Look south beyond Cusco to the islands in the sparkling waters of Lake Titicaca, where communities preserve traditions untouched by modernity. In the magnificent city of Arequipa, watched over by volcanoes, the high walls of the Santa Catalina convent conceal a perfectly preserved miniature colonial town which was, until recently, closed to the outside world. Nearby are the Colca and Cotahuasi canyons, remarkable chasms twice as deep as the Grand Canyon, where you can trek along pre-Hispanic agricultural terraces that are still in use, and look for mighty condors rising on the thermals.
Cusco also gives access to the jungle reserves of Manu and Tambopata, where the tally of birds, mammals, reptiles, butterflies and plants has yet to be fully catalogued. Without doubt, Peru is the best place on earth for seeing jungle wildlife. In northern Peru, just as in Cusco, the sporting possibilities are endless: hiking to ruined cities, whitewater rafting or biking down the mountains.
Often forgotten, northern Peru hides archaeological sites to match the south – in terms of the physical location and their size and intricacy of architecture. Chachapoyas, the “Land of the Cloud people” is one of Peru’s least frequented and under-rated areas – the ruins of Kuelap are simply staggering
Spend more time exploring the Amazon, learn to cook delicious Peruvian food or spend time with locals in Misminay with a Tailormade holiday to Peru