What to see in Peru

Travel to Peru, and you will discover one of the most incredible countries on the planet, in my case, one of my favorite countries. Its nature full of contrasts, exquisite gastronomy, and impressive culture make traveling to Peru a truly enriching experience. Additionally, Peru is home to one of the new wonders of the world.

Visiting Machu Picchu will be one of the best travel memories of your life. Peru also offers beaches, mountains, deserts, and the Amazon rainforest. You’ll enjoy beautiful colonial cities and Inca ruins. To help you make the most of your trip, I’ve prepared this Peru travel guide so you won’t miss the main things to do and see in Peru during your journey!

Where is Peru?

Map Drawing

Peru is a country in South America that spans a section of the Amazon rainforest and Machu Picchu, an ancient Inca city in the Andes. The region around Machu Picchu, including the Sacred Valley, the Inca Trail, and the colonial city of Cuzco, is rich in archaeological sites. On Peru’s arid Pacific coast, you’ll find Lima, the capital, with a preserved colonial center and significant collections of pre-Columbian art.

What Language is Spoken in Peru?

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Spanish and Quechua although everyone speaks Spanish, it’s common to see many people conversing in Quechua or Aymara in their everyday conversations.

Religion in Peru

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Currently, Catholicism is the majority religion in Peru with 82% of the population, while the rest declare themselves evangelicals. With the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors in Peru, Catholicism was introduced, replacing the polytheistic religions practiced by various Peruvian ethnicities.

Sisters in Iquitos

Time Difference with Peru 

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Spain is 7 hours ahead of Peru.

What Currency Do They Use in Peru?

Currency Exchange Drawing

The currency is the “Nuevo Sol.”   1 Euro = 3.82 Soles        Dollar = 3.30 Soles

Prices: It is cheaper than Europe or Chile, even compared to Argentina, although more expensive than places like Bolivia, both in accommodation and meals.

Currency exchange: It is also very easy to exchange currencies, mainly euros and American dollars.

Currency Exchange drawing

If you want to take some money from home, I recommend exchanging currency with RIA as they offer the best commission-free exchange rate and send and collect the currency at your own home.

Cambio de Divisa Dolar

RIA Currency Exchange:

  1. Key Services:
    • Currency Exchange: RIA provides currency exchange services for various currencies, including US dollars, yen, pounds, and many more.
    • Money Transfers: In addition to currency exchange, RIA is known for its international money transfer services.
  2. Exchange Rates:
    • Ria stands out for offering competitive exchange rates. You can compare their rates with other options to ensure you get the best possible exchange rate.
  3. Physical Offices in Spain:
    • RIA has a physical presence through its offices in Spain. You can visit one of their locations if you prefer to conduct transactions in person.
  4. Home Delivery:
Llama in Machu Picchu

Pay with Cards in Peru Without Fees 

Credit Cards Drawing

It is relatively easy, especially in cities, to find places where you can pay with credit cards. However, in some places, not all of them, they may charge a commission for this option, so ask before paying. Although with the Revolut Card, forget about those extra expenses because the currency exchange fees that bank cards usually have are around 3% or 4%, no joke!

Get yours now for free and discover a world of advantages for your travels. Sign up here without fees. Don’t miss out! 🌍✈️

TERJETA REVOLUT

Tips: There is nothing stipulated regarding tips in Peru, but a little extra never hurts. If you hire a tour, the guide will likely mention that it is always appreciated when both the driver’s and the guide’s work is rewarded.

Sonia with sloth in Amazon

What is the Best Time to Travel to Peru?

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The best time to travel to the coast is from June to August, and for traveling to the Andes and the Amazon, it would be from May to September. Peru is so large and has such diverse climates, ranging from desert areas to the Amazon rainforest, that the country needs to be divided into several regions in terms of climate:

Summer Season (December to March)

Winter Drawing

Coast: It is the warmest and driest time on the Peruvian coast. Temperatures are high, and the sun is predominant. It is ideal for enjoying the beaches and water activities. Sierra: Although it is the rainy season in the highlands, there are intermittent sunny days. Temperatures are not extremely cold, making it suitable for visiting tourist sites like Machu Picchu. Selva: It is the rainy season in the jungle, with frequent precipitation. However, the vegetation is lush, and the rivers are full, allowing for jungle excursions.

Intermediate Season (April and November)

Spring Drawing

Coast: It is a transition period towards the dry season. Rainfall begins to decrease, but you may still experience some rainy days. Sierra: It is a good time to visit the highlands, as rainfall is diminishing, and the peak tourist season has not yet arrived. Selva: It is a transition period towards the dry season. Rainfall decreases, and river levels begin to drop.

Dry Season (May to October)

Summer Drawing

Coast: It is the dry season on the Peruvian coast, with sunny days and scarce rainfall. Perfect for enjoying the beaches and exploring coastal cities. Sierra: It is the best time to visit the Peruvian highlands. The weather is dry and mild, ideal for trekking and visiting archaeological sites like Machu Picchu. Selva: This season is also known as the “Amazonian winter,” with less rainfall and more opportunities to explore the jungle and its trails. Lima enjoys a temperate and dry climate throughout the year, allowing you to visit the city at any time without weather-related inconveniences.

On the coast, it is hot from December to February, summer, and cold with frequent fog in winter, although it does not freeze. In the Andes, the dry season is from May to September, and the rainy season is from October to April. Pleasant temperatures during the day and cold at night. In the jungle: dry and rainy seasons are the same as in the Andes but with more heat and humidity.

Humidity in the jungle is around 80-100% throughout the year. Read that again, can you imagine such high humidity? The average annual temperature in Iquitos is approximately 26°C. Temperatures can rise to 31°C during the day and drop to 22°C at night.

Before heading to the jungle, you should consider that it rains much more in March, April, and May, while in June, July, and August, the rain decreases significantly.

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Peruvian traditional costumes

What vaccines do I need to travel to Peru?

Doctor Drawing Examination

Malaria and Dengue: If you are going to the jungle, malaria prophylaxis is recommended, and above all, avoid mosquito bites to prevent malaria and dengue.

Traveler’s Diarrhea: Remember the recommendations for traveler’s diarrhea; drink bottled water and avoid drinking tap water in Peru. I only recommend drinking bottled water. If you are buying water from a street vendor, make sure it is tightly closed; we heard that sometimes they fill them from the river…

VACCINE

No vaccine is necessary if you travel the usual tourist circuits. In the traveler’s unit at Hospital Carlos III, you have all the updated information.

A common question is whether it is necessary to vaccinate against yellow fever when taking tours, the answer is NO; it is not necessary. What you definitely need to bring is enough mosquito repellent, sunscreen, and your typical travel kit with the necessary medications.

Don’t forget to print our list of all the essentials you should pack in your suitcase and without which you cannot leave on a trip; for that, visit the post Organize your Luggage.

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coche de alquiler entre montañas y pinar
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Giant tree in the Amazon

Do I need a visa for Peru?

Passport and visa drawing

If you are Spanish and going for tourism, you can stay in Peru for a total of 183 days, accumulated in a year, and you do not need a visa, only the passport, with a minimum validity of 6 months. For other nationalities, check with your embassy or consulate. When you cross the border, make sure they stamp your entry into the country, or you could have problems when leaving.

Don’t forget the Andean Migration Card, a form you will fill out and get stamped when you enter Peru, as they will ask for it when you leave.

Sonia in Machu Picchu

How to Get Around Peru?

Driving is on the right, and the traffic can be quite chaotic, often with little regard for traffic signals.

Airplane and World Drawing

Airplane: Given that it’s a country of vast dimensions, local flights can be a good option. Don’t forget to check out local airlines like STARPERU or PERUVIAN.

Time to book your flights; visit the best CHEAP FLIGHTS search engine to find an unbeatable price for your flight and discover all my tips for saving when booking your flights. 

Taxi Drawing

Taxi: Very affordable and the best option for getting around the city and even between different cities.

Motorcycle

Moto Taxi: Iquitos is also known as the “capital of the Peruvian Amazon” because it is located along the Amazon River and in the middle of the jungle; in fact, it is the world’s largest city that can only be reached by boat.

Esther with motorcycle

An astonishing fact is that in Iquitos, you’ll hardly find people driving cars!

The streets are mainly dominated by over 25,000 three-wheeled mototaxis.

The advantage of mototaxis is that you can enjoy a cool breeze and travel very affordably. In addition to that, you can find large buses made of wood.

