Academic Masters Students, Food Security tour of Peru.

Peru is an important producer of food and, at the same time, has a high level of food insecurity among its population.

This food security trip offers the opportunity to learn about sustainability, food poverty, the importance of community work, environmental policies in food production, trade and many other essential issues to be considered in the work towards improving sustainable production and food security around the world.

On this MSc academic group trip to Peru you experience some of the food security issues discussed in class during the year.

Read more about the University of Edinburgh’s Food Security Trip and how they learned about food security’s role in the battle against climate change.

More on academic group tours.

This trip takes in Lima and the highlands and lowlands of the Cusco area and also includes a guided visit to Machu Picchu.

We take care of all the details. You will be accompanied by expert, English-speaking guides throughout your time in Peru, to ensure the smooth running of all visits.

We tailor each trip to the group’s needs, whatever the length, whichever activities you need to include. Contact us to design your academic tour to Peru.

Trip Highlights

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  • Seeing at first hand the importance of biodiversity and local produce for food security and food trade and its impact on the local economy.

  • Experiencing traditional and sustainable food production practices through interaction with local people and cultural immersion

  • Having many opportunities to talk with local agencies about sustainable food production and food security.

  • Visiting a wide variety of food supply chain stakeholders

  • Design an itinerary to suit your time and budget.

If you or any members of your family are ever planning a South American trip in the future then I don’t think you need to look any further for a quality organisation to organise your trip.

The trip would not have been such a great success without the superb organisation of Andean Trails and the personal attention of Kathy (the boss). We may have been their paying customers but their organisation, attention to detail and efficiency was fantastic.

We were very lucky to have the company of some fantastic guides on the tour. Enthusiastic and caring people – all of them.

Alex & Sarah Hendry and Marion & Andrew Deeks

It is difficult to select a highlight because the trip was amazing in every way. The cultural immersion allowed us to understand the main challenges for the different segments of the population very well. We also visited a wide variety of food supply chain stakeholders and had the chance to talk with them about their work and role towards sustainable food production and food security.

The students learned about sustainable food production practices, biodiversity, the importance of local produce for food security, food trade and its impact on the local economy, and traditional food production techniques, among many other things.

It was great value. It was a tailored trip that accommodated the course objectives. The accommodation, transport and meals were also fantastic.

I plan to go every year with the MSc cohort.

Montse, SRUC Edinburgh University, 2024

Full Itinerary

Day 1: Fly to Lima, arrive afternoon, evening in Miraflores, hotel (D)

Welcome to Peru!

On your arrival at the airport, we will be waiting for you to take you to the bus for the approximately one-hour drive to your hotel.

Upon arrival we will check-in. Dinner at the hotel.

Lima is Peru’s capital city, situated on the Pacific coast and home to more than 10 million people. It is a sprawling city located in the centre of Peru’s desert coastline. Lima is a city worth visiting – its food, restaurants and live music scene are excellent, the people are friendly and hospitable and it houses some of the best museums in Peru.

Day 2: Lima - Paracas - Citrus Field Visit - Avocado Processing - Lima (B,L,D)

Part 1: Journey to Paracas

–        Departure from the hotel at 0630 and travel south along the Panamericana Sur.

–        Arrive at Paracas, Santa Cruz town centre, Paracas District.


Part 2: Visit to the Citrus Field

–        Welcome and presentation on the importance of citrus in the region.

–        Guided tour of the citrus field (if it’s not harvest season.)

–        Educational talk.


Part 3: Transfer and visit to the Avocado Factory

–        Move to our facilities for avocado machining (packing avocados).

–        Guided tour of the facilities where avocado machining takes place.


Part 4: Lunch in Paracas

–        Head to Paracas for lunch.


Part 5: Summary and questions

–        Q&A session.

–        Day summary and conclusions.


Part 6: Return and end of the day

–        Return to the hotel.

–        Dinner.

