The Colca Canyon: The Best Trekking Trails in Peru

Colca Canyon, Peru, Trekking Colca Canyon, Peru, Trekking

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Most first-time visitors to Peru make a beeline for the ruins of Machu Picchu, without realizing that they are passing within a bus ride of the epic Colca Canyon. Slicing through the High Andes like a giant fissure for more than 62 miles, Colca is the world’s second deepest canyon which approximately is 11,155 ft at its deepest point, a shade shallower that the nearby Cotahuasi Canyon and nearly twice as deep as the Grand Canyon. More stunning than these stats are the region’s emblematic attractions, including soaring condors, endless trekking routes, Spanish architecture along the Colca River, and Inca and Pre-Inca traditions little altered since the conquistadors first arrived in the 1570s. 

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Peru - Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica: The Best Eco-Lodge in the Peruvian Amazon
Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica: The Best Eco-Lodge in the Peruvian Amazon
The lush Amazon Basin in Peru comprises more than 50% of the country, and only five percent of the population calls it home. Creating a life within the dense tangle of impenetrable rainforest, let alone a luxury eco lodge is not an easy feat, and that is the magic of it. It is Pachamama (Mother Earth) in sultry green Technicolor and this is what makes a stay at the exotic Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica, situated at the heart of a 42,000-acre private ecological reserve in one of Peru's remotest territories, one of the most wondrous experiences to be had. Because, while you're busy exploring and learning about the stunning world of the Amazon and sleeping and dining in pampered style, you are also providing planet–friendly jobs to locals, helping to fund ethnological and ecological research, and supporting vital conservation programs. This eco-luxury lodge overlooking the Madre De Dios River, with 35 wooden cabanas is the perfect way to experience the magnificent Amazon.
Peru - Maccu Picchu: Visit the Ancient World of Incas
Maccu Picchu: Visit the Ancient World of Incas
Surrounded by towering mountains and clouds, Machu Picchu is one of the most renowned locations on Earth. Enjoy an exhilirating hike on the Inca Trail (there is an option to take a train too), a surreal walk through the Incan Ruins, or an unparalleled view from the peak of Huyana Picchu.
Peru - Learn The Art Of Peruvian Cuisine under Chef Ignacio Barrios
Learn The Art Of Peruvian Cuisine under Chef Ignacio Barrios
Hailing from Lima, Chef Ignacio Barrios has a long history in the fine-dining kitchen – from London’s Wild Honey to Madrid’s Astrid y Gastón. But it’s when the chef returned home to Peru that he put another idea into action. After a year of planning, Barrios and his team opened Urban Kitchen, a culinary wonderland of classes, workshops, and food-n-drink pairings. Go shopping for fresh produce in the San Isidro Market, which offers travelers a clean, safe, tasty and photogenic environment to explore.The San Isidro Market is famous for its enthusiastic vendors; the market is well maintained, clean and safe, so a traveler can enjoy a first-hand experience of the daily Peruvian routine and also participate in cuisine lessons under Chef Ignacio's eagle eye. Tip: take home some precious Peruvian pink salt.
Peru - The Amazon Rainforest: Take A Luxury Cruise On The Peruvian Amazon
The Amazon Rainforest: Take A Luxury Cruise On The Peruvian Amazon
The Amazon basin is a marvel of the world, a perrennial source of wonder to the human imagination, an ecosystem of unrivalled size and diversity, and a place of near mythical status among travellers. The Amazon River has more water than the next 8 largest rivers combined, is twice the area of India, and the basin spans eight countries. It’s a life-spring of the planet, the source of so much of the air, water and weather we all depend on, and sailing its waters on a luxury houseboat has to rank high on any nature-lover's list. You may spot jaguars and semi-clothed Indians, but the joys of the Amazon are mostly subtle: experience the roar of howler monkeys, the remarkable variety of plant life, the kindliness of riverside communities and the quiet but awesome power of the river itself all atop a luxury private boat.
Peru - Islas Ballestas: Sail To The Poor Man's Galapagos
Islas Ballestas: Sail To The Poor Man's Galapagos
Nicknamed the 'poor man's Galapagos,' the Islas Ballestas live up to their moniker and make for a memorable excursion. The only way to get there is on a boat tour offered by many travel agencies. None of the small boats have a cabin, so dress to protect against the wind, spray and sun. The sea can get rough, so sufferers of motion sickness should take medication before boarding. Wear a hat (cheap ones are sold at the harbor), as it's not unusual to receive a direct hit of guano (droppings) from the seabirds.On the outward boat journey, which takes about one and half hour, you can't miss the famous three-pronged Candelabra geoglyph, a giant figure etched into the sandy hills, which is over 500 feet high and 165 feet wide. The uninhabited islands are home to sea lions, pelicans, Peruvian boobies and Humboldt penguins.
