Travel Guide

Guide for travelers

Let us guide you through Peru

We want to share with you very useful information that will help you to know more about the places your ar going to visit in Peru. With this guide you’ll be able to travel prepared for every new experience around a whole very diverse country without taking a risk.

Overview

As the capital of the Inca Empire, which extended from Colombia to Chile, the city of Cusco has played an important role in Peru throughout history and to this day. Due to the incredible infrastructure developed by the Incas, that is, the commerce systems, roads, etc., the Spaniards, who colonized the area, used Cusco as their main base of operations in Peru. Located in the center, it gave the Spaniards the opportunity to establish themselves comfortably, create productive trade routes and spread Christianity in all Andean communities, creating a political and religious epicenter.

Today, Cusco (World Heritage Site since 1983) is a thriving city with the highest tourism rate in the country. The incredible architecture, the delicious food, a rich history and its proximity to the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu and several other Inca ruins make Cusco a perfect starting point for several of Peru’s most famous attractions.

 

Information

• Cusco geography and climate

It is located in the valley of the Huatanay River in the Andes mountain range at 3,399 m above sea level (11,151 feet) Surrounded by the Vilcabamba mountain range and next to the Sacred Valley.

• Cusco climate

The rainy season occurs during the summer months from November to March, while the dry season passes during the winter months from April to October. During the dry season, you can expect blue skies, however, when the sun moves behind the clouds or after sunset, it can get very cold. Packing warm clothes and dressing in layers is essential for the area. Even during the rainy season, most days will exhibit some sun, so while you want a rain jacket and an umbrella; The temperatures are still very comfortable and the days are pleasant.

Cusco transportation

• By flight

Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport is a one-run airport located in the center of the urban area of ​​Cusco. Departure taxes are now included in the ticket price, however, it is still good to check with your travel agent to make sure.

• By bus

From Puno, you can choose to take a direct bus or a tourist bus, as provided by Turismo Mer. From Lima or Arequipa, you can take Cruz Del Sur, Ormeño or Tepsa, which guarantees a safe and quite comfortable trip.

The approximate travel times are:

Lima: 22hrs

Puno: 8hrs

Arequipa: 10hrs

Reaching in Cusco

Walking through the streets of Cusco is not only easy, but the best way to see the sites, admiring the architecture of its cathedrals, squares and the combination of Spanish colonial design with the impeccable Inca stonework.

 

Attractions

• Main Square

It was the scene of many key events in the history of Cusco. Today is the bustling center of the city with many of the key services, hotels and restaurants. On one side of the square is the Cathedral. It was the first Spanish cathedral in the city and built on the foundations of the Inca Viracoccha.

 

• Qoricancha

Also known as «Temple of the Inti» it was the most significant temple in Inca Cusco and is a masterpiece of Inca architecture. The carved granite blocks, perfectly fitted together, demonstrate the superior technology of the Incas. In its days, the walls were adorned in gold and silver in honor of the sun and showing the wealth and exemplary abilities of the Incas.

• Sacsayhuaman

For years it was thought that the ceremonial center was a military fortress, but after further investigation, it is believed to be a temple in the sun, and until today it is used as the central place of celebration for Inti Raymi on June 24. The slabs used to build the center are so uniform that it is impossible to place a piece of paper between two blocks, despite the fact that they have a variety of different shapes and sizes.

• Q’enko

Another set of ruins located on the outskirts of Cusco is Q’enko, which means ‘zigzag’, and seems to have functioned as an amphitheater. The temple gets its name from the number of channels that cross the stone.

• San Blas district

Stretching up a hill and overlooking the city is the charming and beautiful San Blas district. Offering some of the best views of the city, the alleyways set like a maze, provide some of the best meandering opportunities in Cusco. As you wander through the streets, every twist is filled with sun-filled plazas, quaint churches, coffee shops, galleries and restaurants. The district has something of a bohemian reputation, with many of the trendier hang outs in the city being found here. An afternoon or evening in San Blas is highly recommended; visitors can expect to plunge into a diverse mix of Andean and modern artistic culture.

Museum

• Precolombian Art Museum

Las Nazarenas Square

Tel: +51 84 233210

Located in the former home of a 16th-century conqueror, this pre-Columbian art museum exhibits a fantastic collection of more than 450 pieces, some of which date from 1250 BC. C.

• Inka Museum

Slope of Admiral 103

Also known as the Archaeological Museum of Cusco, the museum is exceptionally well designed, using the space to show the development of civilization in the Andes and Peru. The main attraction of this archaeological museum is its collection of Inca mummies.

• Museum of Contemporary Art

This museum is a new look at the artistic heritage of Cusco, with local modern artists who make various interpretations of their city. The first and third rooms show works of art that have been directly influenced by Cusco, there is also a small courtyard that exhibits native masks and models of several buildings in Cusco.

• Choco Museum

Garcilaso 210 Street

Tel: +51 84 24 47 65

ChocoMuseo has its own artisanal chocolate factory that produces chocolate from Peruvian organic cocoa beans. ChocoMuseo offers chocolate workshops to make their own tours of chocolate and cocoa farms to see how real life is in a plantation. A unique experience for the whole family!

Overview

The Sacred Valley is located in the Cusco region and is the gateway to Machu Picchu.

