Machu Picchu Travel
Tips and recommendations

All About Peru: Updated Information

South America is home to many precious gems, and Peru doesn’t stand far from that since its culture-rich lands and natural wonders will continue to captivate you. Allow you to immerse yourself in a world of ancient traditions and mysteries yet to be solved. Get to know everything from Peruvian history to when’s the best time to visit our country and experience Peru at its fullest!

The country is divided into three regions: The Pacific coast, the Andean Highlands, and the Jungle! For that reason, it is considered to be one of the most diverse countries of the continent as well as the Trekking Capital of South America

Peru receives over 4 million tourists per year, making it the 7th most visited country in Latin America. We, as travelers, are aware of how important it is to know everything before traveling abroad, which is why we are proud to show you everything about the Peruvian land so you can make the most of your experience. Click on any of these links to be redirected to a specific section of the blog:

- Geography
- Weather
- Culture
- History
- Destinations

We have structured this blog according to our passengers’ most frequent questions. Keep reading and learn everything about this authentic country that will surely be the highlight of your vacations!

Geography of Peru

Peru is considered the 3rd Largest Country in South America. It extends to 1,285,216 km² and comprehends 24 departments. Lima, apart from being the capital of this Andean gem, has been also named as the Gastronomic Capital of Latin America. Likewise, there are other cities within our country full of cultural expression and history ready to be shared with the world.

Concerning the country's geographic position, it’s bordered in the west by the Pacific Ocean, in the North by Ecuador and Colombia, in the Southeast by Bolivia, and Chile to the South. As aforementioned, Peru is divided in three sections: The Andes mountain range, the pacific coast, and the jungle.

- The Pacific Coast: Here’s where the main economic assets of the country lie. According to its position, this country’s region is known for being one of the aridest places on Earth as well as the wettest region within Peruvian lands despite being located in a tropical zone, the Humboldt Current prevents it from producing rain clouds. 

- The Peruvian Andes: It is the youngest mountain range in the world, and extends to 8,500 kilometers, starting from Venezuela until Cape Horn in Chile. In Peru, the highest mountain within the Andean highlands is the Huascaran, which has an elevation of 6,758 meters.

It is worth noting that this is the most in-demand destination in Peru since it gathers locations like Huaraz and Cusco.

- The Amazon: the Peruvian jungle covers 60% of the country’s territory, and it’s the less inhabited region in Peru. It is famous for comprehending extensive biodiversity and for being home to different native communities.

The diversity of our country is like no other; for that reason, there’s a little bit for everyone who’s looking to explore these authentic lands. If you wish to have more information about the different attractions within this region, we invite you to check our informative guides. 

Weather in Peru

The climate condition in our country is the same throughout the whole territory, but it may vary according to the geographic position of its regions. Peru has two marked seasons, which we’ll explain below:

- Dry Season: It takes place between May and October. This is considered to be the high tourist season in the country since there are fewer chances of rain. Temperatures tend to be lower during this period, keep in mind that if you’re traveling through the Andes, it might get really cold as you ascend on altitude.

- Rainy Season: It starts between January and ends around April. However, you can expect mild precipitations during the transition to this season between October and December, which is often referred to as the Semi-Dry Season of the year. The rainy season takes place during the low tourist season in Peru, so expect less crowded attractions through this period.

As aforementioned, the weather conditions may vary according to the different regions. For example, the jungle has warm rainy weather throughout the year, and part of the Pacific coast is known as the endless summer land. To help you optimize your adventure, check our informative guide about when's the best time to travel to Peru.

The Peruvian Culture

Peru’s identity presents a combination of the different ethnic cultures that inhabited these lands, the European impact that came with colonization, as well as the Asian culture. This is mainly represented in the Peruvian gastronomy, known for being the best in the entire continent.

As mentioned before, we are proud of our country’s diversity. If you’re looking for a cultural experience, then Peru should be your Nº 1 option. Depending on where you might be, you’ll be rewarded with a unique experience. 

As a recommendation, we encourage you to visit Puno, also known as the Folkloric Capital of Peru since it comprehends a contrast between the Hispanic traditions and the nearly untouched culture of the communities within Lake Titicaca. To optimize your experience through our country, here are some of the highlights of our culture, consider visiting any of these outstanding destinations:

- The Historic Center of Lima: Here, you’ll be able to experience the perfectly merged colonial and modern architecture. This part of the capital gathers over 600 historical monuments, which granted it recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

- The Ancient Nazca Culture: Undoubtedly, this is one of the most significant Pre-Inca cultures, which left many riddles yet to be solved. The Nazca Lines are one of the world’s greatest mysteries and continue to amaze its visitors.

- The Peruvian Gastronomy: It’s not a lie that Peruvian cuisine is recognized worldwide for its authentic and exotic flavors and for owning over 2,500 typical dishes. For these reasons, Peru is considered to be the Gastronomical Capital of Latin America. Therefore you shouldn’t miss the chance of trying the best of our culinary art in Lima, which gathers some of the most renowned restaurants in the world.

- The Sacred Valley of the Incas: For most travelers, getting to know about the Inca culture is the principal thing to do during their vacations through Peru, which is why you cannot leave this authentic archeological circuit behind. Here you’ll learn about the most important Inca settlements where outstanding structures and otherworldly sceneries await to be discovered.

- Machu Picchu: Unquestionably, the Inca Citadel is an unmissable travel destination since this sacred place will captivate you with its structure, ancient engineering, and history. We know this will be the highlight of your trip; therefore, we’ve come up with a section that will show you the current conditions to visit this wonder of the world.