Day 3: Coffee & Cocoa and Ollas Comunes Initiatives (B,L,D)

Morning:  Coffee & cocoa

–        Morning short walk to Ciclos Coffee & Cocoa from the hotel

–        The group will be divided into two smaller groups due to the limited space.

–        One floor is focused on coffee, and the other on cocoa.


–        Tasting session

–        Tasting of three different chocolates and two brewed coffees.

–        Learning about the origins and stories behind each product.


–        Discussion with experts

–        1.5-hour session to engage in conversation with some experts in Peruvian coffee and cocoa.


Mid-Morning: Transition

–        10.00: Wrap-up at Ciclos

–        Departure to Ollas Comunes Initiatives


Midday: Ollas Comunes Initiatives

–        Arrival at the project location

–        Welcome and brief overview of the project.


–        Lunch at Ollas Comunes

–        Enjoy a meal prepared as part of the community initiative.


–        Participation in community activities

–        Opportunity to cook or help distribute food.


–        Educational talk

–        Discussion on the importance of food security and community involvement.


Afternoon: Summary and Q&A

–        Time for questions and answers

–        Summary of the day and wrap-up


End of day

–        Return to the hotel

Day 4: International Potato Centre and Agrarian University -  Ministerio de Ambiente (B,L,D)


–        Departure from hotel

–        Arrival at the International Potato Center (CIP)

–        Welcome and brief presentation on visit to CIP

–        Guided tour of the facility

–        Laboratories

–        Experimentation areas

–        Educational talk on the global importance of potatoes

–        Visit to interactive exhibits



–        Departure to the Agrarian University

–        Lunch at the university campus

–        Opportunity to try local dishes made with fresh ingredients from the university


Afternoon: Agrarian University

–        Campus tour

–        Botanical gardens

–        Greenhouses

–        Short seminar on sustainability and agriculture in Peru

–        Q&A session with students and professors


End of day

–        Free time to explore the campus on your own

–        Return to hotel

Day 5: Mercado Mayorista & AJE Group (B,L,D)

Morning: Mercado Mayorista

–        Departure from the hostel

–        Arrival at Mercado Mayorista

–        Guided tour exploring the market’s operation, range of products, and supply chain


Transition to AJE Group

–        Departure from Mercado Mayorista

–        Arrival at AJE Group Factory

–        Tour of the factory to understand the production process of various beverages


Late Morning: AJE Group office visit

–        Proceed to the AJE Group’s offices

–        Meeting with Jorge Lopez Doriga, director of communication and sustainability

–        Discussion on sustainability initiatives, communication strategies, and the brand’s global footprint


Afternoon: Deep dive into AJE Group

–        Briefing on AJE’s position as the 10th largest beverage company in the world

–        Insights into their diverse product line, including Big Cola, juices, isotonic drinks, and more


End of visit

–        Summary and concluding remarks

–        Token of appreciation or small gifts from AJE Group as a memento of the visit


End of day

–        Return to the hotel

–        Free time for dinner and relaxation

Day 6: From Lima to the Sacred Valley: Maras, Moray, Urubamba (B,L,D)

Early Morning: Lima to Cusco

–        0345 Pick-up from your hotel and transfer to the airport

–        Flight to Cusco


Morning: Arrival in Cusco

–        Upon landing, our staff will greet you at the airport

–        Drive to the Sacred Valley


Mid-morning: Maras & Salineras

–        Drive to Maras

–        Visit to Salineras (Salt Ponds) of Maras

–        Learn about their pre-Inca origins


Lunch: In the village of Maras

–        Enjoy a local lunch in the village, with the possibility of trying regional dishes


Early afternoon: Moray

–        Drive to Moray

–        Explore the rounded terraces of Moray

–        Likely used by Incas for crop experimentation across different altitudes

–        Guided walk around the site


Afternoon: Urubamba

–        Drive to Urubamba

–        Check-in at your hotel


End of day

–        Dinner at the hotel.