Bus

Bus: There are very affordable local buses that take you to almost anywhere. Additionally, there are several bus companies like Cruz del Sur… undoubtedly the best option for long journeys, especially if you take night buses. The best ones have only 3 rows of seats that recline up to 160-180º, turning into authentic beds.

Van Drawing

Collective vans: Cheap and useful both within the city and for moving between different nearby points.

Get Your Travel Insurance 

Travel Insurance Drawing

In this unpredictable world, don’t let the unexpected ruin your plans; you can get your Travel Insurance with a 5% discount just for being a reader of Viajera por el Mundo. If you experience a flight delay or cancellation, loss of luggage, you’ll have your insurance to assist you in every situation.

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What to see in 15 days in Peru?

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The recommended number of days to visit Peru may vary depending on your interests and the available time for your trip. However, to have a satisfying experience and to be able to visit some of the country’s main tourist destinations, it is suggested to plan a trip of at least 10-12 days. If you have more days, I will provide a more comprehensive itinerary that you can adapt to the number of days you have.

Day 1: Lima

  • Arrival in Lima.
  • Explore the historic center of Lima, including the Plaza de Armas, the Cathedral of Lima, and the San Francisco Monastery.
  • Enjoy Peruvian cuisine at one of the local restaurants; I recommend visiting La Rosa Náutica.

Day 2: Paracas and Ballestas Islands

  • Head to Paracas from Lima (approximately 3 hours by car).
  • Take a boat tour to the Ballestas Islands to see sea lions, guano birds, and perhaps some penguins.
  • Explore the Paracas National Reserve, enjoying its beautiful beaches and desert landscapes.

Day 3-4: Cusco and Sacred Valley

  • Fly from Lima to Cusco.
  • Spend the day acclimating to the altitude.
  • Take a tour of the Sacred Valley, visiting the towns of Pisac and Ollantaytambo, as well as the impressive Inca ruins.
  • Stay overnight in the Sacred Valley or return to Cusco.

Day 5-7: Machu Picchu

  • Take the train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes.
  • Visit the incredible citadel of Machu Picchu, marveling at its stunning landscapes and Inca architecture.
  • You can choose to hike to the Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain for additional panoramic views.
  • Return to Cusco and take the opportunity to explore more of the city and its rich culture.

Day 8-9: Huaraz

  • Fly from Cusco to Huaraz.
  • Explore Huascaran National Park, home to spectacular mountain peaks and lakes.
  • Enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking and trekking.
  • Visit the Pato Canyon and Llanganuco Lagoon.

Day 10-12: Arequipa, Colca Canyon, and Huacachina Oasis

  • Fly from Huaraz to Arequipa.
  • Explore the “White City” of Arequipa, visiting the Plaza de Armas, the Monastery of Santa Catalina, and the Andean Sanctuaries Museum.
  • Take a trip to the Colca Canyon, one of the deepest canyons in the world, where you can admire the flight of condors and enjoy breathtaking landscapes.
  • After the Colca Canyon, travel to the Oasis of Huacachina, a beautiful oasis in the middle of the desert where you can enjoy activities such as sandboarding and buggy rides.

Day 13-14: Trujillo and Chan Chan

  • Fly from Ica to Trujillo.
  • Discover the city of Trujillo and visit the Plaza de Armas, the Cathedral, and the Urquiaga House.
  • Explore the ruins of the ancient city of Chan Chan, considered the largest mud city in Latin America.
  • Visit the Temple of the Sun and the Moon, as well as

Day 15: Return to Lima 

  • You can travel from Trujillo to Lima by plane, bus, or car. The flight is the fastest option (1 hour), the bus is more economical but takes between 8 and 10 hours, and the car allows you to enjoy the scenery but also takes around 8 to 10 hours.

With this itinerary, you’ll have the opportunity to visit Lima, Paracas and Ballestas Islands, Cusco and Sacred Valley, Huaraz, Arequipa, Machu Picchu, Puno, Lake Titicaca, Uros Islands, Oasis of Huacachina, and Iquitos, experiencing a unique blend of culture, nature, and adventure in Peru.

Remember to check the availability of flights and other means of transportation, as well as plan travel times between different destinations to adjust the itinerary according to your preferences and needs.

Yaguas tribe couple

Hire the Best Tours in Peru

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It’s an ideal place to engage in a multitude of activities, as mentioned earlier, and you can hire them directly here, hassle-free and at a good price.

The best Tours in Peru. You can also hire door-to-door transportation as well as transportation from the airport to the hotel or the final destination you need to reach.

Traditional Dances of Puno, Peru

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These are just a few of the most representative dances of Puno. Each of them has its own peculiarities and cultural meanings, and they are artistic expressions that reflect the identity and folklore of the region. Witnessing these dances in festivals and celebrations in Puno is a unique experience that allows you to immerse yourself in the living culture of the area.

La Diablada Dance

Considered the most emblematic dance of Puno, La Diablada represents the struggle between good and evil. Dancers, dressed in colorful costumes and devil masks, perform vigorous movements to the music of the band. This dance is often associated with the festivity of the Virgen de la Candelaria in Puno, one of the region’s most important celebrations.

La Jullawada Dance

This dance takes place mainly in the rural areas of Puno. The dancers, dressed in colorful costumes and feathered crowns, perform vigorous and joyful movements to the sound of musical instruments. Kullawada is associated with agricultural festivities and showcases the connection between the community and nature.

La Qhapaq Qolla Dance

This dance is characteristic of the province of Puno and represents the arrival of the Qhapaq Ñan, the ancient Inca roads. The dancers wear traditional costumes and carry musical instruments such as quenas, zampoñas, and charangos. The dance showcases elegant and harmonious movements.

Where to Stay in Peru?

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Accommodation options in Peru are extensive, offering a wide range of choices, as outlined below:

  • Hotels: From budget-friendly to luxurious resorts, there is a wide range of hotels available throughout the country.
  • Hostels and guesthouses: A popular economical option, especially among young travelers and backpackers.
  • Boutique hotels and guesthouses: Provide a more exclusive and charming experience.
  • Eco-lodges: Ideal for those who want to stay close to nature, especially in the Peruvian Amazon and protected areas.

I recommend booking, as I did, through the website BOOKING.COM. I have always used this website and have had no issues with them. The reasons I choose to book with them are primarily the option to pay later, free cancellation, seeking accommodations with a score above 7 or 8, checking the location with Google Maps, and the excellent customer service.

Peruvian child with a Llama

Peru boasts a wide variety of tourist destinations, each with its own attractions and unique features. Here are some of the best areas to stay in Peru, based on the most popular places to visit:

Lima: As the capital of Peru, Lima offers a wide range of accommodation options. The districts of Miraflores and Barranco are very popular due to their seaside location, vibrant nightlife, restaurants, and cultural offerings.

Cusco: If you plan to visit Machu Picchu and explore the Sacred Valley of the Incas, Cusco is the ideal starting point. The historic center of Cusco features numerous boutique hotels, restaurants, and shops, providing an excellent opportunity to immerse yourself in Incan history and culture.

Aguas Calientes: This is the closest town to Machu Picchu and the starting point for visiting the famous Incan citadel. Although it is a small place, there are various accommodation options ranging from budget hostels to luxury hotels. Staying in Aguas Calientes allows you to enjoy the convenience of being close to Machu Picchu.

Arequipa: Known as the “White City” due to its beautiful colonial buildings made of white volcanic stone, Arequipa is a charming destination in southern Peru. The historic center of Arequipa has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and offers a wide range of accommodation options, from boutique hotels to budget hostels.

Paracas: If you are interested in nature and marine life, Paracas is a popular coastal destination. Known for its National Reserve and the Ballestas Islands, Paracas offers beautiful beaches and a variety of outdoor activities. You will find beachfront resorts and hotels with stunning views and amenities to enhance your stay.

These are just some of the best areas to stay in Peru, but the country offers many more interesting destinations, such as the Amazon, Lake Titicaca, and the beaches of the north. Consider your interests and the places you want to visit when choosing the best area to stay during your trip to Peru.

Iquitos Tribe

SIM Card or E-SIM for Internet in Peru

wifi dibujo

If you are traveling to Peru, I recommend that you learn about E-SIM cards. These are virtual cards; you download a QR code and install it on your mobile device. With this, you can have internet from the moment you disembark the plane and throughout your stay to make calls without cost and without surprises on your bill upon your return from vacation.

