Peru: Introduction

Mountainous terrain, vast coastal deserts and steamy, tropical rainforests

Peru Introduction Peru Introduction Peru Introduction

Like its neighbouring South American countries, Peru is a mixture of Latin (Ladino) and indigenous (mostly Quechua and Aymara) cultures. This land of contrasts and variety, from its mountains to its rainforests, from its colonial cities to its intriguing Inca ruins and Pacific desert landscapes, is there for you to explore and enjoy. Travel in Peru is simple, cheap but usually basic, especially if you want to travel by the numerous buses. A more expensive option is to hire a car, but you should be aware of the long distances between Peruvian cities, the hazards on Peruvian roads and their poor condition. Whatever your choice of transport, there are many fascinating and varied places to visit and different experiences to enjoy, from relaxation to adventure!

The cuisine of Peru is as varied as its landscape and attractions. In each of Peru’s regions, you will find food that reflects the local culture. Seafood is at its best on the Pacific coast and you can still find the ancient Inca delicacy of guinea pig on the menu in the Andean highlands. Although there are many basic restaurants in Peru, the larger cities provide many restaurant options for every budget and taste.

Lima, the country’s capital, has a vast array of restaurants for every budget and providing a range of different eating experiences. You can enjoy up-market eating and US style restaurant chains, or you can still find food that reflects the varied traditions of Peruvian and other South American cuisines. When it comes to nightlife, you will find bars, discos and nightclubs in most of the major cities, such as Lima, Cusco, Trujillo and Arequipa.

If you want a different shopping experience, then Peru is the place for you! Wander through the craft market near Cusco’s Plaza de Armas, or browse in the many craft shops in Lima. In most towns, you will find a plethora of hand-made crafts at reasonable prices. In most places, apart from the more expensive shops, you will be expected to haggle. Perhaps you would like to take home a bottle of pisco, a white brandy that is Peru's national drink, and which is the main ingredient of pisco sour one of the most popular drinks in the country. All in all, if you enjoy variety and would like to experience a very different culture, then Peru is for you.