Peru has it all, from ancient history to active adventures to a booming gastronomic scene. The number of shamans in this country is second only to India, and approximately 90 micro-climates can be found from border to border. And even more legend and lore can be found in the depths of the Amazon.
The capital of Peru, Lima, sits perfectly perched on the cliffs alongside the ocean, but despite its close proximity to the water, it is the second-driest capital on earth. Museums, art galleries, and nightclubs are around every corner, and its gastronomic scene is thriving. While in the city, there are many sights to see as well; pre-Columbian pyramids and colonial churches can be found, as well as the Band of Holes, formations similar to crop circles. Be sure to visit the Historic Centre of Lima, and UNESCO World Heritage site. We recommend resting your head at Belmond Miraflores Park or JW Marriott Hotel Lima.
Cuzco & Machu Picchu
While most people have seen the pictures, they do absolutely no justice to standing on the mountaintop overlooking Machu Picchu. This UNESCO World Heritage site, which is also crowned a New Wonder of the World, stands at the top of the Andes mountains and is bounded by another imperial city, Cuzco. Both sites are relics left behind by the Incan empire, previously lost to the jungle for 500 years. Stay at Belmond Hotel Monasterio, a converted monastery only two blocks from Cuzco’s main square, or Inkaterra Machu Picchu, the ultimate cloud-forest paradise.
Arequipa & Puno
The second-largest city in Peru, Arequipa, makes the perfect hop-off point for trekking, rafting, or visiting Cañón de Colca. The city center, a listed UNESCO World Heritage site, features baroque buildings carved from white volcanic sillar stone, giving the city the nickname ‘Ciudad Blanca' (White City). If you stay overnight, check out the Hotel Libertador Arequipa. Just a 5-hour drive from Arequipa, Puno serves as a base for those wanting to visit Lake Titicaca. In addition to being the “folkloric capital” of Peru, many inhabitants here still wear the colorful traditional dress. We recommend the Libertador Lago Titicaca, a private-island hotel, for overnight accommodations.