A country of contrasts from the ancient archaeological sites to cosmopolitan and lively cities, Peru is a fascinating destination where your mind will be opened to the ‘what was’ of ancient civilisations. With spectacular canyons, volcanoes, rainforests and Andes mountains, the outdoor and wildlife lover alike will be wowed by what is on offer. For the ‘culturoso’ museums, galleries, fine restaurants and bars abound in the historical and colonially influenced cities of Lima and Cusco.
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NATURAL AND CULTURAL HISTORY
Bordered by Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Chile and Ecuador, Peru lies between the ocean and the Andean mountains providing coastal, mountainous and jungle landscapes. Dominated mainly by jungle (59%), Peru’s population mainly inhabits the coastal areas of the country.
MACHU PICCHU & THE INCA TRAIL
UNESCO sites are as prevalent with Machu Picchu being the most notorised of them. There are however a further 11 recognised world heritage sites such as Cusco and Rio Abuseo National Park ensuring Peru is rich in natural, cultural and historic interest.
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Although heavily influenced by colonisation over the years the Incan culture and way of life still persists across the country and can be evidenced through the colourful native people and their ancient customs.
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YOUR MUST SEE LIST
When discovering Peru these sites should be on your must see list:
Set between the ocean and the Andes, Lima is a beautiful bustling city full of museums, galleries, restaurants and bars. For food lovers the city boasts numerous fine dining restaurants serving gastronomical delights
Peru’s second largest city, often referred to as the ‘white city’ holds it own on the gastronomic scene comparable to that of it’s big sister Lima. Overlooked by the Misti volcano, the city oozes with colonial character with mansions, convents and churches.
Believed to be almost twice as deep as the Grand Canyon, the Colca Canyon is said to be the deepest place on earth at 3400m at the lowest point. Situated 4 hours from Arequipa, the majestic valley cradles the ancient archaeological legacy of the Collagua people. Home to the Andean Condor, the area is perfect for outdoor activities such as walking and horse riding.
Recognised as sacred Incan place the lake straddles both Peru and Bolivia. Adorned with both natural and manmade islands the lake mot famous of which are the Uros floating reed islands inhabited by the Uros people, a civilisation per dating the Incas.
Often referred to as the gateway to the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu, Cusco is a travel destination in it’s own right and is worthy or more than a courtesy stay on the way to the ancient site. Full of character and history, Cusco’s museums, and galleries will enthral the most seasoned traveller. A heady mixture of indigenous styles and the modern western influences, Cusco makes for a captivating visit.
Translated as ‘Old Mountain’ in Quechua, the archaeological wonder was first discovered in 1911. Thought to date back to the 15th century the Incan settlement is made up of 2 main areas - the agricultural area with stores and terraces and then the temples, squares and tombs of the sacred site.
Mainly accessed through either Iquitos in the north or in the south via Puerto Maldonado the Amazon rainforest is home to numerous species of wildlife. A wide range of activities are available to participate in including canopy walks, jungle treks, bird watching and the more unusual piranha fishing.
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