Travel to Peru: 2023 Travel Guide & Advice

Although you may think of Peru as the home to one of the 7 Wonders of the World, Machu Picchu, it is so much more than that! Here you can travel to Incan ruins, visit an adobe city, see alpacas, and eat ceviche at top notch restaurants.

The culture of Peru is so rich and diverse, blending parts of Africa, Europe, and East Asia together, making it a must on your bucket list. Travel to Peru is educational, fulfilling, and eye-opening. 

Get your travel journal ready for this trip! 

Here’s all you need to know for travel to Peru in 2023.

General Information

Population: Roughly 33 million

Capital: Lima

Location: Peru is located in South America and shares borders with Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Bolivia, and Chile. 

Flag: The flag consists of three vertical bands, red, white, and red. 

Time Zone: Peru Time (UTC-5)

Currency: Peruvian sol (PEN)

Language: Spanish is the official language, but other languages spoken include Quechua, Aymara, and other Indigenous languages.

Climate: Peru has a large diversity of climates because of its tropical latitude, mountain ranges, topography variations, and two ocean currents. The coastal areas are moderate, humid, and have low precipitation. In the mountains, it is rainy in the summer. 

Religion: Roman Catholicism has been the predominant religion in Peru for centuries, but there are other religions practiced in the country.

Travel Visa Information: To find out if a visa is required from your country for travel to Peru — and easily get yours if needed — check out

Best Time Of Year To Visit: The winter (May-September) is the best time to travel to Peru because it is drier, less rain. This is best for visiting Cusco and trekking Machu Picchu. The summer is warmer, but it is rainy. 

Health & Safety

As of November 2022, the CDC says it is safe to travel to Peru, but that you should be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 before doing so. There are also several other vaccines that the CDC recommends, as well as preventable illnesses that you can find here.

Find information regarding COVID-19 and travel to Peru here: 

Follow the CDC guidelines for current travel advisories, as well as the U.S. Embassy guidelines.

Typical Costs in Peru

The average price for one person for accommodation in Peru is S/.75, which equals about $20 USD. Taxi rides are more expensive than using public transportation. A short taxi ride might cost S/.8 or $2 USD, and a bus ride S/.1.60, or $0.42 USD. An average meal cost per person is S/.19, or $4.94 USD. As always, prices will vary depending on whether you are eating street food or fancy food. 

Food To Eat in Peru

Travel to Peru and you’ll quickly learn that it has a rich culinary heritage, blending together the cuisines of Africa, Europe, and East Asia. Here’s what you should try! 

Ceviche is the national dish and one of the most popular dishes in Peru! Other countries have their own variations, but Peru’s most typical version includes sea bass marinated in lime juice, onion, salt, and hot chilies.

Psst! Bembos, the Peruvian fast food chain is on our list of the Best Local Fast Food in 20 Countries

Lomo Saltado is a mix of Chinese stir-fry and classic Peruvian cuisine – Tender strips of beef are marinated in soy sauce and added to onions, tomatoes, aji chillies, and other spices.

We understand if you don’t want to try Cuy (guinea pig), but it is known to be a tender meat with a crispy skin. 

Ají de Gallina is shredded chicken that is prepared in a thick sauce made with cream, ground walnuts, cheese, and aji amarillo. 

Papas a la Huancaína, or potatoes in a spicy cheese sauce, consists of golden potatoes drenched in a puree of queso fresco, aji amarillo, garlic, evaporated milk, and lime juice. This popular dish has a subtle spiciness! 

Pepper fans out there? Rocoto Relleno, or stuffed spicy peppers will be a selling point for you. Peppers are stuffed with ground beef, garlic, onions, raisins, olives, herbs, and spices. The peppers are topped with queso fresco and baked in a custard. Yum! 

Pollo a la Brasa, popular in the U.S., is a whole roasted chicken marinated in garlic, herbs, and spices before roasting it on a spit. For many people, it’s the sauce that makes this dish so delicious – a green huacatay sauce (Peruvian black mint). You do not need to travel to Peru for this dish, as many popular Peruvian restaurants and take out places will serve it, but we suggest you get it in Peru (obviously).

Drinks To Try in Peru

The most famous Peruvian drink is the Pisco Sour. Did you know this drink was invented by an American in Lima? In this drink: grape brandy, egg white, lime juice, and a little sugar.

The Chilcano is made with pisco, ginger ale, and lime juice, but there are many variations using different fruit, etc. 

Chicha Morada is a very famous beverage made of purple corn. Yes, purple. The drink is cooked purple corn with pineapple, cinnamon, sugar, and clove. It is known to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease. 

Top Cities To Visit in Peru

Lima, the capital city, is known as the City of Kings. Here, you can explore ancient Incan sites, eat world-class food, and explore cathedrals and palaces. Visit Museo del Pisco, Museo Larco, Barranco, Plaza de Armas, and indulge in the nightlife of Miraflores. Surf, explore, eat! 