It includes the entire region between Pisac and Ollantaytamo and houses an incredible landscape, as it is surrounded by the impressive Andes and formed by the Urubamba River.

The most beautiful places to visit are the city of Pisac with its ruins and the daily market, the city and the ruins of Ollantaytambo, as well as the circular terraces of Moray and the salt terraces of Maras, all the remains of the Inca era and Your dedication to agriculture

Visitors looking for a break from the hectic life of the whole day and the busy city of Cusco will find a place to relax in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, while adventurous travelers will have the opportunity to choose from some of the various activities available , such as cycling, kayaking, horseback riding and trekking.

Overview

Discovered in 1911 by the American historian Hiram Bingham (probably built around 1450), it became the most famous site of Inca construction. Machu Picchu is one of the most important sites in South America and one of the most visited in Latin America; The most visited in Peru. It was declared a Peruvian Historic Sanctuary in 1981 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. In addition, it was voted one of the new Seven Wonders of the World in 2007.

 

Information

• Machu picchu geography and climate

Machu Picchu, 80 km northwest of Cusco, is located on the summit of Machu Picchu mountain above the Urubamba valley in the Andes mountain range at 2,430 above sea level (7,970 feet).

• Climate machu picchu

As Machu Picchu is located more than 1000 m lower than Cusco, it has a milder climate.

The rainy season occurs during the summer months from November to March, and the dry season passes during the winter months from April to October. During the dry season, you can expect blue skies since the rain is virtually unknown at this time; however, from time to time you can expect foggy clouds in the morning, which gives a site a mysterious appearance.

Even during the rainy season, most days will exhibit some sun, so while you want a rain jacket and an umbrella; The temperatures are still very comfortable and the days are pleasant.

 

Machu Picchu transportation

• Reaching Machu Picchu

To Aguas Calientes, you will take a panoramic train trip (either from Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley or from Poroy, located 20 minutes from the city center of Cusco. You will board the Expedition train or the most comfortable Vistadome train, which will provide you with a Glass roof and seats that are even more comfortable. For the most luxurious travelers there is also the possibility of boarding the Hiram Bingham train, which named after the famous discoverer of Machu Picchu.

In case you arrive in Machu Picchu through the ancient Inca Trail, you will arrive at Puerta del Sol, the ancient Inca entrance gate, and enjoy an incredible first view of the Machu Picchu site.

 

Attractions

• The Control Door

The control gate can be found in front of the main gateway. It consists of a three-wall room with several windows. From the control gate you have an incredible panoramic view of both the agricultural and urban sectors.

• Sun Temple

This semicircle-shaped construction was built on solid rock, an existing granite block, shaped to match natural curves. It consists of highly polished polyhedra. Inside the building, you will find two trapezoidal windows with protruding knobs on each corner, and on the north side there is a carefully sculpted door with boring holes in the door jamb. To the west of the temple there is a rectangular courtyard with nine ceremonial doors, which alternate with prism-shaped uprights.

• Door Sun

One of the old entrances to Machu Picchu, the end of the Inca Trail, and even today, all travelers, walking along the Inca Trail, arrive at this point, enjoying the first incredible view of the morning over Machu Picchu, before head towards a closer look.

It consists of two stones perched in a narrow passage in the crack of the mountain just above Machu Picchu. The Puerta del Sol has its name due to the sun that shines brightly through this portal every morning during sunrise.

• Intihuatan Stone

Numerous studies show that the Intihuatans were used as reference points to determine magnetic north. However, it sure was a ritual place of great religious importance.

• Temple of The Three Windows

It is one of the most impressive architectural buildings in Machu Picchu. Its name is due to the fact that its main face has three windows and two blind bays. The huge polyhedra have been carved and joined with pinpoint accuracy. In front of the Wayrana-style building, on the large door jamb next to the central column that supports the ceiling, there is a sculpted lithograph with carefully polished molds and flat parts.

• Condor Temple

The Temple of the Condor is a huge collection of buildings, in irregular shapes, that seem to follow the natural shape of the rock. It is named because of a large carved stone, in which many people tend to see the representation of the condor.

• Incan Bridge

After a 30-minute walk on a narrow path from the site of Machu Picchu, always guided by spectacular nature, you will arrive at the Inca Bridge.

This construction was supposed to be a secret entrance to Machu Picchu for the Inca army and is part of a mountain trail west of Machu Picchu.

Overview

Puno is the Peruvian gateway to the islands of Lake Titicaca, located just over 12,500 feet above sea level. From the first moment of arrival, the incredible landscapes, the rolling hills and the calm waters of Lake Titicaca, which reflect a clear blue sky, attract all visitors.

Among the islands closest to the coast of Puno are Uros, Amantani and Taquile, prolific along the shores of Lake Titicaca are the reeds of totora, which not only provide the base from which the famous islands  created Uros floating, but also provide a source of nutrition for the inhabitants.

 

Information

• Puno geography and climate

Puno has very little flat land and this is evident as the city continues to grow in the surrounding hills. It borders Bolivia to the east and bordered by the Carabaya Mountain Range to the north and the Maritime or Volcanic Mountain Range to the south, the area has a unique geography.

Lake Titicaca, the highest commercially navigable lake in the world, spans more than 3,100 square miles and two countries. Throughout the lake, there are more than thirty islands, both artificial and natural.

