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Peru Travel Guide

The Peru Traveler's Guide to Make The Most Out of Your Trip



By The Non Fiction Author

Published by The Non Fiction Author



Smashwords Edition



Copyright ©2017 The Non Fiction Author



All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. All pictures are held by commercial license and may not be duplicated by anyone without express permission.

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Disclaimer



The information provided in this book is designed to provide helpful information on the subjects discussed. The author's books are only meant to provide the reader with the basics travel guidelines of a certain location, without any warranties regarding the accuracy of the information and advice provided. Each traveler should do their own research before departing.



Table of Contents



Introduction: Why You Will Fall In Love With Peru!

Chapter 1: Welcome to Peru!

Chapter 2: Planning Your Trip In Advance (Itineraries, Costs, Weather)

Chapter 3: Travel Costs, Sample Budgets & Money Tips

Chapter 4: Immersing Yourself in Peru (Culture, Language & More)

Chapter 5: Let's Go to Lima! (Iconic Experiences, Transport, Nightlife)

Chapter 6: Cusco & The Inca Trail

Chapter 7: Welcome to Arequipa!

Chapter 8: The Northwest - Chiclayo & Trujillo

Chapter 9: The Most Beautiful Beaches of Peru (You Can't Miss Them!)

Chapter 10: Lake Titicaca & Puno

Chapter 11: The Ballestas Islands & Nazca



Introduction:
Why You Will Fall In Love With Peru!



It is a big leap to make travel plans to Peru. Despite what it appears to be in size on the entire South American map, Peru is a big country! Travelling from one destination to the next requires planning, sometimes at least a couple months in advance. When you arrive, making your way from one place to the next might take planning some extra details with another added detail of just having simple patience. In saying this, it is not to intimidate you from travelling to Peru, but it is highly encouraged!

Throughout your travels you are not only going to learn about ancient civilizations, culture, language and more, but you will learn more about yourself. You do not have to trek the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu to learn more about what you can sustain physically or mentally, though you definitely will if you travel that route. You can learn about yourself in any part of Peru. You can travel as far as Africa to see the beginnings of mankind and the start of culture, language and arts, but it can be found in Peru as well in hundreds if not thousands of sites throughout the entire land.

For outdoor lovers who want to escape civilization in a remote mountain destination with the bonus of entering one completely different from their own, you come to Peru. Here you can travel and follow in the footsteps of millions of peoples before you from over a millenia ago and even further back. If higher altitude adventure does not thrill you, you can visit numerous cultural and urban centers. Bring your sense of wonder and adventure! Oh, did we already say that?



Chapter 1:
Welcome to Peru!



You have arrived or you are about to travel to Peru! There are so many details to work out and to get started, the best way to get the rest of the details is to learn more about the place where you are about to embark on your journey. This carefully and lovingly written guide is about to help you out with that, but let’s start simply with some high-points and inspiring aspects you want to see and do during your stay in Peru.



Highlights for your Trip

Some of the highlights of your experience in Peru will actually be ‘high’! Peru is known for its tourist attractions being at some of the highest altitudes! If you are into trekking or if you are just into checking out the urban and town centers, be prepared for the altitude! Drink plenty of water and eat well. There is definitely no shortage of food! Some of the best highlights will be in the small pueblos just at the foot of towering peaks. The people, dress and food is some of the most welcoming, colorful and delicious from around the globe. You will feel as if you are at home from abroad and there is plenty to see, do and taste!



Iconic Peru

The most popular destination for tourists when they reach Peru is the Inca Trail leading up to Machu Picchu. It is said that any visitor who rubs their forehead against the Intihuatana Stone will gain access into the spirit world. For another popular must-see, you must go to Colca Canyon in the Andes range in the south for amazing views of the Colca River below and watch the Andean condors sail and drift, rising on the thermals of the valley.

If you visit Lake Titicaca, you must see the Uros Islands. The people who inhabit this floating village have existed since before the Incas and their village is a true wonder to the eyes and imagination made of interwoven reeds that always need tending to in order to keep the construction of the floating village ‘afloat’ as the reeds at the bottom fall into the lake and rot away.

From a birdseye view in a Cessna, you can see the famous Nazca lines of the region between Nazca and Palpa. Created by indigenous tribes of long-ago, they were made between the years of 200 BC and 700 AD, with figures of spiders, fish, lizards, monkeys, llamas and human forms.

