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Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Picchu, Peru by Babak Fakhamzadeh on Unsplash.

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Peru Travel Notes

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Peru Travel and Tourism on Travel Notes

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Journey through Peru's ancient wonders and natural beauty. Explore historic sites, vibrant cultures, and awe-inspiring landscapes for a dream adventure.

About Peru

Peru is a diverse and fascinating country located in western South America known for its rich history and culture, natural beauty, and iconic landmarks such as Machu Picchu and the Colca Canyon.

Peru's rich history, stunning landscapes, and cultural diversity make it a captivating destination for travellers and a country with a unique and cherished identity.

Countries neighbouring Peru: Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Bolivia and Chile.

Travel Map Mapping Peru

Map of Peru

Map of Peru

Peru is divided into three regions: the coastal desert, extending the length of the country; the upper Andes mountain range; and the jungle.

Its capital is Lima, located along the middle of the country's coastal strip.

Peru Overview

Peru is bordered by Ecuador to the north-west, Colombia to the north, Brazil to the east, Bolivia to the south-east and Chile to the south.

Amazon Rainforest

Peru is home to a significant portion of the Amazon Rainforest, one of the most biodiverse regions on the planet.

The Peruvian Amazon offers incredible opportunities for ecotourism and provides a habitat for countless plant and animal species.

Cuisine

Peruvian cuisine is renowned world-wide for its diversity and unique flavours.

The country's cuisine is a blend of indigenous ingredients and cooking methods with influences from Spanish, African, Chinese, and Japanese immigrants.

Dishes like ceviche (raw fish marinated in lime juice), lomo saltado (stir-fry beef with vegetables), and causa (a layered potato dish) are just a few examples of the delectable offerings.

Festivals and Traditions

Peruvian culture is steeped in traditions and celebrations.

Various festivals take place throughout the year, combining Catholic religious practices with indigenous customs.

The most famous of these is Inti Raymi; the Festival of the Sun, which honours the Inca sun god and takes place in Cusco every June.

Geographic Diversity

Peru boasts a diverse geography, ranging from the arid desert coast along the Pacific Ocean to the high Andes mountains and the lush Amazon rainforest in the eastern part of the country.

This variation in landscapes allows for a wide array of ecosystems, flora, and fauna.

History and Ancient Civilisations

Peru has a deep and illustrious history that dates back thousands of years.

It was home to several significant pre-Columbian civilisations, such as the Norte Chico, Moche, Chavin, Paracas, and Nazca cultures.

However, the most famous and influential of these civilisations was the Inca Empire, which thrived in the 15th and early 16th centuries.

The capital of the Inca Empire was Cusco, and their most iconic site is Machu Picchu; an ancient citadel perched high in the Andes Mountains.

Languages

Spanish is the official language of Peru, but there are also numerous indigenous languages spoken throughout the country; such as Quechua, Aymara, and many others.

Machu Picchu

This UNESCO World Heritage site, and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, is an ancient Inca citadel that has captivated the world with its awe-inspiring architecture and breathtaking surroundings.

Machu Picchu is a popular destination for tourists and trekkers, who often hike the Inca Trail to reach this historical refuge.

Modern Cities

Peru has vibrant cities that combine modernity with a rich historical legacy.

Lima, the capital, is a bustling metropolis known for its gastronomy, colonial architecture, and diverse neighborhoods.

Other major cities include Arequipa, Trujillo, and Cusco; all with their unique charm and attractions.

Natural Wonders

Besides Machu Picchu and the Amazon Rainforest, Peru is home to numerous other natural wonders.

Colca Canyon, one of the world's deepest canyons, is a popular destination for trekking and spotting Andean condors.

Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world, is shared with Bolivia and offers picturesque landscapes and cultural encounters with indigenous communities.

Political Challenges

Peru, like many countries, faces its share of challenges, including economic inequality, poverty, and environmental issues related to deforestation and illegal mining in the Amazon rainforest.

Visiting Peru

The official tourism website of Peru offers information on planning a trip to the country, including visa requirements, transportation options, and recommended activities.

Peru Highlights

Amazon Rainforest

Peru is part of the Amazon Basin, and there are several entry points where you can experience the incredible biodiversity of the Amazon Rainforest and encounter indigenous cultures.

Explore the incredible biodiversity of the Amazon by visiting Puerto Maldonado or Iquitos.

Take guided tours to see wildlife, indigenous communities, and the lush landscapes of the rainforest.

Arequipa

Known as the 'White City' due to its volcanic stone buildings, Arequipa boasts impressive colonial architecture and is a gateway to the Colca Canyon, where you can see the majestic Andean condors.

Culinary Exploration

Foodies in Peru should try ceviche, anticuchos (grilled skewers), causa (potato dish), and Peruvian desserts like picarones and suspiro a la limeña.

Cusco

The ancient capital of the Inca Empire, Cusco is a fascinating city with a mix of Incan and Spanish colonial architecture.

It serves as the gateway to Machu Picchu and offers plenty of historical sites, museums, and lively markets to explore.

Huascaran National Park

If you love outdoor adventures, consider visiting this national park, which is home to Peru's highest peak, Huascaran, and offers stunning hiking opportunities amid the Cordillera Blanca mountain range.

Lake Titicaca

Straddling the border between Peru and Bolivia, Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable lake in the world and is known for its floating reed islands and traditional indigenous communities.

Take a boat trip to the Uros Islands, where the indigenous people live on floating reed islands, from Puno.

Lima

Peru's capital city, Lima, is a bustling metropolis with a dynamic culinary scene, vibrant neighbourhoods, and interesting museums.

Don't miss trying the delicious Peruvian cuisine, known for its ceviche, anticuchos, and Pisco Sour.