Day 7: Full day: Visit to Comunidad Campesina Q’enqo (B,L,D)

Arrival & welcome ceremony

Upon arriving, begin your experience at Laguna Qoricocha. Here, you’ll be embraced with a traditional welcome ceremony that sets the tone for the day. Engage in enlightening discussions about the rich Andean culture, where agriculture plays an integral role in daily life and community sustenance.


Tour of cultivation areas

Immerse yourself in the mountain landscapes where local community members cultivate potatoes. These areas, nestled on the sides of the serene Laguna Qoricocha, offer a glimpse into the hard work and dedication that goes into traditional Andean farming practices.


Greenhouse operations

A moderate hike takes you to areas positioned at a slightly lower elevation. Here, the community’s pioneering greenhouse operations come to life. Tour the greenhouses and discover how they’ve transformed Q’enqo’s agricultural landscape.

Engage in dialogue with local community members, gleaning insights into their experiences with diverse crop cultivation and its numerous benefits—both in terms of nutrition and economic empowerment.


Hands-on experience

Roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty! Participants have the chance to actively engage in the agricultural process. Whether it’s planting, preparing garden beds, or adding natural soil amendments, there’s a wealth of hands-on experiences awaiting. Under the guidance of community members, you’ll also have the opportunity to participate in the harvesting process within the greenhouses.


Midday: Lunch in Q’enqo


Community lunch

After a morning of exploration and learning, take a moment to sit down and relish a hearty meal with the community. Prepared using local ingredients, possibly including produce freshly harvested from the greenhouses you toured earlier, this lunch offers more than just nourishment for the body—it’s a chance for cultural exchange.

Engage with the community members, share stories, and deepen your understanding of their way of life. This mealtime offers a unique, immersive opportunity to connect on a personal level with the heart of Q’enqo.

Day 8: A day with the Potato King (B, L, D)

Early morning: Departure from Urubamba

–        Travel time

–        Early departure from Urubamba to embark on the two-hour drive to Pampacorral.


Late morning: Meeting Julio Hancco, the Potato King

–        Introduction & talks

–        Upon arrival, Julio Hancco will guide you through the various native potatoes he cultivates, sharing their history, cultural significance, and biological diversity.

–        Field tour & hands-on experience

–        Explore the fields and depending on the season, participate in either planting or harvesting activities alongside the Potato King himself.


Midday: Community lunch

–        Lunch prepared by Julio Hancco’s family

–        A perfect opportunity for cultural immersion as you enjoy a locally sourced meal prepared by Hancco’s family.


Early afternoon: More exploration and reflection

–        Additional discussions & activities

–        Spend some time discussing sustainable agriculture practices and the role of crop diversity in food security.


Late afternoon: Return to Urubamba

–        Travel time

–        After a fulfilling day, return to your accommodation in Urubamba for dinner.

Day 9: A day of choices: Free day or Machu Picchu Adventure (B,L,D)

Early morning: A day off in Urubamba begins

–        **For those staying behind**

–        Enjoy a leisurely morning at your accommodation. Whether you indulge in a late breakfast, soak up some sun, or explore nearby attractions, the day is yours to make the most of.



–        **Optional: Journey to Machu Picchu**

–        For those opting for Machu Picchu,  head to the train station for the train to Aguas Calientes.


Mid-morning: Arrival & ascent

–        Guided tour included

–        Reach Aguas Calientes, a bus will take you up to Machu Picchu. A guided tour will enhance your visit.


Late morning to early afternoon: Explore the site

–        Optional hikes

–        Want more? Book hikes like Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain in advance.


Mid to late Afternoon: Return to Urubamba

–        **Downhill & departure**

–        Take the bus back to Aguas Calientes and hop on the train to Urubamba.


Evening: Reconnect in Urubamba


–        Group dinner

–        Conclude the day with a group dinner, sharing tales from your respective adventures.

