If you like natural history and archaeological sites, Peru is for you. Incan ruins and spread throughout the country, including the grand daddy of them all, Machu Picchu. Peru also has the Cordillera Blanca range in the Andes that will satisfy all your hiking and mountain climbing needs. Don’t forget to grab a bottle of Inca Kola. Drink what the Incans drank!
The girls are significantly better than across the border in Ecuador or Bolivia. Their faces are less harsh with gentler slops, more appealing eyes, and curvier bodies with meatier asses—but you are still hurting when compared to the girls in a large American city. Head to Lima for the hottest girls the country has to offer and Cuzco for aggressive girls that will do almost anything to get the attention of a gringo.
Basic set lunch: $1.50
Bottle of big beer: $1.50
Internet per hour: $0.50
Hostel dorm bed per night: $7.00
Nice steak dinner: $6.00
Short taxi ride: $1.00
Postcard stamp: $0.80
Lima suffers the usual crime like any other typical large South American city. Most small to medium sized towns are pretty safe, but there are reports of robberies in Cuzco and Huaraz on trails outside the city.
If you're only going to visit only Peru then I recommend you get this guide, which is far more detailed than the continental guide above, with options that cater to a range of budgets instead of only the shoestring backpacking crowd. Also it gives more respectable treatment to small cities and towns that the larger guide breezes over with a paragraph or two.
South America On A Shoestring Guidebook
This is the guidebook that I used in my six month trip in South America. The maps are excellent, the information is complete and thorough, and the reviews are accurate, which is why it's often called "the bible" by many travelers. The only problem is that everyone else has this book so if you are the type of person that wants to hit the isolated small towns you will be disappointed. My advice is to use this book for its maps and information on getting from city to city, but talk to the locals and other travelers for those isolated gems that Lonely Planet for some reason didn't find worthy to include.
Spanish For Beginners
My copy of this book is so beat up and weathered it's disintegrating before my eyes. I took it with me to South America because I loved how it was organized in a logical way that kept me motivated to keep studying. Lessons start short and easy and increase in complexity as you tackle frustrating readings that help take you to the next level. The only downside of this book is that it was originally published in 1957 so some of the vocabulary is very dated. Still, you'll be hard-pressed to find a modern equivalent of this book whose teachings approach the same quality. Last time I checked you can grab a used copy from Amazon for less than a dollar.
Got an opinion? Something is outdated? Share it by posting a comment below.