The capital of Peru is a great metropolis and home to around 8 million people, making it one of the largest cities in South America. Even though most tourists only use it as a gateway to the country, it deserves to be on any tourist itinerary. There is a beautiful and historical centre with colonial architecture, plenty of museums and a thriving and delicious restaurant scene. There are many different barrios (neighbourhoods) to visit, each with their own identities. Set by the Pacific Ocean, there are many wonderful spots to enjoy your first Pisco Sour while overlooking the ocean and eating the freshest ceviche!
Arequipa and Colca Valley
Arequipa city is also known as the White City (Ciudad Blanca). This is because all the buildings including colonial style homes, churches and monasteries were built from a white ashlar which is unique to this area. Close to the city there is also the spectacular Colca Valley and Colca Canyon.
Cusco and Machu Picchu
Cusco is the most visited tourist destination in Peru. It was the capital of the Inca Empire before being taken by the Spanish conquistadors. A captivating city of both Inca and colonial architecture it is the usual starting place for any trip to the awe-inspiring Machu Picchu. Missed by the Spaniards and only discovered in 1911, no trip to Peru is complete without visiting Machu Picchu.
Iquitos and the Amazon
From Iquitos city you can head into the Amazon and stay in one of the many eco-lodges found along the river. There is a huge choice of boat tours available cruising down the Amazon – ranging from the super luxurious and expensive to the cheaper and more rustic. Iquitos provides a once in a lifetime chance of seeing the jungle and all it’s flora, fauna and wildlife.
Lake Titicaca and Puno
For trips out on the highest navigable lake in the world head to Puno in the Andean highlands. Here you can take a boat to visit the small inhabited islands of Lake Titicaca and learn all about their fascinating history and culture. Puno is the folkloric capital of Peru and home to pre Inca architecture and beautiful landscapes.
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