Come to Peru! They say it the place that is a must-see and it is on most people’s wish list. It is a place full of culture, nature and adventure.
Peru is one of the most undisputed ‘must-see’ destinations, offering more in one single trip than most places. The ancient Inca citadel of Machu Picchu is one of the most iconic and recognisable archaeological treasures in the world, and is officially named as one of the New 7 Wonders of The World with up to 2500 visitors a day. Machu Picchu is located 80 km from the City of Cusco, Peru in South America. The nearest town is Aguas Calientes which you can get to by bus, train or walking
Peru’s natural wonders are equally amazing, with some of the most richest biodiversity, varied climates and landscapes on earth, from tropical rainforests which cover around 60% area and highlands covering 28% of the area. The highlands, dominated by the Andes Mountain Range, includes the deepest canyons and the highest navigable lake on Earth – Colca Canyon and Lake Titicaca.
There’s also surfer beaches and the coastal regions which cover around 12% of the area.
Weather is humid, sunny and warm virtually all year round, especially in the north.
Peruvians themselves make visiting their country unforgettable, leaving you with memories that will stay with you forever, with their warm hospitality, colourful clothing and traditional customs. Let’s also not overlook the delicious food…you will want for nothing it will be an experience of a lifetime!
Fast Facts :
- Peru is the third-largest country in South America – the size of France, Germany and the UK combined.
- The official language is Spanish, along with Quechua and Aymara.
- The official currency in Peru is the Nuevo Sol; £1 Pound Sterling is approximately 4.4 Nuevo Sol.
- Peru is a democratic republic with the President and members of Congress elected every five years.
Geography & Climate:
- Peru is located in the top left half of South America, just below the Equator line on the South Pacific Ocean and bordered by Ecuador, Colombia, Chile, Brazil and Bolivia.
- Peru is about 5 times the size of the UK but with less than half the population, at around 30 million people.
- The capital is Lima, near the coast in the middle of the country; other important cities include Arequipa in the South and Trujillo in the North.
- Peru is 5 hours behind UK GMT time
- Summer months are January, February and March.
- The most popular time to visit is May to October, during the dry season of the Highlands.
- The dry season, (April to October) is best for trekking, with sunny days and little rain.
The Tropical Jungle, where the Amazon rises, is one of the greatest natural reserves on the planet, boasting an incredible diversity of flora and fauna.
In the hot and sunny dry season (April to October), there are fewer insects and animals are easier to spot by the rivers.
Other than a valid passport, travellers from most countries in Western Europe (including the UK) and the Americas, don’t need an additional entry visa (but always check on the UK Gov.com website).
Visitors entering Peru for tourism are granted a 90-day stay which can be extended by the immigration office.
Travel times from Lima to:
Cusco: 1 hour 20 minutes
Puno: 1 hour 40 minutes
Arequipa: 01 hour 25 minutes
Puerto Maldonado: 1 hour 35 minutes
Huaraz: 1 hour
Trujillo: 1 hour 10 minutes
Altitude can be one of the hardest things for visitors to get used to. In Cusco there are hotels that pipe oxygen into the rooms to help with the altitude effects.
Lima & the South:
Travellers may wish to explore the south; the classic circuit for travellers to experience Peru’s most famous highlights.
- Lima is the cosmopolitan capital city near the coast and has the best preserved historic centre in Latin America which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are buzzing cafes and restaurants where you can enjoy fantastic Peruvian food and sandy surf beaches lie less than an hour south of the city.
- Arequipa is known as ‘The white City’ because of the churches and colonial buildings which are constructed of white, volcanic stone.
- The magnificent Colca Canyon is twice as deep as the Grand Canyon and the perfect place for trekking and rafting adventures.
- Lagunas de Mejía National Sanctuary is a paradise for bird spotters and enthusiasts.
- Folk capital of Peru and a great place for buying llama and alpaca wool clothing, handcrafted instruments and pottery.
- On the high altitude shores of Lake Titicaca, with the floating reed islands of the Uros people
- Ancient capital of the Incas, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Dizzying altitude of 3,360 m
- Vibrant nightlife of cafes, bars and restaurants
- Lost City of Machu Picchu, declared one of New 7 Wonders of the World, only accessible by train (3-4 hours from Cusco) or on organised Inca Trail treks (1-4 days options)
- Famous archaeological sites of Pisac and Ollantaytambo
- Iconic terracing of the Sacred Valley
- Tambopata National Reserve and Manu National Park in the South Amazon are home to hundreds of birds species, mammals and plants.
- 335,000 hectare National Reserve including desert, beaches, cliffs, ocean and islands.
- Enigmatic mystery of the Nasca Lines, only visible from the air
- Depictions of birds, spiders, a monkey and whale in the desert sand
- Machu Picchu, meaning (Old mountain), is 7,972 ft (2430m) above sea level
- From sun drenched surfer beaches to the heart of the Amazon jungle, the tourist circuit North of Lima has plenty to offer for nature and wildlife lovers, besides ancient archaeology and vibrant cities.
Tumbes & Piura:
- Warm and sunny white sandy beaches, all year round
- Punta Sal beach is rich in marine life for divers and Máncora cove is a mecca for surfers
- Largest city in the Peruvian Amazon jungle and only accessible by air or river
- A paradise for nature lovers including the pink dolphins of Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve
- Expeditions into the jungle, cruises down the Amazon and visits to native communities
- Fabulous citadel of Kuélap, with 65-foot (19.8 m) walls and fascinating stone friezes
- Humid cloud forests of Amazonas, home to spectacled bears (Paddington!) and the Andean Cock of the Rock – Peru’s national bird.
