Peru holidays : introduction
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From the cloud-capped Andes to the humid Amazon basin, Peru is the quintessential Latin American destination rich in history, culture, adventure and wildlife.
The citadel of Machu Picchu is one of the world’s most iconic archaeological sites, its narrow terraces clinging spectacularly to a mountain ridge. Nearby, the ancient Inca capital Cusco reveals its fascinating past in layers - terracotta-roofed colonial houses built on the foundations of previous civilisations.
An arid coastal plain stretches along the entire Pacific coast, highlighting archaeological gems such as the vast ruined city of Chan Chan, the tomb of the Lord of Sipán, and the mysterious Nasca lines etched in the southern desert.
Peruvian culture is a heady mix of influences. Indigenous people trade crafts and textiles in busy markets and celebrate festivals with music and dancing. Quechua or Aymara are spoken alongside Spanish, and gastronomy is a delicious fusion typified by ceviche accompanied by a pisco sour.
If you have a taste for adventure, try river rafting in a canyon with condors soaring overhead; trekking or biking along remote mountain trails; or sailing on the world’s highest navigable lake, Titicaca. Or travel by boat to remote rainforest lodges in search of giant otters, shimmering birds and butterflies and the secretive jaguar.
Climate and when to go
April to October is the dry season in the mountains, with hot days and cold nights, and is the best time to visit, especially if you are hiking. In the Amazon it is humid and hot year-round, with particularly frequent rainfall between November and April. On the coast summer lasts from December to April with hot dry conditions and temperatures between 25 and 35°C. Between May and November the southern coast suffers from the garua, a blanket of sea-mist.
“We had a fantastic holiday and can not thank you enough for helping us to have such a wonderful experience in Peru, and it is such a shame that we were unable to go for longer, as I'm sure there are many other fantastic places to visit there!” - NB
“Just back this week. We had the best time in Peru, the trip was amazing and Lima Tours were excellent. The hotels you selected were great, especially Inkaterra. Thanks for all the planning, it was a great itinerary and the most amazing honeymoon!” - JW
“Thank you for a wonderful trip, the Mountain Lodges of Peru trek was one of the best things we have ever done. We look forward to discovering more hidden corners of Latin Amercia with Last Frontiers in the future.” - JW
“We're back safe and sound and had the most amazing time. Thank you so much for making it all happen, the balance between the relaxation that everything was organised for us and the excitement of the travelling was perfect.” - AT