Rob Murray-John

Peru Travel Expert

From mighty Machu Picchu to the mysterious landscape carvings of Nazca, Peru has deep roots. But it also has a thriving, versatile and modern culture. Lima has guts, with its 80s ‘chica’ art movement that coloured the city in. And the Amazon has glory, with its astounding biodiversity, breathtaking hikes, and shamans with whom you’ll bless the earth. We’ll bring you by kayak to the glassy mirror of Lake Sandoval, to catch your own fish supper.

Rob Murray-John

Peru Travel Expert

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Peru Highlights

Peru travel

EXPERIENCE PERUVIAN CULTURE

Take a deep dive into the heartland of the Inca empire. Peru is one of the most biodiverse countries on Earth, where indigenous, European, and Asian residents create an explosion of fascinating cultures. Seek out the elusive scarlet macaw on a luxury Amazon boat trip, view the Inca ruins and salt flats from a helicopter, or join a local shaman for a private Andean earth ceremony you’ll never forget. A break in Peru is always full of surprises.

TAKE THE ALTERNATIVE INCA TRAIL

Go beyond the legendary Machu Pichu to discover parts of the Sacred Valley most never see. Your guide will take you through indigenous villages steeped in ancient tradition and reward you with special access to the Sun Gate, thought to be an ancient guardhouse that only permitted the elite entrance to this important site. If time is of the essence, you can take one of the planet’s most breathtaking train rides to the three-quarter point of the trail and hike the last 6 km to Machu Pichu.

WHAT MAKES PERU UNIQUE?

Some 2,000 years ago, ancient Peruvians began the slow, patient work of carving shallow lines into the chalk of Nazca. The resulting images – many stretch up to 1,200 ft in length – defy easy explanation. You just can’t see or absorb the whole mural from eye level. Who was it that flew so high, skimming the belly of the clouds, that they could know what was being drawn below them? Have you ever dried to draw a tiger with your eyes closed? It is not easy. But, gladly, our tailor-made Peru holidays introduce you openly into these quiet mysteries and the reasons Peru is just so special.

GASTRONOMY IN THE SACRED VALLEY

Peru is home to around 3,000 potato varieties and is world-renowned for its gastronomy. That makes planting tubers followed by a private dinner with Chinchero’s celebrated Manuel Choqque (aka ‘the potato whisperer’) a bucket-list essential for foodies. Double this up with a visit to Mater Iniciativa, masterminded by Chef Virgilio Martinez (who has appeared on TV shows MasterChef and Chef’s Table) and learn first-hand just how vital Peru’s contribution to the world of food is.

MARCHING ON TO MACHU PICCHU

These bristling fortifications, softened by the lathering of the weather (and the hands and feet of those who climb here), Machu Picchu is an almost recklessly beautiful sight. At such great heights as these, its existence seems impossible. How? How was it built? When Hiram Bingham III ‘discovered’ (we should say, ‘rediscovered’) this soaring structure in 1911, he was actually nosing around for another lost city – Vlicabamba. When he arrived, three families were already living among the ruins. So why continue the search? Today, Bingham’s name lives on in the train that can ferry you to the summit. It’s a kind of legacy.

SACRED VALLEY GLAMPING

The remarkable foggy foothills, sweeping valleys, and lofty fortresses that make up the enchanting Sacred Valley are the kinds of bookmarks great hikes are made of. Let us take you on the less travelled Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and immerse yourself in ancient local cultures with a private shaman service before enjoying fine food and wine with the locals by the Urubamba River.

HONOUR THE EARTH

The earth is holy. The earth is sentient. The earth is not just ‘earth.’ It can hurt, and feel hurt. Shamanism – among our travel experts, who have scoured the far edges of the world, this counts among their most meaningful experiences. They recommend it with this distant, personal warmth that makes it feel like the most gentle of gifts. Not far from the banks of the Urubamba River, you’ll give thanks to Pachamama, the Mother of the Earth to you and I, in this careful and ancient Pago a la Tierra ceremony.

Lake Titicaca, Bolivia

LAKE TITICACA

The pre-Inca history and ancient traditions lived and breathed in the area surrounding Lake Titicaca will floor the most seasoned of travelers. We’ll take you beyond the world’s highest lake and Uros Floating Islands to meet the weaving communities of Taquile and Copamaya, and engage with the islanders as they celebrate Puno Week with a colorful parade of song and dance.

Lima, Peru

LIMA

Perched above a dramatic coastline of crumbling cliffs, Lima is the epitome of ancient and modern Latin America. Let us take you on a bike tour around the cool Barranco neighborhood and explore the vibrant street art districts. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, we’ll hook you up with a chef from one of the city’s world-class restaurants (Central, Maido, and Astrid y Gaston are all in the top 50) for a fishing trip followed by private cooking lessons to master the local delicacy, ceviche. Bed down in the palatial Hotel B, where gorgeous paintings and opulent interiors await.

Amazon River Jungle

PERUVIAN AMAZON

Explore the winding waterways of the expansive Peruvian Amazon by immersing yourself in one of the world’s most biodiverse environments. Let us arrange for you to take part in a ground-breaking conservation project from the Tambopata Research Centre, where hard work may be rewarded with a rare sighting of a scarlet macaw. Luxury cruises with Delfin Amazon allow you to take a backseat and soak up the surroundings with gourmet food and fine wines.

Peru Highlights

WHERE TO STAY

A thriving, modern culture that has grown out of its spectacular Incan origins, Peru boasts a distinctive range of luxury hotels, boutiques and resorts to suite any taste – whether you rest your head in the metropolis or rest up on the Atacama.

A ROOM WITH A VIEW

The Incans, in their highland palaces, knew the meaning of luxury. Today, Peru is no less short of luxury hotels and boutique gems, whether you’re after pure indulgence or world-class service. You can get a ripe taste of this from the Belmond Palacio Nazarenas, in Cusco’s elegant San Blas quarter, with its satisfying colonial style and charmingly restored rooms (all with the peace of a convent. Because it once was a convent.) You can drink in views of the city and the mountains from the same veranda. Two birds, one stone. Etc.

A WINDOW ONTO THE WORLD

Spectacularly secluded on the vibrant, orange-shine waters of Lake Titicaca, Tikilaka Lodge is one of the country’s many boutique hotel experiences in Peru. Thriving on its rustic, locally-sourced foot, earthen tones, and outstanding natural surroundings, Titilaka is – to put it another way – a kind of picture frame to watch Peru’s most breathtaking scenery from the luxury comfort of one of the country’s best hotels, all within a stone’s throw of the eye-popping ‘pink city’ of Lampa.

AT THE BASE OF MACHU PICCHU

Short of sleeping at the citadel itself (which you can’t, sadly), the colonial-inspired splendour of the luxury hotels in the adjacent Peruvian Cloud Forest offer a perfect launching-off point. Inkaterra Machu Picchu is our personal favourite – with its romantic, restored rooms masked within the lush belly of the jungle that surrounds it – where ripe, green leaves splay and fall across white plaster walls, and the Temple of the Moon seems to arch far above its terracotta tiled roof. It’s fit for an Incan prince. Similarly, and buried deep into the surrounding jungle, is the luxury boutique atmosphere of the Belmond Sanctuary Lodge – a gateway into the Incan empire that lies beyond.

  • Population Population 29,700,000
  • Capital Capital Lima
  • Currency Currency Nuevo Sol
  • Time Difference Time Difference GMT - 5
  • Expert Tip Expert Tip "Try chica, the local brew in the small village of Maras - makes for a very unusual trip to the pub"

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