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Peru! You have to see it to believe it, to open your eyes and all of a sudden awaken in Machu Picchu, magical city, that has just been internationally voted as one the new Seven Wonders of the World. It is a dream come true that every living soul should experience, along with planting a tree, writing a book, and having a child… visit Machu Picchu (and discover Peru).

Heir to ancient cultures and a rich colonial tradition, Perú is a magical spot which involves one of the richest biodiversities of Earth, and is a melting pot of different cultures who together are forging the promise of a better future

While Peru inevitably evokes images of Machu Picchu and the Inca empire, the country is also riddled with archaeological sites which are a legacy of even more ancient times, when great civilizations bequeathed a legacy of their art, customs and rituals, their wisdom and skills.

The Inca empire was a recent arrival during the process of cultural development in the Andes during the pre-Hispanic era, and the history of the Incas barely accounts for a century within the 20,000 years of human occupation of Peruvian territory.

Much earlier than the Incas and while civilizations like the Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Indian, and Chinese (3000 and 2000 B.C.) flourished, the city of Caral, located north of the city of Lima, was built; this was the first American expression of a Pre-Ceramic urban settlement with monumental architecture in an area greater than 10 hectares. Later, in the northern highlands, the Chavin (800 – 200 B.C.) achieved significant advances in architecture, engineering, and agriculture.

The Chavín civilization (1500-400 BC) achieved considerable prowess in architecture, engineering and agriculture in the northern highlands. Along the north coast, the Moche civilization (200 BC-700 AD) is famous for its realistic pottery (portraits carved into pots and gourds) and its pyramid-shaped temples. The same area was later controlled by the Chimú kingdom (900-1450 AD), who built Chan Chan, an immense mud-brick citadel featuring 12-meter-high walls and superb architectural work.
To the south, the Nazca people (200 BC-900 AD) etched an impressive series of figures etched into the desert floor known as the Nazca Lines, while graves belonging to the Paracas culture (800 BC-600 AD) have unearthed superb weavings which point to the magical and religious vision that governed the lives of this ancient civilization.

Centuries later, the Incas (1300-1500 AD) were to make Cuzco the center of their empire, building major constructions such as Sacsayhuaman, Pisac and Koricancha. It is here that myth and history merge, where the Inca roads, the towns, people and traditions are a living example of the Andean spirit, sacred and monumental.

Discover why Peru is for many the heart of South America’s greatest civilizations.

