I traveled to Peru this past March for a month to visit family and friends.
I am a Peruvian by birth, but a USA citizen since 1992.
It may sound biased, but Peru has changed dramatically since I
left it in the late Seventies.
It has a sound economy, a brand new airport, a modern roadway system and is safe to visit by tourists.
Of course, it possesses the best cuisine of the world, and many
historic monuments, the best being Machu Picchu.
Lima, its capital, has many modern hotels, most with air conditioned rooms at affordable prices.
As March is a hot month in summer, you need to have a cool resting place in the capital to enjoy its food and museums.
One problem is that Lima has increased exponentially in population
making it very congested and difficult to mobilize.
Traffic is hectic and parking limited. So, most tourists and nationals
use the taxi system, which is cheap and has to be negotiated before you take one. They are safe around the city posh neighborhoods, and a 'radio-taxi' is preferable to go to the airport.
One must try the excellent fresh fruit as well as the many restaurants who serve many delicious dishes.
This time I went to Arequipa, my favorite city, 500 miles south of
Lima. I took a quick and comfortable plane ride to visit 'La Ciudad Blanca'(the white city)because of the main white volcanic ash brick which is used everywhere for construction, from its active
volcano, "El Misti". Arequipa is famous for its beautiful cathedral,
its arched square, its wonderful weather(warm in the day and cool at night)and its typical food. It has the only Moroccan restaurant in Peru, among other delicious places such as Chi Cha from the famous gourmet chef Gaston Acurio.
A few miles into the Andes, there is the famous Colca river canyon, comparable to the best similar sites of the world.
But most of all, the Convento de Santa Catalina, (St. Catherine's cloister) a massive structure of the sixteenth century, which is still in operation and which was opened to the public in the mid Seventies.
There are many nice hotels to stay, and many churches to visit too.