A land of lost cities, ancient civilisations and colourful people, Peru is an explorer’s paradise as there is so much to find out and discover. With peaks of the Andes mountain range that top 7,000m down to a Pacific coastline, Peru is also one of the most varied of the South American countries.You probably will not be able to cover both ranges of holiday in one go, so depending on what you want to do in Peru will determine at what time of year you visit. Fortunately flights to Peru continue to land here all year round from all over the world so you can pick and choose.There is no doubt that ‘The Lost City of the Incas’, Machu Picchu, is the best known site in Peru. It can be reached either by train or by trekking along the Inca Trail where hot springs in the nearest town can ease your weary bones.The reason for the fascination with this ancient city in Peru is its mystery. Undiscovered until 1911, it is not mentioned in any of the chronicles of the early explorers so archaeologists rely on speculation and guesswork as to why it is here. Many theories have been put forward but all agree, due to the many ornamental relics found and the high quality of the stonework, that is was an important ceremonial centre for the Incas who lived there five centuries before.Another name that conjures up exoticism and beauty is Lake Titicaca - Peru and indeed South America’s largest lake. Sitting at 3,820m above sea level, it is the highest navigable lake anywhere and to the people of Peru is a great source of pride.Being so high up, the air is incredibly clear and with the sunlight dancing off the water, it is a magical sight to behold. Dotted all over the lake are floating islands made of totora reeds where the Uros people of Peru live, a small tribe who took to the water centuries ago to avoid other aggressive tribes.If you do not mind a few midges or roughing it for a few days, take a trip into the Amazon rainforest. Here you can go on a trip down this great river of Peru, trying to spot a giant anteater or an armadillo, and then bedding down for the night in a jungle lodge.Because of the thick vegetation in many places, you really need an experienced guide to help you spot Amazon creatures. Only five percent of the population of Peru live in this vast area and they are always keen to greet new faces so be prepared for a lot of interest if you come across a tribe.For flights to Peru, look at Vayama for the greatest deals around. The travel agency will find the best flights to Peru for you, just type in when you want to go. It could not be easier with Vayama!
DON'T be surprised if ALL tourists wear outdoor gear. This is very normal in Peru (at least for tourists).
DO give tips to hotel porters and bell boys.
DON'T give tips in a restaurant. They already include a 10% gratuity.
DO bring a small offering to the host or hostess. Popular gifts are wine, chocolates, cakes, sweets and flowers.
DON'T bring a large gift, this is considered rude.
DON'T give kisses on the cheek. Even though you see that a lot of people will do it, they only do it with well known relatives.
DO shake hands.
DO say something when entering a house/store, like Buenos días (good day), buenas tardes (good afternoon) of buenas noches (good night). Peruvians also shake hands sometimes when you arrive and/or leave.
DO come at least 30 minutes later than the time you made the appointment. You can even be up to an hour later.
DO speak Spanish. Most Peruvians don’t speak English.
DO be informal during business meetings.
DON'T dress informal during business meetings. Dress conservative. Women wear business dresses or suits and men wear suits.
DOcommunicate indirect. You can better imply what you want to say instead of saying it directly.
Peruvians are extremely kind and helpful. They love to shake hands and are up for a chit-chat. Enjoy your holiday in Peru!
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