Scroll to discover

When it comes to nature’s gifts, Peru seems to have stolen the lion’s (or perhaps jaguar’s) share. Peru possesses the world’s most bio-diverse rainforests, breathtaking mountains, highest altitude lake, plunging canyons, vast deserts and a long Pacific coastline. When combined with such cultural treasures as magical Machu Picchu, glorious Cusco and a host of other pre-Columbian sites and Spanish colonial cities, it is easy to understand why Peru is one of South America’s most appealing and popular destinations.

Wildlife-wise, the rainforest reserves of southeast Peru are considered the most species-rich in all Amazonia. Parrot clay licks provide an awesome avian spectacle; oxbow lakes hold families of giant otter (some six feet long); towering jungle platforms afford unrivalled views over verdant rainforest canopies. In addition, Peru’s high Andean peaks reveal stunted paramo habitat and the mighty condor in flight, and the Pacific coast’s Paracas Marine Reserve has been likened to a mini-Galapagos.


What To See

The Ballestas Islands

Dubbed the “poor man’s Galapagos”, the Ballestas Islands are an important breeding ground for sea birds including the guanay cormorant and Peruvian booby, found in huge colonies. The islands are also home to large numbers of sea lions, pelicans and penguins. Dolphins and small whales can be seen swimming in the bay, and sea lions hauling themselves up the beach. From February to March condors feed in the area, and from April to December flamingos are present in Paracas Bay, which also has a mysterious candelabra etched into the hillside, thought to pre-date the Incas.

Tambopata National Reserve

The 3.7 million-acre reserve, a diverse mix of rainforest, oxbow lakes, palm forests and savannah, contains a wealth of plants, insects and animals, and the world’s largest macaw clay lick.

Alto Purus National Park

East of Manu, the Las Piedras River winds its way through some of the most remote and pristine rainforest in the world. At its head, the 6.7 million acre Alto Purus National Park and Communal Reserve was set up to protect a huge area of forest, home to the nomadic Mashco-Piro tribe. Shunning strangers, little is known about their customs and lifestyle and they remain one of the world’s last ‘uncontacted’ peoples.

Manu Biosphere Reserve

Established in 1973, Manu was so feted by the world’s scientists and conservation organisations that in 1987 it was gazetted as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. There are three vegetation zones within the reserve: lowland rainforest, mid-range cloud forest and the high Andean puna, all with their own distinctive plant and animal life. Regarding fauna, the reserve contains around 1000 bird species including 28 parrots, giant river otters, 13 species of monkey including the rare woolly monkey, and cats such as ocelot and jaguar among the approximately 200 mammal species found there.


Located on the northern Pacific coast, Máncora boasts some of the best beaches in the country and a vibrant nightlife. It is the ideal place in Peru to try your hand at surfing, or simply relax and enjoy the seaside.


East of Chiclayo, a day’s journey travelling deep into the interior take you to the town of Chachapoyas. The civilisation of the same name fought the Incas from high forest strongholds and the whole area is littered with ruins, tombs and mummies. The most spectacular site is the fortress of Kuelap, perched on the shoulder of a 3,000-metre mountain. Dating from the 9th century the citadel houses a complex of more than 400 homes, palaces and temples protected within a 20 metre-high wall.

Chaparri Conservation Area

This community run reserve lies around 45 miles north-east of Chiclayo. It supports 214 bird species, 21 mammals and 20 reptiles and amphibians and the excellent wildlife viewing opportunities include good chances of wild spectacled bears. In addition to spectacled bears, which can also be seen at a rehabilitation project, the list of wildlife includes the sechuran fox, pampas cat, king vultures, 50 Tumbesian endemic bird species and, though harder to see, Andean condor, guanaco and (very occasionally) a puma.


Chiclayo is located about four hours by road north of Trujillo. It is a major commercial hub servicing a large agricultural hinterland and a strong Afro-Amerindian influence is reflected in its distinctive music and cuisine. The city’s well-known witchcraft market sells a variety of potions and remedies to satisfy even the most confirmed hypochondriac.

There are a number of important archaeological sites in the area. At the Moche tombs of Sipan some of the world’s finest pre-Colombian artefacts were uncovered in 1987. Many of these are housed in the Royal Tombs of Sipan Museum in the nearby town of Lambayeque – a must on any visitor’s itinerary. Other sites include Tucume – ‘The Valley of 26 Pyramids’ – which was once a thriving city of temples and squares built by the Lambayeque culture in the 11th Century.


One hour by air north of Lima, Trujillo has an attractive colonial centre, important pre-Inca Moche and Chimu archaeological sites, and some of the best surfing beaches in Peru.

The archaeological sites include the exquisitely decorated Moche temples of Huacas del Sol and de la Luna, and Chan Chan, once the capital of the Chimu empire and the largest adobe city in the world.

Nazca Lines

The small desert town of Nazca hosts the world’s largest sand dune and a series of markings in the desert that have baffled scientists since 1941. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and covering a huge area, the Nazca Lines are a mysterious collection of geometrical lines and shapes resembling, among others, a killer whale, hummingbird and monkey, and so large that they can only be appreciated from the air. The function of the ancient artworks, which pre-date the Incas by thousands of years, is still a mystery: some theorists talk of ancient running tracks or even landing strips for extra-terrestrials.


Peru’s capital is a typical modern city, yet its Spanish colonial past is well reflected in various buildings mainly centred around the Plaza de Armas, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As well as interesting museums and galleries, Lima has some good beaches , a lively clifftop entertainment complex, and some excellent world class restaurants.

Colca Canyon

Over millions of years, the Colca River carved its way through the Altiplano creating the world’s second deepest canyon, twice the depth of the Grand Canyon. Farmers still tend their crops on ancient terraces built in the 5th Century, a marked contrast to the otherwise stark and arid landscape. The canyon’s Cruz del Condor viewpoint is one of the best places in the world to see that magnificent bird, which boasts the largest wing area of any bird. On sunny mornings, ten to twelve condors can be observed close by, soaring on thermals and creating fantastic photo opportunities.


Best Time To Visit Peru

It is the dry season in the Peruvian highlands and in Peru’s south-eastern Amazon between May and October.

The overriding influence of the Andes causes the climate of Peru to vary widely from region to region. However, the dry season for both the Andes and the Amazon basin normally lasts from May to October. Mean temperatures differ according to altitude.

Peru Travel

Getting There

Flight Time

Approximately 14 hours’ flying time from London to Lima (plus stops).

Time Zone

GMT -5




30.38 million


Wildlife Holidays


Featured Places To Stay

Colca Lodge

Perfect base for exploring the pre-Inca history of the valley and for viewing th...

Sol y Luna Hotel

Set within a 25-acre estate just one kilometre from the town of Urubamba in the ...

Tambopata Research Centre

A rainforest lodge in the middle of the uninhabited portion of the Tambopata Nat...

Refugio Amazonas

Located in a 200-hectare private reserve surrounded by the community of Condenad...


Destination Map

loading map - please wait...

Peru: -7.362467, -71.191406

Your Very Own

Peru Specialist

John Melton

Area Specialist

If you have any questions regarding travel to Peru, please feel free to contact me on +44 (0)1803 866965

The tour was excellent. We have no complaints and always recommend your services to our friends…We must stress we are full of praise for the tour – the itinerary was excellent – and the scenery surpassed every expectation. Your choice of hotels was equally good – we enjoyed the opportunity to swim where it was available.

Many thanks for an excellent holiday – only problem now is sifting through 850 digital images plus a video.

Mrs J A - Cambridge