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Everything you need to know about Peru

Secondary Categories: The Essentials

From the vibrant colors of the Amazon to the wispy clouds of Machu Picchu, Peru has it all. We’ve sifted through our archives to compile one megablog that covers every corner of this magnificent country…

Lima, the thriving capital

With great beaches, the world’s best food (officially!) and a fascinating history Lima really does have it all. Where else can you see a pre-Incan adobe pyramid surrounded by skyscrapers and go on a tour of the oldest colonial house in all of the Americas? Adventure junkies can jog, surf, bike and paraglide to their hearts' content while kids and adults will love the water and lights show at the Parque de la Reserva.

Making the most of your Lima layover

Colonial Culture in Lima

An introduction to Lima

Lima through the lens

Lima más arriba (amazing aerial photographs of the city)

Water and lights shows at the Parque de la Reserva

With five restaurants in the the world's Top 50, Lima is officially the best culinary destination on the planet. Read these blogs to get your tastebuds working.

What to eat in Peru

Peruvian cuisine and national pride

Making the most of your Lima layover (repeated from above but there are loads of foodie options)

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Municipal Palace Of Lima

Machu Picchu, the jewel in the crown

Machu Picchu is justifiably Peru’s number one tourist attraction, a place that continues to amaze even the tour guides who go there every day. We've got loads of incredible content on this wonder of the world, but we've handpicked some of the most useful, including a great comparison between Machu Picchu Mountain and Huayna Picchu.

Machu Picchu virtual voyage

An introduction to Machu Picchu

10 things you probably didn’t know about Machu Picchu, Peru

Climbing Machu Picchu mountain (not as popular but well worth doing)

Climbing Huayna Picchu (book well in advance)

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Machu Picchu

Trekking near Machu Picchu

Nothing beats reaching the great Inca citadel under your steam, and the Inca Trail is a bucket list item if ever there was one. These days there also alternatives to the classic Inca trail. Some are shorter, others are less crowded, and still others are much more luxurious.

An introduction to the Inca Trail

Retracing the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

The Two Day Inca Trail (short on time?)

3 Alternatives to the Inca Trail (far from the madding crowd)

Lodge to lodge treks near Machu Picchu (more comfortable alternatives)

Cusco

Cusco, the capital of Tawantinsuyu (the Inca empire) is an incredible city in its own right which features some amazing Inca foundations and an unbelievable array of colonial churches, plazas and mansions. The mountain backdrop is inspiring and the quaint alleyways are well worth exploring.

An introduction to Cusco

Cusco through the ages (the city has gone through three distinct phases)

Mighty walls of Sacsayhuaman (arguably the greatest example of stonemasonry on the planet.)

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Walls of Sacsayhuaman

The Sacred Valley

Between Cusco and Machu Picchu lies the Sacred Valley, a vast showcase to both the beauty of the Andes and the ingenuity and engineering wizardry of the Incas. If Machu Picchu is the jewel in the crown the myriad sites and scenes of the Sacred Valley are the very impressive accoutrements.

An introduction to the Sacred Valley

More than Machu Picchu: An introduction to the Sacred Valley

A day at the Pisaq market

Pause to appreciate Pisaq

Taking time out in Ollantaytambo

Inca ingenuity at Moray and Salinas

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Life in the Sacred Valley

The incredible Amazon

The Amazon rainforest needs no introduction, but seeing the world's most famous jungle on NatGeo simply doesn't compare with experiencing it in the flesh. Find out all you need to know about visiting the Peruvian Amazon with these blogs that range from practical to downright evocative.

Lodge versus cruise: Exploring the Peruvian Amazon

5 Iconic Amazon Animals

10 amazing facts about the Amazon Rainforest

Photos from the Amazon

Into the amazing Amazon

Planning and packing for the Amazon

 

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Preparing for work

Lake Titicaca

Lake Titicaca is an otherworldly place. Not only is it the world's highest navigable lake, but it’s also home to fascinating floating villages which haven’t changed for centuries.

Lake Titicaca tour breakdown

The people and islands of Lake Titicaca

Lake Titicaca island homestays

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Lake Titicaca crafts

Arequipa

The southern city of Arequipa aka The White City is another colonial gem, with fantastic history, not least in the wonderful Santa Catalina Monastery. Nearby, the Colca Canyon is one of the world’s largest, deepest and most picturesque and it is also a great place to come Face to face with condors.

An introduction to Arequipa

Arequipa's gem: Santa Catalina Monastery

An introduction to the Colca Canyon

Face to face with condors in the Colca Canyon

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Condor

Central Peru

Central Peru also has some heavyweight attractions, not least the world famous Nazca Lines and the equally impressive Marine reserve at Paracas. The city of Ica and the Huacachina oasis on its outskirts is another must-see, especially if you’re keen on tasting Pisco sours, Peru’s national drink, at source.

Flying over the Nazca Lines

The incredible marine reserve at Paracas

Exploring Ica and the Huacachina oasis

Cocktail of the week: Pisco sours (you can't escape them in Peru!)

Northern Peru

Up North you’ll find some Great pre-Inca ruins and some Amazing beaches to boot. The main city in the area is Trujillo a pleasant colonial spot with some amazing archaeological sites.

4 Great pre-Inca ruins in Peru

Best beach in Peru? Punta Sal

Why you really should include Trujillo on your Peruvian itinerary

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Historical sites

The final word

Peru really does have enough attractions to fill a lifetime of holidays. Whether you’re tempted by the heights of Andes, the tropical beaches of the North or the fecund diversity of the Amazon, we have a Peru itinerary for you.

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Lima

Credit to H-W Schlieper and James Borrell for the images used in this blog and to Salt & Silver for the video.

 

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