When it comes to tourism attractions, Peru is truly blessed. Luxury travelers can enjoy it all in plush comfort too. First there is the Inca citadel Machu Picchu, of course, the most popular archaeological site in South America and one of the world's great wonders. You can get there in style by train and stay at great luxury hotels there or in the Sacred Valley. Fortunately Peru is not a one-trick pony though: there is plenty to see beyond one mysterious lost city in the mountains.
The jumping off point of Cusco (sometimes spelled Cuzco) is one of the most enchanting and attractive cities in Latin America. Located at a height of 11,000 feet/3,500 meters in the Andes, the city is a mix of ancient Inca walls and colonial architecture, with surprises at the end of every cobblestone alley. In the Sacred Valley between Cusco and Machu Picchu are dozens of other sites worth visiting, such as Pisac and Ollantaytambo, all backed up by spectacular mountain scenery and an ever-growing choice of upscale lodges and resorts. This area is emerging as both a honeymoon destination and an adventure traveler magnet.
The colonial city of Arequipa is another highlight, with white-capped mountains in the background of the main plaza and a rambling monastery that is a photographer's delight. Travelers with more time can tour nearby Colca Canyon, where the condors fly and the scenery changes completely.
Holiday tours can also fly over the mysterious Nazca desert drawings, take a boat trip on Lake Titicaca, or go on an island wildlife adventure around Ballestas Islands near Paracas. And that's just the south. There's plenty more to see and do off this main tourist route in the rest of the country and more interesting ruins up north that are the oldest in the Americas. The eastern part of the country leaves the mountains behind: it's the thick and hot jungle of the Amazon, where there are adventure lodges and luxurious small ship river cruises.
Follow these links for detailed reviews of the best Peruvian resorts, hotels, and adventure travel tours:
Some of the finest trekking in South America is in Peru, especially the old Inca trails and the area near Haurez, in the northern half of the country. The massive mountains reach to 18,000 feet and are permanently topped with snow.
Almost ten percent of Peru is in some kind of protected zone, be it national park, national forest, or sanctuary of some kind. Some of these zones are as large as a small country. The Manu National Park and Biosphere Reserve and a few others along the Amazon boast some of the greatest diversity of flora and fauna on the planet.
This country has really stepped up its game in recent years when it comes to luxury hotels and upscale adventure tours, so high-end travelers can find lodging in Peru that is truly a delight, especially in Lima, Cusco, the Sacred Valley, and Machu Picchu.