Holidays & Sabbaticals to Peru – In a Nutshell
Bordering 5 South American countries, Peru spans tropical rainforest, a slice of Pacific coast and desert, and the high Andes with their snow-topped mountains and remote passes.
It is best known for the breathtaking 15th century Inca ruins of which Machu Picchu is the crowning glory. Whether you hike here along the Inca Trail or whiz up on the train from Cusco, it’s a must-see.
Manu National Park in the Amazon Basin is one of the biggest protected areas in the world, a Biosphere Reserve, home to puma, jaguar, tapir and scarlet macaw.
Other unforgettable adventures include Colca Canyon, the mysterious Nazca Lines, Lake Titicaca and the Ballestas Islands, a haven for wildlife.
And against it all, a backdrop of rich colour and culture from the blend of Hispanic and native people. Seize any opportunity to immerse yourself in authentic local life and tradition, and leave space in your luggage for beautiful woven textiles and quirky handcarved Retablos figurines.
How to Get to Peru
You can travel overland from Chile, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia or Ecuador as part of a longer South American itinerary.
If you arrive by plane from overseas, you’ll fly into in Lima’s Jorge Chávez airport. Flight time from the UK is approx. 20 hours, often via Europe or the US, though British Airways fly direct.
If you’re coming from the US, you can fly direct (5-10 hours).
From Lima you can take hopper flights to Arequipa, Cusco, Puerto Maldonado and Juliaca, the major tourist hubs. Distances are vast so this is a popular option.
Or travel overland by luxury coach, local buses or train, all of which allow you to soak up the spectacular scenery as you go.
When & Weather – Peru
There are 3 climate zones in Peru due to the extreme differences in altitude. The weather can span blazing sun on the coast, steamy humidity in the jungle and snow in the mountains, all at the same time.
The most popular time to visit is May-October. Winter (June to September) is the best time to hike the Inca Trail, with sunny weather and fantastic visibility, and to visit the Amazon Basin to see wildlife.
Temperatures range between -7°C (19°F) and 26°C (80°F).
Who will Peru Appeal To?
The country’s stunning natural landscapes, archaeological ruins and rich culture are best suited to:
- Active travellers
- Adventurous families
- Solo travellers
- Culture lovers
- Wildlife lovers
We work with luxurious boutique hotels, colourful B&Bs, authentic jungle lodges and comfortable mountain retreats.
Off The Beaten Path
- Go climbing in the rugged Huaraz region, or hike past glacial Lago Parón in the spectacular Callejón de Huaylas Valley.
- Ride a cable car across the ravine to Gocta Falls near Kuelap, the land of the cloud people.
- Visit the Chan Chan’s ruins, the archaeological wonder of Northern Peru and the biggest mud-city in the world.
- Experience traditional ways of life with a homestay on Amantani Island where you’ll watch weavers and fishermen at work.
- Hike from Huaraz to Akilpo Lake for sublime glacier views and turquoise waters.
- Choquequirao is often-dubbed the ‘Lost Sister’ city of Machu Picchu, remote and incredible. It’s a 2-day trek to the 15th century ruins from Marampata.
- Surf down sand dunes in Huacachina, a tiny oasis in the middle of the desert.
- Swap bustling Cusco for Cajamarca in the north, a colonial town of similar beauty but with far fewer tourists, where local Andean myths and traditions are still very much alive.
- The Tambopata River offers exhilarating white-water rafting, through Grade IV Rapids and along untouched parts of the Amazon rainforest.
- Kayak around the Ballestas islands, amongst sea lions and Peruvian boobies.
- Take a light flight over the Nazca Lines, the mysterious geoglyphs in the arid desert.
- Herds of llamas and alpacas wander the high Andean plateau; don’t get too close, they spit!
- The Amazon Basin is the most biologically diverse region in the world. Within it, Manu National Park is one of the best places to see wildlife: puma, Andean spectacled bears, anacondas, harpy eagles, tapir, and the elusive jaguar.
- The stunning ‘pink river dolphin’ is one of the highlights of the Amazon Basin; you’ll probably also see capybara and giant river otter.
- You can admire Humboldt penguins around the Ballestas Islands, as well as endemic pelicans and boobies.
- Majestic condor soar over the Colca and Cotahuasi Canyons every morning at first light.
- The Andean cock-of-the-rock is Peru’s national animal, a vibrant orange bird commonly seen in cloud forest.
Peru Experiences you shouldn’t miss:
- Hike the iconic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, an awe-inspiring 15th Century citadel.
- Ride horses through the Colca Canyon, while Andean condors soar overhead.
- Wander the cobbled, colonial streets of Cusco and Arequipa.
- Partake in a Pachamanca ceremony in the Sacred Valley.
- Paddle a dugout canoe into the Amazon Basin.
- Visit the floating reed islands on Lake Titicaca, home to the Uros people.
- Admire Lima’s cathedrals and museums.
In 1999, hoteliers Petit and Franz began a sustainable life supporting education projects in the Sacred Valley of Peru. To finance the projects, they decided to build a hotel as the most economically sustainable model and went on to open their own school to ensure the local children continue to receive an education. A stay at the Hotel Sol Y Luna is not only a magical experience in a beautiful setting but also a meaningful stay with the knowledge of the good causes the hotel is supporting.
Our experienced team will guide you through a number of ideas based on how you would like to experience Peru.
Consider visiting Peru in combination with Chile, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia or Ecuador as part of a longer South America journey.
Browse our gallery for inspiration and read the sample itinerary below to whet your appetite.
No matter how long you wish to travel, we’ll guide you through the planning process to ensure a trip is carefully pieced together to suit your interests, pace of travel and budget. Contact us to start planning a holiday or sabbatical to Peru.