Visit Peru, What to See and When to Go

Peru is divided geographically into 3 sections: the coast (la costa), the mountains (la siera) and jungle(la selva).

The coast:

  • Peru has great waves all year along all along its coast and if you add the fact that in Chicama there is world’s longest waves, this country is a yet that known surfing paradise.
  • The best time to go is any time except July – September when it’s winter, the waves are lower and the Pacific cold.
  • Recommended places: all along Panamerica. south of Lima: Paracas, Ica, Huacaina, Nazca; North of Lima: Huanchaco, Mancora
  • How to get there: bus from Lima to any of the places.

The mountains:

  • Without any doubt, Peru has got one of the world’s most scenic mountains and if you are into alpinism or just hiking, this country has plenty of options for you.
  • South: Arequipa area with Colca Canyon, Cuzco and its surroundings – Macchu Picchu with Inca trail or Salkantay, Puno.
  • North: Huaraz area offers infinite options from one day hikes (Laguna 69), 4-5 days (Santa Cruz), +8 days (Huayhuash), to moutains (Huascaran, Pisco, etc).
  • How to get there: bus from Lima  – 14-18hrs till Arequipa, 24 hrs till Cuzco, 12 hrs Arequipa – Cuzco, 8 hrs Cuzco – Puno; flight to Cuzco (2 hrs) and from there by bus.
  • When to go there: winder time from May to end of September

The jungle:

  • Backwaters, animals,
  • Recommended places: Puerto Maldonado (south), Iquitos (north)
  • How to get there: flight from Lima to Cuzco, and from Cuzco to Puerto Maldonado by bus (8hrs), and to Iquitos you can get by flight from Lima or by boat (3 days).
  • When to go there: from May to September

Recommended itineraries:

1. South, the classic:

  • Lima -> Nazca -> Arequipa -> Puno -> Cuzco -> Lima
  • Time required: 2-4 weeks
  • What you can do:
    • visit Nazca lines (only by helicopter)
    • hike (2 days) or visit(1day) Colca Canyon
    • Cuzco area and Macchu Picchu
    • hike to Machu Picchu: Inca Trail or Salkantay
    • Hike to Choquequirao
    • Visit Uros floating islands over Titicaca Lake  ( the highest lake in the world)
  • Best time to visit: any time if you don’t hike, if you hike – winter time from May to September

2. The hiking route:

  • Lima -> Arequipa -> Cuzco -> Huaraz -> Lima
  • Time required: 3 weeks – 2 months
  • What you can do:
    • Colca Canyon,
    • Hike Salkantay,
    • Laguna 69,
    • Santa Cruz trek,
    • Huayhuash trek,
    • climb Pisco
  • Best time to go: winter (May – September)

3. Machu Picchu and the Amazonian Jungle

  • Route: Lima -> Nazca -> Cuzco -> Puno -> Lima – > Iquitos
  • Time required: 2 weeks
  • What you can do:
    • Visit Nazca lines (only by helicopter)
    • Cuzco area and Machu Picchu
    • Uros floating islands on Titicaca Lake ( the highest lake in the world)
    • Amazonian Jungle tour from Iquitos
  • Best time to visit: winter time (May – September)

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Enjoy Peru as much as I did!


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