Trekking through the Andes to the awe-inspiring Incan citadel of Machu Picchu is one of those ultimate bucket list experiences - an exhilarating adventure that can’t be beaten when it comes to embracing the great outdoors, absorbing epic scenery (all spiky emerald mountains, plunging valleys, and distant glacial summits), and exploring out-of-this-world ancient architecture.
That said, marvelling at Machu Picchu is only one of many, many reasons to visit Peru, not least if you’re looking for extra-special, luxury experiences melded with a sense of discovery. You’ll find a number of top-class accommodation options located near top attractions, among them Colca Lodge Spa and Hot Springs Hotel.
Surrounded by pre-Incan agricultural terraces that have been designated a Peruvian National Heritage Site, this high-end, eco-friendly gem is the perfect base from which to explore Colca Canyon (one of the world’s deepest canyons), taking in lakes and volcanoes along the route, and epic views from the Cruz de la Condor observation point. Its name derives from the colossal Andean condors you’re likely to see here - the largest bird-of-flight in the world.
To the east, the lush Amazon awaits, where you can enjoy wildlife-watching river trips and canopy treks before relaxing in your perfectly-appointed forest lodge. Posada Amazonas, for example, is an oasis of elegance deep in the jungle. There’s plenty of local life and heritage to explore in Peru, too. Andean culture is thriving, as seen in the many markets and fiestas - where better to try celebrated Peruvian cuisine?
Combining indigenous cooking with four hundred years of European (mostly Spanish) influence, it varies hugely from region to region, but look out for anticuchos (shish kebab made from marinated lamb or beef hearts) and ceviche (raw fish marinated and cured in citrus juice) - a classic dish that’s been eaten for over 2000 years. Oh, and if you’re feeling especially adventurous, you may want to try traditional roasted Guinea pig (look out for cuy on the menu). One thing’s for sure, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to curating your perfect Peruvian itinerary.