Day 10: From High Passes to Lush Jungle: A Day of Tea and Coffee Culture (B,L,D)

07.30: Departure from Urubamba

–        Abra Malaga Pass

–        Get ready for a scenic drive to Abra Malaga Pass at 4,300 metres (14,107 feet) above sea level. You’ll get a sweeping view of ecosystems transitioning from high Andean plains to lush upper jungle.


Mid-morning: Alcira’s house and tea plantations

–        Descend to 1,500 metres (4,921 feet) where Alcira’s house is located. Freshen up before the day’s activities begin.


–        Tea time

–        Walk among the tea plantations, learn about tea varieties and picking techniques. Visit the factory to discover the secrets behind black, white, and green tea. Blend your own herbal teas for that personalised sip!


Early afternoon: Maranura Coffee Cooperative

–        Pioneers in Peruvian coffee

–        Established in 1960, this co-op is a cornerstone in Peruvian coffee culture. It promotes organic, fair-trade, and women-led coffee production.


–        From bean to cup

–        Watch and learn as coffee goes through sorting, scoring, roasting, and cupping. Gain insights into where these beans end up in international markets.

Day 11: Maranura: Unveiling the Magic Behind Your Morning Cup - Cusco (B,L,D)


–        Start your day with a delicious breakfast, energizing you for the coffee expedition ahead.


Morning: COCLA – The Central de Cooperativas Agrarias Cafetaleras, Cusco

–        Coffee central

–        Immediately after breakfast, it’s off to COCLA. This central hub for over twenty farmer-owned cooperatives is a caffeine lover’s dream.


–        The journey of the bean

–        Engage in the coffee process, from sorting to scoring, and appreciate what it takes to brew that perfect cup.


–        Cupping 101

–        Highlight of the morning? Definitely the visit to COCLA’s cupping lab. Engage your senses in a coffee tasting workshop like no other.


Wrapping it up: The Co-op influence on food security

–        Co-op power

–        Visiting COCLA and Maranura offers you a unique insight into the cooperative models that bolster local economies and ensure ethical, sustainable practices.


–        Ecosystems and equity

–        These visits underscore our programme’s focus on food security, showcasing how local co-ops contribute to both environmental sustainability and social equity.


Midday: Departure to Cusco

–        As the clock strikes noon, it’s time to pack up and head toward Cusco. Take with you not just memories but also a deeper understanding of the coffee world and its impact on communities.


Days 12: Cusco, walking tour and departure (B)


–        Cusco walking tour: Embark on a guided walking tour of the city’s historical and cultural landmarks, OR San Pedro market.



–        **Flight to Lima**: Head to the airport for your flight back to Lima.



–        Flight home: Catch your international flight back home.

Prices From $1,900 / £1,545 per person

Enquire about booking

What's Included?

All accommodation, meals, guides – exact services depends on final tour itinerary.

What's Not Included?

International and domestic flights, insurance, airport taxes, tips and additional personal expenses.


We can use hostals, homestays and hotels for time in cities.

In the Amazon we have eco-lodge or full camps to choose from.

While trekking, a full camping entourage comes with you – tents, dining tent, cook and mules and porters for support.

Tour Staff

All our guides are qualified, local and English-speaking and will help you get the most out of your trip.

You meet different guides for different tours, each with specialist knowledge of the areas you are visiting.


Almost all dietary requirements can be catered for if we are notified in advance, please ask for more information.

Breakfasts at the hotels will generally consist of hot drinks, toast, jams, cereals, fruits and eggs.

Lunch when provided will either be a packed lunch of sandwiches, fruit and snacks. If at a local restaurant, it will often include soup to start, a main of rice with meat and/or veg. and a small pudding. Dinners are often similar.

When eating out under your own steam, there are a host of restaurants to choose from.

Note: In remote areas, meals may vary depending on availability of certain items.