- Home to the Gocta Waterfalls, one of the highest in the world and only widely known to the world after an expedition in 2005.
- Spectacular mountain scenery of the Andes, Cordillera Blanca and the Huayhuash circuit.
- Great trekking and rafting in the Huascaran National Park
- 39ft high (11.89m) Puya plants, Peruvian deer and soaring Condor
- A vibrant city with Colonial and Republican architecture
- Birthplace of the ‘marinera dance’
- Inca temples of the sun and moon – Huaca del sol and Huaca de la luna.
- Pre-Hispanic Chan Chan complex, the capital of the Chimu kingdom, meaning ‘Sun Sun’
- Peru’s ‘Valley of the Pyramids’, including Sipan, Tucume and Chotuna
- Ancient treasures found inside are now in the museum at The Royal Tombs of Sipan
- Peru is the source of the Amazon River, the planet’s mightiest river by volume
Culture, Food & Festivals:
- The cities and towns offer a wide range of international flavours but Peru is fast becoming famous for its own delicious food, from traditional dishes to contemporary fusions.
- Ceviche is a zesty fish and seafood speciality from the coast, Pachamanca is a hearty slow cooked stew of the Andes and Juane is a delicious Amazon dish of rice and meat in banana leaves.
- Pisco brandy is the national drink of Peru and no visit would be complete without trying the renowned Pisco Sour cocktail.
- The Barranco seaside district of Lima is well known for its Bohemian nightlife but Peru’s other major towns and cities all have excellent restaurants and a lively nightlife – even the jungle city of Iquitos!
- In the rural areas, it’s normal to see Peruvians wearing distinctive traditional dress, such as women in layers of embroidered petticoats, colourful ponchos, straw hats and woollen caps with earflaps – some of which have found their way into mainstream Western fashion.
- The haunting music of Peruvian panpipes has travelled around the globe but all kinds of influences and instruments provide a soundtrack to the different regions, usually accompanied by enthusiastic singing and dancing.
- Peru celebrates around 3,000 festivals a year, so you will be sure to be experiencing one or two while you are there they are all in homage to patron saints or other Christian occasions but also rooted in the ancient, pagan and mystical rituals of native jungle tribes so to learn and experience.
Calendar of Key Festivals:
January/February: Marinera Dance Festival, City of Trujillo.
February: Virgin de la Candelaria, City of Puno.
March/April: Easter ‘Way of the Cross, Ayacucho.
April/May: Peruvian Paso Horse Festival, Lima
May/June: Corpus Christi, Cusco
July: The Virgin of El Carmen, Paucartambo
October: The Lord of Miracles, Lima
Nature and Wildlife
Peru is officially categorised as a very diverse country as far as nature and wildlife is concerned, with 84 of the world’s 117 recognised life zones and 28 of the Earth’s 32 climate systems. Peru is truly a paradise on earth and you can see a staggering variety of birds, mammals and exotic plants.
To preserve its natural attractions, Peru has 13 National Parks, 3 National Wildlife Reserves, 9 National Sanctuaries and 6 Protected Forests. In addition, there are 4 Historic Sanctuaries and 10 Community Reserves.
Peru is a bird watchers dream and there are three primary options,
The endemic species route (North) is home to more than 1200 species of birds and some of the most exciting sightings.
The budget diversity route (Centre) includes a variety of bird spotting habitats at different altitudes, including rare and endemic bird species.
The quality birdwatching route (South) is the most established and renowned, with excellent bird spotting opportunities in Peru’s most famous tourist destinations.
Llamas and Alpacas have provided wool and food for Peruvians for 6,000 years but travellers can also do a Llama trek from the traditional Andean communities of Huaraz.
The puma, spectacled bear and 32 species of primate are among the many Peruvian mammals to watch for in the highlands and jungles to the north and south.
Not forgetting our most lovable adorable PADDINGTON BEAR, who come from the deepest, darkest depths of Peru.
Besides the birds and animals, Peru’s has a host of exotic flora includes around 4,000 species of such stunning orchids, these are mainly in the north east of the country. There are also more than 400 species in the Machu Picchu Historic Sanctuary so something for everyone covering loves and dislikes
Peru is one of the top destinations for hiking and trekking in the world, with breathtaking routes covering for all abilities. Various routes lead to Machu Picchu from 39 kms to a gruelling 82 kms in length. The most well-known is the Inca Trail, it is one of the most famous trekking routes in the world.
- Numbers are strictly controlled issuing permits so be sure to book early to avoid disappointment.
- Other popular treks include following to famous mule trails which connect the remote villages of the Colca Valley and trails through the Andean White Mountains of the snow capped Cordillera Blanca spectacular experience and views .
- Something I have done in the past but not as yet in Peru white-knuckle white water rafting, from an exhilarating hour or so on the Santa River to navigating 300 rapids in the Colca Canyon
- Kayaking and canoeing is a lovely way to visit the tropical forests, following the Tambopata River from Puno or to explore Lake Titicaca and its floating islands. You will be able to see things and places that you would never be able to see from anywhere else.
- At Miraflores, you can soar through the sky paragliding and enjoy amazing views of Lima’s Skyline if you dare to take to the skies.
To book your amazing trip to Peru, please contact me:
Landline : 01323844630
Mobile : 07913304716
Email : debbiedesignertravel.co.uk