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Reviewed on 17 Mar 2020
Book yourself a hotel in Peru, a land with mystery and wonder quite literally etched into its epic landscapes. From the gargantuan Nazca lines to the precipitous ruins at Machu Picchu, the country is rich with the traces of its fascinating ancient history. Peru’s life is not all stuck in the past: its cuisine is famed as a uniquely mouth-watering fusion of global influences. Its lands stretch from the Pacific to the Andes, and take in the stunning Amazon as they go. This makes Peru a magnet for adventurers looking to do everything from surfing to paragliding to white-water rafting and much more.
Cusco and Machu Picchu — Gateway to the epic splendour of Machu Picchu, book a hotel in Cusco and visit a place that is like taking a step into the past. This enigmatic city is decorated with vivid traditional colours and textiles, and plays host to frequent wild fiestas that bridge the gap between ancient ritual and Catholic tradition. As you head on into the Sacred Valley, which the Incas referred to as the navel of the world, and the mysterious realm of Machu Picchu itself you will find yourself thrown all the way back to the dawn of civilization.
Lima — Peru’s capital city, Lima is an intriguing blend of the hyper-modern, the colonial, and larger slum neighbourhoods. The colonial district at its centre is a particularly special site of architectural heritage with a huge number of splendid churches, cloisters and monasteries. Lima also boasts an incredible cuisine culture, especially the seafood, which specialises in particularly flavoursome varieties harvested from the cold sea current on Peru’s coast. For exquisite sights, smells and tastes, book a hotel in Lima.
Iquitos — This city in the Amazonas region of Peru is a great place to book a hotel if you want to explore the Amazon rainforest. It’s also in recent years become a mecca for travellers looking to explore traditional shamanic techniques, and in particular the ways of the powerful psychedelic Ayahuasca.
Ica — With its close proximity to the surrounding desert, Ica is home to one of Peru’s favourite sports, sandboarding. It’s also a great place to jump in a buggy and head out into the dunes. If that makes Ica sound sandblown and desolate, don’t be fooled: it’s actually situated at the heart of an oasis-like green valley, and is a great place to kick back and enjoy the warm climate.
Peru is home to a staggering diversity of wildlife. The Amazon basin alone, where you might see everything from pink dolphins to jaguars and river otters, is also home to nearly 9,000 species of bird and 4,000 butterfly species. It’s also a land of rich culture and tradition. The many frequent festivals and celebrations that take place everywhere from the villages to the cities draw their influence from native and colonial traditions to create something you could only ever experience in Peru.
Trek across the incredible sand dunes, spend a few days on the Pacific coast and make the most of the surf and the sun, lose yourself for days at one of the many festivals or head out on an adventure that takes in some dramatic rafting, exhilarating mountain biking and arduous trekking. Peru is an adventure from start to finish - you won’t be disappointed.