Visit the adobe city of Chan Chan. It was once the largest pre-Columbian city in all of the Americas, where at one time 30,000 people resided. The walled citadels, burial chambers and temples, built by the Chimu people and later by the Incas are still intact even with having been erected as far back as 850 AD.



Unique Experiences

When people think of Peru, they are instantly drawn to the image of Machu Picchu, and while this is a must-see and for many a chance-of-a-lifetime opportunity to witness such ancient grandeur, there is much more to Peru to experience. Explore the Amazon! It covers sixty percent of the entire country and you can see a small part of it flying into Iquitos or Puerto Maldonado. From here, get a riverboat 3 hours through the jungle to an isolated lodge off the Tambopata River banks.

Just outside of the touristic city of Ica you can go to Huacachina for some sandboarding on the sand dunes or get on another type of board and go surfing in Mancora off the Pacific coast! If you are into wildlife viewing, go visit what is known as the Galapagos Islands of Peru, the Ballestas Islands. There are a few more amazing and unique experiences to have while in Peru, just read on to find out more!



How to Use This Guide

Are you happy you have picked up this guide? There is much more waiting for you in the continuing pages to help you plan your trip to Peru and with even some things for you to do and experience in your travels that you might not have even thought of! Do continue to read on for a more comprehensive view and advice in planning your ultimate trip to Peru.

You are already almost through Chapter 1, but continue on to Chapter 2 that will help you understand the best ways of getting to and around Peru. There are pointers on how to find accommodations and learn about the best places to stay. It will also talk about the different regions and when the best time of year it is to go to these regions along with travel and themed itineraries to help maximize your travel time and experience.

Chapter 3 is sort of the second part of Chapter 2, to assist in planning your budget and have an idea of what things cost and what money you might expect to spend each day, whether you are on a tight budget or otherwise.

Chapter 4 will help you become informed of certain culture, language and mannerisms specific to regions and Peru overall. Learn what to expect of Peruvian cuisine, drink and more. This chapter will also help you in figuring out what to pack.

Next, the fun begins. The following chapters will take you through cities, regions and highlights of the entire country of Peru from iconic and the well-traveled places to more off-the-beaten tourist path. There is something for everyone! What is great about this guide is you can use it to plan your travels and keep it with you to use as a reference throughout your journey. So let’s get started.



Chapter 2:
Planning Your Trip In Advance (Itineraries, Costs, Weather)



Basic Travel Requirements

When planning to travel, one of the first things to write down on your ‘To-Do List’ is to check and double-check your travel requirements. Do you have enough of the required pages in your passport for stamps on arrival? Is your Passport within the amount of time before expiration required to enter? Do you need a visa? Working on these details ahead of time may relieve a lot of possible stress and last-minute worries. According to current information, citizens/permanent residents of any South American country, Europe and the United States do not need a visa and can enter for tourist reasons for up to 183 days. Though, it is not always a bad idea to double-check this information.

When you travel to most parts of South America it is always good to check the information on certain vaccines you might need before travel. They may not be required, but they will keep you from getting seriously sick or even save your life. The vaccines which are recommended for Peru, whether you are staying in city centers or going off towards the rainforest are: Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Yellow Fever, Hepatitis B, Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR) and Tetanus-diphtheria. If you are spending time in the outdoors, just beware of your surroundings and animals as some might carry rabies. Malaria prophylaxis is also recommended for any travel below 2,000 meters (6,561 feet). Most of remaining safe and healthy throughout your travel, no matter where you might go, starts with being informed and prepared. For any vaccine, it is always recommended to see your doctor for administration at least 6 weeks before travel.



Getting to Peru

If you are flying into Peru, you will land at the Jorge Chavez International Airport (LIM) in Lima. There are direct flights from New York, Newark, Atlanta, Miami, Houston, LA, Mexico and Toronto. From Europe you can also get there direct from Madrid, Paris and Amsterdam. Within Latin America and South America, there are also numerous major cities that connect to Lima. The international airport in Lima is also the main hub for most domestic flights.



Getting Around Peru/Long-Distance Travel

If you are looking at the overall map of South America, Peru seems relatively small. But have another look and you will realize it is larger than you think. Travelling from destination to destination is not only far at times, but the mountainous terrain can make some travel long and daunting. It is best to plan ahead and have at the least a rough idea of where you want to go and what you want to see during your visit. As an example, two of the most travelled tourist locations are Lima to Cusco. There are 724 miles (1,165km) between the two destinations and you need around 20 hours to get from one to the next if you travel on the road and one hour by air. A lot of what you will be able to see will depend largely on the length of your stay and even your budget.



