Republic of Peru
Spanish (Quechua, Aymara)
Nuevo Sol (PEN)
PET (UTC -5)
Peru is the third largest country in South America; a country known for its incredible cultural heritage such as the renowned Machu Picchu and the remains of the Inca Empire. Although the Incas are the most famous ones, there are other manifestations of pre-Columbian cultures and unexplored archaeological sites which can be located in the North of Peru. This magnificent land composed of a variety of landscapes, climates and biodiversity, is visited by tourists from all over the world.
In Peru, it is possible to enjoy a range of activities from surfing in the Northern beaches to hiking in the Andes Cordillera, from trekking in the humid and hot Amazon rainforest to visiting cultural sites, excellent museums, and enjoying traditional dishes. Peruvian people are very friendly, warm, and ready to help or to introduce you to their customs. You will find in these regions a great diversity of ethnic groups, festivities, handcraft, and gastronomy.
Peru is a country of contrasts where the crazy traffic is surpassed by the majesty of mountain ranges. You will find cities peaking at altitudes of more than 6700 meters, infinite beaches with beautiful sunsets, the magically diverse landscape of the tropical rainforest and let’s not forget about the llamas.
Despite being near the Equator, the presence of different regions of the Andes Cordillera and the arid coast along with the effects of the cold Humboldt Stream induce highly distinct weather. The climate in Peru consists in three main regions: Costa, Sierra, Selva (the coast, the mountains and the jungle).
The coast of Peru represents 10% of the whole surface of the country. Within this part of the coast, the north has a semi-tropical climate. Because of the Humboldt Stream, the temperatures are not that hot for a desert. The temperature is around 24°C all year long. The Southern region, including the central coast and the south, has a subtropical climate. The temperatures range from 15°C during the winter to 26°C during the summer. Summer is from December to March.
Alongside the Andes Cordillera, the winter is dry and the summer rainy. The annual temperatures fluctuate from 11 to 16°C but with wide differences from one site to another because of the different altitudes. Therefore, it is better to come during the winter from May to September during the dry season and enjoy the Costa during the summer.
This is the Amazon region of Peru that represents 60% of the Peruvian surface. The climate is humid, hot, with rainfall all year long and especially during the rainy season from January to April. During the dry season, it usually rains once per week with temperatures fluctuating around 30°C.
In any case, it is preferable to have 3 kinds of outfits for cold, hot and rainy weather. This beautiful country has different climate zones since it has deserts, mountains and Amazon rainforest.
The Peruvian culture is widely known for its Inca Empire and the ruins of Machu Picchu. However, Peru includes a lot of other different cultures that are lesser known. Before being colonized in the 16th century by Spain, and before the Inca Empire, other cultures were already very organized, structured economically and politically. This is particularly the case of the Chavín and Mochica cultures which date from 1800-200 BC. Hidden archaeological treasures of these cultures are present in the north of Peru. The Lambayeque Region is the biggest hotspot of unexplored archaeological places in the world while the south of Peru is the most touristic region with Cusco, Machu Picchu and Arequipa.
The country recognizes the practice of other religions. Nevertheless, since its independence from Spain in 1821, Peru remains mainly catholic at 80%. Therefore a lot of churches are present in the country. Inspired from the colonial style, they often constitute the sights to see, along with buildings from the same era in big cities such as Chiclayo, Piura, Trujillo, Arequipa, and Lima. Even with Catholicism as the predominant religion, several events and festivities in Peru refer directly to Inca celebrations and ceremonies. Peru is a colourful country, as evidenced by the traditional fabric you can find in the handcraft markets.
The city of Cajamarca is renowned for its carnival where paint battles take place every year. If you are out and about on those days, expect to be targeted with paint and water during the celebration. Peru is also a country of dances. The national dance is the Marinera and it is frequently practiced along the coast, while traditional tribal dances can be found in jungle areas.
Nowadays, Peru is a multicultural country due in part to the colonialism period, but also because of the different migration phases. The indigenous population represents 45% of the population while the rest is a mixture of different ascendances. A third of the population is Metis and has Spanish origins. Then there is a melting pot of European, African and also Asiatic people. The indigenous are more present in the Selva while the rest of the country is mixed with the other ethnicities. Also, in the jungle and mountains, it is more frequent to see people wearing traditional clothes such as the poncho, the hat and the long skirt for women. While the Amazon represents 60% of the Peruvian surface, it is the least densely populated region of the country. Therefore, it holds lots of beautiful unseen areas and uninhabited parts, which remain untouched by humans.
Another important sector in Peru is the fruit production. Peru is a land of fruit trees, like Mango and Cherimoya, which are very tasty.
Peruvian gastronomy is award winning! Among its specialities are the Ceviche, which is made with raw fish, seasoned with lemon and spices, the Anticuchos made with beef heart, the Chicha Morada, a national drink made with purple corn, and the national alcohol: Pisco.
Peruvian gastronomy is considered to be one of the most diversified and famous in South America. Very often, dishes include rice; this may be in part because of the Chinese migration influence. Since then, “Chifa” in Peru has been used in reference to Chinese cooking.
Public transportation in Peru is very easy and the travel costs are low. The traffic may be crazy in Lima and in general, but for long distances, the most common means of transportation is by bus and it is very safe.
Perú shares borders with Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Bolivia and Ecuador. This is great for travelers because it is very easy to combine different destinations. One such option is Peru and Ecuador, which has one of the most biodiverse landscapes in the world.
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