Alternative Peru was founded in 2014 by Carlos and his Belgian wife Natalie. Since then, the Alternative Peru team has grown into a very diverse team of tour leaders, bilingual guides, cooks, local guides, drivers, artisans, artists. Most of them based in Lima but with roots all over Peru: coast, Andes and Amazon. Alternative Peru believes very strongly in the values and positive impact of Responsible Tourism.
Lima might seem a modern metropolitan now to visitors, if you dare to go off the beaten path, you’ll find a diverse city with many local cultures. Many of them imported from the Andes or the Amazon. But, Lima also has its own rich history and culture. As a coastal town, fishing has always played a very important role.
If you are interested in getting to know more about Lima’s local culture off the beaten path, this Fishing Culture of Lima tour should be on your itinerary.
First, it takes you to an artisanal fish market and pier, where you also go for a short boat ride. Afterwards, you visit several locals in the local fishing community, for instance an artisan boat builder, and try the best ceviche of Lima in a local, family-owned little restaurant. Finally, the guide takes you to the best view of Lima, a hill that has played a very important role in Lima’s history.
After pick-up from your hotel, your guide takes you to one of Lima’s most traditional and colorful communities, the fishing district of Chorrillos. First stop is its picturesque seafood market and pier.
There, local fishermen sell their catch of the day and repair fishing nets and boats for their next adventure offshore. While they share their experiences and views on today’s challenges of artisanal fishing, your local guide shows you the incredible variety of Peruvian seafood. Without a doubt, essential to the diets of ancient and modern Peruvians.
If the weather allows, we take a short boat ride to have a better and different view of Lima’s coastline. This is a 20-minute ride along the coast in a fisherman’s boat that has been adapted to take visitors in a safe way (and with life vests. The boat was made by a local boat builder, who you’ll meet later in the tour.
Next, we leave the market and pier and walk through the historic streets of Chorrillos. Meanwhile, the guide explains about the importance of this town in the history of Peru. On the way, we stop by a local boat builder’s workshop to understand the intensive process of making an artisanal fishing boat. After this visit, we reach the highlight of our morning: the best ceviche of Lima!
For lunch, we take you to the house of one of the most traditional families in town. They are still preserving many traditions from the first Spanish Peruvian settlers, locally known as “Criollos”. Their culture blended for more than two centuries with the indigenous, African and Asian traditions to create the unique coastal culture of Peru. They practice different “creole” traditions that were passed on from their ancestors to the next generations in music, food and other cultural expressions.
Ceviche, the Peruvian national dish, will be the star on our table. Without a doubt, you will understand why all Peruvians are so proud of this delicious seafood dish. If you’re a real foodie or wannabe cook, we can ask our hosts for a demonstration on how to prepare the best ceviche in town.
After lunch, we continue our tour up the iconic hills of Chorrillos known as Morro Solar, a big cluster of hills facing the Pacific Ocean. It was the site of an important 19th century battle, which shaped the history of modern Peru. From one of its peaks you have a unique view of the huge city of Lima and its vibrant residents.
We leave Chorrillos after enjoying this panoramic view from the Morro Solar and you should be back at your hotel around 2:30pm.
Your visit provides an (additional) income to several local community members, for instance, the boat maker, the local cooks, the boat owner and the local guide. By visiting the pier, you also contribute to the fisherman’s cooperative at the artisanal fish market. These members mainly spend money in their own community and as such pass on those benefits to other locals.
The traditional coastal culture of Peru is often neglected by tourists. Many are not even aware of its existence as Andean traditional culture is mostly advertised abroad as Peruvian traditional culture. Visits by people from around the world undoubtedly nourish their pride in their trade and culture. This can have an important impact on the conservation of traditions but also the community’s and individuals’ self-esteem.