Peru - Nazca Lines: Visit One Of The Earth's Greatest Unsolved Mystery
Nazca Lines: Visit One Of The Earth's Greatest Unsolved Mystery
Sprawling over 310 sq miles of arid, rock-strewn plain in the Pampa Colorada (Red Plain), the Nazca Lines are one of the world's great archaeological mysteries and have mesmerized tourists and historians for decades. Comprising over 800 straight lines, 300 geometric figures (geoglyphs) and 70 animal and plant drawings (biomorphs), the lines are almost imperceptible from the ground. Seen from above, they form a striking network of stylized figures and channels, many of which radiate from a central axis. The figures are mostly etched out in single continuous lines, while the encompassing geoglyphs form perfect triangles, rectangles or straight lines running for several miles across the desert. The lines were made by the simple process of removing the dark sun-baked stones from the surface of the desert and piling them up on either side of the lines, thus exposing the lighter, powdery gypsum-laden soil below. The area has been recognised as an UNESCO Heritage site.
Peru - The Mistura Festival in Lima - Visit Latin America’s Most Famous Food Fair
The Mistura Festival in Lima - Visit Latin America’s Most Famous Food Fair
Mistura is the largest culinary festival in South America, and a huge achievement for Lima. Over the past 20 years, the city has emerged as the place to go for high quality, inventive fusion food. The annual 10-day festival (usually end-October early-November) is a time when Peru shares its love of food with the world. And for visitors, it is widely recognized as one of the best places to try flavor-infused dishes created by leading Peruvian chefs. Set your tastebuds tingling and enjoy the most delicious dishes gathered from every corner of Peru at Mistura.
Peru - The Sacred Valley: Fun With Kids And Ceramics In Peru
The Sacred Valley: Fun With Kids And Ceramics In Peru
If you’re fond of pottery and ceramics, then Pablo Seminario and Marilú Behar’s private pottery workshop in Urubamba is a must-visit on your next Peru tour. Pablo is an accomplished ceramicist that has gained international fame for developing the “Seminario Style,” a unique fusion of modern and pre-Inca ceramic art that is distinctive to the Sacred Valley. You can also participate in the pottery workshops of Lima, Nasca and Cusco with their unique clay deposits, mineral and vegetable dyes, and stunning iconography. Kids get to take home their own creations!
Peru - The Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve: The Best of the Peruvian Amazon
The Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve: The Best of the Peruvian Amazon
The Pacaya Samiria National Reserve extends over Loreto, Requena, the High Amazon and Ucayali provinces. The reserve stretches over 5 million acres and is located in the Ucamara depression, where the Ucayali and Marañón Rivers converge to form the Amazon River. Pacaya Samiria is the second biggest protected natural area in Peru and one of the best spots for nature tourism lovers. The reserve protects tropical rainforest ecosystems that contain the great biodiversity of the mighty Amazon, a Natural Wonder of the World. The main purpose of the reserve is to preserve the flora and fauna resources of the region, which include the huge basins of the Pacaya, Samiria and Yanayacu-Pucate Rivers, home to everything from pink dolphins to spider monkeys and giant South American turtles.
Peru - Andahuaylillas Church: Visit The Sistine Chapel of the Andes
Andahuaylillas Church: Visit The Sistine Chapel of the Andes
Nestled in the heart of the central square in the Andean village of Andahuaylillas, the church dates back to the 17th century and houses many spectacular carvings and paintings, including a canvas of the Immaculate Conception attributed to Esteban Murillo. Step into a kaleidoscopic world of dazzlingly colorful murals, a Rennaissance-style painted ceiling and an ornate gold-leaf altar. It is a remarkable work of art, often (and rightfully) called the 'The Sistine Chapel of the Andes'. There are reportedly many gold and silver treasures locked in the church, and the villagers take turns guarding it 24 hours a day. Near the church is the shop of the Q’ewar Project, a women’s cooperative that makes distinctive dolls clad in traditional costumes. There is also the eclectic Museo Ritos Andinos, whose somewhat random displays include a mummified child and an impressive number of deformed craniums.
Peru - Los Organos to Cabo Blanco: Humpback-Whale Watching With The Family
Los Organos to Cabo Blanco: Humpback-Whale Watching With The Family
Peru has a large variety of marine species thriving in its waters, and the Humpback whales are the most admired of all the large cetaceans that dwell there. They can usually be seen on the north coast, between the months of August and October, when the whales mate and give birth. Go on an exciting adventure from Los Organos to Cabo Blanco and spot the magical and magnificent Humback-whales in their natural habitat.
Peru - Cusco: Gateway to Machu Pichu
Cusco: Gateway to Machu Pichu
Alpacas, cathedrals, Inca ruins and adventure: welcome to Cusco, a city that sits 11000 feet above sea level. It is rightfully considered the archeological capital of Peru owing to its perfect blend of ancient-Inca and colonial-Spanish; its stunning mountain setting and numerous festivals make it an essential stopover for any traveler to Peru. All trips to Machu Pichu start from here, but its essential to take the time to tour the cobblestone streets of South America's oldest inhabited city while enjoying the vibrant atmosphere and rich archeological heritage.
