Peru is quite popular tourist destination, where located two world-famous attractions: Machu Picchu and Nazca Lines. Country is large and 1-2 weeks is not enough, so most tourists choose southern part.
Peru has all climatic zones, so you need to take light and warm clothing. The dry season lasts from April to October. We were there in the first two weeks of May, the weather was excellent.
Peru has its own currency, we used ATMs. Most popular ATMs, like Interbank and BCP, have a fee of about $5, as well as a daily limit of $150-250.
Prices are surprisingly high. Dinner for two in a restaurant cost about $30. For the food in the supermarket for the dinner we paid $30. Domestic flights around $100-120 one way. Everything in Machu Picchu is very expensive.
Upon arrival to Lima, find an office of Claro and buy a sim card. We bought the sim card with the package for 15 days and 1.5 Gb of traffic (info 2015). Mobile internet is well developed in the country, large cities have 4G.
There are big problems with security in Lima, judging by the reviews. It is easy to understand this, by protection of apartments and houses and by armed guards on every corner. In other cities the situation is much better.
Flight to Peru
We flew from Kiev on KLM via Amsterdam. Standard return ticket cost 1200 euros, sometimes happens promo with a price of 900 euro. The cheapest option is a flight from Madrid on Air Europa for 600-700 euros.
Before the trip
You need to buy tickets to Machu Picchu and for the train to Machu Picchu in advance.
Getting around the country
There are almost no train connection in Peru, but bus service is very well developed. Although travelling between cities may take 12-16 hours! Therefore, buses even have a "business class" for sleeping. Another option is to use domestic flights.
Peru roads are good, so it makes sense to rent a car. There are few problems with the car: long distanses, heavy traffic in urban areas and a lot of big trucks on the roads. We took the car with a driver, but still it was hard during the longest journeys.
Before the trip, we wrote letters to various travel agencies, sent them an itinerary and asked for the price. All prices have been higher than expected, until we received a letter from Hernan Hermoza, a guide from Cuzco, who promised to find a driver for a reasonable price. As a result, we were travelling around Peru with a good and careful driver Anibal, who speaks a little bit English.
Contact email of Hernan: hernanhermoza77[attt]gmail.com
Standard price for a car with a driver in Peru and Ecuador is about $200-250 per day. It may be cheaper, but in our case driver had come from Cusco to Lima and this is an additional day.
Next we started a 550 km journey to Arequipa along Pan-American highway. It was hard. Although the road is incredibly beautiful and almost empty. About 200 kilometers we drove in 30 meters from the ocean.
Then we had a long drive to Cusco. In the city of Juliaca we had a lunch in a modern shopping center Real Plaza. Apart from this mall, the city is just awful, the worst of those that we have seen in South America.
By the way, Puno and Lake Titicaca located a stone's throw from Juliaca, but we decided to visit the lake later, may be during a trip to Bolivia.
The road Juliaca - Cusco in the evening is one of the most beautiful roads that we have seen.
We had tickets to Machu Picchu on the 12th and 13th day and today we had to rest. But in the morning we checked the weather forecast and found that today's weather is perfect while tomorrow fog and rain is possible.
So we bought tickets for today and went up to Machu Picchu, where had a great time, though were very tired.
This day fog did not disperse at 12, so we went down. Had a lunch, rested, and found a very unpleasant news.
It appears that locals are extremely dissatisfied with the fact that PeruRail receives huge money from tourists and does not contribute to the development of the region. Therefore, they decided to punish... tourists. It the morning locals built barricades on the road from Cuzco to Machu Picchu. As there is only one road, thousands of tourists were unable to reach the Machu Picchu on this and next day.
We called the driver and told him that our train will arrive not to Poroy but to another station due to protests. He promised to do everything to get to us. It was expected that in the evening protesters will go home and drivers will be able to partially dismantle the barricades.
We were really lucky and somehow, along the dirt roads, were able to get to Cusco. Here is a photo from the phone. There were tens and hundreds of such barricades.