Peru is a country in South America that's home to a section of Amazon rainforest and Machu Picchu
. Peru is as complex as its most intricate and exquisite weavings. Festivals mark ancient rites, the urban forerunner beams innovation and nature brims with splendid diversity.
Visitors pilgrimage to the glorious Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, an ancient Incan city high in the Andes mountains. The region around Machu Picchu, including the Sacred Valley, Inca Trail and colonial city of Cusco, is rich in archaeological sites. On Peru's arid Pacific coast is Lima, the capital, with a preserved colonial center and important collections of pre-Columbian art. Machu Picchu is by far the most sought after tourist attraction, yet this feted site is just a flash in a 5000-year history of peoples. Explore the dusted remnants of Chan Chan
, the largest pre-Columbian ruins in all the Americas. Fly over the puzzling geoglyphs etched into the arid earth at Nazca. Or venture into the rugged wilds that hem the stalwart fortress of Kuelap. Lima's great museums reveal in full detail the sophistication, skill and passion of these lost civilizations. Visit remote communities and see how old ways live on. Immerse yourself, and you will leave Peru a little closer to the past.
The diversity of Peru's people and cultures is reflected in a rich tradition of festivals, dance and music. In the Andes, the plaintive wail of the flute and beat of the drum accompany songs depicting indigenous life while dancers masked as devils and spirits are a marriage of pagan and Christian beliefs. In the jungle, ceremonial music and dance are a window into tribal life. And along the coast, a blend of elegant Spanish sounds and vibrant African rhythms reflect the Conquest and later slave labor of the New World.
Peru also offers plenty of adventure. Giant sand dunes, chiseled peaks and Pacific breaks a few heartbeats away from the capital's rush-hour traffic: from downtown Lima to smack-dab nowhere, this vast country translates to paradise for the active traveler. All the usual suspects - rafting, paragliding, zip lines and bike trails - are present. Make sure you get travel insurance for Peru
so that you are covered in case of an accident. Spot scarlet macaws in the Amazon or catch the sunset over the dusty remnants of an ancient civilization. Take this big place in small bites and don't rush. Delays happen. Festivals can swallow you whole for days. And that's when you realize: in Peru the adventure usually lies in getting there.
Another popular activity to do in Peru is to visit its wildlife in the Amazon Rainforest that can be also considered as an adrenaline sport thanks to spending time among wild animals. The variety of wildlife available adds another level to the enticing attractions of Peru, with 84 of the earth's 104 known life zones, Peru is rich in wildlife diversity. The Amazon basin is home to pink dolphins, jaguars, giant river otters, primates, 4,000 types of butterflies, and one-third of the world's 8,600 bird species.
Peru offers a delicious culinary variety: ceviche with slivers of fiery chili and corn, slow-simmered stews, velvety Amazonian chocolate - in the capital of Latin cooking, the choices dazzle. Great geographic and cultural diversity has brought ingredients ranging from highland tubers to tropical jungle fruits to a complex cuisine of Spanish, indigenous, African and Asian influence. Explore the bounty of food markets. Sample grilled anticuchos (beef skewers) on the street corners and splurge a little on exquisite novoandina (Peruvian nouvelle cuisine).
Welcome to a place of mythical beliefs where ancient pageants unwind to the tune of booming brass bands. Peru's rich cultural heritage becomes alive, real, and visceral when you are immersed streetside in the swirling madness of a Peruvian festival
. It's an experience you won't soon forget, and why would you want to? Deities of old are reincarnated as Christian saints, pilgrims climb mountains in the dead of night and icons are paraded through crowded plazas as once were the mummies of Inca rulers. History is potent here and still pulsing, and there is no better way to experience it.