BA has launched direct flights to Lima (not that we need much excuse to visit). Let’s see the top five things to do in Peru!
1. Machu Picchu Must-See
Named as one of the New 7 Wonders of the World, this glorious Inca citadel swarms with tourists – but less so if you arrive early, on foot. High in the Andes, Machu Picchu was built in around 1450 and abandoned just a century later, as the Spanish conquistadors advanced through South America. It was only rediscovered by the outside world in 1911, by American Hiram Bingham.
The classic Inca Trail from Cusco takes four days, with extra Inca ruins along the way, and means you can arrive at Machu Picchu before the first train-load of tourists. Or check out alternative, quieter trails, such as the Salkantay Trek, which showcases even more diverse topography and ecosystems and a rare sidelong view of the Machu Picchu complex.
2. Northern Rainforest
Many visitors spend time in the rainforest in the south of Peru, to tie it in with a pilgrimage to Machu Picchu. A much-under-looked alternative is to fly to the jungle metropolis of Iquitos, the largest city in the world that cannot be reached by road, to use it as a base for exploring the Peruvian Amazon.
After a five-hour speedboat trip up the river you’ll find yourself in remote primary rainforest teeming with a rich array of flora and fauna. Expect to see a huge variety of bird life, monkeys, caiman, pink river dolphins and perhaps even a sloth. Stay at an eco-lodge such as Muyuna Lodge, which only employs guides from the local community.