Football is Peru’s sport of passion, closely followed by women’s volleyball, at which they are remarkably good, often contending at the very top international levels. After roughly 30 years of disappointment, Peru has hopes that its young new football team might make it through to the finals of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Bullfighting has a strong heritage both in Lima and small Andean villages.

Football

Peru’s major sport is football and you’ll find men and boys playing it in the streets of every city, town and settlement in the country down to the remotest of jungle outposts. The big teams are Cristal, Alianza and El U in Lima and Ciencianco from Cusco. The “Classic” game is between Alianza, the poor man’s team from the La Victoria suburb of Lima, and El U (“U” from “Universitario”), generally supported by the middle class. To get a flavour for just how popular football is in Peru try a visit to the Estadio Restaurant in Lima, which has great murals, classic team shirts and life-size models of the world’s top players.

Volleyball

Volleyball (vóley) is a very popular sport in Peru, particularly for women. The national team frequently reach World Cup and Olympic finals, and they are followed avidly on TV. Even in remote villages, most schools have girls’ volleyball teams. For more information, check out vivevoley.com.

Bullfighting

Although bullfighting is under threat from the pro-animal lobby, and has diminished significantly in popularity in the twenty-first century, in many coastal and mountain haciendas (estates), bullfights are still often held at fiesta times. In a less organized way they happen at many of the village fiestas, too – often with the bull being left to run through the village until it’s eventually caught and mutilated by one of the men. This is not just a sad sight, it can also be dangerous for unsuspecting tourists who happen to wander into a seemingly evacuated village. The Lima bullfights in October (see Fun with fountains), in contrast, are a very serious business; even Hemingway was impressed.

Essentials

Everything you need to know before you set off.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Peru features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

The best aerial views in the world

The best aerial views in the world

Got a head for heights? If you're craving a new perspective on your travels, the best thing to do is get up high. From mountain-top panoramas to cityscapes, her…

17 Oct 2017 • Olivia Rawes camera_alt Gallery
The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

There's nothing like an amazing view to inspire you to book your next trip, whether you're drawn by rolling countryside, isolated islands or soaring mountain …

30 Aug 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
24 breaks for bookworms

24 breaks for bookworms

1. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas In 1971, fuelled by a cornucopia of drugs, Hunter S. Thompson set off for Las Vegas on his “savage journey to the heart of …

02 Mar 2017 • Eleanor Aldridge camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right

Weekly newsletter

Sign up now for travel inspiration, discounts and competitions

Sign up now and get 20% off any ebook