Welcome to Peru!
With its undulating mountain ranges, rolling deserts, golden beaches and lush jungles, Peru promises to offer tourists a memorable time in a world of adventure and excitement! Add to this a rich heritage, friendly locals, a culture steeped in history and an interesting archaeological past with a myriad of Peru hotels to choose from and it's easy to see why Peru is one of the world's best tourist destinations!
Peru boasts some of the most spectacular scenery in South America, as well as ancient cities, a rich culture and a host of archaeological treasures!
Peru is outstanding for its rich diversity and natural wealth and offers a lot to see and do. Nature has been bountiful to Peru and the area is a hotbed for eco-tourism. The pre-Columbian culture has bestowed the country with a remarkable reserve of archaeological treasures. The impressive colonial architecture and intriguing cuisine are other major tourist attractions. Wander around or take a tour in Peru of its colonial cities, discover the ancient Inca capital of Cuzco, visit the lost city of Machu Picchu and contemplate the mystery of the Nazca Lines.
Lying to the west of South America, Peru faces the South Pacific Ocean. It runs alongside those parts of the Andes mountain range that are situated within the continent. In the north, it is bounded by Ecuador and Colombia; Bolivia and Brazil lie to the east and on the south is the country of Chile.
Peru's capital city of Lima is situated between the sea and the desert, almost midway down the desert's coastline, and was a very popular spot during the pre-Inca period. Archaeological evidence implies that the area was once teeming with palaces and temples. The city was inaugurated by Pizzaro on the sixteenth of January 1535, after he took over the palace of the local chieftain, Tauri Chasko. This set in motion an era of colonisation that can still be witnessed in the luxurious mansions adorning Lima's plazas. The fascinating latticed wooden balconies of Moorish origin add to Lima's many charms.
The most important square in Lima, known as Plaza de Armas, has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The winding paths, beautiful gardens and graceful bronze fountain complete the fascinating picture. Surrounding this main plaza are the Archbishop's Palace, the Cathedral, the Town Hall and the Government Palace (Palacio de Gobierno).
Cusco, once the capital of the ancient Inca Empire, was established in AD 1100. In 1983, it was earmarked as a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO. A heady blend of colonial style Spanish architecture and Inca culture, Cusco is definitely a tourist's delight. To this day, you'll find traces of the Inca culture lingering in the arches, doorways and walls of contemporary buildings. If you're interested in archaeological sites, you may want to consider visiting a few of the towns neighbouring Cuzco.
A touch of the quaint seems to characterise everything in Cusco. The winding alleys are lined with freshly whitewashed houses whose shutters are painted a charming bottle-green or sky-blue. These open out on to graceful squares that are dotted with picturesque Peru hotels or inns, charming restaurants and stone-hewn fountains. The walls are literally bursting with colour - a closer looks reveals that they are decorated with colourful murals that portray historically important events in Cusco's calendar. The squares are also famed for its numerous shops and stalls. Run by the native women, they feature exquisitely embroidered shawls, lightly woven blankets, handmade crafts and artistic jewellery.
The Inca city of Machupicchu is one of the most outstanding tourist spots in the world, and a visit to these ancient ruins makes for one of the most exciting tours in Peru. It came into the spotlight on July 24, 1911, when an American named Hiram Bingham discovered its charms and decided to share it with the Western world. In 1983, it was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Though it had been buried beneath jungle for centuries, the excavations carried out in the area brought to light myriads of staircases, towers, temples, terraces, palaces and fountains.
Some of the highlights of Machu Pichu are the ceremonial baths, the Temple of the Three Windows, the Temple of the Sun and a carved rock pillar called the Intihuatana, which was used by astronomers of the Inca Empire to determine the solstices. The Inca Bridge is a mere 30-minute walk to the south of the main complex. Etched into the steep cliff face, it is a major tourist attraction. Yet another fascinating tourist spot is the Inca Citadel. The gently rolling mists reveal a spectacular view from the Huayna Picchu peak. It is a great idea to invest in a local guide, which can be an enormous help when trying to decipher the symbolism and facts of Machu Picchu. Though there is little information available about the lost city of the Incas, most guides would be able to regale you with legends and lore about this city.
Many tourists take a Peru tour or trek down the ‘Inca Trail' which leads down the Urubamba Valley. It would be a good idea to prepare and arrange for the trek back in your home country. Peru tour operators are a dime a dozen around the area, many of whom are unprincipled and care little for the environmental damage that they cause. Make sure you go with an environmentally responsible Peruvian tour provider. In a bid to reduce the hazards posed by tourists, a limit has been established of 500 people per day that are allowed to enter the original Inca Trail (including staff).
Peruvians are peaceable and friendly and eager to learn about other cultures and countries. If you are in trouble of some sort, you can count on a Peruvian stepping in to offer help. If you find yourself embroiled in an argument, stay calm and amicable. It is more than likely that you'll be able to strike a mutually agreeable compromise.
With so much to see and experience, Peru is a top tourist destination. Come and explore this exciting land, rich in history and culture!
Welcome to Peru!
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