Peru Tours: What You Need to Know About Travel to Peru
A glance at what to expect
while touring Peru.
Peru is located just south of the Equator in west-central South America
on the coast of the South Pacific Ocean. To the North, Peru is
bordered by Ecuador and Colombia, with Chile to the south and Brazil
and Bolivia to the east. Peru is a mountainous country, wedged
between the Pacific Ocean and the Amazon jungle. Such diversity of
landscape creates the ideal backdrop for a broad range of activities
Peru is perhaps best known for the Incan ruins of Machu Picchu, which
would be stunning anywhere, but are spectacular in their setting
against the Andean mountains. While in Peru, visit the ancient Inca
capital of Cusco, enjoy unspoiled beaches, take a train ride from
Cusco to Puno for amazing views of Lake Titicaca, (the highest
navigable lake in the world,) or venture into the rain forest to witness
over a thousand species of birds and butterflies, as well as other
Things to See & Do in Peru
Archeology: There are hundreds of ruins where you can see
10,000 years of history including the Nasca Lines, the pyramids of
the North. Arequipa, also known as the White City built of volcanic
rock, and Chan Chan, the largest pre-Columbian city in South
America. The list goes on and on for a look into the past.
Architecture: Well preserved colonial architecture can be found
in all of Peru’s larger cities.
Wildlife: There are over 1,800 different species of birds in Peru. Visit
Tambopata National Reserve, Manu and Bahuaja-Sonene
National parks to encounter some of the world’s most flourishing
plant life and fascinating wildlife, including endangered river
otters, tapirs, maned wolves, caimans, monkeys, jaguars, ocelots
and 1,200 species of butterflies.
Active adventures: Paragliding, fishing, trekking, mountain
climbing, mountain biking surfing, white water rafting and
kayaking are all popular in Peru.
Peru Travel Information
Allow 7 to 14 days for your trip to Peru depending on how much you want to
You can visit Peru year round, for better prices and less crowds, consider April,
May, October or November.
Atlas Cruises & Tours suggests going on escorted Peru tours with a group, or at
least a hosted vacation where your hotels, some sightseeing & transportation
are pre-arranged for you, even if you do not want to be part of a larger
group. One of the reasons is to get to many key sights in Peru, you have to fly,
so why not have your luggage, flights and important details already
arranged. Not all areas have four star hotels. Reputable tour companies
ensure you stay in safe, clean properties. Also, when you get away from the
cities, not everyone speaks English, so why not have someone who knows the
area well to guide you and explain the history & culture of Peru.
If you are traveling with children, there are itineraries from reputable tour
companies designed with families in mind.
If you prefer travel on your own, you can customize a trip with your own
In some regions, particularly Cusco and Machu Picchu, you can experience
altitude sickness. Tour operators plan their itineraries to allow time for your
body to adjust. Make sure and drink lots of water.
A yellow fever shot is only required if you plan on visiting the Peruvian amazon.
Peru Travel - Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do you recommend Peru for younger people?
A. Although tour companies do see a range of ages in their groups, Peru does
tend to attract lots of younger, active travelers.
Q: Is it safe to travel to Peru?
A. Peru is a safe destination, and as they say there are safety in numbers which is
why you should choose an escorted trip. Take the usual precautions when
traveling of not flashing a lot of jewelry or cash, and not wandering off at night
unless you know where you are going.
Q. You sometimes use flights to get around Peru. How big are the planes?
A. For Cusco & Lake Titicaca, you will usually take regularly schedule LAN flights
with up to140 passengers. Small planes are used over to view the Nazca lines.
Q. What are the physical demands for touring Peru?
A. Discuss your itinerary with a travel professional, as some trips are more
demanding than others. Take Lake Titicaca or Machu Picchu for example. These
areas do require a lot of walking and climbing stairs. Another good idea is to
check with your doctor about traveling to high altitudes.
Peru Popular Tour Itineraries
10 day vacation starting from $1,899 pp
8 day vacation starting from $1,569 pp
8 day Highlights of Peru – tour extensions
available to the Peruvian Amazon,
Easter Island and Galapagos Islands.
Peru Tour Options
On an 8 day tour Visit
On Longer tours you can add:
The Nazca Lines
The Galapagos Islands
As you can see from the popular tour maps on the previous
slide, on an 8 day Peru tour, you cover quite a bit of area, since
transportation between some of the regions is by plane vs. motor
coach, you get to see more.
Visual Tour of Peru
Join Atlas Cruises & Tours on a visual tour of what you would
see on a typical 8 day tour of Peru. We will share some
highlights and information on Lima, Cusco, the Sacred Valley
and Machu Picchu.
We also include other interesting sites, should you choose to
spend more time in the region.
Most Peru tours begin and end
in Lima. You will usually spend 2
nights at the beginning of the
trip and 1 additional night at the
Discover Lima’s colonial sights,
including the expansive Plaza
de Armas (top photo,) as well as
its impressive cathedral &
government palace. See the
Church of San Fransisco (bottom
photo.) Lima is also popular for its
beaches in the summer & is
celebrated as the Food Capital
of the America’s.
