A complex cultural heritage, forged over five thousand years, has produced the fabulous festivals, fabrics, and fusion of foods for which Peru is renowned. Andean peaks, ancient sites, canyons, condors, and geoglyphs add to the drama.
From the coastal capital to mountain towns, Inca ruins, and iconic landscapes, Peru is a beguiling land of legends, contrasts, and cultures, all collated from its past. With pockets of the Spanish-colonial country where the Incan Quechua language is still spoken, interwoven with Aymara-speaking descendants of the earlier Bolivian culture, each region has its own heritage, character, and focus; making a tour of Peru a uniquely colourful experience.
Among the most recognised ancient sites on earth, Peru’s most famous landmark is mystical Machu Picchu, hidden for 500 years in its fern and forest shroud, cloaked in mists and mystery, and covering a scenic saddle of land with 200+ buildings, its cosmic alignment acknowledged but unexplained.
In the Sacred Valley, picturesque towns and little crafting villages sit side-by-side with significant Inca sites, from the Indian Market of historic Pisac to the archaeological remains of Moray, Ollantaytambo fortress, and the thousand, tiered pools of UNESCO listed Maras Salt Mines.
At 3,800m, Lake Titicaca is the world’s highest navigable waterway, mountain-edged and mirror-still. The cradle of the Incan empire, it is home to the floating Uros islands, ingeniously built and lived on by Aymaran Indians, and to Isla Tequile, 45km offshore and a couple of centuries back in time.
Contemporary and colonial settlements and cities add an extra dimension to a Peruvian tour. The country’s huge capital, Lima mixes its modern metropolitan skyline with the golden façades of its historic heart, a hacienda museum of pre-Columbian art, and the largest convent in South America.
Once the Inca capital, then a 16th-century Spanish enclave, Cuzco and its surrounds offer revealing glimpses of bygone times; on the Andean high plain, the town of Andahuaylillas is centred by its Church of St. Peter, its lavishly frescoed interior earning the epithet of ‘America’s Sistine Chapel’; and Arequipa is Peru’s ‘second city’, a beautiful baroque enclave in a dramatic landscape, with a trio of sentinel volcanoes at its edge.
Landscapes and landmarks are equally inspiring, the Colca Canyon one of the world’s deepest gorges, famed for its flights of the iconic Andean condors; while the Nazca Lines, etched across 300 square miles of arid desert, are a mysterious gallery of geometric patterns, mixing swirls and precision-straight lines with images of flora and fauna, including a spider, a monkey and a hummingbird.
In spring, Peruvians celebrate the Corpus Christi festival, one of the most significant religious celebrations on the Peruvian Catholic calendar, enjoy the spectacle and atmosphere with a special Festival departure timed to coincide with the celebration.
Peru plays its part in a grand tour of South America too, which also explores Bolivia’s shore on Lake Titicaca, and colonial La Paz with its sky-high cable car; Argentina’s elegant capital, Buenos Aires, and its outlying districts; Uruguay’s famously friendly Montevideo, on a huge sandy bay, and the crashing cascades of Iguassu Falls; and Brazil’s surfing, samba, and Sugarloaf city, Rio de Janeiro.
Just south of the Equator, Peru’s climate varies from coastal shores to high-altitude peaks. In general, the coast is sub-tropical, cloudy in winter, warm in summer, and averaging 18° in the coldest month (August), and 24° in the warmest (February); between the coast and the mountains, temperatures ramp up to hot from December to March; and in the western Andes, nights can be cool to frosty, but daytime temperatures barely vary throughout the year, 21-23° at Cuzco’s altitude of about 3,400m; colder above it, warmer below.
Jules Verne journeys are timed for the seasons which offer the best experience for the type and destinations of each tour.
A tour of Peru is a ‘must do’ for the curious, the adventurous, and the enthusiastic traveller. With its great diversity of scenery, sites, cities, and sleepy villages, there is sure to be something to enchant, intrigue and excite every guest among the solos, couples, families and friends on our small-group tours.
With 45 years’ experience and a passion for creating extraordinary adventures, Jules Verne takes you to iconic landmarks and lesser-known sites, with expert tour guides who share their local knowledge, and show you hidden gems. Special experiences on our journeys in Peru include sailing to Isla Tequile, where we enjoy a home-cooked lunch; taking a cookery class in the gastronomic city of Lima; and an insight of Andean peoples’ customs and crafts in Yucay’s Museum of Living Culture.
Our guided tours to Peru are ABTA and ATOL protected, and we offer a 100% price guarantee, so you can book with complete confidence.
Lost World of the Incas
Intriguing, revealing, and ranging from haunting valleys to high-altitude Andean peaks, this is a journey by road, rail, and air, from the capital, Lima, to the cobbled streets of Cuzco, exploring Peru’s Inca heritage in the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, and Lake Titicaca
Grand Tour of South America
A tour of five countries, and a journey of a lifetime, this is a grand adventure, from Peru’s Pacific Ocean port, and Machu Picchu ruins, to Brazil’s South Atlantic beaches, via Bolivian Lake Titicaca, the capitals of Uruguay and Argentina, and the fantastic Iguassu Falls