Peru lies in northwestern South America with a history of the Norte Chico and Inca civilizations, and Spanish conquest in the 16th century. With the Pacific Ocean on the west, the state of Peru has three distinct regions as you move eastward. Next to the Ocean is the costa region with sandy beaches and arid land; as you move further east, you will encounter the sierra Andean highlands. The highest peak in the Peruvian Andes is the Huascaran at 6,768 meters (22,205 feet). The most expansive region lying east of the sierra is the selva, the Amazon rainforests. The climate in Peru differs according to the region you are in.
These regions make Peru a country with snow-capped mountains for trekking, dunes for sandboarding, green hills for a leisurely holiday, and flora and fauna of the Amazonian tropical forests. With an efficient and excellent tourism infrastructure, Peru is fast becoming a popular tourist destination for travelers around the world. It is a multiethnic country with Spanish and the indigenous Quechua as the most-used languages. With mysterious historical cities, museums, and natural beauty, Peru has many places of interest for the avid traveler.
Lake Titicaca – At a height of 3,812 meters (12,506 feet), the Lake is the largest in South America. It is perched on the Andean plateau in the Altiplano basin, and is surrounded by farms, peaks, and valleys. Spread over 58000 square kilometers, it has 41 islands with five rivers emptying into it along with a number of streams. A boat or ferry ride here is beautiful and something to remember for a lifetime.
Machu Picchu – A mysterious city of the Incas, which was never revealed to the Spaniards, takes your breath away and leaves you in awe of it even in photographs. Constructed in probably the 15th century, the ‘Lost city of the Incas’ is a city with a citadel and a temple dedicated to the sun, hidden among trees and foliage on the top of the mountain.
Arequipa – A beautiful city with mountains and snow deserts to trek, hot springs and lakes to relax by, and canyons to wonder at, Arequipa or the White City, as it is more popularly known, seems to have the best of both worlds: an active city life and natural beauty within the same area.
Mancora is a beach town with kilometers of sand and the sun. A good place to surf and to just be in and next to clear blue Peruvian waters.
Lima is the capital city, with a host of museums, clubs, pubs, and restaurants. Wherever you are in Peru, do try their exotic food.
Do not miss the Nazca lines in Nazca, with fantastic shapes and figures. You can get aerial views of them with the day trips organized by Aero Condor.
Peru is a place rich in history and natural beauty. There are other important and beautiful places besides the ones mentioned here, like Chachapoyas, Chiclayo, and Huancavelica, which excel either in history, beauty or both, and one must visit the place to know it. Taxis are cheap, hotels are available in budgeted as well as luxury categories, people are friendly, and most of the places are interesting and worth visiting. Peru is one of the most exotic and beautiful places in the world.
This article was supplied by Nidhi Varma, who specializes in literature relating to travel and tourism.