These are a few of the main attractions and cultural experiences in our country. Make sure to add at least one of these to your itinerary and uniquely discover Peru.

History of Peru

For many, the history of our country starts with the Inca civilization, continues through the Colonial era until the current date, but this is not the case since many civilizations had preceded the Incas. Being the ancient civilization of Caral one of the first ever documented cultures in our country, which dates back to the 3000 B.C. contemporary to the Egyptian era.

Unquestionably, the Inca culture was the strongest and long-lasting civilization in Peru. Once the Spanish conquistadors arrived in Peru during the 15th century, they managed to dissolve the Inca Empire to later transition into the Colonial era. It wasn’t until 1821 that the Peruvian lands regained their independence thanks to the liberating expedition of Peru organized by the United Provinces of Rio Plata (Argentina) and Chile.

According to the ancient cultures that preceded the Incas, the most recognized are Caral, Kotosh, and Huaca Prieta. Then followed by the Chavin, Paracas, Moche, Nazca, Tiahuanacu, and Wari cultures around the 1,000 B.C.

Economy

Peru has an 80% informal economy, relying heavily on mining, oil, gas, commerce, fishing, and tourism. It is considered the 5th largest exporter of avocado, blueberry, artichoke and asparagus, and the 10th exporter of coffee in the world. Therefore agriculture is one of the principal economic assets of this country.

Population & Language

Peru has a population of over 32 millions of inhabitants, this is the 7th most populated country in the Americas. Of all these people, over 10 million persons are bilinguals, they speak Spanish and Quechua, being this last one an ancient dialect that prevailed even after the Spanish conquest.

Education

According to Peru’s constitution, education is compulsory for the initial, primary, and secondary levels. Likewise, it is also free in public state schools. However, public universities offer facilities for top-class students, with free programs regardless of the socioeconomic level of the student. The average time of schooling in Peru is 8.7 years.

Tourism in Peru

Peru attracts tourists from all over the world thanks to its cultural and natural diversity. This South American gem has become the favorite destination of many travelers, not only for being home to Machu Picchu, but for all its natural and historical attractions. Therefore, our country offers adventures for all tastes and ages.

- Adventure: The Peruvian territory comprehends deserts, beaches, and a large part of the Andes mountain range, offering outdoor sports of different categories. The most in-demand are: Trekking activities, rock climbing, rafting, zip lining, mountain biking, sandboarding, surfing, and more.
- Experiential: For those looking for an intimate experience, there are communities in the Andes and around Peru that offer a more exclusive tourism where you get to know in depth the cultures of these families.
- Mystic: Peru has kept its customs almost intact, where the spiritual world, nature and the inner self play a very important role in personal fulfillment. The Incas have left a prevalent legacy, where purification rituals, meditations, and ceremonies of union have been part of the esoteric tourism of our country.
- Family: This Andean gem has the most exciting activities to enjoy as a family, where its natural attractions stand out, such as the famous Ballestas Islands and the imposing Rainbow Mountain. In addition, the pre-Hispanic sites will certainly make the little ones’ imagination take them on a back in time journey.

Destinations

Peru is home to the best things to do in South America since it counts with a variety of worth-knowing locations. We have gathered the most in-demand destinations in this section to help you organize your trip according to your interests. We assure you that Its natural resources and history will leave you breathless!

Paracas National Reserve

This is one of the most important natural treasures of Peru since this region comprehends extensive biodiversity, where over 400 species of flora and fauna are currently protected. This place gathers otherworldly sceneries where the Peruvian desert perfectly merges with the Pacific Ocean. Within this National Park lies a group of islands and rock formations called the Ballestas Islands, a protected area home to hundreds of sea lions, as well as penguins, and exotic birds as the red-footed guanay cormorants.

Huascaran National Park

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is located within the Ancash region and comprehends the great Cordillera Blanca, famous for being home to one of the highest snow-capped mountains in the World, the Huascaran Mountain, located at 6,757 meters above sea level. This region is known as the Trekking Capital of South America since this is the main travel destination for many travelers looking for adventure.

Colca Canyon

It is considered to be one of the deepest canyons in the world since it has a depth of 4,160 meters. This is one of the many natural wonders of Peru and what makes it so special is its authentic landscapes and the opportunity of watching the flight of the Andean Condor, the biggest bird of the Andean Highlands. 

Lake Titicaca

This enormous water body is located at 3,812 meters above sea level, making it the World’s Highest Navigable Lake. Lake Titicaca is mainly recognized for being home to the famous Uros floating islands, a group of over 100 men made islands structured entirely with Totora reed, an aquatic plant that grows on the surface of the lake. Apart from that, the authenticity of its communities remains nearly intact due to the remote location of these islands, where their ancient culture and traditions have been kept for generations.

The Nazca Lines

These geoglyphs have captured the attention of many travelers because of their ancient mysteries and diverse theories. The Nazca Lines are a group of over 1,000 figures and lines carved in the Peruvian desert by the Nazca culture, a Pre-Inca civilization. Some say that this region was used as an astronomical observatory, others think that they were made by aliens. Come and find out for yourself!

If you wish more information about all the things to do in Peru, please check our informative guides.

Peru is the most diverse country in South America, which is why there’s so much to know before arranging your itinerary through this Andean gem. Make sure to know everything about it while you’re here and optimize your experience through our authentic country.