Hidden gems of Peru

09 October 2019

Discover Peru’s extraordinary heritage, ably supported by a magnificent coastline boasting idyllic beaches and world-beating surf. What’s more, in Lima, experience the emerging global gastronomic hub, with a surprising selection of first class restaurants. Peru is a delight for all the senses, with scale, beauty and variety other holiday destinations can only dream of matching.

Peru is an exquisite land home to ancient cities, picture perfect snow-capped mountains and treasured archaeological sites. This is a country steeped in history and culture just waiting to be explored. Home to one of the richest bio diversities on the planet, the Amazon jungle, Peru is the perfect destination for an eco-based adventure.

Areas of interest

Mancora

Whilst beaches may not immediately spring to mind when planning a trip to Peru, the country’s Pacific coastline is framed with beautiful beaches and a year-round warm climate. Mancora, located 1,164km north of Lima is a surfer’s paradise boasting the largest left hand point break in the world. After a long day riding waves, surfers can unwind at beachfront cafes and enjoy the town’s thriving nightlife.

 

Chavin de Huantar

Another architectural feat is situated in Peru’s Ancash, in the form of the Chavin de Huantar site. This site is considered by many as the most stunning structure standing from the Inca Empire, but it is so often overlooked. This landmark is well worth a visit to discover its origin as religious and ceremonial pilgrimage centre for the pre-Columbian Andean religious world.

 

Lunahuana Valley

As you make the journey south the Lunahuana Valley offers dramatic mountain landscapes and white water rapids. An area best explored by water raft, quad bike or horseback, Lunahuana is a haven for adventure seekers. The Rio Cañete which runs through the valley also provides the perfect conditions to grow wine and the region is well-known for its vineyards and excellent pisco!

 

Colca Canyon

Colca Canyon is the world’s deepest canyon, twice as deep as the Grand Canyon yet much lesser-known. It is situated 100 miles northwest of Arequipa. The rim of the colourful Andean valley, with pre-Inca roots, is the perfect place to watch the sunrise turn the peaks pink. A highlight if you want to trek the valley is the natural viewing point on the route, 42km from Chivay, where tourists can watch magnificent Andean condors, one of the largest birds in the world, flying around the Coropuna and Ampato volcanoes.

 

Bird watching tourism

Peru has the second highest number of bird species in the world; the Northern Amazon region alone has a concentration of more than 1,200 species of birds, more than two thirds of the total in Peru. The Allpahuayo Mishana National Reserve, located in Maynas, is the perfect place to spot the little-known Amazonian Parrotlet with its pretty green plumage.

 

The future of gastronomy

An article by Conde Nast Traveller has suggested the “future of gastronomy is being cooked up in Peru”. Kevin West, the article’s writer, begins by highlighting how blessed the country is with a mind-blowingly fertile ecosystem where more than 3,000 varieties of potato can be found. He also noted Lima is emerging as a new global culinary epicentre with a vast array of cuisine from Peruvian-Japanese fusion to pachamanca, a pre-Colombian classic of slow-cooked meats and vegetables.

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