Guide to Peru
Peru Facts & Info
Peru is located on the western side of the South American continent. It’s capital is Lima and it is bordered by Ecuador and Colombia to the north, Brazil the the east, Bolivia and Chile to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Peru is most known for the archaeological site Machu Picchu, one of the new 7 Wonders of the World. Other sites to visit in Peru are the Amazon Rainforest, Lake Titicaca (the world’s highest lake), Rainbow Mountain, and The Nazca Lines.
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Guide to Peru: History
Peru is one of the longest civilizations in the world going back to the 10th century BC. In the early 1500’s, the Spanish landed on South America, including Peru, and built colonies and conquered the nation through war as well as disease. In the 1800’s, the Spanish were finally defeated and Peru gained back its independence. Explore what to see and do in this Guide to Peru.
Fun Fact: Potatoes and Tomatoes come from Peru. Until the 1500’s these foods were unknown to the rest of the world.
Guide to Peru: What you need to know
Currency: The Nuevo Sol
Language: Spanish, but there are 43 other native languages spoken in Peru
Population: Around 34 million
Voltage: Peru’s voltage is 220V
Peru Drink: Pisco Sour
Peru Cuisine: Guinea Pigs and Alpaca are on Peru’s menu. I did not try the Guinea Pig but the Alpaca was surprisingly delicious.
Climate: Peru’s climate ranges from hot and tropical to cold in the mountainous regions
Guide to Peru: Travel Info
Peru is the 3rd largest country in South America and has various regions with different climates. The Amazon Rainforest area stays hot and tropical all year long but does see a good amount of rain between November and March. Lima is along the western coast and is mild temperatures of low 70’s all year. Although Machu Picchu is in the mountains, the temperatures there stay mild all year, but expect a good amount of rain between November to March.
Most people wanting to visit Peru will fly into the Jorge Chavez International Airport in Lima. From there you have several options to get to Machu Picchu. But first, you have to get to Cusco. Everyone wanting to get to Machu Picchu has to go through Cusco first. And you really don’t want to miss spending at least a few days here before and after your time in Machu Picchu. Flights into Cusco are a little under 2 hours. Another option is to take a bus or a car but those each take roughly 20 hrs.
Your biggest expense to Peru will be your flights. Hotels and food are very reasonable as is the expense to see Machu Picchu, a little under $50. That’s a steal for this once in a lifetime trip! Read more about Peru in our Peru Travel Guides below.
Some of the craziest driving I’ve ever seen was in Peru. At least in Lima. Best way to get around is flying and by train. Once you fly into Cusco, you’ll have to take a train to Aguas Caliente and then bus up to Machu Picchu which sits about 30 minutes above the town. There aren’t any cars in Aguas Caliente. The train from Cusco is very scenic and only takes 3.5 hrs. The other option is to hike. There are many companies that offer hikes on old Incan trails that lead to Machu Picchu. It takes between 3-5 days to reach the Incan Wonder.
There are plenty of hotels in Lima and I do recommend taking a few days to explore the capital. In Cusco and Aguas Calientes, there are also plenty of boutique hotels and hostals that are very budget friendly. There are also some luxury hotels as well.
There’s a lot to explore in Peru so it all depends on how much of it you want to see. Most people go just to see Machu Picchu but there is more. Spend at least 1-2 full days in Lima, 2 days/nights in Cusco and then another 2 days in Aguas Calientes. You will likely have to spend at least 1 more night back in Cusco after Machu Picchu before heading back to Lima to fly out.
Guide to Peru: Bucket list Ideas