Have you ever thought about spending your holidays in one of the most geographically attractive and exciting places in the world? If you agree with this, you must start planning a trip to Peru, a country where the potential for adventure is boundless! Its diversity, from ancient ruins to colonial gems, sandy beaches to majestic mountains or glaciers, even lush rainforest, and wildlife, make it a breathtaking destination. If you are thinking about how to plan a trip to the Andean country, then you better start organizing it right now. With all our experience over the years, we can advise you in the best way so that you can make a complete plan and itinerary without missing the most important places. But in case you want to do a more independent experience, we can also recommend some things to have a smooth experience. Together with Machu Travel Peru, we have prepared an article about everything you need to know when planning a trip to Peru.
The most important aspects of how to start planning a trip to Peru
- How to start planning?
- Some tips to consider
- Your passport
- The travel insurance
- The weather
- National public holidays & local feasts
- The water in Peru
- Electricity in Peru
- Money and currency
- Wheelchair, pushchair access
- Security in Peru
- Where to stay?
- Some destinations to think about
- Visit Machu Picchu
- Tour the city of Cusco
- The Sacred Valley of the Incas
- Explore the capital of Lima
- Fly over the Nazca Lines
- Sail on Lake Titicaca
- The Peruvian Amazon
- Get to know Arequipa
HOW TO START PLANNING?
Where to start? What to see? How do I get around? How do I book? Where will we stay? These and many more questions you may be asking yourself as you are planning a trip to Peru. Planning can be one of the best parts of your trip, finding out what you want to, and getting excited about your destination is a great feeling. Your available time and your budget will have a great impact on your tour and what you can fit into your holiday. Here, some of the attractions -there are many- that you should not miss within the different tours in Peru.
SOME TIPS TO CONSIDER
All those who travel to Peru usually have friends and acquaintances who have already visited the Andean country. They usually travel with recommendations and a little spontaneity. This is not bad at all, they can even be experiences of much learning and enjoyment. But to have a complete trip and without any inconvenience, it is better to have a plan and an itinerary at hand. This will ensure you against any difficulties you may experience on your trip. Therefore we recommend some tips when planning a trip to Peru.
Peru is a country of free access. Citizens of most countries in America and Western Europe don’t require a tourist visa to enter. Just in case, or if you aren’t from those countries, you should check with the Peruvian consulate in your country.
An essential requirement for your vacation in Peru is to have a valid passport. Travelers who are coming for recreation are allowed to stay up to 90 days. The Immigration office can extend this period. Only citizens of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia, and Chile can enter with their national ids.
THE TRAVEL INSURANCE
When planning a trip to Peru, you must get one. It’ll cover your back and tours in Peru. For example, in case of cancellations or if you’re forced to leave before your excursion is completed. Reasons: an illness, injury, natural disasters, even a theft or denial of your visa. So, be forewarned and take care of your safety and peace of mind. In any case, you can visit our guide for safely trip.
Peru has three main regions and the climate varies greatly from one to another. Its Coast has two seasons: warm and cool. It is the sunniest in summer from December to March. Similarly in September to November but you can appreciate spring weather. There can be a fog in winter, which runs from April to August. There, the strongest precipitation you would experience is just a fine drizzle. In its Andes Mountains, the air tends to be very dry. Also, heat from the sun travels easily through the atmosphere. This region has two marked seasons. The rainy season runs from November to March, but with warmer days. And, the dry season from April to October. Here, even when the mornings are warm, the nights are cold, especially from June to August. This season is considered the best. You can see the bluest sky as well as the most beautiful and colorful landscapes. Its jungle is warm and humid. It usually rains throughout the year. However, in its rainy season, from November to March, it is really rainy (with heavy downpours). When planning a trip to Peru, you should consider the climate and the regions, but the vibrant culture of this country will always brighten your adventure!
