Peru

PER

SMILE. YOU’VE LANDED IN PERÚ.

Perú occupies my daydreams with unique regularity. As a fifth-grader, I was amazed by a photo of Machu Picchu—vowing to see the city first-hand. As soon as I was able, I left for Peru. The reality exceeded my expectations. While I’m drawn back regularly, I still can’t help finding myself retracing my journeys, as I shop for groceries or wait at traffic lights.

—— IMAGE GALLERY

Peru map
CAPITAL  LIMA

LANGUAGE  SPANISH

CURRENCY  SOL

READ  THE LAST DAYS OF THE INCAS

TASTE  CEVICHE

SIP  PISCO

EXPERIENCE  THE SALKANTAY TREK

Perú is larger and more diverse than one might expect. Its territory exceeds the combined area of Germany, France, Switzerland, and Italy. The world’s longest exposed mountain range—the Andes—divide a dry coastal plain from the Amazon Basin, which covers half of Perú’s landmass.

La Rosa

Countless cultures have arisen in what is now Perú. The earliest inhabited sites date back over 12,000 years. Throughout the last five millennia, complex civilizations built massive cities such as Caral, Chavín de Huantar, and Chan Chan. The most famous of Perú’s cultures, the Inca Empire, began its ascent in the 13th century. Over the next three hundred years, Inca influence stretched out, eventually reaching present-day Colombia and Chile.

Inca Trail Machu Picchu trailhead

These cultures left more than stonework and gold. Their efforts domesticated potatoes, peanuts, quinoa, and tomatoes. Today, Perúvian cuisine is recognized as one of the world’s best—a rich fusion of Andean, Spanish, African and Asian flavors.

Cusco

Perú is also rich in biodiversity. Over 1,700 bird species are found in Peru, as are more than 50 primate species, including pink river dolphins, jaguars, vicuñas, and hundreds of orchid varieties.

Peru caiman

With its diverse climate zones, Peru accommodates year-round travel. Temperatures in each region are fairly constant throughout the year. However, the rainy season in Cusco and Machu Picchu generally extends from December through March, and the Inca Trail is closed for maintenance each February.

“In the variety of its charms and the power of its spell, I know of no place in the world which can compare with it. Not only has it great snow peaks looming above the clouds more than two miles overhead, gigantic precipices of many-colored granite rising sheer for thousands of feet above the foaming, glistening, roaring rapids; it has also, in striking contrast, orchids and tree ferns, the delectable beauty of luxurious vegetation, and the mysterious witchery of the jungle.” – Hiram Bingham
San Francisco Church

Lima’s international airport can be reached in about ten hours from New York, Los Angeles or Houston. Trips to Peru are easily combined with visits to mainland Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands, Chile, and Argentina. LANDED organizes luxury accommodation, private transportation, and tours with expert guides. Speak with a travel planner today at 801.582.2100. We’ll take care of the details.

—— FEATURED POST

Machu Picchu

MOUNTAIN LODGES OF PERU

Mountain Lodges of Peru operates a collection of upscale lodges along some of Peru’s most scenic hiking routes.

—— DESTINATIONS

ANCIENT CULTURES OF THE NORTH COAST

AREQUIPA

CHAVIN DE HUANTAR

CHOQUEQUIRAO

COLCA CANYON

CORDILLERA BLANCA

CUSCO

INCA TRAIL: THE CLASSIC ROUTE

KUELAP: CITY IN THE CLOUDS

LAKE TITICACA

LIMA & BEYOND

 MACHU PICCHU

MANCORA: SAND & SURF

PERU’S AMAZON BASIN

THE SACRED VALLEY

THE SOUTH VALLEY & PAUCARTAMBO

THE SOUTHERN COAST &  NAZCA LINES

TRAIN JOURNEYS THROUGH PERU

—— ALBUMS & STORIES

THE BEST HOTELS IN PERU

FAQs

What language do they speak in Peru?

Although more than 70 indigenous dialects and languages are spoken in Peru, Spanish is the nation’s official and predominant language.

Roughly one quarter of the population speaks Spanish as a second language, after learning a native tongue such as Quechua or Aymara.

What is there to do in Peru?

Broadly speaking, Peru has three main regions: the Pacific Coast, the Andes, and the Amazon.

