When to go
The central Andes can be visited throughout the year. Most visitors will use climate as a criterion but others may be attracted by any one of numerous fiestas: Inti Raymi, Easter, Corpus Christi, Christmas. The dry season when sunny days can be expected runs May-Oct but in Jun-Jul it can be below freezing at night.
Rain falls Jan-Mar.
Getting local currency
Peruvian Nuevo Sol. Notes in local currency or US dollars can be withdrawn from the many ATMs using a UK credit or debit card. Numerous money exchanges (casas de cambio) change US dollars cash (few accept euros or sterling and the rate may be poor).
GMT -5 hours.
Flights to Ayacucho from Lima take 1 hour.
Cusco and the nearby Sacred Valley of the Incas, 270km by road; Machu Picchu, 75km by road and rail from Cusco; Tambopata and the lodges of the southern Amazon, 1 hour by air from Cusco
Ayacucho: Semana Santa (Easter week): many elaborate religious processions. Many other religious festivals throughout the year, including Carnival in the week before Lent.
Ayacucho: Fiesta de las Cruces: around May 23rd, variable; includes a folkdance involving men dancing with scissors. Tarma: Many festivals including Holy Week (with flower carpet competition); Carnaval Tarmeño (20-25 Feb)
Tarma and around: Several Senor de los Milagros processions in October.
Mantaro Valley: This area hosts a huge number of festivals, especially at Carnival and Holy Week (Good Friday processions take place in many villages).