Hi! I’m very happy to hear you’re considering to travel down to Peru. Here’s a list of questions I often get when close friends show interest in coming down to the land of potato.
Is it safe to visit Peru?
Considering tourists still choose to come here over El Salvador, I’d say yes. Generally speaking, a hesitant no. However, you’re smart enough to turn down shady offers from strangers (unless of course that’s what you want Mr-I-came-to-Peru-to-try-out-the-cocaine-my-uncle-is-raving-about) and sober enough to be able to tell you’re making the wrong turn at a dark alley with the potential to make your night about getting to know the latin american police station culture. If you’re with me, you should not worry. I sandbox my guests, most of them[^1] ;-)
What is there to do in Lima?
Quite frankly? Some walk tours, some other food tasting tours and spend the rest of your time learning spanish. Maybe you’re quite intense and will try to learn every single detail about the spanish inquisition but if you are all about having a good time what you’ll be hearing from me is you rent a car and a start a roadtrip any direction but west (for obvious reasons). Peruvian countryside has amazing scenery and a unique culture. It’ll be in those places where you’ll feel you’ve entered a different timeline.
I feel like I haven’t stressed this enough, so I’ll say it again: Lima is all about food. Just come down here to try everything Peruvian food has to offer. It’s amazing and I’m not biased like someone from Poland is going to tell you Polish cuisine is the best one in the world (ew).
What is the best time to visit you?
I’m sort of a freelancer now so I can take most days free. However, I’m still under a self imposed schedule so the earlier you can let me know about your plans, the better. This will also me suggest better times should there be any conflicts, considering most people choose to come in the most popular months. Bottom line, please do not choose your visiting times depending on my availability. I’m happy to see you anytime.
The best time for you to visit, is in the warm months - which is all year for you, except maybe August where it drops to 15 degrees. If you’re going to the countryside you want to avoid rainy season from October to February. Tourist peak season is between June and August so keep that in mind if you want keep photobombers away from your instagram feed. My personal suggestion? Come at times there are interesting events going on such as Mistura, the procession of el Señor de los Milagros, a FIFA international date, or any public government strike (ask if you want me to keep you posted).
WTF is Mistura?
The best thing to ever come out of Peru. It’s the de-facto food festival and in Peru that means a lot. I know every country thinks their cuisine is amongst the best one in the world and the mum does the best spaguetti but how many countries have their cooks leading the polls for next head of state? Only Peru. That says more about our political class than our food but I can’t think of a better place to start discovering peruvian culture. After trying an exotic fruit you’ll wonder about the natural landscape capable of producing it, and when trying a fusion between african and japanese tecniques on peruvian potatoes you’ll have a better understanding of the kind of society the peruvian one is.
Can I stay at your place?
Absolutely. However, my place is too far from city centre - far from anything to be fair. This means your uber fares will about double. Oh, you were thinking you’ll use public transport? Probably wrong. Lima isn’t friendly to anything public, so unless you’re the kind of traveller looking for authentic experiences such as eating raw lizards in the amazon, pay your cab fare. The perks of staying of mine are meeting my two cats and enjoying a swimming pool. I’m not hosting your family members because I can barely handle mine, and I’m not hosting your friends because… wtf I thought I’m your only friend /s.
What, why and how Machu Picchu?
I’m no expert about peruvian culture so please try not to embarrass me by making any specialised questions like when tourists correct me on my knowledge regarding the differences between alpacas and llamas. If you want to start learning about Peruvian culture why not download the new Sid Meier’s Civilization VI which happens to feature the Inca empire. Try playing as the Inkas for 200 years and then let yourself be conquered by Europeans so you know get to really know us (Spoiler alert: it’s not fun).
Ok, seriously, why and how Machu Picchu?
I can’t tell you why you should go to Machu Picchu, but that only speaks to how great it really is. You could go for spiritual reasons, it’s a sanctuary at the top of a mountain in a remote region, so if you don’t find your chakra chances are you are chasing something that doesn’t really exist. You could go for that perfect Instagram picture, and I don’t have anything snarky to say about that because I just realised I don’t have one and I’m pretty sure I’d get lots of likes even if it’s a cliché. Or you could just go because it’s mind blowing and it’s been a while since you’ve left your daily routine and would like to be reminded that there’s still pockets of wonder in the world.
You cannot spend the night at Machu Picchu, so you’ll most likely take the bus there from Aguas Calientes. Aguas Calientes is a small town in the valley at the base of the mountain, and to get there you need to take a train from Cusco, the nearest city. You are going to need to buy that train ticket ahead of time, and you can also choose to spend the night in Aguas Calientes. You can also be hardcore and do the Inka Trail, a 4 day hike from Cusco all the way to Machu Picchu.
Do I need to learn spanish?
Oh no, please don’t do that to yourself.
Why don’t you stop being lazy and answer my questions like any normal humane friend?
Please do not let my automated responses demean my excitement of your visit to Peru. You are very special.