High on many travellers’ bucket lists, Machu Picchu is one of South America’s most definitive sights, but Peru also offers many more rich experiences outside of its lofty ancient citadel. Multi-centre Peru holidays reveal the country’s historic empires, natural wonders and awe-inspiring landscapes in an exciting clash of culture, colour and gastronomy.
The country’s dramatic and contrasting landscapes range from Andean peaks to tangled Amazonian rainforests: holidays to Peru are perfect for adventurers, both intensely rewarding and easily accessible. From a high mountain pass, survey cavernous canyons and highlands capped with a dusting of snow or trace the flight of a soaring condor. Most Peruvian holidays take in the spectacular archaeological wonder of Machu Picchu, blending history and natural beauty in equal measure to enthral all who visit. Step even further back in time at Sacsayhuaman, a fortress of colossal proportions just north of the ancient Incan capital of Cuzco.
Peru also enjoys a reputation as a culinary capital of South America. Known to many as the home of a bear who loves marmalade, Peru ensures that its visitors are always well fed with dishes like citrusy ceviche and flavoursome anticucho kebabs. Try modern Andean cuisine at the wave of new restaurants popping up all over the capital – including Latin America’s best restaurant, Central in upscale Miraflores – and discover the traditional liqueur Pisco and Peruvian wine in Paracas’ Ica Valley. There’s even a burgeoning culinary scene in remote Cuzco, named ‘the navel of the world’ by the Incas.
Seek out Peru’s colourful cities not only for an introduction to Peruvian cuisine, but to uncover the secrets of the Incan empire and the country’s fascinating colonial roots. Keep your camera to hand and navigate settlements big and small, old and new; from Lima’s contrasting districts of sleek skyscrapers and crumbling colonial mansions to the myriad of coastal villages and the ruins of lost civilisations that speckle the interior – broad examples of Peru’s rich heritage.