Peru

Peru Is The Perfect Vacation Destination

There are countless reasons why Peru is the perfect place for your next vacation and we’ll wrap it all up into just one. The number one reason to go to Peru is easy—you have to, at least once in your lifetime! There are endless numbers of Peru vacation packages available and tailor made travels are what we do best at Soul Free Travels.


Peru has an incredible diversity in everything you could possibly wish for in a travel destination and if you can only visit just one country in South America, you'll want for nothing in Peru.


If the stunning landscapes ranging from arid coastal deserts to thriving rainforests in the Amazon with the majestic Andes in between aren’t enough to get you packing, throw in the 12 UNESCO World Heritage sites. Just about any Peru tour will include plentiful opportunities for seeing the breathtaking scenery that Peru is so well known for.


For nature lovers, Peru is one of the most biodiverse places you can possibly find anywhere on our planet. It is also regarded as one of the best places in the world for bird watching—and the array of flora found throughout the country is just as spectacular. For photographers, Peru is truly the gift that keeps on giving.


If you a seeking active adventures, Peru is one of the best places in the world for just about anything you could want to do. A walk through Peru is like no other. There are countless trails to hike, rivers to navigate and over 100 mountains to climb. 


Wherever you travel within Peru, the living culture here is both enchanting and intriguing. A blend of Hispanic and native traditions, you will find that Peru is deeply rooted in its rich heritage. Inherited from the Incas, Spanish conquistadors and immigrant settlers, Peru’s micro-cultures intertwine with the changing landscapes, and there are about 47 indigenous languages spoken here, including Quechua and Aymara.


The incredible ancient civilizations, their histories, and all of the amazing art and architecture are as fascinating as they are mysterious. With so many sites to see, you’ll either need to move in or make several trips here to feel you’ve even scratched the surface!


Peru has also come into its own as a culinary destination. There is no shortage of excellent restaurants and celebrity chefs so, loosen those belt buckles before settling in for any meal here. Peruvian ceviche is so much a part of the national heritage in Peru that it even has its own holiday, National Ceviche Day which falls on June 28th of every year—and the best drink to go with your delicious ceviche is a Pisco Sour!


Whatever you seek from your travels, you should be able to find it in Peru. From backpacking bliss to over the top luxury, the range of accommodations is well covered and the infrastructure for getting around is quite good. You’ll enjoy the wonderful hospitality of the people and be enchanted by their friendly ways.


* Be sure to see the Inspiration Gallery below for more destination information and tips.

Top Places To Visit In Peru

Lima 


While many travelers will not linger here, Lima is very much a city worth spending some quality time in. Perfectly situated along the Pacific coast, there are a number of excellent museums, world-class restaurants, incredible street food, and wonderful architecture to explore. Lima also happens to have some of the oldest ruins in all of Peru you'll find these in the Barrios Altos.


An excellent place to begin your explorations for your trip to Peru is in the Centro Historico. Visit the Plaza Mayor or Plaza de Armas, a UNESCO World Heritage site, that is significant for its pre-Hispanic and colonial architecture. No visit to Lima is complete without visiting the Larco Museum which takes you through more than 5,000 years of ancient Peruvian history.


A wonderful walking tour from the Plaza de Armas to the Plaza San Martin will take you to the pedestrian street, Jirón de la Unión which exhibits a wonderful mix of old and new buildings housing a number of restaurants and shops. Once considered the boulevard of aristocrats, you'll find more beautiful architecture like the La Merced church that dates back to the 1700s. It has an ornate Baroque colonial façade that is the perfect place for a picture of you standing in front of it.


Cusco 


A beautiful and lively colonial city and also the former Inca capital, Cuzco is the heart of the ancient Inca civilization and is a great base for exploring the Andean Highlands. The city itself is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a wonderful place to take it easy and enjoy the nearby sites while acclimatizing to the high elevations. Marvel at the colonial architecture, walk the Plaza de Armas, visit the San Pedro Market, and enjoy the cafés and excellent restuarants you'll find here.


While in Cusco, a visit to Sacsayhuamán on the outskirts of the city is a fascinating lesson in ancient building techniques. This citadel was originally built by the Killke culture which predates the Inca who built on top of it in the 13th century. 


Machu Picchu


To get to Machu Picchu, you can go via hiking one of the trails. The Inca Trail is the most popular route but there are others. You can also go by rail or a combination of both. No matter how you go, the views will blow your mind. While it is Peru's best-known archaeological treasure, it's not the only one. 


Peru's government estimates that there are over 10,000 significant sites scattered throughout the country. While most of these are undiscovered, archaeologists continue to make new discoveries quite frequently here. It is worth noting that there is a thriving underground of treasure hunters, known as huaqueros that are in a fierce competition with the archaeologists for artifacts which they sell to tourists and collectors. Some are poverty-stricken and 


Sacred Valley


The Sacred Valley of The Incas is another must see. At the entrance to the valley, atop a hill is one of the best-preserved Incan sites in all of Peru, known as Inca Písac. In the colonial town of Písac, there is a renowned handicraft market that should not be missed if you are looking for authentic Peruvian souvenirs. You’ll find art, weaving, jewelry, and handicrafts and of course, the wonderful locals you’ll encounter. Visit Moray and the salt pans of Maras, both are both especially interesting and picturesque, as are the entirety of the surroundings in this special corner of the world.


