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Peru

Peru is one of STA Travel's personal favourites. With an ancient Inca heritage, strong Quechua and Aymara cultures, and world-class trekking, this country is fascinating. Would any trip to South America is complete without a pilgrimage to the citadel of Machu Picchu, a genuine world wonder only discovered in recent history? Throw in the Amazon, a few bustling cities and some of South America's most dramatic landscapes, and you've got yourself one insane adventure lined up.
Speech Bubble Icon Languages
The official language is Spanish, with traditional dialects like Qenchua and Aymara.
Stacked Coin Icon Currency
Name: ​Peruvian Sol
Code: PEN
Symbol: S/
Clock Icon Time Zones
Peru Time Zone (UTC -05:00)

Top places to visit in Peru

Adventure seekers have so much more to get stuck into in Peru. Watch Peru's condors soar at Colca Canyon, discover the country's exciting capital Lima, view the mysterious Nazca lines, explore the Sacred Valley and board down the sand dunes in Huacachina. 
Two llamas overlooking the Machu Picchu site
Parasailers off the coast of Lima

Lima

Peru’s capital, Lima offers a world away from the rugged mountains of Machu Picchu. With a clear Spanish influence, the city is far more European than Cusco. With museums, archaeological sites, adventure sports, and nightlife on offer, Lima is busy, bustling and full of history. Lima is also the home to seafood ceviche - take it from us, you won't find any better!
The Basilica Cathedral of Arequipa with a mountain in the background

Arequipa

Welcome to Peru's second-largest city. Arequipa may not be as well known as Cusco or Lima, but it has huge historical significance and some seriously good food! Set at the foot of three dramatic volcanoes, Arequipa is a great place to wander and an even better place to try classic Peruvian dishes like rocoto relleno (stuffed peppers) and chupe de camarones (spicy shrimp stew).
The sandy Huacachina Lagoon Reserved Zone

Huacachina

Ever seen a real oasis? Imagine living in one! Huacachina is a small town near the city of Ica surrounded by huge sand dunes. Largely abandoned until the 90s, it’s now a hotspot for travellers from all over the world. Jump in a dune buggy and tear down the dunes on a sand board. Watch the sun set over the dunes, then chill out in the small hippy restaurants and bars at night.
A condor spreading its wings and the mountains of Colca canyon

Colca Canyon

So you've heard of the Grand Canyon, sure. But Peru’s Colca Canyon is twice as deep as Arizona’s Grand Canyon and just as impressive. Book a trek to the Colca Canyon, and explore the dazzling scenery of the surrounding area. After your trek, relax in the oasis of chilled-out tourist resorts sitting at the bottom of the canyon. The views looking up are just as good as the views looking down.

Top Selling Peru Adventure Tours

a valley in the Salkantay mountains

Salkantay Trek & Machu Picchu

Salkantay has been dubbed the most spectacular peak in the Peruvian Andes. On this trip, youll trek in the shadows of this impressive mountain, interact with its inhabitants and explore its forgotten ruins. You'll arrive at the backdoor of Machu Picchu where youll catch the train to Aguas Calientes for an early-morning visit to Machu Picchu.
5 days
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The Machu Picchu site

Inca Trail

Perfect for those looking to experience the regions archaeological and cultural treasures in a short amount of time, this adventure includes a four-day trek along the Inca Trail. This is one of the world's best-known hikes and will reward those willing to break a sweat with a stunning combination of mountainscapes, cloud forests, and jungles. 
7 days
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A Peruvian man in traditional clothing and a donkey in front of a mountain

The Lares Trek

Theres more than one way to earn your Peru hiking stripes. On the Lares Trek, youll get three days of trekking through the mountains around the Sacred Valley, passing by remote communities, farms, and friendly faces. Forget just taking in the view theres a bunch of perspective waiting for you at a pottery community and a weaving co-op. 
7 days
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The Inca Trail

The world famous Inca Trail trek is for most visitors one of, if not the main reason for travelling to Peru. While it is physically demanding, the 40km hike remains within the reach of most reasonably fit travellers. Some parts are steep, especially the three high passes – one of which reaches an elevation of 4,200m (13,776 ft)! But the mist-shrouded views of Machu Picchu prove to all who make it that the climb was definitely worth it.

Peru Travel FAQs

Do I need a visa to visit Peru?

If you've got a New Zealand passport with 6 months validity left on it, you're free to pass through Peru's borders for the sake of tourism, and stay for up to 183 days. Just make sure you get an entry stamp, to avoid any sticky situations with customs officials who will check on your way out of the country. Rules are subject to change, so always check with the appropriate government agencies before travel. 

How do I get around Peru?

Seasoned travellers will know the unwritten rule: the more beautiful, diverse and dramatic the landscape of a country, the more difficult it seems to get to traverse it on local transport! Peru is pretty big, and although buses and overnight coaches are cheap, they're uncomfortable and long. Those on limited time (two weeks or less) may want to consider domestic flights, for example, between the capital city of Lima, to Cuzco and the Inca Trail. 

When is the best time to visit Peru?

Peruvian winter falls between May to September; this is the driest and coolest season so therefore the best for anyone wanting to trek the Inca Trail and get the best views of Machu Picchu. Summer falls from December to March sees heavy rain. For a reasonable chance of fair weather and less crowds of tourists, we recommend shoulder season. If you're heading to the Andes, wrap up - it can get cold!