On a tailor-made itinerary to Peru, we can arrange for you to take in all that the country has to offer. Starting in the cosmopolitan capital, Lima, take a city tour to see the contrast in colonial architecture of the historic centre, to the contemporary seafront at Miraflores. Discover why Peruvian cuisine is considered one of the best in the world on a culinary tour and take a cooking lesson with local chefs to sample popular dishes like ceviche.
From Lima, fly over the Andes to Arequipa – a pearly-white city almost completely made from volcanic stone. Here you can visit the 16th-century Santa Catalina convent and the fascinating Juanita Mummy Museum.
For those interested in birdwatching, we would highly recommend visiting Colca Canyon to observe condors gliding in the thermal wind early in the morning. These giant birds are the spirit of the Andes and have a wingspan of up to three metres. You can reach the Colca valley by road from Arequipa; it takes approximately four hours with scenic stops en route.
A highlight of a trip to Peru is most certainly Lake Titicaca. Take a full-day tour to visit the floating Uros reed islands and Taquile island where you can have a home-cooked lunch with a local family. From Lake Titicaca, you can choose to travel in style overnight to Cuzco aboard the Belmond Andean Explorer train.
Be swept away by the history of Peru, with visits to a number of archaeological sites – some better known than others. Journey to Machu Picchu from Ollanta on the Vistadome train and take a tour of the impressive ruins. Or for those seeking adventure, embark on a four-day hike along the ancient Inca Trail, rewarding you with spectacular scenery and Inca ruins only accessed along this trail. When you reach the Sun Gate at sunrise overlooking the Lost City of Machu Picchu, you know the climb up Dead Woman’s Pass of 4,200 metres was undoubtedly worth it.
While staying in the Sacred Valley, explore more of the Inca Kingdom at Ollantaytambo. Alternatively, take an excursion to see the ancient Maras salt ponds, which pre-date the Incas, and to the circular Inca terraces of Moray.
In Cuzco, the original capital of the Inca Empire, witness how the Spanish built their churches over Inca stones and discover other famous Inca sites, such as the Temple of the Sun at Koricancha and Sacsayhuaman. If you are travelling to Peru in June, be sure to coincide your stay in Cuzco with the Inti Raymi festival – the celebrations of the sun god. You can speak to our travel consultants to find out then the festival will be taking place.
Alternatively, visit the remains of other ancient civilisations of Peru such as Kuelap, a spectacular pre-Inca walled city atop a mountain; the Tucume pyramids; the ruins of the adobe city of Chan Chan; the colonial town of Chachapoyas, a civilisation that rivalled the Incas; and Cumbe Mayo, built around 1000AD it is said to be the oldest man-made construction in South America. Or visit the mysterious Nazca Lines – geoglyphs including several species of birds, a monkey, a spider, a fish and stylised plants, set within an enormous labyrinth of straight lines, trapezoids, triangles and spirals.
Finally, for those searching for wildlife encounters, travel to Puerto Maldonado, the gateway to the Peruvian Amazon. After a one-hour drive and an hour-long boat ride along the river you reach the wild forests of the Tambopata. Here you can explore the rainforest by boat, mountain bike or kayak to search for caimans, giant river otters and monkeys.