Explore Peru
Peru
Vibrant Historical and Natural Sanctuary

Peru is a country in South America that's home to the magnificent Machu Picchu and a section of Amazon rainforest. The region surrounding Machu Picchu, including the Sacred Valley, Inca Trail and Cusco, is a treasure trove of archeological sites. Peru has much more to offer than ancient ruins. It is a country of vibrant culture, nature and adventure. From pre-Columbian settlements to modern cities, Peru is a perfect blend of it all. 


Popular cities: 

  • Cusco

  • Arequipa 

  • Lima

  • Trujillo 

  • Iquitos 

  • Puno 

  • Huancayo 

  • Chiclayo

  • Chimbote 

  • Tacna

Climate
Peru is a tropical country but the climate varies according to the change in altitude. The best time to visit the country is between May and October.

  • January — Wet
  • February — Wet
  • March — Wet
  • April — Wet
  • May — Dry
  • June — Dry
  • July — Dry
  • August — Dry
  • September — Dry
  • October — Dry
  • November — Wet
  • December — Wet
Things to do
City Life
Walking through the streets of Cusco will transport you back in time. Inca ruins have been used in the foundations of many of the old colonial buildings lining the narrow roads. In San Pedro Market you can buy Quechea handicrafts like painted pottery, Peruvian dolls, ceramics and alpaca textiles. Its main square called Plaza de Armas is surrounded by fine restaurants, cafes and churches. Set against the backdrop of snow-capped mountains, Arequipa is often regarded as Peru's most beautiful city. The city center is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Most of the colonial buildings in the city center are made from sillar stone that radiates a bright color in the sunlight, giving rise to its nickname of the 'white city'. Barranco is a quaint hillside district with colourful colonial architecture lining its narrow streets. Puente de Los Suspiros is the main attraction of this place. Lima is embellished with colonial architecture best witnessed in Plaza de Armas also known as Plaza Mayor which is today a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A bronze fountain dating back to 1650, Archbishop's Palace, Magic Water Tour, Casa del Oidor and the Palacio del Gobierno are the major highlights. Miraflores is a vibrant neighborhood worth visiting for its confluence of modernity and colonial-era architecture. Trujillo is famed for its colonial center filled with vibrant Spanish mansions, quaint churches and friendly locals. Iquitos is a gateway to the tribal villages of the northern Amazon. It's an assortment of traditional and modern architecture. Belen Floating Market and San Juan crafts market are interesting places to do some shopping.
Historic/Architectural Heritage
One of the Seven Wonders of the World, Machu Picchu is located in the Eastern Cordillera of southern Peru. Perched on a 7,970 ft mountain ridge, the Inca City of Machu Picchu is one of the most majestic settings of a ruined city. Set against the backdrop of steep, lush and cloud-shrouded mountains, Machu Picchu is indeed a breathtaking sight. La Compania, also known as Compania de Jesus, is a Jesuit church built in the 16th century. Its ornate Baroque façade is particularly very beautiful when illuminated at night. The magnificent gold altarpiece studded with polychrome statues will leave you stunned. Casa de Aliaga is one of the best preserved colonial mansions in South America. It is furnished in colonial style pieces from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. The Cathedral in Lima's Plaza de Armas is one of the major attractions of the city. It is embellished with intricate carvings and altars in the ornate Spanish Baroque style. The chapel decorated in mosaics is a sight to behold. Chan Chan, lying just outside Trujillo, is one of the most extensive archeological sites in Peru. You can find ceremonial halls, burial chambers, royal compounds and palaces. Palacio Nik An boasts lovely marine motifs, impressive architecture and mystical geometric designs. Sacsayhuaman, located just outside Cusco, is an important Inca site. It's a gigantic walled complex constructed of large limestone boulders. Its accurate alignment with annual solstices and ability to withstand earthquakes prove it to be an ancient engineering marvel. Coricancha, Nazca Lines, Casa del Oidor, Government Palace, Archbishop's Palace, Sillustani, Huaca de la Luna, Nazca lines, Las Musas, Tacna Parabolic Arch, Santa Catalina Convent, Puente Bolognesi and Venterron are a few of the other prominent historic and architectural landmarks of Peru.
Museums
The National Museum is the largest museum in Lima. It's the best place to learn about Peru's ancient history and Peruvian culture. Inka Museum is the best museum in Cusco city for those interested in Incas. The collections mainly focus on the Incas and display ceramics, metal and gold work, mummies, skulls, jewelry carved and painted wooden cups, and textiles. Other fascinating museums in the country are Larco Museum, Museu Casa Concha, Pre-Columbian Art Museum, Alto de la Alianza and Tacna Historical Museum.
Nature & Adventure
The Inca Trail is a four-day hike which terminates at Machu Picchu. This scenic trail passes several Inca ruins and transverses through magnificent scenery. Shorter versions of the hike are also available. With a depth of 3,400 meters, Colca Canyon is the second deepest canyon in the world. It offers breathtaking views of the surrounding nature. Besides this there are also churches, hot springs, villages and Inca ruins to explore. The Sacred Valley is a serene place to visit to explore Pisac ruins, fortress at Ollantaytambo, Choquequirao, salt mines at Salinas and Inca ruins. Trekking, rafting and rock climbing are popular activities here. Puerto Maldonado is a getaway to the tours of the Amazon. In the tropical rainforest you'll get to different types of mammals including caimas, capybara, turtles, monkeys and many others. Bahuaja-Sonene National Park and Tambopata National Reserve are the two main attractions. If you are an adventure seeker then the oasis resort of Huacachina on the outskirts of Ica is a must visit. It is surrounded by huge sand dunes where you can try