Peru: land of the ancient Incas, home to some of the most breathtaking landscapes on earth, and tourist destination like no other. Hugely popular with adventurers, people on gap years and those wanting to escape from reality for a while, Peru is synonymous with culture, adventure and above all, nature. You have to see it to believe it, and once you’re there you’ll never want to leave!
Situated on the western coast of South America, Peru is one of the most ecologically, culturally and historically diverse countries in the world. From arid plains to high mountains and tropical rainforests, as a holiday destination it’s definitely one of the best as there’s so much to explore. One trip isn’t enough, to see Peru for all it’s worth, you’ll need to return time and time again!
Unlike most other countries in the region, the climate of Peru is not exclusively equatorial or tropical. Thanks to so many different types of area, the climate changes from blisteringly hot in the lowlands to freezing cold in the high Andes and incredibly humid in the Amazonian jungles. It’s therefore incredible difficult to give an average temperature to expect, so the best advice is to plan where you’re going and prepare for all conditions accordingly.
The great thing about Peru is that most of the country is untouched and most of the settlement is comparatively little of the land. This means once you get out of urban centres you can really become one with nature and experience everything the country has to offer. Spend a week taking in the impressive culture and cuisine of the capital, Lima, and then another in the wild. Peru is a country of dichotomy, and it’s absolutely incredible.
Whether you’re looking for adventure or simply want to relax and recharge your batteries, Peru has everything on offer. One of the hottest spots for people on gap years, TEFL placements and adventure holidays, trekking through the rainforests or climbing in the Andes are firmly on the agenda along with other activities such as paragliding and canoeing down one of the many rivers or teaching English in city or rural schools. If adrenaline is what you seek, there’s no better place than Peru. Similarly, the miles of untouched beaches lined with palm trees paint a picture of paradise that’s too good to miss!
You can’t go to Peru without seeing its historic sites, after all how many other countries in the world can boast archaeological relics that are over 500 years old? Machu Picchu is without doubt the most famous place in Peru and is a world heritage site, along with being one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The crown jewel of the ancient Inca empire, Machu Picchu is easily accessible and visits can regularly be booked. Of course there’s always the option to get out on the ground and trek there through the jungle on a week long adventure.
Aside from the impressive natural landscapes and simply breathtaking historical sites, Peru has an incredibly diverse culture. While you will notice a degree of Spanish influence, Peruvian cuisine is certainly not to be overlooked with some serious vibrant tastes and colourful dishes. The many different climates mean literally thousands of different ingredients are available, and you’ll no go hungry that’s for sure. Combine delicious food with traditional Peruvian music and you’ll be in heaven. Every city in Peru has a wealth of restaurants, bars, cafes and other cultural amenities, so there’s always something to do if you’ve had enough of nature!
For a country that is generally though of as ‘off the beaten track’, Peru has a fantastic range of hotels to choose from. Whether you’re looking for total and comfort in one of the many 5 star hotels, or would prefer to save money and stay in something cheaper and more basic, there’s something for everyone. Hostels and lodges are also widely available so anyone can experience the beauty of Peru without paying a huge amount.
There’s no two ways about it- getting to Peru is a long haul. Average flight times from the UK are around 16 hours, and depending where you fly from there might be several changes involved. The great thing is that you’ll fly into Lima and will be right in the middle of the action from day 1. From there you can head to coastal areas or have a few days of rest before tackling nature. Whatever is on your agenda, you’ll be able to start straight away.
So if you’re looking to book a holiday to somewhere that’s totally unique and diverse, Peru is best destination. From the vast expanses of wilderness to cities and towns that have incredible culture and history, you’ll have no trouble finding something to do. The land of the Incas really is very special.