Peru is somewhat of an enigma, as it offers extreme diversities in weather and climate depending on which part of the country you are visiting. You have the coastal valleys in the west, the Andes mountain ranges in the central and southern regions (where Machu Picchu is located), and the tropical jungle to the east (part of the Amazon). And despite having spent a week in this unique South American destination, there is still so much to see, and I’m itching to go back at some point.
Most visitors will fly into Lima, which has transformed itself as the gastronomic capital of Peru. Political instabilities of the past seem to have largely dissipated when I visited, and the people were generally friendly and helpful. Visa was not necessary for a US citizen, but you should check your home country’s embassy (Peruvian government tourist webpage). The weather in Lima is mostly temperate throughout the year, with June-September marking the wet seasons.
Some other things to know:
- The Jorge Chavez airport in Lima is about a 30 minute drive away from the city center (can take a cab for about 15-20 sols / $5-8)
- Uber is relatively easy to get in Lima
- Spanish is the national language, but a good portion of the population can speak English as well if your high school Spanish class was more than a few years ago
- We stayed in the Miraflores neighborhood, which was widely considered to be the “safest and nicest” area, but do keep in mind that the historic sites and landmarks are to the North (~20 minutes away by car), while museums and shopping areas are scattered around and in between
- Hotels and proper restaurants will take credit cards, but you’ll need cash for most taxis (except Ubers), as well as mom and pop or craft / artisan shops
Take a read through a few of my posts from my visit earlier this year to get a feel for this beautiful country, and feel free to comment below and share where you visited on your trip to Peru!