These cards cover virtually the entire world, including countries like Argentina, Australia, Cambodia, Colombia, Egypt, the Philippines, India, Israel, Montenegro, Oman, Peru, Sri Lanka, Turkey, and Vietnam, among many others.

SIM Card or E-SIM for Internet During Your Trip

Holafly Descuento por ser lector de Viajeraporelmundo
wifi dibujo

I recommend that you learn about E-SIM cards; they are virtual cards. You download a QR code, install it on your phone, and you can have internet from the moment you get off the plane and throughout your stay, allowing you to make calls without cost and without surprises on your bill upon your return from your vacation.

These cards cover practically the entire world, including Argentina, Australia, Cambodia, Colombia, Egypt, the Philippines, India, Israel, Montenegro, Oman, Peru, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Vietnam, among many others.

The physical and the virtual, known as ESIM Cards with Holafly, with activation that is faster because you don’t have to wait for it to be sent to you by mail. Sign up in advance and make sure to stay connected on your trip!

Anaconda with its owner in Iquitos private house

What to Wear in Peru?

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When traveling to Peru, it’s important to consider that the climate can vary significantly depending on the region you visit. Peru has a diverse geography that includes everything from tropical jungles to high mountains, so it’s crucial to be prepared for different weather conditions. Here are some general recommendations on the clothing you might want to bring:

Layered clothing: Since temperatures can vary during the day, especially in mountainous areas, it’s advisable to wear several layers of clothing. This allows you to adapt to temperature changes and keep warm when necessary.

Light and breathable clothing: If you’re visiting the coast or the Amazon rainforest, where the weather is typically warm and humid, wear light and breathable clothing such as cotton shirts, shorts, skirts, and cool dresses. It’s also advisable to bring long-sleeved shirts and long pants to protect yourself from mosquitoes.

Warm clothing: If you plan to visit mountainous areas like the Andes or Cusco (home to Machu Picchu), the weather can be cold, especially at night. Therefore, bring warm jackets, sweaters, long pants, and thick socks. It’s also advisable to have a good coat or jacket for extremely cold conditions.

Islands of Puno

Waterproof clothing: If you’re visiting the Amazon rainforest or the highlands during the rainy season (usually from December to March), make sure to bring waterproof gear or a water-resistant jacket. This will keep you dry and comfortable during tropical downpours.

Appropriate footwear: To explore places like Machu Picchu or the Inca Trail, it’s important to wear comfortable and sturdy footwear, such as hiking boots or sneakers. If you’re visiting the jungle, consider bringing waterproof boots or closed-toe sandals to protect your feet from moisture and insects.

Remember that these are general recommendations, and you can adjust your clothing based on your specific itinerary and the time of year you’re traveling. Always check the weather forecast for the regions you’ll be visiting and adapt your luggage accordingly.

I’ve prepared a list of all the things to bring on your trip, aiming to facilitate the preparation of your suitcase. If you’d like, you can also print or view the list of everything you need to take when you travel so you don’t forget anything and can review it as many times as necessary. To do this, visit the post  Organize Your Luggage! I assure you won’t forget anything important!

Peru friends

What to Visit in Peru?

Drawing binoculars

If you’re planning to travel to Peru on your own, a good option is to combine it with Guided Tours in Spanish to make your travel and access to the most important tourist areas much easier.

I want to share with you a gem for travel enthusiasts: GetYourGuide is much more than a tour booking site; it offers you the possibility to discover every corner in English or Spanish, with passionate guides who tell you the best of each destination.

Excursion drawing

If you’re planning your next getaway, I recommend GetYourGuide. The quality of experiences and the convenience they offer are unparalleled. I have always found options that fit my tastes and preferences.

Get ready to experience unforgettable adventures as you explore the world! ✈️🌍

 
Isla de Puno Islas Flotantes

Lima

The Peruvian capital is an ideal first contact with the South American country. Lima is usually the starting point for any trip to Peru. Not only will you find a beautiful city, but it is also one of the world’s main gastronomic destinations. You will eat wonderfully!

One of your first stops in the city should be the historic center of Lima. Start your journey at the Plaza de Armas to see places like the Lima Cathedral or the Municipal Palace of Lima. Very close to the famous square is the Basilica and Convent of San Francisco de Lima, another must-see in Peru.

If you want to visit the most charming neighborhoods in the city, then we recommend heading to Barranco and Miraflores. In the latter, you can see the best sunset in Lima.

Lima city

Miraflores: This modern district is one of the most popular places for tourists. Enjoy the panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean from the Malecón, visit the Parque del Amor, where you’ll find a sculpture of the famous kiss, and explore Parque Kennedy, home to friendly stray cats.

Just head to Parque del Amor. Finally, if you enjoy visiting museums, a very interesting one is the Museo Larco, where you can get close to pre-Columbian art.

Miraflores Peru

Gastronomy: Lima is famous for its world-class gastronomic scene. Try typical Peruvian dishes such as ceviche, lomo saltado, anticucho, and delicious desserts like mazamorra morada and suspiro limeño.

La Rosa Náutica Restaurant

It is a restaurant located in the Miraflores area, right below the cliff on the coast.

Don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy Peruvian cuisine at some of Lima’s renowned restaurants such as the La Rosa Náutica Restaurant, I would return to Lima just to savor its food again, not to mention its location with land gained from the sea places it in the middle of the ocean.

La Rosa Náutica

We ordered several typical dishes, and each one was more delicious than the last. A pleasure to eat in this idyllic place. You can make reservations through their website, and if you’re going to spend a day in Miraflores, don’t hesitate to visit, you won’t regret it!

La Rosa Náutica food

You can enjoy the atmosphere with live piano music while the waves crash with their sound through the side windows. A highly recommended experience, especially considering the quality of the food.

La Rosa Náutica food

These are just some of the attractions and places you can visit in Lima. The city offers a wealth of museums, markets, parks, and a rich gastronomic offer that will allow you to immerse yourself in the culture and history of Peru.

Paracas and the Ballestas Islands

We arrive in Paracas, one of the most interesting places to see in Peru. This coastal town has two main tourist attractions: the Paracas National Reserve and the Ballestas Islands. The first can be visited independently or through a tour. During the tour of the reserve, you can see landscapes that seem to be taken from another planet. The most spectacular place is the well-known Red Beach.

Seals Ballestas Islands

On the other hand, to reach the Ballestas Islands, it is necessary to take an organized tour. Onboard a boat, you will approach the archipelago, where you can see animals such as sea lions, penguins, pelicans, and other bird species. On the way to the islands, you will pass by the famous Candelabro de Paracas.

Paracas Island

During the tour, you can observe closely species such as sea lions, Humboldt penguins, guano birds, and various seabirds. It is also possible to spot dolphins and, on some occasions, whales.

Paracas Penguins and Ballestas Islands

The Ballestas Islands are part of the Paracas National Reserve, which protects an extensive marine and terrestrial area on the Paracas Peninsula. When visiting the islands, it is important to follow the guidelines and regulations established to preserve and protect the marine ecosystem.

Candelabro de Paracas

Cusco and Sacred Valley

We arrive at one of Peru’s highlights, Cusco, the former capital of the Inca Empire, and its marvelous surroundings.
This Andean city is the ideal place to immerse yourself in Quechua culture. One of the first activities to do in Cusco is to stroll through its historic center. I recommend starting the tour in the Plaza de Armas, the city’s epicenter, and the Cusco Cathedral.

Among the places to visit in Cusco are the San Blas neighborhood, the Stone of the 12 angles, the Central Market of San Pedro, the Q’enqo Archaeological Complex, Saqsaywaman, and Qorikancha. Although one of the best plans is to get lost in the city streets in search of a restaurant with good views, I recommend Limbus Restobar.
Remember to take the first day in Cusco easy since the city is located at 3,399 meters above sea level. Some of the best recommendations to survive altitude sickness are not to have heavy meals, drink coca tea, and avoid making significant efforts as soon as you arrive in the city. Also, don’t forget to get a good international travel insurance for Peru.

Traveling from Cusco to Puno by bus, we reach this point, the highest of the journey, with beautiful views, and from where we see how the landscape changes from mountains and valleys to the high plateau.

valleys to the high plateau

Another highlight of visiting Cusco is that the surroundings are full of authentic gems. Many of the main places to see in Peru are very close to this city. Don’t miss the Sacred Valley, Lake Humantay, and the Mountain of 7 Colors.

