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 Notes in local currency or US dollars can be withdrawn from the many ATMs using a UK credit or debit card.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).
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).