Peru’s coast rarely sees rain and is usually sunny. The exception is from April to November, when you will probably encounter a heavy sea mist. The highlands’ wet season lasts from October to April, and the dry season from May to September. During the dry season, you’ll have clear and sunny days, but very cold nights, especially in the higher altitudes.
Getting around Peru
Several airlines fly domestically including Aerocondor Peru, the country’s oldest airline, which connects 11 cities including Lima, Arequipa and Iquitos.
Star Peru links nine cities including Lima, Trujillo and Chiclayo.
LC Busre flies between Lima and Huanuco, Huaraz, Jauja, Andahuaylas, Atalaya, Ayacucho and Cajamarca.
Peru Rail offers travel to Machu Picchu, Cuzco, Sacred Valley, Puno, Lake Titicaca, Arequipa and Colca Canyon. There are luxury trains such as the Hiram Bingham, which travels between Cuzco and Machu Picchu, while the Vistadome runs between Cuzco-Machu Picchu and Sacred Valley-Machu Picchu. Backpacker carriages are for no-frills travellers and are available on the following routes: Cuzco-Machu Picchu, Sacred Valley-Machu Picchu and Cuzco-Lake Titicaca.
There are several private bus companies offering low-fare service throughout Peru including Ormeno and Cruz del Sur.
Renting a car is easy. Budget and Avis are just two of the most-recognisable companies operating in Peru.
Peru insider information
- Visit the world’s third highest waterfall - Gocta Falls - which is a staggering 771 metres (2,532 feet) high. Located in the in the upper Amazon basin, the waterfall was “discovered” only in the past couple of years.
- Most travellers to Peru book their trip with two places in mind to visit: The Inca Trail and Machu Picchu. But the lesser-known jewel is Choquequirao, one of South America’s best-preserved Inca cities, near Cusco. Inca royalty fled to Choquequirao following the Spanish Conquest. Only a third of the site has been excavated so far.
- The San Francisco Monastery and Church (Iglesia de San Francisco) in Lima is an interesting place to visit. Famous for its catacombs, which house the bones of tens of thousands of bodies, the well preserved building was built by the Spanish and dates from the late 1600s.
- Head to Puno, the city on the edge of Lake Titicaca. Inca legend has it that Manco Capac, the first Inca, rose from the lake to establish the Inca Empire. The “folkloric capital of Peru”, Puno, is known for its rich artistic and cultural traditions. It has more than 300 ethnic dances. The most famous dance is the Diablada, which is performed during the feast of the Virgin of Candelaria in February. During this time, the women dance to petition and thank the Virgin Mary. According to 17th-century legend, the Virgin Mary appeared to workers at a local silver mine and later rescued the city from enemies.