Journey into endless cloud forest and sub-tropical jungle, meandering past Inca ruins and through hidden tunnels.
Watch the sun rise over the ‘Lost City of the Incas’ after trekking the Inca Trail and realise every minute of the slog was worth it. Otherwise arrive by luxurious Belmond Pullman train and ask your guide to take you up to the same unique viewpoint. This crumbling ancient city perched high in the Andes is possibly South America’s biggest attraction and it’s easy to see why.
There’s much more to Peru than Machu Picchu however. Explore the mountain ruins of Kuelap and Chavin De Huantar without the crowds and discover intricate engravings that have survived for centuries. Travel even further back into Peruvian history and take to the sky to witness the mysterious Nazca lines. Etched into desert, these mammoth geoglyphs are a must see.
Some of the world’s best hiking trails are found in Peru. The dramatic landscape of the Lares Valley will see you conquer towering mountains and discover hidden villages that remain largely untouched. Cordillera Blanca will bring you face-to-face with vast glaciers, sparkling lakes and the odd Inca ruin too.
Wander through Lima’s colonial centre, complete with lavish mansions and plazas, and venture further afield to find restaurants of the highest calibre. Ceviche is a dish best served fresh and the bursts of citrus and chili suggest that Lima’s streets offer some of the freshest. In the evening, do as the locals do and get things started with a Pisco sours; the Peruvian cocktail of choice.
And then there’s the jungle. The colossal Amazon, covering much of eastern Peru, is a world away from the dizzying heights of the Andes. Venture up secluded waterways, unbroken trees lining the banks. Catch a glimpse of a jaguar, see colourful macaws erupt from the canopy or howler monkeys swing between branches. There’s nowhere else quite like it.
When to go
Peru is a home to vastly different landscapes and climates, so finding the best time to suit everything can be tricky. Generally speaking, Peru’s wet season covers November to March and is mostly dry the rest of the year. Summer is the busiest time for the Inca trail, so book early or go a little later in the season to avoid disappointment.