Peru is undoubtedly one of the highlights of Latin America, with so many ancient, modern and natural wonders to offer the inquisitive traveller. The Inca Empire flourished in the mountains of Peru, secure at the top of the Andes, surrounded by the sea and the Amazon rainforest, until the arrival of the Conquistadores. Spanish rule subsequently rebuilt many of Peru's cities, giving them a European flavour which is still apparent today. This fascinating blend of Inca Civilisation and Colonial Heritage gives Peru a unique culture, a country in which you can find the descendants of the Incas amid the modern world. Lima is the cosmopolitan capital, famed for its excellent museums, and world-class cuisine.
Peru is made up of three distinct regions: the coastal desert strip, including Lima, Peru's simple but pleasant beach resorts, and home to the mysterious Nazca Lines etches in the southern desert. Through the central region runs the snow-capped mountain chain of the Andes, heart of the ancient Inca civilisation. We also find the 'Altiplano' or High Plain and Lake Titicaca, the world's highest navigable lake. In stark contrast to these arid and unforgiving landscapes, we find to the east the green, humid slopes that run into the lush tropical plains of the Amazon basin. Bursting with biodiversity.
Modern Peru's culture shows all the hallmarks of its historical antecedents. Modern day descendants of ancient cultures such as the Incas and Aymaras can be found not only in the cities but also in the countryside, where bustling markets abound. Market day is a big event in places like Chinchero in the Sacred Valley, where locals dressed in traditional clothing come to sell their farmed produce both for money and bartering for other goods. Many families and villages continue to produce colourful hand-woven articles, carrying on an ancient weaving tradition, in infinitely better quality than modern machine-made replicas.
Young Peruvians have an international outlook, with links to the rest of Latin America, United States and Europe, while retaining many of their parents' religious beliefs. Older generations tend to be more reserved and socially conservative, and most have a strong Catholic faith, linking back to the Spanish colonial past.
Each region boasts delights of animal and plant life for the traveller: colonies of sea lions and marine birds on the Ballestas Islands in the Pacific; Condors & Hawks, Pumas & Bears in the forest wilderness of the Andes, home to many unique species of orchid; and the dense, impenetrable Amazon rainforest, teeming with exotic birds, monkeys and insects, where giant bromeliads can take a century to flower.
The land of the Incas, famed for the magnificent citadel of Machu Picchu, is a living testament to the once great empire whose golden treasures continue to be unearthed each day. One can see ancient ruins shrouded in mist and mystery dotted throughout the country, whilst on the coast unknown peoples have etched large images and mysterious lines in the desert at Nazca which can only be fully appreciated from the air. In Cusco, Inca foundations blend with stunning colonial mansions and many churches show a fascinating mix of pagan and Christian beliefs. The mysterious Nazca Lines etched into the Southern desert also give a glimpse of prehistoric peoples.
Peru's proximity to the equator gives it a sub-tropical climate, although much variation is caused by altitude. Coastal areas have moderate to warm temperatures with high humidity year-round , and Lima itself is renowned for its overcast skies. In the Andes rain is frequent during the summer (December to March) while the winter skies are often clear with temperatures getting lower, especially at night.
Find inspiration from these pre-fabricated itineraries, all of which are 100% tailorable to match your personal interests and travel preferences. Start planning your journey with our expert advisors, for first-hand advice and specialist inspiration.
Journey through the Andes with stunning landscapes taking you to the ancient citadel of Machu Picchu. Visit stunning colonial cities and visit remote islands on the magnificent Lake Titicaca.
Lima - Arequipa - Colca Canyon - Lake Titicaca - Sacred Valley of the Incas - Machu Picchu - Cusco
from £3,511 with flights
The Andean mountains generate wildly contracting landscapes and cultures with desert and the Nazca Lines on the coast, soaring peaks by the Lost City of the Incas and lush rainforest.
Lima - Ica(Nazca) - Lima - Arequipa - Lake Titicaca - Cusco - Machu Picchu - Cusco - Amazon - Lima
from £3,697 with flights
Rambling in the stunning Andean countryside, we trek the ancient Inca Trail to the Citadel of Machu Picchu, passing remote villages steeped in history and maintaining a traditional way of life.
Lima - Arequipa - Colca - Lake Titicaca / Puno - Sacred Valley - Inca Trail - Machu Picchu - Cusco - Lima
from £3,557 with flights
Journey to Arequipa, the 'White City', Lake Titicaca, the world's highest navegable lake, and discover the ancient civilisations of Cusco, culminating in the citadel of Machu Picchu.
