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The country his home to some of the world’s most diverse ecosystems—from the beautiful beaches of Lima to the snow-capped mountains where you’ll find the highest town in the world, La Rinconada—world-renowned restaurants, stunning architecture, and loads of history. But since travel is currently on hold across most of the world, you can still soak up some of these experiences virtually.
From a virtual tour of Machu Picchu to a ceviche-making tutorial, these are the best ways to immerse yourself in Peruvian culture.
Touring Sites & Museums, Virtually
Yes, you can take a virtual trip to Peru’s most famous site. This virtual tour of Machu Picchu by You Visit is narrated, so you can learn about the marvel of Incan engineering without worrying about altitude sickness or crowds. Google Earth also offers a virtual visit of Machu Picchu in all its glory.
Of course, there’s much more to Peru than Machu Picchu. Several of Lima’s top museums are available to visit via Google Arts & Culture. Check out the Museo Larco, which tells the story of Peru’s 5,000-year history through a collection of pre-Columbian artifacts. You can also tour the Museo Pedro de Osma housed in the De Osma estate built in the early 1900s in Lima’s ritzy Barranco neighborhood. The collection displays Peruvian artworks from the 5th to the 18th centuries, including ancient artifacts crafted in the Andes, paintings, sculptures, furniture, and silver that show the Spanish influence on Peruvian culture. To see Peru through the eyes of its famous native son, the noted fashion photographer Mario Testino, pay a virtual visit to MATE – Museo Marino Testino, which the artist founded in 2012. His stunning photographs of Andean women proudly wearing their traditional garb are an inspiring celebration of Peruvian culture.
Watch Films & TV Shows About Peru
Though stories about Peru are underrepresented by Hollywood, watching a documentary about the country and its people is a great way to immerse yourself in Peruvian culture. Peru – Hidden Treasure (Tesoro Escondido) is a 2016 documentary that reveals the secrets of what was once one of the greatest empires on earth and showcases the country’s gorgeous landscapes, from the Pacific coast to the Amazon. Foodies should watch the episode of Chef’s Table dedicated to Peruvian superstar chef Virgilio Martínez, who cooks with rare ingredients from across Peru at his famed restaurant Central in Lima. To understand the struggle between the indigenous people protecting the Amazon and the government that wanted to mine the jungle’s natural resources, watch the award-winning 2016 documentary When Two Worlds Collide.
Make Peruvian Food & Drinks
Rene Funk/Courtesy Netflix
Chefs like Gastón Acurio and his protégé Virgilio Martínez have elevated the status of Peruvian cuisine. And though you might lack their culinary skills, there are plenty of dishes and drinks that are easy to make at home. Start with a Chilcano or a Pisco Sour—Peru’s national cocktail—and then whip up some ceviche, causa limeña, lomo saltado, quinoa, and papas a la Huancaína, a classic Peruvian potato dish. You might also want to take a deep dive into Nikkei cuisine, which was created by a wave of Japanese immigrants who created a culinary tradition of cooking with Peruvian ingredients through a Japanese lens.
Support Peruvian Hotels & Ships
Richard James Taylor/Courtesy Belmond
Though you might not be able to go to Peru now, you can book a future trip or engage with Peruvian hotels and cruise ships through social media. Inkaterra, which runs a collection of luxury lodges in Cusco, the Sacred Valley, and beyond, has shared activities for children, easy recipes, coloring pages, and desktop wallpapers on its website. Aqua Expeditions, which offers river cruises of the Amazon, hosted a ceviche masterclass with chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino via Instagram TV.
If you had a trip planned, consider rescheduling instead of canceling. Many hotel brands, including Mountain Lodges of Peru and Inkaterra have instituted flexible booking policies. Country Club Lima, a member of Leading Hotels of the World that’s home to the beloved English Bar, is offering $200 vouchers for $150. Belmond, which runs six hotels in Peru and the Hiram Bingham and Andean Explorer trains, has introduced the Belmond Travel Pass. Buy a $500 gift card and you’ll receive an extra $100 e-gift card; $1,000 gets you an additional $200 e-gift card with no expiration date. They make great gifts for loved ones or a promise to yourself that once it’s safe to travel again, you’ll finally take that dream trip to Peru.