Peru information & Festivities

Peru borders Ecuador and Colombia to the north, Brazil to the east, southeast Bolivia and Chile to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and has a territory of 1,285,216 km2 (496,225 sq mi).

  • Population: About 31 million
  • Capital: Lima
  • Official Language: Spanish and Quechua.
  • Currency: Peruvian Soles
  • Time: GMT – 5

Climate

Peru has 24 cities that have different microclimates and also has three natural regions: The Coast(areas near ocean), Andes(mountains) and Amazon(jungle) either is dry or wet. Thus, we suggest you to revise the weather forecast on the move.

Gastronomy

Peru is very rich on food, music, dance in many of its regions and traditions too, in gastronomy we have dishes such as:

  • CAUSAS: Potato dishes come in all manners of scrumptious forms in Peru, but none as well sculptured as these incredible potato salads, constructed in a rainbow of colors with vegetables, seafood or chicken.
  • CUY: This is the andean guinea pig which is high source of protein. Cooked very crispy it become a delicatessen from which Cusco would be the perfect place to try a cuy.
  • PISCO SOUR: The national drink of Peru, which is a cocktail composed of pisco ( pisco is a native city coast down south of Lima) and lime juice.
  • CEVICHE: A delicious and well known dish in Peru which it can be found in many varieties but is mainly composed of raw seafood cooked by the natural lime juice and other ingredients.

Getting around

There is a good airline companies such as LAN Peru, Avianca, Taca Airlines to mention few and cover trips through the Peruvian Andes. Also the roads that interconnect the country are well developed and you can find excellent bus services taking you around the country.

In terms of Railway system, you will find in Cusco is being operated by Perurail to Machu Picchu.

The following are some of the routes to Machu Picchu:

  • By train via Sacred Valley of the Incas and Machu Picchu Full day tour.
  • Inca Trail Tour: 4 days / 3 nights.
  • Short Inca Trail: 2 Days / 1 Nights
  • Salkantay Trek: 5 days / 4 nights.
  • Lares Trek: 4 days and 3 nights.
  • Salkantay Inka Trail: 7days / 6 nights.
  • Choquequirao Trek: 8 days / 7 nights.

Visas

Citizens from the United States, Canada, Australia, and the European Union do not require a visa to visit Peru. However, all travellers are required to hold a passport valid for at least 6 months after entering the country. For more information is necessary to enquiry to your local consulate.

Money

The official currency in Peru is the Nuevo Sol and you can change your money on authorised currency exchange houses, banks, or drawn from local ATMs machines.


Festivals & Events

January

  • AÑO NUEVO. (NEW YEAR): 1 January a favorite time of the year for most party goers. In Peru there is a tradition in wearing a yellow clothing (including underwear) to bring luck on the New Year.
  • FIESTA DE LA MARINERA: The last week of January is celebrate in Trujillo this fantastic dance.

February

In February, the Inca trail to Machu Picchu is closed for its annual clean up!

  • VIRGEN DE LA CANDELARIA: On February 2nd a massive andean folk festival particularly colorful around Puno, that last for two weeks.
  • CARNAVAL: Held between February/March, is celebrated with weeks of water fights, singing, dancing and parades. It is especially popular in the highlands.

March

The Inca Trail is open once again, although the weather is still rainy.

  • FIESTA DE LA VENDIMIA (Wine Festival): Held during the second week of March is the perfect place to travel to Ica region.

April

A Christian festivity of the Holy week is a major event in the whole country.

  • SEMANA SANTA (Holy week): Is celebrated with almost daily spectacular religious processions all over Peru specially in small towns bringing full traditions over this event.

May

In the highlands, the rainy season is coming to an end.

  • FESTIVAL OF THE CROSSES: On May 3rd, is celebrated in Lima, Ica and Cusco in which people carry crosses of various sizes in processions that lead to churches.
  • QOYLLORITTI: A Christian pilgrimage held at the foot of Ausangate, a mountain outside of Cusco, in May or June.

June

Starts the dry season in the highlands and the peak time for the tourism in Cusco season until August.

  • CORPUS CHRISTI: This celebration commemorates the holy Eucharist and the processions in Cusco are especially outstanding.
  • INTI RAYMI (Incas festival): This festival celebrates the winter solstice in the honour on the Sun God on June 24th.
  • SAINT PETER & SAINT PAUL: Patron saints of fishers and farmers, who are honored with a procession to the sea. An image of Saint Peter is taken by a decorated boat to bless the waters for the fishing season.

July

A perfect time to visit the amazon, specially because is partially drier than other times of the year.

  • LA VIRGEN DEL CARMEN: Celebrated on July 16th mainly in the southern Andes, particularly important in Pisac and Paucartambo.
  • NATIONAL INDEPENDENCE DAY: celebrated nationwide on July 28th and 29th with major festivities in the southern Andes overlapping the feast of St. James on July 25th.

August

Is a busy time for travel in the highlands, so get organized in time.

  • FEAST OF SANTA ROSA DE LIMA: A central festivity held on August 30th in Lima and Arequipa to honor the patron saint of Peru and of the Americas.

September

The winter season has ended specially on the coast line and the spring begins in the coastal regions.

  • MISTURA: Held in early September, is an annual food festival in Lima gathers Peru's top chefs and from all the over the world for dish demonstrations.
  • INTERNATIONAL SPRING FESTIVAL: On last week of September time, a festivity that includes horse parades, dancing and cultural celebrations specially up north in Trujillo city.

October

A celebrated religious festivities:

  • SEÑOR DE LOS MILAGROS (Lord Of The Miracles): Celebrated in Lima city, a huge religious procession honoring local Christi. Traditionally everyone assisting to this procession dresses in purple to seeking blessings and miracles.
  • LA VIRGEN DEL ROSARIO: The patron saint of slaves is honored on October 4th in Lima, Arequipa and Cusco from which dances are included during the processions.

November

Summer begins to sparkle in the pacific coast, and the fog known as garúa lifts. In the Andes and the Amazon, is when the wet season starts.

  • TODOS SANTOS (All Saint´s Day): Held on November 1st in which most Families go to mass and then head to the cemetery to spend time with departed loved ones.
  • DÍA DE LOS MUERTOS. (All Souls' Day): There are food gifts, drinks and flowers that are taken to family graves. Similar its Mexican counterpart.

December

In the highlands this is one of the most wettest months which continue through to March.

  • FIESTA DE LA PURÍSIMA CONCEPCIÓN (Immaculate Conception): Held on December 8th is celebrated with processions in honor of the Virgin Mary.
  • CHRISTMAS: Celebrated on the evening of December 24th and 25 Christmas is more religious in the Andean Highlands specially in the interpretation of nativity scenes.

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@curiousgeorge1052, From Los Ángeles

"Valencia Travel Cusco provided my family a top-notch experience in Peru. We went on the 10-Day Andian Highlights—The Best of Peru and Machu Picchu. Many kudos to our tour leader and guide Claudio Andia. Our group included people that ranged from my nine-year old to retirees, and Claudio went out of his way to make sure that each of us were well. He w...."

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"Incredible experience overall. I have nothing but amazing things to say about Valencia Travel. We did the Sacred Valley tour as well as 4 day trek to Machu Picchu. Alex and Rene were our tour guides and they were both very informative and helpful. Alex was so passionate about his culture and history lessons that it felt even more special. The porters as well as the chef..."

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