Things to Know Before Your First Trip to Peru

Bordered by Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Bolivia, and Chile, Peru is a fascinating South American country with a deep connection to its ancestral roots.

The birthplace of the Inca people, Peru is still home to many indigenous peoples (nearly half the population is fully indigenous). From the Quechua people who reside in the Andean highlands to the Uros people who reside on the islands of Lake Titicaca, some of the most incredible and diverse people in the world live within this country’s borders.

Because Peru has such a rich and intriguing culture and history, travelers may be a bit intimidated by the idea of visiting. For those who want to feel more informed before they hop on a plane, this guide breaks down some of the most important things every tourist ought to know.

Best Time to Visit

In general, the best time to visit Peru is during the dry season, particularly from June to August.

This is also the peak tourist season in Peru, so it’ll definitely be busy. However, the weather is also stunning during this period, with bright blue skies, sunny days, and hot temperatures (around 90 degrees Fahrenheit).

Things to See

There are lots of impressive attractions to see in Peru, including the following:

  • Arequipa: This is a colonial city located near a series of active volcanoes and some of the deepest canyons in the world
  • Cusco: This is an Andean town filled with a stunning mix of Inca-made walls and colonial churches
  • Lake Titicaca: This is one of the highest navigable lakes with an elevation of 12,507 ft; it’s beautiful, and the islands are definitely worth a visit
Lake Titicaca in Peru
  • Machu Picchu: These historic Incan ruins are located deep in the forest
Machu Picchu in Peru
  • Parque Nacional Manu: This is a national park that is home to a wide range of plant and animal life
  • Huacachina: This tiny village, located close to the city of Ica, Peru, is South America’s only natural desert oasis
Huacachina in Peru

Things to Do

In addition to taking trips to some of the attractions listed above, you’ll find plenty of other activity options in Peru, including the following:

  • Fly Over the Nazca Lines: Charter a flight and take in these mystical drawings, which are over 1,000 years old
The Hummingbird in Nazca Lines, Peru
  • Visit the Ruins of Chan Chan: Explore Chan Chan, which was once the largest pre-Columbian city in the Americas
  • Hike the Santa Cruz Trail: Traverse the peaks of the Cordillera Blanca (the “White Range”)
  • Relax in a suspended glass pod at 1,300 feet at The Skylodge Adventure Suites
The Skylodge Adventure Suites bedroom in Cusco, Peru
  • Check out the sculptures of the Apukunaq Tianan, also known as the “Abode of the Gods”

Traditional Peruvian Dance

Couple dancing the Marinera in Peru

While in Peru, you’ll likely have a chance to see a Marinera performance. Marinera is a traditional Peruvian dance style in which dancers use handkerchiefs as props.

Food and Drink

One of the most famous delicacies you’ll want to enjoy in Peru is ceviche. Ceviche is a fresh seafood dish with a marinade of lime juice and chili peppers.

For a beverage, you’ll also want to enjoy some Inca Kola, a bubble-gum flavored soda. If you’re in the mood for an adult drink instead, Pisco, a type of brandy made from white grapes, is a must-try.

Peruvian Dress

In Peru, you’ll see lots of people wearing traditional clothing. This includes brightly colored ponchos, dresses, sweaters, and layered skirts.

Women in traditional dress weaving in Sacred Valley, Peru

Fun fact — Among the Quechua people, you can tell a woman’s marital status by her hat. If she’s married, she’ll wear a straw hat. If she’s single, she’ll wear a knitted cap.

Peruvian Flora and Fauna

Peru is home to some of the world’s most diverse plants and animals.

Of course, there are millions of alpacas to be found here. Three-quarters of the world’s 10 million alpacas reside in Peru.

Alpacas in Colca, Peru

As for plants, Peru is the birthplace of the Puya raimondii, which is the tallest flowering plant in the world.

Plan a Trip to Peru Today

Armed with knowledge about the nation’s traditions and all that Peru has to offer, your next job is to book a trip and take it all in for yourself. Schedule a vacation to this stunning South American country today.