Peru is a land of ancient and living cultures and is most commonly associated with the Inca Empire and the famous Machu Picchu. Known as the Lost City of the Incas, Machu Picchu is a ‘New Seven Wonder of the World’ and visitors flock to marvel at its mystery travelling to the ancient city by train or on foot. It does not end with Machu Picchu as interesting Inca sites are dotted throughout the country.
It is not just the Inca Empire which helped to shape Peru’s history as sites date back to civilisations Before Christ such as Caral-Supe, the oldest city in the Americas found only two hours north of Lima dating back to 3,000 BC! Also there are a lot of sites in northern Peru relating to the Moche and Chimú civilisations and exciting archaeological discoveries are still being made.
Visitors can also become immersed in the living culture of Peruvians by staying with local communities in traditional villages and taking part in volunteering projects. Also Peru has over 3,000 festivals per year so whatever time you visit you will be sure to stumble across fiesta time.
From the Andes, Amazon Rainforest, desert and coast, Peru offers a diverse range of adrenaline filled activities. From paragliding in Lima, climbing mountains in the Andes, trekking Inca Routes, sand boarding in Huacachina and driving off-road to discover a country of contrasts!
Most people have heard of the Inca Trail which reaches the awe inspiring Machu Picchu, but there are also many other breath-taking treks to discover in Peru such as the site of Choquequirao, Colca Canyon and braving the snow capped peaks of the Cordillera Negra and Cordillera Blanca ranges.
For water lovers learning to surf in Peru is a must as is watching the pros show off their skills among some of the biggest waves along the vast stretch of Pacific coastline. For those that like fast paced action, Peru has many rivers perfect for white water rafting including the Tambopata River and Apurimac River offering challenging and thrilling options.
Given that the Amazon River’s Source is in the Peruvian Andes, and that over half of Peru is in fact the Amazon Basin, the country holds many hidden gems, including an unparalleled level of bio-diversity. Its fascinating yet fragile eco-system is home to over 25,000 plant species, approximately 1,800 bird species, 361 mammal species, 251 amphibian species, 297 reptile species and more than 2,500 fish species.
Nature does not stop with the Amazon as the coast and Andes offer awe inspiring backdrops and nature such as the Ballestas Islands, Lake Titicaca and Andes. Also Peru is a hotspot for bird lovers as it is the home to a vast array of tropical and unusual birds. From parrots and condors, to humming birds - it is a birdwatchers paradise.
Increasing numbers of visitors are discovering Peru’s hidden gastronomic delights and letting their taste buds travel through the length and breadth of this delicious country. Peruvian food is considered one of the most varied of the world and a culinary style called ‘Novoandina Cuisine’ was created in Peru by the interest of gourmets to rescue and revalue the native ingredients and methods from areas such as the Andes, Amazon and Coast into one technique. The constant evolution of Peruvian food led to the capital of Lima being declared as the ‘The Gastronomic Capital of America Latina’. Pisco is the national drink and taste-buds will be tingled with dishes such as Ceviche, causa and Sancochado.