offers an incredible diversity of terrain ranging from snow-capped mountains of the Andes to vast stretches of accessible and inaccessible primary rainforest with a dramatic arid coastal desert. It is most famous for the well-preserved archaeological and cultural remnants of one of the world’s greatcivilisations, the pre-Columbian Incas.

Peru should not only be remembered for Machu Picchu, the renowned "lost city", hidden for centuries and perched on a hilltop in the sub-tropical Andean foothills. Travellers and tourists are drawn to the ruins of other Inca citadels nearby in the beautiful Sacred Valley; and the preserved city of Cuzco, whose colonial structures were built on Inca foundations.

Other cities and destinations throughout Peru are steeped in history such as Trujillo in the north of Peru, Arequipa in the South and Lima, the city of the Kings. The spectacular Colca Canyon, the mesmerizing waters of Lake Titicaca and jungles of the Amazon offer the visitor the opportunity to enjoy a holiday of incomparable variety.

Peru can offer a variety of hotels ranging from simple hostels to 5 star deluxe international hotels; fromjungle lodges with no hot water to camping on its many hikes and trails. The following information has been provided as a guide but Amazing Peru will not be held liable for any errors or omissions and any actions resulting from relying on the below recommendations.
Weather conditions vary with altitude and geographical location On the coast, summertime is from November to April when it is hot (up to 30oC) and sunny. At other times of the year there is a chilly mist though seldom rain The dry and sunny season in the highlands is from May to October, when it can be cold at night. From December to March it can be cloudy and wet, especially in the afternoon, with temperatures similar to an English spring (18oC) . In the jungle the climate is generally hot and humid (about 30oC) with rainfall at any time of year but especially between the months of November and April. Occasional cold fronts from Argentina can lower the temperature dramatically.
Fiestas and holidays
The principal festivals are associated either with the Catholic calendar, for example Easter week (especially colourful in Ayacucho and Cuzco) and carnival (February). The Inti Raymi Festival of the Sun, celebrating Inca history is a tourist attraction in Sacsayhuaman, Cusco where there is a colourful pageant (June 24). Puno, on the shores of Lake Titcaca has a plethora of festivals throughout the year and is known as the folk-capital of Peru. A less well known festival of the Virgen del Carmen at Paucartambo.
Festive Calendar
2 February - Candlemas - Colourful festivals held throughout the highlands, particularly in the Puno area February to March – Carnival - Especially celebrated in the highlands. One annoyance are water fights and no body is spared from a soaking.
March to April - Semana Santa or Easter Week
June - Corpus Christi, held on the 9th Thursday after Easter. Processions are especially festive in the
Cuzco area.

June 24th - Inti Raymi - The most celebrated Inca festival in the Andes, held in Cuzco. The population triples and hotel availability is very hard to find. Costumes, parades and native dancing fill the streets. There is a wonderful pageant held in Sacsayhuaman that celebrates the winter solstice

July 28th - Independence Day - Peruvians everywhere this holiday seriously. The party lasts for 4 days. Travel and hotels are difficult during this time.

August 30th - Santa Rosa de Lima - Parades fill the streets of Lima.

October 18th - El Senor de los Milagros (Lord of the Miracles) - Celebrated in Lima with parades, with everybody wearing purple.

November 2nd - All Soul’s Day - Celebrated with lots of food and drink commemorating the passing of the country’s forefathers.

November 5th - Puno Day - Lots of dancing and flamboyant costumes mark this holiday’s festivities. The holiday is in honour of Manco Capac, the first Inca to emerge from Lake Titicaca. Currency The official currency is the Nuevo Sol. (3.2/US$ as of 20/01/05) and is divided into 100 centimos. This canbe obtained at the airport upon arrival or the next day in Lima. The US dollar is also worth carrying but in smaller note denominations such as $10, $20 and $50 notes. Both travellers’ cheques and credit cards can easily be used, and if you shop around, you’ll find that the commission charged varies widely. Some Casas de cambio charge no commission to withdraw local currency on your credit card and a small fee to exchange traveller’s cheques while others charge a hefty commission.
Never accept currency that is torn or appears old, as it can be difficult if not impossible to exchange later. Whenever possible, try and keep smaller denominations. You will find this most helpful when bartering in markets as many locals will claim, “no change” when you try and purchase something with a larger bill. Note that excess Soles can be changed into Bolivianos at the Bolivian border at a good rate.

Be sure to know which currency a service is being charged in as dollars and soles are often quoed, leading to much confusion.

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