Top Reasons to Make Peru Your Next Holiday Destination
It’s Easy to Get There
In May, British Airways launched a new service to Lima from Gatwick airport three times per week, making it easier to get to Peru. The decision by the airline to reopen the route to Peru which had been closed since 1982 has helped to bring this South American destination closer to home.
Lima is Resurgent
Chris Moss, the destination expert for The Telegraph Traveller’s Guide to Peru writes that the city of Lima was once dingy and even dangerous, but is now rising in tandem with the economy of Peru. Ceviche has suddenly become very popular all over the world by putting the city’s varied and rich gastronomy on the map. In addition to its amazing culinary delights, the city also boasts many museums, a glorious old town, and the imposing eighteen hundred-year-old ruins at Huaca Pucllana.
And Then There’s Machu Picchu…
The ancient city of Machu Picchu tops the bucket list for many people all over the world and is currently the most visited tourist destination in South America. Machu Picchu can be reached via a lofty railway line o,r with the right approach and careful planning, via hiking trails where you will ultimately discover a site as engaging and enchanting as any other on the planet.
The Amazon Abounds
Peru boasts no fewer than 3 Amazon regions, including:
- Riverine National Parks and Reserves around Iquitos;
- The Tambopata Reserve which is well connected to Lima and Cuzco and where a number of new lodges are opening with boat trips that are becoming increasingly popular;
- The Chachapoyas-Gocta-Kuelap Circuit with its lofty waterfall, ruins, and a mummy museum.
Cuzco Takes You Back
Thought to be the oldest city in the Americas that is continuously inhabited, Cuzco retains its many tangible links with the pre-Columbia era including the ruins of the Inca Temple, Coricancha, which was demolished in1533 by the Spanish.
Beyond its history, there are many other interesting diversions in Cuzco. According to Moss, much of the centre has been pedestrianised which makes it easy for tourists to get acclimatised while drifting around the quaint streets, dropping into art galleries, churches, and former palaces and convents turned into modern hotels.
It’s Got the Sacred Valley
Moss points out that the Sacred Valley is normally the ‘bit in-between’ for travellers rushing between Machu Picchu and Cuzco. It is usually traversed at speed by bus or rail or glanced at casually while checking how much battery power is left in the camera. However, writes Moss, ‘by standing at the edge of Moray’s enormous circular agricultural terraces, I was struck by the fact that, rather like the Fertile Crescent of Mesopotamia, this is the actual centre of the Incan world. How can one understand the scale of an empire if you don’t understand how its runners, warriors, and builders were fed?’ he asks.
The Exquisite Beaches
When basking in the scorching heat of Peru’s beaches in the northwest, the chilly Andes peaks seem a long way off. Probably the top spot most popular with beach bums is the district of Piura, famous for its fine golden shores and tropical climate. Tourists flock to resorts like Mancora where crystalline waters, powdery sand beaches, and rolling surf keep them visiting for longer than they had planned. Healing patients, especially, find Peru’s beaches a haven for relaxation which may be the reason why post mastectomy swimwear is very popular in this part of the country.
It’s Home to the Nazca Lines
It is thought that these curious geoglyphs that depict symbols of living things like birds, animals, and strange looking men known as ‘astronauts ‘ were etched into the sands of the desert sometime between 500BC and AD500. Their sheer size means the lines can only be viewed from the air that makes a visit to Nazca both mystifying and awe-inspiring. Small planes at a nearby airfield are used to fly over the desert but be aware that air sickness is a real possibility as the aircraft zooms in and out over the sands.
There’s an Oasis
Huacachina, an oasis in the southwest region of Peru, is more reminiscent of an Arabian landscape than South American. Although it is only a legend that this unbelievable lagoon is home to a mermaid, one thing is for sure: Huacachina is one of the most attractive and peaceful destinations in this part of Peru as well as a great spot for sandboarding.