maccu picchu, Peru

Endless Travel Blog

Plan your vacation to Peru today!

--by Shelly Donahue

If you are looking for a unique vaca- tion, Peru, with Avanti Destinations, may be just what you are looking for. You should plan on visiting for a minimum of 6 nights, but with so much to see and do, I would recommend a longer stay.

When arriving in Peru, expect to be greeted kindly by the Peruvian people. Peruvians take pride in customer service and it shines through with Avanti’s local guides and drivers. Also, bring your appetite, as the Peruvian cuisine is a unique fusion of traditional Inca and modern Asian/Latin cuisines.

Getting around Peru is simple. You fly into Lima (about a 10 hour flight from Denver) and then take domestic flights to the majority of the other destinations in the country (Cuzco, Iquitos, Juliaca, Puerto Maldonado, Arequipa and Chiclayo). You must take a train from either Cuzco or the Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu. Avanti’s ground operator has modern sedans, vans and busses that are reliable and comfortable.

Lima is renowned for its rich Spanish architecture—the City of Kings was founded by Pizarro in 1535. Cultures past and present are represented in the outstanding art, archaeological museums and cuisine throughout.

The Sacred Valley is full of adventure.

array of peruvian vegatablesLima has a unique history worth discovery but the highlight of Lima is the cuisine. The gastronomy tour and market visit is often the favorite tour for foodies and non-foodies alike.

Cuzco’s architecture is dazzling and the city tour is a must. Be introduced to the charming colonial city built on the foundations of Inca palaces.

Peru is full of must-see destinations, including the lush setting of the Sacred Valley—natural beauty of rivers and lakes within the well-kept historical towns of Ollantaytambo and Pisac. The Pisac market stands out as a unique experience and is a great spot for some authentic handicrafts to bring home.

First-time travelers to Peru should always visit Machu Picchu twice. The first entrance is for the guide to explain the stories of how and when these ruins were built, but the next day provides a chance to really explore these expansive ruins on your own. It is always best to go to the Sacred Valley first in order to acclimate to the altitude. The Sacred Valley is full of adventure. You can enjoy the natural beauty by mountain biking, rafting, kayaking and hiking. I would recommend at least 2 nights in the Sacred Valley and then 1 night at Machu Picchu, with a visit to the ruins on the afternoon of the day of arrival and another visit the following morning.

If you plan on hiking the Inca Trail, you should plan at least 6 months in advance in order to get your passes to hike the trail. The Inca Trail is closed during the month of February and the best time to visit is June through August.

monkeysThe Peruvian Amazon is a one-of-a-kind destination. The Amazon is one of the most biologically diverse places in the world. You can see monkeys, birds, iguanas and the elusive pink dolphins. Long inhabited by indigenous people, the area has a remarkable history worth exploring. Avanti offers both lodges and Amazon cruises, which offer incredible day trips deep in the Amazon while still offering first-class accommodations and incredible food.

Another destina- tion is the enigma of Nazca. The barren desert harbors myste- rious ancient ruins—a set of carved glyphs so massive they can only be seen from the air. The Nazca Lines have long captured travelers’ imagina- tions with their preci- sion and scale. Full of

mystery, there isn’t much comparable to an overflight of the incredible Nazca Lines.

Lake Titicaca is the highest lake in the Americas. For visitors to Lake Titicaca, the floating islands of Taquile and Uros are spectacular for both nature and cultural travelers. There is nothing like the combination of scenic vistas and cultural authenticity. Revel in the natural wonders of the lake as you kayak the highest navigable lake in the world.

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