Peru

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Peru Cities and Regions

Machu Picchu

The spectacularly well-preserved, 15th-century Inca city of Machu Picchu lay lost in the mountains and hidden beneath a dense layer of vegetation until Yale archeologist Hiram Bingham introduced it to the world in 1911. Now, the dwellings, temples, and aqueducts are open to public exploration. Hike the Inca Trail or travel by train to walk in the footsteps of the mighty Inca rulers who, according to archaeological evidence, used this majestic area as a country retreat. See our Machu Picchu Travel Guide

Cusco

At 11,150 feet above sea level, this former Inca capital is typically remembered as the gateway to the Sacred Valley and the lost city of Machu Picchu – yet this cobbled city built upon two once clashing civilizations is an attraction in its own right, buzzing with outdoor markets and museums, ancient ruins, exquisite cuisine and nightlife that lasts until dawn. See our Cusco Travel Guide

Lima

The City of Kings – so-called because the city was founded on January 6th, or “The day of the Kings” in Christian tradition – is a cultural melting pot, mixing modern-day mega clothing stores, hotels, casinos, and a vibrant nightlife with authentic colonial architecture and worthwhile museums. See our Lima Travel Guide

Peruvian Amazon

The mighty Amazon River begins its 2,000-mile gush across the South American continent in the Peruvian Andes. Hire a guide and journey into the wild jungle lowlands of Manu, a remote national park and protected biosphere reserve. The unspoiled setting is an ornithologist’s dream, with hundreds of native bird species.

Iquitos

Built up during the rubber boom of the early 20th century, this jungle-bound city is accessible only by air or boat. As Peru’s busiest freshwater port, punctuated by an expansive canal network lined with floating homes and markets, Iquitos is a departure point for Amazon cruises to Manaus, Brazil. Hop on a boat and cruise past thatched huts, playful parrots and macaws, and jungle scenery.

Arequipa

Nestled in the shadows of the snowcapped volcano El Misti, Arequipa has been appropriately nicknamed “the white city” for stately buildings and monuments constructed out of stillar, a sparkling local volcanic rock. Stroll past historic Spanish colonial architecture and animated street scenes before exploring Colca Canyon, the deepest in the world.

Chiclayo

Visitors to coastal Chiclayo, known as the “city of friendship,” won’t need a bullwhip to fend off treacherous villains on their Indiana Jones-like quest. Visit the unscathed tomb of the ancient Lord of Sipán as well as mystical Túcume, an unearthed pyramid feared by locals. Take in the grand display of Lord Sipán’s jewels and burial artifacts in the Museo Tumbas Reales de Sipán. 

Huaraz

Huaraz is snuggled into a 10,000-foot-high Andean valley. The soaring snowcapped mountains that dominate almost every vista are literally breathtaking (you may need a few days to acclimate to the thin air). Intrepid trekkers can hike through glacial lakes and steep terrain.

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