Among the best Peruvian drivers include Alexis Hernández (quad), Juan Carlos Uribe and his co-driver Javier Uribe (SxS) and Nicolás Fuchs (cars). All of them arrived among the first three places in at least of the stages that were run in the desert and in the Peruvian altitude.
The first stage of the 2018 Dakar Rally was run from Lima, capital of Peru. The participants arrived a few days before the race and stayed at the wide variety of hotels in the city. In Lima you can find tourist sites such as the historic Main Square, famous shopping centers and fun bars.
Another main attraction that the participants could enjoy in Peru was the gastronomy. In fact, Lima is known as the Gastronomic Capital of Latin America. Three restaurants that are on the list of The 50 Best Restaurants in the World are located in this city.
After passing through Lima, the participants went south to the city of Pisco, in Ica. This place is well known for the wineries where pisco is prepared, Peruvian flag drink made with 100% grape must.
Pisco is also characterized – like several cities in the Ica region- by its incomparable dunes. Considered the most extreme dunes in the region, they are the favorite place for visitors to do adventure sports such as sandboarding and boogie rides. On the other hand, nature lovers can visit the Paracas National Reserve and the Ballestas Islands.
Two stages started from Pisco and after this the race continued its way to reach San Juan de Marcona, at the southern end of the Ica region. On the way to this port city, participants passed through one of Peru’s natural treasures: the oasis of Huacachina.
On the other hand, before arriving at San Juan de Marcona, you can find the mysterious Nasca Lines, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1994. Finally, the San Juan de Marcona route was run between the majestic desert and the Pacific Ocean.
Once the race left the incomparable Ica desert, the ascent started towards Arequipa. This region is known for its beautiful beaches, deep canyons, amazing landscapes and delicious cuisine.
The city of Arequipa, or the ‘White City’, witnesses the harmonious combination between the blue sky and the Misti volcano, visible from a large part of the city. On the other hand, Mollendo is found to the west, a place visited during the summer. Finally, towards the east of the city is the Colca Canyon, the second deepest in Peru and home to the legendary Andean condor.
Before leaving Peru, the Dakar Rally passed through the city of Puno, one of the favorite destinations by tourists. This colorful city of ancient customs, traditional dances and unique craftsmanship is located on the shores of Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world.
Within the Titicaca are the islands of the Uros, which are artificial islands where their inhabitants used the ‘totora’ plant to build it. There is also Taquile Island, three hours from the port. Visitors can know pre-Inca ceremonial centers. The inhabitants of the island are experts in the practice of traditional textiles, considered Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by Unesco.
For visitors to learn more about Peru, its cuisine and its customs, PROMPERÚ organized three events before and during the Dakar: the Dakar Village in Lima and the ‘Peru, Mucho Gusto’ fairs in Pisco and Puno.
More than 50 thousand people attended the Marca Perú tent in the Dakar Village during the three days it lasted. The visitors, Peruvians and foreigners, could learn more about the race and why it is considered the toughest in the world. At the start podium, which was on the outside of Pentagonito, there were around 30 thousand people.
Otherwise, at the food fairs, more than 60,000 people were received in Pisco and Puno, where there were 40food stands of the regions where the Dakar took place, as well as regional dances from the south of the country.
It must be noted that the organization of the 2018 Dakar Rally created a multisectoral commission led by the Ministry of Foreign Commerce and Tourism (MINCETUR) and where the ministries of Culture, Environment, Education, Interior and Defense participated in order to draw a path that protects the exclusion zones for the cultural and ecological heritage of Peru to be respected.
Also, this commission carried out an awareness campaign in which the public was asked to respect the spectator zones, to collect the waste and throw it away, and to respect the signage around the route. Safety was guaranteed thanks to the people that attended this event.