Most people will know Peru as home of the Incas and of Machu Picchu, the most inspiring pre-Columbian historical site in South America, but it is so much more!

The Magical "Machu Picchu"

For historians, there are numerous other fascinating and distinct cultures that have made their mark on Peru other than the Incas, not least the Chincha people who controlled the area around where we’re living and who gave their name to our city. Sometimes, it seems that at every bend in the road there is an archaeological relic from one of these ancient cultures. Along the coast, for example, there are enormous pyramidic structures in the north, the huge mud-brick city of Chan Chan and, of course, the intriguing Nazca Lines – giant ancient pictures in the desert that can only be best viewed from the air. And all that is in addition to the impact made by the Spanish conquistadors, visible across the country.

For adventurers, there is not only the oft-trod Inca Trail which leads to the ruins at Machu Picchu, but the Andes range, the second largest mountain chain after the Himalayas, offers great opportunities for hiking, mountaineering and enjoying spectacular views, with the highest mountains easily accessed from Huaraz. In the south, near Arequipa, there is also the spectacular Colca Canyon, believed to be the deepest in the world (though some say that Cotahuasi canyon a little to the north is deeper).

The "El Misti" Mountain

Colca is an ideal place for orinthologists to visit, since it is home to the condor, the world’s largest flying bird with a wingspan of over 3m, but it is further to the east in the rainforest that the greatest diversity of bird species anywhere can be found. Even Peru’s flag is based on the plumage of a bird, the flamingo. Ecologists will also thrive in these areas and in the mountains where many species unique to Peru can be found.

For anthropologists or simply those interested in culture and people, there is again so much to see and learn, with food and clothes, folk arts and crafts as well as music and dance varying from region to region, from people group to people group.

Vibrant Local Culture

Peru has so much to offer and we would strongly encourage sustainable ecotourism because the tourist dollar is vital. Sadly for a country that has so much to offer, there is widespread poverty and a need for money to come into the country. At the moment the national wealth is about 12% of the UK’s (making it the 94th richest country in the world), but what wealth exists is not shared equally, so that over half (53%) the people live in poverty by Peruvian standards.

© 2017 Paul and Rach Elliston Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha