Peru is located in the west of South America. It borders Ecuador and Colombia to the north. Brazil borders Peru to the west, Bolivia to the southwest and Chile to the very south. The entire western side has a coast to the Pacific Ocean.
Peru is in the southern hemisphere, but not to far from the equator. Summer and winter do not exist in this form of sun and snow. The Peruvian summer (Dec-Mar) is more rainy than in winter (Jun-Sep). The climate is very different depending on the region in Peru. Therefore you need everything from T-shirt to winter jacket for a round trip.
While Lima is at sea level, Cusco is at an alitude of 3400m and Lake Titicaca is even at over 3800m. If you travel directly by plane to one of these high places, you should definitely plan 2-3 days of relaxed days to get used to the altitude. Everybody reacts differently to height and it would be a pity if you ruin your holiday this way. It is best if the altitude slowly increases. This works out well if your round trip goes via Arequipa (2335m) for example.
Country and People
Spanish is the spoken language in Peru. In the hotels and with tour operators English is usually possible or there is at least one who can speak English. However, many Peruvians only speak Spanish. You will notice this when you go to the kiosk around the corner on your trip. But somehow with hands and feet you can always communicate.
In Peru there are also strikes from time to time. And when there’s a strike, it means the country is paralyzed. Then it can also happen that you have to postpone your trip for a day because the roads are blocked.
Peru has a lot to offer for tourists. The south of Peru is much more developed in terms of tourism. Here you can get along very well even without Spanish. The north is also said to be very beautiful and has great sights, but is less visited so far.
From the coast in the west to the Andes mountain range in the middle and the rainforest in the east, you can find a lot great places here. The most famous highlights of Peru are the Nasca Lines and Machu Picchu.
The currency in Peru is the Peruvian Sol. You can get money from the ATMs during your journey. Back then not every card worked at every bank. While at one bank onlly one of my credit cars worked and on another bank the other way around. At some banks both cards worked. Since it can happen that you have to look for another bank first, it is always advisable to have a cash reserve.
Peru is not considered to be the safest country, but it is also far from the worst countries in South America. With a little caution, there should be no problems and it should not be a reason to avoid Peru. In Lima especially the area around the airport is said to be unsafe. Also the other poor quarters should be avoided. Therefore you should rather look for accommodation in Miraflores, the tourist quarter.
In the local long-distance buses people get on and off in the dark in the middle of nowhere. You also hear stories that tourists were robbed while sleeping these buses. Therefore, better take one of the big long distance buses, for example Cruz del Sur. Costs a little more, but you get very comfortable big seats. The bus runs the fixed route from start to finish without stopping or people getting on and off.
Most people in Peru are very friendly and helpful. I never felt unsafe during my trip.
Before your journey check for the latest security information at the website of your Federal Foreign Office.
I did a round trip through the south of Peru. I show you the highlights in detail with lots of pictures. The links to the detail pages are directly below the overview map. The map should give you an overview where in Peru the described places are.
8 – Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain