Peru: Cheaper than you might think, more fun than you would expect

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(View from the top of Mount Machu Picchu when the clouds finally broke)

One of my favorite vacations ever was in Peru, where I did more in 15 days than I do in half a year back home. And the best part of it is: you can do it all on pretty much any budget!

I had only 1,000 U.S. dollars to spend while I was away, and still managed to go mountain biking, see Machu Picchu, witness a traditional Peruvian ceremony and bull fight, Party a few nights in Cusco, and surf on the longest left breaking wave in the world.

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(View from my inexpensive hostel in northern Peru’s town of Chicama)

Here are some basic facts:

 

Summertime: Peru’s summer comes in December and continues to March. It is also their wet season, but there are some upsides to traveling with a risk of rain,

  • Prices are cheaper because many tourists don’t want a rainy day to ruin their trip to Machu Picchu.
  • There are less tourists, so you have a greater chance to connect with the culture and locals.
  • It doesn’t rain every day! When I was there it only rained one day (my Machu Picchu day) and it didn’t rain all day long.
  • The rain keeps the country pretty cool, so if you are from a colder climate the heat isn’t overwhelming
  • It’s a great time to see the festivals of Carnival in February (happens prior to lent), and Semana Santa, or the Easter festivities that typically occur at the end of march and into early April.

Wintertime: This is their dry season, with the warmest weather. The contradiction of warmer weather in winter is part of the exotic appeal to visit Peru. The benefits are,

  • It is more common to find other tourists who speak English, or other non-native languages (easier to make friends while you travel).
  • These months are much better to visit Peru’s Amazon, as more roads will be passable, which means that more territory will be open to you.
  • Your trip to Machu Picchu is less likely to be rained out.
  • The festival Inti Raymi is happening June 24th in Cusco (perhaps my favorite party town in the world), See Peruvian Independence Day celebrations from july 28th– 29th and lastly the weeklong festival of Arequipa, which happens across the country.dsc00769(City of Trujillo)Whatever your travel schedule may hold, there is always something to do. Cheap flights through Lima make the country accessible for any budget, and it is easy to eat like a king for cheap. Check out more information on the country here: http://www.peruforless.com

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