With a culture and cuisine as captivating and diverse as its landscape, there is little surprise that Peru is one of the most buzzed about destinations of 2016. Just last week, Fodor’s Travel published an online slideshow with inspiring images of Peru travel entitled, “10 Must-See Places in the Land of the Inca.”
A Tour to Suit Your Peru Travel Bucket-List
With an itinerary that includes almost all of the bucket-list places on Fodor’s list, our new culinary tour of Peru makes it easy for you to enjoy insider experiences exploring one of the most fascinating, colorful and culture-rich nations in the world. Here are our travel tips on eight of our picks from Fodor’s list of Peru’s “Must-See Places.”
1. Historical Cusco – The historic capital of the Inca Empire, travelers would do themselves a disservice to not take time out to explore Cuscuo’s most important historic sites. Make sure to explore the ruins of Sacsayhuaman, the Inca fortress perched high above Cusco, and tour the Qorikancha, or Temple of the Sun God. With outside walls once covered in gold and silver before being stripped by the conquistadors, vast portions of Qorkancha’s walls remain visible today at the foundation of the Church of Santo Domingo.
2. Contemporary Cusco – Explore the Plaza de Armas, Cusco’s main square boasting an impressive Cathedral, as you get a taste for the bustling tourist destination. Today, Cusco is one of the fastest growing cities in South America. Take in the sites and interact with locals as you venture through the vibrant San Pedro market, one of the cities best people-watching destinations.
3. Pisac – Located at the eastern edge of the Sacred Valley, the colorful Pisac market is a treat for the senses and a great place to pick up souvenirs. A highlight of our culinary tour is a day trip to a village just outside of Pisac during which travelers spend the morning in a local home for a pachamanca ceremony. Demonstrating reverence for the earth’s edible gifts and dating back to Inca times, a pachamanca is an earth oven created out of stone lining a hole in the ground. You’ll get a chance to step into town to explore Pisac as your hearty meal of meat, potatoes and vegetables cooks in the pachamanca.
4. Chinchero – As you venture into the Sacred Valley of the Incas, be sure to make a stop in the small weaver’s village of Chinchero. There visit a weaving cooperative and learn how the natural dies are made and the alpaca fiber is spun. Get a sense for village life as you explore the local church and agricultural ruins.
5. Moray – A short trip from the gorgeous Huaypo Lake, make time to stop and observe the sunken Inca terraces that were used by the Incas for agricultural experiments. With temperatures varying by up to 25 degrees from bottom to top, the microclimates of these depressions allowed the Incas to study how crops grew at different altitudes and then adapt those crops for farming use.
6. Ollantaytambo – An Inca ceremonial center overlooking the busy village of Ollantaytambo makes for the ideal vantage point to take in the wonder of Inca urban planning. Fifteenth century water channels and a grid of cobbled streets are still in use today.
7. Machu Picchu – Discovered in 1911 and considered one of the world’s great wonders, Machu Picchu’s improbable setting on a ridge surrounded by sacred peaks is as awe-inspiring as the ruins themselves. It is an experience that no trip to Peru would be complete without and is the perfect ending to our new Peru tour. It is certainly the greatest and most astounding accomplishment of the Inca, and a bucket-list experience that no traveler could ever forget.