Peru is the most popular destination for adventure travellers in Latin America. People from around the globe are drawn there by the fascinating Inca history, iconic sites like Machu Picchu, the intriguing dessert symbols of the Nazca Lines and the incredible alitplano scenery of the Andes, home to llamas, alpacas and the world’s highest navigable lake, Lake Titicaca.
Since Hiram Bingham, the American explorer, described Machu Picchu as a “wonderland”, the fabled Inca city has become perhaps the single image that says ‘Peru’. But it’s not even half the story. Peru has more ancient archaeological sites than any other country in South America, with more being discovered all the time. There is much more to Peru than old stones, however. Peru has life zones from mangroves to cloudforest, mist-fuelled oases in the desert to glacial lakes. Jungle covers 60% of the country, and while less than 6% of its population lives there, the forest provides a home for the greatest diversity of plants and wildlife on the planet. The variety that Peru offers the visitor is enormous.
At the end of the Inca Trail is the Intipinku, the Gate of the Sun. Through it you not only see Machu Picchu for the first time, but you are transported back through history to the cultures from which the Inca civilization developed. Machu Picchu’s near neighbour, Cuzco, is the gateway to natural history. Its festivals are a microcosm of 3000 others across the country.
Look south beyond Cuzco to the islands in the sparkling waters of Lake Titicaca, where communities preserve traditions untouched by modernity. In the magnificent city of Arequipa, watched over by volcanoes, the high walls of the Santa Catalina convent conceal a perfectly preserved miniature colonial town which was, until recently, closed to the outside world. Nearby are the Colca and Cotahuasi canyons, remarkable chasms twice as deep as the Grand Canyon, where you can trek along pre-Hispanic agricultural terraces that are still in use, and look for mighty condors rising on the thermals.
Cuzco also gives access to the jungle reserves of Manu and Tambopata, where the tally of birds, mammals, reptiles, butterflies and plants has yet to be fully catalogued. Without doubt, Peru is the best place on earth for seeing jungle wildlife. In northern Peru, just as in Cuzco, the sporting possibilities are endless: hiking to ruined cities, whitewater rafting or biking down the mountains.
Explore has a comprehensive range of holidays in Peru to appeal to any traveller, from the keen trekker to families and everything in-between. Walking the Inca Trail in Peru is one of the ‘must do’ treks in South America, a trail that combines the history of the Incas with stunning Andean scenery. However, the highlights of Peru don’t start and end at Machu Picchu. Beyond the steep terraces of this great Inca citadel like beautiful colonial towns like Arequipa and Cusco, the stupendous drops of Colca Canyon where you can view condors, a boat trip on Lake Titicaca to visit the Uros Indians and Taquile Island and a chance to ride on the Andean Explorer Train from Puno to Cusco.
Most of our tours to Peru also offer the chance to extend your tour and fly down to the Amazon rainforest and spend several nights at a jungle lodge, exploring the forest on foot and by dugout canoe.
Did you know that Explore also offer Tailor made holidays to Peru? If we don’t have the right dates or availability for you on one of our group tours or you would like to customise your itinerary, then our expert team can put together your ideal itinerary on the dates that suit you.
Some examples of ideas for your tailor made holiday to Peru include:
- Trekking the Inca Trail lodge to lodge instead of camping
- Staying in luxury or boutique hotels throughout Peru including Amazon jungle lodges
- Arriving at Machu Picchu in style aboard the luxurious Hiram Bingham train, including brunch on the way and a gourmet dinner and cocktails on the way back.
- Staying at the exclusive Suasi Island eco-lodge in Lake Titica Get more information and example itineraries for your own Explore Tailormade holidays in Peru.
Tailormade holidays in Peru