Learn Spanish in Latin America

Peru

Country Information

Boats of natural fibers float on Titicaca lake in PeruCusco is located 3.326 meters above sea level and is surrounded by the huge, snow capped mountain peaks of the Andes. Its reputation of being one of South America’s biggest tourist attractions is well deserved. It is a great place to study Spanish and to enjoy the magic of the Andes. Peru is a huge country of which 60 percent is covered by deep jungle.

Southern Peru has a lot to offer, one can, for instance, take the train from Cusco to Puno. Puno lies on the shores of the Lake Titicaca. Here you can take one of the typical boats of this lake to visit the floating islands of Uros or the less frequented Taquile. On Taquile you can do a home stay with a local family. From Puno you can travel on to Copacabana, also on Lake Titicaca, then by bus onwards to La Paz in Bolivia or to Arequipa, a stately colonial city in the southwest of Peru with its lovely Santa Catalina monastery.

If you travel northeast from Arequipa towards Lima, you will pass the famous Nazca Lines. Indian woman at Lago de TiticacaThe Nazca Lines are gigantic figures, mostly of animals, that were cut into the stony desert. There are many theories about who made them and why, but it still remains a mystery. See photo below. Near Nazca is a cemetery in the desert where the deceased have been well preserved by the extreme dryness of the area. Clothing, hair and sometimes complete bodies can be seen here. The whole thing is very macabre, but quite special to see!

Activities Peru

  • Mountain biking.
  • Horseback riding.
  • River rafting.Nazca lines
  • See the Holy Valley from a hot air balloon.
  • Climb a volcano such as the El Misti (5822 m.)
  • Organized hikes of one to eight days.
  • Bungee jumping or Parapente.
  • Salsa dance lessons.
  • Go from Lima to Pisco for a tour to the Ballestas Islands on the way to the Nazca lines.
  • Visit the jungle from Iquitos, Puerto Maldonado or Manú.
  • Visit the highlights of Peru: Cusco, Machu Picchu, Lago Titicaca with its floating villages, the Nasca lines, Arequipa, the Colca Canyon with its huge condors and the jungle.Condor in Colca canyon
  • Visit archaeological digs of the (pre) Inca period.
  • Do a hike from Huarez or climb the Huascarán (6768 m), the highest mountain in Peru.
  • Volunteer work, there are numerous possibilities in Peru!
  • Learn Quechua, the Indian language that is most often spoken here in Peru.
  • Transport: public bus (chicken bus) or minibus for tourists to all the highlights. Domestic flights are cheap, especially considering the distance.

Location Information

Cusco

Typical street in CuscoThe old colonial City Cusco has 342.000 inhabitants. It is situated high in the Andes and most of the time Cusco is covered with a clear blue sky. The city and surrounding area are special because of the enormous wealth in ancient Inca ruins. Machu Picchu is one of the highlights: daily visits by train are possible from Cusco. But you can also walk “el Camino Inca”: hike the old Inca trail. The journey takes 4 days and takes you along small villages high  in the Andes (4000 meters). Apart from the many remnants from the old Inca civilization that you will see in Cusco you can also encounter monuments from the colonial era like cathedrals, churches and monasteries.

Besides Machu Picchu, there are four other Inca ruins in the vicinity of Cusco; Tambo Machay, Puca Pucara, Qenko and Sacsayhuaman. The old Inca names are very hard to pronounce for us westerners, let alone remember. There is an easy way to remember the last though; Sexy Woman is phonetically (almost) the correct way to say it. Cusco’s night life is well known throughout South America, there are many restaurants, bars and dance clubs for the large number of foreigners from all over the world that come together here.

Activities Cusco

  • Mountain biking.
  • Horseback riding.
  • River rafting.
  • Salsa dance lessons.
  • Visit the Cathedral at the main square, the Plaza de Armas and other colonial churches from the 16th, 17th and 18th century.
  • Visit the monastery Santa Catalina with its colonial and religious museum.
  • Visit the Inca ruins of Coricancha where the walls were once adorned with 700 wall plates, each made from solid gold and weighing 2 kilos.
  • Visit the colorful local market of the Machu Picchu railway station.
  • Visit Machu Picchu or better walk the Inca trail to Machu Picchu. During high season you need to book far in advance!
  • Visit just outside of Cusco the Inca ruins of Sacsayhuman, Qenko, Puca Pucara, Tambo Machay.
  • Weekend trip: go the Holy Valley and visit the market of Pisac on a Sundays, and the salt fields between Ollantaytambo and Urubamba and both cities themselves.
  • Visit the Jungle of Manú or Puerto Maldonado.
  • Lots of volunteer work!
  • Learn Quechua, the most widely spoken Indian language.

Go back to the homepage to see how our site is build up into Spanish Courses, volunteer work, and travel with or without Spanish courses. Or go back to the page with the description of Spanish courses in the different places in Peru.

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