Peru

Peru

Ancient civilizations, diverse wildlife and friendly locals

Peru

History and culture abound in Peru, one of the most fascinating countries we have had the privilege of visiting.

Arriving in Lima you have a cosmopolitan coastal city and the Miraflores area in particular is a great place to stay. Lima is really just an overnight stop to break the journey before you move on. Heading south on Pacific Highway 1 you reach the Nazca Lines, mysterious and best viewed from a light aircraft and the Ballestas Islands teeming with wildlife.

Onwards to Arequipa and the Colca Canyon, best known for the numbers of condors that can be viewed swooping through the valley. A visit to Peru is often punctuated with short internal flights to avoid lengthy road trips through the Andes, but on clear days the views are spectacular and make the seemingly mundane flight part of the experience.

High into the Andes you reach the Juliaca gateway to Puno & Lake Titicaca. The border with Bolivia is part way across the lake and no visit is complete without a visit to the Uros & Taquile Islands to see how people used to live in years gone by. Many options for accommodation from a comfortable hotel in town through to exclusive lodgings on the lake, a good stop at the end of a touring itinerary to relax before heading home.

The traverse across to Cuzco is either by train or bus and this really is the heart of the Inca heritage. An amazing city with so much to see, you should allow 3 -4 days to cover Cuzco and the Sacred Valley. Marvel at the accuracy of predicting the midsummer light in the Temple of the Sun, be amazed at the architecture of the boulder blocks at Sachsayhuman and soak up the culture in the main square. Cuzco is at altitude so you do need to allow yourself time to acclimatise and not rush about as normal, but taken slowly and with plenty of coca tea, this is a gem of Peru. A stay in the Sacred Valley cuts the travelling time to Aguas Calientes and Machu Pichu, it also allows a visit to some of the local markets and the fort of Oallantaytambo.

There are 2 options to access Machu Pichu – train or on foot. The trains vary from the local to the vistadome to the luxury of the Orient Express train the Hiram Bingham. The walking options can vary from 5 days to just an overnight trek, all of these are supported camping. Nothing can prepare you for your first sight of Machu Pichu – quite simply spectacular. The history is mind blowing.  Those Incas really were way ahead of their time.

Further east from Cusco you come to the Amazon jungle.  Manu National Park is pristine, rarely visited and teaming with wildlife.  A few scenic hours’ drive from Cusco, we encourage our clients to get up to the Amazon and sample some of the endemic wildlife that calls this glorious place home.

Heading north from Lima there are many less famous sites that are rich in Inca heritage and worth visiting if you have the time. There is also an opportunity to visit the Amazon accessed via Puerto Maldonado – again a short internal flight. This is a chance to include wildlife on an itinerary that otherwise leans towards history, architecture and culture.

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