Beyond Machu Picchu
No doubt it’s a bucket-list destination, but there’s far more to Peru
than its ancient citadel. Here, we uncover six more places you must see in this fascinating country. From dense jungle and coastal desert to the glacial peaks of the Andes, Peru is an empire of hidden treasures, ancient cultures and rich colonial tradition.
In the land of the Incas, travellers can discover a wealth of different worlds all within one country, travel back in time to ancient civilisations and share the great cultural heritage of the Peruvian people. A visit to Peru isn’t complete without a pilgrimage to the mysterious archaeological site of Machu Picchu
, but there’s so much more on offer. Whether your idea of a good time is trekking through mountains alongside llamas, paddling your way down the Amazon
in a dugout canoe, flying over curious lines etched into the earth, visiting highland market towns, kicking back over pisco sours, exploring colonial cities or indulging in exquisite Peruvian cuisine, this is a country waiting to be explored.
Once the most important city in the Inca Empire and now the undisputed archaeological capital
of the Americas, Cuzco is the continent’s oldest continuously inhabited city. Cuzco is a cosmopolitan place, where ornate cathedrals sit alongside Inca temples against a scenic backdrop of green forested hills and snow-covered mountain peaks. It is the gateway to the Temple of the Sun, the Inca fortress of Sacsayhuaman, the underground temple of Quenko, the Sacred Valley
, and the jewel in Peru’s archaeological crown, Machu Picchu.
Located in the Nazca Desert plains, the peculiar Nazca Lines
are a series of gargantuan animal figures and geometric shapes, some up to 200 metres in length, etched into the earth across a 500 square metre radius. By far the best way to view the ancient geoglyphs is by air, but if you’d prefer to stay on the ground, there is a viewing point at Mirador. The stupefying Nazca Lines are one of Peru’s most curious attractions and the whys and hows of their creation will leave you baffled.
Slicing through the High Andes, the spectacular Colca Canyon is reputed to be twice as deep as the Grand Canyon. Unlike much of the Grand Canyon, though, Colca is inhabited, its pre- Colombian terraced fields supporting agricultural communities with their unshakeable Spanish, Inca and pre-Inca ways of life. Endless trekking
routes, breathtaking vistas and the opportunity to spot the Andean condor at close range are just part of the appeal.
The huge, lush swathe of the Amazon Rainforest
covers more than half of Peru and is possibly the most biodiverse region on Earth. Whichever way you choose to explore it, the Peruvian jungle seems endless. The Amazon Rainforest offers travellers the stuff of adventure novels with phenomenal wildlife-spotting, treks into untamed jungle, scenic lakes and gigantic waterfalls, indigenous tribes going about their business and some ancient archaeological sites.
The highest navigable lake in the world is a patchwork of islands both natural and manmade, set against a stunning azure backdrop. Lake Titicaca’s floating islands
are constructed from totora reeds, and are inhabited by the Uros people, who are among the oldest known local communities in the Americas. Taquile Island offers a unique glimpse into the lives of people whose traditions have been practised for centuries, where weaving and knitting forms an integral part of day-to-day life. Men on the island can often be seen walking its footpaths and walkways, knitting as they go.
The province of Chachapoyas is a destination on the rise. Situated in the region of Amazonas it combines history, culture, adventure and diverse flora and fauna, thanks to its cloud forests. It is home to the fortress of Kuelap, one of the most impressive archaeological sites in Peru. A fortified city on top of Barreta Hill, 3000 metres above sea level, Kuelap
was built by the Chachapoyas people, a warrior culture who resisted the conquering attempts of the Inca for years. The new Kuelap cable car now makes the ascent to the top of the hill a more comfortable experience.
Explore our collection of Peru packages
or speak with a travel designer for a free quote or to create your custom itinerary enquire now
, call (AU) 1300 295 049 or (NZ) 0800 238 368 or see your travel agent.
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