Take a 1 hour flight from Lima to
Cusco and head for the Sacred
Valley of the Incas.
The Sacred Valley is situated
between Cusco and Machu
Picchu. Explore the massive Inca
fortress of Ollantayambo (pictured
left) and visit Pisac, famous for its
market where you can bargain for
In Cusco, see well preserved
colonial architecture. By simply
strolling the cobblestone streets,
layers of history are revealed.
Spanish colonial buildings sitting
directly atop ancient Inca walls line
the plaza, and the city is
surrounded by ruins including the
After a couple of days in Cusco,
board the Vistadome train for
your journey up to the great
citadel of the Incas.
Considered the most spectacular
setting of any ruin in the world,
Machu Picchu is the highlight for
many on a Peru tour.
Visit the ruins of this once great
fortress built in the 15th century.
See the highlights of this UNESCO
World Heritage site – the great
Temple of the Sun (center photo,)
the House of the Priest, the
Sacred Plaza and Intihuanta.
For trips longer than 7 or 8 days,
you usually would be driven to
Puno, and then take a flight to
Juliaca to see the amazing
What you can’t appreciate in
the photo to the left, is that it is
the world’s highest lake, at an
elevation of over 12,500 ft.
According to Incan legend it is
the birthplace of the Sun god
and is a sacred place for those
that live on or around the lake.
On your cruise of the lake,
explore the floating islands
constructed out of reeds by the
Uros Indians who still live on
along the river. (bottom photo)
Dating back to the 16th century,
Peru’s “White City” sits at the foot
of the Mount Misti volcano in the
western Andes. The beautiful
historic center is a showcase of
colonial-era Spanish architecture,
built from pearly white volcanic
rock and declared a World
Heritage Site in 2000.
A cultural oasis, travelers enjoy
the Spanish-influenced cuisine as
well as views of the magnificent
nearby Inca terraces, and visits to
two of the world’s deepest
canyons, the Valley of the
Volcanoes and several beaches.
Chiclayo & Trujillo
Founded in 1560 as a rural Indian
village, Chiclayo is Peru’s 4th largest
city. The main square feature colonial
architecture, stylish cafes and a 19th
century cathedral. The Mercado
Modelo marketplace offers a wide
range of specialties including local
healers and shamans. Chilayo’s main
attractions are the nearby ruins and
archaeological sites. In particular, the
treasures found in the tomb of the
Lord of Spian, one of the leaders of
the Moche culture, rivals those found
in King Tut’s tomb.
Founded in 1534 & now Peru’s 3rd
largest city Trujillo (top photo,) is
located in North Peru near the Pacific
Coast. It’s city center features
colonial architecture, churches and
mansions with wrought-iron window
railings. Nearby, Chan, Chan is a
great archaeological site to visit.
Other notable sites include
archaeological remains from the
Moche period, including El Brujo and
the temples of the Sun and Moon.
Chan Chan / Sacsayhuaman
Chan Chan, A UNESCO World
Heritage Site, was once the capital of
the Chimu kingdom & the 2nd
largest pre-Columbian city in South
America. There were over 10,000
building thought to hold 40,000+
residents. Located 305 miles northwest
of Lima, this is often included as a day
trip from the city of Trujillo.
Sacsayhuaman, made of huge stone
blocks reaching up to 28 ft., and
weighing more than 600,000 pounds, is
another ruin in Peru worth a visit. It was
used as a fortress during Pizarro’s
conquest. It is believed it took over
20,000 men to build. This site is usually
included on your way to or from
Cusco, even on the shorter 7 or 8 day
If you spend 2 nights in Puno, the
2nd day you will usually drive
through the Aguada Blanca
National Reserve and then visit
Colca Canyon. Other tours stay
near Arequipa and visit Colca
Canyon as a day trip.
Colca Canyon is twice as deep
as the Grand Canyon, and is
home to the world’s highest
active volcano. It’s a great
place for hiking and river rafting.
Keep an eye out for the Andean
Condor, among the world’s
Nazca Lines & Ballestas Islands
Usually on longer tours of 10 days or
more, instead of heading towards
the lake region, some tours depart
Lima for a drive to the city of Ica,
set in the middle of dune-filled
deserts. From Ica is where you take
a flight to marvel at the mysterious
ancient drawings. Scholars believe
they were created by the Nazca
culture that inhabited the area
between the years of 400-650 AD
There are about 300 large ancient
geoglyphs etched in the Nazca
Desert some measuring as large at
660 ft. across. No one is sure why
they were built.
Another excursions from Ica is the
Ballestas Islands, often called the
Galapagos of Peru. Board a
motorboat for an expedition to a
wildlife wonderland. Observe sea
lions, Humboldt penguins and
countless bird species.
Atlas Cruises & Tours has been in business for over 25 years. We’re
always ready to share our passion and expertise in creating the
vacation of your dreams, with value added exclusives, & that
personal touch you should expect from a travel agency.