Peru Travel Guide

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View from Pachacoto valley

View from Pachacoto valley

Those who love french-fries with their burgers should be thrilled to learn that the potato originated in Peru. The mighty Incas cultivated potatoes in the high altitude of the Andes Mountains. There are over 5,000 registered varieties of potatoes in Peru, being only one reflection of its mega-diversity. Peru, the land of the Incas, awaits travelers with a world of adventure and excitement.

The perfectly fitted stones of this glorious empire continue to be the main attraction to people from all over the world. Machu Picchu, the lost city of the Incas rediscovered centuries after the last Conquistador left, remains a web of riddles for the adventurer and the scientist to tackle. The Nazca lines -- what were they -- UFO landing sites or a pathway to the heavens and the gods?

History buffs are not the only folks who will enjoy Peru. Of late, thousands of people have dared visit the still largely unexplored Amazon Rainforest (selva) in search of cures for the world's illnesses by tapping into the knowledge of shamans (medicine men) who may hold the secret to help defeat the incurable. 

An adventurer can have a reasonably comfortable trip to the deeps of the jungle in Iquitos, starting at the seaside, crossing the Andes Mountains, and slowly making his or her way down the other side into the selva. As Iquitos isn't reachable by road, the last two days will be spent on an Amazon cruise boat. But those who want to get to the selva quickly need only fly one of the modern airlines that serves Iquitos and Tarapoto with daily flights from Lima.  Despite being visited by almost 1.5 million foreigners each year, there is always a place off the beaten track where the gringo tourist will be the main attraction for the locals. 

On the way to the low jungle in the Amazon Basin, some tourists will find that the high jungle plateau is a good place as either a stopover or a destination -- especially since it can tend to have a slightly lower humidity level than the low jungle areas.  Tarapoto is the most important city in the area, and it is the commercial trade center for the District of San Martin.  Tourists aren't crowded into Tarapoto, Moyobamba and surrounding communities as might be found in some other locales in Peru, but they are generally treated very well by the locals who welcome their business.

Even the not-so-adventurous can enjoy Peru.  Although still considered a developing country, Peru has made progress in improving its infractructure in some areas.  Five-star hotels, excellent restaurants, and vibrant nightlife will dazzle those who are looking to be dazzled.  Peru is an exciting land, rich in history and culture, waiting to be explored. Readers can click below on any city to obtain information and tips to make their trip a delightful experience.

The capital of Peru is the city of Lima.  The principle cities in Peru are Lima (pop. 8,900,000), Arequipa (pop. 848,000), Trujillo (pop. 820,000), Chiclayo, (pop. 568,000), Iquitos (pop. 426,000),  Huancayo (pop. 384,000), Piura (pop. 357,000), Chimbote (pop. 337,000), Cusco (pop. 320,000), Pucallpa (pop. 310,000), Tacna (pop. 284,000), Ica (pop. 242,000), Juliaca (pop. 239,000), Sullana (pop. 201,000), Chincha Alta (pop. 160,000), Huanuco (pop. 145,000), Ayacuchu (pop. 144,000), Cajamarca (pop. 132,000), Tarapoto (pop. 123,000), Talara (pop. 115,000), Tumbes (pop. 110,000).

Lima the City of Experiences

Lima is the capital and largest city of Peru. It is located in the valleys of the Chillón, Rímac and Lurín rivers, on a coast overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It forms a contiguous urban area with the seaport of Callao. Lima is the 5th–largest city in Latin America, behind São Paulo, Mexico City, Buenos Aires, and Rio de Janeiro.

 It was baptized as the City of Kings on January 15, 1535, but it was more a seat of viceroys, nobles and down-on-their-luck aristocrats, who arrived in this land attracted by news of the inexhaustible gold of the Incas. Emulating the opulence and splendor of the Spanish courts, they made the ancient capital of the Viceroyalty of Peru into the center of Hispanic influence in South America.

But Lima does not stick to formality, it prefers to dress for a party in October, and then it does not wear the patriotic red-and-white of the Peruvian flag. But it prefers a purple that is both mystical and happy, that expresses the enduring fervor with which the city gives itself over each year to the venerated Lord of Miracles, a humble and dark-skinned Christ, an ancestral cult that reflects the many-faceted humanity of a young country that finds in the old residence of the conquistador Francisco Pizarro a fundamental axis for the constant forging of the complex Peruvian nationality.

Lima dresses up in October and the city turns out gaily in a show of faith that mixes pagan and sacred rituals, and the multitudinous procession of the Lord of Miracles lives alongside the traditional Fair of the Lord of Miracles, that revives the deeply-rooted passion of the Limeans for the savage fiesta.

Oxapampa: in the top center of Peru, between the Andes and the Jungle : host region of the wildest cultural festival of Peru

Festival Selvámonos, June 2015 27/28th

Here’s something for you folks: if you’re volunteering or backpacking in Peru in June, check out the upcoming Selvámonos Festival in Oxapampa. The main event will take place on June 27 th and 28th, preceded by various cultural bits and pieces starting on June 24th.

The Selvámonos Festival, Peru: June 27/28th

The biggest alternative festival in Peru is preparing for its 2015 edition, an event that will exceed all audience expectations: after a cultural week of free shows and workshops, the Festival culminates in two days of concerts and live performances. Two concert stages and a dj dome, 19 bands, nationals and internationals, a program starting at 1pm two days in a row, a field by the river surrounded by mountains: Selvámonos offers an experience that is unique in Peru. Take advantage of the long weekend (monday 29 of june is a public holiday) to enjoy two days of music, art and nature in Oxapampa!

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The Selvámonos organisation develops a wide variety of initiatives to transform the Festival Selvámonos into an ecologically responsible event, promoting conservation and enhancement of the environment. They have hence created an Ecozone, part of an Environmental Fair,  with the involvement of the native community, as well as various sports and leisure activities. In addition, Selvámonos offers the option to contribute to a socio-ecological project by purchasing a “Pase Verde” (green pass), which, besides the two day entrance, includes a donation of 10 S/. to a project of vegetable garden for the children of Oxapampa in collaboration with the organisation Ania.

Part or or all of this text stems from the original article at:


May 10, 2006 change by joosts (6 points)

December 08, 2006 change by approaching genius (5 points)

October 27, 2010 change by inkasway

May 18, 2015 change by selvamonos

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