One Of The Most Underrated Countries In The World, According To Gordon Ramsay

Gordon Ramsay has restaurants around the world and a TV series, "Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted," that documents his international adventures, so it's safe to say he knows a thing or two about the top travel destinations. However, for Ramsay, the best places to visit aren't always popular spots like Paris or Tokyo. Instead, the chef's favorite underrated destination is the South American country of Peru.

He told The Telegraph, "I was there three years ago. The purist approach to food is beautiful. I cooked outdoors in a mud oven, and I scaled a cliff face in the Andes in search of a rare herb, 11,000ft above sea level." Elaborating on the local cuisine, Ramsay explained that guinea pig is a common dish in Peru, which he tried during his visit. "It's a bit like stringy chicken," he revealed. In an episode of "Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted," about Peru's Sacred Valley, the food expert was filmed trying alpaca meat and other local specialties.

Eat like a professional chef in Peru

In Uncharted's episode about Peru, Ramsay uses rocks to pulverize potatoes, forages for herbs in the mountains, and whips around a lasso to pick a cactus (containing tasty worms) from the edge of a cliff. But if you visit Peru, you likely won't be expected to work so hard for your meal. In fact, you can look forward to being served some of the best dishes in the world. In 2023, fine dining establishment Central by Virgilio Martínez topped "The World's 50 Best Restaurants" list. Located in Lima, one of South America's best foodie destinations, the restaurant celebrates Peruvian flavors and cooking techniques in its authentic, artfully presented menu items.

A handful of other restaurants in the country's capital have also been recognized on the World's 50 Best Restaurants list. In 2024, Japanese-Peruvian spot Maido placed fifth on the list. While it might not serve traditional dishes, you can still learn about Peru's local ingredients while working your way through the tasting menu. Kjolle, another Lima eatery, came in 16th place for its creative and colorful dishes.

Of course, you don't have to dine at a five-star restaurant to experience Peruvian cuisine, nor do you have to stick to Lima when seeking out a high-quality meal. No matter where you are when hunger strikes, you'll find delicious options such as ceviche (raw fish topped with citrus juices), causa (a potato and avocado casserole), and aji de gallina (a creamy chicken stew).

Other things to see and do in Peru

Gastronomy was a central part of Gordon Ramsay's visit to Peru, and it'll likely be a major focus of your trip, too. With that said, the underrated destination offers plenty of other exciting activities and attractions. Perhaps the most famous is Machu Picchu, where you'll find stunning Inca ruins situated up in the clouds. To reach the top, choose between hiking (there are different trails depending on your skill and time constraints) or riding a train and bus.

Another summit to add to your bucket list is Rainbow Mountain, a colorful spot in the Andes Mountains. The natural attraction is a breathtaking sight, where bands of red, yellow, and green cover the mountain from its peak to its base. Reaching the top takes a few hours, but the elevation is intense, so be sure to watch out for signs of altitude sickness.

Of course, Peru is more than just mountains, and you'll find tons of places to explore without having to climb to reach them. Consider a trip to the Peruvian Amazon to come face to face with diverse wildlife — it's like visiting the zoo, but you're in the animals' natural habitat. Craving time near the water? You'll find rivers, lakes, and beaches across the country, but we recommend a boat tour of the Ballestas Islands to see the sea lions, penguins, and other creatures that call the area home.