• Weather

The rainy season occurs during the summer months from November to March, and the dry season passes during the winter months from April to October. Temperatures range from 59º F / 15º C to 71º F / 22º C in summer and around 41º F / 5º C to 60º F / 16º C in winter.

 

Puno transportation

• Inca Manco Capac International Airport

Located in the city of Juliaca, this is the closest airport to the city, approximately thirty minutes away.

• Bus

It is more common for travelers to arrive in Puno by bus, taking a tourist bus along the way. Another very attractive option, although more expensive, is the tourist train, Andean Explorer, which operates three times a week from Cusco; For more details, consult one of our expert travel consultants.

• Get around town

The most convenient way to get around the city is on foot, since the center is small and all the points of interest are within walking distance of each other. If the altitude makes walking a bit tiring, you can easily take a taxi.

Attractions

• Mirador Kuntur Wasi and Huajsapata Park

To the southwest of the main square, there are two viewpoints on top of a steep hill that offer an outstanding view of the lake and its surroundings. At the top, you will find a gleaming white statue of MancoCápac. 

• Floating islands of The Uros

A popular tourist stop, where the Aymaras build their houses on artificial islands, all made with the large number of reeds. The islands move with the winds and the locals even join islands for festivals and occasionally play a football game.

• Amantaní and Taquile islands

These islands offer the opportunity to experience life in the past, sharing life with the natives and the beautiful landscape. Visitors offered the opportunity to enjoy a stay on any of the islands and the opportunity to share their ways of life and see how their splendid textiles cleverly created. Recommended program: 2 days / 1 night.

• Yavari Project

This steamboat built in the United Kingdom in 1861, and was then unloaded in packing boxes and parts to the port of Arica, where it incredibly transported by mules over the Andes to Puno. Now registered as a museum, it docked in the Bay of Puno, outside the Hotel Sonesta Posada del Inca Puno.

• Virgin of The Candelaria fest

It takes place in the first half of February of each year, and represents the largest and most important cultural, musical and dance event in Peru, and one of the three most important.

Overview

Located 200mi (325Km) from Lima and 435mi (701km) from Arequipa, the city of Ica is the heart of the Ica region. This is a region that also houses Pisco, Nazca and Paracas, not only will you find the best Pisco and wine made here, but Ica also houses the Regional Museum, one of the best museums in Peru.

The continuously sunny climate it is a thriving center of agriculture, which grows grapes, cotton, asparagus, olives and more. Its unique liquor, Pisco, made from grapes is a source of pride for all Peruvians. Here you will also find the Huacachina Oasis, the last of what were once four lagoons in the area.

Health and security

Drinking only bottled water is a good idea. There are two types of water you can buy; with gas or without gas. Be sure to eat in good restaurants and buy fruits in quality supermarkets. If you buy fruit in a street market, be very careful to wash it well before eating.

Important note: the water is not potable, it is okay to use it to brush your teeth and cook (whenever it is boiled), but it should not be taken directly from the tap.

 

Attractions 

• Huacachina Oasis

Huacachina is a lovely oasis in the middle of the desert. Its Quechua name means «The Weeping Lady». Surrounded on the coast by small restaurants and hotels and by the sandy and steep dunes, Huacachina is the ideal place to spend an afternoon, ending the day while the sun sets on an adventurous ride.

• Museo Regional de Ica

Jr. Ayabaca Street, Block 8 s / n

Ceramics and other findings from the Nazca and Paracas areas are next to mummies and medical devices, showing a high practice of surgery in this area by ancient Peruvian cultures. You will also find several artifacts from the colonial, independence and early republican times, as well as a large-scale model of the Nazca Lines behind the museum.

• Wine and pisco wineries

Famous for its namesake Pisco liquor, Ica is the perfect area to take a tour of the local wineries and wineries. The most popular are: Vista Alegre, Tacama, Ocucaje. Not only will you learn about the process of making these excellent wines and spirits, but you will also have the opportunity to taste the result. 

• La Vendimia (Wine Festival)

It takes place during the second week of March; the festival includes fairs, competitions, parades, musical shows and parties. You will also find the Queen of the Wine Festival and her maidens trampling the grapes in a tank according to the ancient tradition. Like any festival in Peru is not complete without its special dishes and desserts, here you can try the tasty tiles, made from nuts or candied fruits, stuffed with caramel and covered with icing sugar, following the flavor of the famous Pisco – directly or as the delicious Pisco sour.

Overview

The Nazca area been inhabited by several pre-Inca cultures and then dominated by the Incas, the area is rich in ingenious primitive technology as seen in the Cantayoc Aqueducts, as well as in fine arts that are shown in the distinctive artistic style of its Ceramics Of course, Nazca is most famous for its lines, which were discovered in 1927. There are still questions why these lines created, why they are only visible from the air and what their main purpose. Both the Nazca lines and the Nazca culture remain a mystery until today, you will also find other areas worth visiting, such as Cahuachi, Estaquería, the cemetery of Chauchilla and Paredones.

