A traditional nation set amidst landscapes of rugged intrigue and verdant paradise, Peru conjures images of iconic Inca ruins, neoclassical monuments in ambient plazas, llama herders in colourful hats, and the meandering lushness of the mighty Amazon River.

Poetic, arresting and deeply fascinating, the long and layered history of Peru has produced South America’s most famous and mysterious archeological sites, and a delightfully unique culture and cuisine. Begin your journey in Cusco, where elegant Spanish facades hang above narrow alleys where the jigsaw-like stone foundations of the old Inca capital epitomise Peru’s historic dimensions. Due north, the pine-covered foothills of the storied Sacred Valley are decorated by terraced citadels and attractive villages with wonderful markets. Sumptuous lodges with blissful hillside baths reward those who choose to hike the Inca Trail, while opulent trains will take you along spectacular mountainsides in luxury, arriving at Peru’s spellbindingly mystical Inca enclave: Machu Picchu, the outstandingly beautiful city in the clouds. With lots more to unearth, fly over the perplexing Nazca Lines, preserved in their eccentric glory for 2,000 years, and admire the aesthetically unique pre-Inca Chan Chan ruins from surfers’ paradise Trujillo.

Sample Amazonian chocolate and pisco sours in Lima, Peru’s hectic capital where stately museums and Baroque cathedrals jostle with sophisticated galleries and high-rise condos, or stroll under the graceful arches of Arequipa - the ‘White City’ constructed in ornate colonial styles from rock provided by the colossal Misti volcano. Majestic landscapes can be found in jagged Andean heights, Huacachina’s mighty yellow dunes, or in the cavernous Colca Canyon, where nesting condors soar masterfully over serene hills. Watch waddling penguins and howling sea lions on the Ballestas Islands, search think rainforest for Peruvian jaguars, or cruise the Amazon in style, watching for pink dolphins and giant river otters from a steamy river-facing jacuzzi. Despite such an exciting array of experiences, you’ll likely cherish most the memories of Peru’s people: invariably generous, with easy smiles and joyful festivals, brass bands and dance troupes, colourful textiles and ornate handicrafts - they’ll make you feel welcome from the moment you begin your Peruvian adventure. 

 

Machu Picchu

A true wonder of the Inca world, commanding tranquil views over forested hills wrapped in wispy clouds, Machu Picchu’s awe-inspiring ruins form a much-anticipated highlight to holidays in Peru. Whether the site’s palaces, temples and terraces were constructed here for isolation, protection or for the performance of rituals, what remains is a gloriously mysterious whisper to a mighty bygone civilisation.

View over Machu Picchu

The signature shot


Cultural Cusco

High-altitude and low-tempo, Cusco’s charms lie in its burgeoning cultural wealth. First designed by the Incas in a homage to the sacred puma before being conquered by the Spanish, enticing cobblestone alleys, preserved Inca temples and soaring cathedrals beg exploration off the grand, flowery Plaza de Armas. Gateway to Machu Picchu, Cusco is a traveller hotspot, with vibrant markets, delightful cafes and lively bars.

Sunrise over Plaza de Armas, Cusco

Morning sun over Plaza de Armas

San Blas neighbourhood

The neighbourhood of San Blas in Cusco, Peru

Coricancha Temple, Cusco, Peru

Coricancha Temple


Ambient Arequipa

Sprawling beneath the domineering cone of snow-capped El Misti volcano, Arequipa boasts some of the finest examples of colonial architecture in Latin America, with stunning Baroque-style arches carved intricately with floral designs. An excellent base for hiking in Andean foothills, Arequipa is a spectacularly scenic drive from the dizzying depths of Colca Canyon and its majestic condor guardians. 

Sunrise at Plaza de Armas, Arequipa, Perue

Sunrise at Plaza de Armas

El Misti volcano, Arequipa's giant frame

El Misti


Lake Titicaca

Strikingly still, brilliantly blue and surrounded by weaving terraces and the snowy peaks that lie beyond, Lake Titicaca might just be heaven on earth. At 3,800m above sea level, explore the picturesque tranquility of the world’s highest navigable lake, staying on fascinating floating islands, made entirely out of reeds by the indigenous Uros tribespeople, dressed in elegant waistcoats and floppy knit hats. 

