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  • "Our trip to Peru was the most exciting, interesting holiday I have ever had – in fact it was a life-changing experience."
    Ms Lucas, Peru Tailor-Made
  • "We have just returned from the most amazing trip to Peru. The highlight of the holiday was without doubt walking the Inca trail. What an experience. I wanted to thank you for all your help and advice. The itinerary you prepared for us was perfect."
    Mrs Thorne
  • "We have just returned from Peru - The Train to Machu Picchu tour. I am writing to congratulate you on this holiday. The hotels were first class and the travel arrangements were flawless. The local guides were knowledgeable and friendly and our local tour manager looked after us very well. It was all a magnificent experience"
    Tom and Wendy Tasker

Compass is an online magazine, designed to inspire, inform and entertain on the subject of travel in its broadest sense.

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Peru offers a superb combination of stunning scenery, fascinating history and colourful local culture. It’s a place where the Inca culture feels very much alive, in the wonderfully preserved remains and in the Quechan language and colourful weavings of the Andean people. It also has more than its fair share of unforgettable sights, from the mysterious Nazca lines to colonial cities and pre-Colombian sites.

What to see

First on the list for any visitor to Peru must be the magical Machu Picchu, which never fails to amaze with both its scale and, perhaps even more remarkably, its setting, high up in the Andes and a scenic train journey away from Cuzco. It is not difficult to see how the conquistadores completely missed this significant site. The industry of the Incas amazes elsewhere as well, in particular with the precise masonry at Sacsayhuaman near Cuzco, and the ingenious agricultural terraces in the beautiful Sacred Valley. Despite being the hub for visiting most of these places, the ancient Incan capital of Cuzco seems surprisingly unspoiled. It retains a magical atmosphere with its clash of Incan and Spanish colonial architecture, and is worth spending a few days in. The whole of this region is set against a backdrop of lush green mountains and big skies, and is what sets Peru apart from any other Latin America country.

In the north of Peru, there are more pre-Colombian remains from other civilisations which will appeal to second time visitors or anyone with a keen interest in ancient cultures. Close to Trujillo visit sites including the adobe walled city of Chan Chan and the Sun and Moon Pyramids, while even further north near Chiclayo visit the Tombs of Sipan and the Pyramids of Tucume. Further inland explore Kuelap, a spectacular pre-Inca walled city hidden atop a precipitous mountain or the cliff-top funerary sites of Revash and Karajia.

For more recent history, the white-walled colonial city of Arequipa is worth a visit, a picturesque city which overlooks the volcano El Misti. From here you can continue on over the high altiplano to the awe-inspiring Colca Canyon, more than twice as deep as the Grand Canyon, and home to remote Andean villages, hot springs and majestic Andean condors. 

At 3,855 metres, the deep blue Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable lake in the world and the largest in South America. Dotted with small islands, including floating islands made out of totora reeds, visits here offer spectacular views, Inca ruins and the chance to interact with the local people who live and work on and around the lake. Stay in Puno located on the shores of the lake or combine with night or two on tranquil Suasi Island. Alternatively it is well worth making a full day trip or an overnight visit to the Sun and Moon Islands on the Bolivian side of the lake.

Wildlife enthusiasts should explore Peru’s Amazonian north, where we can particularly recommend an Amazon River cruise from Iquitos aboard the Delfin or the luxurious Aqua and Aria boats. Or stay at a remote lodge in the Amazonian rainforest near Puerto Maldonado, an excellent place to see wildlife, birds and flora.

For those who like to travel in style there are now many excellent character hotels in Peru, including five luxury Orient-Express managed properties.

Tour Collection

Browse our collection of small escorted group tours and luxurious private journeys.


Browse our tailor-made section and design a holiday to suit your interests, tastes and budget.

Key Facts

Capital: Lima
Flying time from London: 15h 50m
Time difference: -5 GMT
Population: 26 million
Currency: Peruvian Sol
Official Language(s): Spanish
Visa (UK Passport Holders): Not required

Before You Go:

The Ancient Kingdoms of Peru

Nigel Davies (1997)
A highly readable and best-selling book, ‘The Ancient Kingdoms of Peru’ examines the cultures and civilisations of pre-Hispanic Peru.

Raiders of the Lost Ark

Archeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones is hired by the US government to Brave an ancient Peruvian temple filled with booby traps to retrieve a golden idol before the Nazis.
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