Epic landscapes and Spanish colonial history
Peru is a large country in the west of South America, with a long Pacific Ocean coastline and borders with Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Colombia and Bolivia. The variety of landscapes in Peru ranges from verdant tropical rainforests to soaring mountain peaks and barren coastal plains. Such remarkable diversity gives visitors an opportunity to enjoy a wide range of experiences, from trekking the Inca Trails all the way to the Machu Picchu ruins, to relaxing on spectacular Pacific Coast beaches. Peru's capital city, Lima, is a Spanish colonial metropolis with bags of character and tons of interesting sites. You can spend the day visiting museums to discover more about the history and culture of Peru's ancient civilisations and colonial past, then head to the classy Miraflores district for some shopping and a lively night out in bars, restaurants and nightclubs.
Exploring Machu Picchu is a once in a lifetime experience that should be grasped with both hands. The Inca trail and the beautiful scenery of the Peruvian Andes is perfectly complemented by the superb coastal beaches and Peru’s historic capital city, Lima.
When to Go?
Near the beaches and coastal areas, the summer (December to March) is hot and humid and rain showers are quite common. Of course much of the tourism in Peru centres on the world famous Machu Picchu. The best time to visit Machu Picchu is in the Peruvian autumn/winter period. May is one of the better months to travel if you want to avoid the summer rains and the peak tourist crowds between June and August.
How to get there?
Although there are no direct flights to Peru from the UK, there are several options for indirect flights. KLM offers flights to Jorge Chavez International Airport (LIM) in the capital Lima, via Amsterdam (AMS). The Chilean flag carrier LAN Airlines has flights to Peru with connections in Madrid, to destinations such as Lima and Piura. There are also Peru flights with connections in US cities such as New York, Miami and Atlanta.
The absolute must-see attraction of a holiday in Peru are the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu, located high up on a ridge above the Urubamba Valley in the Andes. The journey by bus along a winding dirt road is not for the fainthearted, but the rewards are well worth it. Alternatively, the fit and adventurous could try walking either the shorter 2-day, or the longer 4-day Inca Trail on foot, experiencing some breathtaking scenery along the way. The capital Lima has a beautiful historic centre with magnificent palaces and squares, and buildings such as the beautiful 16th century Lima Cathedral.