When is the best time to travel to Peru?
There’s two seasons in Peru: Wet (December-March/April) & Dry season (May to October/November) with February being the hottest month and August typically the coldest.
Visa Requirements: Check out if your country requires a visa!
Citizens of the following countries do NOT need a visa to enter Peru:
North America: US citizens, Canada and Mexico
Europe: All citizens within the EU and Switzerland
Africa: Citizens of South Africa
Asia: Citizens of Brunei, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Signapore and Thailand
Central America: Citizens of most Central American countries (exception Costa Rica, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic)
South America: Citizens of all South American countries
Safety in Peru
Traveling Peru is relatively safe for tourists, however, be aware of your surroundings. Pickpocketing and muggings can be common while walking through busier areas. Try not to wear, or carry, flashy and expensive items. Always keep a photocopy of your passport, license, ATM cards and travel information back at your hostel locked up. Finally, do not carry excessive amounts of cash on you.
Check out the current travel advisory here https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories/peru-travel-advisory.html
Where to start your travels?
Lima. You will most likely be flying into Lima. If I’m being honest, I really didn’t enjoy my time in Lima. To me, it’ just another city. The weather is unpredictable and often overcast being on the coast. However, If you have a couple days there check out Miraflores, the main tourist district in Lima. It’s full of shops and restaurants home to the famous “Parque Del Amor” also known as Love Park. Some other activities to do while visiting: Parasailing over the ocean, visiting Kennedy park, go to the tasty food markets all over the city (try some ceviche while here!), and visit palomino island to swim with sea lions!
Hauraz. An 8-hour bus ride north of Lima. The bus ride will cost you about 10$. The best times to visit for ideal hiking weather are May through September. I took an overnight bus so I could save on accommodation. Hauraz is a city found in the Andes mountains, with few tourists and home to the famous Laguna 69 hike. Sitting 15,000 feet (4,572 meters) above sea level, the views here are like something you’ve never seen before. This is one of my FAVORITE hikes I’ve ever done. There is so much beauty from the very start of your 7.5 mile (12 Kilometer) hike. Give yourself a day or two to acclimate to the altitude in Hauraz prior to starting your trek. This city is also home to the Santa Cruz Trek, I unfortunately did not have time to attempt this 31 mile, 3-4 day hike.
Some other things to check out other than hiking while in Huaraz are: Monterrey Hot Springs, visit the “Mercado central” (local market), mountain biking, and eating local food. Less tourists = more locals which means DELICIOUS AUTHENTIC PERUVIAN FOOD. Try the Peruvian delicacy, Guinea pig while you’re here….yes, that’s right, guinea pig!
There are plenty of great hostels to stay at while in Huaraz, I stayed at Andescamp Hostel for 9$ a night. Check out California Café if you’re missing some American breakfast or just to hang out to read and write. There is a plethora of books to choose from at the café!
Iquitos. Home to the Peruvian Amazon Jungle! About a 2 hour flight from Lima costing around 25$-45$ one way. Once you arrive at the airport, you’ll hop in a motokar to take you into town. There are plenty of hostels to stay at. I recommend staying at the Flying Dog Hostel. One day in town is plenty, then I recommend going on a 3-7 day overnight amazon jungle tour. During the tours, you’ll get the chance to fish for piranhas, search for ancient pink dolphins, visit an amazon village, play with monkeys at La Isla De Los Monos (a rescue sanctuary for monkeys), and do several day & night jungle treks searching for all sorts of animals. You will have WAY too many run ins with tarantulas if you ask me. Along with the Amazon Jungle tours, a lot of people go to Iquitos for the Ayahuasca spiritual treat. Ayahuasca is an ancient “brew” from a vine found in the Amazon jungle leading people to an altered state from the hallucinogenic, psychoactive ingredients. It’s supposed to be a source of healing for the participants.
- Cusco. Flights from Iquitos to Cusco are anywhere from 5-9 hours with a layover in Lima costing anywhere from 25$-50$. Located in the heart of the Andes, Cusco has pre-Colombian structures with ancient Inca European architecture, there is truly nothing like this city. As becoming the portal to the famous Machu Picchu, all the marvels the city holds often go unexperienced. Make sure you don’t overlook the wonders of this magnificent city during your travels to the sacred valley and the ancient Inca town.
Things to do in Cusco:
- City history tour
- Explore the city center, Plaza De Armas
- Bungee jumping
- Horseback ride at Moon Temple
- Paraglide at Sacred Valley
- Moray and Salt Mines
- Hike Lake Humantay (day tour from Cusco)
- Check out alpaca shops
- Eat your way through the city
- Eat dinner at Limbus overlooking the city
- Take local dance lessons or cooking classes
- Hike to Cristo Blanco
- Shop at San Pedro Market
- ATV tours
- Take a day tour and hike Rainbow Mountain
- Huacachina. The desert Oasis known for its surreal sunsets expanding over the sand dunes, sand boarding, and of course…the dune buggy rides! At the center of this tiny town lies a beautiful lagoon. There are some local wine and Pisco (famous drink of Peru) tours in the surrounding town, Ica. Worth the visit!
- Nazca. 2.5 hours south of Huacachina. Although I’ve never been, I’ve heard incredible stories about this place. Nazca is home to the ancient geoglyphs ever so mysteriously outlined into the earth. Nobody really understands how they were created, but that’s what makes it so magnificent! I recommend taking a helicopter ride to view them from above.
- Lake Titicaca. Found on the border of Bolivia and Peru, Lake Titicaca is the highest elevated lake in all the world at 12,000 feet (3,801 meters). Filled with dried reed, this floating village is home to the Uro People, an ancient indigenous tribe to Peru and Bolivia. The Uros allow tours where travelers can stay with them in their homes for days at a time to understand and experience their way of life. Unfortunately, I never made it to this incredible area in Peru.
Food/drinks you HAVE to try while visiting Peru
- Pisco Sour
- Cuy (guinea pig)
- Aji de Gallina (chicken stew)
- Alpaca meat
- Arroz con Pato (rice with duck)
- Chicharron (fried pork belly)
Power Plugs in Peru:
Power plugs are type A and C with a standard voltage of 220 V & 60Hz frequency
Feel free to message me with any questions 🙂