Clinging to the Andes, between the parched coastal desert and the lush expanse of the Amazon rainforest, Peru offers such a wide range of experiences that it can be difficult to choose between them. Solemn pilgrimages honor gods both Christian and indigenous. Neon-lit discos get jam-packed with reveling youth. Ancient ruins divulge prehistoric secrets. There are museums to visit, lakes to ogle, waves to surf and labyrinthine to explore. This is a country where practices run deep – 5000 years, to be exact. Yet it is a place continuously energized by fresh influences. In Peru, you can groove to African beats, admire impressive Catholic churches and examine indigenous textiles inspired by pre-Columbian tradition. Peru is home to snow-capped mountains, giant sand dunes, flocks of brightly hued tropical birds, postcard-perfect volcanoes and rocky Pacific outcroppings inhabited by argumentative sea lions. Below are some tips that will keep your holiday at Peru convenient and exciting.
Because of the diverse weather extremes in Peru, it can be difficult packing the appropriate travel clothing into your suitcase or holiday backpack before flying off for your South American adventure. A travel tip from regular visitors is that it's better to dress with several layers of lighter clothing, rather than a heavy single item, as this gives you greater versatility - particularly when hiking. If you travel in Peru's jungle lowlands, it is sensible to take lightweight cotton clothing with long-sleeve shirts and long pants for protection against insects. Malaria and yellow fever are a problem in parts of the Amazon in South America. In Peru, public buses are the usual mode of transport over long distances. They are cheap, frequent and relatively comfortable, at least on major routes. When traveling between towns, have your passport with you, as it will need to be shown at police checkpoints. Armed robberies on night buses are not unheard of in Peru, so travel on a day bus (or fly) if you have the option. Trucks often double as buses in remote areas. Local buses are slow, cheap and crowded; when you want to get off just yell out. Taxi fares need to be haggled over; there are no metered cabs. Agree on the fare in advance.
Peru's peak tourist season is from June to August, which is the dry season in the highlands, and this is the best time to go if you're interested in hiking. Travelers do visit the highlands year-round, though the wettest months, January to April, make trekking muddy. Many of the major fiestas occur in the wettest months and continue undiminished in spite of heavy rain. Basically, there is tourism in the highlands throughout the year. Generally, it is pretty safe and relatively easy to travel around on your own in Peru. There are buses, planes, taxis etc. all over the country as well as hotels of all categories. There are all kinds of travelers and tourists around and it will be easy to meet other people and have a great trip full of adventure, culture and new friends. Furthermore, items purchased in shops and restaurants have fixed prices and cannot be bargained for. However, items on the street or in the market are bargainable. The best quality and value lies in handcrafted products. This particularly applies to gold, silver and copper works, as well as Peru's rich textile goods. These include alpaca garments and woven tapestries. Alpaca products are well worth buying, as long as you are prepared to hand-wash them with great care.
Tips and comments:
Generally, people are very friendly, peaceful and helpful. When in trouble, you mostly can rely on getting help. But as with any setting, it is always good to watch out for yourself and try to avoid bad situations. If you get into an argument, it is a good idea to remain amicable, but firm. Most of the time, you can find a compromise that satisfies everyone.