Peru is a diverse country with a long coastline along the Pacific Ocean, stretching over 3000 km from Ecuador in the north to Chile in the South. In the coast area the country is mostly arid. The second dominating landmark are the Andes, again stretching from Ecuador in the north to Bolivia and Chile in the south. The highest peak is the Huascaran at 6768 m. Finally, east of the Andes the jungle brings a third unique climate zone, high temperatures and humidity all around the year with the Amazonas and several large inflows dominating the area.
Culturally, Peru was influenced by many cultures, most famous among them the Incas, who governed at their peak time in the 15th and early 16th century over most of Western South America. Older cultures date back until 3500 BC, including the Norte Chico, Chavín, Nazca, Chimú and Moche cultures, to name just a few. In the early 16th century the Spanish conquistadors reached Perú and completely changed the country once more.
Cusco is a city in the Andes with around 400 000 inhabitants. It is a location of extreme height. The Plaza de Armas, where the conference will take place, is at 3400m or 11000 ft above sea level. Cusco was the commercial and cultural centre of the Incas and is a World Heritage Site of UNESCO. Its historical centre is characterised by a mixture of Incan and colonial buildings. Many significant Incan and pre-Incan ruin sites, such as Qoricancha, Sacsayhuamán, Pisaq or Ollantaytambo can be found in or in the surroundings of the city. The famous ruin site of Machu Picchu can be reached as a day trip from Cusco.
The conference will take place directly at the Plaza de Armas in the historic center of Cusco. There are plenty of good hotels around. Since Cusco is a popular tourist destination, it is advisable to book early.
Peru is in the Southern hemisphere, such that March is the beginning of autumn. The Andean part of the country is strongly influenced by the sequence of dry and wet season. The conference takes place right after the usual end of the rainy season. However, in some years this season is more heavy and occasional heavy rains are possible. During the daytime you can usually expect good weather in Cusco with temperatures about 20 degrees Celsius (about 60 Fahrenheit). At night however, temperatures can drop down to 5 degrees Celsius (40 Fahrenheit).
TravelThe Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport (CUZ) is located at a distance of just 5km from the city centre of Cusco (Plaza de Armas). Most international flights will require a transfer in Lima. Direct flights exist to Bogotá, Santiago de Chile and La Paz. The city centre can be reached in around 20 min by taxi.
For information on required vaccinations please consult your local doctor. Plenty of information - that however also do not replace a visit to a doctor - are found on the webpages of the German Federal Foreign Office or the US Department of State. If you extend your stay for traveling, in particular if you plan to visit the low jungle areas in the east, we urge you to inform yourself on required vaccinations and other measures.
The height of more than 3000m will most likely strongly affect all visitors to Cusco, in particular if you directly fly to Cusco (usually with a stop in Lima, which is at sea level). We recommend to add some time to get adjusted to this altitude if possible. Cities like Arequipa are worth a visit and the (moderate) altitude of 2200 m allows you to slowly approach the height of Cusco. If you know that you are prone to altitude sickness, consult your doctor for possible remedies.