View over Lake Titicaca, Peru

View over Lake Titicaca

Uros Floating Island, Lake Titicaca, Peru

Uros Floating Island

Traditional reed boat, Lake Titicaca, Peru

Traditional reed boat


Gastronomic Discoveries

Whether watching sunset over Lima in a swanky rooftop eatery, pausing in an atmospheric Cusco alley, or following your nose in a bustling village market, your time in Peru will unearth some sumptuous gastronomic delights. Slow-cooked shrimp casseroles, cow’s heart stew, and ceviche - raw fish marinated with lime - are specialities, rotisserie guinea pig and yellow dumplings are prepared on busy city thoroughfares, and pisco sours make for excellent sundowners after a day’s hiking. 

Shrimp ceviche from Peru

Shrimp ceviche

Fried bananas at a market stall in Iquitos, Peru

Fried bananas from an Iquitos market


Traditional Peruvian Heritage

Dressed colourfully in alpaca hair hats, thick ponchos, showy waistcoats and finely-sewn skirts, the people of Peru proudly maintain their charming culture through vibrant, cheerful festivities, unique to the folklore and faith of each district. Watch peaceful zampona (panflute) performances, behold architecture fusing European styles with indigenous imagery, and pick up bright textiles and handicrafts from traditional markers.

a villager walks through Cotahuasi Canyon – the world's deepest canyon

Villager in Cotahuasi Canyon

Traditional fabrics woven and worn in Peru

Traditional fabrics

A Peruvian Alpaca overlooking Andean scenery

The Peruvian alpaca


Nazca Lines

There’s something decidedly alien - eerily otherworldly - about these ancient geoglyphs that reveal themselves only when viewed from high above. Preserved for over 2,000 years due to the Nazca Desert’s low winds and dry climate, you’ll recognise the stylised hummingbird, the giant condor, the curl-tailed monkey and, according to some, the angular landing strips designed for vessels from another world.

Peru's Nazca Lines from the air

The Nazca Lines are a series of giant petroglyphs of a mysterious, ancient origin


Nature-Lover’s Paradise

Two-thirds rain forest, with the Andean plateaux, the Urubamba valley, Lake Titicaca and the Colca canyon all pristinely preserved, Peru’s plethora of habitats are home to a disproportionally high number of the world’s animal species. The windswept Ballestas Islands are home to blue-footed boobies and penguin colonies, while luxury River Amazon cruises snake into a realm where the natural world reigns supreme: 4,000 species of butterfly, toucans and macaws, caiman, pink dolphins and jaguars roam amidst the countless green hues of virgin forest. 

Sloth in the Peruvian Amazon

Amazonian Sloth

Incan agricultural tiers in the Sacred Valley

The Sacred Valley's Incan tiers

Birdlife on the Ballestas Islands, Peru

Birdlife on the Ballestas Islands


Planning a holiday to Peru

There are as many reasons to visit Peru as there are years of history to discover here. Lose yourself in the swirling mists of the Andes as you explore Machu Picchu, wend your way along the mighty Amazon River, or get to know the Incan city of Cusco on a Peru holiday for the ages. Wherever you journey in Peru, its long and rich heritage is evident. So is its abundant wildlife, making every walk, tour or drive a colourful adventure in its own right. Allow us to use our expert knowledge o plan your Peruvian holiday, ensuring you get the most out of this one-of-a-kind destination.


Suggested itineraries

San Blas streets, Cusco

Luxury Peru

9 days from £3,665 pp incl. flights

Showcase the best of Peru’s Machu-Picchu wonders, colonial beauty and indigenous flavour with luxury stays and a host of excursions that range from culinary classes to mountain train rides.

Machu Picchu, Peru

Highlights of Peru

12 days from £5,825 pp incl. flights

Whether it’s staying at the only hotel at Machu Picchu, enjoying a chef-led cooking course in Lima or travelling through the Andes on a luxury rail journey, this trip showcases Peru's icons at their very finest.

Sea lions in a tidal lagoon in the Galapagos off Ecuador

Wonders of Peru and the Galápagos

15 days from £8,505 pp incl. flights

In between exploring the mist-clad beauty of Machu Picchu and cruising the Galápagos Islands, discover the rhythms of Lima, Cusco and Quito, some of South America's most enticing cities.

MV Aria Amazon in Peru

Amazon Cruise & Sacred Valley of the Incas

13 days from £8,565 pp incl. flights

Explore the ancient grandeur of Machu Picchu and the enigmatic fortress ruins of the Sacred Valley before cruising through a natural wonder whose wildlife and tribes predate even the Incas – the Amazon Rainforest.

Get in touch and let a personal travel consultant help book your bespoke holiday

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