Peru’s appeal is endless, with a range of natural and man-made wonders. The highlands, home to the condor and countless indigenous communities, were the heartland of the ancient Inca Empire and alongside the colonial gems of Cuzco and Arequipa, Machu Picchu is the most famous example of the extraordinary architectural legacy that was left behind. To the east the mountains shelve away and give in to the dense vegetation and rich fauna of the Amazon Basin, a must on any visit to Peru.
Peru is most famous for the sacred archaeological site of Machu Picchu – visited each year by scores of intrepid hikers who brave the Inca Trail’s arduous slopes to explore the age-old ruins. But the country’s attractions extend far beyond the mystical allure of this legendary location, and include palm-fringed beaches, quaint Andean villages and archaeological treasures that predate Machu Picchu by hundreds of years – all imbued with the nation’s rich melange of indigenous and colonial cultures. Equally enticing are the exotic reaches of Peru’s Amazon rainforest, Lima’s superb eateries, exquisite architecture and effervescent nightlife, the glittering, mountain-ringed waters of Lake Titicaca, and the vibrant city of Cusco, referred to by the Incas as ‘the centre of the world’.