Flying

Of course, one of the most efficient ways to get around Peru is by air. If you have the budget you can get practically anywhere you wish to go, even the more remote regions. In fact, a couple remote areas can only be reached via the air (though it might be on a small engine plane). The rates are relatively inexpensive, though you should expect to pay more during peak tourist seasons. The best way to get any fair rate no matter the time of year, is to book ahead. The general rule is no later than three weeks before travel. For more information on domestic flights in Peru, see the following section..



Renting a Car

If you have a larger budget and want to experience what a road trip is in Peru driving yourself, you can rent a car at any of the international rental car companies in most of the major cities of Peru. You will find some upon your arrival just inside the Jorge Chavez International Airport (LIM). You must be over 21 years of age and you must have an international driver’s license and international credit card. Book your rental in advance! It is highly recommended.



Travel by Sea

If you love travelling via cruise lines, there are many companies who have Peru on their destination list. There are also some offerings from shipping companies that offer sailings from the US or Europe to the ports of Lima (Callao), Arequipa (Matarani), Trujillo (Salaverry) and Paracas.



Train

One of the best ways to travel on a budget in Peru is by the train. Even if money is no object, the views you can see on the train are some of the best tourist sights to see throughout the Peruvian countryside. It runs from Cuzco to Machu Picchu and then from Cuzco to Puno and Lake Titicaca and Puno. The routes the trains cross have been awarded the second most beautiful of the entire world. Peru-Rail started in 1999 and since then, the services have been upgraded and are safe, convenient and comfortable. There are first-class carriages, improved washrooms and excellent dining. You can head to the observation car for the best unobstructed views as you travel through the beautiful landscapes.



Bus

The next best way to travel from place to place and from city to city in Peru is by bus. If you are a backpacker on a budget, this is by far the best option. However, it will take longer to travel in between your destinations, so budget your time as well. The prices are reasonable and buses are always running. The main stops are in Lima, Arequipa, Cuzco, Lake Titicaca and Puno, Chiclayo, Huaraz & Callejon de Huaylas, Piura, Paracas, Mancora, Trujillo, Tacna, Ayacucho and Tumbes, but there are many more. For booking your tickets, go to http://www.go2peru.com/peru_bus.htm.

These are for long-distance travel bus routes just to get you to your main destination(s), but you can also take tour buses that stop with guided tours en route on InkaExpress from Cuzco to Puno, 4M Express for Colca Valley, Arequipa and Puno or Cruz del Sur for routes to Lima, Nazca, Cuzco and Arequipa.



Internal Flights

Getting around Peru via air is by far the most efficient way to travel and see more, especially if you are staying on a short visit. There are at seven different airlines to choose from; LAN, Avianca, Peruvian Airlines, StarPeru, Amaszonas and Sky Airline. You can check the website, www.go2peru for the latest deals and fares for when and where you travel. The airlines can virtually get you anywhere in Peru, just get online and see where you can go!



Where to Stay

Like any place in South America there are plenty of options for accommodations and where you can rest your head during your travels. In various places, you will find anything from luxury lodging to very rustic and homey homestays and almost everything in between. There are options for every budget and even if you are on a tight budget, you can still afford to splurge every once in a while.



Hostels/Budget Options

These are the most popular for any backpacker coming to Peru. They are great places to meet other travelers and they are often very well organized with social areas, internet and multi-lingual employees. One tip as sort of a buyer-beware item is that the hostels are not always the best option, especially if you might have been travelling long in Peru and your budget is getting really tight or you start out that way. You might find better rates at a homestay/guesthouse or cheap hotel. The best way to sort your needs out is to shop around a little in advance to at least have an idea of what to expect.



Guesthouses

These are also known as alojamientos, albergues or hospedajes. They can be rated somewhere in between some hostels and hotels. You will rarely be packed into dorm rooms in them and there are options of single bedrooms and up to four-beds per room. They are often run by a family and are a nice way to meet and mingle with the locals and they are a cheaper alternative.



The Budget Hotel

These are not always the best option for budget travelers as the value for your money is not that great. The service is typically poor and the rooms are often very rundown, not to mention, security is sometimes an issue and they are mainly located in the less-than-desirable parts of town. However, if you get lucky and have a look around, you may find a diamond in the rough, just ask to see your room before you accept.



Mid-Range Hotels

These are two- to three-starred hotels and they can be a hit or miss. Just check out your room and ask about the amenities offered before you check in.



