5 Reasons to Visit Peru
1. Ancient Ruins
Hidden in the rocky crags of the Andes in Peru are the mysterious ruins of Machu Picchu. It is believed to have been a religious site for the Inca. Built in the 1500's, its existence was only known to local peasants. Machu Picchu came onto the world scene in 1911 when it was discovered by the American archeologist Hiram Bingham. Famous for its huge, dry stone walls created without the use of mortar, stone steps linking its many levels and beguiling vistas and astronomical observation points.
A city in the Peruvian Andes, Cusco is known for its archaeological remains and Spanish colonial architecture. Once the historic capital of the Inca Empire until the conquest by the Spanish in the 16th century. Cusco was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1983 and has it has become a major tourist destination with its carved wooden balconies and archaeological remains of Incan stone work.
A group of pre-Columbian geoglyphs etched into the Nazca desert are believed to be created by the Nazca culture between 500 BC and 500 AD and were designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. Covering an area of nearly 600 sq. miles, there are about 300 different figures, including animals and plants. The figures are best seen from the air. The figures vary in complexity . Hundreds are simple lines and geometric shapes; more than 70 are designs of animals, such as birds, fish, llamas, jaguars, and monkeys, or human figures.
2. People and Culture
The culture on Taquile island on Lake Titicaca dates back to Pre-Incan times. The islanders still live according to the traditions of their ancestors and are world renowned for their lovely outfits and incredible textiles. In fact, UNESCO has declared the textile art of Taquile Island as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. We will sail over to the famous Uros Islands, a set of man-made floating islands in the middle of the Lake Titicaca National Reserve. Here, you will meet the islanders, who live on totora reed platforms just as their ancestors did.
3. Diverse Scenery
You can see the stunning vistas from high in the Andes at Cusco and Machu Picchu. You can see the subtle beauty of the desert while exploring the Nazca Lines. You can see the dense Amazon rain forest. You can see the Paracas Candelabra, a prehistoric geoglyph, while cruising off the coast of Peru in Pisco Bay.
Peruvian cuisine reflects local practices and ingredients—including influences from the indigenous population and cuisines brought in with immigrants from Europe, China, and West Africa. This mixing of cultures creates a varied cuisine that is unique to Peru. Typical dishes include:
Lomo Saltado which is strips of beef that are stir-fryed with onions, peppers, and french fries
Ceviche is raw fish marinated in a tangy citrus sauce
Canchita is roasted and salted corn kernals that ae addictively good.
Chicha Morada is non-alcoholic drink made by boiling corn with pineapple, cinnamon, clove, and sugar.