Machu Picchu is undeniably the highlight of any Peruvian holiday, and for a good reason. It’s as beautiful as the legends and mysteries that surround it. Cusco, the ancient Inca capital, and the surrounding Sacred Valley, which retain their indigenous character, serve as the gateway to Machu Picchu. Quechua women in bowler hats sell pan chuta, the Andes’ circular anise-flavoured bread, on the street, and colourful tapestries and alpaca wool accessories entice visitors at traditional craft markets.
Most visitors to Peru have about two weeks of holiday time, making it difficult to plan an itinerary and make arrangements. Unless you work with Vibes Group UK, whose local experts will ensure you’re covered every step of the way. After all, even Hiram Bingham, the American explorer credited with rediscovering Machu Picchu, hired a local to guide him there.
The luxurious Belmond Andean Explorer train travels from Cusco to Arequipa via Lake Titicaca, where the Uro people have built a floating reed island village. Then there’s the massive Amazon Basin. Swim with pink dolphins or explore the rainforest via suspension bridges, canopy walks, and boat cruises on the mighty river. Unlike Cusco, Lima, Peru’s capital, is very Spanish, with magnificent colonial buildings and churches and a fantastic dining scene. Make sure to try sour pisco cocktails, the more rustic corn beer chicha de Jora, or the famous carbonated beverage Inca Kola, all of which are integral to Peruvian culture.