There may be other trails in Peru, but none can match the beauty and history of the Inca Trail. Hike the four or five-day journey along the ancient road, winding your way around the stunning mountains, ending at Machu Picchu. This holy trail will be one you’ll never forget.
High in the Andes you’ll find Lake Titicaca, the largest lake in South America, where the Uros people have constructed islands built out of reeds. The islands were built centuries ago in order to escape invaders, and require constant rebuilding as the bottom slowly rots away. These surreal islands are unlike anything you’ve ever seen.
Lima has become the unofficial gastronomic capital of South America. The city boasts world-renowned chefs such as Gastón Acurio and Virgilio Martínez, who recently received the Chef’s Choice Award, a title that ranks him as the best chef in the world. Lima is also the only city to have two restaurants ranking in the top 10 of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants: Central Restaurante and Maido. When in Lima, be sure to set aside some money to dine at one of the city’s world-class restaurants.
Maido, Calle San Martin 399, Miraflores 15074, Peru +51 14462512
Giant hills of sand are a defining feature of the region – the orange-ish lumps seem to roll on forever. Three hours south of Lima lies the small desert oasis town of Huacachina, surrounded by sand dunes. Take a dune buggy with a group and surf the steep sand faces.
While Machu Picchu and Cusco get all the attention, Cañón del Colca might be the most naturally beautiful place to visit in Peru. The canyon is 100km from end to end and more than twice as deep as the Grand Canyon. The area is also rich with ruins from pre-Incan and Incan societies, as well as numerous Spanish structures.
Take a jungle cruise in the Peruvian Amazon to discover the famous pink dolphin. These freshwater dolphins can be found in the Amazonian rivers of Peru, and yes, they really are pink. Cruises range from the more luxurious to day trips in small boats.
After seeing the pink dolphin in the Amazon, stay at an Ayahuasca retreat. Ayahuasca – the powerful, mind-altering brew – is an integral part to Amazonian culture and has created a boom in jungle tourism with eager travelers seeking out the concoction. However, these jungle retreats are for healing purposes and are not recommended if you’re just trying to catch a buzz. In fact, most of the retreats will thoroughly screen you before admittance to make sure you are not just trying to party and get high.