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Sample Tours in Peru & Machu Picchu
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About Peru & Machu PicchuSome information and tips about Peru & Machu Picchu
The Incas forged an incredible civilization that learned how to tame the geography of Peru. This ancient society lived in harmony with the rivers, the sun, the rain, the ocean, the jungle, the Peruvian mountains and the cold dryness of the Andes, consequently adapting to the weather, their surroundings and surviving thanks to Mother Earth’s gifts.
Part of this ancient society still lives today in each town and can be seen through the customs of the people. A trip to Peru takes you back in time and allows you to rediscover the exciting lives of the Incas, Chancas, Chachapoyas, Mochicas, and Wari, as well as their great works of art, their feasts, the roots of their social strength and the energy of their people.
Experience Peru and discover a wealth of different worlds, all with their own individual landscapes, sounds, colors and tastes; travel back in time to ancient civilizations and share the great cultural heritage of the Peruvian people. Many destinations and experiences such as Peru’s coast and mountains can only be explained by seeing them in the flesh. The beating heart of its roots and destinations.
Caral, the first civilization in the Americas; pre-Hispanic cultures; the Inca Empire; the fusion between the Inca and hispanic worlds; Peru and its Western, East Asian and African influences; deserts, mountains, forests, the Amazon and the sea; flora, fauna and a wide variety of cultural expressions. Peru is all of this.
Weather, Climate and Geography
Peru is located in the western and central part of South America. Its territory borders Ecuador and Colombia to the north, Brazil and Bolivia to the east, and Chile to the south; covering an area of 496,224 square miles. Additionally, the Peruvian maritime domain covers as many as 200 nautical miles in the Pacific Ocean.
Characterized by a narrow band of deserts and fertile valleys alongside the Pacific Ocean. The fertile valleys spring from the rivers that flow down from the Andes mountain range itself, as opposed to the lower-lying sierra, and into the sea. The coast has a warm-temperate climate, without extreme heat or cold but with high humidity and dense fog that makes it feel extremely cold in winter. In the summer there is very little fog and temperatures reach 30°C. In the north, the coast is hot almost all year round, with a short rainy period in November and December. The central and southern coast has two distinct seasons, winter (April to October) and summer (November to March).
This is the mountainous region of Peru, where the Andes mountain range dominates the landscape and contains various ecological regions and altitudes. The northern Andes are lower and more humid than the rest, while the central Andes are the tallest and steepest, and it is here where you find the country’s highest peak, Huascarán, at 6,768 meters above sea level. The southern Andes are wider, and are also known as the altiplano, or high Andean plateau. The sierra has two seasons: summer (April to October) with sunny days, cold nights and little rain – this is the perfect time to visit; and winter (November to March), when it rains heavily. During the day, temperatures can reach 24°C, and at night they can fall to -3°C.
Located in the east, this is a vast region of plains covered by vegetation in the Amazon River basin, which begins at the confluence of the Marañón and Ucayali rivers. It is Peru’s largest region, and consists of highland jungle, or ceja de montaña – the mountain’s eyebrows, (over 700 meters above sea level), which is characterized by its cloud forests, and lowland jungle (less than 700 meters above sea level). Like the sierra, the jungle has two distinct seasons. From November to March it rains frequently, while from April to October it is fairly dry, making this the ideal time to visit as the rivers subside and the roads are easily accessible. There is high humidity all year round. Occasionally, between May and August, there are “friajes” or “surazos”, cold snaps caused by winds from the extreme south of the continent, during which the temperature can fall to between 8 and 12°C. Information about the weather of the country’s different regions can be found here.
Regardless of the season and the area of Peru you are visiting, it is advisable to carry warm clothes, loose pants, cotton tops, hiking footwear, good sunblock and a hat (to protect you from the sun and the cold).
Did you know?
- Machu Picchu is one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.
- Peru has one of the highest sand dunes in the world.
- One of the deepest canyons in the world is in Peru. The Cotahuasi Canyon has a depth of more than 3,500 meters. To put this into perspective, this canyon is twice the depth of the United States’ Grand Canyon.
- The Amazon River starts with the headwaters of the Mantaro River on the Cordillera Rumi Cruz in Peru.
- You can eat over 3,000 varieties of potatoes in Peru.
- Pisco sour is Peru’s national drink
- Peru is home to one of the world’s largest flying birds, The Andean condor.
- Three-quarters of the world’s alpacas live in Peru.
- Guinea Pigs are a local delicacy
- You can tell if a Native Quechua woman is single by her hat. Every woman in the Quechua tribe (they live near Machu Picchu) has a unique hat that tells you their marital status. Married women wear straw hats, where single women wear knitted caps.
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