Mountain of 7 Colors

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu, the lost city of the Incas and a wonder of the world, located at an altitude of 2,430 meters. It is one of the 7 wonders of the modern world.

There are several ways to reach Machu Picchu. The most common way is through a train that goes from Cusco or Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes. If your budget is tight, a much more economical option is to go to Hidroeléctrica by van and then hike for around 3 hours to Aguas Calientes.

Finally, you can reach Machu Picchu by taking the Inca Trail, which connects the city of Cusco with Machu Picchu. If you’re looking for adventure during your trip to Peru, it’s an ideal option. The trek is 4 days long, and the highest point of the trail is at 4,224 meters above sea level.

Machu Picchu

Visiting Machu Picchu is an unforgettable experience, and there are many things you can do while exploring this impressive Inca citadel. Here are some highlighted activities you can do at Machu Picchu:

Explore the citadel: Discover the incredible temples, plazas, and terraces of Machu Picchu. Admire Inca architecture and marvel at panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valley.

Buildings of Machu Picchu

Climb Wayna Picchu

If you want an even more spectacular panoramic view of Machu Picchu, you can climb one of the two nearby mountains. Wayna Picchu offers a close-up view of the citadel, while Machu Picchu Mountain provides a broader perspective of the site. Keep in mind that there is a daily entrance limit, and additional tickets are required for these hikes.

Climbing Wayna Picchu Sonia

Wayna Picchu, also known as Huayna Picchu or Wana Picchu, is the imposing mountain next to the Machu Picchu citadel in Peru. The ascent to Wayna Picchu is a challenging and rewarding experience for those seeking an incredible panoramic view and a different perspective of Machu Picchu.

The trail leading to the top of Wayna Picchu is steep and narrow in some stretches. It requires good physical fitness and a moderate level of physical condition to climb safely. Some sections may be steep and require climbing over rocks and steps carved into the mountain.

Once you reach the top of Wayna Picchu, you will be rewarded with spectacular views of the Machu Picchu citadel and the surrounding landscape. From there, you can appreciate the majesty of the Inca ruins and enjoy a unique perspective.

At the top of Wayna Picchu, you’ll also find the Temple of the Moon, a fascinating and mysterious Inca structure. This sacred place offers an additional insight into the architecture and natural landscape surrounding Machu Picchu. If you plan to climb Wayna Picchu, make sure to plan appropriately and be physically and mentally prepared to enjoy this unique experience at Machu Picchu, and don’t forget to bring some coca candies that you can easily buy to prevent altitude sickness.

Sonia at Machu Picchu

Visit Inti Punku (Sun Gate): This place is the original entrance to the Inca Trail and offers a spectacular view of Machu Picchu at sunrise. You can hike from the citadel to reach Inti Punku and enjoy the grandeur of the site from another angle.

Walk the Inca Bridge: This ancient hanging bridge is an architectural marvel and an additional attraction at Machu Picchu. Walk along the path leading to the bridge and enjoy the views while learning about its history.

Machu Picchu views

Explore the Inca Bridge: Located near the main entrance of Machu Picchu, this stone bridge is another impressive example of Inca architecture. You can walk there and get a close look at this ancient construction.

Machu Picchu Mountain

Learn about the history and culture of the Inca: Machu Picchu has a rich history and associated culture. Seize the opportunity to learn more about the Incas and their civilization by visiting museums and informative exhibits at the archaeological site.

Machu Picchu path

Enjoy the scenery and nature: Machu Picchu is surrounded by stunning mountain landscapes and lush vegetation. Take the time to simply appreciate the natural beauty that surrounds it and enjoy the serenity of the environment.

Scenery and nature in Machu Picchu

Huaraz

Huaraz is the city you should head to if you want to enjoy some of the most spectacular natural landscapes in Peru. Next to this city, located 400 km north of Lima, is Huascarán National Park. In this park, you can take both day trips and multi-day treks. Two of the most popular places are the Lake 69 and Lake Parón.

Lake 69

Arequipa

Arequipa is the second-largest city in Peru and has a special charm. Apart from having a charming historic center, its surroundings filled with volcanoes make the city even more magical. Arequipa, known as the “White City” due to its beautiful colonial constructions made of sillar (white volcanic stone), is a fascinating city in southern Peru. Here are some of the main attractions you can visit in Arequipa:

Plaza de Armas: It is the heart of the city and an ideal place to start your exploration. The square is surrounded by beautiful colonial buildings, such as the Cathedral of Arequipa and the Church of the Company of Jesus. You can enjoy the architecture, relax on the benches, and observe the flow of daily life.

Plaza de Armas Arequipa

Monastery of Santa Catalina: This is one of the highlights of Arequipa. It is a convent founded in 1579 and is a true labyrinth with cobblestone streets, charming courtyards, and colorful cloisters. Explore its chapels, gardens, and enjoy the serene and tranquil atmosphere it offers.

Monastery of Santa Catalina

Yanahuara Viewpoint: This viewpoint offers stunning panoramic views of the city and the surrounding volcanoes, such as Misti and Chachani. In addition to enjoying the views, you can stroll through the square and appreciate the sillar arches and colorful representations of the history of Arequipa.

Yanahuara Viewpoint

Andean Sanctuaries Museum: This museum exhibits one of the main attractions of Arequipa: the Mummy Juanita, also known as the Lady of Ampato. This Inca mummy was discovered in the nearby mountains and is believed to be an offering to the gods. The museum offers a fascinating insight into Inca culture and the history of the region.

San Camilo Market: Immerse yourself in local life and explore this bustling traditional market. Here, you will find a wide variety of fresh products, from fruits and vegetables to meats and handmade products. Additionally, you can taste typical regional dishes at the market’s eateries.

Church of San Francisco: This church and convent are another architectural gem in Arequipa. Admire the magnificent facade and explore its interior, which houses an impressive collection of religious art, such as paintings, sculptures, and altarpieces.

Iglesia de San Francisco

These are just a few of the attractions you can visit in Arequipa. The city and its surroundings offer much more to explore, from museums and art galleries to natural excursions. Enjoy the architectural beauty, rich history, and vibrant culture of Arequipa during your visit. Near Arequipa, you can also visit Chivay, take the Route of Sillar, or go trekking to one of the volcanoes.

Arequipa

Colca Canyon

Near Arequipa, a very popular place to visit in Peru is Colca Canyon.

Colca Canyon is one of the deepest canyons in the world, located in the Arequipa region of Peru. It offers stunning landscapes with rocky walls and agricultural terraces. It is famous for being home to the Andean condors, which can be observed in flight from the Cruz del Condor viewpoint.

It also provides the opportunity to experience the local culture in nearby villages, with festivities, traditional costumes, and natural hot springs. It is a popular tourist destination for those seeking nature and traditions in southern Peru.

Huacachina Oasis

Due to its unique charm, the Huacachina Oasis is one of the places that is usually included in the itinerary of anyone visiting Peru.

Peruvian Desert Sonia

This incredible oasis is located near the town of Ica. While it’s true that the oasis itself doesn’t have many attractions, the landscape created when combined with the huge sand dunes is
simply spectacular.

Huacachina Oasis Sonia

One of the most popular activities is taking a buggy tour. You’ll have a great time touring the dunes by motor and sandboarding down the sand slopes. Then, be sure to watch the sunset from the top of the dunes. It will undoubtedly be one of the most beautiful sunsets you’ll see during your trip.

Huacachina Oasis boat

Floating Islands of the Uros

In the southern part of the country, it is possible to visit the famous Lake Titicaca, which is divided between Peru and Bolivia. It is the highest lake in the world. If you want to visit it, you’ll first have to go to the city of Puno. From here, you can take a boat to visit the floating islands of the Uros. Thanks to this visit, you can get to know the rich culture of Peru even better, and I provide more information about Floating Islands of the Uros.

The Uros use totora to build the floors of their homes, with which they float on Lake Titicaca, they also use it to create natural medicines and even in their gastronomy.

A group of 80 artificial islands, not all inhabited, where you can delve into the Uros, an ancient and millennial culture that still preserves many traditions. In addition to engaging in fishing and hunting, they also dedicate themselves to the production of woolen textiles, animal preservation, and tourism.

