A mélange of cultures, excellent food, stunning scenery, Inca fortresses, a thriving modern capital, and more than 25 diverse climates and ecosystems, Peru is a treasure trove to explore. Explore the mysticism, sacred traditions, way-of-life and markets of Peru’s numerous indigenous communities. Cruise down the Amazon River. Visit charming colonial towns. Travel to Lake Titicaca and its floating reed islands.
Where to Go
Machu Picchu – One of the most iconic places in the world, magical Machu Picchu is the only known Inca city to remain intact. Steep in the mysteries and genius of this ancient civilization as you explore the ruins that date back to the mid-1400s.
Cuzco – A beguiling amalgam of Incan and Spanish colonial architecture, Cuzco is located high in the Peruvian Andes in a fertile valley fed by several rivers and is the gateway to visit Machu Picchu. It is South America’s oldest continuously inhabited city.
The Sacred Valley – Just outside of Cuzco, the Sacred Valley offers opportunities to participate in traditional indigenous rituals, shop at the Pisca or Chinchero markets and visit the Incan agricultural laboratory of Moray and terraced salt ponds of Maras.
Lake Titicaca – Enjoy the highest navigable lake in the world. Visit the floating reed islands, shop at the weekend market in Puno, or attend a folk festival. Also enjoy cycling, stargazing, hiking the Colla trail, kayaking and paddle boating.
Peruvian Amazon – There is nothing like the jungle to heighten all of your senses! The Amazon rainforest makes up 60 percent of Peru and teems with exotic plant and animal species. You’ll stay at a comfortable eco-lodge with all amenities right in the middle of the rainforest! A highly enjoyable and memorable experience is visiting some of the indigenous communities nearby.
Lima – Founded in 1535 by Pizarro and the seat of Spanish rule for 300 years, Peru’s coastal capital abounds in interesting pre-Columbian sites, colonial architecture and treasures. It is a fascinating mix of old and new with a thriving nightlife and world-class shops, arts and restaurants.
When to Go
The Andes – The rainy season is from January to March when daytime temperatures are in mid-80s and nights are mild. One of the best months in the Andes is May, when the rainy season has just finished, the temperature is mild and the mountains are green with fields of flowers. Despite some rain, December and April are also nice months. From June to August, the days are typically sunny and warm but the temperature can drop to below freezing at night.
The Coast – The southern Peruvian coast offers two well-defined seasons. December to April is warm and the ocean is nice for swimming. There is little or no rain during these months. From May to November the temperature drops a bit and the traveler will find sea mist engulfing the coast. At this time of the year only the northern beaches such as Mancora and Punta Sal are warm enough to provide pleasant swimming.
The Amazon – The so called “dry season” from April to October is the best time to visit the jungle regions since there are fewer mosquitos and the rivers are low, exposing the beaches. It’s also a good time to spot animals, especially birds, which usually hide during the rain. The “wet season” from November to March is hot and humid with heavy rain to be expected at any time, interspersed with periods of sunshine.