Peru is South America’s most culturally rich country with a fascinating legacy of ancient civilisations that were subjugated by the ensuing might of Spanish colonial rule. The modern nation of Peru is a fascinating distillation of both influences, where high church and mystical Indian traditions combine in a colourful show. The landscape is also wonderfully varied from the craggy, snow-capped heights of the Andes to the lush, Amazon river basin.
Cuzco, Machu Picchu & the Sacred Valley of the Incas
The colonial city of Cuzco was once the heart of the Inca Empire and everywhere in this region there is evidence of this remarkable kingdom. Perched among the peaks of the high Andes is the famed Machu Picchu, and in the surrounding Urubamba River valley (the Sacred Valley) there is a feast of archaeological sites, from the Inca citadels of Ollantaytambo and Pisac, to the impressive concentric circles of Moray.
Arequipa & Colca Canyon
To the south, the mysterious Nazca Lines are etched into the dry, desert plains, while the protected Paracas Peninsula is a must for birdwatchers. The colonial town of Arequipa lies in the shadow of three volcanoes, while condors soar through the breathtaking Colca Canyon nearby.
Puno & Lake Titicaca
Both a province and a city, Puno lies in the high Andean plains at an altitude or more than 13,000 feet above sea level around the shores of Lake Titicaca. Take a boat trip to discover the fascinating indigenous cultures on the islands of Taquile and Amantani, as well as the famed floating reed islands of Uros.