Overview for Peru
Facing the South Pacific Ocean and straddling part of the Andes mountain range it is home to thousands of archaeological sites ranging from pre-Columbian cultures to the centre of the great Inca Empire and the seat Spanish Conquistador rule.
More than just history, Peru boasts outstanding and varied scenery including majestic Andean peaks, the Amazon Basin and ancient arid regions along its coastline.
Peru is also a gastronomic delight with a unique cuisine that is considered one of the most diverse in the world. A blend of Amerindian and Spanish food and taking strong influences from African, Arab, Italian, Chinese, and Japanese cooking making it definitely something to savour.
Lima, the nation’s capital, is an historical Spanish Colonial city, referred to as the City of the Kings. It is a bustling vibrant place with a mix of traditional and modern day cultures, and having more than 10,000 years of history there are fascinating archaeological sites and museums to explore across the city.
Stroll along the Plaza de Armas to the San Francisco Monastery taking in the colonial architecture before shopping for handicrafts in the fashionable Mirafl ores district and dining on local delicacies such as cerviche.
Cuzco, with its 16th century monumental stone walls, is home to the former great Inca Empire. Visit the plaza in the old town with its traditional markets and churches before heading out to the scenic surrounds and Inca Fortress of Sacsayhuaman.
Machu Picchu is one the world’s most enchanting sites. Lost for 400 years, it was rediscovered in 1911 by American explorer Hiram Bingham. Experience the beautiful Sacred Valley of the Incas, the colourful Pisac market and the fortress of Olllantaytambo.
When to go
May to September is the best time to travel to Peru, the days are cool (14-18°C) and clear with low rainfall. However, as this is the most favourable time to visit, there will be a lot of other travellers about. January-April is Peru’s wettest time. The jungle is hot and humid with sporadic rains all year round. The Inti Raymi or Festival of the Sun is held in June.