Reasons to Visit
The Andes in Peru are home a vast array of micro-climates and eco-systems. Deserts, canyons, high altiplano, lush cloudforest, fertile valleys, snow capped peaks and glaciers, and not to forget classic Inca terracing systems, are all common landscapes that can be seen on a trip within the country.
Beyond the renowned famous Inca trail to Machu Picchu, southern Peru offers dozens of treks and walks. Whether you are seeking a one day walk through Andean villages or a 10 day trek along less-trodden trails then there will be an option for you. Whilst most treks involve basic camping, there are also some lodge to lodge options for those seeking a little more comfort.
Machu Picchu is the obvious draw of any trip to Peru, but there are many more Inca and pre-Incan sites to interest archaeologists and historians at all levels. From the Sacred Valley of the Inca’s to the lesser explored pre-Incan ruins on the northern coast and the vast pre-Incan city of Kuelap, Peru has the greatest array of sites in South America.
Peru has many fine examples of colonial architecture throughout the country. Lima, Arequipa and Cuzco have well documented and beautifully-maintained historical centres that take visitors back to the Spanish era.
The draw for trekkers from across the globe, the Classic Inca Trail takes walkers on a 4-day adventure through the high Andes and past a huge number of small Inca sites, all the way to Machu Picchu. Diversifying in recent years, the trail can offer options for all abilities, budgets and timescales. Alternative Inca trails also provide the opportunity to get away from the mainstream and provide varied levels of comfort.
The jewel in the Inca crown set high on a plateau in the Andes. Breath-takingly beautiful the site rarely disappoints. The trick to exploring these majestic ruins is in the planning process, which is where our country specialists come in.
Easily accessible from Cuzco, the southern Peruvian rainforest has a number of simple lodges, catering for guests who are looking for their first Amazon experience through to the ultimate wildlife enthusiasts. Alternatively, from the northern city of Iquitos, travellers can choose from a number of cruise boats into the pristine Pacaya Samiria Reserve.
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Hidden from the world until the American explorer Hiram Bingham stumbled across the ruins in 1911, this magnificent citadel is one of South America’s most famous sights. Machu Picchu rests on a saddle between two lushly forested peaks, and its inaccessible location only heightens its impressiveness.
Hidden from the world until the American explorer Hiram Bingham stumbled across the ruins in 1911, this magnificent citadel is one of South America’s most famous sights.
Machu Picchu rests on a saddle between two lushly forested peaks, and its inaccessible location only heightens its impressiveness.
Well preserved and largely intact, as you walk between these imposing palaces, temples, houses and storerooms it is easy to imagine the city at the height of the Inca Empire.
You reach the site by train from Cuzco or the Sacred Valley which delivers you into the valley below, and then a bus journey up the windy road cut into the side of the mountain (unless you have walked all or part of the Inca Trail).
Once at the site, our guides will ensure you thoroughly explore and will share some of the many theories expounding the positioning and function of Machu Picchu.
An overnight stay at Machu Picchu or Aguas Calientes is highly recommended, allowing you time to return to the site early in the morning before the day trippers arrive, and the opportunity to climb Huayna Picchu for a breathless but wonderful alternative view, or walk out to the Inca Bridge or up to the Sun Gate.
Perched high on a mountain ridge and hidden from the world for hundreds of years, the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu are the jewel in Peru's crown. Use this guide to find out more about trekking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and useful information to help plan your trip to this famous 'Lost City of the Incas'.
Trekking in Peru offers hikes to suit all abilities, from steady, single day walks to demanding 12-day treks. Read our guide to walking and trekking in Peru, including hiking the famous Inca Trail to the hidden ruins of Machu Picchu.
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Include a visit to Machu Picchu on your tailor-made trip around Peru by contacting one of our specialists...
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Further reading:Tours in PeruWhen to GoHighlightsItinerary IdeasPlaces to GoThings to DoAccommodationAbout PeruCountry Guides
Other countries in South America:ArgentinaBoliviaBrazilChileColombiaEcuadorGuyanaParaguayThe Falkland IslandsThe Galapagos IslandsUruguayVenezuela
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