There are many different types of Peru vacation packages that cater to a wide variety of interests. Indeed, this is a necessity as Peru is a very diverse country and host to many ancient cultures and archaeological ruins. Peru is the only country that has the coast, desert, highlands, mountain ranges and jungles. It also has both the cordillera blanca and the cordillera negra (White and Black mountain ranges).
The country has a rich ancient history with cultures like the Inca Empire, Moche, Nazca, Chachapoyas, Chavin, Paracas, Tiahuanaco, Wari, the Norte Chico Civilization and Chimu. There is even a theory that descendants of the Vikings live in Peru! There are also islands, catacombs, canyons, Spanish colonial structures, museums, lakes, Pisco
Sour, the ayahuasca spirit vine, curanderos (healers) and traditional dances.
Peruvian cuisine is becoming world-famous. Peru has some of the most diverse and delicious food the world has to offer. Peru has 35 varieties of maize (corn), 2,000 varieties of potatoes, over 2,000 varieties of sweet potatoes, 2,000 species of fish (more than any other country in the world),
and probably the best lemon anywhere.
Peru tourism can roughly be divided into two main circuits: the Northern Circuit and the Southern Circuit.
The Southern Circuit is by far the most popular with tourists as it includes Peru's #1 site-seeing attraction - Machu Picchu. Machu Picchu is in the Cuzco area. Other highlights in the Southern region are the Nazca Lines, Nazca; Colca Canyon, Arequipa; Lake Titicaca, Puno; the Sacred Valley, Cuzco; the Plaza de Armas, Sacsayhuaman and Koricancha, Cuzco City; the Inca Trail up to Machu Picchu; Choquequirao, a couple of days from Cuzco city; and Manu National Park near Cuzco. The Cuzco region is the archaeological capital of South America.
The Northern Circuit is not as popular as it's Southern counterpart, yet offers spectacular scenery and marvelous ancient structures. Main attractions here are Caral, Barranca; Chavin de Huantar, Huaraz; Chan Chan and El Brujo Archaeological Complex, Trujillo; The Lord of Sipan, Chiclayo; the Pyramids of Tucume, Lambayeque; the Amazon Jungles, Iquitos; Kuelap, the Gocta Waterfall, the Gran Vilaya and Karajia, Chachapoyas. The Chachapoyas region in may actually have more archaeological ruins than the Cuzco region as it is still relatively unexplored.
There are so many things to see in Peru that you may need to sign up for several Peru vacation packages!
The Most Popular Peru Vacation Packages
The main attractions are just the tip of the iceberg of what Peru has to offer. However, unless you have years of time available you'll need to choose a Peru vacation package that includes the primary things you want to see within your scheduled vacation time.
The most popular Peru vacation packages head from Lima to the Nazca Lines, Lake Titicaca, then Cuzco. The Cuzco region is a must see. All main tour packages include at least a day trip to Machu Picchu. A Sacred Valley and City tour of Cuzco covers several sites. This takes about 7 days. If you have more time then you might consider a visit to Colca Canyon and Manu National Park.
The second most popular package is a trip to the Amazon Jungles in Iquitos. These tours usually include meals and lodging, trips along Amazon rivers, jungle hikes, wildlife watching and visits to native towns. Minimum tour length is usually 3 days. There are tours that last for weeks, but the magic number here is 4 to 5 days.
If ancient ruins are more your style and you have already seen the main attractions of the Southern Circuit, then a tour package based in Trujillo is an excellent alternative. From Trujillo tour packages go to Chan Chan, El Brujo, The Lord of Sipan, the Pyramids of Tucume and sometimes to Caral. Tour length is about 7 days.
Unfortunately most Peru vacation packages don't include a trip to Kuelap because it is still fairly isolated. But if you have a few extra days Kuelap should be a must-see in the Northern Circuit.
What Do You Want to See?
Before you decide on a tour company you will want to make a must-see list based upon how long your vacation will last and the main region to visit. Pick a few of the sites that you will not do without. If there will be extra vacation time after visiting the places on your must-see list then you can add secondary things to see.
Once you have your refined list in hand you can begin looking for the tour agency that offers you the perfect Peru vacation packages. There are so many types of tour packages available that you will probably find an excellent match without any difficulty. If in the unlikely case you don't find the ideal package ask the tour agency if they do custom tours. There are several agencies that are flexible to what you want, especially if you will be traveling in a group.
Choosing the Right Tour Agency
Contact a few travel agencies and speak with a travel agent. Let the travel agent know how much time you have, what you want to see and how much money you are willing to spend. Also be sure to mention if you will be traveling with others and ask about discount group rates.
The travel agent will then be able to offer you Peru vacation packages that fit your needs. When you have the ideal package be sure to get the itinerary. You will also want other details on what is included: meals, lodging, transportation, free time and extra activities. Ask how much it will cost to make a reservation and what the agency's policy is if you have to cancel. Be sure to check into the travel agency's credibility. You want nothing less than excellent service.
With the proper tour package fit to your desires you will have a wonderful time in Peru. Your vacation will be an experience that you will remember for a lifetime and you'll soon find yourself pondering a return trip.