Activity Level

This depends on the type of tour – more advice given when you contact us.

Enquire about booking

Practical Information

Introduction to Peru

Peru is the perfect holiday destination for adventure travellers that want an amazing variety of activity, geography and cultural travel experiences.

The breadth of travel experiences in Peru is breathtaking – from trekking in the Andes to Machu Picchu to the tropical jungle of the Amazon, and plenty in between.

The people of Peru make it a special destination too, with its colourful and traditional street life and friendly locals.

Geography of Peru

Peru is made up of 3 distinct geographical areas: the coast, the mountains and the jungle.

The costa or coastal region is a narrow ribbon of desert 2,250 km long, crossed by fertile river valleys flowing from the Andes. It takes up 11% of the country and holds more than 40% of the population.

The cold Humboldt current gives rise to a blanket of mist – the garua – which hangs above coastal cities like the capital Lima from May to November.

Heading east, you’re soon climbing above the garua and into the Andes. The sierra, or mountainous region, covers some 25% of Peru’s territory and contains 50% of the population. The sierra inhabitants are mainly Indigenous or Mestizo, and many still speak Quechua or Aymara.

The sierra contains dozens of 6,000-metre snow peaks and volcanoes, including Huascaran (6,768m) the highest mountain in the tropics. The deep valley basins contain most of the towns and arable land; the terracing and canal systems of the Incas and pre-Incas are often still used today.

The eastern Andes are heavily forested up to 3,350m and sweep down into the Amazon Basin.

Peru’s selva or jungle makes up almost two thirds of the country’s area, but holds only about 6% of the population: the only towns with significant populations are Iquitos and Pucallpa.


Weather in Peru

You can also read about the weather of Peru in our blog.

Peru is located in the southern tropics (latitudes 0º to 18º), but climate varies significantly according to season, altitude and region.


Lima & the coast

From May to October, Lima is often overcast, but with minimal precipitation. There are sunny spells, and it’s a fresh to pleasant 13-20ºC.

At the same time, inland  areas and the north coast mid to high 20’s ºC.

November to April is generally warm and sunny and Lima enjoys warm temperature of 19-25ºC, with the coast averaging 22-30ºC.


The Andes

Climate depends largely on altitude. As a rule of thumb, below 2,000m climate is mild and above 2,000m warm clothing is required for evenings, nights and early mornings.

The Andean sun is very strong.


May to Oct (dry season in The Andes)

Cusco (3,300m): Average max/min temps: 22ºC /2ºC. Average 3 or 4 wet days per month.

Arequipa (2,380m): Average max/min temps: 26ºC /9ºC. Sunny more than 340 days/year with minimal precipitation.

On highland treks: Conditions are generally dry. However, at this time of year, expect a range of conditions within a single day: cold/freezing nights at camps above 4,000m, where pre-dawn temperatures can be -5ºC; warm, spring-like mornings and afternoons; and cold evenings.

Note that mountain weather can be fickle and localised, and that precipitation is not unknown in the dry season. Expect temperatures to swing between sun and shade, sheltered and exposed ground and with altitude gain and loss. A quick-setting sun means temperatures drop fast.

In the cloud forest, e.g. around Machu Picchu, daytime conditions are generally warm or hot, and evenings cool.


Nov to March/April (wet season in The Andes)

Cusco: Average max/min temps: 23ºC /6ºC. Average 13 wet days per month.

Arequipa: Average max/min temps: 25ºC /14ºC.

On highland treks: Wetter conditions, with cooler days and milder nights than dry season. Jan-Mar usually the wettest months.


The Amazon rainforest

Year-round, weather conditions are hot and humid and there is always the risk of rain

There is a ‘dry season’ in Tambopata and Manu between May and October. The average daytime high temperature is between 25°C and 34°C and the average nighttime low is between 16°C and 22°C. Heavy downpours typically occur every few days.

