it is a beautiful traditional city, known by the Incas as the “Sacred City”. Cusco was the capital of one of the main pre-Colombian empires: the Tahuantinsuyo.
DON’T SLEEP ON THESE SIGHTS: Sacsayhuamán, Qhapaq Ñan, Kenko, Ollantaytambo, and Maras, the Sacred Valley,Aguas Calientes, and Machu Pichu.
LOCAL DISHES TO TRY: Tamales, Humitas, Adobo, Cuy
RESTAURANTS: La Cicciolina, El Huacatay, Bodega 138, Kion, Jack’s Cafe, Uchu, Pachapapa, Limo
Puno is located in the mountainous south of Peru and shares a border with Bolivia. The Puno region is home of Lake Titicaca, the sacred site of the Incas, and has the most incredible natural and man-made islands.
LOCAL DISHES TO TRY: Kankacho, Alpaca carpaccio
RESTAURANTS: Alma (Casa Andina Hotel), Mojsa Restaurant, La Choza de Oscar
Ica is on the central coast of Peru, south of Lima, the terrain has dramatic dunes and a vast desert – in certain spots you feel like you might be in space. Some sights that are absolutely not to be missed: Nasca Lines, Huacachina, Natural Reserve of Paracas. Islas ballestas. Every cocktail lover knows a good Pisco Sour is worth gold, and this is the place to try Pisco – Peru’s national drink.
LOCAL DISHES TO TRY: Pisco, Tejas, Carapulcra
RESTAURANTS: El Encanto de la Huerta, Cafe Soleil, Restaurante Ballestas
DON’T SLEEP ON THESE SIGHTS: The Zafiro Cruise, or any of the Amazonian cruises (some of the best in the Amazon), go to the waterfalls: start at Tarapoto and then do a roadtrip to the Gocta Lodge (which looks like a waking life dream).
Lima is the well-known capital of Peru, it’s on the west coast–on the shores of the Pacific Ocean. It has some of the best cuisine in the world, beautiful beaches and some ancient sights. Activities abound, too, try paragliding in Miraflores or doing a roadtrip to Lomas de Lachay (or both!).
DON’T SLEEP ON THESE SIGHTS: Huaca Pucllana, Caral (oldest civilization of America), Archaeological Complex of Pachacamac, Larcomar, Magic Water Circuit, Malecon of Miraflores (eat at Beso Frances),Mali Museum, Mate Museum, Barranco, Dedalo Market, Galeria Lucia de la Puente, San Francisco Church and Convent and Lima Cathedral.
LOCAL DISHES TO TRY: Lomo Saltado, Ceviche, Tiradito, Arroz con pollo, Anticuchos, Tacu Tacu, Cau Cau, Conchitas a la Parmesana, Chupe de Camarones, Pan con Chicharrón, Causa, Arroz con leche, Picarones, Suspiro a la Limeña, Aji de Gallina
RESTAURANTS: El Mercado, Cala, Danica, Maido, Rafael, Fiesta Chiclayo Gourmet, Jeronimo, Cosme, Pescados Capitales, Osaka, Papachos, La Picanteria, Felix, Astrid y Gaston, Chifa TITI, Central (Latin America’s No.1 restaurant, Virgilio Martinez named world’s best chef), Amaz