Located in the Lima Province, Chaclacayo and Chosica, Peru, are cute little towns to visit during a day trip.

After volunteering in the Lima suburb Huaycán for four days, my fellow Unearth the World/Wanderful volunteers and I traveled by combi bus to Chosica with a stop in Chaclacayo for coffee and cake. The roughly-an-hour-long combi ride cost just a couple Soles each way.

Five female travelers representing Unearth the World and Wanderful visit Chosica, Peru, after volunteering.

Unearth the World/Wanderful chicas in Chosica, Peru

One of the first things I noticed in Chosica was that flowered-covered trellises were abundant. Coming from a dusty, desert-like city it was refreshing to see vibrant blooms and lush vegetation.

Flower Trellises in Chosica, Peru | The Epicurean Traveler

We began our walk around Chosica near the Rímac River, which also runs through Chaclacayo and Lima. The mouth of the river is in Callao, near the Lima airport, where it meets the Pacific Ocean. The name means “talking river” in Quechua, one of the three languages spoken in Peru.

Colorful buildings and homes dot the view from the Rímac River bank in rural Chosica, Peru.

The Rímac River flows through Chosica, Peru.

Local Peruvians cross a pedestrian bridge over the Rímac River in Chosica, Peru.

Beautiful riverfront bridge and park in Chosica, Peru | The Epicurean Traveler

Parque Jose Maria Arguedas near the Rímac River in Chosica, Peru | The Epicurean Traveler

We continued our walk past little shops, including a small store selling beautiful fabrics. My fellow volunteer Veronica makes sassy handbags, so she stopped to purchase some brightly colored and boldly patterned textiles. The shopkeeper had lived in Los Angeles, so he spoke English with us. Wherever we went, we seemed to meet other Americans and Peruvians who once lived in the United States.

A pedestrian bridge spanning the Rímac River leads to the shops and parks of Chosica, Peru. | The Epicurean Traveler

An ornately patterned bench sits outside a white building in Chosica, Peru. | The Epicurean TravelerWe strolled down busy streets to a quiet neighborhood where we encountered a massive Jesus statue. This was the first of many giant monuments of Christ and large hillside crosses I’d see while in Peru. Though the Peruvian people still have very strong ties to the spiritual traditions practiced by the Incas, the country is also a devout Catholic nation. When the Spaniards arrived, they began building beautiful cathedrals. If you travel through Peru, you’ll notice this cross-section of religious traditions — leaving coca leaf offerings for the Pachamama (Mother Earth) and also celebrating with parades for patron saints like Santa Rosa de Lima, the patron saint of Peru.

Giant Christ in Chosica, Peru | The Epicurean Traveler

Our walking tour continued past a pastel aqua-colored church, beautiful flower beds and palm trees to the Plaza de Armas. Each Peruvian town I visited had a main square called the Plaza de Armas. Often there is a statue dedicated to a military hero or historical figure.

A promenade in Chosica, Peru, leads from the giant Christ statue to the Plaza de Armas. | The Epicurean Traveler

Palm trees and clear blue sky in Chosica, Peru | The Epicurean Traveler

Chosica, Peru Plaza de Armas | The Epicurean Traveler

We stopped for delicious smoothies and juices. I drank a delicious mango smoothie made with fresh mangoes and yogurt. It had a chocolate sauce drizzled throughout. I thought that was a strange combination at first sight, but it tasted surprisingly good with the sweet mango. I love when food combinations pleasantly surprise me. Don’t you?

Mango smoothie in Chosica, Peru | The Epicurean Traveler

Female traveler drinks mango smoothie at a juice bar and cafe in Chosica, Peru | The Epicurean Traveler

Then we took a short combi bus ride to Chaclacayo. There we stopped into a restaurant for cake and coffee, which several of us were craving pretty badly at this point. It’s pretty common to drink coffee with breakfast and usually as a pick-me-up midday in the states. At home, most of us brew either a pot of coffee or make a cup in a Keurig one-cup coffee maker in the morning. Most workplaces have a communal pot of coffee brewing in the morning if not throughout the day. Cafes, coffee shops, Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks are bountiful, right? Not so much where we volunteered in Huaycán. If you wanted coffee at the volunteer house, you had to buy instant coffee from a bodega. Then you had to boil water on the stovetop, pour that into the coffee powder, and stir that mixture together. It wasn’t ideal, but I drank it once or twice while volunteering. Usually I just stopped at a bodega for a Coca-Cola midday if I needed a caffeine boost.

A yellow fence is painted with chess pieces in Chaclacayo, Peru | The Epicurean Traveler

The cakes in Chaclacayo were absolutely delicious. We all shared a Tres Leches cake, which you may have guessed from its name is made with three milks. We were all big fans of the Pie de Limon, a lemon meringue-like pie that is made in Peru with small citrus fruits that are very similar to key limes. Our third cake was a classic and dense chocolate cake with chocolate icing and Manjar Blano, also a favorite dessert of ours in Peru, caramel sauce filling.

Chocolate cake, tres leches cake, and pie de limon in Chaclacayo, Peru | The Epicurean Traveler

Our day trip was short and sweet just like the duration of time these delicious desserts lasted between the five of us!

Shout Out: A big thank you to Mervi, of the Light and Leadership Initiative, for showing us around Chosica and Chaclacayo!

For your pinning pleasure:

Things to do in Peru: Chosica and Chaclacayo | The Epicurean Traveler

Things to do in Peru: Chosica and Chaclacayo | The Epicurean Traveler

Obviously as the Epicurean Traveler I like to try local foods when I travel. We joked throughout this trip that we have a separate stomach for desserts, and I discovered a newfound love for manjar blanco (caramel), tres leches, and lemon meringue pie! What desserts have you discovered a taste for while traveling?