Every region of Peru holds a unique cultural variety, ranging from authentic traditions, types of food and typical dances. The Inca centered heritage and classic cuy dish you’ll find in the highlands of Peru, for instance, are very different from the coastal region where marinera dancing is popular and the menu is more seafood heavy.
Hacienda Dpaso recently invited my colleague, travel advisor Michelle T., and I to their Dinner & Show. The entertainment features dancing from the country’s coastal, mountain, and jungle regions, offering a rare chance to see them all performed during one event in Lima. I’m from Peru and I still walked away from the evening being thoroughly impressed with the experience – particularly the marinera with Peruvian Paso Horses and all the dishes offered during the buffet dinner.
Michelle and I describe our Dinner & Show experience at Hacienda Dpaso and share some additional advice in the Q&A below.
#1 Can you describe the atmosphere of Hacienda Dpaso?
Michelle: “My first impression of the Hacienda Dpaso was how big the space was, the room where the dinner and dance show took place was spacious and clean with high ceilings and lots of room to move around to get food without feeling like I was interrupting anyone else’s dining experience or view of the show. The tables had white table cloths, the staff was professional and very friendly. The dancers wore smiles on their faces and seemed like they loved what they do!”
Andres (that’s me): “Yes! It was in a quiet location, very nice and elegant. The dinner area was big and felt warm just like the delicious food. They had a little bit of everything, from lomo saltado to ceviche. Also, there’s plenty of space to see the show just like Michelle mentioned. One thing to add is that the horse barn is located in the backyard of the hacienda, it had enough space for the horses to roam free and to do the show.”
#2 What was your favorite part of the show?
Michelle: “My favorite dance was the Alcatraz dance, it had me laughing and smiling almost the entire time! I hardly touched my food because I was so engaged. The dancers have candles in their hands and paper that hangs on the back of their pants or skirts and the goal is to try to get close enough to light the paper on fire. Once the paper does get lit it was very entertaining to see the dancers try to extinguish the flame without using their hands!
Andres: “Well, they performed dances from almost every Peruvian region. But the one that drew my attention was the Diablada, it had dancers dressed as Andean angels and demons and they were performing the battle of good and evil. Nice dance. Really interesting to watch!
#3 Do you have any recommendations for dinner?
Michelle: “I am a vegetarian and I didn’t mention it prior to the show so there weren’t too many meal options available, but I improvised and took what I could and I in no way went hungry!”
Andres: “One suggestion for anyone vegetarian or vegan is to ask for it one week in advance. Don’t worry about missing the dances, they give you enough time between dances to pick up everything you want before another dance starts.”
#4 What language was used during the evening show at Hacienda Dpaso? English or Spanish? Both?
Michelle: “Both! The dances were announced in Spanish and then again announced in a very good and understandable English.”
Andres: “Right! They explained everything about the dances and interesting facts.”
#5 Have you ever seen Peruvian Paso horses before?
Michelle: “No, this was my first time so it was really cool to learn about what a Peruvian Paso horse is and see what makes them so special.”
Andres: “Sure! but certainly not like these, you can notice how much these people love these horses, they all looked clean and well groomed.”
#6 What was the main highlight of your entire experience at Dpaso?
Michelle: “It’s really hard to say! I really loved the Alcatraz dance, but I also loved the horse show as well! Especially the last show where the rider of the horse didn’t even use her hands to direct the horse! I’ve never seen anything like that before!”
Andres: “True that! I agree on the horse show, specially since it is summer now and going out of the Hacienda to see the show was really cool. The show even featured the fifth time National Champion of this event, as Michelle said she didn’t used her hands to direct the horse! And the end of the show you can take a picture of yourself with the horses.”
#7 Would you recommend this cultural experience?
Michelle: “I think it could be enjoyable for everybody but I think it’s better suited to people who enjoy dance shows, horses, and dinner shows.”
Andres: “I would probably recommend the buffet and show for travelers who want to have a quiet night at a slow pace, enjoy the food and delight with the dances.”
Peruvians have a lot of pride for their traditions and food (of course)!