Machu Picchu, Peru
The City Lost in the Mystery of the Incas
As we wander around Machu Picchu, we find meaning in the most accepted explanations for its foundation and abandonment. But whenever the complex is closed, the ruins are left to their enigmas.
A Lost and Found City
Machu Picchu, Peru

The City Lost in the Mystery of the Incas

As we wander around Machu Picchu, we find meaning in the most accepted explanations for its foundation and abandonment. But whenever the complex is closed, the ruins are left to their enigmas.


How to go


​​Portuguese and Brazilian citizens do not need a visa for tourist visits of less than 90 days.


There is a permanent risk of malaria infection in rural areas with altitudes below 2.000 meters with the greatest risk in the region of Loreto, in the Peruvian Amazon. Avoid mosquito bites to also protect yourself from the contagion of Dengue fever.

Do not ascend to the highest lands and villages of the Andean mountain range in an abrupt manner – a gradual journey of at least 1 or 2 days – in order to avoid altitude sickness.

For more information on traveling health, see the Health Portal of the Ministry of Health and Tropical and Traveler Medicine Clinic. In FitForTravel find country-specific health and disease prevention advice (in English).


Fly from Lisbon to Lima with the Air Europa, with a single stopover in Madrid for from €800 or with the KLM with single scale in Amsterdam by from similar values. China Southern flies from Lisbon to Lima with two stopovers in Paris and Guangzhou for starting at €500.

Must Do's

  • Lima
  • Cusco
  • Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail
  • Lake Titicaca
  • sillustani
  • arequipa
  • Colca Canyon
  • Nazca Lines
  • Ica
  • Robin
  • ​Andes in Huaraz
  • Trujillo
  • Chachapoyas
  • Beach and some surf in Máncora
  • Iquitos and Amazon River



The long distances in the interior of Peru and land inaccessibility caused by the Andean mountains and the Amazon jungle make flights essential. The most useful routes for visitors are Lima – Cusco and Lima – Iquitos (accessible only by air). The main companies that guarantee internal Peruvian flights are the L.C. Peru, LAN Peru, Peruvian, Star Peru and Avianca Peru.


There are eight railway lines operated by four separate railway companies. Make your reservation as early as possible and, preferably, in the higher classes, the 1st or the Buffet. In the lower classes, spaces disappear at great speed and passengers occupy the spaces available in the carriages with luggage of all types.

The 4 companies are:

Peru Rail, IncaRail, Central Rail, Central Andean Railways


It is still the most used means of transport in Peru for long-distance travel. Mainly along the coast, most of the roads are paved and of very acceptable quality. These routes are also provided by 1st Class buses – some bed buses with names such as Imperial, Real, Business, Executive, etc. They have much higher prices than the economy classes and all the conveniences and even perks, but eventually the air conditioning is too cold and the sound of movies or music is too strident. 

Already in the mountainous interior, dirt roads traversed by trucks and old buses from small companies or family businesses continue to abound. Especially during the rainy season, these roads suffer frequent collapses and are very dangerous.

Among the main Peruvian bus companies are:  Southern Cross; Line Transport; turkey hop; ITSA; Olturse; TEPSA


In Peru, boat trips are limited to Lake Titicaca and the Amazon, where they are unavoidable. On Lake Titicaca, small motorized boats ensure trips to the islands closest to Puno. There are also ferries and hydrofoils that sail to Bolivia.

In Amazonia, boats of considerable size depart from Pucallpa or Yurimaguas for Iquitos and continue on to Leticia (Colombia) and Tabatinga (Brazil). The trip from Iquitos to Tabatinga takes about 10 hours and can be done in a simple hammock installed on the deck or in cabins which, depending on the price, can be more or less exclusive and have more or less comfort.


The distances between the main Peruvian attractions are significant and practically only the roads that run along the country along the coast have sufficient quality and safety conditions. If there is an accident, it is common practice in Peru for both drivers (or the one who is presumed guilty) to be detained until responsibilities are established. This reality has caused, in the past, several prolonged detentions.

Police or military checkpoints are also frequent where it is possible for agents to suggest a reward to allow the journey to continue without further inconvenience. 

Taking into account the various disadvantages mentioned above, car or jeep are not the most popular solutions in Peru. If you insist on having your own vehicle, you can rent it via the Internet and pick it up at the airport or city of Lima counters, also in Cusco and other popular destinations. Expect to pay from €30 per day for an economy vehicle.


The cities and surroundings are served by taxis and micros (microbuses). Especially in Lima, using these vehicles can present a significant risk of robbery. Avoid them or choose them from unsuspecting and certified companies. 

When to go

No time of year is particularly good or bad to visit Peru in general. The country has three very distinct climatic zones: the Amazon jungle; the Andean mountain range and the mountains in the center.

In the Amazon jungle it rains all year but from December to May it rains more frequently and intensely. From September to May, it rains considerably less.

The months of June to August coincide with the dry season in the mountains and on the Andean plateau where it rains more frequently from December to April. 

On Peru's arid coastal strip, the hottest season is from December to March. From April to November, Lima and the areas along the Pacific Ocean are often swathed in egret, a dense fog. 

Much due to the relevance of Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail, Peru's high season extends from June to August when the Andes have milder temperatures and remain drier.

Money and costs

The currency of Peru is the Nuevo Sol (PEN). You will find ATM machines in virtually every smaller town and village, bus and train terminals. With the exception of train fares and entry into Machu Picchu and one or two exceptions, Peru is a very affordable destination. Credit card payments are only possible in the most sophisticated establishments in Peru. A traveler willing to travel backpacker style and willing to give up almost all the refinement and comfort, can perfectly explore Peru for less than €40 per day. From the opposite perspective, a single day visit to Machu Picchu – train, buses, accommodation, entrance and food – will always cost you a minimum of €120, with a single day ticket costing around €35 ​​(50 % discount for ISIC card holders), children up to 7 years old are free to enter.


Peruvian inns and hotels reflect the weakness of the country's economy. They are plentiful and have very affordable prices. From a mere €5 for double rooms of guest houses for backpackers (cold water and communal bathroom), €10 to €20 for modest hotel rooms, an average of €40 to €100 per night for a double room in the best hotels.


Peruvian food is as rich and diverse as it is cheap. Ceviches and fresh fish and seafood dishes have surprisingly low prices along the coast. Inland, you will find dishes criollos without end. Invigorating lunches from food corrients they can cost as little as €1 to €2 per person in the most popular restaurants. More refined restaurants in Lima and other Peruvian cities will obviously have higher prices, albeit always below those charged, for example, in Europe.


If the guest houses or a hotel in which you are staying that does not offer Internet, it will be easy to find an Internet Café nearby, even in the most insignificant towns. Barring last minute changes and especially outside of Lima, the browsing speed should prove to be slow – ADSL in the order of 512 MB or even less. Prices are between €0,40 and €0,80 per hour.

The mobile phone network is quite acceptable, with 3G in most of the country. If traveling with a smart phone, tablet or laptop computer can buy a SIM/modem/Pen card from a company like Clear and have permanent access to the Internet.