Lima - Arequipa - Lake Titicaca / Puno - Sacred Valley - Machu Picchu - Cusco
from £2,851 with flights
From the comfort of a river boat, we explore the pristine exuberant vegetation of the Amazon rainforest, the flora and fauna and discover the people who live along the riverbanks.
Quito - Amazon Cruise - Lima - Cusco - Machu Picchu - Cusco - Lima
from £3,980 with flights
High on the mountainside, protected by jungle and a deep canyon, Machu Picchu was an ancient stronghold. We see the descendants of the Incas and explore their heritage.
Lima - Cusco - Machu Picchu - Lima
from £2,388 with flights
Lake Titicaca has a serene tranquility and small isolated farming communities preserving their traditional way of life. We visit the exuberant rainforest and the history of the Andes.
Lima - Amazon - Sacred Valley - Machu Pichu - Cusco - Lake Titicaca
from £4,569 with flights
Discover ancient cultures, mountain landscapes and the diversity of the Amazon rainforest with your little explorers, on this family-orientated tour of Peru.
Lima - Amazon - Sacred Valley - Machu Picchu - Cusco - Lima
from £3,117 with flights
Perched high in the Andean Mountains, Cusco, Machu Picchu and the "Sacred Valley of the Incas" tell the story of the Inca Empire and the colonial legacy of the Conquistadores.
from £1,797 with flights
Explore the Inca Empire including the remote Colca Canyon and staying in the "Sacred Valley", taking the trains to Machu Picchu and along magnificent Andean landscapes from Lake Titicaca to Cusco.
Lima - Arequipa - Colca Canyon - Lake Titicaca / Puna - Sacred Valley - Machu Pichu - Cusco
from £2,778 with flights
Step back in time to explore landlocked Bolivia and the riches of Potosi. Cross mysterious Lake Titicaca perched at the top of the Andean mountains, travelling by train to Cusco and Machu Picchu.
Santa Cruz - Sucre - La Paz - Puno / Lake Titicaca - Sacred Valley - Machu Picchu - Cusco - Lima
from £3,494 with flights
Cross continent from coast to the high Andean mountains with remote villages; Cosmopolitan Cities, Inca archaeology and dramatic landscapes
Brazil - Argentina - Bolivia - Peru -
from £4,998 with flights
Cross Continent with a cruise deep in the Amazon Rainforest, Cosmopolitan Cities, Colonial Heritage and magnificent Iguassu Falls, combine with stunning Andean Landscapes.
Argentina - Brazil - Bolivia - Peru -
from £8,342 with flights
Cross Continent with the lush forest of the Lake District. From tropical beaches to the high Andes with cosmopolitan cities, magnificent waterfalls, colonial and Inca heritage.
Brazil - Chile - Argentina - Bolivia - Peru -
from £5,245 with flights
The stunning setting of Rio de Janeiro, Copacabana on the Beach and high on Lake Titicaca, with a luxury train journey across Andean mountain landscapes to Cusco, Sacred Valley and the Citadel of the Incas
Brazil - Bolivia - Peru -
from £3,716 with flights
Cruise the Galapagos Islands. experience the Andean mountains, colonial heritage and Inca civilisation. Option to continue to Lake Titicaca, La Paz and the stunning setting of Rio de Janeiro.
Ecuador - Peru - Bolivia - Brazil -
from £5,114 with flights
Cruise the Galapagos Islands for close encounters with friendly wildlife, combined with the landscapes of the Andean mountains, colonial heritage and ancient Inca civilisation.
Peru - Ecuador -
from £5,687 with flights
Expedition into the remote salt flats and lagoons with flamingoes in the high Andes and Atacama desert, across mountains and valleys to Machu Picchu
Chile - Peru - Bolivia -
from £5,915 with flights
Oasis and rivers of Pacific coastal desert, lead us to High Andean lagoons, lakes and a train journey from Lake Titicaca to Cusco and Machu Picchu, then explore the Amazon forest.
Peru - Chile - Bolivia -
from £5,093 with flights
The descendant of the Empire of the Incas maintain their identity and traditions blending with colonial history, in a setting of impressive mountains landscapes and the riches of Potosi
Peru - Bolivia -
from £4,082 with flights
Select a location to find out more about where to stay and what to do in each of these fascinating places. If where you are looking to visit is not mentioned please contact a specialist advisor as these are only some of the hand-picked places we have visitied.