Machu Picchu

A must-visit UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, Machu Picchu is an ancient Incan citadel perched high in the Andes Mountains.

Its breathtaking beauty and historical significance make it a top destination for travellers.

Nazca Lines

Located in the Nazca Desert, these ancient geoglyphs are massive, intricate designs etched into the ground, visible only from the air.

Taking a flight over the Nazca Lines is a unique experience.

Peru Excursions

Sacred Valley

Located near Cusco, the Sacred Valley is a picturesque region with stunning landscapes and numerous Inca ruins.

It's a great place to acclimatise to the high altitude before heading to Machu Picchu.

Travel Tips

Peru is a country with a wide range of climates and altitudes, so pack accordingly and be prepared for changes in weather.

Additionally, respect the local culture and traditions, and be mindful of responsible tourism practices to help preserve Peru's natural and cultural treasures.

Before travelling, always check the latest travel advisories and requirements, and ensure you have the necessary visas and vaccinations for your trip.

Lima

Lima

Lima, offers isitors a mix of modernity and history.

Map of Lima

Map of Lima

As the capital of Peru, Lima is probably the first place many travellers head to.

Lima's unique blend of history, culture, and culinary delights makes it a fascinating destination for visitors to Peru.

Explore the well-preserved colonial architecture in the historic district of Lima (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), and enjoy the coastal views in Miraflores.

Arts and Culture

Lima is known for its vibrant cultural scene, including numerous museums, art galleries, and theatres.

Climate

Lima has a mild desert climate, with little rainfall and relatively constant temperatures throughout the year.

The city is often shrouded in mist, known locally as the 'garúa'.

Cuisine

Lima is a culinary hotspot and has gained international recognition for its diverse and delicious cuisine.

The city is often considered the gastronomic capital of South America, with a fusion of traditional Peruvian ingredients and international influences.

Economy

Lima is the economic heart of Peru, hosting the headquarters of many national companies and financial institutions.

Industries such as finance, commerce, and services are prominent contributors to the city's economy.

History

Founded by Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro in 1535, Lima has a rich history.

It became the capital of the Spanish Viceroyalty of Peru and played a crucial role during the colonial period.

Landmarks

Lima boasts several notable landmarks, including the Plaza Major (main square), the Cathedral of Lima, the Government Palace, and the San Francisco Monastery.

Location

Lima is situated on the central western coast of Peru, overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Population

With a population of over ten million people, Lima is the most populous city in Peru and serves as the country's economic and cultural hub.

Transportation

Lima's Jorge Chávez International Airport serves as the main gateway for international and domestic flights.

The city has a network of buses and a rapid transit system, called the Lima Metro.

Where to Stay in Peru

Hotels in Lima:
With over a thousand properties to choose from, Lima has something for every taste and budget.

The Incas

The Incas were the great civilisation of the area, until they suffered at the hands of the Spanish conquistadors between 1532 and 1535.

The Spaniards then went on to found the city of Lima. Lucky for us, they never found Machu Pichu.

Much of the Inca stonework can also be found in the foundations of Cuzco houses.

As the population is still about 45% Native American, traditional Huayno music is very popular; especially in the Andean region.

Ever since Pizarro tricked the Inca, Atahualpa, into capture, slaughtered him, and looted the City of Cuzco, this Andean country has become synonymous with robbery.

Machu Picchu Guides:
Take a companion with you on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.

Lake Titicaca

Lake Titicaca Reed Boats

Lake Titicaca, in south-eastern Peru, is the largest lake in South America and the highest navigable lake in the world.

The Uros Indians have built villages on the reeds, although the visit has become a little touristy. There is even a church, and an excellent lookout tower.

Manu Wildlife Center

Located in the remote and wild Manu wilderness of south-eastern Peru; an eight-hour journey by car and boat from Puerto Maldonado.

Amidst spectacular forest and incredible scenery, the density and diversity of animal and plant species reach a peak in the extreme western Amazon, near the foot of the Andes.

Language

Spanish is the main language of Peru, with the native language of Quechua being recognised as an official language in 1975.

The Spaniards may have brought their language and religion to Peru, but they couldn't take away the culture of the Indians.

Learning Spanish in Peru

While many travellers choose Antigua, in Guatemala, to learn Spanish, Cusco is a great place too.

Programs are generally four hours a day, so there's plenty of time to explore the sights and make it out to Macchu Pichu.

Staying with a family is a great way to continue your Spanish learning in a homely atmosphere.

In Cusco

The partner school of Salamanca-based Don Quijote is located in the centre of Cusco, just a few blocks from the Plaza de Armas.

Cusco Travel Tips

High tourist season in Cusco runs from the last weeks of May to September. The peak is in June, especially at the end of the month; during the Inti Raymi festival. The last week of July is also a crowded period, due to the Fiestas Patrias celebrations (Peru's Independence Day). If you plan to visit Cusco during these 2 months, you should make your hotel reservations as far in advance as possible.

Many hotels in Cusco can be found around the Plaza de Armas (the main square) and in the San Blas quarter, where most of the city's cultural and entertainment activity takes place.

The main square itself holds the largest share of Cusco's bars and clubs, and can be very noisy and annoying if you are looking for a good night's sleep. In other words, you may want to move a block or two outside of the Plaza.

San Blas, the bohemian district, is at walking distance from the centre, though uphill (or downhill). It could be a problem, in particular at 3,400 metres (11,000 feet) above sea level. However, once there you can enjoy some of the best views of the red-tiled roofs of the old Inca capital.

Peru Travel Guides

Lonely Planet Peru (Travel Guide) DK Eyewitness Travel Guide Peru

Peru Travel Guides - Peru Maps.

Weather in South America:
Local weather forecasts for destinations around Latin  America.

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