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When most of us consider a holiday in South America, we often envision the sandy beaches of Rio de Janeiro or the jungles of Columbia. However, there are other interesting regions which are able to provide a wealth of experiences as well as memories to last a lifetime. One stellar example of this observation can be seen in Peru. What does this country have to offer and what can you expect during your upcoming stay? Let's take a quick look at some of the main highlights here as well as a few tips to keep in mind in advance.
The country of Peru is found within the western portion of South America. It borders the Pacific Ocean directly to the east and some of the beaches here are the most spectacular on the planet. Its capital is Lima and the country boasts an estimated population of over 31 million residents. While many of these are concentrated in urban areas, there are still countless villages and tribal districts which are interspersed throughout the land. Another rather interesting aspect of Peru is that its geography is widely varied. This is then combined with temperatures ranging tropical to quite cold. In terms of variety alone, this country is without a doubt worth a closer look.
Peru is home to some truly impressive natural and historical sights. Anyone who has ever watch a documentary on ancient civilisations is likely already aware that the ruins of Machu Piccho are the most well known in the country. This rather mysterious civilisation created an entire city on a plateau high in the Andes Mountains. One of the most interesting fact about these ruins is that as they were not discovered for centuries, they are nearly pristine in their appearance. The same cannot often be said in regards to other South American historical sites.
Still, there are other areas of natural beauty to be experienced here. Manu National Park is one of the largest in the country. Found upon a river of the same name, jungle tours and boat rides are offered at agreeable prices. It is sometimes even possible to see the nearby native civilisations. Taquile Island is a famous spot for surfers and scuba divers due to its clear waters and relatively calm currents. An area of the country known as Tambomachay offers up additional Inca canals as well as some picturesque waterfalls. It is always a good idea to bring along a camera when arriving to any of these locations.
On a final note, it might be a good idea to check out Islas Ballestas during your stay. These remote islands lie just off of the coast and not far from the city of Pisco. The Islas Ballestas are popular for whale watching as well as for hosting some interesting species. However, keep in mind that you will be required to hire an officially sanctioned tour; the islands themselves are protected under Peruvian law.
Although the natural beauty of Peru abounds, this country has a number of modern amenities to offer up to the interested visitor. It only makes sense that we mention the city of Lima before moving on. This is the largest metropolitan area within Peru and it has become quite modernised in recent times. While discos and the nightlife are always prevalent here, this city also hosts countless open-air markets on a weekly basis. Additional attractions found within Lima include Plaza Mayor (the main plaza of the city), Larco Museum (a museum containing a number of pre-Columbian artefacts), the Monastery of San Francisco and the high-end retails shops found within a district known as Larcomar.
The British pound will stretch rather far in Peru and yet, it is still wise to exchange your money before you arrive to avoid any excess fees charged by airports. Learning a bit of basic Spanish can also help, as the locals will be impressed that you have made an effort. The weather here can vary and the southern portion of the country can be quite cold during the Peruvian winter (the summer in the northern hemisphere). Planning ahead is the best way to make sure that you enjoy any holiday to this eclectic land.