HOW LONG SHOULD I SPEND IN PERU?
As mentioned above, if Machu Picchu is your sole quarry, a week should suffice, but we strongly advise in taking at least 14 days to explore more of the country. For added diversity and a little more nature, Ecuador and the Galápagos can easily be incorporated into a Peru itinerary, taking you from the mountains and lakes to the ocean and abundant islands with their iguanas, sea lions, tortoises and so much more.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT?
The drier winter months of April to October are the only time to visit. When it rains in Peru, it doesn;t abate and, though usually not monsoonal downpours, you will likely be swathed in damp mists and drizzle for your entire trip.
While winter is preferable, almost everybody knows it, so tourist numbers greatly increase. For this reason, we recommend the shoulder seasons – April and May, and September and October – as the best time to take advantage of drier days while avoiding the crowds as much as possible.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT FROM ACCOMMODATION IN PERU?
Accommodation is of an excellent standard, but also incredibly diverse. Superb lodges, boutique residences, premium hotels and private villas can be found, but you won’t find a Hilton on top of the Andes. For this reason, your expectations in venue style should be somewhat flexible, though the standard of quality, comfort and service need not be. Specialist accommodation, such as afloat an Uro island in the middle of Lake Titicaca or suspended on a cliff face high above the Sacred Valley, will not meet the highest standards, simply due to their nature, and entirely acceptable given the experience you will enjoy.
Flight time from the East Coast is around eight hours, and nine from the West. Flights are daily, though often only one or two each day. From Lima, you can fly internally, and for many destinations this is preferable, but for the experience factor, a train ride from Lima to Cusco is well recommended.
US citizens don’t require visas for entry to Peru, though other nations may. It is always best to consult your Travel Designer well ahead of time to confirm visa requirements. Likewise, inoculations aren’t generally required but a travel medicine specialist will be able to inform you fully.
Spanish is the national language of Peru and some basic Spanish will definitely be useful, particularly in the more remote areas. That said, English is widely spoken, particularly in the hospitality and tourism industries, your accommodation staff, guides and so on will likely be fluent in English.