Peru is a large country on the West side of South America. The official languages are Spanish, Quechua, and Aymara. Peru has many mountains along with coastal plains and selva (jungle). The climate is highly varied as are the flora and fauna, and Peru is considered megadiverse (in the top 20 nations for biodiversity). Native animal species include the Andean condor, the chinchilla, and the spectacled bear. Peru has an upper middle class economy buoyed up by services, manufacturing, and extraction of copper, gold, zinc, and other minerals.
Manu Peru National Park in the East is the most biologically diverse nature preserve in the world, and a magnificent spot for rugged travelers. Lake Titicaca in the Andes is considered the highest navigable lake in the world. You may see dolphins while touring the Amazon by boat. Machu Picchu and Cusco are great, world-renowned ancient Incan sites, and there are many other excellent examples throughtout Peru.
Corn, quinoa, and potatoes are popular starchy staples. Typical vegetables include caigua (like a cucumber), peppers like aji panca, tomatoes, and broccoli. Fish, beef, pork, and chicken are frequently-eaten foods. Peruvian ceviche has a kick from chili peppers, and is often eaten with cancha (toasted corn), and sometimes a local green seaweed called yuyo. Try papas a la huancaina, a dish consisting of sliced potatoes with cheese sauce and olives.
There are wonderful superfoods available in Peru, and you can often find yacon syrup, maca powder, and cacao nibs. You can dine on organic, raw Peruvian food, macrobiotic cuisines, fresh juices, or vegetarian Indian food. Healthy, delicious options like quinoa salad aren’t hard to find. Accommodations reflect the growing environmental consciousness of Peruvians, and you can rest at vegetarian guesthouses. Also, expand your flexibility and consciousness through yoga at retreats in the Andes.