Cusco is a bucket-list destination filled with archaeological sites, world-class food, churches, markets, and more. Visit Plaze de Armas, Centro Historico de Cuzco, Sacsayhuaman, the Inca Trail, and Montana de Siete Colores. There is so much to see and do in Cusco, it’s a must visit for travel to Peru. 

Must-See Sights in Peru

  • Machu Picchu (1 of the 7 Wonders Of The World)
  • Colca Canyon
  • Sacred Valley
  • Nazca Lines
  • Larco Museum
  • Saqsaywaman
  • Arequipa
  • Chan Chan (UNESCO World Heritage site) 
  • Basílica y Convento de San Francisco de
  • Manu National Park
  • Cathedral of Lima
  • Temple of the Moon at Machu Picchu
  • Alpamayo
  • Huascaran
  • Huayna Picchu
  • Yumbilla Falls
  • Museo Santuarios Andinos
  • Kuelap, also known as “Machu Picchu of Northern Peru”
  • Paracas National Reserve
  • Rainbow Mountain and the Andes

How To Get Around Peru

By Micros (buses) and Combis (vans): These forms of public transportation are newer forms, so not all of the kinks have been worked out just yet (speeding, erratic driving) but they are very cost effective. 

By car: Only use this option if you have a flexible budget, plenty of time, and don’t mind chaotic traffic. Otherwise, it’s best to avoid renting a car. 

By taxi: Taxis and moto taxis are cheap to get around the cities. 

By train: This is limited, however, the landscapes and views that you will see on almost any train route in this country make it worth getting on the train for. 

By foot: In major cities, you can easily walk around and see what you want to see on foot. 

Bucket List Experiences in Peru 

  1. Travel to Peru is somewhat incomplete without a visit to Machu Picchu. 
  2. Visit Salineras de Maras, one of the only places in the world where you can make pink salt.
  3. See the mysterious Nazca Lines. 
  4. Visit Chan Chan, the world’s largest adobe city. 
  5. A visit to Kuelap, also known as “Machu Picchu of Northern Peru”, is also a must.
  6. Finally, be sure to visit Paracas National Reserve, where you can see the Red Beach and where the desert meets the ocean – pretty cool! 
  7. Meet alpacas! 

Where To Book Flights

The cost of airfare can quickly eat up your budget.
>> Click here to find the best flights to Peru.

Where To Book Accommodations 

Peru is home to some fantastic hotels.
>> Click here to find the best hotel deals in Peru.

Housesitting is a great way to cut down on travel costs.
>> Click here to find housesitting opportunities in Peru.

Hostels are an affordable option when it comes to accommodations.
>> Click here to find hostels in Peru.

Booking a vacation rental can help to save the budget.
>> Click here to find vacation rentals in Peru.

Best Travel Tours & Packages in Peru

GAdventures: Peru Ancient Cities & The Andes – 14 days
Climb the legendary Inca Trail to the cloud forest citadel of Machu Picchu, dine the traditional way at a ceremonial Pachamanca feast, or take an optional flight over the Nazca Lines — the adventure is yours to choose! With the services of a CEO (Chief Experience Officer) and your accommodation and transport taken care of, this trip offers great value as it introduces the region’s main sights, providing plenty of flexibility so you can experience an adventure you’ll never forget. Take a trip that’s packed with just the essentials — 14 days of maximum Peru at minimum cost. This is everything you imagined Peru would be — and more!

ToursByLocals: Peru Agricultural Tour – Village Homestay
Peru Agricultural tours – Village Homestay, is a fascinating tour, that brings you to authentic experience of in a village of Peru, amongst the many things to see an do, the Peru village home-stay, is a unique tour that brings you to stay in touch with the local people, where you can explore even the places that no one else experience.

TourRadar: The Inca Journey – 10 days
This tour will introduce you to the best of Peru, from ruins high in the Andes to wildlife deep in the Amazon. Embrace cultures past and present in Cusco before traveling by rail to Machu Picchu. With years of experience, we directly employ the finest guides so that you’ll see the best of the region. And, with no hiking, you’ll have lots of time to explore ruins, museums, and markets. Following your visit to the Andes, travel deep into the Amazon to explore the jungle.

Additional Reading

Books: Death in the Andes by Mario Vargas Llosa; The Peru Reader; Turn Right at Machu Picchu by Mark Adams; The Conquest of the Incas by John Hemming; In Search of an Inca by Alberto Flores Galindo

Movies: The Motorcycle Diaries; Knives in the Sky; Retablo; The Big Blue; Undertow; Paradise

Check out these Journo Adventures from travelers who have been there! 

Now that you’ve seen our guide, what did you think? Are you ready to travel to Peru? Leave us a comment below! 

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