Do something Peruvian, on your trip to Peru!November 29, 2010
What do Peruvians do on a Sunday? If you have a spare Sunday in Cusco, you might want to head out of town for a hearty meal in a traditional Peruvian restaurant, before heading on to the quaint and typical Andean village of Lucre for a delicious dessert.
Just outside of Cusco, not too far from the ancient mountain top ruins of Tipon is the small village of Saylla. Although the actual village is not a particularly inspiring place, Sallya is away of the hustle and bustle of Cusco city and is home to the restaurant of Hacienda de Tio Juan. Owned and run by a rather well known and distinguished farmer from the area, this traditional restaurant is popular with locals all year round.
Set back from the main road, the restaurant has a large tabled garden, and a separate covered dining area. The atmosphere is relaxed with traditional Peruvian music playing in the background, and the service is surprisingly swift and attentive.
The menu is simple and rustic, offering large hearty plates of fresh food. You will find chicken, pork, spare ribs, trout, steak, ceviche on the menu, accompanied by traditional sides such as pastel de papa (potato cake), tamales (steamed corn dough), mote (grains) and salads.
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Another 10 minutes drive along the valley, is the typical Andean village of Lucre. This small village is famous in the area for celebrating the cow, and the fresh creamy desserts that can be made from them.
Around the main plaza there several specialist Pastelarias, offering freshly made desserts with home grown ingredients. Traditional Peruvian desserts on offer include: mazamorra (rice pudding with a sweet purple corn sauce), tres leches (three milks pudding), cheese cakes, creamy sponge based cakes infused fresh fruits such as maraculla (passion fruit) and strawberry’s.
Best of all, if you are heading out to this part of Cusco, you are very close to the superb Inca ruins of Tipon. These well maintained and beautiful series of agricultural terraces are relatively unvisited by many tourists. Located high up in the mountainside of the Southern Sacred Valley, the ancient ruins of Tipon were cleverly designed by the Incas to harness natural mountain and spring water. Through a series of highly engineered stone water channels, the naturally sourced water is feed from the rear of the site to each of agricultural terraces in the complex. Views across the southern valley are simply stunning, and on a warm sunny day it is easy to pass a few hours meandering around this vast historic site.
There are no official websites for the Hacienda de Tio Juan, the village of Lucre or Tipon. Therefore, you may need the assistance of a local guide or taxi driver to re-create this day out. For the adventurous travelers out there, this could be the closest you get to experiencing traditional Andean life.
Entrance to Tipon: 10 Soles (US$ 3)
Plate of food at La Hacienda de Tio Juan: 20 – 30 Soles (US 7-10)
A dessert in Lucre 5 Soles (US $1.80)
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