Each year, hundreds of thousands of people flock to Peru to take in the sights. Why visit Peru? Perhaps it is the centuries of history evident in some of its most famous sites, such as Machu Picchu, or the delicious food and inviting people. It could even be the natural wonders, like the Amazon River and Colca canyon. Peru tours have all of this and much more.
Though it was built in the 1400s, much of the world did not know of Machu Picchu’s existence until 1911, when an archaeologist named Hiram Bingham set out to find Vilcabamba, the final Incan stronghold to be conquered by Spain. Local farmers told him of the existence of ancient
ruins that had gone virtually unnoticed by outsiders for hundreds of years. They guided him to the site, which historians now believe to have been a royal estate for Incan emperors and nobles. Bingham quickly wrote a book about all he had seen, and the world took a sharp and immediate
interest in learning more about this historical relic.
Getting to Machu Picchu:
Today, historically-minded visitors can travel to Machu Picchu on guided tours, designed to showcase its beauty and majesty. Tucked away in the mountains, getting to the site requires a moderate hike known as the Inca trail. A destination in its own right, this trail traverses about 26 miles of Peruvian panoramic views, reaching an ultimate elevation of 13,000 feet. Most of these guided tours start in or near Cusco, a city in the country’s southern region, and are conducted over the course of several days. Getting to Machu Picchu is as much of an adventure as seeing the ruins themselves.
The wonders of Machu Picchu:
Machu Picchu luxury tours are the best way to experience the splendor of one of the world’s most popular destinations. After completing the Inca trail, visitors can see some of the region’s most ancient iconography, such as the Temple of the Sun, which is bathed in light during the summer, and the Temple of Three Windows, one of the most religiously significant sites in the region. It only takes one luxury trip to Machu Picchu to understand why it has been designated one of the Seven New Wonders of the World.
MARVELS OF GEOGPRAHY
Any person drawn to breathtaking natural views would be well advised to travel on a Colca Canyon tour. Slicing through more than 60 miles of the Andes, the canyon is nearly twice as deep as the Grand Canyon, dipping more than two miles at its lowest point. Visitors can watch condors soar through the air above them as they trek through the world’s second deepest canyon. Thrill seekers can descend via a zigzag path, and will be rewarded with some of the most scenic views the country of Peru has to offer.
What would a guided tour of Peru be without a stop by the world’s greatest river? Just about 4,000 miles long, the Amazon carries a greater volume of water than any other river on the planet. Amazon River tours let people get up close and personal with wildlife, taking in the amazing biodiversity along its banks. Giant otters, dolphins, electric eels and jaguars are but a few of the animals that can be witnessed on the tour. In addition, visitors can see and learn about villages that few outside of the area ever get to experience.
EXPERIENCE PERUVIAN CULTURE
Food and Drink:
Peru food culture is much like the country itself: eclectic, dynamic, and steeped in history. The Humboldt current gives Peru some of the best seafood in the world, clear in dishes like ceviche, a flavorful preparation of raw fish marinated in citrus. Meat lovers are encouraged to chow down on marinated beef skewers known as antichucos, or aji de gallina, a hearty chicken stew. Wash it all down with pisco, the country’s national drink.
Right in the heart of the Andes is Cusco, one of the few cities deliberately preserved after the Spanish conquest in the 16th century. Today, Cusco tours in Peru showcase the city’s distinct religious iconography and ancient artifacts, as well as more modern attractions, such as Cienciano, Peru’s premier football team. Cusco is considered so important and historically significant that in 1983, UNESCO declared it to be a world heritage site.
Peru’s capital and largest city, Lima is home to nearly 10 million people, as well as some of the most important and interesting cultural artifacts the country has to offer. It is the location of the National University of San Marcos, the oldest continuously functioning university in the New World, as well as the highest concentration of museums in Peru. Travelers also often visit to review Lima’s churches, many of which date back to the 16th and 17th centuries.
