A country full of contrasts, Peru offers a choice of mystical destinations, from Lima on the Pacific coastline with its remarkable Spanish-style architecture to the Colca Canyon, the deepest in the world. Let’s not forget Lake Titicaca, with its enchanting floating islands and the mountaintop site of Machu Picchu, one of the most important archaeological sites in the world – and one of the most famous tourist attractions in Peru.
Peru’s capital, Lima, is the main gateway to the country. It was founded in the 16th century on the site of an important Inca religious centre, whose history is featured in the architecture and museums in the old part of the city.
Why visit Peru
- Experience diverse landscapes that include everything from desert and jungle to beaches and the Andes Mountains.
- Explore legendary lost cities.
- The Peruvians’ amazing craftmanship offers an insight into their history, culture and art.
- Peru boasts 28 different climates, all offering a unique holiday adventure.
- Peru is a hiker’s paradise, offering iconic treks including the Inca Trail.
- The country’s beautiful Pacific coast beaches offer numerous activities, including excellent surfing.
- Peru’s national parks offer a varied selection of wildlife – from over 1,000 bird species to cougars, tapirs and jaguars.
A Peru holiday offers many different experiences and attractions, from enchanting archaeological sites to world-class museums displaying prehistoric gems. Aside from the legendary Incas, iconic llamas and tropical jungles, there is plenty more for you to discover when you travel to Peru. Whether you’re looking for a family holiday, want to go backpacking with friends, explore on your own or take your partner with you, you will find a country that will thrill and delight. Call Thompsons Holidays now to book your exciting Peru holiday package.
Things to do in Peru
Travel to Peru to discover the legacy of the Incas. Visit Cusco to see ancient temples and the compelling typical Inca town of Ollantaytambo, or sail from Puno to the floating islands of Uros and Taquile, once part of the Inca Empire. Machu Picchu is an adventure on its own; hike the renowned Inca Trail, camping en route, visiting various archaeological sites and crossing the cloud forest area.
If you’d prefer to discover Andean treasures, you can explore from Peru’s capital, Lima, and visit some of the towns in the Colca Valley, famous for its hot springs. The highlight here is a chance to go to Lake Titicaca.
Things to do in Peru
- Explore the Amazon to see diverse and unusual wildlife.
- Hike the 39km Inca Trail in Machu Picchu.
- Go sandboarding in the desert near the Huacachina Oasis.
- Go trekking in the Colca Canyon near Arequipa.
- See penguins in the Ballestas Islands.
- Explore Colonial Cusco, the oldest inhabited city in the Americas.
- Visit Chachapoyas to see the intriguing sarcophagi.
- Hike up a mountain in the Andes.
- Discover the incredible Nasca Lines.
- Go down one of the world’s deepest canyons, the Cotahuasi Canyons.
- Kick-off your evening in Lima by sipping a pisco sour.
Of course, there are so many more captivating tourist attractions and activities to experience in Peru. Thompsons Holidays has extensive experience in planning Peru holiday packages from South Africa, so call us right away to book your adventure.
Know before you go...
- Best time to visit Peru is in the dry season (winter), May to September.
- Wet season (summer) is December to March.
- Flight duration from Johannesburg to Lima: 17 hours & 40 minutes with one stopover.
- South African passport holders do not require a visa to enter Peru.
- Passports must be valid for 6 months after the date of return to South Africa.
- Peru is 7 hours behind South Africa.
- The official currency in Peru is the Peruvian Sol (PEN).
- Credit cards are widely accepted & ATMs are prevalent.
- US Dollars are widely accepted in Peru. Some ATMs give currency in USD.
- The official language is Spanish.
- English is widely spoken in Peru’s tourist areas.
- Roman Catholicism is the main religion in Peru.
- It is not advisable to drink tap water in Peru. Bottled water is readily available.
- Most public restrooms charge a small fee for use, so keep change on hand for this.
- Vaccinations – please check with your travel clinic before you go.
What must I pack?
- Layering clothes is the best idea for Peru itinerary as temperatures can change dramatically from the interior to the coast.
- Comfortable walking shoes and sturdy trekking boots if you're planning to go hiking.
- Sunscreen, lip balm, hat and sunglasses.
- Mini first aid kit and regular prescription medication.
- Hand sanitiser and insect repellent.
- Travel adaptor. In Peru, the power plugs and sockets are of type A and C. The standard voltage is 220 V and the standard frequency is 60 Hz.
What can I do to be a responsible traveller?
- Wherever possible, buy local food and souvenirs and support local artisans.
- Respect each other's cultures and customs.
- Be safety conscious: don’t display cash or valuables. Leave jewellery and expensive watches at home.
- Keep your belongings safe – use the hotel safe for passports and valuables.
What do I do in an emergency?
- Contact the Thompsons Holidays 24-hour care line to assist.