The central Andean region is home to beautiful mountain scenery which can be explored on hikes to Machu Picchu, day trips in the Sacred Valley and boat trips on Lake Titicaca.
Peru is divided into three distinct regions; a thin desert coastal strip, home to the capital Lima, the sprawling Amazon which covers 60% of the country and, separating these two, the high altitude central region. Flanked to the west by the snow-capped mountain chain of the Andes, this area was the heart of the ancient Inca civilisation and is what attracts the vast majority of visitors to Peru’s shores. The fertile Sacred Valley follows the path of the Urubamba River from Pisac to Ollantaytambo and is charactarised by traditional agriculture, ancient Inca ruins and colourful handicraft markets.
Just beyond Ollantaytambo is the start of the four day Inca Trail, winding its way past spectacular mountain passes all the way to the lost Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. Upon reaching the Sun Gate, weary trekkers are presented with their first glimpse of one of the world’s most recognisable travel icons, the same view which Hiram Bingham would have stumbled upon back in 1911 when he rediscovered a site which the Incas managed to keep hidden from the Spanish conquistadors back in the 16th century.
Further south is the start of the Altiplano (High Plain), home to the ancient city of Cusco, the former capital of the Incan empire which sits at 3,400 metres above sea level, and Lake Titicaca, the world's highest navigable lake, shared between Peru and Bolivia.
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