Around 80% of annual average rainfall – approx 2,000 mm in Manu and Tambopata and 1,400 mm in Iquitos – occurs in the wet season Nov-April.

On rare occasions, between May and September, cold fronts from Argentina – ‘friajes’ – can sweep into southwest Amazonia and push temperatures down to 9° C. (Friajes usually last between 1 and 3 days).

Kit list

Good kit is vital for every trip.

Book with Andean Trails and get 15% off Páramo’s fantastic ethical and high performance outdoor gear.



When planning for the varied climatic conditions you will encounter across Peru, layering is the most practical and versatile clothing system.

The sun is very strong throughout the country, so good sun cream, a hat and sunglasses are vital.

It can also get very cold at night time especially in the mountains. Jumpers, fleeces and warms hats – which you can buy there – are also essential.

Give plenty of thought to kit selection, and try to keep weight down.

Below is a more detailed guide.


Detailed kit list

  • Medium weight parka or a down jacket.
  • Waterproof jacket and trousers. The jacket needs to be water proof and roomy. Side-zip pants are recommended.
  • 2-3 long-sleeve shirts – no cotton
  • 2-3 short-sleeve T-shirts – no cotton
  • 2 pair of hiking trousers- cotton or synthetic material (no jeans)
  • 1 fleece or sweat trousers (for cold evenings)
  • 2 pair hiking shorts
  • Long thermals – synthetic or wool – light to medium weight top & bottoms.
  • 2-3 mid-weight (wool or synthetic) socks.
  • 2-3 liner socks if needed
  • Athletic-type socks, several pairs, city use
  • Hiking boots that are waterproof and well broken-in.
  • Running/tennis shoes or sandals are very comfortable when you are in cities
  • 1 lightweight wool sweater or windproof fleece
  • 1 wool or synthetic warm hat.
  • 1 light sun hat with a wide brim.
  • 1 pair of medium-weight wool or synthetic gloves
  • Broad-brimmed sunhat, essential.
  • Sunglasses with UV filter.
  • Scarf for cold.
  • Bandanna – to protect neck from strong sun.
  • Daypack (at least 30 litres). Comfortable and with waterproof lining or cover.
  • Water bottle (2 litres approx.) & purification tablets.
  • Personal first-aid kit to include: painkillers, plasters (band-aids), moleskin, anti-biotic cream, general antibiotics (ask your GP), after-bite (tiger balm), anti-diarrhoea tablets, throat lozenges, re-hydration salts & personal medication.
  • Insect repellent (just in case)
  • Towel & wash-kit.
  • Wet Wipes/antiseptic hand-wash cream.
  • Sunscreen (factor 30+) and lip salve.
  • Head-lamp (plus spare bulb and batteries).
  • Penknife.
  • Travel alarm clock.
  • Plastic bags – ‘Zip-loc’ & tough bin liners.
  • Camera and film / memory cards (take at least twice the amount you think you will need!).
  • Book, e-book, mp3 player/ipod or other to help pass the time.
  • Binoculars.
  • Spanish/English phrasebook.
  • Extra snacks i.e. cereal bars or favourite chocolate bars.


Miscellaneous others

  • Money belt.
  • Passport.
  • U.S. dollars cash, mixed-denomination notes, undamaged and unmarked.
  • ATM cash/credit card.
  • Any inoculation certificates.
  • Personal & medical insurance certificates.
  • Presents e.g. Postcards from home.
  • Comfortable clothes for travel, smart clothes for night life.

ATOL holiday protection

Andean Trails has 25 years of experience of putting together the best South America holidays.

We pay a fee to the CAA for every licensable passenger we book since we hold an Air Travel Organiser’s Licence granted by the Civil Aviation Authority. In the unlikely event of our insolvency, the CAA will ensure that you are not stranded abroad and will arrange to refund any money you have paid to us for an advance booking.

