Peru

Peru, the Incas’ heartland, is still dotted with structures of this great empire’s ability as master builders, most notably Machu Picchu. Visiting this secret fortress in the highlands is enough to inspire frequent visitors, but the Incas were only one of many people with a legacy to investigate. The terrain is very diverse, ranging from beautiful beaches in the west to the Andes in the center and the rainforest and the quieter tributaries of the Peruvian Amazon jungle in the east.

Among the varied landscapes that Peru offers, explorers can fly over the enigmatic Nazca Lines or take a wildlife adventure on the Ballestas Islands in Paracas, two of the world’s most advanced ancient civilizations. Know the Afro-American culture of Chincha, the vineyards of Pisco grapes – the distilled drink flag of Peru-and two of the world’s deepest canyons just outside the colonial city of Arequipa, Colca.If you want to go further, take a boat trip on Lake Titicaca, the world’s highest navigable lake. The deep blue water reflecting the vast sky is peaceful and wonderful.

Meet the fascinating North Pre-Inca Cultures, including sites like the Pyramids of Tucume & Museum, the Lord of Sipan Museum, the most extensive mud citadel of the world Chan Chan, the archeological site of the Lady of Cao, and the temples of the Sun and the Moon in Trujillo.

PERU HIGHLIGHTS

  • Pisco vineyards, Ica & Chincha
  • Paracas & Ballestas Islands 
  • Nasca Lines overflight
  • Chanchan pre-Columbian adobe city & Trujillo
  • Lord of Sipan & Pomaq Nat. Park in Chiclayo 
  • Tucume pyramids & Chiclayo
  • Machu Picchu & Cusco
  • Lima – culinary, cultural and historical experience
  • Titikaka Lake & Puno
  • The Heart of the Amazon by Small Ship

QUESTIONS?


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Time and Weather

Peru is located just south of the Equator, and it has three climate zones:

A coastal desert strip (called la Costa), with a mild climate that is cloudy and foggy in winter and pleasantly warm in summer. The temperature varies little during the year and is almost always spring-like. The daily temperature ranges from 18 °C to 24 °C in the north; from 17 °C to 23 °C in the middle (Lima and Trujillo); and from 15 °C to 22 °C in the south (Arequipa).

The Andean zone (la Sierra) is more or less cold, depending on altitude. Daytime temperatures in the Andean area do not vary much during the year, while nights are cooler in the winter months, especially in the south. At night, the temperature can drop below freezing (0 °C or 32 °F) above 3,000 meters (9,800 ft) from May to August.

The Amazonian forest (la Selva) has a hot and humid climate all year. Temperatures in this region of the Amazon are consistently hot. However, the temperature drops in the winter; the average lowest temperature drops to around 15 °C.

The best time to visit

The rainiest time to explore the Andes and the Amazon is between January and April, with the Inca Trail closed in February. Travel is still feasible, and Machu Picchu is still open — it will just be more difficult for those who desire to hike. As February draws close, the Inca Trail reopens, and more people begin to come, especially as Easter approaches; this is also an excellent time to go if you want to combine a trip to Peru with the Galapagos Islands.

Between May and September, when the rains in the Andes have stopped, may enjoy bright, sunny days and cool, crisp evenings at altitude. This time of year is ideal for taking in all of Peru’s attractions, from appreciating Machu Picchu in the sun to taking a boat ride on Lake Titicaca under bright blue sky and climbing against backgrounds of snow-capped mountains. In June, those wanting to go should begin planning six to nine months and up to 12 months if you will climb the Inca Trail but have a limited travel window.

You can go all year round to the jungle, but keep in mind the two seasons marked by the rising and falling waters of the affluents of the Amazon. The high water season is between late November and early May, where the forests are flooded, allowing you to go further into the jungle but with less land to walk on, while the low water season, the rest of the year, is better for fishing and you can walk more. Flora and fauna will still be abundant, and there are always breaks in showers.

Wildlife

Peru’s varied fauna is owed to the three significant habitats within its borders, notably the Andes Mountains, the Amazon, and the arid Pacific coastline. This is one of the most biodiverse nations you may ever visit, with 28 of the 32 climatic zones on our globe. Over 1,800 bird species, 500 animals and 300 reptiles, several amphibians, and innumerable insects, including an estimated 450 kinds of colorful butterflies, are all present. Among this biodiversity are some of the world’s rarest species, like the elusive puma and the endangered spectacled bear.

There is little doubt that Peru is one of the most outstanding birding locations in the world. These bird species are distinguished by their vibrant colors, peculiar cries, unusual mating dances, and other distinctive characteristics and habits. The most frequent are parrots and parakeets, which may be observed flocking to the clay licks to receive some of the most necessary antioxidants and salt to balance their acidic fruit diet. Toucans, numerous hummingbird species, rainbow-colored jays, and a dazzling variety of other birds may also be seen fluttering over the canopy. Many of these may be spotted and identified with the assistance of a naturalist guide. The scavenging Andean Condor has a remarkable wingspan of about 10 feet, making it one of the world’s most enormous birds of flight. Because of its size, it relies on the mountains’ windy environment and air currents to soar.

 

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