Andean Adventures In Peru

Everyone knows that Paddington Bear arrived in England from Deepest Darkest Peru. That description of his homeland arises from the dense, brooding rainforests covering large areas of the country but of course that’s only part of what makes holidays to Peru so special.

There are the mighty Andes mountains rising up out of the dark green blanket of jungle and the rivers, notably the incomparable Amazon that for centuries were the only way into the heartland of the country. As if the breathtaking scenery alone were not enough to make Peru Holidays the most unforgettable you could ever experience there’s more. There’s the romance and history of the country. The Incas and the Spanish Conquistadores have left us the most intriguing relics to remind us of their dramatic stories.

If hiking is your thing you can go Trekking Peru and follow ancient tracks to the Sacred Valley of the Incas and visit Machu Picchu, the lost city of the Incas which sits on a high saddle between two much higher peaks in the mountains North West of Cuzco. Here you begin to get some idea of the mighty empire of the Incas and the advanced civilisation they created so long ago.

The ruins you gaze at today in awe and wonder lay hidden from the eyes of outsiders for centuries before being re-discovered as recently as 1911 by an archaeologist from Yale University in the United States, one Hiram Bingham. It’s due to his efforts, and it must have been tremendous undertaking especially back then, that you’re able to see this wonder of the ancient world today and from it learn so much about the Incas and their way of life. So remember old Hiram and his companions.

Not far from the Urubamba valley, known as the Sacred Valley, lies the Regional Capital, Cusco, often spelled “Cuzco”. This city was the capital of the Inca Empire from about the 1200s to 1535 when it was sacked by the conquistadores led by Francisco Pizarro.

Although several of the buildings erected by the conquistadores were practically destroyed in a severe earthquake in 1950 most of the old Inca structures survived and their remains can be seen to this day. Your Andean adventure should certainly include a visit to this city where modern life goes on amid so much history.

High in the Andes you must find your way to the highest commercially navigable lake in the world, lake Titicaca, 12,507 feet (3,812m if you must) above sea level. It’s also the largest lake in South America in terms of volume of water. As you gaze across the lake from Peru the next land on the far side is Bolivia. You can take excursions by boat on the lake and explore its islands.

Of course all of these well known sites such as Machu Picchu and Cuzco, so rich in Inca heritage and Lake Titicaca too are unmissable visits for all Peru holidays but they are still only part of what this incredible country has to offer.

One feature you can’t miss of course because of its sheer size is the mighty Amazon. Whether it’s the longest river in the world or the second longest seems to be the subject of some debate. What is certain is that it’s the largest in terms of volume of water flow. In fact one fifth of all the water that flows along all the world’s rivers flows down the Amazon.

The mouth of the Amazon is in Brazil on the Atlantic coast of South America while its source is in Peru so anywhere in Peru is a long way upstream. Nevertheless the river in Peru is already large enough for quite large vessels to use it and it has long been the easiest means of access to large areas of the country. Today trekking Peru usually involves travelling by boat at least some of the time.

You can spend a whole holiday in Peru on and near to the Amazon or one of its many tributaries. Kayaking is very popular for those who want to get really close to nature but if comfort is more your thing there are various cruises on the rivers with knowledgeable local guides.

In Peru as elsewhere in South America the rainforests are under threat from various factors and you won’t want to add to the problems. Tourism has to be sustainable in these sensitive areas so when you look for a holiday company which organises Peru holidays it’s important to choose one that can demonstrate its commitment to sustainability in all its activities.

Peru is a long way away from the UK so make your journey worthwhile by allowing yourself as much time there as possible. It’ll be an experience you will never forget.

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