Floating Islands of the Uros

With them, you’ll also learn about the benefits of totora, an aquatic plant that grows on the surface of the lake, and how it serves as the fundamental foundation for their society’s development. They use totora to build the foundations of their floating homes on Lake Titicaca, as well as for creating natural medicines and even for use in their gastronomy. You’ll discover how versatile this wonderful plant can be!

The Uros group blocks of totora roots which, when decomposed, produce gases that aid in flotation. The blocks undergo a drying and weaving process, forming a layer called khili that covers the islands, and on which houses made of the same material are then placed.

Puno Island Floating Islands

Every ten years, despite maintenance efforts, they begin constructing a new island and abandon the old one.

Additionally, each island has an anchoring system made with sticks that reach the lake bottom so that, due to wind action or the water’s own movement, the islands do not navigate the lake.

Uros Floating Islands family

What to bring to the Uros Islands?

To fully enjoy the Floating Islands of the Uros, we recommend bringing the following items to protect yourself from the sun, cold, and wind: Comfortable clothing, hat since the sun is scorching due to its latitude and altitude, remember that Lake Titicaca is the highest lake in the world, so if you don’t want to get sunburned, bring sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat to cover your head. If you don’t have them, you can find them there; they are sold everywhere.

It’s no coincidence that its inhabitants wear a black layer over their heads, and if you look closely, you’ll see their sunburned faces from the scorching sun.

Floating Islands of the Uros girl playing

Puno and Lake Titicaca

Puno, located in the Peruvian highlands, is a fascinating city and the starting point to explore the famous Lake Titicaca and its islands. Here are some of the main attractions and activities you can enjoy in Puno:

Lake Titicaca: Lake Titicaca is one of the highest and navigable lakes in the world. You can take a boat tour of the lake and visit the Floating Islands of the Uros, which are artificial islands made of totora, an aquatic plant. You can also visit the islands of Taquile and Amantaní, where you can experience the traditional life of local communities and enjoy stunning panoramic views.

Archaeological Complex of Sillustani: Located about 34 kilometers from Puno, Sillustani is an impressive archaeological site known for its stone funerary towers called “chullpas.” These structures belonged to the pre-Inca culture and offer a panoramic view of the surrounding landscape.

Puno and the Cathedral: Explore the historic center of Puno and visit the Cathedral of Puno, dating back to the 18th century. The cathedral is an impressive example of colonial architecture and houses a collection of religious artwork.

Carlos Dreyer Museum: This museum showcases a collection of pre-Columbian art, colonial religious art, and traditional textiles from the region. It’s an opportunity to learn about the history and culture of Puno and its surroundings.

Family in Puno Islands

Puno Fair: If you have the opportunity to visit Puno during the celebrations of the Virgin of Candelaria Festival (February), you can experience one of Peru’s largest and most colorful festivities. The city is filled with music, traditional dances, and colorful costumes during this festival.

Kuntur Wasi Viewpoint: Head to the Kuntur Wasi Viewpoint to enjoy a panoramic view of the city of Puno and Lake Titicaca. It’s a perfect spot to capture photographs and appreciate the beauty of the high-altitude landscape.

Local Cuisine: Don’t miss the opportunity to try the delicious cuisine of Puno. Taste traditional dishes such as “chupe de quinua” (quinoa soup), “rocoto relleno” (stuffed pepper), and “trucha a la parrilla” (grilled trout), among others.

These are just some of the attractions and activities you can enjoy in Puno. The city and its surroundings offer a unique cultural and natural experience in the Peruvian highlands.

Crocodile in Small Hands
Climate Drawing

Best Time to Visit Lake Titicaca: It’s advisable to avoid the rainiest months, which are usually January, February, and March. The remaining months are generally very dry and a bit cold. Keep in mind that we are at an altitude of 4000 meters, and nights easily drop to 0 degrees.

Boats to Visit the Floating Islands from Puno

Ferry Drawings

From the port of Puno or directly from the bus station, you can book excursions that explore Lake Titicaca and visit the floating islands. Keep in mind that the first tours depart at 7:00 AM, and those departing later may not have enough time to reach Taquile.

If you think sailing might make you seasick, this won’t be the case. The boats move very slowly due to a speed restriction in the area.

From Puno, boats depart daily for visiting the floating islands and optionally stopping at an island in the lake, such as Taquile. It takes about an hour to reach the Uros islands, with the first excursions leaving at 7 AM.

What do its inhabitants eat?

The fish from Lake Titicaca is the main source of food for the Uros, and it was an enchanting experience to see children playing with the fish they had for dinner, as shown in this snapshot.

Floating Islands of the Uros Child with Fish

Where to Eat at Lake Titicaca?

On the floating islands, you won’t have time, although you can chew Totora. Therefore, the option remains in Taquile, where there are very few choices. The first is to bring your own food, the second is to go with the tour guide and choose the restaurant arranged for this purpose (15/20 soles), and the last is to use the small supermarket in the town square, where prices are adjusted to tourism… 1 to 2.5 soles per 0.75-1.5l water bottle.

Typical Dishes of Puno that will Conquer You 

Fried trout from Puno

On Lake Titicaca, trout fishing provides a delightful dining experience.

Fried trout is a source of essential vitamins and minerals, making it another healthy dish in the local gastronomy.

Fried trout is served with golden potatoes, criolla sauce, and corn.

Sancochado

Sancochado, also known as Sajta, is a delicacy made primarily from chicken, chicken, or beef.

It is also added with boiled potatoes, carrots, peas, onion, and white chuño. These ingredients are combined with a sauce made of ground peanuts, cheese, panca chili, and biscuits.

A truly nutritious delight for lunch!

How to Get to Lake Titicaca?

Bus

Both from Cuzco and Arequipa, there are regular bus services, both overnight and daytime. The overnight buses are usually premium, quite comfortable and logically more expensive, but keep in mind that you save a night in a hotel and don’t lose a day on the roads. We traveled with the company CRUZ DEL SUR, 18$ to 25$, depending on whether you choose bed or semi-bed. The bed option is first class with an individual TV… what’s the point if you’re sleeping?

Sonia Rice Terraces

Will I Feel the Effects of Altitude?

The Uros are at an altitude of 3812m, so you may experience symptoms of altitude sickness if you don’t give your body enough time to adapt. Also, the boat trip can amplify nausea. To alleviate these symptoms, there is coca tea, which you can easily find throughout the country.

Coca Tea Cup

Some tips for acclimating to the altitude:

Rest: I always find it very helpful to take a nap, it is the most efficient and avoid any physical effort on the first day, but if you come from Cusco, don’t worry, you’ll be fine. Eat light, drink plenty of water, avoid alcohol and cigarettes.

Cultivation Terraces

How Much Does the Visit Cost?

Around 30/45 soles. Not including meals or additional boat rides.

An interesting visit to Taquile, especially if you seek a cultural immersion in Peru. A quite complete day that also gives you the opportunity to take a bus to Arequipa on your return.

Go to the Uros Islands on Your Own

Canoe Drawing

The advantage of going to Uros on your own is that it’s more economical, as you buy the ticket directly at the port. The boat makes the round trip between Puno and Uros every day from 6 am to 4:30 pm.

The trip takes 30 minutes and costs 15 soles. You also have to pay an entrance fee to the islands of 2.50 soles. Once there, if you want to take the reed boat tour that they always offer, you have to pay 10 soles, it’s optional, but I recommend it because it’s worth it.

My advice: If after visiting the Uros, you want to go to Taquile without using a travel agency, you can simply take the boat in Puno that goes to Taquile because it always makes a stop at the Uros islands. But be careful, there is only one departure per day at 7:30 am!

Llama with mother and small child in Peru

Tour to the Uros Islands

Canoe drawing

The advantage of going with an agency is that you can make the most of your time.

The Uros tours can be half-day, full-day, or two days, depending on what is included in the program. Here are the best excursions with hotel pick-up in Puno. They are in high demand, so make sure to book in advance to ensure availability.

Uros Island (1/2 day)

This is the shortest tour (3 hours) that only includes the visit to the Uros and is perfect if you have very little time.

Book it here: GETYOURGUIDE

Children selling bracelets in Taquile

Uros Island and Taquile Island (1 day)

If you have a bit more time, I recommend this option, which is much better, as it also includes a visit to Taquile Island with a short walk through its trails and lunch on the island.

Book it here: GETYOURGUIDE

Peru

Taquile Island

Today, the island has 1700 inhabitants and is the largest on Lake Titicaca. It takes approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes from the floating islands, so it’s a good time to take a nap before visiting.

