The birthplace of ancient empires, Peru has towering mountains, steaming rainforests and parched deserts. It is the ultimate destination for culture seekers, adventurers and eco-tourists.
No other county in South America, possibly in the whole world, has such an astonishing archeological heritage as Peru. Most tourists come to see the monumental citadel of Machu Picchu. The other big archeological attraction is the mysterious desert lines of Nazca, which can only be viewed from the air. This is a country literally packed with archeological wonders – the fabulous remains of Inca and pre-Inca civilizations housed in numerous museums, as well as countless pyramids and ruined cities, many still unexcavated. Then there are the treasures of the colonial period which gild the magnificent cities of Cuzco and Arequipa.
Peru is an exceptional country even for those who don’t have an interest in history or archeology. Arid desert in the south and the splendid Pacific coastline with beaches that attract surfers from around the world give way abruptly to the snowy heights of the Andes mountain range that edges along the country’s coastal belt. Beyond the Andes lies the Amazon basin, a rainforest area teeming with exotic plants, insects, birds and animals.
Tourism is rapidly developing as this is a country that recognizes the importance of protecting its rich natural and historical heritage. But poverty is still widespread, from the poor indigenous communities eking out a living in the barren Andean plains to the people who inhabit Peru’s volatile coastline, which is frequently hit by drought, earthquakes, and by the floods brought by El Nino, which causes upheavals every couple of decades in this area.
Peru is a developing country, but lingering poverty together with the residue of unresolved social and political conflict and guerrilla activity have left a legacy of lawlessness in some areas and visitors should check the situation with their country’s embassy before they go. Most areas of tourist interest are safe, although there have been reports of mugging in and around Cuzco and Lima – personal effects should not be flaunted. Take care, but don’t let such reports spoil your trip – most tourists enjoy the wonders of Peru without encountering any trouble at all.
Top Peru Destinations
Lima, Cuzco, Andes Mountains Peru, Machu Picchu Trek, Arequipa Tour