Peru Travel ...
Mysterious, majestic...mind blowing

 
 

" If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home."
James Michener (1907 - 1997)


Peru travel is an impressive combination of nature, archaeology and adventure. Peru travel is a gem waiting to be discovered by you.
A unique South America travel experience like no other...

We travelled to Peru for the first time in the spring/summer of 1989. We were doing a reportage about Peruvian artists, artisans and people in general

Arrived to Lima in a hot, humid August afternoon and soon realized that we needed some time to adjust to the new environment, as we were coming from a long stay in Australia with a short stop over in Argentina to see family and friends.


Peru is a land of huge contrasts - not only nature ways - but social and economical ones as well.
The majority of the population are American Indians who live in the highlands, speak Quechua and live pretty much as their Inca ancestors did.

The mestizo population - part European descendants, part American Indians - comes second.

There is a minority of white European descendants who live mainly in the flatlands and hold the political and economical power in the country.

In addition, the ethnic diversity of Peru doesn't finish here, includes as well black Americans, Japanese and Chinese population. Also, in the Amazon rainforest there are at least fifty three ethnic groups who survive by means of fishing, hunting and agriculture.



Peru Facts

peru flag

Capital: Lima
Language: Spanish (Official)
Population: 28,409,897
Area: 1,285,200 sq.km / 496,216 sq.ml.
Currency: Nuevo Sol (PEN)
Exchange Rate: 0.33448 per US Dollar (February 2008)
Religion: Roman Catholic
Read more Peru Facts...

Peru culture is incredible. Read this e-book produced by PromPeru...Festivities, Music and Folk Art in Peru
Download this PDF file here.

Or try the Spanish version of it...Fiestas, Musicas y Arte Popular en el Peru.
Download this PDF file here.


Let's begin Peru travel from North to South...


 
 

Our first Peru travel outside Lima was to Iquitos, the largest city in the Peruvian jungle and gateway to navigate the Amazon river.

Peru Map

Download it here.
Courtesy of UN Cartographic Department

The city had its economical boom back in the 1880s, together with Manaus, with the "rubber expansion" (gum tree exploitation).

Please catch a boat an explore the area. This is a TOP Peru travel experience!
It was there that we met a shaman and tried Ayahuasca for the first time.


The second Peru travel experience took us to Ayacucho, about 2.800 meters above sea level. It's a beautiful city, with plenty of colonial architecture and many different things to see.
It's also home to famous artists from Peru, and artisans as well. Visit Peruvian Art and Peruvian Art Part Two for more info


Peru's Top Destinations


No travel to Peru could be considered as such until you visit the legendary city of Cuzco and last stronghold of Inca civilization: Machu Picchu.

"We can assure your majesty that is so beautiful and has such fine buildings that it would even be remarkable in Spain".
Francisco Pizarro, describing Cuzco in a letter to King Charles V of Spain.

To better understand its significance, we need to remember a bit of Peruvian history here: The Inca (Inka) empire, also known as Tawantinsuyo.

SIDEBAR:

By the time they crashed into European expansion in the hands of Francisco Pizarro, they controlled an area of almost 6.000 kilometers. With superb engineering and architectural skills, they have left a legacy of formidable constructions (i.e., the fortress of Sacsayhuaman). Have also built over 14.000 miles of roads and trails, some of it still in use. Their main celebration - Inti Raymi (Sun festivity) - was held every year in the city of Cuzco, on the 21st. of June: this date marks the winter solstice of the Southern Hemisphere.
<
 
 

Hiking the Inka trail (Inca trail), is something you wouldn't want to miss. One of the most important Peru tourist attractions.
Equally important is to pay a visit to Ollantaytambo, Sacsayhuaman and the colorful market of Pisac.

Still in the Inca region, visit National Park and Reserve of Manu. Almost two million hectares of the most wildlife-packed rainforest in the world.

Awesome!...

We cached a train from Cuzco to Puno (Juliaca) because we wanted to navigate Lake Titicaca and visit Taquile island as well as the floating community of Uros people.


Back to Lima to gather some strength, we went to photograph a couple of bullfights at Plaza de Acho, explored the city at night - particularly Miraflores and San Isidro districts - and savored lots of Peruvian cuisine.
Peru food is delicious, famous worldwide, just don't forget to try ceviche and pachamanca.

We traveled to Chincha - cradle of Afro-Peruvian culture - and loved every single minute of it.
Their warmth and friendliness was amazing.

We felt at home as nowhere else in Peru, at the rhythm of guitar, cajon and bongos. Also tried the best Pisco (grape brandy) ever.

Paracas and the Ballestas Islands is another good side trip not far from Lima. On the way to the islands you can see a gigantic candelabra drown by the Paracas.
So is Ica and the incredible Nazca lines.
If you love archeology as we do, your Peru travel holidays shall include...

To learn more about Peru's archaeological treasures, please download this booklet produced by the Corporation or Tourism Promotion of Peru (PromPeru).
It's called Peru's Pre-Hispanic Archaeological Legacy.
Download this PDF file here.

Try it in Spanish language if you're more comfortable with it:Pueblos y Legados Arqueologicos del Peru
Download this PDF file here.

We flew to Arequipa - around 1000 kilometers south of Lima - as we wanted to visit the birthplace of Vargas Llosa, provably the most internationally known Peruvian writer, and to have a look at Colca and Cotahuasi canyons.

Our time (and budget) in Peru was coming to an end, but we still had a couple of destinations to cover. We wanted to visit Huaraz, the center of climbing and trekking, and the Huascaran National Park. We left Peru just before Christmas to return to Buenos Aires, with the fulfillment of having experienced one of the most incredible journeys in our lives.


Peru travel is fantastic and a superb South America travel experience in it's own right!...

 
 

Where to Stay:


For the independent/solo traveller, budget accommodation (hostels) is the best way to go. Book Hostels in Peru here.

Need to book a hotel instead?...
Find and compare best hotel rates in Peru.