If you ever have an opportunity to visit Peru and you don’t make a short stop in Arequipa, you are definitely missing out. It’s an hour flight from Lima but feels like a completely different country.
I love trying different foods every time I travel and my favorite places to visit are places that have amazing street foods. Well if you’re like me, Arequipa has you covered. It honestly feels like a college town with young adults out and about. With that comes cheap and plentiful street food to hit the right spot after a night of partying or if you’re in need of small snack between classes.
There is a large market here that sells everything from fruits and veg (some I’d never even seen before like a tumbo), fish, meat, etc. Tumbo btw looks like a small banana, is about the size of a twinkie, the inside looks like orange corn kernels with seeds that looks like papayas, and tastes like an acidic kiwi. Well that’s what I thought anyways. Go there first thing in the morning and have a smoothie made from the freshest ingredients around then walk around for a quick bite. At night, walk around the streets and you’ll see countless vendors selling anticuchos (grilled meats from the less desirable parts of the animals), empenadas, and everything else. You can eat like a king for about $3 USD.
Aside from the food, the people here are warm and honestly want you to try their food. They’re proud of what they have to offer. They have countless types of potatoes here and they seem to serve it with everything…and they want you to try it in every imaginable fashion. Locals are quick to swear on a stack of bibles for their favorite street vendors and will gladly tell you something is “muy rico” meaning very tasty.
I only had a short time here but I would come back in a heartbeat. It’s nothing like the incessant noise pollution that is Lima and the food (aside from the ceviche) easily beats Lima in my opinion. I’m truly sad to be leaving tomorrow.