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What to do for National Pisco Day this July!

What to do for National Pisco Day this July!

Peru is so proud of its famous Pisco grape brandy that it boasts two national holidays: Pisco Sour Day on the first Saturday of February, and National Pisco Day on the fourth Sunday of July. This year, it falls on July 22nd.

Pisco, the only brandy made from pure grape juice as opposed to the skins and pressing, is aromatic with a complex taste. Pisco grew in popularity and renown during the 16th & 17th centuries as the Peruvian Viceroyalty became South America´s main wine producer, thanks to the robust production of Ica in the fertile Pisco Valley. As time passed, the production of Peruvian grape brandy increased. The Jesuits hawked it throughout Peru, and when the famous pirate Sir Francis Drake took hostages from the Port of Pisco in the 16th century, he extorted a handsome ransom of 300 bottles. Today, it is the national drink and a component of the country’s most iconic cocktail, the Pisco Sour.

1. Drink From Lima’s Fountain of Pisco

You can toast the capital (after all, this is the week of Peru’s Independence Day!) by sampling a glass from the Plaza Mayor’s fountain. On this day, rather than water, it will be spouting more than 2000Lt of Pisco. It’s a unique way of celebrating the day, so stop by and, resisting the urge to jump in, have a taste.


2. Pub Crawwwwwllllll

Drinks will be flowing all over Lima, so look for freebies from promoters in the parks and plazas as well as half-priced specials in the bars and restaurants. Cusco is an excellent city for Pub Crawling, since most of the major bars and clubs are concentrated around the Plaza de Armas. If you’re interested in getting a group together, let them know in reception so we can go en masse!

3. Mix Your Own at the Hostels!

If you feel like staying in and testing your bartending skills, take advantage of our self-catering kitchens in our hostel locations to experiment a bit with the most classic Pisco cocktails!

  • Pisco Sour: Pisco, Lime, Cane Syrup, Egg White, Ice, and Aromatic Bitters
  • Canario: Pisco with orange juice.
  • Capitán: Aromatic Pisco with Vermouth.
  • Beatríz: Pisco, Granadine Syrup, Cream, Cinnamon & Cacao cream
  • Melate: Sweet Wine & Pisco
  • Biblia: Pisco, Port, Egg Yolk, Cacao Cream, Curasao, Cinnamon & Ice
  • Calentito: Pisco with lemon & hot tea
  • Chilcano: Aromatic Pisco with Ginger Ale, Aromatic Bitters, Lime & Ice
  • Pisco Punch: Pineapple, Lime Juice, Sugar, Acacia, Distilled Water

…..If things don’t work out, those of you staying in hostels with in-house bars such as Pirwa Inclan B&B, Pirwa Prada Backpackers, Pirwa Colonial Backpackers, and Pirwa Puno Backpackers have an easily accessible back-up plan at good prices!

Tourism Week & the Independence Festival of Pisco (Sept 1-14)

Tourism Week & the Independence Festival of Pisco (Sept 1-14)

In Pisco the city’s Tourism Week (actually two weeks) celebrations, meant to promote the main attractions of the province, continue. Throughout the coming week there’ll be art and food fairs, outdoor concerts, parades, Pisco brandy and wine tastings and competitions, Peruvian Paso horse shows, cockfights, and the International Sandboarding Competition.

There’ll be a parade today through the Main Square of Pisco, as it’s the anniversary of the landing of the United Armies of the Andes under the command of General San Martín to Paracas Bay. Four thousand Chilean, Argentinean, and Peruvian troops disembarked and headed to Pisco, where they set up General Headquarters near the main square from which they would launch the first battles of the Wars of Independence, clashing with Royalists throughout the nation over the following years until finally declaring Peru an independent nation.

How to Get to Pisco

Pisco is about 4 hours south of Lima by car on the Panamerican Highway, in the Department of Ica. Since it’s such a short trip, travelers usually get to Pisco by bus. by Contact Pirwa Travel if you’d like assistance arranging transport. If you’re staying at one of Pirwa’s Hostels in the Miraflores district of Lima, just stop by the in-house travel desk and get answers to all your travel questions.

While You’re There….

Grab a windbreaker, hat, and sunscreen and make your way to Paracas Bay and grab a motorboat to the Ballestas Islands to view the colonies of diving Humboldt Penguins, lazing fur seals and playful sea lions, and a great variety of sea birds that make their home among the grey, red, and sand-colored rocky outcrops collectively known as the Ballestas, carved into elegant twisting tunnels, arches and caves by water and time. Occasionally dolphins will enter the waters as well, or, with luck, humpback whales. If you’re planning on visiting, remember that Pirwa Travel offers tours of the Ballestas Islands and Paracas Reserves.