Peru is one of the most diverse and dramatic countries in South America, providing a real snapshot of all the delights this buzzing continent has to offer. Our Peru specialists have put together their top ten reasons to visit this stunning country…
The legendary Inca Trail is generally considered to be one of the best treks in the world and is undoubtedly the most famous hike in South America. The journey to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Machu Picchu is unique and challenging and follows an ancient trail established by the Incas. It’s a spectacularly beautiful four-day trek studded with ruins from the Inca civilisation, revealing a fascinating story as it travels deep into Peru’s mysterious and complex past. Here’s the lowdown on trekking the Inca Trail.
The legendary Inca Trail may be revered as one of the best treks in the world, but it's not the only way to arrive at the spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Site of Machu Picchu. There are a handful of alternative routes to reach this impressive lost city, each offering something slightly different and appealing to different types of travellers. Read on for what we consider to be the best alternative ways to get to Machu Picchu...
Peru is bursting with archaeological sites and sacred cities scattered across the country. Home to the largest, the oldest and most iconic pre-Colombian ruins on the continent; Peru is one of the best places to explore a wealth of Ancient civilisations. Here at Imagine Latin America, we have put together the most significant and interesting sites in Peru to start you off on your archaeological adventure!
Peru, undoubtedly boasts the finest cuisine in Latin America and its capital city Lima is one of the culinary capitals of the world. The countries varying terrain, numerous micro-climates and ancient history intertwine to create a host of tantalising and diverse flavours. Our Peru experts have put together their favourite dishes (and drinks) to inspire and whet your appetite for a holiday to Peru.
Peru is a thrill seeker's dream. With so many diverse ecosystems and terrains, it is the perfect adventure playground. With hiking, horse riding, snorkelling, rafting, zip lining, and surfing, there really is something for everyone. With so much variety on offer, we’ve helped you out and narrowed down our top five adventure activities to help you get out and explore the country’s natural wonders...
Rich in history, culture and wildlife, family holidays in Peru have it all! From the magnificent Amazon jungle to the impressive Colca Canyon and Lake Titicaca, and of course not forgetting Machu Picchu - to name just a few highlights, there is something for every family member in Peru.
Having completed the Inca Trail 45 times, Latin America specialist Sonia knows her stuff! Here she gives some tips about what is absolutely essential to bring with you when doing the Inca Trail. You will be provided with a duffle bag which will be taken by our porters to the tents every night – you should fill it with clean clothes and all toiletries you’ll need for the night time. In terms of the packing list to take with you during the days, here’s Sonia’s lowdown:
Belmond Hotel Monasterio
Best for: Culture History, Luxury, Honeymoon
The Belmond Hotel Monasterio in Cusco is one of South America’s legendary hotels, and nowhere else can boast such a storied history. Explore the Monasterio’s fascinating Inca and Spanish colonial roots, while enjoying contemporary five-star luxury.
To start planning your tailor-made holiday, call us on (646) 934-8942
Few hotels in the world are infused with history on the scale of Belmond Hotel Monasterio in Cusco.
Built on top of an Inca palace in 1595, this former Spanish monastery on the city’s Plazoleta Nazarenas has a storied past that could detain you for days, which reveals itself in the exquisite art that adorns the walls, the stone columns that rise from a series of inner courtyards, the baroque chapel an d even a three-hundred-year-old cedar tree. Despite its age, this hotel’s 126 rooms and suites, originally the dormitories for the Jesuits stationed here, are far from monastic and in fact supremely comfortable befitting the hotel’s five-star status. No two are exactly alike, but all are decorated to reflect the building’s colonial and Catholic heritage: burned yellow walls hung with religious art, and antique wooden beds, tables and chairs, and window shutters that open to reveal views of the courtyard or the red tile rooftops of Cusco. Do note that some of the Superior Rooms are really quite small, and that many rooms have pure oxygen pumped into them to alleviate the worst effects of altitude.
The Illary Restaurant, adjacent to the main courtyard, is a contemporary luxury hotel restaurant, featuring Peruvian and international cuisine, while El Tupuay Restaurant, housed in what was once the monastery's refectory, is a more traditional Peruvian restaurant, open for breakfast and for Saturday's Inca Dinner. After a full day exploring the city, the Belmond Hotel Monasterio offers relaxation in the form of stress-busting aromatherapy massages and beauty treatments, or you can unwind as a Bath Butler draws you the perfect relaxing bath. The Monasterio also has a resident expert in religious art and Peruvian history who can take you on a fascinating tour of the extensive art collection.
Cusco’s ancient alleyways and cobbled streets are made for exploring by foot. Don’t miss the Plaza de Armas and its 16th-century cathedral, the Qorikancha (Temple of the Sun), and the artists of the San Blas neighbourhood. The extraordinary Incan ruins of Sacsayhuaman and the market town of Pisac are also within easy reach. Shop for stylish alpaca scarves and knitwear at Kuna and Sol Alpaca, and silver jewellery at Ilaria. Feast on Novo Andino cuisine at Limo, which overlooks the Main Square, and sample inventive cocktails at the Museo del Pisco bar.
When to go
Cuzco’s location and altitude result in only two seasons: rainy and dry. The rainy season typically lasts from November to March, with the heaviest rains arriving in January and February. The best time to visit Cuzco and the surrounding area is during April-October.
To start planning your tailor-made holiday, call us on (646) 934-8942
Things to do
Pisac Indian Market and Ollantaytambo Fortress
In the morning you will explore the sounds and colours of Pisac Market where indigenous communities come to sell their products. In the afternoon, visit the stunning Inca site of Ollantytambo, thought to be used as a fortress during the Inca resistance.
Chinchero town, Moray and Maras
Uncover hidden sites in the Sacred Valley for an intimate adventure through Inca history. Marvel at unspoilt beauty of the town and stunning archaeological site in Chinchero.
FD Private Sacred Valley of the Incas
Spend your day visiting the most outstanding sites around the Sacred Valley, experience local traditions and learn about the history and culture of the Incas.
Holiday ideas including a stay in this property
Lima, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu Cuzco, Lake Titicaca & Arequipa
Combining breath-taking landscapes and rich Andean culture, this itinerary packs in the ultimate highlights of Peru, all whilst staying in some of Peru's most luxurious and unique accommodation, taking in Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca and Cuzco.
Lima, Cusco, Salkantay Lodge to Lodge Adventure, Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca
This itinerary will take you on a road less travelled as you journey to the iconic Machu Picchu. Experience Peru's spectacular topography, ancient culture and immerse yourself in the country's living culture, all whilst staying in utter luxury.