Peru Local Customs

  • Ceviche
    Ceviche
    by AVSENT
  • Local Customs
    by starship
  • Parking warden?
    Parking warden?
    by grandmaR

Peru Local Customs

  • Local Traditions

    Cusco Local Customs

    There are little ceramic bulls on all the rooftops in the Sacred Valley. They are supposed to bring good luck, and fertility, to the household. Many roofs had a cross between the bulls. Some roofs also have flowers. The flowers go up the day you put the roof on (even if the doors and windows aren't in yet) and there is a celebration.

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  • Llamas

    Machu Picchu Local Customs

    There are 16 llamas in Machu Picchu, with colorful pompoms on their ear tags—I think they serve as lawn mowers on the terraces. They limit the llamas to 16—if a baby is born, the oldest or sickest one is killed.

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  • Local Drinks

    Cusco Local Customs

    Most people traveling to the higher climes of Peru have already heard of "Mate de Coca" tea and its benefits which are said to help travelers adjust to the altitude and thin air of the Andes. Even upon arriving at Cusco's Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport, you'll see lots of businesses inside the airport which offer mate de coca tea to...

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  • Information / Sources

    Machu Picchu Local Customs

    You probably have read this again and again in the Peru travel guides, but it's true --- Burping publicly is considered very offensive, disrespectful and rude when in Peru. Here in USA, one of my colleagues burped and our Peruvian friend was quite annoyed. I don't know the history behind this and I am not sure which is worse for them - burping...

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  • Local Food

    Cusco Local Customs

    We had to try some and it did taste like a cross between chicken and pork. It's a delicacy and is usually the most expensive thing on the menu. Even though it tasted rgood especially the crispy skin ...I just would never get used to eating something that can look back at me. Its head was still on !!

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  • Local Culture

    Cusco Local Customs

    The woman in this picture is selling garbage bags fill of coca. The thoght of that was at first strange but then I unamericanized my feelings a bit and it was more normal. Coca is lardly made to make Coca tea not cocaine. The tea is pretty good, it tastes kinda sweet without any sugar and I really wish I would have brought some home with me.

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  • Local Festivities: Others

    Cusco Local Customs

    Christmas is essentially a religious celebration in Cusco. But for the visitor, there are some special traditions that make this a magical time to visit the ancient city. You won´t see the massive commercialization here that you do at home. Ask a Cusqueňans what´s special about Christmas and they are bound to mention the all important Panetóns...

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  • Local Festivities: Inti Raimi

    Cusco Local Customs

    In Cusco several big celebrations take place, as well christian festivities as also festivities based on Inca traditions. One important christian celebration is the christ holiday "Feast of Corpus Christi" The most important Inca tradition is the "Fiesta del Sol (IntiRaymi), a celebration that has not been celebrated for 500 years until the year...

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  • Quechua Textiles

    The region around Cuzco is a good place to purchase and observe the weaving of traditional Quechua textiles. Small-scale textile weaving is an important source of income for many mountain communities. Numerous weaving cooperatives help native weavers set up production, find markets for their products, and organize displays of their goods. It is not...

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  • The Quechua Indians

    The Quechua Indians are the direct descendants of the Incas, and inhabit the high Andean regions of Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador. There are about 7,500,000 Quechua Indians that live in those three countries, and in Peru they make up about one-third of the country's population. Outsiders generally call their language Quechua, but the Quechua Indian...

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  • Thatch-Roofed Houses

    Ollantaytambo is a village that was founded by the Incas in the fifteenth century. Many of the thatch-roofed houses they built then remain relatively unchanged, and are still occupied, making them the oldest continuously occupied houses in South America. Many of these houses lack basic necessities such as electricity, water, and heat. Each house...

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  • "Chicha"

    The yellow plastic flag on a pole indicates that homemade chicha is sold there. Chicha is an alcoholic, beer-like drink that is brewed in areas of Central and South America. Chicha is generally homemade and brewed with corn, but in the Andes it can be made with any type of grain or fruit. In Peru, chicha has been brewed for thousands of years and...

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  • Volunteering/Spanish lessons

    My cousin and I went to Peru to do some volunteer work. Our experience shifted from volunteering to be the primary reason to taking spanish lessons and meeting locals, partying with them and making many friends from around the world. MachuPiccu school was the best! All the teachers were great we stayed with the family that owned the school,...