Once there, you’ll have to climb a steep hill from 3900m to 4020m, so take oxygen and be patient!

Taquile Island is one of the wonders of Lake Titicaca. Its people are known for their beautiful textiles, which are renowned worldwide. In fact, these textiles with unique and colorful designs were named by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity, making it a new source of pride for Peru!

Valley Views

In Taquile, you’ll also find remnants of ancient pre-Inca and Inca constructions, as well as paths and terraces that tell the story of these ancient civilizations.

Perhaps the best part of the island is observing its people. The colors of their clothes indicate their status and whether they are married or single, a good way to know if you can switch to seduction mode or not.

The colors of their clothes indicate their rank on the island of Puno men

When women get married, they weave their husband’s belt and indicate in it the expectations for the future… children… What curiosities the island has, where money is only for tourists because they still continue with the old tradition of barter.

Spinning girl

The women of Taquile dress in multicolored skirts and dark tones, while on their heads, they wear a black shawl, which serves to protect their neck and face from the sun’s rays. Meanwhile, men wear pants, a white shirt, a vest, and a chullo which, according to its shape, indicates whether they are married or seeking a partner.

Sonia in Machu Picchu

Iquitos and the Amazon Rainforest

If you want to delve into the Amazon Rainforest, there is no more special place to do so than Iquitos, the gateway to the Peruvian Amazon. Did you know that Iquitos is the largest city in the world inaccessible by road? The easiest way to reach it is through a two-hour flight from Lima.

In Iquitos, you can enjoy a destination full of nature and wildlife. One of the best ways to experience the Amazon is by taking a multi-night cruise. There are also numerous lodges located in the rainforest where you can stay and take excursions.

In the city of Iquitos itself, it is also recommended to visit the Plaza de Armas, the Casa de Fierro, the Malecón Tarapaca, and the Pilpintuwasi Butterfly House.

Iquitos and the Amazon Rainforest

What to see in Iquitos?

Iquitos is the gateway to your unforgettable experience in the Amazon rainforest and one of the most popular jungle destinations in Peru. The Peruvian territory of the Amazon rainforest is approximately 60%, and it houses 850 different species of flora, over 330 birds, and 150 reptiles and amphibians.

In Iquitos, you can witness hectic traffic with more mototaxis than you’ve ever seen, fascinating jungle culture, and extraordinary food.

Here, I will tell you everything about the different climatic periods, the city of Iquitos and its culture, as well as why you should be cautious when trying Ayahuasca, aiming to ensure that by the end of this post, you are perfectly prepared to visit the Peruvian jungle.

Amazon River

High Waters in Iquitos

An important point to consider when planning your trip to Iquitos is the high and low water seasons. The high-water season is from December to May, where water levels are the highest, and the Amazon River rises more than 7 m.

Visiting during this time, you can travel through the rainforest by boat and explore impassable streams that you cannot navigate during the low-water season. As a result, you will get even closer to the incredible wildlife of the Amazon River. Also, your chances of seeing animals like pink dolphins, giant river otters, piranhas, night monkeys, river turtles, and other species living in the depths of the jungle are higher.

Low Waters in Iquitos

The low water season extends from June to November. Temperatures can rise up to 34°C during this time. Water levels are up to 7 meters lower, requiring a bit of walking instead of using the boat. One advantage is that due to less rainfall, there will be fewer mosquitoes around.

Still, make sure to always use insect repellent.

How to Get to Iquitos?

Canoa dibujo

To reach Iquitos, you only have two options: by air or by water! Since the city is located in the middle of the Amazon and approximately 1,012 km from the capital Lima, the best way to get there is by plane.

Dibujo Avión y Mundo

The flight from Lima to Iquitos takes around 2 hours. From Cusco to Iquitos, it’s a little over 2 hours. Typically, the most reliable airline for this flight is Latam.

In the end, it depends on your itinerary as you can visit the jungle before or after your Cusco tours.

From Lima to Iquitos, you’ll have more available flights and probably also cheaper flights than from Cusco to Iquitos.

Rebaño de llamas

Grifo de agua dibujo

Be cautious and do not drink tap water at your hostel, only filtered water. We recommend that you bring a 1-1.5 L water bottle to refill.

Accommodation in Iquitos

hotel drawing

Here is a link to the best hostels in IquitosIn our case, we chose the Heliconia Jungle Lodge located right on the banks of the Amazon River, approximately 80 km from the bustling city of Iquitos, right in the middle of the jungle.

Hotel Amazonas Iquitos

In addition to being an excellent starting point for travelers to explore the jungle, the lodge is ideal for those who also want to have the essential comfort during their adventure. Here you can see the pier.

Most importantly, you can sleep in comfortable beds in rooms that are completely protected by mosquito nets so that insects do not bother you at night.

Heliconia Jungle Lodge pier

There are also several hammocks perfect for relaxing and listening to the sounds of the jungle.

The lodge is the perfect base to start your Amazon adventure, so it is included in both the 3-day Iquitos tour and the 4-day Iquitos tour

Some of the typical activities you can do in Iquitos are:

  • Boat trip on the Amazon River (boat to see the pink dolphins of the Amazon)
  • Visit the monkey island
  • Meet a real local community
  • Night walk through the jungle
Heliconia Jungle Lodge

Boat trip on the Amazon River 

The appearance of green plants in the Amazon River is mainly due to the presence of aquatic vegetation known as macrophytes or aquatic plants. These plants have evolved to live in aquatic environments, including rivers, lakes, and wetlands.

Sonia with sloth

Here are some reasons why these plants thrive in the Amazon River:

Protection against the current, many of the macrophytes present in the Amazon River have flexible structures that allow them to resist the force of the current. Their roots and stems intertwine with each other and with other elements of the aquatic ecosystem, providing stability and allowing them to stay in place.

The presence of these green plants in the Amazon River is essential for the balance of the aquatic ecosystem. In addition to providing habitats and food for various aquatic species, they contribute to the oxygenation of the water and help filter and purify the riverine ecosystem.

Sounds of the Amazon Rainforest

The sound of nature in the Amazon jungle of Peru is a fascinating and lively auditory spectacle. Here is a description of some of the characteristic sounds you can experience in this lush and biodiverse region.

You can hear the hums and chirps of insects, contributing to the symphony of the Amazon jungle. The buzzing of cicadas and crickets intertwines with the trills of tree frogs and grasshoppers, creating a unique melodic cacophony.

The Amazon jungle is home to a variety of birds, and their songs fill the air with a symphony of sounds. From the melodic chirps of birds like parrots, toucans, and hummingbirds, to the striking and strident calls of macaws, the sound of birds is omnipresent and full of color.

Security in Iquitos

Police drawing

Once you arrive in the city of Iquitos, you should take the usual precautions and try not to walk after dark, always be attentive to your surroundings, and be cautious of pickpockets.

Generally, you won’t stay in the city for long, as normally from the airport, you head to the city’s port and from there, you’ll take a speedboat to the lodge in the jungle.

Girl with sloth in arms

In the jungle itself, you’ll be safe anyway, there are dangerous animals, so it’s important to listen to your guide.

The animals of the Amazon jungle and nature are something very unique, and you have to respect and love them as their communities do.

Indigenous Communities in Iquitos

Amazon indigenous drawing

While exploring the jungle of Iquitos, you will have the opportunity to meet one of the many native communities. Most of them have been influenced by Catholic missions, but they still maintain their ancestral habits such as dances, food, language, art, and more.

Amazon Tribes

Get to know a real local community, some of the well-known communities are the Capanahuas, Jibaros, Cocamas, Cocaínas, and Remiyacus, Boras, Yaguas; visiting the Yagua community is highly recommended, I did it and enjoyed it, you can book it at Iquitos Tours.

Traditional Dances of the Yagua Tribe 

The Amazon tribes have a rich variety of traditional dances that reflect their culture, beliefs, and connection with nature. Here is a brief explanation of some typical dances:

Snake Dance: This dance represents veneration and respect for snakes, considered sacred in many Amazonian cultures. Dancers imitate the undulating movements of snakes and use elaborate masks and costumes.

Jungle Dance: This dance symbolizes the deep relationship between tribes and the jungle. Dancers portray jungle animals such as jaguars, monkeys, or exotic birds through graceful movements and body expressions.

Rain Dance: This dance is performed as a way to invoke rain, vital for survival in the jungle. Dancers mimic the sound and movements of rain, using rhythmic movements and jumps.

