Skip to Content

Peru Travel Guide: Travel Tips for Visiting

Peru is a gem in the crown of South America, offering a perfect mix of ancient history, vibrant culture, and stunning landscapes.

In this Peru travel guide, we’ll share essential tips for visiting, including the best things to do in Peru, where to stay, and how to get around this fascinating country.

Best Things to Do in Peru

1. Explore the ancient citadel of Machu Picchu

Panoramic view of Machu Picchu
Leo McGilly / Shutterstock

Machu Picchu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a must-visit destination for travelers seeking a truly unforgettable experience in Peru. This ancient Inca city, nestled in the breathtaking landscape of the Andes’ cloud forests, is full of fascinating history and offers stunning panoramic views.

To make the most of your visit to this iconic site, consider joining one of the highly rated Machu Picchu tours or challenging yourself with a hike on the classic Inca Trail. Due to the limited availability of permits for the trail, it’s essential to plan and book well in advance to avoid disappointment.

With its awe-inspiring beauty and rich cultural significance, you’ll quickly realize why it’s the adventure of a lifetime when you visit Machu Picchu.

2. Experience the enigmatic Nazca Lines

Cat drawing at Nazca in Peru
Leonid Andronov / Shutterstock

Another must-see attraction in Peru is the mysterious Nazca Lines. These massive geoglyphs, etched into the arid plains of southern Peru, can only be fully appreciated from the air.

Board a small plane for a flightseeing tour and marvel at the intricate designs, including animals, plants, and geometric shapes. Theories behind the lines’ purpose range from astronomical to religious, adding an element of intrigue to your visit.

See Related: Best Ancient Ruins & Archeological Sites in the World

3. Discover the rich history of Cusco

View of Plaza de Armas in Cusco Peru
Pocholo Calapre / Shuttertsock

Cusco, once the capital of the Inca Empire, is a vibrant city filled with historical sites, colorful markets, and charming cobblestone streets. Key attractions include the impressive Qorikancha temple, the majestic Cusco Cathedral, and the nearby ruins of Sacsayhuaman. With its mix of Inca and Spanish colonial architecture, Cusco is the perfect starting point for your Peru travel guide itinerary.

4. Sail on the serene waters of Lake Titicaca

Uros floating islands on Titicaca lake in Peru
Aleksandar Todorovic / Adobe Stock

Straddling the border between Peru and Bolivia, Lake Titicaca is the world’s highest navigable lake. Visit the unique Uros floating islands made entirely of reeds and experience the traditional way of life of the local communities. Don’t miss the chance to explore the beautiful Isla Taquile, known for its stunning landscapes, fascinating history, and vibrant textiles.

5. Trek through the breathtaking Colca Canyon

Stepped terraces in Colca Canyon in Peru
donyanedomam / Adobe Stock

Colca Canyon, one of the world’s deepest canyons, offers spectacular scenery and the chance to spot the majestic Andean condor. Embark on a multi-day trek to fully immerse yourself in the natural beauty of this region, or take a day trip from the nearby city of Arequipa to witness the canyon’s main attraction, the Cruz del Condor viewpoint.

Where to stay in Peru

Accommodation in Peru varies from luxury hotels to rustic lodges, depending on the area you’re visiting. If your budget allows, we recommend staying at one of the luxurious eco-lodges in some of Peru’s most stunning places.

But if you’re looking for something more affordable, plenty of options suit every traveler’s needs and preferences. Some top choices include the following:

How to Get Around in Peru

Peru offers various modes of transportation to help you explore its diverse landscapes and attractions. Flying is the quickest way to cover long distances, with several domestic airlines operating flights between major cities such as Lima, Cusco, and Arequipa. For a more budget-friendly option, consider taking long-distance buses, which are comfortable and widely available.

Taxis and colectivos (shared minivans) are popular for shorter distances, while larger cities like Lima and Cusco offer reliable public transportation systems. When exploring more remote areas, renting a car can allow you to travel at your own pace. Book your rental car through RentalCars.com for a wide selection of vehicles and competitive prices.

Weather in Peru by Month

Month Average High (°F) Average Low (°F) Average Precipitation (in)
January 75 64 5.1
February 75 64 5.2
March 75 64 6.3
April 75 63 3.7
May 74 62 0.9
June 73 60 0.2
July 72 59 0.1
August 72 59 0.2
September 72 59 0.3
October 73 60 0.6
November 73 61 1.1
December 74 62 3.1

Travel Tips for Visiting Peru

Before embarking on your Peruvian adventure, keep in mind these essential tips to make the most of your visit:

1. Acclimate to the high altitude

Tourist Taking a Photo of Machu Picchu
Giantrabbit / Shutterstock

Peru’s top destinations, including Cusco, Machu Picchu, and Lake Titicaca, are at high altitudes. To minimize the risk of altitude sickness, take time to acclimate by spending a few days in a lower-elevation city like Arequipa or Lima before venturing higher. Additionally, drink plenty of water, avoid heavy meals, and consider taking altitude sickness medication if necessary.

2. Embrace the local cuisine

Grilled amazonian fish at the Iquitos market in Loreto, Peru
Curioso.Photography / Shutterstock

Peru is known for its diverse and flavorful cuisine, making it a culinary paradise for food lovers. Don’t miss the opportunity to try ceviche, lomo saltado, and other traditional Peruvian dishes at local markets and restaurants. Be adventurous and try some local delicacies like cuy (guinea pig) or alpaca.

3. Stay safe and be aware of your surroundings

Market Ollantaytambo in Peru
jurgen / Adobe Stock

While Peru is generally safe for tourists, it’s essential to stay vigilant and take precautions to avoid petty crime, especially in crowded areas. Keep your belongings secure, be cautious when using ATMs, and avoid walking alone in unfamiliar areas after dark.

See Related: Cheapest Shopping Destinations in the World

4. Purchase travel insurance for peace of mind

Travel Insurance Form and Travel Documents
photobyphotoboy / Adobe Stock

Unexpected events can occur during any trip, so purchasing travel insurance before setting off is wise. This will cover you for medical emergencies, trip cancellations, and lost luggage, among other things. Visit VisitorsCoverage.com to find a suitable insurance plan for your needs when you visit Peru.

See Related: What’s the Average Cost of Travel Insurance? Everything You Need to Know

5. Learn some basic Spanish phrases

Spanish flag-themed notebook with "Hablas español?" words
Evgeniya Primavera / Adobe Stock

While English is spoken in many tourist areas, learning basic Spanish phrases will significantly enhance your experience. Locals will appreciate your effort to communicate in their language, and it will help you navigate the country more easily.

With these tips and our South American travel guide, you’re well-equipped to make the most of your trip to Peru. From the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu to the serene waters of Lake Titicaca, Peru offers countless opportunities for adventure, exploration, and cultural immersion. Happy travels!

Related Resources

Overview and Travel Essentials
Overview
Location
Peru
Time Zone
PET
Driving Side
Right
Measurement System
Metric
Internet TLD
.pe
Travel Essentials
Currency
PEN S/.
Electrical Standards
220 V / 60 Hz / Plug Type A & C
Emergency Numbers
105
Language Codes
es
Mobile Country Code
716
Map

More from ViaTravelers

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    ↑ Top