It’s rare these days to find a destination where you can go from a downtown setting to literally being lost in the jungle in a matter of hours. But Peru does just that; a country which blends a diverse mixture of cultures, from the high plateaus of the Andes to the jungles surrounding the Amazon. And it’s wildlife is as colorful and vibrant as its cities and culture too.
Peru has the uncanny ability to reconnect us with nature while still providing modern conveniences and the luxury comforts of home. Ancient sacred traditions dating back centuries are not lost but are rather celebrated, and made accessible through modern technologies and advances.
Peru’s cuisine is as complex as it is delicious due to the large diversity of culture. Ingredients from steamy jungles to snow capped mountains merge to allow the adventurous traveler to tease their taste buds with new flavors.
But for all its diversity, this means attempting to tackle Peru on your own can be daunting. With so much to see and do you run the risk of missing a lot of what the country has to offer should you choose to do it alone.
So to really dive in, and make sure you don’t miss a thing, we recommend booking a tour. And the great thing for anyone wishing to travel within the next year, is that Luxury Escapes often offers 20% off the tour we chose.
The Wonders of Peru and the Amazon in a Luxury Adventure Tour
The following is what you can expect on a tour with Luxury Escapes through the wonders of Peru and the Amazon. From the destinations, to the accommodation, wildlife, and food.
Our time in Peru was outstanding, and this is an experience we can highly recommend.
This tour is the highlights of Peru on an exciting 14-day adventure, staying in first class accommodation and rural retreats with included flights and coach transfers across the country.
Explore colonial, modern and Inca culture in Lima and Cusco, learn about the ancient Inca at Ollantaytambo and Machu Picchu, experience the magic of Peruvian nature with visits to the Floating Uros Islands and stay in the Amazonian rainforest.
All this and more for only $3499 per person (twin share), valued up to $4359. ➡ Check Availability.
Peru’s capital and largest city is the perfect place to begin your Peruvian adventure, and that’s a good thing since most international travel starts from here.
Lima brings together stunning cathedrals, opulent palaces, and Pacific beaches. It also introduces you to the first traces of Incan archaeological sites, a precursor of what is to come.
Attractions in Lima
➡ Plaza Mayor was built in the 16th century, this is the birthplace of Lima. The bustling square is home to many of Lima’s most important and popular landmarks, and there are many award winning restaurants serving Peruvian Cuisine.
➡ The Government Palace. Situated on the banks of the Rimac River and framed by beautiful palm trees, the palace is the residence of the President.
Tours can be arranged along with viewing the daily changing of the guards. Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro had the palace built when he founded the city of Lima in 1535.
➡ The Monasterio de San Francisco has survived centuries even in the wake of several earthquakes, and the church and monastery are now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
And it’s no wonder, with its beautiful interior which includes stunning murals and a library consisting of some 25,000 books spanning centuries. Don’t miss the opportunity to dig a bit a deeper and check out Lima’s largest catacombs.
Larco Herrera Museum
Housed in an 18th century viceroyalty-era mansion, the museum offers visitors the chance to check out one of the finest gold and silver collections from Ancient Peru along with maybe making you blush a bit at its famous erotic archaeological collection.
Pachacamac Pre-Inca Ruins
Located along the coast, the site dates back over 2,000 years and was visited by pilgrims of many ancient Andean cultures, including the Incas.
The sacred site has become known as the Mecca of Peru. It is hard to believe how close in proximity it lies to downtown Lima.
Cusco & the Sacred Valley
It is the historical capital of both the Incan Empire and Peru. Navigate Cusco’s narrow cobblestone streets in the search of souvenirs and more exotic cuisine like Cuy (Guinea Pig).
Its higher altitude means you should slow your pace a bit so as to not get altitude sickness if you are prone. You’ll definitely sense the Andean culture becoming stronger here.
Sounding like “sexy woman” these ruins will be one of your first insights in to just how skilled the Incans were in producing their monumental structures in harmony with the landscape. You may even be able to witness a reenactment of Incan ceremonies.
Chinchero is a small Andean Indian village giving visitors beautiful views of the Sacred Valley. Rainbow lovers will love to know that it is thought to be the mythical birthplace of these colorful arcs.