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  • Books

    Rather than buying guidebooks, I usually go for literature. Fiction and travelogues set in foreign locations impart a sense of place, and they can give us a good look at life and culture. These are the books I read before my trip to Peru:The Conquest of the Incas by John Hemming. 1970. (500 pages of detailed history, and another 100 pages of...

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  • Bulls on roofs

    As you travel around the south of Peru, you will often see pairs of clay bulls, or toritos, on the roof tops of houses, often accompanied by a cross and a a bunch of flowers. They are placed there as they are considered to be lucky symbols which will bring prosperity and fertility to the household.

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  • Dried llama foetus

    Peruvians utilise their indigenous animals in both their cuisine and their traditional medicine. While I was there, I ate roast guinea pig and saw dried llama foetuses on sale, but didn't try them.

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  • Rooster Fighting

    In countryside, many places they put roosters fighting. It is not difficult, because roosters are basically angry against other roosters. Men are betting and enjoying many weekends with that pleasure.

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  • Pisco Sour Day

    2. February is a "Pisco Sour Day". It means that in shops they are offering Pisco Sour tastings, and in restaurants are special offers, usually 2 at one price.

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  • VILLAGE MARKETS

    I love the village markets. Poke your nose into them as often as you can. They are such delights!!This was taken from Paucartambo, a village enroute to Manu National Park.

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  • FESTIVALS & PROCESSIONS II

    Here's another procession in Pisac... for Virgen del Carmen. They were slightly distracted by a fire up on a tree and the parade master was having a hard time getting them to play the music properly...

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  • FESTIVALS & PROCESSIONS

    You do not really need to time your trip coz there seemed to be some festivities or parades going on around Peru all the time. I enjoyed myself observing their procession & stuff. Here's one celebrating San Pedro y San Pablo in Lima on the day I arrived.

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  • Inka Cola

    I thought it was funny that Adrianna wanted to bring some Inka Cola in her suit case when we were going back home. I told her she was crazy. She didnt need to do that because they sold Inka Cola back home aready.I have always drank Inka Cola but this was Adriannas first time and she loved it. Everywhere we went we were told that this was Peru's...

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  • Barena

    Barena was my favorite. I was alittle confused though because some people said it was Peruvian beer, others said it wasnt.

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  • Cusquena

    One of the things Adrianna and I did was try the different Peruvian beers. Cusquena was alright, but I had better. Adrianna and I both agreed that this one was so so.

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  • Pisco Sour and Kancha

    The famour Pisco Sour.... I didnt even try this drink until our last day in Peru right before going home. I heard alot about this drink and I knew I had to try it. I even brought some Pisco home with me.I wasnt too impressed with it to tell you the truth. It tasted alot like a margarita but much more sour.Kancha is pretty good. Its a roasted corn....

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  • Cusco Flag

    You can find the colors of rainbow on the Cusco Flag. Why would Incas use those colors? Because they were very clever. These colors represent chakras of the human body, so called energy centers.

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  • Peruvian family

    That is the family I was staying with in Peru.We communicated mostly through body language. I could not speak Spanish, they did not know English. But I could feel sympathy as well as support and understanding. Great people, I should say!

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  • Poverty!!!!!

    It was the first thought that stroke me when I sow the houses in Cusco. After I have done many trips around prosper Europe and rich Canada, I didn’t expect to see such a poor country. Half finished houses, awful leaving conditions-cold water or no water at all after 12 in the afternoon, no TV, no washing machines, 4 persons living in one small...

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  • Nacimiento

    "El Nacimiento" is a construction at Xmas time in every home, and other places, too. It's a show about Betlehem when Jesus was born. There are dolls, or small stetues, representing Maria, Josef, and other people there around Jesus baby. Jesus is added there in the midnight of the Holy Night.

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  • Xmas Food

    In the Holy Night, 12 o'clock the Xmas food is served. It´s not much plentyness as in Finland, rather quite simple. But it's good, because it's middle of night. Only turkey with vegetable salada, pieces of ananas, apple jam and majones is served. Drink is champagne. After the food the presents are opened.

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  • Ceviche

    Ceviche or cebiche is fresh white fish with onion, paprika and lime juice. Some other spices also possible. It is offered soon after prepairing, beacuse it does not have salt. The fish can be tuna, for instance.

