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Peru
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Peru is frequently referred to as the 'land of the Incas' and contains some of the most spectacular archaeological ruins in Latin America. With its wealth of ancient sites and cultures, it is the historical gem of the southern continent. What makes Peru so special is that it has something to offer every kind of traveller.  Peru is a land of contrasts and is divided up into three geographical regions:  the Andes, the coast and the jungle.

Peru's most famous attraction is Machu Picchu, which is breathtakingly beautiful and is built between two mountains in a particularly stunning location. Nearby, the colonial town of Cuzco can be used as a base to explore many of the surrounding Inca ruins. Being the second largest mountain chain in the world after the Himalayas, the Andes is ideal for hiking and climbing. One of the most popular hiking destinations is the Cordillera Blana which can be accessed easily from the city of Huaraz. Some areas have glacier-clad mountains with peaks over 6000 meters  - these are also frequented by mountaineers. The highlands are home to a large indigenous population who speak Quechua and Aymara and still lead a very traditional lifestyle. Small villages become brightly coloured centres of activity on markets days when locals can be seen in their colourful costumes and herds of llamas. Other opportunities for great trekking lie in the south: from Arequipa, the 'White city', gives access to the magnificent Colca Canyon, one of the deepest canyons in the world. Here, one can watch the flight of the condor (or sometimes up to 20 condors!) gliding effortlessly overhead. Condors have a wingspan of around 3 meters making them the largest flying bird in the world. The area of Colca is also ideal for exploring and river rafting.

The population of Peru is over 26 million although half of this is concentrated in the coastal strip which is mainly desert. There are many other archaeological sites along the coast such as Chan Chan and Nazca. The unique Nazca lines are drawings made in the desert in the shapes of animals, monkeys, birds and reptiles which are so big that they can only be seen clearly from the air. How and why the Nazca Lines were made remains a mystery, but an exhilarating flight over the lines is recommended to fully appreciate their beauty and uniqueness.

Although the Coast does have a National Park in Paracas where sea lions, frigates, boobies, cormorants and pelicans can be found, the Amazon boasts the richest variety of wildlife in Peru. Spread over more than half of Peru's land area, there is plenty of see. Whether in Iquitos in the north or in Manu National Park in the south, the bird life is phenomenal. Whether camping or staying at a jungle lodge there is lots to do, and if lucky you can also see the increasingly endangered species of river turtles, manatees, giant river otters, black cayman and river dolphins. Manu is one of Peruís most important natural Reserves and was declared a Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987. 

Other highlights include Lake Titcaca, which is the world's highest navigable lake at almost 4000 meters. The Uros people live on floating islands in the middle of the lake and it is possible to take a day trip to see them. Whether interested in history, trekking or adventure, Peru has something to meet the needs of every traveller. Itineraries can be tailor-made and combined with other destinations, such as Bolivia, to suit individual requirements.

   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 

This site is Sample Tours and Boats, more information being added all the time so if you can't find the tour you want then contact Ania Mudrewicz   by E-mail:- info@galapagoscruises.co.uk at Galapagos Classic Cruises. The Web Site is in the process of being updated and reconstructed.  Other destinations apart from Galapagos are:  Amazon, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Honduras, Mexico, Peru, Venezuela, South Africa, Fiji, Tonga, Papua New Guinea, Turkey, Arctic and Antarctica.