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Fancy a Peruvian holiday? Peru was named in the 1500s after a native fisherman and leader Biru, who lived near the Panama Bay of San Miguel. Although it sits only one kilometre below the equator, Peru presents a wonderfully varied playground for travellers, with a range of diverse climates to enjoy. Travel to Peru means experiencing the snow-peaked mountain ranges of the Andes, the dense jungles of the world’s largest rainforest, the breathtaking beaches and the awe-inspiring deserts.
A Little Bit About Peru
Peru is home to the most ancient Norte Chico civilization, as well as the Inca Empire, which is famous for worshipping the Sun God Inti and being a powerful early empire in the 15th century. The early Andean societies practised terrace agriculture, irrigation, camel husbandry and fishing, and made use of a barter system before Spanish money was introduced in the 16th century. The Spanish influence percolates deep into Peru’s traditions, culture and language. Peruvian food also has an African, Arab, Italian and Asian influence, with common dishes including antichuchos (Quecha for ‘cut stewed/grilled meat’), ceviche (raw fish marinated in citrus juices) and pachamanca (Earthen-pot baked meat marinated in spices).
Machu Picchu Tours
Machu Picchu means ‘old peak’ and is a 15th century Incan site in the Cusco region, resting 2,300 metres above sea level. On a mountain ridge in the Urubamba Valley, it is often referred to as the ‘city of Incas’. Machu Picchu was constructed in 14,000BC, but was abandoned when the Spaniards took over. It was then re-discovered by the historian Hiram Bingham and has been undergoing reconstruction right up until today. Many Machu Picchu tours will take you across the famous Inca Trail to view the incredible plazas, ancient earthquake-proof temples and vast, natural parks of Machu Picchu. Voted as one of the new seven wonders of the world, a Machu Picchu tour should not be missed on your South America holiday!
For those after an amazing adventure, travels to Peru should always include a visit to the longest mountain range in the world, the Andes. If you love hiking and mountain climbing, a trip to Cordillera Blanca, the highest range in the Andes, is a must. Other key sites in the Andes include the colonial city of Cusco, the Sacred Valley, the Huascarán National Park and the trails of the Colca Canyon.
If you love the idea of situating your holiday around the water, Peru has much to offer! Travels to Peru can include a boat journey through the heart of the Amazon rainforest, a cruise along the Peruvian coastline or a floating island tour of Lake Titicaca in the country’s south. Its glistening sapphire waters draw many travellers each year and from the lake you’ll, the views of the surrounding mountains are exquisite.
Best Beaches in Peru
If it’s the beaches you love, Peru has dozens and it’s easy to turn your travel to Peru into a luxurious, beachside holiday. Although great beaches can be found along the entire coastline, the best ones are generally located in the north. Waterside living around the city of Lima (at the centre of the coast) is also sublime. Other popular Peruvian beaches include Trujillo, Playa Tortugas, Chicama, Tumbes, Mancora and Paita. The Ballestas Islands also prove popular when it comes to cruises and island holidays. Known as Peru's own ‘Galapagos Islands,’ visitors here can expect to see seals, dolphins and penguins, while making the most the islands’ luxurious lifestyles.
If you’ve always wanted to see Machu Picchu, the Amazon or the Andes, it’s never too late! Travellers Choice can help you decide where to go, what to see and how to get there.