out sandboarding and quad biking. You can also rent dune buggies to enjoy the landscape. Lake Titicaca is surrounded by traditional hamlets and rolling hills. It's a beautiful melange of scenery and culture. A boat trip is the best way to explore the beauty of this place. Uros Floating Islands is one of the main attractions. Cordillera Blanca is a stunning area adorned with mountains and valleys. It is also home to Peru's highest peak, Huascaran. Mountain climbing, trekking and hiking makes the trip to this place exhilarating. Paracas National Reserve, situated along Peru's southern coastline, encompasses mystical archeological sites, fascinating wildlife, marine and coastal desert ecosystems, and beautiful beaches. Besides sightseeing, sailing and windsurfing are popular activities. Huascaran National Park, Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, Mount Alpamayo, Cordillera Huayhuash, Lake Chinancocha, and Lares are some of the other prominent treasure troves of nature and adventure in Peru.
Islands
A boat trip from Paracas National Reserve leads to the scenic Ballestas Islands. Its spectacular rock formations, variety of seabirds, fur seals and sea lions make it an interesting place to visit. Uros Islands are a group of man-made islands floating on Lake Titicaca. It's home to the Uros who have a fascinating history. Exploring this place will give you an insightful peek into their history, culture and traditions. For more such cultural tours you can also visit the natural islands of Amanatani and Taquile.
Beaches
Mancora is an exotic summer beach destination lying along the northern Peruvian coast. With sandy beaches, seafood restaurants and a vibrant nightlife, Mancora is worth more than its fair share of relaxation. You can also indulge in surfing in the warm waters or swim with turtles in El Nuro. The City Beach in Miraflores, being part of the urban sprawl, is edged with high-rise buildings. It's a popular spot for surfers and paragliders. Playa Roja (Red Beach) takes its name from the unique color of the sand here. The amazingly vivid red sand is a stunning contrast against the creamy yellow hues of the cliff. Sunset views are absolutely breathtaking. Other places known for their scenic beaches are Los Organos, Huanchaco, Lobitos, Cabo Blanco, Las Pocitas, Playa de la Mina and Punta Sal, among others.
Wildlife
Paracas Peninsula is home to the Paracas National Reserve and the largest section of protected coastline in Peru. You can spot a plethora of different wildlife at the shoreline including the endangered Humboldt penguins, seabirds, sea lions, and a rare type of otter. Manú National Park, located in the regions of Madre de Dios and Cusco, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that protects diverse ecosystems such as cloud forests, Andean grasslands and lowland rainforests. A plethora of plant species can be found in this magnificent biosphere reserve. A variety of mammals can be spotted here such as jaguar, tayra, puma, ocelot, Peruvian spider monkey, Southern Amazon red squirrel, Andean Fox etc. With over 1000 bird species, Manu National Park is a delightful treat for birdwatchers.
Places of Worship
Built in 1540, the church and monastery of Santo Domingo is one of the oldest and most historic places in Lima. The monastery is known for its tile mosaics depicting the life of St. Dominic. The colorfully painted cloister enhances the beauty of this divine structure. The Church of Saint Peter the Apostle, located in Andahuaylillas, has a simple exterior but an unimaginably ornate interior. It's embellished with gold, paintings, wood carvings and baroque decoration. Convento de San Francisco and its monastery are famous for their catacombs. There is also a library which has thousands of antique books and the monastery has an extensive collection of religious art. Huaca Pucllana, Church of the Nazarenas, Church of El Triunfo, La Merced, Catedral de Chiclayo, Tacna Cathedral, Bab-ul-Islam Mosque and Catedral de Huancayo are other magnificient places of worship.
How to spend time / how long will it take?
You can cover a major chunk of Peru in 8 to 10 days. Starting off in Cusco, spend a day exploring the city and from here take a day trip to the Sacred Valley. Next you can visit the magnificent Machu Picchu and nearby attractions for a day. Spend two days exploring the  Amazon rainforest i.e. the Manú National Park. Spend a day in Puno exploring the scenic Lake Titicaca and Uros. Spend a day exploring the beautiful city Tacna. From here go to Arequipa and spend two days exploring the city and the famous Colca Canyon. Then spend two days in Ica to visit the Nazca Lines and Huacachina Lagoon. Moving further, spend a day or two in Lima to explore the cultural and historical sites. For more on Peru’s history and culture spend a day in Huancayo. Spend a day in Trujillo to take a short trip to Chan Chan. Spend a day in Mancora to enjoy its sandy beaches and calm waters. End your trip in Iquitos by spending a day or two exploring the city and if time permits, the tribal villages of the northern Amazon.
Cuisine
  • Peruvian cuisine reflects influences from the indigenous population along with local practices and ingredients. Owing to a diverse topography, even the Peruvian cuisine is very diverse. Some must-try foods include Aji de Gallina, Alpaca meat, Anticuchos, Arroz Con Pato, Caldo de Gallina, Causa Rellena, Chicharrón and Cuy, among others.
Costs
  • In general, a regular meal might cost around S/15 (USD 3.84) per meal.
Visa
  • Indians require a Visa
  • Other nationalities may or may not require a Visa
Season to Visit
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October

Typical Duration to Visit
  • 8 - 10 days

Known For
  • Machu Picchu
  • Mountains
  • Hills
  • Archeological Sites
  • Hiking
  • Pre-Columbian settlements
Areas to Visit
  • Lima for urban delights, beaches and nightlife
  • Machu Picchu, Sacred Valley, Nazca Lines, Chan Chan for archeology and history
  • Manu National Park and Paracas National Reserve for flora and fauna
  • Colca Canyon, Huacachina Lagoon, Mt. Huascaran, Lake Titicaca for adventure

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