Travel to Peru is a rich cultural experience. For many reasons, a Peru vacation tops the bucket lists of many of the world’s most intrepid travelers. Between the wildlife and nature-viewing available in the nation’s jungles, the unique sites in the Andes Mountains, there are many experiences travelers can only have while on a trip to Peru.

peru machu picchu terrace
As one writer put it: “If Peru didn’t exist, travel guide books would have to invent it.” Travel to Peru can also provide a window to its unique wildlife and intriguing jungles, perhaps best explored on an Amazon River cruise in the comfort of a small luxury river boat. A trip to Peru wouldn’t be complete without time spent in the mountains, in the jungle, and along the coast, and well planned Peru vacation packages account for this. (see more below)
Weather and Climate
One could theoretically go from the relatively mild climate of the Southern Peruvian Coast to the harsh extreme of the frozen heights of the Andes, before descending into the sultry heat of the Amazon Basin, and all in one day. Because of this, the weather in Peru is extremely diverse, with thirty of the thirty-two types of microclimates existing within the country. Generally speaking, the climate of the Peruvian Coast depends on the relative distance to the equator. The Northern Peruvian Coast experiences temperatures that range between the eighties and low one hundreds in Fahrenheit. The Southern Peruvian Coast experiences temperatures of between forty and eighty degrees. It rains sporadically and yet torrentially during the summer on the North Coast, and almost never on the Southern Coast. In the interior of the country, the climate of Andes depends primarily upon elevation, with the valleys recording mild temperatures and the highest reaches averaging high temperatures below freezing over the course of a typical year. The climate on the western side of the mountains is very dry, while the climate on the eastern side is extremely wet, as the Andes give way to the Amazon basin. It typically rains ten months out of the year in the Peruvian Amazon, with a brief dry season to be experienced between July and August.
Peru river cruises are available on the major waterways of the Amazon. Limited rail service is available between the country’s major cities and along the populated shore of Lake Titicaca, but bus or air travel is recommended for reaching other destinations inland. For transportation in and around Peru’s cities, taxis are available, but be sure to negotiate (haggle the price in advance). Lima and the other large cities also have mass transit options available.
Cuisine of Peru
Hands down, eating in Peru only enriches your trip. Of the top ten world's best restaurants, Lima is the only city with multiple winners. Ceviche here is with red onion and aji pepper, and choclo, a white Andean corn. The leftover marinade delicacy is the leche de tigre (tiger’s milk). One very common local dish is loma saltado, a Chinese influenced stir fry of beef, tomatoes, onions, peppers and soy sauce, served with potato fries. Peru claims the potato and its hundreds of varieties as its own; the causa is a sliced and layered potato casserole or terrine, sometimes with other ingredients that's served cold. Aji de gallina is a creamy chicken stew made with condensed milk, thickened with white bread with cheese and ground walnuts. Rocoto relleno is a hot spicy pepper stuffed with spiced, sautéed ground beef and hard-boiled egg. As in Chile, cuy (guinea pig), is a popular if gamey dish. Alternatively, alpaca is a lean meat also available. For some of the best, try to score reservations at Central or Astrid & Gaston.
Suggested reading
Death in the Andes (M. Vargas Llosa), In Search of an Inca: Identity and Utopia in the Andes(A. Flores Galindom), Lost City of the Incas: The Story of Machu Picchu and Its Builders (H. Bingham III), The Last Days of the Incas (K. MacQuarrie), Turn right to Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time (M. Adams), Andean Tragedy: Trail of Feathers (T. Shah), The Peru Reader: History, Culture, Politics (O. Starn), The Heights of Macchu Picchu (P. Neruda).
Suggested viewing
El Choque de Dos Mundos (When Two Worlds Collide), La Boca del Lobo, Madeinusa, La Teta Asustada , The Motorcycle Diaries, La Última Noticia (The Latest News), Gregorio, Icaros: A Vision, Hija de la Laguna (Daughter of the Lake), Juliana, Perú: Tesoro Escondido (Perú: Hidden Treasure), La Boca del Lobo (The Wolf’s Mouth, No Se Lo Digas a Nadie, Contracorriente, Buscando a Gastón, The Debt.

Unique Experiences
In Peru

There are experiences that can only be had by wandering the cities of this wonderful country, soaking up the local culture and creating memories that are off the proverbial beaten path, and all your own.

Peru’s Hotels & Resorts

The major cities of Peru all have a wide range of accommodations, from modest to five-star luxury hotels. In the more rural parts of Peru, finding luxury accommodations can be challenging. A few of our select hotels include:

peru patio meal
peru alpaca

Did you know?

Potatoes are originally from Peru, which has more than 3,000 varieties of the spud.

Over a mile up in the mountains, Machu Picchu was built by hand on a ridge 8,000’ above sea level!

Each year, over 50% of the migrating birds in the Americas fly over Peru.

The longest river in the world, the Amazon starts in Peru’s Andes and ends 3,278 miles later in the Atlantic Ocean.

Near Arequipa, Cotahuasi Canyon has a depth of nearly 10,605 feet, twice the depth of the Grand Canyon.

More about travel to Peru

Things to See and Do

Peru is made up of three remarkably different geographic zones. These zones run from the north of the country to the south, and separate Peru into three very distinct areas both culturally and environmentally. By name, these zones are the desert coast, the highlands of the Andes, and the westernmost reaches of the Amazon. A Peru vacation should allow you the freedom to concentrate your activities in one or more of these zones, while providing some activity in all three.

Here are the ancient ruins at Saksaywaman and the Nazca Lines; the lost fifteenth century Incan city of Machu Picchu, one of the Seven Wonders of the World; and the many other (less traveled) cultural sites of the Incan Empire, like Ollantaytambo. Peru displays Spanish colonial charm in the cobblestone streets of Cuzco, and modern flair in the cutting edge restaurants that make up the culinary wonderland of modern Lima. Colca Canyon is one of the world’s deepest gorges, where the Andean condors soar; while the world’s highest navigable body of water, Lake Titicaca borders Peru and Bolivia. You can hike eleven thousand foot-deep Colca Canyon, visiting remote Andean villages along the way, or take an airborne tour of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Nazca Lines.

You could go sand boarding on the dunes along the Peruvian coast before surfing the waves or just relaxing on the beach. You could tour the Sacred Valley of the Incas, or limit your Incan archaeology to a trip to Machu Picchu.

Our expertise and personal contacts will enhance your visit to Peru, no matter what time of year you choose to travel.Contact us today to arrange a unique Peru vacation that’s perfectly customized to your desires. You can also learn more about and search for some of our Peru vacation offers here.

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