High-End Hotels

You can find luxury hotels in the main tourist attractions of Cusco, Lake Titicaca, Lima and Arequipa. They start around $US100 and go up from there depending on location and the amenities they offer. But if you want to splurge, you can expect only the best service and features. Some are even older homes and buildings refurbished into a top hotel. If you are history buff, look for some historic hotels when you are in Cusco.



Jungle Lodges

This is a fairly new concept, but you can find some of these lodges in Iquitos, the Tambopata and Manu rainforests and Madre de Dios. They offer great views for top-end wildlife viewing and oftentimes from your own deck and they are great for anyone looking for a romantic spot or for the honeymooners.



Travel Routes & Itineraries

A few days: If you only have the opportunity to stay for a few days and you have never been to Peru, then you must see what is iconic about Peru. Choose one destination or two if you are super motivated. Lima is a big one and/or just get a direct connecting flight to Cusco for the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. You will need to do one of the shorter treks, however. Getting the train to Machu Picchu will get you close enough in just a good day to hike the rest of the way to the top. If it might be your second trip to Peru and you have seen that and done that, then Lake Titicaca and Puno could be a destination or even the beaches of the north and the Amazon. A lot of what you can fit in will depend on the size of your budget.

Up to One Week: If you have a complete week then just as you might for a few days, choose one destination or two if you have the energy and budget. Fly into Lima with a connection to Cusco for the Machu Picchu destination trek on the Inca Trail. You will need to do one of the quicker routes! And if you have been to Peru before and you’ve returned because you cannot get enough, go to Lake Titicaca for a few days and fly over Nazca before you have to catch your flight back home. If you are on a budget, it would be better to choose just one destination.

Two Weeks: If you can make it to Peru for two weeks, you can take more of a leisurely route and attitude. It all depends on what you have on your checklist. You can easily do a nice multi-day trek from Cusco to Machu Picchu and have time to acclimate. You could also visit Lima and still have time for Lake Titicaca if you can catch a flight. It would be a lot to fit in, but possible. If you want to go more off the beaten path, there is Arequipa and its surrounding areas for trekking and visiting ancient ruins. If you need some lower-altitude sporting, you can head to the northwest to the beaches for surf and sand.

Three or More Weeks: If your travel to Peru includes at least three weeks, then you can take your time and enjoy many of the details each destination can offer. You will have time to see most if not all of the main sites and even have time to relax. A trip as long as this, of course would take a fairly sizeable budget, even on a small budget, but if you have a travel partner it is more than doable! Get a taste of urban life and historical beginnings in Lima before you head off to Cusco to prepare for Machu Picchu. Catch a bus or fly to Lake Titicaca for unique experiences in one of the more remote regions. Afterwards, you can see the Nazca lines and head further north either to the beaches or have a small adventure in the Amazon.



Detailed & Themed Example Itineraries

A Few days

Urban Vacay: For a few days, choose one destination if you want to be more relaxed. Many like to visit Lima or Cusco for both the nightlife and food, but you can also catch much of the historical background of Peru here in these destination cities as well.

> The Highlights: If you must squeeze more than one destination into your trip to Peru, pick Lima and Cusco. See the sites in Lima and go to the hottest spots. There are options for all budget sizes and you will still experience what people come to Lima for. Then fly, train, or bus it to Cusco for the short trip to Machu Picchu. Take the iconic photo of you atop the ancient grounds and fly back home.

> Been there, done Machu Picchu/Lima: Go to Lake Titicaca for more cultural attractions and beautiful countryside. Fly over the Nazca Lines and go see the Ballestas Islands. You could even do all of these with budgeted time. If you want some relaxation for just a few days, there are still the less-traveled, but lovely beaches and towns in the northwest.



Up to a Week

The beaten path: Fly into Lima and check out the cultural heritage sites and enjoy the great food and nightlife of the city before heading off to Cusco via, plane, train or bus. Acclimate semi-comfortably and do the Machu Picchu thing.

> Outdoors and Away: Go to Cusco but instead of the Inca Trail, choose a less-than-traveled route to have some time to yourself and maybe a few new friends. Take it easy and then go to Arequipa for more trekking through the beautiful Andes. Go see the surrounding towns and visit the hot springs.

> Northern Adventures: Get a connection flight from Lima to Juliaca and book it via bus or taxi to Puno on the shores of Lake Titicaca. View the Nazca Lines, maybe catch a sandboarding tour on the local dunes. You might have time to still view the ‘Poor Man’s Galapagos’ at the Ballestas Islands.


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