Regions in Peru

Peru lives and breathes its Inca heritage, from the world famous site of Machu Picchu, perched impossibly in the Andes, to colourful communities in Cusco and the Sacred Valley, where Inca arts, crafts and cuisine still thrive. Drop some 3000m and you hit steamy rainforests in the Amazon jungle: take a cruise along the rivers to see caiman crocodiles, pink river dolphins and stunning Amazon sunsets.

At an altitude of 3,380m, beautiful Cusco crackles with energy as the capital of the Incas and nexus of their many trails. Wandering the cobbled streets and the historic Plaza de Armas, you’ll discover how 16th-century conquistadors built their cathedrals on gargantuan Inca foundations, and deepened the mystery of their enigmatic predecessors. 
A testimony to the genius of the Inca civilisation, it’s the stunning Andean setting that makes Machu Picchu so mind-blowing. To get there you can walk the iconic Inca Trail and camp, or if you want to avoid the crowds you can follow lesser-known routes up to the Mountain Lodges of Peru.
The world’s highest navigable lake, Lake Titicaca is an eerie, magical place, home to ancient cultures and ethereal landscapes. Amidst the glassy expanse of water, and warmed by the Andean sun, lie the reed-formed islands of Uros and Taquile. Visiting these islands, you’ll not only encounter the colourfully dressed villagers who fish from traditional reed boats, but have flamingoes and myriad birdlife all around you.

Unearth the historical gems of the Plaza de Armas, with its fantastic colonial architecture, and wander the labyrinth of catacombs beneath the Catedral de San Francisco. Meanwhile, foodies can sample some of the continent’s best ceviche in the Miraflores district. Our favourite hotel? Belmond Miraflores Park, which has an amazing rooftop pool overlooking the sea.

Pulsating with wildlife and plants straight out of sci-fi films, Peru’s Amazon basin spans more than five million acres. If you’re lucky enough to explore it, the best way to do it is aboard an Aqua Expeditions cruise. With these wonderfully luxurious vessels, you’ll pass virgin rainforest, canoe along murky tributaries and spot caiman crocodiles, three-toed sloths and the mesmerising pink river dolphin.
Arequipa is filled with handsome colonial architecture and is well worth exploring before the journey to the stunning Colca Canyon. A real highlight is the Santa Catalina convent, with its orange-draped cloisters and silent nuns pacing the courtyards. As for Colca Canyon, it’s more than twice as deep as its more famous US counterpart, and is a mecca for alpine adventure and relaxation.
Peru’s coastline is up and coming, but still wonderfully undeveloped. This, combined with warm weather all year round, is great if you’d like a few days of R & R after a hectic Peruvian adventure. Think sleepy fishing villages with excellent seafood, fantastic surfing (the locals maintain the sport originated here, having invented reed surf boards), and dune buggy rides in the flanking desert.


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