Peru named world's best destination for foodies

19th Dec 2013

Peru is already famed for its breathtaking cultural sites, but visitors - and judges - are quickly warming to its food tourism possibilities too.

The South American country's cuisine has been recognised by the World Travel Awards as the best choice for travelling gastronomes in search of delicious food.

Peru was crowned the World's Leading Culinary Travel Destination at the recent World Travel Awards staged in Doha, Qatar, to add to its growing travel gong collection.

These awards are considered the "Oscars of tourism".

Peruvian cuisine has many influences, spread by eclectic immigrants from as far afield as Spain, China, Italy, Germany and Japan.

The three staples of the nation's diet are potatoes, corn and chilli peppers, while its national dish is ceviche - raw fish marinated in limes.

Peruvian Gastronomical Society (Apega) president Bernardo Roca Rey says "it's a great team that makes up the beautiful chain of flavour that is our cuisine: farmers, fishermen, market women … waiters, cooks, and diners."

Peru was also awarded the World's Leading Culinary Travel Destination last year.

Travellers to Peru need nourishment for its myriad trekking holidays, characterised by exhilarating backdrops. The legendary ruins of UNESCO World Heritage Site Machu Picchu is one of the world's most easily recognisable landmarks.

It finished first in the Travellers' Choice Attractions awards' Top 10 World Landmarks 2013 organised by TripAdvisor.

Tourists will, from 2015, be able to enjoy a comparable, hitherto unheralded experience just 30 miles away.

The ruined city of Choquequirao, the so-called "Cradle of Gold", is one of the Peru's most revered cultural sites.

Yet it attracts only handfuls of tourists and has been virtually anonymous because of its inaccessibility.

But the Peruvian government has approved what will be the country's first aerial tramway to bridge the deep canyon of the Apurimac River.

This will make Choquequirao reachable in only 15 minutes from the nearest road.

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