15% of the country is covered by 60 areas of national parks and reserves. Here are a few of the best. Dailyjaguar.com
Parque Nacional Manu – In the remote Amazon jungle 200km north of Cusco, home to jaguars, tapirs and monkeys.
Islas Ballestas – Coastal reserve 400km south of Lima, home to penguins, flamingos, sea lions and dozens of bird species.
Parque Nacional Huascaran – In the Cordillera Blanca near Huaraz, home to condors, vicunas and viscachas.
Reserva Nacional Pacaya-Samiria – Deep in the Amazon jungle 300km west of Iquitos. Virgin rainforest, home to 500 different bird species, capybara, river dolphins and jaguars.
Festivals and Events
La Virgen de la Candelaria – Folk music and dance celebrations, most notable around Puno. Starting on Feb 2ndand lasting for around 2 weeks.
Carnaval – This starts on the last few days before Lent (Feb/March) and coincides with the big Carnaval in Rio. Be prepared to get wet as this is often celebrated by weeks of water fights.
Semana Santa – This is celebrated the week before Easter Sunday and consists of dramatic religious processions almost daily. The best places to witness these processions are in Ayacucho, Arequipa and Huaraz.
Corpus Christi – Held on the 9thThursday after Easter, these processions are especially dramatic in Cusco.
Fiestas Patrais – This is Peru’s national independence day and therefore celebrated nationwide on 28thand 29thJuly.
El Senor de los Milagros – Otherwise known as ‘Lord of the Miracles’. This is a religious procession celebrated in Lima on October 18thwhere everyone wears purple.
Fiesta de la Purisima Concepcion – Another national holiday held on December 8th. Celebrated with religious processions in honor of the Virgin Mary.
If you only have 2 weeks, a Peru two week itinerary is the best option.
Here is a suggestion to get the most out of your time in Peru.
Arrive in Lima and spend 1 night in the coastal suburb of Miraflores
Fly to Arequipa, spend 2 nights here before heading to the Colca canyon for 1 night.
Bus to Puno, 2 nights here, allowing time to visit Lake Tititcaca and the floating islands of Uros.
Bus to Cusco, 2 nights here, before heading off into the sacred valley and Machu Picchu for 2 nights, then returning to Cusco for 1 night.
Fly to Puerto Maldonado in the Amazon jungle and spend 3 nights in a jungle lodge.
Fly back to Lima in the morning, giving you the afternoon to do any last minute shopping before catching an evening flight back home.