Traveling to Peru is on almost every traveler’s bucket list, and you do not even have to wonder why. This beautiful land is laden with restaurants that sample the finest of their cuisine, museums that carry complex yet exciting history, and unforgettable sites such as the Sacred Valley, Lake Titicaca, Macca Pichu, and the famous Amazon Forest. If you have been reading about Peru, then it may be time to see it for yourself because nothing is quite like it anywhere else.
This article provides you with the ultimate guide to your first visit to this majestic land.
1. The Best Time to Travel
Peru’s dry season runs from May through October, while the wet season starts from November to April. Typically, the most humid months run between January to April. Experts from southamerica.travel recommend visiting during the dry season, but they note that the peak is usually between July and August. If you are not big on crowds, this would be a good time to avoid being in Peru. Take advantage of the months just before July and after August if you want to get the best of Peru. If you want to visit the Amazon Forest and Inca Trail, it is best to visit between June and September as the days are sunny, nights chilly, and fewer mosquitoes. Visit the desert between May and October as temperatures are lower (between 20°C-25°C) during this time.
2. Places to Visit
You can hardly run out of ideas when it comes to searching for places to visit in Peru thanks to its diversity in culture and environments. To explore fully, you will need approximately three weeks to a month. Some people go for short periods such as a week, but this means that they see very little of Peru, as the distances between places are long and you may take time adjusting to the different altitudes.
Below, we highlight some of the places you should not miss.
- The Colca Canyon and Arequipa
- Andean Condor
- Amazon Forest
- Machu Picchu (One of the World’s Seven Wonders)
- Incan Ruins
- Lake Titicaca
Many tourists prefer to travel in groups as this type of travel comes with perks such as quick and affordable transport and accommodation arrangements and an experienced guide. Ensure the group is small to allow individual attention from the guide and better one-on-one experiences with other tourists.
A typical day in Peru can cost you anything between $25 and $100 depending on your budget. Shared rooms for groups of travelers are cost-efficient compared to singles. The foods can go for as low as $2 and as high as $20. The transport is affordable, except for the train ride to Machu Picchu, while flights are the most expensive mode of transportation. Below, we highlight some tips to help you save money.
- Bargain. If you are intent on spending less, you may have to sharpen your bargaining skills. You can bargain for taxi prices.
- Stay in family-run hotels. These types of hotels are popularly referred to as hospedajes. They are cheaper than many hostel dorms. Alternatively, you can share a room as a group.
- Off-season travel. Travel on fringe months such as September, October, April, and May for low-cost trips.
- Take public transport. While you can bargain with taxi drivers, the intra-city buses are a great, cheaper alternative. You can get to museums quickly in this way. Collectivos (microbuses) are affordable and can take you to different locations.
4. Safety and Security
There is a lot of petty theft in Peru, so it is wise to take precautions as you travel around. For instance, you should avoid carrying expensive items or wearing precious jewelry. Also, you should watch your luggage and avoid leaving it unattended. Be cautious of the increased crime rates and potential terrorism while there. Police are especially keen on drug activity, so avoid it at all costs. Avoid going around with your passport and instead make copies. Remember to prevent unregistered taxis and get out of places that may feel dangerous to you.
There are intra city buses that are cheap (cost around $0.15 to $1) while the collectivos cost approximately $0.75 per trip. Be careful in these buses as petty theft is common. You can also travel in taxis for roughly $15 to $21. You can also get to Peru by air and land in any of its five international airports. The country also has 18 domestic service airports. Flying is more expensive than most other options, but it is the quickest. There are also train services in the country, and the prices start from approximately $54 to 75 dollars.
Traveling to Peru can be a life-changing experience. However, to develop an appropriate itinerary for yourself, you need to understand it beforehand. This guide gives you a good idea of where to start as you plan your journey.