Geography and climate

Nazca has a dry and sunny climate throughout the year with an average temperature of 27 ° C (80 ° F) during the summer months and 18 ° C (60 ° F) in winter, but with higher temperatures during the higher part of the year, it frequently referred to as the “Eternal Summer city”

 

Transport 

• Getting Tonazca

Buses leave Lima regularly and the trip can last between six and eight hours, depending on the company and the number of stops along the way. Visitors can also choose to visit Nazca from Paracas (3½ hours) or near Ica (2 hours)

• Getting around Nazca

Navigating Nazca is quite easy, since most of the services are within walking distance of the main hotels and the square. If you need a taxi, the use of a safe car should not cost more than S / 3 to travel to most areas.

Attractions

• Nazca Lines

Declared an Archaeological World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1994, the Nazca lines and their origins remain a mystery to this day. The geoglyphs cover about 450 km2. To truly appreciate the figures you must take a flight.

• Cantayoc Acueducts

A system of circular and spiral aqueducts shows the high level of technology for the first Nazca culture, not only are they still functional today, but they are an architectural beauty that is well worth a visit.

• Chauchilla

This pre-Inca cemetery contains open graves where you can now visit the mummified remains of the original inhabitants.

• Maria Reich Planetary

Jr. Bolognesi Street Nº 300

This planetarium offers daily lectures that focus on archeology and astronomy. In case the night is clear, each show  followed by a view of the constellations of the season, as well as the planets and other celestial objects seen from the backyard of the observatory, as well as through a telescope.

• Antonini Archaeological Museum

Avenue of Culture 606

An excellent museum that shows the regional culture of Nazca. Visitors can see from reproductions of funeral tombs to ceramic flutes, common in the area. Outside, guests can enjoy the museum garden that houses an original and functioning aqueduct of Nazca’s primitive past.

 

Restaurants

• The Lines

Jr. Arica 299-A

Tel. 056 / 522-066

It serves Peruvian food such as ceviche and garlic chicken, despite having the appearance of a Chinese restaurant.

• The Huarango

Jr. Arica 602

Tel. 056 / 521-287

It is one of the best restaurants in Nazca, which offers cheap meals and a roof garden.

• The Bar

Jr. Lima 321

Tel. 056 / 806-783

Probably the best in the city, with a varied international menu, live music and signatures of hundreds of international travelers who visited before.

• Las Cañas

Bolognesi 279

Tel. 056/806-891

Serves a large menu of Peruvian and international dishes, including ceviche, pastas, salads, and hamburgers; it is quite a hangout on weekend nights.

Overview

Located near Paracas, the Ballestas Islands are a small group of islands composed mainly of rock formations. The islands are a rich treasure of ecological beauty and fauna; More than 150 species of birds can only found here.

The islands also house a large number of sea lions that can see resting on the coast of the islands, and if you are very lucky, you can see dolphins or whales that crawl through the waters of this island. Zone. Visitors cannot walk to the islands themselves. However, the views of marine life from the boat are always excellent.

In addition to the spectacular opportunity to see wildlife, you will also pass by the shore where you can see the famous El Candelabro geoglyph, located on the sandy hills overlooking the sea. The lines that represent the three-pointed candlestick measure 150 m high, 50 m wide and 60 cm deep and remain a mystery to this day why they created.

Overview

Amazonas is one of the most remote territories in Peru: comparatively, little of it is inhabited or explored. However, with well-developed facilities for Eco travelers, the benefits of traveling here are clear: visitors will be, with little effort, rewarded with a treasure of unforgettable close encounters of wild nature.

The boats go up the river, pass several good country houses and enter the Tambopata National Reserve. One of the highlights of the reserve is the Macaw Colpa, one of the largest natural clay sheets in the country. It attracts hundreds of birds and is a spectacular sight.

Overview

Arequipa, the second largest city in Peru, known as the «White City». The buildings, made of a white volcanic stone known as “sillar”, give Arequipa its distinctive and wonderful appearance.

Blessed with a spring weather and almost 300 days of sunshine throughout the year, it is an ideal place to enjoy your time outdoors, with a quiet walk through the streets, admiring the beautiful architecture. You can also enjoy one of the viewpoints, or viewpoints, in the city where you can enjoy the views of the lush green valley below, where the Chili River flows under the majestic three volcanoes, Misti, Chanchani and Pichupichu, providing an incredible panoramic view.

The location of Arequipa makes it an excellent point from which to venture and enjoy the Colca Canyon, one of the deepest canyons in the world and home to the Andean Condor, the national symbol of Peru.

 

Information

• Arequipa geography and climate

Arequipa is located in the western foothills of the Andes, bordered to the east by the coastal desert region. With an altitude of 2,335 meters above sea level (7,660 feet), Arequipa is the perfect place to acclimatize before heading to the highest altitudes of Cusco or Puno.

The three majestic and snow-capped volcanoes present around Arequipa are Mistiat at 5,825 m (19,110 feet), Chachani at 6,070 m (19,914 feet) and PichuPichuat 5,425 m (17,798 feet). The main rivers in the region are those of Ocoña, Yauca, Camaná and Quilca (or Chile).

• Weather

The pleasant climate of Arequipa throughout the year is legendary, a city of eternal spring temperatures; During the day the temperature rarely drops below 68 ° F / 20 ° C. However, temperatures can drop dramatically at night, especially in the winter months of June, July and August, when temperatures drop to around 50 ° F / 10 ° C. When packing for Arequipa, it is better to think in layers.

As for rainfall, the summer months of January, February and March record the greatest amount of rainfall, although it rarely amounts to more than an inch and a half per month.

