Lonely Planet Peru

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Enjoy a leisurely dinner and tuck in early to take the first bus to the great Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. Spend the day browsing the ruins.

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The following morning, hop on the train to Cuzco. Grab a comfortable tourist bus or take the historic train to the altiplano Andean plateau city of Puno. If you can coincide with a festival, this is the place to do it, with wild costumes, brass bands and fervent merriment. Otherwise, take in folkloric music at a dinner show or adventure to aquatic accommodations on the retired steamship Yavari.

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From your base in Puno, the funerary towers of the Colla, Lupaca and Inca cultures can be found at Sillustani and Cutimbo , an easy day trip, and worth combining with lovely Lampa and its historic church. If you have a few extra days, take a catamaran tour, which also visits the Bolivian islands of Isla del Sol and Isla de la Luna , landing you in Copacabana , from where you can take a tourist bus back to Puno.

Lonely Planet Peru by Lonely Planet, Brendan Sainsbury | Waterstones

Returning to Puno, explore the rural coast of the Capachica Peninsula , home to places still steeped in the ancient traditions of the altiplano with nary another traveler in sight. More than half of Peru is jungle, populated by spectacular wildlife and tribal peoples. Go overland and drop dramatically away from the eastern slopes of the Andes to slip deep into the Amazon Basin, which stretches all the way to the Atlantic. This entire itinerary takes a month, or it can be divided by region into one- or two-week segments.

The most popular excursion starts from Cuzco and heads to the Manu area , itself the size of a small country, albeit one with kingdoms of jungle lodges. Or return to Lima and turn your focus to the north. The easiest way to get there is to fly from Lima to Pucallpa , a city experiencing a resurgence in popularity, and staying in a lodge or a bungalow in the nearby traveler hangout of Yarinacocha.

The lovely oxbow lake is ringed by tribal villages. You can visit some of these, including those of the matriarchal Shipibo people, renowned for their pottery.


You can also access Iquitos flying from Cuzco. Bring bucketloads of patience and self-reliance — and a lot of luck never hurts. Head north of Lima to Caral , where South America's oldest known civilization arose about years ago. Off the sleepy beaches at Huanchaco , surfers hit the breakers while local fishers trawl the coast.

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Peru travel guide

Craft-market hub Piura boasts great dining, while the witch doctors of Huancabamba are tucked into the Andes. From Lima , head to Trujillo , sampling the fiery coastal cuisine and exploring nearby ruins at Chan Chan and Huacas del Sol y de la Luna. From Trujillo, take the freshly paved scenic old highway to Cajamarca via the magnificent mountaintop ruins of Marcahuamachuco.

The lovely highland town of Cajamarca is where the conquistadors captured Inca Atahualpa. Your journey to Peru starts here.

One-Week Peru

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