Surface Area: With an area of 1,285,215 square km, Peru is the third-largest country in South America after Brazil and Argentina, ranking it amongst the world’s 20 largest nations.Peru also holds sway over the sea up to 200 miles from the Peruvian coast and has territorial rights to an area of 60 million hectares in the Antarctic. Peru is divided into 24 departments. Lima is the capital of Peru.perusurface
Population: Peru is a nation of mixed ethnic origins. Throughout its history, Peru has been the meeting ground for different nations and cultures. The indigenous population was joined 500 years ago by the Spaniards.As a result of this encounter, and later enriched by the migration of African blacks, Asians and Europeans, Peruvian man emerged as the representative of a nation whose rich ethnic mix is one of its leading characteristics.27.000.000 inhabitants.
– Urban: 72,3 %
– Rural: 27,7 %
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Language:- Spanish: 80,3%
– Quechua: 16,2%
– Other languages: 3,0%
– Foreign languages: 0,2%As part of its rich cultural tradition, Peru features many different languages. Although Spanish is commonly spoken across the country, Quechua is a major legacy of the Inca empire, and is still spoken with regional dialects in many parts of Peru.In addition, other languages are spoken such as Aymara (in Puno) and a startling variety of dialects in the Amazon jungle, which are divided up into 15 linguistic families and 43 different languages.
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Currency: The official currency in Peru is the Nuevo Sol (S/.), which is divided into 100 centimos. The currency includes coins for 5, 10, 20 and 50 centimos and 1, 2 and 5 sol coins. There are bills in the denomination of 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 Nuevos Soles.Peru-sol
Government: Peru is a democratic republic. The president and members of Congress are elected every five years by universal suffrage. The current constitutional president of Peru is Ollanta Humala Tasso (2011-2016).peru palace
Religión:Roman Catholic: 89,03%
Evangelical: 6,73%
Other religions: 2,56%
Any Religion: 1.65%Peru is a naturally religious country: a diversity of beliefs and freedom of worship can be seen from the wide range of festivals and rituals that feature both Catholic fervor and the mysticism of age-old pre-Hispanic cultures.
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The city of Cuzco
Declared a World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO in 1983.Cuzco, which in the ancient Quechua language means “navel of the world”, was an important hub in Inca times that connected all of South America, from Colombia to the north of Argentina. Today, centuries later, Cuzco continues to be the centre of attention, not only for our neighbouring countries but for the whole world. In its streets, historical centres, churches, pubs and cafés you can hear not only Quechua and Spanish spoken, but such diverse languages as English, French, Japanese and Hebrew. All of them, united by the same experience, found in the charming and fascinating “belly button” of the world.
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Machu Picchu
Inscribed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site also in 1983.I could say a great deal about this archaeological site, which was hidden for centuries until it came to light in the early 1900s, but it is difficult to describe in words what one feels when the citadel suddenly appears, like a challenge to the imagination and to engineering, between the mountains that mark the beginning and the end of the Andes and the Amazon Basin.
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The temple or fortress of Chavin de Huantar
Declared a World Cultural Heritage in 1985.I could tell you of the gusts of air that brush your face almost like a sigh when you walk through its sophisticated underground galleries. Known as the “castle”, Chavin and its intricate passageways is believed to be one of the oldest constructions in the Americas.
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The Huascaran National Park,
Inscribed as a World Natural Heritage in 1985.Here I can tell you about the turquoise colour of its lakes that contrast with the snow-capped peaks of the highest tropical mountain range in the world. The Huascaran National Park is a paradise and a challenge to nature and adventure sports lovers alike. It has over 600 glaciers, close to 300 lakes, and 27 snow-capped peaks that reach heights of over 6,000 metres, such as the Huascaran which rises to 6,768 meters above sea level.
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Chan Chan is another of the 10 sites
Inscribed as World Cultural Heritages by UNESCO, this in 1986.Known as the largest city of clay in pre-Columbian America, Chan Chan is texture, it is form, it is desert sand made into art. The birds that decorate the walls of Chan Chan seem almost to fly in the strong breeze that blows through this ancient Chimu site.
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The Manu National Park
Inscribed as a World Natural Heritage in 1987.Manu is the feast of life and diversity, with more than 1,000 species of birds, 1,200 types of butterflies, over 20,000 varieties of plants and an unknown quantity of reptiles, insects and amphibians.
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Lima’s Historical Centre
Declared a World Cultural Heritage in 1991.Lima is a sum of colours, textures and sounds. It is a cosmopolitan capital par excellence where the taste is acquired from the flavour offered by its street-side cooks frying anticuchos or soft picarones in syrup against a backdrop of colonial balconies, old houses, and churches with secret tunnels.
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The Rio Abiseo National Park
Inscribed as a World Natural Heritage in 1990.Becausse geographical location and the fragility of the archaeological sites within the park, Rio Abiseo remains closed to tourism since 1996. Today Peruvian and foreign scientists travel through the park to continue studying the flora and fauna and the remains of pre-Inca cultures.
 rio ubiseo park
The Nazca Lines and the Pampas de Juma
Declared a World Heritage site in 1994.Close to the other natural jewel that is the Paracas National Reserve, these lines and figures of different animals, drawn on the Peruvian desert and seen properly only from the sky, were considered a mystery for decades because it was not known if they were a calendar or a form of communication with outer space.
 nazca lines 2
Arequipa’s Historical Centre
Declared a World Cultural Heritage in 2000.The city of Arequipa is, precisely, an example of how culture in Peru is constantly abrew. Arequipa, known as the White City because of the volcanic rock, or “sillar”, with which its churches and homes are built. Arequipa is the land of passions and contrasts, of the hot rocoto pepper and the magnificent condor which can only be seen flying over the Colca Canyon, one of the deepest in the world.
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Caral
Declared a World Cultural Heritage in 2009.Caral is one of 18 settlements identified in the valley. Covering an area of around 65 hectares, the city features a series of complexes such as the Great Pyramid, the Amphitheater Pyramid and the Residential Quarters of the Elite. The wind gusts powerfully over the sands Caral, the oldest city in the Americas. A living force that the ancient inhabitants allegedly tried to reproduce in their flutes. Crafted from condor and pelican bones, the first 32 flutes found at the archaeological site represented one of the biggest surprises produced at Caral. In 2001, researchers held the Archaeo-Musicological Research Workshop for the Flutes of Caral, in a bid to reproduce the sound of each one of them, just as the ancient dwellers might have heard them in 3000 BC.
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After the Himalayas, the Andes are the highest mountains in the world. One of those mountains is Mount Huascarán, located in the White Range, which happens to be the highest mountain found anywhere in the tropics. Along with this record breaking mountain are dozens of others that surpass 5,000 masl (16,400 fasl). The Peruvian Andes feature mountains of different technical diffi culty levels – from high to medium to easy – as well as the chance to make fi rst assaults and to open new climbing routes.

