Peru

Where to go

One of South America’s most popular destinations, Peru offers something for everyone from the peaks of the Andes mountains to dry desert and the tropical jungle of the Amazon.  Some of Peru’s must-see highlights include:

  • Machu Picchu, the lost Inca Citadel in the cloud forest of the Andean foothills.
  • The capital city of Lima on the Pacific coast, with its well-preserved colonial architecture and superb restaurants.
  • Cusco, capital of the Inca empire, a charming city with lovely hotels and restaurants.
  • Lake Titicaca, situated on the border with Bolivia – a vast and beautiful blue lake overlooked in the distance by the towering snow-topped Andes mountains.
  • The “white city” of Arequipa with its colonial churches and cobbled streets and the Colca Canyon, more than twice as deep as the Grand Canyon.
  • The Peruvian Amazon, one of the most biologically diverse areas in the world with different species of mammals, exotic birds and butterflies.

 

What to do

  • Visit Machu Picchu by train
  • Have an adventure in the Sacred Valley!  The Sacred Valley is situated between Cusco and Machu Picchu and has a superb selection of peaceful hotels in lovely settings, the perfect base for a great variety of adventure activities including white water rafting, horse riding, mountain biking and trekking.
  • Hike the Inca Trail – choose from a range of options from the one-day trek to the full 4-night/5-day camping experience!
  • Take the Orient Express “Andean Explorer” train between Cusco and Lake Titicaca. 
  • Fly over the mysterious Nazca Lines, pre-Columbian symbols carved into the rock and only fully appreciated from the air.
  • Immerse yourself in Peru’s ancient cultures and traditions.



View Latin America in a larger map

 

When to go

In Lima and on the coast, the seasons are opposite to those in the Northern hemisphere with winter from June to October with cool, damp days and summer from December to March with hot, sunny days and temperatures between 25°C and 30°C.  For visits to Machu Picchu and the highlands, bear in mind that the rainy season runs from December until March and the dry season is from June until October.  You can expect sunshine throughout the year in the highlands but the temperatures drop considerably at night.  April is a nice time of year to visit as the highlands are lush and green following the rainy season and it is before the busiest period for visitors during Europe’s school summer holidays.  The rainy season in the Amazon also runs from December until March although you should expect showers throughout the year with hot and humid weather and temperatures between 23°C and 32°C.  The popular religious Inti Raymi festival takes place in June every year in Cusco and we recommend booking hotels well in advance for this period.

 

Currency and money

Peruvian Nuevo Sol.  ATMs are easily available.

 

Cuisine

Superb restaurants especially in Lima and Cusco.  You can expect great seafood on the coast including delicious ceviche.   You will find a great range of restaurants in Peru serving everything from Nuevo-Latino to international cuisine as well as good, simple cafés serving freshly prepared traditional dishes.

 

Hotels

Good choice of international hotels, independently owned colonial style hotels and lodges.

 

Trains

The most popular way to reach Machu Picchu is by train from Cusco.  The journey takes approximately four hours and takes you through the countryside of the Ollantaytambo Valley.  The train arrives at the town of Aguas Calientes where buses wait to transport you up the hill to the Machu Picchu site.  There are three train options: the Backpacker train, the Vistadome train with panoramic windows and the Hiram Bingham deluxe Orient Express train.

For travel between Cusco and Lake Titicaca, we recommend the Orient Express “Andean Explorer” train.  During the day-long journey, you will be served a 3-course lunch and be able to appreciate the wonderful views of the magnificent Andes in comfort from your seat or from the fabulous viewing car. 

 

Altitude

Cusco and Machu Picchu, Arequipa and the Colca Canyon and Lake Titicaca are all at high altitude and this can affect you by causing initial breathlessness or a minor headache.  This is usually relieved by resting on arrival and ensuring you drink plenty of water and coca tea (a local herbal tea).  Only a small number of people are affected by severe altitude sickness but if you have any doubts we recommend that you visit your doctor before traveling as prescription drugs are available to help with the symptoms.

 

Where to go next

Combine Peru with a visit to Bolivia and Chile – cross Lake Titicaca to Bolivia and journey across the Uyuni salt flats before continuing across the highlands to Chile and the Atacama Desert, the highest desert in the world.  Another good combination is Peru and Ecuador – it is a 2½ hour flight from Lima to Quito where you can experience the highlands of Ecuador before joining a cruise to see the wildlife on the Galapagos Islands.

 

Links

Saspo’s partner office in Peru is Coltur.  For further information please see their website at www.coltur.com.pe   For further useful information please go to www.coltur.com.pe/notes/noteseng

 

You can also read more about the trains in Peru at https://www.perurail.com/en/trains.php and  www.orient-express.com/web/hb/hiram_bingham.jsp

Contact:    TEL: +44 20 8123 1827   Mobile: +44 7989 982 210   Email: Info@saspoUK.com