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.
Holidays In Peru
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 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
- 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. See Peru holiday ideas for more information and suggestions
There is a good choice of carriers from the UK to Peru. Flights to Lima from London via Europe include KLM (via Amsterdam), LAN and Iberia (via Madrid). Regional departures include Manchester, Birmingham, Cardiff and Edinburgh.