Why you need to go to Peru (even if you’ve already been)
- Lance Caron
- Essential Must-sees Luxury Travel Peru South America Tips for Travel Voluntourism Wildlife Interactions
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Why you need to go to Peru (even if you’ve already been)
How often do you visit a destination that has so much to offer that you wish you had more time to experience the things you missed out on?
Since 1998, Yampu has been sharing luxury experiences in Peru with thousands of travelers from around the world, often times more than once.
Fast-forward 21 years and 50 additional destinations under our belt, and Peru is still regarded as one of the best destinations for all travelers, and for a good reason.
Peru is definitely one of those destinations that you have to pay multiple visits to (or you know, move to) to really appreciate everything it has to offer.
Remembering our humble beginnings, we’re listing off some of the top reasons to visit Peru, even if you’ve already been.
From high-end accommodations to exquisite dining experiences (we’ll touch on that later) to even the modes of transportation, luxury is endless in Peru.
Get a feel of colonial Cusco with a stay at the Belmond Monasterio, a lovingly converted monastery now a luxury hotel in the heart of the ancient city.
If you’re looking to take advantage of a multi-day Machu Picchu exploration, venture into the cloud forest for a stay at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel.
The Belmond Andean explorer, South America’s first luxury sleeper train, is the best way to see Peru’s countryside. From Cusco across the Andean plains to the white city of Arequipa, take in the region’s spectacular highlights en route, including Lake Titicaca.
While visiting the highest navigable lake in the world, opt for a stay at Titlaka, a fully inclusive experience lodge right on the water. This modern exploration lodge with its overwhelming views is the base for unique experiences to learn about the region’s distinctive gastronomy, nature, history, and culture.
A beautiful mix of Hispanic, Asian, African, and native traditions, among others, the diverse melting pot of cultural nuances come together to become distinctly Peruvian.
Travelers can partake in numerous activities with the locals to get a real sense of what day to day life is for many communities in Peru. From the weaving women of Chinchero to the friendly faces of the Huillioc community, to Marinera dancing with Peruvian gauchos, cultural experiences are abundant.
Visitors can also join in on different celebrations throughout the year, including the highly anticipated Incan festival, Inti Raymi, ushering out the summer in Peru.
Peru’s landscape is as diverse as its culture, consisting of various environments that host thousands of different species for visitors to marvel. Sandboarding the dry desert dunes, trekking through dense cloud forests hiding ancient relics, and cruising through lush rainforest basins are only a few ways Peru’s sceneries can be appreciated!
The Andes mountains are synonymous with Peru. However, it’s the Amazon rainforest that makes up nearly 60% of the country. After making your way to Iquitos, the gateway of the Amazon, hop on one of the area’s luxurious river cruises like the Aria Amazon.
With its floor to ceiling windows, top of the line amenities and divine dining experiences, the Aria Amazon gives a pure luxurious touch to the enchanting Amazonian wildlife. Cruise goers can even take to the waters aboard kayaks and small boats alongside naturalist guides to learn about the different sorts of animals and plant life that call the Amazon home.
A good side trip to sandwich between your Amazon rainforest and Machu Picchu trekking experiences is a visit to Manu Cloud Forest for even more wildlife specific to Peru. Home to a kaleidoscope of bird species, birders, can check off many species from their list.
Trekking and Adventure
The Andes are an iconic site while visiting Peru, especially for those looking for some of the best treks in the world.
Although it has gone rather mainstream in the last few years, the Inca Trail is a given when thinking of trekking opportunities in Peru. Rated as one of the top treks on Earth, this 26-mile-long trek to Machu Picchu gives adventurers a beautiful mix of landscapes and of course incredible ruins to discover throughout.
If you want to step off the beaten path (literally) try out the Choquequirao trek. Currently only accessible by foot, Choquequirao is another gorgeous Inca site to behold when visiting Peru. It’s a good idea to give the hike a go before the anticipated tram is installed, and more visitors begin to flock to Machu Picchu’s ‘sacred sister.’
If you’re looking for a more unique adventure, a sleep in the luxury Sky Lodge is a must. Don’t expect a bellhop to usher you to an elevator up to your room though…
Dangling cliffside, overlooking the Sacred Valley, this luxury capsule is only accessible by scaling a massive cliff. The effort pays off though, as the uniquely transparent capsule rooms allow visitors to appreciate the impressive view of the valley.