The coastal capital, Lima, has a rich history extending well before the Spanish. You can visit ancient sites within the city limits. The city’s museums, markets, and galleries are all worthwhile. This is also one of South America’s culinary hotspots. For the adventurous, the expert travel planners at LANDED can arrange morning fishing trips, surf and street art sessions, and market visits with cooking classes hosted by top chefs. Chocolate or coffee tastings are another favorite.

Along the coast, you can view the Nazca Lines from the air, ride the dunes, visit ancient cities, surf, and explore the deserts with paleontologists and archeologists.

In the Andean region, visitors are drawn by the majesty of the landscape, and the magic of the ancient and living cultures. These regions are also prime territory for active adventure: rafting, trekking, alpine ascents, mountain biking, and paragliding.

Most travelers to the Amazon Basin are drawn by the biodiversity. River cruises and high quality lodges offer wildlife viewing and cultural interactions.

At LANDED, we’re dedicated to designing the ideal vacation experience for each of our clients. Speak with one of our expert travel planners today. We’re at your service.

What is the weather like in Peru?

Peru is a large country; it has more territory than Germany, France, and Italy combined. Weather varies by region. The coast is generally dry. The high Andes near Cusco are cool (usually 35F to 65F) year round. The Amazon Basin is warm and humid.

The rainy season near Cusco typically extends from mid-December through March. Rainfall rises from November to January and then diminishes through the end of March:

  • November 3.1 inches
  • December 4.7 inches
  • January 6.3 inches
  • February 5.2 inches
  • March 4.3 inches

Still, this rain usually occurs suddenly in the late morning or late afternoon, leaving clear skies and perfect sunsets.

Machu Picchu is lower, in the transition zone between high Andes and Amazon Basin. January is the wettest month (about 6 inches of rainfall). Keep in mind that rain falls on approximately 80% of the days of the calendar at Machu Picchu; taking a rain jacket to the ancient city is good advice in any month.

In the Amazon region, the climate is humid and tropical; the average temperature is 89°, varying from 77° to a wilting 107°. December through March is rainy season, with higher temperatures and afternoon rainfall.

When should you visit Peru?

Most leisure travelers to Peru are planning to spend some time at Machu Picchu. So, when our clients ask us this question, they’re usually asking about the ideal time to visit the ancient city.

At Machu Picchu, the wettest months are January and February. Keep in mind that rain falls on approximately 80% of the days of the calendar at Machu Picchu; taking a rain jacket to the ancient city is good advice in any month. The Inca Trail is closed for maintenance each February.

The months with the highest number of visitors are May, July, August, September and December. If you want to visit the site when the crowds are reduced, consider February, March, April, June, and October.

In the Amazon region, the climate is always humid and tropical; the average temperature is 89°, varying from 77° to a wilting 107°. December through March is rainy season, with higher temperatures and afternoon rainfall.

Lima can be visited year-round.

What is the food like in Peru?

Peru is a culinary powerhouse—a world-class cuisine on par with that of Mexico or Thailand. Many varieties of the ingredients you know and love (potatoes, quinoa, chiles, tomatoes, and corn) originated in what is now Peruvian territory.

It’s a common occurrence for Peru to rank above Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, and Argentina in the number of restaurants on San Pellegrino’s list of the 50 Best restaurants in Latin America. Most of these are clustered in the upscale Lima neighborhoods of Miraflores, San Isidro, Barranco. But the coastal capital is much more than high concept fine dining. We love visiting the city’s markets, sushi bars, and cevicherias.

In the Andean regions, the focus is on hearty meals anchored by tubers, quinoa, corn, breads, and fresh vegetables. More than 20 varieties of fruits are native to the Andes; these include lucuma, papaya, cherimoya, and guanabana. Some of our favorite restaurants are located in the Cusco and the Sacred Valley.

In the biodiverse Amazon region, fresh fish and chicken, chilis, and tropical fruits are often accompanied by rice. On our first trip to Peru, more than 20 years ago, we spend several happy afternoons on the square in Iquitos sampling the local fruit flavored ice creams and feasting on grilled chicken and paiche (a large freshwater fish).

Peru is also gaining a reputation for its excellent single-source chocolate. LANDED arranges chocolate tastings in Lima and the Sacred Valley, often paired with Peruvian pisco from the dry southern coast.

TRAVEL
GUIDES

MACHU PICCHU

First light at Machu Picchu is an unforgettable experience. At dawn, the site is often concealed by low clouds. As the sun rises, the mists slowly dissipate to reveal walls and plazas — first in glimpses, then in majesty.