War Dance: This dance is performed before a battle or as a symbolic representation of war. Dancers demonstrate their strength and courage through energetic movements, jumps, and the use of spears or other ceremonial objects.

Harvest Dance: This dance is carried out to celebrate and thank successful harvests. Dancers use festive and cheerful movements while carrying agricultural products such as fruits and vegetables.

These are just general examples; each dance has its own meaning and purpose within the tribe’s culture, serving as an important artistic expression that conveys their identity and ancestral heritage.

Children replace toys with Amazon animals, like these children playing with a turtle, to which they attach a string, a little monkey, and a sloth below.

Yagua Tribe Children

Yagua Community

The Yaguas, are experts in the use of blowguns and do not hesitate to demonstrate their skill to tourists in a show specially prepared to delight us with their dances and customs. Two living ancestral worlds that we can share, admire, and get to know in Loreto, in the heart of the Peruvian jungle.

Use of blowgun in Yagua village

Ayahuasca: One of the main reasons many people fly to Iquitos is to try Ayahuasca, a powerful psychedelic drink made from local plants. Shamans have been using their plant healing methods for over thousands of years.

Many individuals have reported life-changing experiences after taking this medicine; others had dramatic visions and hallucinations. If you want to try it, I recommend doing proper research and doing it in a professional environment with people who know what they are doing.

We recommend not buying, either Ayahuasca or any other unknown substance in the Belén market and not trying it on your own, as the effects can be fatal. These communities have vast experience in using plants from the Amazon jungle and herbs for healing; they are well-known for hallucinogenic drinks, such as “Ayahuasca.”

Yagua Child

How do the Yagua Tribe make Blowguns?

The Amazon tribes, such as the Yanomami, Yagua Tribe, Matsés, and Waorani, have used blowguns for centuries as hunting and defense tools. The blowgun is a long, narrow tube usually made of bamboo or wood, with a notch at one end to hold the arrow and a mouthpiece at the other end for blowing. The arrows used with blowguns are also handcrafted.

Natural Blush

The arrowheads can be made of different materials, such as bone, animal teeth, hardened wood, or metal. These arrowheads are attached to the front of the arrow using resins or plant fibers. Additionally, some tribes apply natural poisons to arrowheads to increase their effectiveness.

Here’s the explanation they gave us about how they make them in this Yagua Tribe.

Trujillo

It is one of the most picturesque cities to see in Peru and despite not being as visited as Lima, Cusco, or Arequipa, Trujillo is a very interesting city. This Peruvian locality is located in the north of the country. It was built next to the ancient pre-Columbian city of Chan Chan. It is the largest adobe city in America.

If you’re traveling to Trujillo, don’t miss the Plaza de Armas, the Huacas del Sol and de la Luna, El Brujo, the Cathedral of Trujillo, and the Casa Urquiaga.

Casitas de los Yaguas

Cham Cham 

Chan Chan is a large archaeological complex on the north coast of Peru, near Trujillo. It was the capital of the Chimú kingdom and is composed of nine walled citadels. The structures are made of adobe and feature detailed decorations.

It is famous for its architecture, urban planning, and reliefs depicting everyday life. The Tschudi Complex is one of the best-preserved parts. Chan Chan is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is an impressive visit to learn about the ancient Chimú civilization.

Casita de Iquitos tribu Yaguas

¿Cómo son  los enchufes en Perú?

Enchufe dibujo

Electricity 220V, 60Hz

Enchufe Bolivia Peru

Plug type A (2 flat parallel pins)

Plug type C (2 thin round pins)

If you need to buy a Travel Adapter , I personally buy power plug adapters on Amazon, where you’ll find a great selection. Click directly on the link to buy yours.

The need for a power plug adapter also depends on the country you live in. If you need more information about plugs from anywhere in the world, you can visit the page Enchufes del Mundo.

Perezoso en posición de ataque

Typical Foods of Peru

Comida dibujo

Peru is known for its rich and varied gastronomy, combining indigenous, Spanish, African, and Asian influences. Here are some typical Peruvian dishes you shouldn’t miss:

Ceviche

Ceviche: One of Peru’s most iconic dishes. It consists of raw fish or seafood marinated in lime juice, accompanied by red onion, chili, cilantro, and sweet potato.

Lomo saltado: A delicious dish of Chinese influence that combines sautéed beef with onion, tomato, and yellow chili. It is served with rice and French fries.

Causa limeña

Causa limeña: A type of yellow potato cake seasoned with lemon and yellow chili. It is usually filled with tuna, chicken, shrimp, or vegetables and is accompanied by olives and hard-boiled eggs.

Anticuchos

Anticuchos: Skewers of marinated beef in panca chili and spices, then grilled. They are very popular as street food and are served with potatoes and chili sauce.

Ají de gallina: A creamy stew made with shredded chicken breast, yellow chili, soaked bread, and nuts. It is served with white rice, boiled potatoes, olives, and hard-boiled eggs.

Comida dibujo

Get ready to enjoy some of the most incredible meals you’ve ever tasted, as the gastronomy in Peru and especially in the Amazon jungle is truly unique. In my case, I was impressed because I expected to eat regular food in the middle of the Amazon, and to my surprise, I tried authentic delicacies. 

It’s an exotic mix of Peruvian, Brazilian, and Colombian cuisine with influences from the Andes and the coast. Some of the most popular dishes include:

Tacacho

Tacacho: Made with slices of fried plantain, then mashed with chicharron (fried pork fat) and usually served with chorizo (fried sausage).

Tacacho con Cecina

Tacacho con Cecina: This is a traditional Peruvian dish that is usually served for breakfast. Normally, plantains are grilled or boiled and then mashed with a large wooden mortar.

After that, this mash is combined with pork lard, salt, pieces of chicharrón, and served with vegetables and chorizo on the side.

frutas tropicales desayuno Iquitos

The tropical fruits that arrived by canoe and were made into juices for breakfast, right after receiving them, were incredible. As Peruvians really identify with their gastronomy, this topic had to be included.

Comida peruana

Traditional Drinks of Peru

drinks drawing

Peru boasts a variety of traditional drinks that reflect its cultural diversity and the richness of its ingredients. Here are some of the most popular and representative drinks of Peru:

Pisco Sour: Considered Peru’s flagship cocktail, Pisco Sour is a blend of pisco (grape brandy), lemon juice, simple syrup, egg white, and a dash of Angostura bitters. It is refreshing and has a balanced taste between sweetness and acidity.

Chicha Morada: This beverage is made from purple corn, to which fruits such as pineapple, apple, cinnamon, and cloves are added. It is a sweet and refreshing drink with an intense purple color. Chicha Morada is very popular and consumed throughout the country.

Pisco Sour

Inca Kola: Known as the “golden drink of Peru,” Inca Kola is a bright yellow, sweet soda. It is very popular in Peru and has a unique and distinctive flavor that many Peruvians enjoy.

Coca Tea: Coca tea is an infusion made from coca leaves, a traditional plant in Andean culture. It is considered an energizing beverage and is consumed in high-altitude regions to combat the effects of altitude sickness.

Emoliente: This is a hot herbal drink traditionally consumed as a medicinal tonic. It is made with a variety of herbs such as barley, flaxseed, lemon verbena, boldo, among others. Lemon and sugar cane syrup are added for sweetness.

Chicha de Jora: Chicha de Jora is a traditional alcoholic beverage made from fermented jora corn. It is very ancient, with a slightly sweet and slightly acidic taste. It is mainly found in rural areas and consumed during celebrations and festivals.

Craft Beer: Peru also has a growing craft beer scene, with various local breweries producing a wide range of beer styles. You can try different Peruvian craft beers such as Cusqueña, Arequipeña, or Barbarian, among others.

Typical Peruvian Beer

These are just some of the traditional drinks of Peru. The diversity and richness of Peruvian cuisine extend to beverages, and there are many more options to discover and enjoy during your visit to the country.

What to Buy in Peru?

shopping-bag picture

If you are  traveling to Peru, you can be sure to fall in love with the handicrafts and fabrics. However, when you approach any stall or shop, you won’t see the prices of the items you are interested in. Get ready to haggle!

You have to understand that just because you’re a tourist, prices can triple, and the final cost will depend on your bargaining skills. Do it with respect and a smile on your face.

