Machu Picchu or Machu Pikchu is a 15th-century Inca site located 2,430 metres above sea level, in one of Peru’s highest peaks. Translating from the Quechua language as “old pyramid”, this impressive site is located in the Cusco Region of the Urubamba Province, in Peru’s Machupicchu District. It is one of the world’s most wondrous and admired places.
This mystical ruins found here date back to pre-Colombian times, when the native Inca civilisation that inhabited most of South America, built a whole village on its grounds, the remains of which are now considered as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World.
Lima, Arequipa, Cusco
Lima is Peru’s cultural centre and lively capital city and as such it is the number one place most tourists head to during a holiday here. Beneath its deceivingly plain surface and sometimes gritty image lies an authentic literary experience with sublime pottery displays in local museum, edgy art spaces, solemn religious processions and traditions that date back to the 18th century.
Arequipa on the other hand is the capital and largest city of the Peruvian province of Arequipa. Also popularly known as the White City, because many of its building are built from a white stone called “sillar”, it is the country’s second most populated city and the second most popular among visitors and tourists. The city is surrounded by three impressive volcanoes and has a pretty collection of baroque-mestizo buildings that have managed to escape the lashings of the regular seismic action in this region.
Cusco or Cuzco in Spanish, was the heart of the once great Inca empire and is now one of Peru’s top cities and most visited places, high on the bucket list of any traveller. Hundreds flock here to admire its cobbled streets, stunning colonial architecture and colourful religious splendours. The city has a long list of fiestas, flamboyant festivals and carnivals. It is here that the nation’s proud pagan past collides with the strong Catholic values and rituals. A place not to be missed during any holiday to Peru.
The Andes is the world’s longest continental mountain range and as such one of the most iconic landmarks in the whole of Latin America. This continual range of highlands that stretch along South America’s western coast, make for some of the most dramatically spectacular photographs you could ever take in your lifetime.
An impressive sight from any angle, the Andes mountains are the ultimate paradise of avid trekkers and mountain-climbers. The highest peak of Mount Aconcagua rises to an eye-watering elevation of 6,962 metres above sea level while the highest volcanoes in the world are also found here in the Andes, including Ojos de Salado which is the highest active volcano in the world.
Located right in the border of Peru and Bolivia, the beautiful Titicaca is a vast lake in the Andes which by volume of water, is the largest lake in South America. It’s also considered the world’s highest navigable lake and many tourists can’t, quite understandably, resist the urge to sail along its deep blue waters on a traditional reed boat.
Since most Peruvian territory is covered by the dense Amazon rainforest (yet only 5% of it is inhabited), the Peruvian Amazon is an obligatory stop on any journey to this country.
With as much as 60% of Peru’s land mass being covered by the Amazon, which is considerably more than in any other country with the only exception of Brazil, you can imagine there are a lot trails, micro-climates and eco-regions to discover here.
From the warm and humid lowland jungle or Selva Baja, home to the Omagua region and the largest eco-region in Peru, to the cooler highland jungle or Selva Alta, which extends into the eastern foothills of the Andes, there is a lot of ground to cover here, diverse flora and fauna and numerous experiences awaiting intrepid travellers.