Being Yampu’s home country, our travel experts want to give back to Peru as much as it has given to us. With the desire to give back to the local communities we represent, we have partnered with numerous organizations to help create a brighter future for young Peruvians.
Pack for a Purpose is one of our personal favorites where travelers can bring school supplies in their luggage to donate to a local school in need. Travelers can even deliver the goods themselves and interact with the school children.
One other fantastic give back opportunity is through the Orphaned Starfish Foundation in which people can assist with providing vulnerable children with technology, education, and job training throughout the world, including several in Peru.
Partnering with organizations such as Pack for a Purpose and The Orphaned Starfish Foundation provides travelers with a fantastic feeling of gratitude, social connection, and happiness. Yet some people just want to give more like Yampu-sponsored MEDLIFE Student, Ian, who spent several weeks helping local communities. From building staircases and houses to working in mobile clinics teaching children how to brush their teeth, Ian learned so much from his experiences.
Peru has gained the title as one of the world’s most esteemed gastronomy capitals in recent years, being likened to famed culinary destinations such as Italy and Japan.
With different cultures combining together in a melting pot of unique flavors and local ingredients, Peruvian food is the definition of culinary fusion. Learning first hand from the area’s top chefs, cooking classes are a fun way to learn about local dishes, how ingredients are sourced, and how to prepare a fantastic meal. Not to mention, learning to create signature Peruvian dishes will make you a notable hit at your next dinner party.
While in Peru, travelers can even savor traditional meals dating further back than the Spanish conquest (1532 AD for those who need a refresher) the cooking practice of Pachamancas is believed to have been created by the indigenous Quechua peoples of Peru.
Literally translating to “Earth Oven” Pachamancas consists of slowly cooking meats and vegetables in a literal hole in the ground, similar to New England clambakes or a Hawaiian Luau. The meats become fall-off-the-bone tender while the veggies become lightly charred yet deliciously roasted inside out. You’ll be craving the smoky flavors for weeks on after.
If you prefer something a little more refined or less hands-on, Yampu specializes in providing unique dining experiences at some of the world’s best restaurants.
History and Ancient Sites (Of Course, Machu Picchu)
As the Eiffel Tower is to France, the Taj Mahal is to India, and Wadi Rum is to Jordan, Machu Picchu is the iconic highlight of Peru. Dating as far back as the 15th century, Machu Picchu has become the most significant point of interest for visitors that can be revisited time and time again without losing its mystique.
A visit to Machu Picchu always includes a stay in Cusco, a city full of ancient relics amid its colonial architecture, including Choquequirao, Saysayhuamán, and Ollantaytambo. Lesser known in comparison to Machu Picchu, these sites show even more of the Incan’s amazing engineering with their stonemasonry.
Even if you’re not a believer of Aliens, the workmanship and mystery behind the famous Nazca lines are just as intriguing when it comes to ancient secrecies, especially with an aerial view. Take a flight to get a perspective of just how big and detailed these markings actually are.
The Ancient Kingdoms of Peru Tour is another perfect sample itinerary for history buffs looking to learn more about Peru’s ancient civilizations with a visit to Sipan and ChanChan.
Those who enjoy more modern history should make a stop at Arequipa for fantastic examples of Spanish influence. While there, our travel experts suggest a tour of the Santa Catalina Convent and witnessing one of the best-preserved mummies, known as “The Incan Ice Maiden.”
Finally, Yampu Tour Consultant, Karolina emphasizes that Peru’s Capital, Lima should not be overlooked when it comes to Peruvian history;
“I have clients who go to Latin America not only ancient history but also to learn about Europeans and their arrival – so Lima is amazing for that. People do not spend enough time in Lima lately. Between the square, museums, the coast, food, and amazing hotels, it is a great retreat.”
Now that Peru is at the top of your bucket list, let’s start planning your first (or second!) custom Peruvian adventure.
If you find yourself still looking for more reason’s to visit Peru, get in touch with one of our travel experts for some of their first-hand experiences, recommendations and special travel deals to Peru.
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