Peru is a country in South America, most famous for the Inca trail and Machu Picchu, though these are amazing sights and activities, Peru has much more to offer, which most tourists are unaware of.
Lima, the city's captial is where most people start there trip in Peru. The city has a number of good restaurants, a beautiful malecon (or boardwalk) and a historic centre as well as many good markets. From Lima visitors can head to the Amazon city, Iquitos, head up the coast for amazing hiking in Huanuco, or great surfing in Trujillo, or head south to Paracas (known as the Peruvian Galapagos), Nazca and the Nazca lines, Arequipa and the Colca Canyon, or east to Cusco and Inca trails to Machu Picchu.
If you love ancient history, historic sights and hiking or surfing, then Peru is a great holiday destination for you.
Starting with Machu Picchu, the famous UNESCO world hertiage sites, with the ancient Incan ruins. Machu Picchu can be accessed via the famous Inca trail (which must be booked in advance, as only 500 permits per day are issued, and these go fast). The site can also be accessed via the town Agua Calientes (means, 'hot water' / 'springs' in English), which you can get to by a train from histortic city, Cusco. You have the option of hiking up ancient Inca steps to the entrance of Machu Picchu, or catching a touist bus. Once you enter the site, you can get your passport stamped (for no cost) to prove you've visited. There are also a number of other Inca trails, which don't have a limit on issued permits, which you can hike as an alternative to the famous Inca trail, unlike the main Inca trail, these hikes usually terminate at Agua Calientes, but are still a great (and cheaper) alternative.
If you love hiking then Huascaran National park is a must, and offers many alpine hikes in the Cordillera Blanca range. The Colca Canyon is also a great hiking opportunity. 2-3 day hikes to the Colca Canyon can be arranged in Arequipa.
Peru is also home to the highest altitude lake in the world (or highest commerically navigable body of water in the world - to be exact), Lake Titicaca. This is a stunning region, with beautiful lakes, historic churches, great hikes and good local (and cheap) food. This is a great place to chill out for a couple of days. From here you can easily catch a bus into Bolivia.
Overall, Peru is a safe country, however percautionous should still be taken, (ie, don't take all your valuables out with you, keep them in a locker at the hostel or hotel, don't show off all your flashy, expensive gear, don't roam the streets by yourself at night, check with your hostel or hotel staff where the safe and unsafe areas are, they are usually more than happy to help).
Accommodation can vary in type and quality throughout the country. In the touristy areas and big cities, you can expect to find good tourist hostels or backpackers, including 'party hostels', as well as hotels, resorts, and budget hotels. Budget hotels can sometimes be cheaper than hostels, but the services and quality is not always up to the same standard. In smaller towns and villages, there may only be budget or local hotels and camping opportunities. Hostels are a great option for solo travellers, but party hostels are very common, so if you don't like to party, make sure you check out the hostel site, or write to the hostel to check. Party hostels really will party every night of the week until the early hours of the morning.
Enjoy Peru! Make sure you get off the tourist travel, you won't regret it!
Hi, I'm Kelly Sheldrick,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Peru hostels. Welcome.
From Puerto Maldonado you can get into the real jungle, and if you search a little, you will find options for camping in the jungle, or even have an expedition to look for big animals. You can find very good local guides.
Arequipa is a beautiful city, but we had problems getting to our hostel, because the taxidrivers only offer to -- actually they forcefully take you to hostels where they get comission for every gringo they bring.
Lima is a really pretty city. A tip: bargain for almost everything.
There are almost no mosquitoes in Piura! You can walk the streets safely until midnight every night. The streets are narrow, and mototaxis ply the streets.