Adventure, suggestions, colors and landscapes make Peru a destination to always carry in the heart. Often, the different panoramas are the masters with picturesque roads that meet the valleys of the desert, cultural tours enriched with a rich and varied offer of food and wine. One of the paths to follow if you are looking for the best of the country from the capital, is the Pisco Route, which allows you to go to the border with Chile and learn about the cult and tradition of the national drink.
In search of the most authentic side of a dream destination
A dream itinerary in a world apart, to rediscover the most true roots of Peru, moving from ancestral cultures to an ancient winemaking tradition. Those who decide to undertake it will be fascinated by the diversity of attractions present. It will be lost, therefore, among the locals of Lima, it will reach the vineyards and distilleries of Lunahunà and Ica and go to the oases and canyons of Arequipa. All are places that have a long history linked to the true identity of Peru, a jealously guarded past in a circuit that passes from Lima to Tacna along the coast.
The traveler who begins the trip will have to make several stops in exclusive bars, old colonial shops, local crafts and not to mention historical-naturalistic itineraries and folkloric shows. From km 199 to km 291 of the Pan-American Highway southbound, here is the Pisco Museum, the only educational museum in the world dedicated exclusively to the study, dissemination and promotion of pisco, the national drink of Peru. But before the destination, there are also five characteristic stores to observe, perfect for learning more about the chosen destination. In short, it is not a relaxing trip, but rather active, one that will be remembered forever.
Lima: Start with an evocative walk, entering the English Bar of the Country Club Hotel. Here we find all the old local splendor, those that are widely cited among the pages of Peruvian literature. In the cocktail bar, the introduction to pisco culture is practically essential. Its wooden panels used over time tell a past in which famous people crossed the threshold, Ava Gardner first. The menu contains national and international drinks and various proposals based on pisco: such as aromatic soft pisco and pisco sour.
Lunahuanà: It is a small town south of the capital that is divided between wine production and river activities, thanks to the presence of the Cañete River. This is the perfect place for beams and a valuable source for irrigation of local vineyards. The tour starts from the main square, and then continues to the Cathedral and the most hidden alleys, immersed in a colonial atmosphere that still remains in the air.
Pisco: along the Pan-American Highway, heading south, in the Ica region, the view meets the desert sands, watching the Pacific. The ranks multiply to the horizon and an interesting stop may be the contemporary winery inspired by the desert architecture of the region and which takes its name from the year in which the presence of grape crops in the surroundings of Pisco was first recorded . , Pisco 1615. The vineyard was once included in the old Hacienda de Santa Cruz.
Ica: a necessary stop is then in Paracas, a fishing village and recognized tourist destination throughout the world. From the coast you can see the Ballestas Islands that house sea lions, Humboldt penguins and seabird species. And there is no shortage of vineyards and spirits, including La Caravedo Hacienda, which dates back to 1684 and the oldest operating distillery in America. The master distiller Johny Schuler, acclaimed by many as the King of pisco, jealously keeps the Jesuit pisco processing recipe he still produces today. This is the period of the International Harvest Festival, even more interesting to discover the local culture.
Arequipa, Moquegua and Tacna: the route reaches the oasis of Huacachina, a splendid town declared cultural heritage of the country, on the banks of a natural lake and surrounded by trees, tropical palms and imposing dunes. Arequipa, on the other hand, is known as “the white city.” The day in these parts includes visits to the monastery of Santa Catalina, the convent of Santa Teresa, built in 1710 and where some nuns still work and live, and the Plaza de Armas. Moquegua, is rich in picturesque villages of the homonymous region, between old mills, valleys full of fruit and companies producing wine and pisco. Tacna was annexed to Peru in 1930 and since then the “pisquera” industry in the region has reactivated with great force. Today, you can visit many local stores where you can buy pisco, including Don César, a producer of Creole black grapes and famous for the “Rancho San Antonio”, one of the best restaurants in the region. Here the “Tacna Sour” was invented, a very elaborate cocktail, based on pisco, lemon and apricots.