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As we drove up the side of the mountain, for a night tour, the view of the port was gorgeous and instantly reminded me of my home city of Valparaiso Chile. What was I doing in Ilo Peru far away from home?
This was my first time in Peru and a long overdue trip!
You see, my wife was born in Ilo, and after 14 years of being together, I finally had the opportunity to meet the rest of her family.
But I’m not here to talk about her family. Instead, I’m here to share a few of the things I learned, enjoyed, and would recommend, about this mostly-unknown part of Peru, Ilo. So if you’re planning to visit Peru and are considering all the things you can do there, maybe you can add Ilo to your list.
Located in the Moquegua Region, Ilo is a small and captivating port city. As small as it is, Ilo has charm, personality, and plenty of attractions.
Here are some of the more interesting things to know about Ilo Peru.
Best time to visit Ilo Peru
Our trip was during the month of July and August and unfortunately, this was the middle of winter. But don’t get me wrong, the weather was absolutely gorgeous and I only remember wearing long jeans once. The rest of the time was shorts and short sleeve shirts.
Needless to say, it did not feel like winter at all, and rainfall was to a minimum, barely any!
However, tourists hoping to spend time at the beach will want to come when the weather is a bit more pleasant. My recommendation would be to plan your vacation between the months of November and January. But if you want to avoid the hot-busy season, a better time would be between March and May (in my opinion).
During March and May, the weather tends to calm down and becomes easier to enjoy. You can still visit the local beaches, walk around to nearby stores, and enjoy the different Piers (Malecones).
Pozo de Lisas Beach
A beautiful beach literally in the middle of the dessert! When it comes to beaches in Ilo, it’s important to begin with the impressive Pozo de Lisas. Personally I was stunned with the size of this beach and I had never witnessed such a large beach in the middle of a dessert.
I found this clip on YouTube to give you an idea of what you could experience in this beach.
This beach is immaculate from one end to the other. It offers immediate access to fine sand and a delightful shoreline that will create an impression on you right away – as it did for me. Whether it’s the beautiful skies above, the sand dunes, or the endless activities, Pozo de Lisas is an international-grade beach.
You can also walk around and take in some of the beachside restaurants to soak up the view. It can be quite a relaxing and stress-free experience as the sun begins its descent. As far as things to bring along for this trip, all you’ll really need are some good ol’ sandals, sunglasses, headphones along with good music, and perhaps a good book.
Along with the eateries, it’s also best to think about spending time with the locals at Pozo de Lisas. There are friendly locals all around the area and they’re always having a good time whether it’s playing a game of volleyball or simply lounging.
For those looking to lounge and find a quiet spot to read a book, there are several spaces around Pozo de Lisas. This is what makes the beach such an appealing tourist attraction. It’s filled with opportunities to enjoy the gorgeous sand and simply listen to the waves while reading a book. For me, this is an important factor when seeking out places to travel to around the world.
Puerto de Ilo (Port of Ilo)
This seaport located in Ilo Peru is exceptional due to its architectural detailing.
The multi-purpose pier offers a wonderful opportunity to look out into the water and is also a fantastic addition to the port’s beauty. This particular port is often used to reach out to countries such as Brazil and Bolivia, which is why it is heralded as such an important component of Peru’s trade network.
The hum of people and boats in this area can be quite a sight for tourists. It exemplifies the importance of Ilo Peru and why it continues to be a major part of this country’s economic success.
Good thing Google makes it easy for us to see places without yet being physically there. Take a look!
Do you want to learn a little bit about Peru and its history?
The Museo Chiribaya is an outstanding facility with incredible historic value. It is a museum with endless artifacts with a story to tell. You see, Ilo’s founders belong to a culture named Chiribaya, and this museum displays a ton of interesting artifacts and part of this culture.
Drums and Wind Instruments
I personally love music! You’re very likely to come across local musicians on the streets of Ilo. They are often playing typical wind instruments and showcasing local authentic Peruvian music.
Peruvian music is one of a kind when it comes to this beautiful blend and fusion of Spanish and African music, known as Afro-Peruvian music – or musica negra. There are influences from different regions intertwined with local cultural music to make what is now known as a special brand of music.
We’ll be back soon, I know!
Obviously my wife enjoyed the trip, after all, this is her hometown, but so did I. The weather was perfect (even during winter), people were very friendly, it’s not as fastpaced as Lima (also been there), the food was delicious, especially if you love seafood (hint: port!), and overall relaxing experience.
And because of this, my family and I were able to create lasting memories of Ilo. I’m sure we’ll be back soon.