Peru - Cusco Travel: Chocolate Making For The Whole Family
Cusco Travel: Chocolate Making For The Whole Family
The wafting aromas of bubbling chocolate will mesmerize you from the start, young or old, parent or child. The best part of this French-owned enterprise is the organic chocolate-making workshops (though you can also come in for fondue or a fresh cup of fair-trade hot cocoa). It is multilingual and kid-friendly, and the Choco Museum at Cusco houses every bit of information you need about production of chocolate, right from its creation as a cacao bean to the final chocolate bar that you savor.
Peru - Cordillera Blanca: Trek Through Inca Heritage And Stunning Natural Beauty
Cordillera Blanca: Trek Through Inca Heritage And Stunning Natural Beauty
One of the most breathtaking parts of the continent, the Cordillera Blanca is the world’s highest tropical mountain range and encompasses some of South America’s highest peaks. Andean leviathans include the majestic Nevado Alpamayo at 18,034 ft, once termed ‘the most beautiful mountain in the world’ by the Austrian Alpine Club. Others include Nevado Huascarán (at 22,204ft, Peru’s highest), Pucajirca (19,835 ft), Nevado Quitaraju (19,803 ft) and Nevado Santa Cruz (Nevado Pucaraju; 20,535ft). Situated in the tropical zone, the Cordillera Blanca stands to be affected by global warming; the glaciers of the Cordillera Blanca have shown a measurable decrease in their volume and the snow line has receded in recent decades. Apart from this, it is covered in native flora and fauna, and this mountain range has preserved not only its physical beauty, but the Inca cultures and values as well. An ideal spot for adventurers who appreciate a dose of history as well.
Peru - Cusco: Visit The Sacred Valley (The Centre of the Inca Empire)
Cusco: Visit The Sacred Valley (The Centre of the Inca Empire)
Once the center of the Incan Empire, The Sacred Valley is now a beautiful collection of ruins in the Andes Mountains. It includes Cusco, the seat of the Inca Empire and the world-renowned ruins of Machu Pichu.  Marvel at Incan architecture, visit neighboring villages and its indigenous peoples, and explore some of the finest trekking and biking trails in the world.
Peru - Cusco: Learn The Intricate Textile Weaving Of the Hulliocs
Cusco: Learn The Intricate Textile Weaving Of the Hulliocs
Located at 11,483 ft above sea level, the Huilloc community is part of the network of weaving communities in the region of Cusco. From their ancestors on, the people of Huilloc inherited a rich tradition of textiles and they carry it on. In the textiles are depicted images of the world in which they live, including the flora and fauna of the place. They weave into their cloth images of cougars, condors and the huallata birds that are typical of the place. The inhabitants of Huilloc are known as the Huayruros They are given this name because of their beautiful red and black ponchos; wearing these makes them similar to the fruit of a tree found in Peru’s Amazon, called by the same name huayruro.
Peru - Lima: Explore Peru's Vibrant Capital City
Lima: Explore Peru's Vibrant Capital City
With colonial facades and high rises, Lima's enchantments are subtle; it is shrouded in history, gloriously messy and full of aesthetic delights. After Cairo, this sprawling metropolis is the second-driest world capital, rising above a long coastline of crumbling cliffs. Lima is sophisticated, with civilization that dates back millennia. Stately museums display sublime pottery; galleries boast edgy art; solemn religious processions recreate the magic of the 18th century and crowded nightclubs thump with beats all night long. And no visitor can miss the capital’s culinary genius, part of a gastronomic revolution more than 400 years in the making.
Peru - Sacsayhuaman: Visit the Ancient Capital of the Incas
Sacsayhuaman: Visit the Ancient Capital of the Incas
A citadel towering high above and overlooking the city of Cusco, Sacsayhuaman is the most fascinating of Incan ruins and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Although predating the Inca Empire, it served as the ancient capital of the Incas for many years. The walls of the ruins are 1000 feet long, 15 feet high and constructed out of over 200 tons of limestone and rocks. Today, the famous Inti Raymi Festival (aka the Inca Festival) is celebrated annually on the 24th of June, attracting travelers from all over.
Peru - Islas Uros: Explore Lake Titicaca's Floating Islands
Islas Uros: Explore Lake Titicaca's Floating Islands
Just 4.3 miles east of Puno, these unique floating islands are Lake Titicaca’s top attraction. Their uniqueness is due to their construction; they have been created entirely out of buoyant totora reeds that grow abundantly in the shallows. The lives of the Uros people are interwoven with these reeds. Partially edible (tasting like nonsweet sugarcane), the reeds are also used to build homes, boats and crafts. The islands are constructed from many layers of the totora, which are constantly replenished from the top as they rot from the bottom, so the ground is always soft and springy. Some islands also have elaborately designed versions of traditional tightly bundled reed boats on hand and other whimsical reed creations, such as archways and even swing sets.

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