The Amazon rainforest in Peru, South America is one of the largest forests in the world, covering more than 5.5 million square kilometers, more than half the size of the Sahara desert in Africa.The Amazon rainforest is often known as the earth’s lungs, owing to the fact that more than 20% of the earth’s oxygen supply comes from here
For most countries, Peru has a very generous open-door policy - meaning Peru visa is very easy and straight forward. Most countries in North America and Europe can enter without the need for a pre-applied for visa and stay for up to 183 days.
The Ausangate Mountain, better know as rainbow mountain, might not be as famous as Machu Picchu or some of the other sites in the country, this natural wonder is one of the most amazing geologically interesting places in the world. As the mountains have been eroded, the layers of materials have been striped back exposed myriad lines of colors from gold to purple.
Peru culture is complex and unique, created by the layers of ancient civilizations that have risen and fallen over thousands of years. The Spanish Conquistadors arrived in the 15th century and quickly left their mark across Latin America, rapidly building and imposing Spanish culture and religion across the country.
Peru has mountains, jungles, beaches, a unique history and a blend of cultures from the past and the present. Naturally there are several points of interest in Peru, and a great many places to visit. Here is the best of Peru.
The source of the Amazon River starts high up in the Andes Mountains, and runs down through cloudforests into the rainforest proper. Peruvian Amazon offers some of the finest protected tract of rainforest in the world. Melting glaciers collect and contribute to one of the world’s mightiest rivers.
The Nazca Lines are located in the dry desert to the south of Peru, around 400 kilometres from the capital Lima. They are made up of a series of ancient geoglyphs etched into the side of the hillsides. Each one is geometric shape that makes up an animal including a bird, spider, llama, jaguar, fish, monkey and even humans. The lesser known ones including flora like flowers.
Most will have heard about Machu Picchu, the sacred ruins located in the mountains of Peru. However, fewer would will know about Huayna Picchu, also called Wayna Pikchu which translates to Young Peak. This mountain descends up above the Urubamba River, towering over the ruins of Machu Picchu, so it features on almost every image of the citadel.
The Andes mountains offers some of the world’s best trails, making Peru treks a great attraction. The Inca Trail is arguably the most famous, but there are plenty more that offer spectacular views over the mountains and have far fewer tourists to contend with.
There are plenty of great reasons for planning a Peru holiday. Many will have heard of the amazing ruins of Inca ruins of Machu Picchu reached by the Inca Trail and the Amazon rainforest, but there is so much more to this astonishing country.
Peru people have a particularly long and varied history, from the ancient pre-Columbian civilizations, the Incas, the Spanish conquistadors through to modern day. Each have left their mark in the culture, architecture and cuisine and helped to shape modern day Peru.
Though Peru is most known for the Andes mountain range and the Amazon rainforest to the east, the long coastline is home to some 2,500 kilometres of spectacular Peru beaches and coastline. The surf swells coming in from the Pacific coastline offer tourists some excellent waves as well as year-round good weather.
Deciding when it is the best time to visit Peru is difficult due to the geographically differences across the country. Peru is roughly split into three main geographically zones – desert, mountains and rainforest. Each of these have significantly different weather conditions.
There is no shortage of things to do in Peru. Culture vultures can visit the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu and Saysayhuaman, adventurous types can hike, surf and hit the white-water rapids, and foodies can discover some of the best cuisine in Latin America. Here’s a comprehensive list of things to do in Peru, some of which you will have heard of, others are a little more off-the-beaten-track.
Though Peru has had a chequered past, most tourists will affirm that Peru is safe to travel, with no more precautions being made than a visit to most parts of Europe.
In recent years, food in Peru has started to shine on the world’s culinary stage and for good reason. The country has some of the most diverse ingredients and dishes due to its geographically varied landscapes. Influences from the many civilizations as well as the Spanish and Chinese has helped create a cuisine like no other.
Before you plan your trip to Peru, you must inform yourself about Peru weather. With various geographies and climates, the weather in Peru varies in different locations at the same time of the year.
An excellent network of international and domestic flights to Peru makes reaching and travelling around the country easy. Here is a quick guide about Peru flights.
The Urubamba Valley, more commonly referred to as the Sacred Valley, lies around 15 miles or so from the Incan capital of Cuzco in the Peruvian Andes. It’s one of the highlights for visitors and receives over a million tourists every year. It’s most famous archaeological site is Machu Picchu, however, there are many other ruins to see nearby as well as countless hiking and adventurous activities.
Lake Titicaca straddles the southern corner of Peru and crosses into Bolivia. It’s the largest lake in South America and at over two miles above sea level, it is also the highest navigable lake in the world. Lake Titicaca has always been sacred to the people of the Andes, many believing it was the birthplace of the sun, the stars and the moon.
Machu Picchu hike is one of the best in the world. The four-day classic trail passes ancient Inca ruins and meanders up through spectacular Andean countryside to ultimately reach the citadel of Machu Picchu.
Machu Picchu is truly one of the man-made wonders of the world. Perched atop a mountain ridge in the Andes over the Sacred Valley and Urubamba River some 50 miles away from Cuzco in Peru, this 15th century citadel was once home to a thriving Inca community.
Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu, from a pure trekking perspective, is considered to be better than the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
It’s important to note that the weather in this region is unpredictable and changes fast. No matter what time of year you visit, you can experience quickly changing periods of rain, cloud, sunshine and wind both at the ruins and on the treks. This is because of Machu Picchu’s location - sitting above a cloud forest in a generally subtropical climate.
International travelers will generally fly into Lima, Peru’s capital. From there, the next stop is the city of Cusco in the Andes mountains. Most people fly into Cusco via Lima, only a short trip, or take a lengthy bus from the capital. The closest town to Machu Picchu is Aguas Calientes and this is where you’ll probably stay overnight before viewing the ruins.
Beginning at Km 85, The Classic route follows the Inca Trail as it climbs through valleys, woodland and cloud forest to reach Machu Picchu. You’ll also discover a number of Incan ruins along the way.