We also offer ATOL (Civil Aviation Authority) protected holidays to give our customers peace of mind when booking and travelling.

When you buy an ATOL protected air holiday package from Andean Trails Ltd you will receive a Confirmation Invoice from us confirming your arrangements and your protection under our Air Travel Organiser’s Licence number 6275.

You can read more about ATOL, who is covered and what protections you have if not ATOL-covered, on our ATOL page.


What is ATOL?

The CAA’s ATOL scheme offers protection to your money and your holiday if you book with us. Not everybody is covered (see ‘Who is covered?’ for more), as you must purchase an ‘air package holiday’ with Andean Trails to be protected.

And  ‘air package holiday’ is defined as including a flight and some ground services (hotel, transfer, trek etc). This is also known as an ‘ATOL-protected holiday’.


Who is covered?

To be covered by ATOL, you must book a flight and some ground services with us and be from the UK. If you are from the UK and only book ground services and no flights, you are not covered by ATOL (see below for more on how non-ATOL clients are covered).

If you are outside the UK and buy flights with us, you will be ATOL protected IF any of the flights booked with Andean Trails touches/stops in the UK at any point during your holiday package booked with us.

If you buy your flights elsewhere, please check with that agent if you are ATOL protected. Be careful with online flight purchases and make sure you know what protection you have, if any, before paying for flights.

Not all holiday or travel services offered and sold by us will be protected by the ATOL scheme. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking.

For land only holidays not involving any air travel, in accordance with “The Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992”, all UK passengers booking with Andean Trails Ltd. are fully protected for the initial deposit and subsequently the balance of all money paid to us, arising from cancellation or curtailment of travel arrangements due to the insolvency of Andean Trails.


I’m not ATOL covered, what protection do I have?

If you are not ATOL covered, any payments you make to us go to a Trust account.

We can only access this money once your tour has been completed, meaning that if anything happens to Andean Trails Limited while you are on holiday, then your money is secure and you can either complete the trip or be able to make it home.

If you pay for your holiday with a credit card, some offer payment protection – please check with your cardholder.

You also should have cancellation protection written into your insurance (which we recommend you have at the time of booking) in case you need to cancel.

Peru’s Amazon Rainforest

Peru boasts in its Amazonian region a vast swathe of world-class tropical wilderness with several rain forest and cloud forest reserves which are home to an immense diversity of wildlife.

Accessible from Lima, Iquitos or Cusco, the Amazon jungle is just a short flight away.

In Peru’s southeast lies the extraordinary region comprising the Tambopata National Reserve and the Bahuaja Sonene and Manu National Parks, with the greatest animal and plant diversity anywhere in the world.

Whether you choose to base yourself at a comfortable lodge or enjoy a more demanding camping trip, you can be sure of a unique, exhilarating and unforgettable experience.

Arequipa & Colca Canyon, Peru

The beautiful colonial city of Arequipa is replete with history and culture, and is the gateway to the condors of Colca Canyon.

Nestled at 2,325m/7,627ft, the ‘white city’ sits at the foot of three tremendous volcanoes: El Misti (5,821m/19,098ft), Chachani (6,075m/19,930ft) and Pichu Pichu (5,542m/18,182ft).

Arequipa’s attractions include the Cathedral, Compañía de Jesús Church, Santa Catalina Convent and the Dama de Ampato (Juanita Mummy) Museum.

With a year-round spring climate and sunshine guaranteed for 300 days of the year, it is the perfect place to begin acclimatising before continuing upwards.

Nearby is the famous Colca Canyon. At hundred kilometres long, this incredible gorge  is said to reach a maximum depth of 3,400m/11,155ft – twice that of the Grand Canyon.

An overnight tour to Colca gives you the chance to see the iconic, soaring condors of the canyon.

Cusco, Peru

Cusco is the archaeological and cultural capital of South America.

The one-time centre of the vast Inca Empire is a bustling highland city with bags of character.