Since the 1920s, drawings in the Nazca desert have puzzled historians and tourists alike. Are they roads? Irrigation markers? Positive proof that aliens once visited an ancient civilization? Nazca Lines theories are plentiful and in some cases fanciful, and this ongoing enigma continues to draw great interest. Despite research, they remain something of a mystery, meaning that visitors are free to visit, review, and add their own interpretations.
American and Canadian citizens must have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months beyond the intended return date in order to enter and depart Peru.Tourists must also provide proof of return or onward travel. Each traveler is responsible for ensuring that his/her passport is up to date. Citizens of other nationalities should check with respective authorities before departure. Please ensure that the name on your passport matches all travel documents we have issued. If this is not the case, please contact us immediately.
Please make a photocopy of your passport’s identification page and keep it separate from the original. It’s also a good idea to leave a digital copy with someone at home. This may speed the replacement process should you lose your passport.
American and Canadian citizens traveling on regular passports for business or tourist purposes do not need a visa for a stay of up to 90 days. Please note that if you are staying longer than 90 days, obtaining a visa is your responsibility. These requirements change often and therefore it is recommended that you check with the Embassy of Peru for the most up- to-date information.
Cancellation and Medical Insurance is highly recommended as it can safeguard against the expenses associated with in-country medical emergencies, lost or delayed baggage and emergency cancelation or interruption of your trip. Please ensure your policy will provide you with upfront medical coverage so that you are not responsible for a hefty doctor’s bill while away. Insurance can be purchased through us.
Some vaccines require more than one dose or a major length of time to be effective. For that reason, it is recommended to see your doctor or health provider at least 6 to 8 weeks before your trip. Please bring vaccination certificates with you in your carry-on luggage as you may need to present them on arrival.
Currently Recommended Vaccinations:
A Yellow Fever vaccination is recommended for those traveling to the jungle and cities nearby. It must be given at least 10 days before your trip in order to be effective.
You may also want to ask your travel health professional about tetanus, diphtheria, hepatitis A & B, malaria, rabies and typhoid, depending on the areas you will be visiting.
Altitude sickness is a risk at high levels such as Cusco (11,200 ft/3,414 metres). Give yourself time to acclimatise before setting off into the mountains. Walk slowly and drink plenty of water.
If there are any medical items essential to your health, such as prescription drugs or corrective eye wear, bring duplicates and divide them between your checked bags and hand luggage. While non-prescription drugs such as aspirin are generally available, it is difficult to replace prescription items. Other recommended Items:
Suggested items to pack:
Electricity: 220 volts AC, 60Hz. (110 volts AC is available in most 4- and 5-star hotels.) In Peru, you will find the following sockets: A, B, C.
Phone: Coverage is good throughout most of the country. Check with your phone company to see if there are roaming agreements before your departure. You can rent mobile phones in Lima and the main cities, or buy Peruvian SIM cards.
Mobile Telephone: Roaming agreements exist with some international mobile phone companies. Mobile phones can be rented in Lima and the main cities. Coverage is sporadic.
Internet: Service is widely available in main cities and most towns. Wireless access is available in most urban areas, airports, hotels and shopping centres. In big cities such as Lima, you’ll find numerous Internet cafés.
The official currency of Peru is the Peruvian Nuevo Sol (PEN) which is divided into 100 céntimos (cents). Nuevo Sol notes come in denominations of S200, 100, 50, 20 and 10. Coins are available in S5, 2 and 1 Nuevos Soles, and 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1 céntimos (cents). The official exchange rate is published daily in the newspapers and online at www.xe.com.
Language: Spanish, Quechua and Aymara are the official languages in addition to 50 native languages. English is spoken in major tourist areas.
Currency: Peruvian Nuevo Sol, divided into 100 cents.
Religion: 89 percent is Roman Catholic, 7 percent Evangelical and 4 percent unspecified
Time Zone: GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) – 5 GMT
Electricity: 220 volts AC, 60Hz. (110 volts AC is available in most 4- and 5-star hotels)
Telephone: Country code is +51. International calls to Peru: call 011 + 51 + city code + phone number.
Calling North America: Dial 011 + area code and your 7-digit number
Emergency telephone number: throughout Peru, call 105