Peru is South America's third largest country, covering 1,285,215 sq. km., and can be divided into three distinct geographic regions. The best known of these is the central high sierra of the Andes, with its massive peaks, steep canyons, and extraordinary pre Columbian archaeological sites.

About Peru

Population: 30.475.144 (2013)
Capital: Lima
Currency: Nuevo Sol (PEN)

The best time to visit Peru's various regions is complicated by the country's physical characteristics. Summer along the desert coast more or less fits the expected image of the southern hemisphere - extremely hot and sunny between December and March (especially in the north), cooler and with a frequent hazy mist between April and November.

Sometimes though, in the polluted environs of Lima , the coastal winter can get cold enough to require a sweater. Swimming is possible all year round, though the water itself (thanks to the Humboldt Current) is cool-to-cold at the best of times, except for the most northern beaches. To swim or surf for any length of time south of Máncora , you'd need to follow local custom and wear a wetsuit. Apart from the occasional shower over Lima it hardly ever rains in the desert.

Woman seeling corn, Peru Sacsayhuamán, Cusco Crafts and Souvenirs, Peru

The Best of Peru are:

Jungle-locked Iquitos offers fascinating examples of European architecture built during the rubber boom a hundred years ago. These days it has a lively nightlife and excellent rainforest tourism facilities.

Taquile Island
Almost 13,700ft above sea level, Taquile is an ancient jewel in the waters of Lake Titicaca - the local Indians speak in whispers and, apart from a few solar electric panels, there's only llama power.

Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu may be a symbolic cliché for South American tourism, but the magic of this Inca citadel's splendid pre-Colombian architecture and breathtaking subtropical mountain setting live up to the hype.

Colca Canyon
The deepest canyon in the world at over 1km from cliff edge to river bottom, Colca boasts some of Peru's finest Andean scenery and is the most reliable place for wild condor spotting.

Learn Spanish in Peru

Learn Spanish in Cusco

Learn Spanish in Cusco

Cuzco has it all: art, magic, mystery and all the beauty you'd expect in the legendary 'belly button' of the world. The Cuzco region offers breathtaking natural views: the city's streets and squares, the magical majesty of the Inca monuments and the elegance of the colonial constructions

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