Just Back From… Peru With Konrad Mludzinski
Have you been before?
To Peru yes, but these were all areas we hadn’t visited before.
If so… notable differences?
The north of Peru was a different world completely. If people want to get to know the real culture of the country this area is fantastic. Compared with more widely visited areas, there were hardly any tourists at all.
How did you get there?
We flew with the new British Airways direct flight London Gatwick to Lima.
How long were you there?
We spent a couple of nights in Lima on arrival, then we travelled up to Huaraz in the north from where we did the Santa Cruz trek. Afterwards, we flew to Arequipa and travelled overland through the Colca Canyon and ended in Puno.
Which was your favourite?
Place: Lake Paron in Northern Peru - one of the most beautiful places I have ever been.
Hotel: Colca Lodge in the Colca Canyon, the thermal baths were the perfect way to relax after a tough trek and the food was the best we had all trip.
Excursion: The Uros islands on Lake Titicaca. Although these islands can get busy with tourists in the high season, it was fascinating to see such a unique way of living and the people living there are really friendly and welcoming.
Appeals to which type of traveller?
Northern Peru is perfect for adventurous travellers who would like to see something different, or for active people who want to do a trek; it is a beautiful part of the country. It would also appeal to people who have visited Peru before and want to see some of the country's lesser-known archaeological sites - you don't have to do a trek to enjoy this region!
What did you pack?
Lots of layers for the trek! It can be hot during the day when you’re out walking and the temperature can drop to below zero during the night.
Any good food, drinks, restaurants or bars recommendations?
Restaurante El Suizo, Paseo Billinghurst, Chorillos – try the mussels ‘Chorillos style’ and the apple pancakes.
Maido – if you’re going to have one fancy meal while in Peru, Lima is the place for it. We chose Maido, who have a 15-course tasting menu. They serve a cuisine called Nikkei, which is a fusion of Asian and Peruvian food; Nikkei originated in Peru but it is gaining more and more popularity worldwide with restaurants opening up as close to home as Madrid and London.
Polleria Montana – fantastic pollo a la brasa, perfect for before or after a big trek (we did both) – be warned the portions are huge!
Take a seat at one of the stalls around the market and try some picarones with a beer – these are sweet doughnut-style snacks made freshly in front of you.
La Lucha Sangucheria – this is a chain, of which there are branches in Lima, but is a perfect lunch spot for some traditional food. I’d recommend the chicharrones.
Chicha – this restaurant is owned by the famous Gaston Acurrio (behind Astrid and Gaston) and is a simpler, great value restaurant with some fantastic local specialities.
La Benita – a good spot for lunch or dinner in a beautiful cloister, try the rocoto relleno – a local speciality of stuffed spicy pepper served with potato.
Room for improvement?
It was perfect!
How would you sum up your trip in a sentence?
A perfect mixture of going off the beaten track and seeing some of the classic highlights.
Any top tips?
During the trip to Cruz del Condor you might be surprised by how many people are at the viewpoint to see the condors. This is just because it is the best place for spotting the birds. You can also go to a second, almost empty viewpoint which is much better – but the chances of spotting condors are not so high.
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