Peru Travel Overview!
Peru is one of my most favorite countries ever, & it’s a country that keeps pulling at me to return one day. What makes Peru so special is difficult to put into words: for its mountains are spellbinding, its valleys so deep & vast that they whisper of a thousand mysteries, & its people are, on the surface, stoic ~ particularly the Peruvian women, but there’s something so solid & reassuring about them at the same time. Peru is filled with magic, & within its borders there still exist so many not-yet-explored, far-off places. With a journey to Machu Picchu, you are merely scratching the surface of Peru travel, & all that this mysterious & remarkable country has to offer.
The official “tourist circuit” for Peru travel looks something like this: fly into Lima, immediately fly up to Cusco (the gateway to Machu Picchu), get acclimated for a day or two (Cusco is above 11,000 feet in elevation), take a tour to Machu Picchu (via several routes: the Inca Trail, the Salkantay Trek, Inca Jungle, train, etc.), perhaps head over to Lake Titicaca (the highest lake in the world) & stay with its indigenous people on floating islands, perhaps head up to the Amazon or down to Huacachina for some sand-boarding.
Or you could always check out the new Peruvian backpacker “hotspot” ~ Rainbow Mountain. When I went, I could barely find a tour operator to take me there. But today, it’s blowing up my Instagram feed it’s so popular. Get to Peru NOW, before all of these hidden gems turn into well-worn tourist circuits…
- Safety = Generally Safe 75%
- Cost = Cheap 30%
- Adventures = Abundant 95%
- How Safe I Felt as a Solo Traveler = Quite Safe 90%
- Hot Guys = Short but Handsome! 60%
- Drivers = 100% Freaking CRAZY!!! 100%
Read Peru Travel Blogs!
Welcome to Lake Titicaca! Welcome to the famous floating islands of Lake Titicaca! Set in south-eastern Peru, the lake is actually on the border of Peru and Bolivia ~ so technically it sits right in between both countries! At 12,507 feet, it's the highest navigable...read more
What is Machu Picchu Like? This was a question that I asked myself prior to visiting Machu Picchu, one of the Wonders of the World, located in the Andes Mountains of Peru. In particular ~ I wondered what it would be like to travel there as a female. One of my...read more
Through the mist.....there it was. After seven miles of trekking above 14,000 feet, high up in the Peruvian Andes: there was the mountain I had longed to see for myself: Rainbow Mountain. No real, live place in this world has ever reminded me more of Dr. Seuss and...read more
A friend of mine is leaving for Peru tomorrow, and he called me up last week to get some advice for his trip. Here are the top tips I gave him for traveling to Peru. They will work well for those traveling alone or in a group. But pay special attention if...read more
Watch Peru Travel Videos!
Read About Peru Travel!
Women & Children in Peru
Peru ranks 80 out of 144 countries in terms of gender equality, according to the 2016 Global Gender Gap report. Though traditional Andean culture is notably egalitarian (women are allowed to inherit property under its tenets, unlike in many other parts of the world), this changed noticeably after the Spanish conquered the Inca Empire in 1572. Since then, Peruvian society has become more patriarchal, and some would say, more machista.
Add to that Peru’s 20-year internal, armed conflict that lasted from 1980-2000, which left over 70,000 people dead, and many others affected by torture and rape. Though the country is showing increasing economic progress, and the armed conflict has ended, Peru still suffers from widespread inequality, discrimination, and even racism.
Many of these problems affect women and children in Peru to a greater extent: for instance, the female literacy rate in Peru is 92%, compared to 97% for men. These numbers will likely be changing soon ~ as currently, there are more women than men enrolled in education programs in Peru.
Women in Peru are less likely to travel than Peruvian men, and thus, are less likely to speak Spanish, the national language. This makes them more socially isolated, and less likely to interact with outsiders or foreigners. I witnessed this personally throughout my travels in Peru: the men are predominantly the ones to work in the cities & as tour guides/in all tourism-related jobs (usually the higher-paying jobs), whereas the women are typically working in the homes & on the farms. I cannot tell you how many times I saw Peruvian women, wearing traditional clothing, headed straight up the steep, Andean mountains, headed back home carrying a HUGE sack on their backs ~ likely filled with food, clothing, or other necessities for their families. This lack of ability to travel, and lack of ability to speak with outsiders, tends to keep Peruvian women firmly “in their places,” at home and on the farm.
One of the biggest problems faced by women in Peru though, is no different than many other parts of the world: dramatic wage inequality. For the same work, a woman will earn $8,661 (in USD) vs. her male Peruvian counterparts, who will earn $15,323 USD. So, for the same work, a woman will earn nearly half what a man will earn, for doing the same job.
How Can You Help?
You can directly affect the lives of women and children in Peru by supporting their work. Lauren Conrad (also known as LC from “Laguna Beach” and “The Hills”) has created a non-profit called the Little Market, in order to help female artisans around the world sell their products on a global stage, thus earning better wages. It also helps to make these women more independent, and provide for their families.
Little Market Mission Statement
“We seek to empower women artisans to rise above poverty and support their families. Our handmade goods showcase the artisans’ traditional skills and their dedication to preserving their artisanal techniques. We source all of the artisans’ products ethically and practice fair trade principles. We acknowledge the inter-dependency of people around the world and our responsibility to help others. “
Support Female Artisans from Peru!
By purchasing handmade, Peruvian crafts from the Little Market’s Peruvian collection ~ you are not only bringing beautifully crafted work into your home, but you are also directly affecting the lives of women in Peru. And if you have ever visited this country and been affected by it, as I have, this is no small thing.
Peru Travel Resources!
Plan Your Peru Trip!
Get Travel Insurance for Your Trip!