In May there was a new thrice-weekly service launched by British Airways flying from Gatwick to Peru, to bring the South American country a little closer to home. The decision by British Airways to reopen this route, which had previously been closed down since 1982, is putting Peru on the map once again.
In the past Lima was a dangerous and dirty city, but it is on the rise along with Peru’s economy. Suddenly cerviche is popular all over the world, which has put the varied and rich gastronomy of the city on the map. In addition to its culinary offerings, Lima also is renowned for its 1,800 year-old Huaca Pucllana ruins, numerous museums, and beautiful old town.
This ancient city tops many people’s bucket list. It is South America’s most visited tourist attraction and may be reached via a railway line or hiking trails. With the right approach and some careful planning you will discover that Machu Picchu is as engaging and enchanting as any site in the world.
There are no less than three Amazon regions in Peru: the Tambopata reserve, with its increasingly popular boat trips; the Chachapoyas-Gocta-Kuelap area, featuring a lofty waterfall, ruins and numerous museums; and the riverine reserves and natural parks around Iquitos. The Tambopata reserve is connected well by air to Lima and Cuzco and is the area where a majority of the new lodes appear to be opening in the region.
It is believed that Cuzco is America’s oldest city that has been continuously inhabited and to this day still retains numerous tangible links with the pre-Columbian era, including the Coricancha ruins, which was an Inca temple that was demolished in 1533 by the Spanish. There are many diversions in Cuzco beyond its rich history. Much of the centre of the city is walker-friendly, which makes it easy to wander about and become familiar with the city, where you can drop into art galleries, churches, and former convents and palaces that have been turned into hotels.
For those travellers who are in a rush, the Sacred Valley is in between Machu Picchu and Cuzco – which you can traverse by either bus and rail, and glance at it while you are checking your camera batteries. However standing on the edge of Moray’s gigantic circular agricultural terraces, it is reminiscent of the Fertile Crescent of Mesopotamia, which was the Incan world’s real centre. In order to understand the true scale of this empire, you need to know how its warriors, runners, and builders were fed.
The Andes chilly peaks may seem far away from the sizzling hot beaches in the northwest of Peru. Renowned for its beautiful golden shores and tropical climate, the Piura district is the top area for beach bums, who gather at Mancora and other resorts, where powdery sands, crystalline waters and rolling surf keep visitors there much longer than they were planning. And with Coco Bay, you can head to the coast knowing that you’re well-prepared and will look fab!
At some point from 500 BC to AD 500, these intriguing geoglyphs became etched into the desert, and depict living creates like animals, birds, and a strange-looking man, who is referred to as ‘the astronaut.’ Their impressive size and the fact that you can only properly view them from the air make visiting Nazca both mystifying and awe-inspiring. Small planes fly out of the nearby desert airfield, but as you are zooming in and out you might feel airsick, so be prepared for it.
Huacachina is an oasis that resembles Arabia more than South America, but is located in southwest Peru. According to legend, the unlikely lagoon is actually the home of a mermaid. One thing is for certain, it is one of the most peaceful and beautiful destinations in this part of the country – and a great spot to sandboard.