Famous for Machu Picchu, the country of Peru is a dream destination for many. It may have a reputation for being dangerous, but the reality of that statement being true is very small and does not define the country one bit. However, what Peru indeed is, is a vibrant country filled with cuisine, culture and history. After having resided there for a year, I would like to share my top tips on what I believe will help future travellers to enjoy a stress-free adventure.
Having visiting Cusco, and other villages in its mountainous region, the Amazon rainforest, and the coast from its Capital city Lima to their beautiful beaches that are embellished with the waves of the South Pacific ocean. Peru is filled with beauty from every town, and there is much more to see than only Lima and Cusco. Therefore knowing what kind of holiday you are looking for will allow you to learn which places would be the best suited for you.
Spend your money wisely
Try to stay away from tourist traps. The main one in Lima being Miraflores. Going to the less rural spots can help you save money, have a more authentic experience and practice your Spanish. Regarding food, and buying gifts and clothing, I prefer to go to the independent markets, as you receive something a little more valuable and thought out.
What to eat
Known as the cuisine capital of the world, for many years, Peru’s offers a large variety of dishes to satisfy everybody’s taste buds. For the avid meat lover and adventurous eater, you can find that Peru is home to guinea pig based dishes. With its tender meat, you can see how this cute little pet is a delicacy, especially in Cusco. Llama and alligator meat is also on the menu, and a once in a lifetime opportunity. My favourite dishes include Lomo Saltado, a beef dish, and ceviche, a raw fish dish. Both which I advise you to try on your first day there if possible!
When to visit
The Peruvian winter months from May to September is the driest season and therefore the best time of year to travel, especially if you are planning to visit the Cusco area or trek the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. The summer season from December to March is the wettest season, with frequent heavy showers although they are not that heavy. The summer season is the least populated, and you may find that flight and hotel prices drop during this time. So if you want to catch some sun and you do not mind little rain, then that is the perfect time for you to go.
Know what to pack
Once you know where you are going and when it is time to do your research on the climate you will be expecting, and what activities you will be partaking. Be aware; temperatures can rise and drop immensely so you most likely will need thick winter wear combined with summer wear or else your trip could be ruined.
Private minivans, state buses, and taxis are very common in all areas of Peru, in particular, minivans called “micros.” Transport is very cheap and practical but not the most reliable at times. There are no set timetables, and you merely have to find their post where you see a large crowd of people. During peak times from 7 am – 9 am and 5 pm – 8 pm is when you can find yourself lacking personal space. So if you wish to have a more relaxed journey, avoid those times as they are chaotic, to say it politely.
I hope you have found this article interesting and helpful if Peru has been on your bucket list for a while and if it has not, hopefully, this will entice you to visit Peru and witness the vast culture of the country with your own eyes.
If you have visited in Peru and have your own experiences to share or if you have any questions, please leave a comment, and as always I wish everybody happy travels!