NATIONAL PUBLIC HOLIDAYS & LOCAL FEASTS
During national public holidays in Peru, the prices of the tourist services usually increase. However, it can be an opportunity to be a participant in Peruvians traditions and customs. These days are:
|January 1st||New Year’s Day|
|January 6th||Three Wise Kings Day|
|March or April||Easter week (Maundy Thursday and Good Friday)|
|May 1st||Labor Day|
|July 28th & 29th||Independence’s Day|
|October 8th||Battle of Angamos|
|November 1st||All Saints’ Day|
|December 8th||Feast of the Immaculate Conception|
|December 24th & 25th||Christmas|
Between all the things to do in Peru that you can experience, you can be part of some of the local festivities. They’re celebrated with unbridled enthusiasm. Certainly, they’ll be part of your memorable experiences when you visit Peru. The best local feasts to enjoy are:
|January||Marinera Festival in Trujillo (a courtship dance).|
|February||Carnival in most cities, and Celebration of the Candelaria Virgin in Puno (one of the biggest religious parades in the world).|
|March||Wine Grape Harvest Festival in Ica.|
|May||Qoyllur Riti Festival in Cusco (religious devotion to adore God and thank “Apus” or mountain spirits).|
|June||Inti Raymi in Cusco (traditional Inca celebration), San Juan (all over the rainforest region).|
It is best to see a doctor who specializes in travel medicine. The doctor is the only one who can diagnose what vaccines you may need. In general, if you are planning a trip to Peru and want to visit the jungle region, you will be asked to get vaccinated. Consider getting vaccinated against yellow fever, hepatitis A and B, typhoid, tetanus, and diphtheria (if you haven’t already received them). Don’t leave it to the last minute. Try to start this process early, at least 4-6 weeks before the initial day of your trip.
THE WATER IN PERU
Peru’s public water is totally clean, but it is not good to drink. Please avoid drinking it! The best recommendation is to drink bottled or boiled water. Most hotels leave bottles of water in the bathroom to brush your teeth, if you need more bottles don’t be afraid to ask for more. They will always be happy to please you. Also take precautions, making sure the ice in your drink is made from purified water. It is also a good idea to wash the fruits that you would like to eat.
ELECTRICITY IN PERU
The voltage in Peru is 220v. And, you’ll only find two-flatted or two-rounded plugs. Bring a converter or adapter with you, it will help you a lot. Check the chargers of your laptop and mobile phone because many have converters built into them. However, hairdryers and straighteners usually require a converter. If you forget to bring it, RadioShack is a really good store to purchase a converter or adapter. You can locate this store in most cities in the country.
MONEY AND CURRENCY
Essential when planning a trip to Peru. Bring some cash and credit and/or debit cards. Here, you can easily find ATMs in almost every city. Some ATMs offer a choice between the types of currency that you can withdraw. US dollars are widely accepted in most places you visit, such as hotels, clothing stores, or others. Also, many restaurants and travel agencies can pay with Visa or MasterCard. And currency exchange bureaus are easy to find too. For reference, most banks and exchange houses are open from 9 am to 6 pm, Monday through Friday, and on Saturdays until noon.
WHEELCHAIR, PUSHCHAIR ACCESS
Planning a trip to Peru, in a wheelchair or with a pushchair today is possible. The Peruvian government has worked on the idea of “tourism for everyone” since 1998, and for this reason, there are more areas for disabled people. Besides, public and private organizations have been working for years trying to improve services for handicapped people. Now, you can get a list of PWD-friendly hotels, establishments, attractions, and museums in Lima, Cusco and Aguas Calientes, Iquitos, and Trujillo from the Peruvian embassy or just asking the travel agencies’ experts. Without a doubt, the experts will provide a customized and exciting memorable trip.
SECURITY IN PERU
In the Andean country, we will see that within everything it is relatively safe to be able to travel to different destinations. Peru is a country that is due to its tourism and security measures are taken all the time regarding its visitors. But as in every country in the world, it has its share of crime. It is simply a matter of being aware of your things and having them in sight at all times. Try to dress casually and not draw too much attention. There are many things to do in Peru, so it is vitally important to take general care of your belongings.
WHERE TO STAY?
There are many famous places in Peru to stay at night. Every adventure in the Andean country usually begins in Lima, since most international flights land there. This can be a great starting point for your adventure. The capital’s country offers you an overview of the Peruvian culture and its traditions. You will be able to enjoy beautiful places such as the Miraflores Malecon or simply try the renowned Peruvian cuisine. In case you want to visit the Wonder of the World, we highly recommend that you stay in the Sacred Valley. This site is surrounded by stunning natural landscapes and many luxurious all-inclusive accommodation options. Also, it is located at a lower altitude than Cusco, making it the ideal acclimatization for newcomers. When planning a trip to Peru, we recommend doing a little research on the different accommodations that you can enjoy.