• Colca Canyon

With a depth of 9842 feet (3000 m), the canyon is one of the largest in South America; only surpassed by the Cotahuasi canyon, which has a depth of 1,1003 feet (3354 m), a world record. Almost twice as deep as the Grand Canyon of Arizona, the Colca Canyon is a truly impressive site.

Arequipa transportation

• By plane

Rodríguez Ballón International Airport is located in the district of Cerro Colorado, approximately 4 miles (7 km) northwest of the city. The airport has daily domestic connections to Lima, Cuzco and Juliaca. The airlines that provide services at the airport are LanPeru, Star Peru and Peruvian Airlines. A taxi from the airport to downtown hotels costs around S / .15 (or $ 5), while a shared collective service costs approximately S / .6 ($ 2) per person.

• By bus

The Arequipa bus terminal, Terrestrial Terminal, is located at Andrés Avelina Cáceres Avenue, about 4 km south of the center of Arequipa. The buses here travel only within Peru, such as Cusco (10 h) and Puno (6 h), as well as coastal cities such as Ica (14 h) and Lima (17 h).

Terrapuerto Internacional Arequipa, located on Avenida Arturo Ibáñez, is near the Terrestrial Terminal. From here you can travel not only within the country, but also to Santiago de Chile, La Paz and Buenos Aires, among other destinations.

We recommend with confidence the following companies, since they are safe and generally work on time:

South Cross

Tel. +51 (54) 427375

Oltursa

Tel. +51 (54) 423152

Ormeño

Tel. +51 (54) 424 113

As always, consider your surroundings and keep your personal belongings close to you. While the companies mentioned above are safe and reputable, terminals can attract more nasty types. A staff member is usually parked at the entrance of the departure platform to check your ticket and any luggage you may carry on board. Check your luggage on the sidewalk or in a designated area.

It can also be very cold during bus trips, so be sure to bring a coat, scarf and /or thick socks to wear, especially when traveling to destinations such as Puno or Cuzco.

Food and drink

In Arequipa, you will taste and enjoy the greatest variety of typical dishes such as:

 

• Shrimp soup:

A slightly spicy soup loaded with whole shrimp, milk, eggs and herbs.

• Rocoto relleno:

Rocoto (hot pepper) stuffed with minced meat, cream cheese and potato pieces.

• Soltero:

A spicy salad made predominantly with fresh Andean cheese, beans, chopped onion, olives and tomato.

• Adobo Arequipeño:

Pork marinated in chicha (sweet corn drink) and spices.

• Ocopa:

Sliced ​​potato slices in a sauce of herbs and fresh Andean cheese.

 

Attractions

• Historical Center

Arequipa preserves one of the best architectural treasures of the colonial era of Peru, from its temples and religious convents to the elegant mansions of colonial-mestizo architecture. The architecture in the historic center of Arequipa brilliantly demonstrates the integration of European and native personalities. The Plaza de Armas offers the perfect spot to start walking through the city or the perfect bench to rest at the end of the day. On the north side of the square is the Basilica Cathedral, positioned without problems to frame the Misti Volcano between its two needles.

• St. Catherine’s Monastery

This 16th-century convent covers an entire block and is essentially its own city. As was the tradition of the time, the second born of the richest families had to enter the religious service and the convent built with the money of these families. It is easy to spend hours inside these peaceful walls, wandering the cobblestone roads full of flowers and admiring the architecture and art that covers the small squares.

• «The Campiña»

It is a quilt of different shades of green, where many locals escape during the weekend and enjoy any of the several outdoor restaurants, fresh air and landscape. Over the centuries, the Arequipa countryside has been an inexhaustible source of inspiration for artists and poets.

 

Museums

• Museo Santuarios Andinos

La Merced 110

Tel: +51 (54) 200 345 or 222554

This small museum houses Juanita’s famous frozen mummy and its artifacts. It exhibited for a short period in May, since it is subject to preservation and investigation the rest of the year.

• Museo de Arte Virreinal Santa Teresa

Melgar 303

Tel: +51 (54) 3064 8686

Located in the cloisters of the monastery of Santa Teresa of the early eighteenth century, this art museum of the colonial era contains within its stone walls one of the best collections in all of Peru of paintings, sculptures, jewels, decorative art and objects everyday of this era. The Chapter Hall of the museum closely preserves its original decoration and furniture, with walls completely covered with an original 18th-century mural and unique decorative details.

Overview

Located just a few hours from Arequipa, the Colca Canyon is one of the most impressive places to visit in Peru, with a depth of 9842 feet (3000 m), the Colca Canyon is almost twice as deep as the Grand Canyon, and the second deepest canyon in the world.

For the more adventurous travelers, who wish to enjoy the area to the fullest, it is also an option to walk through the canyon or even camp, not to mention taking advantage of the thermal baths around the area.

From Arequipa to Colca, you can wait approximately five hours by car, which makes it the perfect overnight stop on your trip from Arequipa to Puno (or vice versa).

Overview

Lima, the «City of the Kings», was the most important city for the Spanish during the colonial era and remains an important port and cultural center until today. Capital of Peru, UNESCO named the historic center of Lima as «Cultural Heritage of Humanity» due to its large number of colonial buildings.

Lima, the gateway to the rest of Peru, is always a pleasant surprise for those who visit, no matter how much time you spend in this vibrant city, Lima will leave you with many good memories.