The Peruvian Andes provide an incomparable spot for mountaineering and make Peru a magnet for lovers of South American mountains. There are many reasons: a unique concentration of mountains and relatively few mountain climbers; mild weather almost all year-long, and relatively easy access to sites that are nevertheless cut off from hectic city life. It is an ideal combination that makes Peru one of the most attractive destinations for mountaineers worldwide.

Although the lowest summit of the Huascarán massif, the world’s highest tropical mountain, was first climbed in 1 908 by US climbers Annie Peck and two Swiss guides, mountain climbing in the Andes only took off in Peru in the early 1 930s thanks to the pioneering European expeditions that launched the great Andean travel adventure in search of new climbing challenges.

Since the 1 932 expedition led by Austrian climbers Borchers, Schneider and Kinzl reached the southern summit of Mount Huascarán (6 768 masl) -Peru’s highest-, Peru’s peaks have been the scene of many more spectacular ascents.

To see Peru´s Adventures click here

Part of the attraction to mountain biking through Peru is the opportunity to discover ancient Incan and pre-Incan trails, visit archeological sites and picturesque villages, as well as to ride through different ecological tiers in just a few hours. There is one route, starting in the town of Olleros, south of Lima, where you can descend 3,600 meters (11,808 feet) in a ride that is just 70 kilometers (113 miles) long.

Mountain biking is the fastest-growing sport in the country. Thousands of bikers year-round head out on their bicycles down canyons and up trails all over the country.

Practically the entire country, with the exception of the coastal desert and the Amazon plain, is apt for mountain biking. However, depending on the degree of difficulty and logistical needs, circuits are divided into three categories: A) Beginners: gently sloping routes, with tough, compact terrain; B) Experienced cyclists: circuits involving moderate slopes and a certain degree of risk for the cyclist; C) Experts only: steep slopes, high altitudes and uneven, scree-like terrain, with a high degree of risk. So get on your bike… and explore Peru.

The Peruvian coastline is bathed by Pacific waves all year long. If you go north, the best surfi ng beaches are Cabo Blanco, Máncora, Lobitos, Chicama – which is famous for having the longest left hand wave in the world – Huanchaco, Pacasmayo, and Los Órganos..

Although few people are aware of this fact, it was in ancient Peru, and not in Polynesia or the South Sea Islands that the first evidence was found of men riding the waves with the help of external aids, as found on textiles and pottery dating back to pre-Hispanic civilizations.

This art, believed to date back at least 2 000 years in Peru, is still practiced by fishermen in northern fishing villages such as Huanchaco, Santa Rosa and Pimentel, where fishermen venture out onto the waves on totora reed rafts during their daily fishing trips.

The Maui surfboard made its debut on the Peruvian coast in 1 942. Since then, surfing has gathered enough fans as to become one of the most widely practiced sports around. The waves off the Peruvian coast are well-known all over the world and some of the best breakers -such as Punta Rocas south of Lima or Cabo Blanco to the north- are part of the surfing world championship circuit.