Belén Market

Stand drawing

Famous for its  jungle food, handicrafts, and especially the Alley of the Shamans, known as the ” Witch Market.” Here, you can find all kinds of medicines, tobacco, and other exotic items from the Amazon.

This is an exceptional place for all fruit lovers; you can try fruits you’ve never heard of before, such as soursop, aguaje, lucuma, or camu-camu, and chirimoya.

The Sisters in the Amazon River

Typical Animals of the Amazon

The Amazon is known for being home to an incredible diversity of animal species. Here are some of the most iconic and fascinating animals found in the Amazon region:

Jaguar: It is the largest feline in America and one of the main predators in the Amazon.

Green Anaconda: It is a giant and powerful snake that can reach several meters in length.

Amazon Green Anaconda

The Anaconda is a member of the boa family and one of the largest snakes in the world; they can grow to over 10 m and weigh more than 250 kg.

In the Amazon jungle, green anacondas live in slow-moving streams and swamps and feed on turtles, birds, capybaras, and even caimans and jaguars.

Underwater, the green anaconda can reach an impressive speed of 6 meters per second.

Piranha: Small carnivorous fish with sharp teeth that live in the Amazon rivers. They are known for their fierceness while feeding. These fish are only found in streams and freshwater rivers, mainly in the Amazon basin in South America.

The red-bellied piranha is one of the most infamous fish for its danger, as it has a prominent jaws full of sharp, interlocking teeth when closing its mouth, this specimen could be among the most dangerous marine animals in the world, but that’s not the case.

Sonia in Amazon River walking

It will be an exciting experience; they give you the fishing rods, put the bait on them, and wait for them to bite… it doesn’t take long!

Basically, they only attack if they feel threatened or hunger presses them. However, fatal attacks are rare, and usually, it’s just a little bite, like a pinch, on the feet or hands.

Piranhas associate in large schools, and they are attracted to the disturbance of the waters and the smell of blood.

The bite force of a piranha equals 320 newtons, three times greater than that of a crocodile of the same weight.

Pink Amazon River Dolphin: It is the largest river dolphin in the world and has a distinctive pink color.

Black Caiman: It is a large crocodile that inhabits the waters of the Amazon basin.

Black caimans are the largest predators in the Peruvian Amazon basin. Adult specimens can reach up to 5 m in length and weigh around 800 pounds.

Cocodrilo en las manos pequeñito

Black caimans love to stay warm and can be seen sunning themselves in swamps and nearby lakes. They tend to hunt at night, and their prey includes monkeys, armadillos, turtles, and capybaras.

A curious fact is that in nature, a black caiman has an average lifespan of 80 years. In well-preserved environments, it can live up to 100 years.

Sonia abrazando a un osos hormiguero

Bullet Ant

Considered the most venomous ant in the world, its sting is extremely painful. It is said that the bullet ant’s sting is up to 30 times more painful than that of a bee or a common wasp. Similar, they say, to the intense burning pain caused by a bullet when it hits us.

The story of the bullet ant is connected to Northwestern Amazonia, with the Sateré Mawe, and this with the production and consumption of guarana, and the ritual of passage of the indigenous ethnicity.  The bullet ant Paraponera clavata is one of the insects with the most painful sting in the world, not the most lethal.

Its intensity, classified at the highest level in the perception of pain from insect stings on the Schmidt scale, corresponds to almost unbearable pain, which even sometimes causes the affected person to lose consciousness.

The effect of the sting is used by members of the Sateré Mawé ethnicity as a test of bravery and physical resistance in the rite of passage from adolescence to adulthood.

These ants evolved from a wasp that lived in the mid-Cretaceous period, about 110 to 130 million years ago.

https://youtu.be/j9CfOMPlpFI
Giant Amazon Toad: It is the largest toad in the world and can measure over 20 centimeters in length.

Scarlet Macaw: It is a colorful and striking bird found in the Amazon rainforest.  Macaws are colorful members of the long-tailed parrot family. They have strong beaks that allow them to easily crack nuts and seeds.

More surprisingly, their beaks have a bone inside, making them incredibly useful for grasping fruits. Macaws are very social and intelligent birds. They gather in flocks of up to 30 birds, and their distinctive calls and cries resonate through the Amazon rainforest.

Guacamayo Escarlata

Fun fact:  once they choose a partner, macaws usually stay together for life. Furthermore, they spend a significant amount of time together, taking care of their offspring, sharing food, and grooming each other. They can also be seen flying close to each other along the rainforest canopy.

Ocelot: It is a small feline with a beautiful spotted fur that inhabits the jungle regions of the Amazon.

Goliath Birdeater Tarantula: It is one of the largest and most feared tarantulas in the world, with a robust body and hairy legs.

Tarántula Goliat

It is the largest tarantula in the world, a true Amazonian hunter. Its habitat is distributed among the tropical jungles of the mountainous regions of South America. On average, the fangs of the species can measure up to 2.5 cm.

It is the largest tarantula in the world,
They are completely black, and inject a paralyzing substance, which kills their victims in a few minutes. After the neurotoxins completely immobilize the animal, they transport it to their burrow to feast.

Upon reaching adulthood, these animals can measure up to 30 centimeters.

We encountered one on a night outing, the thing is that we were told they weren’t dangerous… and there it is on my arm, how daring!

The Sloth: The sloth is one of the most distinctive mammals in the Amazon jungle. Sloths have an exceptionally low metabolic rate, which means that they spend most of the day sleeping.

Sloth

Known for their slow-paced lifestyle, these slow-moving tree dwellers can sleep up to 18 hours a day. Although they resemble monkeys, sloths are actually part of the armadillo and anteater family.

In the Amazon, you can find two types of sloths: two-toed sloths (omnivores) and three-toed sloths (herbivores).

Fun fact: while they enjoy a nap, sloths feel at home in the water. Occasionally , they drop from tree tops into the water to swim. They use their arms to paddle and can even cross rivers.

Sloth in attack position

These are just a few examples of the amazing diversity of animal life found in the Amazon. There are many more fascinating species inhabiting this rich and lush tropical jungle.

Pink Dolphin in Iquitos, Amazon: The pink river dolphin is a unique freshwater dolphin that swims through the currents of the Amazon River. Unlike their marine counterparts, pink river dolphins have rounded foreheads and long, slender snouts.

These friendly species are considered mythical creatures in many South American traditions and are more recognizable for their unique pink hue. The brighter the pink color, the more attractive the males are to females during the mating season.

Sister with Anaconda around neck

How to Call from Peru?

smartphone drawing

The dialing code to call from Spain to Peru is as follows: 1912 + 00 + 34 + City Code + the number you want to call.

To call from Spain to Peru, it would be: 00 51 + NUMBER

Remember to check rates and conditions with your phone provider and consider the time zone differences. I recommend checking out the E-SIM cards in the post where I explain how to have internet from the moment you get off the plane and throughout your stay to make calls without cost and without surprises on your bill upon returning from your vacation.

Showers in Yaguas Tribe Iquitos

Is it Safe to Travel to Peru?

Police drawing

First-time visitors to Peru may find the country bustling and bewildering, and it’s easy to be caught off guard. While security has improved, especially in Lima, thefts, muggings, and bag snatching still occur on the streets.

Although some places say it’s an unsafe country, and it may be in certain areas of Peru, the truth is that we had no problems anywhere by maintaining the usual precautions of any trip.

Amazon River giant water lilies

National Holidays in Peru

Calendar drawing

In Peru, there are several national holidays and significant celebrations throughout the year. Here are some of the main ones:

  • New Year’s Day (January 1): Celebrated with fireworks, parties, and family gatherings.
  • Holy Week (varies each year, usually in March or April): A significant religious celebration with processions and activities related to the Catholic faith.
  • Labor Day (May 1): Commemorates International Workers’ Day with parades, demonstrations, and events related to labor rights.
  • Independence Day (July 28 and 29): Celebrates Peru’s independence from Spain with parades, civic events, music, folk dances, and fireworks.
  • Assumption of the Virgin (August 15): A religious festival honoring the Virgin of the Assumption, the patroness of Peru. Processions and religious activities take place.
  • All Saints’ Day (November 1): Pays tribute to the deceased by visiting cemeteries, decorating graves, and sharing traditional meals.
  • Christmas (December 25): Celebrated with masses, gift exchanges, family dinners, and festive decorations.

These are just some of the standout national festivities in Peru. Additionally, each region and city has its own local celebrations and cultural traditions, so there are many more celebrations throughout the year across the country.

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