All you need to know about Perú, Cusco, events happening in Cusco - if there is something you need to know, contact us, and we'll be happy to share our knowledge and expertise with you when you are planning your trip.
Area: 501,234 square miles
Capital city: Lima (population 8 million)
Language: Spanish, Quechua, Aymara
People: 54% Indian, 32% Mestizo (mixed European and Indian descent), 12% Spanish descent, 2% Black, Asian minority
Religion: Over 90% Roman Catholic, small percentages of many other religions
Climate: Peru's climate can be divided into two seasons-wet and dry-though the weather varies greatly depending on the geographic region. Because Peru is in the Southern Hemisphere, the "summer"is considered to be from January to March. During these months, the weather is usually sunny and warm on the coast and on the western slopes of the Andes.
Perú shelters 13% of the world’s tropical forests, 10% of the plant species, 18% of birdlife and 10% of fish species of the world.
The possibility of marvelling oneself at the colours of three thousand orchid species or 3.500 types of butterflies, feeling the effects of 28 out of the 32 world’s climates, visiting 11 eco-regions, ranging from cold and tropical seas to jungles and tropical forests, across deserts, moorlands, and mountain range can be offered by very few countries.
Perú is one of the most privileged countries of the world. It is the fourth country with the greatest mega biodiversity of the planet, and shelters, together with 11 countries, 70% of the world’s diversity of life.
Life bursts in this South American in many different ways. Marvelled scientists found 5.000 insect species (80% of them were new to science) in one only tree of Madre de Dios, a region in the southern Peruvian forest which is so rich in animal life that 800 bird species can be found in one only square kilometer. This forest is considered by experts to be the world’ “drugstore", since its 1.400 medicinal plant species (in addition to the 4.400 species used by its population) are a discovery source for modern scientists.
At least 25.000 plant species, that is, 10% of all existing species in the planet, grow in this land. 30% of these plant species is endemic, this meaning that they can only be found in Perú. Thus, this is a marvellous spot for nature observers who can find unique species such as the biggest orchid of the planet, which is 13 meters high and is found in Huachucolpa (Huancavelica). This is why the renowned botanist David Bellamy said, when referring to this country: “Peru is a surprisingly diverse country in biological terms. If we could save it, we could virtually rehabilitate the rest of the world".
Peru is also the third country in the world with the greatest diversity of amphibians and mammals. A recent study conducted at Yavarí, in the region of Loreto, recorded over 50 species of frogs and toads, 5 of which were new to science. Peru hosts the second largest variety of primates: 34 species, one of them is endemic, the choro de cola amarilla (Yellow-tailed Wooly-Monkey). Moreover, half of the spider species inhabiting in the Neotropical region are concentrated in Perú.
The Peruvian sea -one of the seven fishing marine basins of the world- and the rivers that flow throughout Peru are home to about two thousand fish species, exceeding thus the number of fish species found in the whole Atlantic. More importantly, the Peruvian sea is home to 32 cetacean species and about 400 shellfish. Additionally, its guano islands concentrate the largest number of sea birds of the planet, which are found in millions.
Its geography, thanks to the impressive Andean Cordillera, is also unique. Suffice to say that 84 of the 117 life areas of worldwide renown are found in Peru. Furthermore, 13% of the world’s tropical forests are found in its territory.
The White Cordillera, the highest snow covered cordillera of the tropics, with its nearly 50 snow-covered peaks, rises majestically as a challenge to over 6.000 meters. It also possesses 1.769 glaciers, more than 12.000 lakes and lagoons, and unique spots such as the Colca and Cotahuasi Canyons in Arequipa which are acknowledged as the deepest canyons on earth.
HEALTH & SAFETY
Immunizations: No vaccinations are required but the following are recommended
Recommended for travel in developing countries
Recommended for all travelers older than 9 months who go outside urban areas, especially in lower elevations or jungle regions. The CDC web site has more specific information on what areas have reported cases.
Recommended only for those at high risk for animal bites, such as long term travelers who plan to hike in remote areas where medical access is limited.
Recommended for those traveling to low-altitude, jungle areas where insects are prevalent. The CDC has more specific information on areas with reported cases.
As needed, booster doses for tetanus-diphtheria and measles.
See your doctor 4-6 weeks before your trip to discuss medical history and to allow time for shots to take effect.
Traveler's Diarrhea: The most common travel-related ailment. The prevention is food and water precautions as outlined below. Treatments are antidiarrheal medications or antibiotics; however, if the symptoms are not severe, it is best to drink plenty of fluids and let it run its course.
May occur in travelers who ascend rapidly to altitudes greater than 2500 meters, including Cusco (3400 meters) and Lake Titicaca (4000 meters). Drugs can be taken for altitude sickness, so consult your personal doctor. In most cases, the best way to treat or prevent altitude sickness is to rest and drink plenty of fluids (including coca tea and excluding alcohol) upon arrival.
Food and Water:
The food in Perú is varied and delicious, but it is not recommended to eat from street vendors, markets, uncooked salads or unpeeled fruits. Ceviche, or raw fish, is only recommended at the highest quality restaurants. Avoid cooked foods that are no longer hot. We recommend that travelers drink bottled water, which is widely available and inexpensive. Avoid unbottled beverages and drinks.
Petty theft is the most common crime in Perú, just like any other developing country where poverty is high. The best precaution is to not carry valuables or wear them visibly. Carry all important documents and money in a money belt under clothing, and take precautions not to leave bags unattended or out of eyesight. Also, only take taxis that are marked with a sign as professional companies. Most people who take these precautions will have no problems while traveling in Peru.
We strongly recommend the use of a travel/medical insurance plan. We do not provide or include an accident or travel insurance policy in our cost. However, if a member of the group gets sick or is incapacited, we take care of him or her by getting a qualified doctor or immediate medical attention. In these cases, the extra costs are assumed by the individual client, including hospitalization if necessary. In the case of accident and/or necessary emergency evacuation, all costs are assumed by the individual client.
Amazon Tours Perú Specialist in jungle trips, (especially to Manu National Park) and We also offer treks and tours to Machu picchu, Choquequirao treks, Inca trail and numerous archeological sites along the way, including the marvelous Sanctuary of Machu Picchu.