There are hundreds of iconic travel spots on this planet, some of which are overrated tourist traps, but there are those few places that knock your socks off and remind you of WHY you travel. Peru is a country that is enriched with culture, architecture, and gastronomy upon a backdrop of the Andes mountains and Pacific Ocean. The Incan empire was born in Peru, and its influences are everywhere. Consider Peru for your next trip, and you’ll see why its iconic status is unforgettable.
Kajeh Mehrizi is originally from Tehran, Iran and currently lives in Toronto, Canada. Fresh off the Peru path, Mehrizi spent over 2 weeks in Peru in April of 2017 visiting Lima, Cuzco, Caccaccollo, Pisaq, Sacred Valley, Ollantaytambo, Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu. April brings autumnal weather to Peru, perfect for hiking and exploring its great sites.
Lima is a lively city with up and coming neighborhoods and restaurants. The cuisine in Peru is a mixture of several cultures and due to its 8 climate regions, it grows a variety of foods all year round. Mehrizi spent time in the Barranco neighborhood, offering plenty of things to see and do. There are museums, street arts, cafes, bars and restaurants. The hostel he stayed in Lima was called Family Hostel Barranco, owned by a local family.
Peru is a great country for budget travelers. You will eat locally and the hostels are extremely affordable. Local transport is somewhat reliable, and also cheap outside of major cities. The airfare to and from Peru may be expensive, but you won’t be spending much once you get there. Save your money for trekking (one of the most famous trekking regions in the world), visiting the sights, and bargaining for local artisan crafts.
Traveling to Machu Picchu will most likely lead you through Cuzco and Ollantaytambo. These are great cities to wander around visiting markets (great food for cheap prices), tempting yourself in the Chocolate Museum, and visiting local shops (check out Lucy & Sonia!)
“The only con I would say is that in Cuzco it is cold at night because its on top of a mountain with 11,000 feet of altitude and most hostels don’t have heating systems.”
“Maras, a salt field on top of the mountain dating back to the Incas, was super interesting, as well as the Sacred Valley. So mesmerizing. Also, Caccaccollo (a women’s weaving community co-op) was a good place to do some authentic shopping”
Transportation around Peru ranges from trains, planes, and a lot of walking. Shared taxi vans are prominent and affordable choices when going from Ollantaytambo to the Sacred Valley. On your way to Machu Picchu, the train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Clients is your best option. Hiking is inevitable in Peru as it is one of the most popular activities. Those beautiful view points within Machu Picchu require a hike, but it will be worth the effort! There are several places to visit and explore. Check out Peru’s travel website for more information before booking your trip!