 

Information

• Lima geography and climate

It is the fifth largest city in Latin America, located on the central coast of Peru, on the cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean. For the most part, the city has flat terrain, which is a pleasant option for cycling enthusiasts.

• Weather

The climate in Lima is normally mild due to its proximity to the coldest waters of the Pacific. Temperatures usually considered warm and spring. Summer distinguished by its bright blue sky and hot and humid temperature, while the autumn and winter months known for the rain, fog and cloudy skies.

 

Lima transportation

• Arriving to Lima

Jorge Chavez International Airport is located in Callao, 30 minutes northwest of Miraflores district. All international flights arriving or departing from Peru pass through this airport, it is better to provide up to an hour since traffic can be irregular. The airport authorities recommend arriving three hours before an international flight or two hours before a national departure. As a precaution, be sure to reconfirm your flight with the airline 72/24 hours before departure.

• Get there

If you want to arrive or leave the airport independently, a safe taxi is the best recommendation or you can organize a transport service from the hotel where you are. A taxi usually costs $ 17 from Miraflores and $ 10 from downtown Lima, greentaxi and Taxi Seguro are two recommended options.

• Bus

Unlike other cities in South America, Lima does not have a central bus terminal, but several smaller terminals shared by certain companies. The three safest and most reputable companies, with most destinations in Peru are Cruz del Sur, Oltursa and Ormeño.

Cruz del Sur and Ormeño (Services north, south and central Peru)

Sales office – Jr Quilca 531, Lima center Tel. 424 6158.

Bus station – Av Javier Prado Este 1109, San Isidro Tel 225 6163

Oltursa (Services north and south of Peru)

Sales office – Coronel Inclán 131 2nd floor, Miraflores Tel. 445 – 8141

Bus station – Av. Aramburú 1160, San Isidro Tel. 225 – 4499

 

As always, consider your surroundings and keep your personal belongings close to you.

• Cab

Taxis here do not have a taximeter, so it is important to negotiate the price of the trip before boarding, you must ensure that the taxi is official before entering. It is better always make sure you take a safe taxi, especially at night.

Some registered and reputable taxi companies in Lima include:

Taxi Amigo Tel. 01 / 349-0177

Taxi Móvil Tel. 01 / 422-6890

Línea de taxi Tel. 01 / 330-2795

Taxi seguro Tel. 27/01/2020)

 

Taxi costs in Lima vary from 5 to 50 soles, depending on the distance.

• Warning

A common type of fraud has been detected for tourists in Lima, but it can happen in any city. Some taxi drivers may change the ticket with which you pay and deliver a fake one, indicating that it the one you delivered. To avoid this situation, use coins for taxis or mark your tickets before delivering them.

• Public transport

While combis and buses are a common form of transportation around the city, without a good understanding of Spanish and the city, they can be chaotic and a bit challenging. While taxis can cost a little more, it will save you time and stress by taking this option.

 

Lima districts

While the historic center of the city of Lima offers a great deal of culture, architecture and history, visitors are encouraged to enjoy the richest districts of Miraflores, Barranco and San Isidro, as they are the quietest and most peaceful areas Suitable for accommodation and relaxation.

• Miraflores

Miraflores is one of the most visited districts of Lima. From the Kennedy Park, you can visit a variety of restaurants, shops, hostels and hotels, bars and discos. The park regularly hosts craft markets, live music and art exhibitions. Just a few blocks from the park is the shopping center overlooking the Larcomar Sea, built on the cliffs above the Pacific Ocean, Known as the Costa Verde, surfing and paragliding are popular activities throughout the year.

• Barranco

Barranco is a district known for its excellent variety of restaurants, bohemian atmosphere and lively nightlife. The “Bajada de los Baños” is a charming walkway, full of shops and cafes, which leads to the oceanic beaches of the district. It crossed by the romantic Bridge of Sighs (Bridge of Sighs) that leads to the central park of Barranco, which has a large picturesque cathedral, and surrounded by cafes, art galleries, hotels, restaurants, bars and discos. 

• San isidro

San Isidro is located next to the Miraflores district; it is the financial heart of Lima, and it also home to twenty-eight foreign embassies. This is a beautiful area to stroll through the streets, relax in a cafeteria and experience the life of well-off Limans.

• Lima center

It is at the main square that contains the Government Palace and the great Cathedral, which contains the remains of Francisco Pizarro. Overlooking the Plaza is Cerro San Cristóbal with its giant cross. A few steps from the main square is also the San Francisco Church, an old Franciscan monastery, now a popular tourist destination famous for its catacombs. Souvenir markets can also be found in this area, near the Plaza, on the banks of the Rimac River, is the Alameda Chabuca Grande, where you can find a large market of typical Peruvian handicrafts, food and drinks, or nearby square is the San Martín Square, connected to the main square by the Jirón de la Unión pedestrian shopping street.

 

Food and drink

In 2004, an article appeared in The Economist that said: «Peru can claim one of the dozens of great kitchens in the world.» As the news of the discovery of one of the best-kept secrets in the world spread, the excitement began to build. Lima is a great place to experience the wonderful variety of Peruvian cuisine, which uses a wide variety of ingredients from the coastal, mountainous and Amazonian regions of the country. Due to the richness and quality of ocean seafood off the coast of Peru, fish and seafood restaurants are the best bet for a meal that is both delicious, authentic and cheap.