SOME DESTINATIONS TO THINK ABOUT
You will find different famous landmarks in Peru to visit. All of these destinations can be enjoyed and experienced in many ways. Everything will depend on which way you want to experience your trip, from something challenging and adventurous to a luxurious vacation to relax. Among all the destinations that can be enjoyed in the Andean country we recommend the following:
VISIT MACHU PICCHU
On everybody’s bucket list is Machu Picchu; the Inca Citadel is one of the most spectacular ancient sites that you will see in your lifetime. Getting to the site can be an adventure in itself. There are several options, first, you have various trains and there is a train for every budget. The trip takes around four hours from Cusco and you will arrive relaxed and ready to visit Machu Picchu. The second way to arrive at Machu Picchu is by hiking, there are many different treks that you can do that all arrive at Machu Picchu. Do not get me wrong these treks are hard work made worse by the altitude, but if you love to hike then, this is the way for you. Explore Machu Picchu with a professional guide to learn the history of this fascinating place. Within our Machu Picchu tours, you will have the opportunity to visit this as other incredible places.
TOUR THE CITY OF CUSCO
The city of Cusco is worth a few days of your holiday time. The city was the heart of the Inca Empire and featured many amazing temples. When the Spanish arrived, they dismantled these temples and built their churches on the foundations. Today, you can visit the impressive churches and the city of Cusco. The city will remind you of the old European towns with Terracotta roof tiles and cobblestone streets and Spanish Colonial churches. Cusco is known for its restaurants and nightlife with many clubs to dance the night away. Make sure to try the renowned traditional Peruvian food, one of the best things to try in Peru.
THE SACRED VALLEY OF THE INCAS
Not far from Cusco is the Sacred Valley of the Inca, a place where you will experience some of the best natural beauty in South America. The sear size of the Andes Mountains will amaze and the rivers that run through the Valley are host to some adventure activities that you must try. The Valley has some pretty impressive Inca Ruins to visit and in the town of Pisac, there is a market with some of the best shopping in Peru.
EXPLORE THE CAPITAL OF LIMA
When you arrive in Peru, you will land at Lima International Airport, which has connections to all parts of Peru. If you have the time, you should spend some of it in the capital. Lima has some of the best food in the world and has many prizes to prove it. The beachside suburb of Miraflores features some of the best restaurants in Peru and is located in the modern part of Lima. While in Lima visit the center of the city and the Plaza de Armas. Here, you will find all the government buildings. See the architecture of central Lima with its wooden balconies and ancient churches. Sometimes you will need to look past the dirt to see the beauty. The best time to visit Lima Peru is in the summer months from December to March as the weather is warm and sunny.
FLY OVER THE NAZCA LINES
The Nazca lines south of Lima are located just outside the town. The best way to experience the lines is by a small plane, a hair-raising experience for some, where the pilot will show and explain the lines to you. See the lizard, the condor, the monkey, the spider, and many others on your flight, there are over seventy lines to see.
SAIL ON LAKE TITICACA
Puno and Lake Titicaca should be on your list to see, the lake is one of the highest inland lakes in the world, but the thing that most people visit the area to see is the famous Uros Islands. These islands are home to the Uros people who made the Islands centuries ago to escape the mainland and the warring tribes. Today the people depend on tourism to make a living and you can visit a few of the forty-eight islands. The Uros Islands are a must to visit, as there is not anywhere else on the planet equal. In the summer in Peru, be sure to tour this amazing natural lake.
THE PERUVIAN AMAZON
If you love nature and the prospect of seeing animals then you should visit the Amazon basin in Peru. There are many great lodges and places to stay in the jungle regions of Peru. These lodges feature fascinating jungle walks where you will learn about some of the benefits of the jungle plants.
GET TO KNOW AREQUIPA
This beautiful city is the second most populated place after the capital, making it an unmissable destination for those looking for a little more adventure. You will be able to experience unparalleled architecture and natural attractions like Misti. When planning a trip to Peru do not forget to visit this destination.
“STOP DREAMING ABOUT YOUR BUCKET LIST AND START LIVING IT.”
We hope together with Machu Travel Peru that this article has been helpful. Planning a trip to Peru may take a while, but let your task be a lot easier with us. If you want to know more about our beautiful tours, you can consult with our qualified advisors. They will be happy to help you with everything regarding your dream trip.