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  • Coca Tea

    "La hoja de coca no es droga" ("the coca leaf is not a drug"). You´ll find T-shirts with this sentence wherever you go in Peru.Drinking coca tea or chewing the leaf is a historic custom in andean countries (also to minimize the effects of soroche, the altitude sickness).I drank the tea when I arrived in Cuzco. Don´t know if it has helped me though,...

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  • Lhamas and Alpacas

    Lhamas and alpacas have been part of peruvian culture for centuries. Nowadays they´re created basically for wool extraction. You´ll find woollen clothes of all qualities and prices, so you can buy some nice stuff over there.In Cuzco and Machu Picchu, you´ll also find some lhamas walking around for the delight of the tourists that can help taking...

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  • Different Ways of Harrassing the...

    When we went to Aguas Calientes, some dude clucked at us (like clicking his tongue) in the way that dudes usually whistle at girls. Does anyone know if that is some sort of Andean thing?This picture, on the other hand, is an example of how Americans (us) hit on Peruvians (our adorabe little bellboy at the Hotel Stefano)

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  • hugging

    i`m catholic so i attended a service one day in their cathedral.....when giving each other the sign of peace people hug each other! back home we just shake hands! i think i got hugged twice then they noticed i was uneasy so they just shook my hand.

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  • eating guinea pig

    Yes, we tried the local specialty. It was not bad, but be forewarned that it comes complete from head to tail!

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  • coca tea the local medicine

    Coca tea really helps to get used to the altitude. It's perfectly legal in Peru (as is chewing the leaves)The people in the andes chew a lot of leaves. You can try it. Just chew it don't swallow it, it's heavy on the stumac. The locals had a good laugh when i said I swallowed it in the beginning.Remember that coca tea and coca leaves isn't cocaine....

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  • Can a tourist blend in as a Peruvian?

    Recent posts in the forums prompt me to write this tip. The question was simple, what can I wear to blend in as a Peruvian? I have posted my reply below in hopes that it may help others better understand what it means to be Peruvian.One of the things that impressed me the most from Peru was its population. You mentioned you where half-Hispanic. I'm...

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  • Eating Guinea Pig

    In Peru the Guinea Pig is eaten , unlike the UK where it is often a pet, Roasted with herbs known, localy as Cuy its a tasty dish not unlike rabbit its low in fat and high in protienIn churches in Lima and Cuzco Indians depictions of the last supper with Jesus eating Guinea pig are still common

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  • Cute Kids

    You'll see lots of very cute kids in their native costumes posing for photos.If you take a photo give them a sweet or 1 Sol in exchange. If you forget they will kindly remind you by holding out their hands - they are not backward in coming forward.With the poor standard of living in Peru it's the least you can do!

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  • Hotly contesting weaving competition

    This was in a village near the Colca Canyon.Purely for the locals and not put on for tourists, this was a hotly contested weaving competion.Each competitor had a number on her hat, there was much deliberation about the rules, much inspection from the adjudicators and bets taking place amongst the locals.They saw us looking out of our bus and...

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  • Even the adults get in on the act!

    Its not only the kids that dress up in local costumes .This was at 6oc on a Saturday morning at the colca canyon where the whole village turned out in costume for dancing for us Gringos. It was absolutely enchanting!

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  • Secrets of Maca

    Maca is a root that grows in the high mountains of Peru. Rich in nutritional content (potassium, and higher levels of calcium than in milk), maca is a natural hormonal balancer which provides great health benefits for both, men and women.The best way to get maca is inside liquer. Mixed with pisco and some other incredients maca liquer gives its...

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  • Other languages

    But there are other languages spoken in Peru. Most of the people from Cuzco and north Titicaca speak QUECHUA, a language spoken by incas. If you go south of Lake Titicaca they speak AYMARA, and in the jungle the different tribes have different dialects.

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  • Main language

    In Peru they speak mainly spanish, though there are words and expressions we don't use back in Spain. In general you could understand all, is just that some words sound funny or inusual, but you get soon used to them.Knowing a few words of spanish is so very useful, specially if you have to ask for a street, find where a bus takes you and so on...

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Peru Local Customs

Reviews and photos of Peru local customs posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Peru sightseeing.
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