One of the great hubs of humans, Peru has nurtured a series of advanced civilizations over the past 2,000 years. Reaching its architectural peak in Cusco and Machu Picchu, the mighty Inca Empire is the most renowned of these. But the ancient mudbrick city of Chan Chan and the golden treasures of Sipán (Peru’s equivalent of King Tut’s tomb) are just as dazzling.
With the Andes running down the nation’s spine, Peru also offers plenty of scope when it comes to mountain adventure. The Inca and Salkantay trails are counted among the world’s top trekking routes. Snowcapped peaks, glaciers and alpine lakes are the main attracton of Huascarán National Park. While massive Lake Titicaca is renowned for its reed boats and floating villages.
Beyond the Andes lies the Peruvian Amazon, best explored on multi-day riverboat trips from Iquitos or jungle lodges near Manu and Tambopata national parks deep in the rainforest.