Overview

Introduction

Peru is one of the most varied and exciting countries in South America. An immensely long desert coastline and vast areas of tropical rainforest are divided by the magnificent Andean mountain range. The contrasting environments offer a unique opportunity to experience an incredibly wide range of spectacular scenery, a wealth of archaeological sites, a vibrant culture and an abundance of wildlife.

With so much on offer, our holidays to Peru can be tailor-made to reflect your particular interests - be it culture, wildlife or soft-adventure. We also offer self-drive options in several areas of Peru to allow greater independence and flexibility for those who want to travel at their own pace.

The Andes mountains are the backbone of Peru running from north to south. They are also the source of rivers flowing west to the Pacific Ocean and east towards the Amazon Basin.

The coastal area, consisting of a narrow band of desert bathed by the Pacific along over 3,000 kilometres of cliffs and beaches, has very little rainfall. In contrast, The Amazon region has very lush vegetation due to the heavy rainfall it receives throughout the year. Around 70% of Peru's population of 26 million people live in the coastal area with over 8 million living in or around the capital Lima.

Following the defeat of the Incas by the Spanish in the 16th century and the subsequent colonisation, many Peruvians are mestizo (mixed race) and Spanish is the official language.

However, there is a significant indigenous indian population, many of whom live in the Southern Andes and the Amazon areas. Peru achieved independence and formed a republic early in the 19th century.

The contrasts in both the geography and the cultures make it an interesting and varied place for Peru holidays, especially as new sites are still being discovered. Famous sites include the stunning Inca city of Machu Picchu sited high in the cloud forest, and the intriguing Nasca Lines which offer a glimpse of pre-Inca cultures. To the south, on the border with Bolivia, the beautiful Lake Titicaca at 4000m above sea level is the highest navigable lake in the world and home to several distinct indigenous communities. View the Highlights of Peru itinerary or Peru Deluxe Itinerary

The stunning Colca Canyon is the second deepest canyon in the world and offers the opportunity to see condors, while Northern Peru has numerous pre-Inca and natural sites.

The two main accessible jungle areas, Madre de Dios to the south and via Iquitos to the north, both offer wonderful opportunities to experience the rain forest, indigenous cultures and the diverse wildlife of the Peruvian Amazon Basin.

 

Peru holidays at a Glance

  • Can be visited all year round (although can be heavy rain around Machu Picchu in January & February)
  • Fascinating history and culture
  • 3 distinct geographical areas: coastal region, Andean mountains and Amazon Basin
  • Diverse and exciting wildlife especially in Amazon Basin
  • Good for soft adventure: walking, trekking & white water rafting
  • Famous sites including: Machu Picchu, the Nasca Lines & Lake Titicaca. Also many other sites are still being discovered.
  • Exciting train rides through the mountains
  • High standard of accommodation

 

Country Combinations

  • Both Ecuador & The Galápagos combine well with Peru, as does Bolivia
  • Suggested country combination itineraries include:  'Incas and Islands itinerary' (Peru & Galapagos) & 'Journey Through The Andes itinerary' (Peru, Chile & Bolivia).
  • With so much on offer, a Peru holiday can be tailor-made to reflect your particular interests. We also offer self-drive options in several areas to allow greater independence and flexibility for those who prefer to travel at their own pace. 
Read more

Getting There

There are direct flights with British Airways from London Gatwick to Lima.
There are also flights to Lima from London airports via Europe which include KLM (via Amsterdam),  Air France (via Paris) and LATAM Airlines, Iberia and Air Europa (via Madrid). Other options include Avianca (via Bogota) to both Lima and Cusco. LATAM Airlines also fly from London Heathrow via Sao Paulo to Lima. Also there are flights from London Heathrow to Lima via  Miami with American Airlines.  Any flights via the US require an ESTA application.  Regional departures include Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle, Bristol, Cardiff and Edinburgh.

Inti Raymi

Inti Raymi (Peru) 24 June

To the sun-worshipping Incas, the winter solstice was a very important and sacred day in the calendar. Academics, archaeologists and historians combine forces to present a fascinating event. The central event in Cusco is acted out below the imposing fortress of Sacsayhuaman, 2 km outside the city. It is celebrated throughout the country with religious ceremonies, lively dancing and colourful festivities.

Please note that booking more than 6 months in advance is strongly recommended.

Procession of Lord of the Miracles

Procession of Lord of the Miracles (Peru) 18-19 & 28 October

An enormous image of the Señor de los Milagros, patron saint of Lima, is paraded through the city streets on a massive wood and silver float (on the shoulders of 30 men) decorated by flowers among a haze of incense and a mass of purple-clad miracle worshippers. The ritual has spread throughout the country as accounts of miracles continue to be reported.

Foreign Office advice

We’ve partnered with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Travel Aware campaign to help provide top tips and advice for planning for your trip abroad. It’s important to do some research before you travel to learn about any necessary visas and vaccinations required for entry to your destination, understand any unusual laws and customs and to be aware of the latest travel advice for the region. Click on the link below for more information on what to prepare for your trip overseas. You can also sign up for email alerts and follow @FCOtravel on Twitter for alerts whilst you are away.

Visit gov.uk/travelaware for more information

Useful information

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Peru boasts wonderful archaeological sites such as an Inca city suspended high in the cloud forest and its rainforest is home to an amazing diversity of plants and wildlife. It is also the foodie hub of South America.

Will Rist
Will Rist
Best time to go
  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC
Time Difference

GMT - 6 hours

Currency

Nuevo Sol or US dollar

Language

Spanish

Average flight times

12 hours 30 minutes. BA direct flight from London Gatwick

  • Average temperature

    Average rainfall

Talk to our Peru expert

Will Rist
Will Rist

Peru boasts wonderful archaeological sites such as an Inca city suspended high in the cloud forest and its rainforest is home to an amazing diversity of plants and wildlife. It is also the foodie hub of South America.

Call one of our experts to discuss your next holiday with Sunvil on

020 8758 4774

We're open today till 5:30 PM

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We promise that a member of our specialist reservation teams will reply personally to your holiday enquiry before 5.30pm if received before 12.00pm (Monday to Friday). Enquiries received after 12.00pm will be replied to within 24-hours (excluding Sundays).

If your enquiry is of an urgent nature, please telephone our dedicated reservation teams on the numbers listed below.

Our lines are open from 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday-Friday and from 9.30am to 4.30pm Saturday.

  • Greece: 020 8758 4758
  • Cyprus: 020 8758 4759
  • Portugal, the Azores, Spain, Italy, Sicily and Scandinavia: 020 8758 4722
  • Latin America: 020 8758 4774

Required Information

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If your enquiry is of an urgent nature, please telephone our dedicated reservation teams on the numbers listed below.

Our lines are open from 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday-Friday and from 9.30am to 4.30pm Saturday.

  • Greece: 020 8758 4758
  • Cyprus: 020 8758 4759
  • Portugal, the Azores, Italy, Sicily and Scandinavia: 020 8758 4722
  • Latin America: 020 8758 4774

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