Peru is big and you’ll need domestic flights to travel between destinations. Lima has the only direct flight connections to Europe and is serviced by many airlines. Cusco, the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu can be considered together as one region. Travel through this region by road, on foot and by train. The Lost City? It really is lost because you can only reach Machu Picchu on foot or by rail. Did you know that Peru has South America’s only luxury sleeper train? It connects Cusco with Lake Titicaca and Arequipa. Or travel to these destinations by domestic flight. For the Amazon you will need to fly but the jungle here is relatively accessible, so it’s only a one-hour canoe ride to reach your lodge.
Climate & seasons
The drier peak season runs from May to October, but a more important consideration will be the climatic variety between destinations. Cusco is at 3400 metres and is cold at night almost all year around. The Amazon is always hot and humid. Many people worry about the high altitude for Machu Picchu, but it’s actually significantly lower than Cusco. You can acclimatise at a Cusco hotel where they enrich your hotel suite air with oxygen.
Where to go
Start and end in the capital city Lima and explore one of the world’s best food scenes. Cusco is the old Incan capital, a cobblestone colonial city, and gateway to the Sacred Valley of the Incas and Machu Picchu. Explore the Amazon jungle, especially at Puerto Maldonado which is a convenient flight from Cusco. Combine these destinations in ten to twelve days for the classic Peru holiday. There’s so much more. Arequipa is a serene yet colourful old city. Colca Canyon and Lake Titicaca are wonderful places for some nature-based downtime.
What to do
Explore. The land of the Incas, the Andean Mountains, wildlife in the Amazon and gastronomy in Lima. Take a train across remote landscapes, hike the back way into Machu Picchu, visit a shaman in the Sacred Valley and meet the Incan people. All this is just for starters. Peru is a fantastic combination of culture and history, amid some of the world’s most incredible landscapes.