Peru truly exudes enchantment, brimming with ancient history and steeped in rich culture. The ancient Incas once traced a sacred path from Quito in Ecuador to the revered "navel of the world" - Cuzco. They continued their journey through Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca, leading into La Paz in Bolivia, and finally reaching Argentina. This path, laden with historical significance, is still a favorite among modern-day travelers who eagerly immerse themselves in the sights, sounds, and encounters along the way.
Amidst Peru's many remarkable attractions are the enigmatic Nazca Lines, the Amazon rainforest offering opportunities for comfortable cruises or stays in jungle lodges, the captivating White City of Arequipa, and the awe-inspiring Colca Canyon. Here, you can witness the majestic condors gracefully soaring high in the clear blue skies.
Moreover, a visit to Peru is incomplete without delving into the vibrant culture of its people. This can be experienced in the bustling local markets, the vibrant cities, and the tranquil countryside, where the heart and soul of Peru's culture come to life.
Arequipa & the Colca Canyon: Nestled amidst three volcanoes, the charming white city of Arequipa boasts baroque buildings constructed from the striking white volcanic stone known as sillar. Venture to the nearby Colca Canyon, one of the world's deepest canyons and a sanctuary for the magnificent Andean condor.
Cuzco & the Sacred Valley: Discover the Andean Highlands of Peru, a region steeped in history and culture, once the heartland of the mighty Inca Empire at its zenith. Explore the incredible Inca sites of Maras, Moray, and Ollantaytambo, all leading to the crowning jewel of Machu Picchu.
Machu Picchu: Embark on a train journey to the ancient wonder that is Machu Picchu, an Inca citadel perched high in the Andes Mountains, overlooking the Urubamba River valley. For the more adventurous souls, there's the famous Inca Trail, offering an active route to this historic gem.
Mysterious Nazca Lines: Located in southern Peru, these enigmatic geoglyphs etched into the desert sands span an area of nearly 1,000 square kilometers. With approximately 300 distinct figures, including animals and plants, the Nazca Lines continue to captivate and intrigue.
Peruvian Amazon: Immerse yourself in the vibrant wildlife of the Peruvian Amazon while enjoying the comforts of a luxurious lodge or a small ship cruise.
When to go / useful information
When to go
Peru welcomes visitors throughout the year, offering something for everyone, but the ideal time to embark on the Inca Trail hike is during the winter months, from June to August. In the summer months, from December to March, a moderate wet season prevails. For the majority of the year, you can anticipate clear blue skies and a pleasant, temperate climate. Of course, in the rainforest, rain is a constant presence year-round. However, it's worth noting that in these lush regions, rain often arrives and departs quickly, allowing you to continue your exploration without much interruption.
Currency: Nuevo Sol
Official languages: Spanish and Quechua
What makes it special: Peru is a country that captures our hearts with its rich cultural traditions, warm people, and fascinating history, all set against a backdrop of diverse landscapes, including the Amazon jungle, Andean highlands, and coastal plains. A visit to Peru is a journey filled with memorable experiences, such as haggling for treasured handicrafts at bustling markets, capturing countless photos and videos of its stunning beauty, developing a taste for local beverages like Coca Tea and Pisco Sours, and finding numerous reasons to return.
Exploring the vibrant city of Cuzco, with its red-roofed architecture, is a must. Spend several days uncovering colonial and Incan sites before embarking on a journey to the mysterious Incan ruins of Machu Picchu, a place lost in history and untouched by Spanish conquistadors. Along the way, don't miss the opportunity to stay overnight in the soulful Sacred Valley, known for its breathtaking scenery and the vibrant Pisac Markets. For the adventurous, follow in the footsteps of the Incas by walking the Inca Trail, entering Machu Picchu through the iconic Gate of the Sun.
History enthusiasts and archaeology buffs will be delighted by Northern Peru, where significant ruins are still being unearthed. And for those with an adventurous spirit, a visit to the Colca Canyon, arguably the world's deepest, and the Colca Valley, dotted with charming colonial towns and home to the majestic Andean condor, is a must.
Weather: Peru offers a favorable climate year-round for most areas of interest. However, if you plan to hike the 'Classic Inca Trail,' note that it does not operate from December to March due to weather conditions. During the summer months (December to March), there is a moderate wet season, especially in the rainforest regions, where rain is common. Nonetheless, visitors come year-round, as rain in these areas typically lasts for only 2-3 hours a day, with the rest of the day being sunny.
Social customs: Peruvians are incredibly gracious and friendly towards visitors and are often willing to pose for photographs, whether with their llamas or children. It's courteous to ask for permission first, and offering one or two Soles (a matter of cents) is appreciated. Peru has preserved the traditions and cultures of ancient Inca civilizations, allowing travelers to experience authentic interactions with locals who have maintained their way of life for centuries. Music plays a significant role in Peruvian society, and you'll find yourself immersed in the unmistakable sounds of the zampona long after you leave Peru.