This is a great place to take in a Sunday market that is far less touristy than others.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, Machu Picchu is without a doubt the most recognized and celebrated archeological wonder in South America.
You could spend a lifetime experiencing the amount of history that abounds here but any traveler will feel blessed spending whatever time they are gifted with. It is such an emotional experience witnessing this incredible feat of human design and construction and you feel honored to walk in the footsteps of Inca Kings.
The backdrop of mountains along with untamed nature makes for the most idyllic setting one could ask for. It was definitely a highlight of my travels across the world.
Maras, Moray, & Ollantaytambo
Impressive amphitheater-like terracing awaits you at Moray while shimmering white salt flats are almost unreal against the vibrant green mountains.
The Incan fortress of Ollantaytambo is so impressive many visitors say it rivals Machu Picchu.
Dive into the world’s highest navigable lake in the world, although it may be a bit chilly. The famous Thor Heyerdahl, who sailed the Pacific Ocean in a balsa wood raft, studied the craft of making totora reed boats from the indigenous Uros people that call Lake Titicaca home.
Explore the Uros culture around Puno via their man-made floating islands scattered across Lake Titicaca. These islands are constructed from the same totora reeds they use to build their boats.
Iquitos – Into the Amazon Jungle
Accessible only by air or water, Iquitos is the world’s largest city that has no road leading to it. It may seem off the beaten path as there is none, but it is a large metropolis in the jungle.
Hot and humid, being here brings out the explorer in you. It is here where you will get a taste of what true Amazonian jungle is like. Witness incredible wildlife like caiman, anacondas, numerous species of monkeys, vibrant butterflies, macaws, and much more.
Try your hand at piranha fishing or dive into shamanic healing through Ayahuasca, a legal powerful psychedelic brew made from local plants. ReNuPeRu Ethnobotanical Gardens provides more insight into the regions flora and its many uses in the modern world.
Towering walkways will get you closer to the canopy where you can see eye to eye with birds. Keep an eye on your belongings if you run into any squirrel monkeys – they almost stole our GoPro (pictured below!).
A sampling of what kind of accommodation you can expect on a tour like ours.
Hotel Jose Antonio Deluxe
Situated in the Miraflores district of Lima, you’ll have access to Lima’s beautiful beaches where surfers and hang gliders abound as well as great shopping in the nearby Larcomar Mall.
Miraflores is by far one of Lima’s nicest areas to walk around. Beautifully decorated hotel with clean crisp rooms and very comfy beds.
Sonesta Posada del Inca Yucay & Sonesta Posada Del Inca Puno
We’ve always been impressed by Sonesta Hotels traveling through the U.S. and now South America. Sonesta Posada Del Inca Puno offers beautifully manicured grounds with perfect views of Lake Titicaca.
Sonesta Posada del Inca Yucay is just 5 minutes outside of Urubamba. It was a former 18 century monastery the has been remodeled to a luxurious hotel. Its gardens offer guests the chance to see a lot of darting hummingbirds.
Ceiba Tops Lodge
A refreshing experience to have luxury accommodation surrounded by a natural setting. Just a short walk to the Amazon river and incredible wildlife viewing day and night around the grounds. Say hi to their adorable pet tapir.
No trip would be complete without trying Peru’s national dish, ceviche. It is a cold cooked dish of fish in which corvine, or sea bass, is marinated in lime juice and accompanied by chilies and onion. You may see other variations including shrimp, scallops, and calamari.
Put your adventurous mouth to the test as you try fresh cuts of alpaca or the delicious cuy. At first cuy may look a bit ominous as it is usually served whole and since it is a guinea pig it may seem like you are eating a pet but the roasted mostly dark meat Andean region’s most popular sources of meat.
Be ready to be force fed yuca fries at most meals which seems to be a staple much like French fries everywhere else. Yuca is not to be confused with the ornamental plant yucca.
You’ll also have to make a toast to Peru and try their national cocktail, the Pisco sour. It is a brandy type drink mixed with egg whites and lime or lemon juice and can knock you back so sip gradually.
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