These are some of the delicious dishes that you can find during your stay in Lima:

 

• Aji de Gallina:

Chicken in a yellow chili creamy sauce served with steamed white rice; ranging from mild to spicy.

• Barbecue:

Essentially meat kebabs, the most popular variety is grilled beef heart (but think of a very tender meat steak, not an organ) that is marinated in vinegar and served roasted on skewers.

• Rice with seafood:

(Rice with seafood) A delicious seafood stir-fry topped with aromatic turmeric-flavored rice.

• Choritos a la Chalaca:

Ffresh steamed mussels and served completely in the middle of the shell. These halves bathed with lemon juice and covered with finely chopped red onion, fresh cilantro and chili.

• Cau Cau:

An Afro-Peruvian dish of corns seasoned with yellow chili pepper (yellow chili), turmeric, onion and clove. It then mixed with chopped potatoes and served with white rice.

• Causa:

Layers of mashed potatoes lightly seasoned with a touch of lemon and creamy filling of chicken, avocado or seafood, commonly garnished with dark olives, egg or lettuce. With literally dozens of variations available, this one is of the most imaginative potato-based dishes you will find in Peru.

• Ceviche:

No visit to Lima is complete without trying a portion of the city’s famous ceviche, ordered as a main or starter dish. It consists of raw fish marinated in lime juice, «cooking it» without heat. Although other Latin American countries have created their own version, the original Peruvian ceviche served with cold boiled sweet potato, corncob and marinated red onion. The most common types of fish used include sea bass (sea bass), sole (sole), trout (trout) and bonito (sea fish similar to tuna).

Tiger milk (tiger milk):

The leftover juice after marinating and serving a serving of ceviche. Slightly spicy and very tasty, you can ask to add extra flavor to your plate.

• Chicharrones:

Fried pork sliced ​​and served on a sandwich with red onion and chili sauce.

 

Fish / squid / seafood / chicken chicharron:

Fried fish, seafood, seafood, shrimp and chicken.

• Pollo a la brasa:

Nobody makes chicken like Peruvians. A roast-style chicken served with French fries and salad. It found throughout the city in restaurants specializing in chicken.

• Chifa:

The Peruvian version of Chinese food. It is a very popular style of food in all kinds of restaurants and parts of Lima.

• Lomo Saltado:

Originally, a Chinese stir-fry adapted to Peruvian products, this dish consists of strips of meat sautéed with French fries, red pepper, onion and tomato. This dish always served Chinese style with a side of boiled white rice.

• Cuy:

Guinea pig. A Peruvian delicacy often only eaten on special occasions, usually served roasted and with whole bones and head included. Best tasted in Cuzco, Arequipa or Puno as a regional specialty.

• Pachamanca:

A dish, typically baked underground with hot stones, but can also made in a large cooking pot. Made with marinated lamb, lamb, pork, chicken or guinea pig, as well as potatoes, beans, sweet potatoes and corn. It usually served in very large portions.

• Tacu tacu:

Another Afro-Peruvian fusion dish, which is now a popular dish common in most Creole restaurants. Originally, a poor man’s dish, consisting of mashed beans and boiled rice seasoned with paprika or chili and then fried. Meat or fish can accompany to add a bit of flavor to this dish quite bland, but very substantial.

• Fried yucca:

The fried cassava (cassava) Tastes a bit like potato, served as very thick fries and with a slightly crumb texture.

• Butifarra:

A sandwich with roasted ham, onion in marinated cubes and condiments.

Sweet

• Alfajores:

A popular pastry, consisting of two or more layers of a baked crispy cake, that resembles a sugar cookie, filled with manjar blanco (caramel) and covered with powdered sugar.

• Arroz con leche:

Rice pudding, cooked with aromatic cinnamon sticks and cloves.

Ice cream

• Mazamorra morada:

A gelatinous dessert that acquires the color of one of its main ingredients: purple corn.

 

Mazamorra morada is a very typical dessert in Peru.

• Picarones:

Sweet ring-shaped fritters made from pumpkin-based dough; Served soaked in a fig molasses syrup.

• Suspiro limeño:

A dessert made of condensed milk, almonds, manjarblanco (caramel) and covered with meringue. It is said that this classic Creole dessert named by the famous Peruvian poet and author José Gálvez, whose wife was famous for his cuisine.

Attractions

• Main Square

The square is the main public space of the capital; the buildings that are around the square include the Government Palace, the Cathedral of Lima, the Archbishop’s Palace of Lima, the Municipal Palace and the Palace of the Union. During the colonial era, the square hosted a variety of events and activities, and used at certain times as market, bullring and gallows of the city.

• San Francisco Church

This church been carefully restored; the 17th-century yellow and white Baroque-style complex still stands, having survived the earthquake of 1746. Ceramic tiles line the hallways and the Arab-style ceilings are high, visitors can take guided tours to witness not only the beautiful religious artifacts and art that fill the church, but also to see the most disturbing and popular part of the church, the catacombs.

• Santuario Las Nazarenas

This church is the point of origin of the popular Peruvian Catholic procession of the Lord of Miracles, who is the patron saint of the city. These festivities in the month of October constitute the most important religious event in Lima. 

