Peru, which varies greatly in climate and topography, falls into three main geographical regions—a narrow strip of desert along the coast, a region of high mountains in the center, and a large area of forested mountains and lowlands in the east.
Peru is a sanctuary for the spirit. It is a powerful, otherworldly land of stunning peaks, plunging canyons, stark deserts, and flourishing rainforests. It people, history, and landscape will renew your sense of wonder.
No other country in South America has such a wealth of ancient cultures. The legendary Inca civilization is the most well known, but their civilization left much more than spectacular Machu Picchu, the Sacred Valley and Cusco. The recently discovered and rarely visited Inca site of Choquequirao is now accessible to our clients. In the north, complex cities were erected by pre-Inca societies—the Moche, Sican and Chimu. Their treasures and pyramids continue to amaze researchers. The oldest city in the Western Hemisphere, Caral, is located just three hours from Lima. In the south, the Nazca lines present one of the world’s great archaeological mysteries. In the highlands around Lake Titicaca, populations of Quechua, Aymara and Uros honor centuries-old traditions. There you will be astounded by floating islands; the ruins of Tiahuanaco; and the necropolis of Sullustani, which displays an architectural complexity never surpassed by the Incas.
Peru is also rich in biodiversity. Its Amazon Basin is home to pink dolphins, jaguars, giant river otters, primates, thousands of butterfly varieties, and one-third of the earth’s bird species. Here you can explore the rain forest from a comfortable, environmentally-responsible jungle lodge. In the Andes and Colca Canyon, enormous condors soar above llamas, alpacas and vicuñas. Peru’s Pacific waters sustain black marlin, boobies, fur seals, sea lions, dolphins, whales and penguins.
Peruvians have developed the most celebrated cuisine in Latin America. A blend of Spanish, African and Asian flavors, its highlights include fresh ceviche, Andean trout, and native plants such as corn, potatoes and quinoa. The country is also famous for its textiles. Favored materials such as alpaca and vicuña wool are hand spun into fabulously soft sweaters. Arequipa, the “white city” of colonial-era convents and monasteries, produces some of the finest examples of hand weaving.