Its whitewashed streets and plazas feature a fascinating blend of Inca and Spanish colonial stonework and offer endless possibilities for exploration.

You don’t have to venture far to find outstanding examples of high quality Inca architecture, including the monumental temple fortress of Sacsayhuaman.

There is also the fertile farming land of the Sacred Valley on the doorstep,  with many Inca terraces, temples and fortresses, plus colourful local markets and small villages.

At night, Cusco offers an excellent array or restaurants and bars plus the continent’s best Andean folk music scene.

Kuelap, Peru

In the northeast of Peru lies Kuelap – the jewel in the massive archaeological crown of the Chachapoyas Cloud People.

The mystical structure of Kuelap – dubbed the Peru’s second Machu Picchu by locals – is 1,200 years old.

It features massive limestone walls towering 60 feet, pottery, bones and hundreds of mysterious round stone structures, and away from the crowds of other sites.

This is a remote area of sub-tropical valleys, half way down the eastern slopes of the Andes. The jungle is impenetrable, dense with low trees, bromeliads, bamboos, orchids and mosses.

Lake Titicaca, Peru

Lake Titicaca, at around 4,000m/13,123ft above sea level, is a vast shimmering body of water on the Peru/Bolivia border.

It is the world’s highest navigable lake, set against a breathtaking background of towering ice-covered Andean mountain peaks.

The islands and shoreline of Lake Titicaca support many Indian communities, including the well known floating islands of Uros and the more remote islands of Taquile and Amantani. Here, traditions are strong and it appears time really does stand.

Agriculture, fishing, knitting and weaving are important to the islanders and by staying a day or two you gain just a small insights into this traditional way of life.

Islanders welcome tourists into their homes and this is a wonderful opportunity to experience island life.

Lima, Peru

Lima, the capital city of Peru, is a vibrant bustling place with a wide variety of things to do.

Stroll or bike around the historic centre, visiting the many museums or just chilling out in a café or restaurant in Miraflores.

In Parque Kennedy you can sit outside in Parisian fashion and watch the world go by in cafes and restaurants, or walk to the shore and the cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

There are a number of artisan shops & market stalls, plus a big silver jewellery trade, and a burgeoning number of top end restaurants with delicious food.

The centre of Lima is home to impressive Colonial architecture – Plaza de Armas has the Palace, official residence of the president, on one side, and on another is the Cathedral.

San Francisco Church, home of the Catacombs, is well worth a visit, as is the Inquisition museum.

Machu Picchu, Peru

Nothing says Peru quite the way Machu Picchu does.

The Lost City of the Incas, perches dramatically on a ridge-top 400 metres above the Urubamba river. The extensive site, with its many terraces, temples and palaces, is set amid a beautiful landscape of deep gorges and thickly forested mountains.

When Machu Picchu was rediscovered early in the 20th century and cleared of forest, it was found to be very well preserved. It has since presented archaeologists with many unanswered questions regarding the role it played in Inca times.

The sense of grandeur, whether you arrive on the Inca Trail or not, is impressive.

Try to arrive early at the site to enjoy it at its best – and late afternoon can often see you almost alone in the ruins.

The Cordillera Blanca and Huayhuash, Peru

North east of Lima, the Cordillera Blanca offers fantastic mountain scenery and some of the best trekking and climbing in the Andes.

The Cordillera Blanca boasts dozens of peaks over 6,000 metres, including Peru’s highest Huascaran at 6,768m/22,205ft above sea level.

The Blanca range also contains the world’s largest concentration of tropical glaciers.

This is an ideal destination for treks, from just a few to 12 days or so and also an ideal starting place for learning or improving mountaineering skills.

The nearby Huayhuash mountain range contains a dazzling array of snow peaks including seven summits above 6,000 metres.

This is a trekking paradise with breathtaking majestic panoramas and stunningly remote and picturesque camping spots. There is no better place to visit to get away from it all.

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