Peru has ideal beaches that will satisfy the most demanding surfer all year round: the central coast features constant waves during winter (April to September), while the north coast sees heavy seas (or “crecidas”) between October and March. At the same time, as there are only 12 000 surfers in Peru, compared to 700 000 in Brazil for example, one can always find empty beaches and perfect waves in Peru. All surfers have to do, is choose their favorite point.

To trek Peru is to journey through incredibly beautiful Andean countryside with a backdrop of everlastingly white mountains and crystal clear lakes, to walk along the Qapac Ñan (Inca Trail), that network of roads built by the Incas to unite their empire, and to see the culture of communities that adorn the pathways. There are trekking routes that take you on adventures through the White and Huayhuash Ranges in Áncash as well as many others in the department of Cusco that will lead you to Machu Picchu.

Peru is a veritable paradise for hikers. Practically the entire highland spine of the country, including valleys, plains and massifs feature trekking circuits varying in degrees of difficulty.

Only a handful of these circuits have been commercially “discovered” as trekking routes. The rest remain relatively unexplored, awaiting all those who wish to retrace the magical roads through the Peruvian Andes, with its extraordinary network of pre-Colombian trails and more than 12,000 lakes. It is a land which features the world’s deepest canyons, glaciers and snow-capped peaks, forests and thundering waterfalls, picturesque villages and above all, the most hospitable people imaginable.

Some trails are so steep they lead into breath-taking gorges, zig-zagging through the mountains, others straight as an arrow, fading into the distant desert horizon; hidden and invisible amongst the thick undergrowth of the Amazon jungle.

The trails of Peru offer endless possibilities, and many ideal combinations for hikers of all levels of experience.

The Peruvian Andes and their plunging canyons turn this country into a magnifi cent stage for rafting and kayaking. The most renowned rivers are the Apurímac in Apurímac (class II and V), the Cotahuasi in Arequipa (class V), and the Tambopata in the jungle. For kayaking, the best place is Lake Titicaca (Puno), the highest navigable lake in the world.

Peru features more than a dozen rivers that are more than 600 km long. The five largest rivers alone total 7,000 km within Peru.

Polish adventurer Yurek Majcherzyck and his friends introduced rafting into Peru, and after several attempts, managed to paddle down the thundering Colca River and its 300 rapids in the heart of Arequipa. Ever since then, a group of Peruvian rafting enthusiasts have made major efforts to open up new routes around the country.

The sport depends on rubber rafts which are powered by paddles and generally steered by the helmsman through the foaming rapids.
Internationally, rapids are qualified on a scale of I to VI according to the degree of difficulty (Class VI rapids are impossible to run, and portage is necessary).

Free flight lovers will feel overjoyed by what they can do in Peru. The Sacred Valley of the Incas (Cusco) provides fl yers the experience of soaring over Incan ruins, and, in the Huaylas Valley of Áncash, they can fl oat on winds that blow between towering mountains. Likewise, along the Costa Verde boardwalk in Lima, you can fl y above the ocean waves and enjoy a bird’s eye view of the city.

There are two main types of apparatus used by those fond of flying: flying mechanisms that use the aerodynamics of wings in order to fly; and the classic parachute, which simply drops. Paragliding and hang gliding share a structure made of a cloth or synthetic fiber which moves with the winds. The difference stems from the fact the paraglider is not rigid, while the hang glider is.

Hang gliding was born from an unsuccessful model developed by NASA to improve aerospace rescue parachutes, something which caught on amongst those with a penchant for flying. The first hang glider was brought to Peru in the 1 970s. Paragliding, meanwhile, did not take off in Peru until the early 1 990s. Its origins date back to Savoie in France, where persevering sportsmen modified the classic parachute until they came up with others split up into cells, allowing for a longer flight with more room for maneuver. The concept has since improved, to the stage that today flyers can glide for 10 km for each 1 000 meters they drop.

Once up in the air, sportsmen tackle two kinds of currents: ascending, which are divided up into thermal (columns of warm air generated by the heating up of refractory surfaces) and orographic (which are created when air rebounds off a cliff or similar obstacle); and descending, similar to pockets of air that produce turbulence for jet airplanes. Choose your best option… and head for the vertigo.

 

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