• Plaza de Toros Acho

This historic monument, located in Rímac, is the most important bullring in the country. Made of adobe and wood, it has survived the many earthquakes that have shaken Lima over the centuries since its construction. The square is the oldest in America and the second oldest in the world after La Maestranza in Spain (not counting the Arles Amphitheater of the era of the Roman Empire in France, which is still in use)

• Jirón de La Unión

Known for its aristocratic history, this was the most important avenue in downtown Lima, where the most recognized members of the city’s society met. After the general decline of the city center in the 1960s, the Jiron de la Unión lost its original defining character and became a strictly commercial avenue.

• Pachacamac Ruins

Located approximately 25 km south of the city of Lima, there are the ruins of the fascinating pre-Inca coastal cultures of Lima. This archaeological site contains pre-Inca and Inca temples, with the latter often built on the previous temples in a demonstration of power and superiority. From 500 to 1500 AD this site was one of the main pilgrimage sites in South America. There are three ramp pyramids and a Temple of the Sun (the only temple that can accessed).

• The Magical Water Circuit

Wednesday to Sunday from 4:00 pm-10: 00pm

General admission is S / .4

Created in 1997 and located in the Parque de la Reserva, it has become one of the most visited attractions in the city. With a Guinness world record, this circuit offers thirteen impressive sources that combine movement, lights, sounds and images. This is an incredible show that the whole family will enjoy and that will delight young and old alike.

• Mercado Artesano Pueblo Libre

This market has slightly better prices here than in traditional souvenir shops. You can find crafts, clothes and art.

 

Plazas

• San Martin Plaza

Connected with the Jirón de la Unión, this square is one of the most representative public spaces in Lima, located within the Historic Center of Lima; the area was home to a hospital and a railway station. The monument in the center of the square pays tribute to the Peruvian liberator, José de San Martín, the general appearance of the square and the surrounding buildings is Baroque.

• Gran Parque Cultural De Lima

The park represents a successful attempt to resurrect this space formerly known as the Exhibition Park. Located on the Paseo Colón in Lima Center, it now has a medium-sized outdoor amphitheater, Japanese garden, food and beverage facilities and various activities for children. The park is open every day from 8 a.m. at 10:30 p.m.

• Kennedy Park

This large park full of flowers is difficult to lose, as it is right in the center of the always-popular Miraflores. Beautiful flower gardens, large shaded areas and seating, make this grassy space popular with visitors and locals.

 

Museums

• Museo De La Nación
  1. Javier Prado Este 2466, San Borja

Tel. +51 (01) 4769878

This museum, the largest in the city and one of the most prominent in Peru, guides visitors through the highlights of Peru’s complicated and intriguing history through various civilizations. The exhibits, distributed on three floors, arranged chronologically and trace the art and history of the first inhabitants to the Inca Empire, the last before the colonization by the Spaniards.

• Museo de Arqueología, Antropología e Historia

Plaza Bolivar, Pueblo Libre

Tel: +51 (01) 463 5070

As the oldest state museum in the country, it traces the history of Peru from the period before ceramics to independence. Once home to the revolutionary figures San Martín (1821) and Bolívar (1823 to 1826), the museum now houses some spectacular original archaeological artifacts, scale models of important archeological sites, as well as late Republican paintings, furniture and paintings and early colonial. Independence artifacts.

• Museo Arqueológico Rafael Larco Herrera
  1. Bolívar 1515, Pueblo Libre

Tel +51 (01) 461 1312

This museum has the largest private collection of pre-Columbian art in the world. The museum focuses on the Moche dynasty, especially in its refined ceramics, with an estimated 45,000 pieces, including textiles, jewelry and stone from several other ancient cultures. The hotel’s restaurant, Café Del Museo, located in the museum’s front gardens, makes it an ideal place to enjoy lunch.

• Museo Sala de Oro del Peru

Level 2 Larcomar, Miraflores

Tel: +51 (01) 620622

The Gold Museum Room of Peru specializes in impressive objects made by gold and other precious metals, from the pre-Inca northern cultures of Peru: Sican, Chimu and Lambayeque. This is also the only museum in Lima that offers all visitors a multilingual audio guide free of charge upon entry.

• Casa De La Gastronomía

Post Office Building, Count of Superunda 170

Recently opened in March 2011, and located in the former Central Post Office, adjacent to the Government Palace, this museum pays tribute to the variety of culinary treasures in Peru that have been made known throughout the world. The museum offers a journey through 500 years of ancestral wisdom to the fusion of flavors and influences of other cultures in Peruvian cuisine. An on-site restaurant also allows visitors to try many of the delicious traditional dishes.

Overview

La Paz, also known as «Nuestra Señora de La Paz», is the third largest city in Bolivia. With an altitude of approximately 3650m above sea level, it is the highest administrative capital in the world, since Sucre is the official capital of Bolivia.

Overview

The «Salar de Uyuni» is the largest salt flat in the world and covers an area of ​​approximately 10500m2. Formed due to a transformation between several prehistoric lakes, the entire area covered by a few meters of salt crust, which contains more than 50% of the world’s lithium supply.

In addition to the incredible salt flats, in the region you can find several beautifully colored lakes, such as the green lake, the white lake and the red lake, home to thousands of pink flamingos. In addition, no traveler should miss geysers and hot springs, as well as the rocky valley.