The South American country of Peru is well-known and highly visited for its ancient ruins and the Inca trail. However, there’s so much more to see during a stay like the Amazon rainforest, diverse geography, art, festivals and ancient culture, and the costs are relatively inexpensive. Convinced, yet? If not, here are five facts about Peru.
Getting around Peru is actually relatively easy, with an array of options available. Lima has intra-city buses that operate well towards museums and the suburbs and microbuses are available but vary on distances. Uber is also available in Lima, Cusco, and Arequipa which is a great way to save some cash on travel. Registered taxis are another option, but avoid unlicensed taxis. There are also cruises in the Amazon region, and boats and planes are another great way to get around.
2. Hiking and Walking
If you do want to tackle the difficult but rewarding Inca trail to Machu Picchu, be sure to plan ahead and make a booking well in advance as it’s highly popular and spots do get snapped up. The winding, multiple day hike is well worth it though as you meander the trail of the Incas through ancient ruins and mountainous jungle. There’s plenty of other hiking and walking available in the country that’s less strenuous such as the Cola Canyon, the deepest in the world, Iquitos – a city amidst the rainforest for jungle exploration, or perhaps Arequipa known as the White City for its construction from white volcanic ash.
Unknown to most, Peru is home to thousands of wildlife species. In the PacayaSamiria National Reserve (north of the Amazon jungle) alone, there is immense biodiversity with many of species of mammals, birds, reptiles and aquatic life as well as flora and fauna. Particularly impressive is the pink river dolphin, for which there are opportunities to swim with, the spider monkeys in the jungle and the jaguar. In the south of Peru known as Paracas, you can even spot sea lions and penguins perched along the river banks.
Aside from all the hiking and walking, Peru does offer some elements of relaxation in its vast landscape. Beautiful beaches dot the coast, with surfing facilities among other watersports available for your leisure. A great well-known spot for this type of activity is Mancora beach, which experiences constant sunshine throughout the year and suitable waves for surfing. On the other end of the spectrum is a beautiful desert oasis in Huacachina for a perfect relaxing destination by the lagoon, surrounded by palm trees, with sandboarding and sandbuggies on offer nearby.
5. Safety and Altitude
Due to the mostly mountainous terrain of Peru, altitude sickness should be taken into account. Particularly if you’re traveling to Machu Picchu, take care and keep hydrated with bottled water, lower your alcohol intake, and rest well to help prevent illness. Where safety is concerned, some parts of Peru are subject to violent crime and civil unrest and should be avoided during a trip. It’s best to try not to venture out alone after dark, and stay away from areas within 25km of the Colombian and Ecquardorian borders at non-official checkpoints.
And there you have it! Some added information about Peru and its wondrous culture and landscape that make it well worth a visit.