Peru

Hidden treasures for those that look

Contributors
Mike Gasparovic Hugh Thomson Guido Van Es

New edition!

Historical Peru

Alternatives to Machu Picchu

Mysterious archaeological sites, Amazonian cloud forests, desert coastlines and the world’s tallest tropical mountains — Peru is a complex and diverse place full of surprises.

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Mention Peru to most and their first response will almost certainly be: Machu Picchu! For better or worse the famed citadel has become virtually synonymous with its host nation. But despite Machu Picchu's unarguable majesty, there is so much more to the rest of the country than these attention-stealing ruins. Pre-Columbian cultures left their indelible mark the length and breadth of Peru while the Incas were still in metaphorically short pants. Beyond archaeology there's world-beating cuisine and a buzzing arts scene in Lima, inconceivably vast Andean landscapes, oh and we haven't even mentioned the Amazon rainforest, which occupies a good two-thirds of the country's territory. Sure, come for the ruins. But leave plenty of time for the rest — you won't regret it.

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  • Lima

    Lima

    Peru's unfairly overlooked capital
    Peru's sprawling capital city is often overlooked by time-poor visitors en route to more photogenic locations, but dwell a while and you'll find a complex city with onionskin layers of history and excellent museums, a proud contemporary culture, genuinely diverse neighbourhoods, and a world-leading food scene...Read more
  • Cusco

    Cusco

    Capital of the Inca
    Seat of the Inca Empire, Cusco is the epicentre for Peru's tourism industry, drawing millions of visitors en route to Machu Picchu and adventures in the Sacred Valley...Read more
  • Sacred Valley

    Sacred Valley

    Peru's spiritual heartland
    As the Urubamba River descends from Cusco, eventually connecting with tributaries of the mighty Amazon, it has carved out a sweep of valley whose beauty defies imagination...Read more
  • Machu Picchu

    Machu Picchu

    Peru's archaeological rock star
    If you're coming to Peru you'll almost certainly visit the ruins that have come to define the entire country...Read more
  • Arequipa

    Arequipa

    Peru's elegant White City
    Peru's second city is an elegant, refined counterweight to Lima's unbridled freneticism...Read more
  • Colca Canyon

    Colca Canyon

    Flight of the condor
    Twice as deep as the Grand Canyon but a fraction of the width, the Colca Canyon cuts a dramatic scar across Peru's southern Andes...Read more
  • Lake Titicaca

    Lake Titicaca

    Shimmering heart of the Andean universe
    A tranquil expanse of turquoise water seemingly at the roof of the world, Lake Titicaca was revered as the birthplace of Peru's original civilisations and the centre of the indigenous cosmos...Read more
  • Puerto Maldonado

    Puerto Maldonado

    Accessible Amazonian adventures
    Puerto Maldonado, in Peru's southern Amazon, is the most accessible entrance to the jungle...Read more
  • Iquitos

    Iquitos

    The jungle city
    Famous for being accessible only by air or boat, Iquitos lies in Peru's distant north-eastern Amazon with a distinct frontier vibe to match...Read more
  • Chavín de Huántar

    Chavín de Huántar

    "Birthplace of South American culture”
    If you have an interest in Andean civilisation, Chavín de Huántar is vastly more significant than the famed Machu Picchu, but with a fraction of the crowds...Read more
  • Choquequirao

    Choquequirao

    Machu Picchu without the crowds (for now)
    Machu Picchu 2...Read more
  • Trujillo

    Northern historical heartlands
    ...Read more
  • Chiclayo

    ...Read more
  • Chachapoyas & Kuelap

    ...Read more
  • Huaraz

    ...Read more
  • Arica

    ...Read more
  • Manú National Park

    ...Read more
  • Choquechaca

    ...Read more

Classic Peru & Machu Picchu

The classic route to Peru's most popular highlights
Approx. 6 days
Lima (1 days) → Cusco (2) → Sacred Valley (1) → Machu Picchu (1) → Lima (1)
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Machu Picchu & Amazon Cruise

Small-ship luxury cruise with Machu Picchu
Approx. 9 days
Lima (1 days) → Iquitos (3) → Cusco (2) → Sacred Valley (1) → Machu Picchu (1) → Lima (1)
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Machu Picchu & Amazon Lodge

See Peru from rainforest eco-lodge to mountain empires
Approx. 9 days
Lima (1 days) → Puerto Maldonado (3) → Cusco (2) → Sacred Valley (1) → Machu Picchu (1) → Lima (1)
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Highlights of Peru

A grand tour of Peru's mountain civilisation
Approx. 12 days
Lima (1 days) → Arequipa (2) → Colca Canyon (1) → Lake Titicaca (2) → Cusco (2) → Sacred Valley (1) → Machu Picchu (1) → Lima (1)
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Qhapaq Ñan Trek to Huanuco Pampa

Explore Peru's grand route of the Incas
Approx. 12 days
Lima (1 days) → Cusco (1) → Sacred Valley (1) → Machu Picchu (1) → Cusco (1) → Huaraz (5) → Huaraz (1) → Lima (1)
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Active Sacred Valley & Machu Picchu Trek

Explore Peru's grand route of the Incas
Approx. 8 days
Lima (1 days) → Sacred Valley (1) → Sacred Valley (1) → Choquechaca (1) → Machu Picchu (1) → Machu Picchu (1) → Cusco (1) → Lima (1)
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Iguazu Falls & Andean Highlights

A grand tour of Peru and Brazil
Approx. 15 days
Lima (1 days) → Puerto Maldonado (3) → Sacred Valley (2) → Machu Picchu (1) → Cusco (2) → Iguazu Falls (2) → Rio de Janeiro (3)
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Where to go in Peru

Our recommended places

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