peru food

What to Eat — or Not — in Peru

Peru is a beautiful country with an incredible culture and ancient ruins. It is one of the most favorite destinations to visit in South America. Along with beautiful textiles and lip-smacking dishes, the land of Incas had so much to offer.

Being a tropical country in South America, Peru has certain health issues. The most common illness that affects the visitors in Peru is diarrhea and altitude sickness. Hence, it is essential for a visitor to be aware of what to eat, or not in Peru. Here is a guide for you to learn about what to eat and what to skip.

What To Eat In Peru?

Peru is a place that offers a variety of amazing dishes. The options for food are too many, and it can confuse you. We have a list of a few delicacies that you must give a try.


Peru has one of the world’s most abundant seafood resources. Ceviche prepared with fish could be the national dish of Peru. It is prepared by marinating raw fish in citrus juice. The acid in it enhances the delicate flavor of the fish. This dish is served with sweet potato and is a must-try if you ever visit Peru.


The markets of Peru have several varieties of potatoes and huge heaps of avocado. Peru’s traditional Causa dish is prepared by layering the two ingredients, potatoes and avocados into a pan. It is then served cold. Causa may also include other layers of meat or boiled egg.


This meat bred in Peru is also known as the guinea pig in the United States. Cuy is a dish prepared by baking or on a barbeque. It is served whole, along with the head. It is said to have a tangy taste and resembles that of the rabbit.

Lomo Saltado

It is prepared by stir-frying beef, onions, tomatoes, and pepper together. It is then combined with soy sauce and fried potatoes. It’s a hybrid dish with intense flavors and is usually served with white rice.


Lucuma originates in Peru as a tree fruit that tastes like maple syrup. Though the fruit is used in the flavoring of desserts, it is also one of the most favorite varieties of ice-cream. Make sure to try the Lucuma ice-cream when you visit Peru.

What Not To Eat?

While Peru has unlimited delicacies to offer, there are a few things that you should remember to avoid at any cost.

Remember to drink only packaged water in Peru. Water bottles are commonly available in the market. Therefore, try to avoid drinking tap water. If you are going to a place where bottled water is not available, then boil the water to purify it. 

Avoid eating shellfish. Even if you wish to enjoy a delicacy made up of shellfish, make sure that it is fresh. If you plan to eat seafood, try it at an upscale and clean place.

If you plan to visit Peru, it is recommended that you take the yellow fever vaccine. Make sure that you take the necessary precautions to protect yourself from malaria and yellow fever in Lima and other tourist places.