Arequipa


Arequipa and surroundings are well worth further explorations into southern Peru. With views to three volcanoes, the area is beautiful and full of adventure. Within Arequipa, there are more interesting museums that you could possibly visit in a single trip and the colonial architecture at places like the Plaza de Armas and the Monasterio de Santa Catalina is stunning. The Cuevas de Sumbay are caves with pre-Incan paintings make for an interesting excursion and you'll find no shortage of great restaurants and opportunities for activities in nature like rafting and bicycling.


Lake Titicaca


Peru and Bolivia share Lake Titicaca which is the world's highest navigable lake.  The Uros Islands and the city of Puno, which are considered the folkloric capital of Peru, and here you is where some of Peru's most well known festivals take place. Though somewhat over commercialized, the area is still very much worth visiting, especially when getting off the well beaten path to places like Llachón on the Capachica Peninsula where you will see bucholic pueblitos and beautiful landscapes. While there are tourists, seeing the Uros Islands from here is more enjoyable with less competition for space and provides for a more authentic exeperience. Taquile is a hilly island about 28 miles from Puno where daily life on the island has remained relatively unchanged for centuries.


* Be sure to see the Inspiration Gallery below for more destination information and tips.

Take The Trail Less Traveled


Take a lesser known hike to Machu Picchu and do it over five days, instead of the popular four day treks! Trails like the Salcantay and Lares routes are just as rewarding and do not have the same restrictions as the Inca Trail. A much less touristic alternative, or addition to Machu Picchu or hiking to Choquequirao over a few days. This is a much less touristed site and they only way to currently get to is trekking. This site is almost as impressive as Machu Picchu and it might even provide for a better and more authentic Inca experience.


Get Wild


Manú National Park is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and it's huge! Covering 1,716,295 hectares, within its boundaries there are several microclimates ranging from tropical habitats to Andean grasslands, cloud forests to foothill and lowland forests, with all containing an incredible array of flora and fauna. It is regarded as one of the most biodiverse places in the world having more than 800 bird species, 200 species of mammals, and around 15,000 species of plants and trees. The only permanent residents are indigenous people, some being friendly to outsiders and others who remain hidden from the modern world. Getting to the park  can also be quite the adventure and is for more for the intrepid traveler who doesn't mind roughing it a bit. If roughing it is not on your agenda, Tambopata National Reserve in the Madre de Dios region is another excellent place for ecotourism and there are more accommodations available here ranging from rustic to luxury. 


If you make it as far into the Amazon as Iquitos in the north of Peru, a visit to the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve is an incredible experience. One of the largest protected areas in Peru, there is an astounding array of nature with around 450 bird species, more than 100 mammals, almost 130 reptiles and amphibians, around 260 fish species with over 1200 different varieties of plants! Take a cruise or stay at one of the incredible lodges you'll find here.


Montaña de Siete Colores, or Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain is quickly becoming one of Peru’s top attractions. This stunning mountain 3 ½ hours southeast of Cusco appears to be from another world. One interesting thing about this mountain is that the allure to see it didn’t exist five years ago when it was covered with snow. With climate change, the snow melted and the mountain revealed itself. Now, this place is completely overrun by tourists and many who failed to do their research. The elevation and hiking to get to it are not walks in the park. If you are after an Instagram photo, you’ll have to earn it!


* Be sure to see the Inspiration Gallery below for more destination information and tips.


Amazing Travel Experiences in Peru

Best Times To Visit Peru

Due to the varied topography in Peru, there are several micro-climates within the country making it easy to always find somewhere exciting to go to in Peru.


The Peruvian Amazon enjoys 250 days of rain a year. Rain typically comes in bursts and it is always about 80% humidity. There are two seasons here.  The warmer low water season is goes from June through November and beginning in December until the end of May, is the cooler high water season. Both seasons offer different experiences, humidity and hot weather. Thanks to its remoteness, visiting in either is relatively devoid of mass tourism.


As to Cusco and Machu Picchu, the best time to visit was more than 20 years ago. In recent years, Peru has emerged at the tippy top of more than a few bucket lists. If you are planning to go here, you should plan well in advance because the number of visitors on any given day is limited. If you are planning to hike, you will still need tickets, and these are limited to 500 people per day and can sell out months in advance. May through October is the high season. The shoulder months of April, May, September, and October are likely the best times to visit for fewer tourists and better weather. June, July, and August are typically the busiest months for Machu Picchu. With respect to the weather, the rainy season is from November to March and while a bit cooler, this might appeal to those who don't mind a bit of rain followed up with clear skies. This is also an exceptionally beautiful time to visit as the flowers will be blooming, and with far less tourists you can take in more of those incredible views.


** Make sure to check out Festivals & Events taking place in Peru at the link below.


Average Climate 

Source: NOAA

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