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Flavors and Traditions - Celebrating Peru's Independence with Traditional Foods

Written by:
Claire Dean

Published: 20-07-2023

Every year on July 28th, Peruvians come together to celebrate their most significant national holiday, Independence Day. This joyous occasion commemorates the day when Peru's founding father, Jose de San Martin, proclaimed the country's independence from Spanish colonial rule in 1821. It is a time of celebration, culinary traditions, and a reflection of the rich history and cultural heritage of this vibrant South American nation. Of course, wherever there is a celebration in Peru, there are a number of traditional gastronomic delights to accompany it... here are some of the traditional dishes that are served up for Fiestas Patrias!


Peru's Independence Day, is called "Fiestas Patrias," and is celebrated on July 28th and 29th each year.  The celebrations typically include parades, music, dancing, traditional Peruvian food, and fireworks. On a Peru vacation package, you can join in the celebrations with patriotic displays and activities, showcasing Peru's rich culture and history.

Fiestas Patrias, Huancayo 


Traditional Foods

Peruvian cuisine is renowned worldwide for its diversity and exquisite flavors, and on Independence Day, food plays a central role in the festivities. Tables are filled with traditional dishes that showcase the culinary richness of each region of the country. Let's explore some of the most emblematic foods that Peruvians enjoy during this celebration.


During Fiestas Patrias in Lima, you'll find a wide array of traditional Peruvian dishes to enjoy on your Lima Peru tours. Traditional dishes like Ceviche, Causa Rellena, or Lomo Saltado are popular. These dishes reflect Peru's diverse culinary heritage and are enjoyed by locals and tourists alike during the festive celebrations.

Lima Street, Fiestas Patrias



Peruvian ceviche is an iconic and delicious dish made with fresh fish or seafood marinated in lime juice, seasoned with chili peppers, and served with red onions and sweet potatoes. It's refreshing taste and spicy kick make it a perfect choice for celebrating with friends and family.


Ceviche is the national dish of Peru and is particularly popular during Fiestas Patrias. Be tried on The Coast when you visit Peru, it is made with fresh fish or seafood. The fresh fish is marinated in lime juice, mixed with onions, cilantro, and chili peppers, and served cold.




These skewers of marinated beef, seasoned with a delicious blend of aji panca chili, garlic, and vinegar, are a traditional dish at Peruvian celebrations. They are grilled to perfection and served with potatoes and a spicy chili sauce. They are popular throughout the year, especially in Cusco, but especially around Fiestas Patrias.


"Anticuchos " are popular during Fiestas Patrias celebrations in Peru. They can be sampled on street food stalls, in markets, and at restaurants on your Peru tour packages, especially during festive occasions. Anticuchos are made from beef hearts generally, however, you can find chicken and vegetarian versions too!



Papa a la Huancaina

Hailing from the Huancayo region, this dish pays homage to the potato, one of Peru's oldest and essential crops. It features boiled potatoes covered in a creamy sauce made from yellow chili peppers, cheese, and crackers.


During Fiestas Patrias, Papa a la Huancaina is a popular and traditional Peruvian dish to be enjoyed on your two weeks in Peru. It features sliced boiled potatoes topped with a creamy, spicy sauce made from fresh cheese, yellow chili peppers, and other ingredients.

Papa a La Huancaina


Lomo Saltado

 A delightful fusion of Peruvian and Chinese cuisines, Lomo Saltado combines marinated strips of beef, onions, tomatoes, and spices, stir-fried together and served with rice and French fries. This popular dish symbolizes the cultural diversity and influences that shape Peruvian cuisine.


Lomo Saltado is a popular Peruvian dish that is often enjoyed during Fiestas Patrias. It is a stir-fry dish that typically includes marinated strips of beef, onions, and tomatoes, served with rice and fries. Lomo Saltado has a delicious blend of flavors and is a favorite among Peruvians and visitors on their Machu Picchu vacation packages.

Lomo Saltado



Peruvian tamales, known as "Humitas," are made from ground corn filled with seasoned meat, and olives, and wrapped in corn husks. They are then steamed until tender, creating a flavorful and comforting treat.


Tamales are another traditional dish enjoyed during Fiestas Patrias in Peru. They are made from corn dough that is filled with meats, cheeses, or vegetables.  Tamales are then wrapped in banana leaves or corn husks and steamed. The perfect snack on every Street corner on your vacation packages to Peru Machu Picchu.




It is one of the most representative specialties of Inca cuisine. Its way of preparation is quite particular, all its ingredients are cooked in stones pre-heated by fire on the ground.
In Inca times, this was a cult dish offered to the Andean divinities, a subtle way of making a payment to the earth (Pachamama) after a good harvest. And currently, it is the seal of Andean food for the world, as it is one of the most traditional and consumed dishes of the Peruvian highlands.


Pachamanca is a traditional Peruvian dish you can sample in the Andean regions of Peru. This underground barbecue originates in the highlands, including areas like those visited on a Sacred Valley tour from Cusco. Pachamanca is often prepared for special occasions and celebrations, such as Fiestas Patrias, weddings, and religious festivals.



Chiri Uchu

This plateful of food that is a symbol of all of Peru brings together cuy al horno, torrejas, chicken, chorizo, seaweed, parched corn (canchas), cheese, fish eggs, and dried meat, among other ingredients, and is eaten cold and is a traditional festive food in Cusco.


 Chiri uchu is a traditional dish you can try when you travel to Cusco Peru that is often enjoyed during Fiestas Patrias and other special occasions. It is a cold dish that typically includes a variety of meats, such as beef, chicken, and pork, as well as cheese, rocoto peppers, and herbs.

Chiri Uchu


Celebrating with Food

During Independence Day celebrations, families and friends come together to enjoy these traditional dishes, savoring the distinct flavors that represent the essence of Peru's culinary heritage. Whether gathering around a table or at lively street food stalls, the shared enjoyment of food fosters a sense of unity and joy among all Peruvians.


In Arequipa, Fiestas Patrias is celebrated with Peru festivals that showcase Arequipa´s rich culture and history. The celebrations typically include parades, concerts, traditional dances, and fireworks. Time your Arequipa tours in July and sample culinary delights such as Rocoto relleno and Chupe de camarones!

Arequipa, Fiestas Patrias


Peru's Independence Day is not just a historical milestone; it is a celebration of the nation's identity, culture, and unity. Through its rich culinary traditions and the flavors of its diverse regions, Peruvians pay tribute to their heritage while embracing their shared future. As they gather to enjoy traditional dishes like ceviche, anticuchos, and Papa a la Huancaina, the spirit of Peru's Independence Day thrives, connecting people through food and fostering a profound sense of national pride. Find out more about Peru´s culinary prowess around Independence Day here!


 Head from Puno to Lake Titicaca, known for its traditional music and dance. During Fiestas Patrias, you can expect to see lively performances featuring the region's iconic dances, such as the "Danza de las Diabladas" and the "Danza de los Uros."

Fiestas Patrias, Puno Highlands