Feb 1, 2012|
Last updated on October 20th, 2020 at 08:17 am
Choosing the best destinations for a Peru vacation can be difficult. Peru offers so many sights – from the rich colonial history of Lima to the beautiful coast of Paracas Bay and the Ballestas Islands, to the mysterious Nazca Lines and the archeological treasures of Chiclayo and Trujillo, and of course, there’s the heart of the Inca Empire, Cuzco, and Machu Picchu. It’s hard to narrow it all down, so here are 5 tips for planning your vacation in Peru.
Tip #1: Decide how much vacation time you can spend in Peru.
Peru is roughly the size of Alaska, so it’s nearly impossible to see the whole country in just one visit. Most visitors to Peru come to see Machu Picchu – hundreds of thousands each year, in fact. If you’re in a hurry, it’s possible to fly from Lima to Cusco and travel by train to Machu Picchu all in one day – but not recommended. To do the trip from Lima to Machu Picchu justice, plan on a 3-night, 4-day Classic Peru tour. If you want to take extended Peru vacations tours, check out our Peru Tours – they are completely customizable!
Tip #2: Decide what you can’t-miss destinations are.
If you simply can’t miss the Peruvian Amazon, then make sure to take that into account. If you’re a history buff and want to spend some time seeing the Moche and Sipan archaeological sites in northern Peru, then give yourself a few days for that region.
If one of your must-sees is the Inca Trail, make sure to book your trek well in advance to secure your spot on the trail. There are four main regions of Peru:
- The coastal desert: including Lima, Paracas, Ica, Nazca, Trujillo, and Chiclayo.
- The high Andes Mountains: including Arequipa, the Colca Canyon, Huaraz, and Cusco
- The Peru Cloud Forest: including Machu Picchu
- The Peru Amazon Rainforest: including Manu, Puerto Maldonado, and Iquitos
Once you’ve figured out what you absolutely must see, then you can start to build your perfect Peru vacation tour.
Tip #3: Travel during the off-season.
The busiest season for tourists in Peru is June-August, so if at all possible, book your Peru vacations & tours around those times. The rainy season in the cloud forest is from December-February, so if you are planning a trip to Machu Picchu, make sure to bring a rain jacket.
Also, note that the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is closed every February for trail maintenance. So you won’t be able to book the trek that month. Lima is sunniest from December-February, as well as much of the Peruvian coast, so it can be a very good time to take Peru vacations tours.
Tip #4: Learn a little Spanish
Unlike other countries in Latin America, many Peruvians don’t speak much English. In the tourism industry, many locals do speak English, and all our guides are bilingual.
However, it will make you feel more comfortable – and will bring a smile to the locals’ faces – if you practice a little Spanish, such as Buenas Dias (good morning) and puedes aydarme? (can you help me?)
Tip #5: Eat in local restaurants.
Peruvian cuisine is one of the world’s most up-and-coming styles of cooking. From delicious aji de gallina to the famous ceviche, Peruvian cuisine done right is simply remarkable. In Lima, try a restaurant in Larcomar or the fancy Rosa Nautica on the wharf. In Cusco, browse the restaurants downtown – and if you’re adventurous, you might want to try cuy (fried guinea pig). And make sure to try a Pisco Sour! It’s a strong lime-flavored grape brandy and Peru’s national drink.
Check out our Peru Vacations.
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