There is much more to Peru than the astounding mountaintop ruins of Machu Picchu. Let this phenomenal citadel draw you in, however, and then savour the pleasures of an epically varied trip. From the Andean range to Amazonian lowlands, fine cuisine to incredible culture, Peru has it all.
In A Nutshell
Machu Picchu. It tends to be on the top ten must-see list of every serious traveller. And for good reason. Tucked high in the Andes, the lost Incan city is an extraordinary site. But getting there (and seeing the surrounding areas) is half the fun. After flying into Lima you can connect to the colonial city of Cusco, the capital of the Incan Empire before the Conquistadors appeared on the scene. You are now a long way from sea level and the air is thin
and crisp. Take time to acclimate, then hop on a train through the Sacred Valley—with its verdant fields and fertile plains, the Sacred Valley supplied the Incan empire much as it supplies Cusco today. The Urubamba River runs east to west with the ancient towns of Pisaq and Ollantaytambo perched up on the hillsides—impregnable fortresses built with impossibly large stones and deft skill. Finally it's on to Machu Picchu for the ultimate in mystery and marvel.
Need To Know
- Direct flights to Lima (the main gateway in Peru) are common from most major cities.
- We suggest spending a week to two weeks in Peru, or longer if you’re combining it with the Galapagos.
- Peru is for families, adventure seekers, food lovers, trekkers, and anyone outdoorsy.
- No visas are necessary for North Americans or Europeans.
- No shots are required for your entry into the country, but we suggest you visit a travel health clinic before your departure to make sure you have all the vaccinations
- Once in the country, you’ll get around using a combination of internal flights (all very reliable) and a couple of train journeys.
- Keep in mind that you may have to pace yourself to avoid altitude sickness. We will always try to organize your trip so that you begin at the lowest altitude possible and then work your way up.
- Peru is the dominant force within Latin American cuisine—the ceviche is the best in the world, and there are all kinds of haute cuisine on offer.
- The main languages are Spanish and Quechua, but it is easy to get by on English.
When To Go
Peru is a year-round destination, but the best time to go (especially if you’re interested in the Inca Trail) is the dry season, between May and October. December and January are also peak times thanks to the North American winter holidays.
Peru has an abundance of colonial lodges, especially in Cusco, although Lima tends to be dominated by the bigger chain hotels. Outside the cities, small, 10-12 room lodges are most common, and they’re rustic but quite comfortable. Peru also boasts the best Amazon lodges and boats on the continent, with an incredibly high standard of food, guiding and service.
Hike in the Andes—Sure you could take the usual Inca Route to Machu Picchu, but we love this lodge to lodge trek as an alternative way of reaching the ancient Incan Citadel.
Eat Ceviche in Lima—One of the best places to eat ceviche in the world is in Lima, the gastronomic heart of Latin America. There are a plethora of amazing restaurants where the creation of ceviche has become an art form.
Explore the Sacred Valley—On your way to Machu Picchu, make sure you reserve some time to spend in the gorgeous magnificence of the Sacred Valley. Not only will it prepare you for the coming altitude, it will be a splendid introduction to Peru's Andean highlights.
Meander Cusco at Dusk—The cultural heart of Peru, Cusco is a colourful delight. As the sun goes down the city turns a golden hue and the noise dims, creating a wonderful atmosphere for a walk around the picturesque plazas on your way to dinner.
Fly Over the Nazca Lines—The true images made by these lines can only be appreciated by a flight over them. Then you can really start to puzzle how they came to be there, what they mean, and who is responsible...
What They Say
We had an absolutely amazing holiday. Peru and Chile both exceeded my expectations in terms of beauty and interesting history. The guides were terrific!
— Lynn G.
Thanks for everything. The food was exceptional with the highlights being the criollo tour in Lima and the picnic lunch in the Sacred Valley. We enjoyed all of the activities. Each guide was very knowledgeable and friendly.
— Paul R.
I should also mention, that every single guide or Trufflepig "pig" that we met with was amazing - friendly, welcoming, warm, helpful and knowledgable. You all helped make our trip perfect and seamless, every step of the way.