Peru:-Highlights-of-the-south

1-3,Lima

The Peruvian capital has experienced something of a renaissance in recent years with a burgeoning foodie scene. The Spanish conqueror Francisco Pizarro founded the city in 1535, and today it contains a fascinating mix of historical and modern sights. Head to upscale Miraflores, San Isidro and arty Barranco for the best the city has to offer.

1h25m to Arequipa

4-6,Arequipa

Haughty Arequipeños often claim that they carry a passport from their city rather than for the country in which it’s located, Peru. You’ll understand this immense pride as soon as you step foot in its delightful Plaza de Armas. Dominated by a beautiful cathedral built from volcanic white sillar and the volcano, Misti, which looms ever present behind it, this walkable and historic city is one of the most rewarding in the country. 

2h45m to Colca Canyon

1h25m to Arequipa

7-9,Colca Canyon

Descend into the depths of one of the world’s deepest river canyons, and watch as huge Andean condors fly above your head. Dotting the local landscape are several villages farming on terraced slopes that utilise irrigation systems predating the Incas.

4h16m to Puno

1h25m to Arequipa

10-12,Puno

Experience what it’s like to live over 4000 metres above sea level in a city on the shores of the world’s highest navigable lake, Titicaca. Take a boat out to the Floating Islands of the Uros, whose reed islands bob up and down on the water as they have done for centuries. The islands of Taquile and Amantani, built on firmer ground, offer the chance to see close up the Aymara and Quechua culture

5h14m to Cuzco

0h55m to Cuzco

13-15,Cuzco

Enticing Cusco delights the visitor with its charming old city. Cobbled streets lined with Inca stonework lead to hillside neighbourhoods like arty San Blas, while at the heart of the action in the bustling Plaza de Armas the city’s cathedral squares up against the beautiful Jesuit church of La Compañía. Watching the action from its lofty position high above the city lies the well-preserved fortress of Sacsayhuaman.

1h04m to Sacred Valley

0h55m to Cuzco

16-18,Sacred Valley

Once overlooked by travellers in a hurry to reach Machu Picchu, the towns of the Sacred Valley are now firmly established as tourist centres in their own right. The Incan storehouse that rises above the town of Ollantaytambo is without doubt one of the most impressive sights in the area, but you should also make time for the salt terraces of Maras, the characterful markets of Chinchero and Pisac and the amphitheatre of Moray, thought to be where the Incas experimented with new crops.

4h21m to Machu Picchu

0h55m to Cuzco

19-21,Machu Picchu

Wonder at the construction of this, Peru’s most iconic site. Whether it was once an Incan citadel, university or town, its setting high in the mountains in the shadow of Huayna Picchu provides a photographic image famous the world over. Marvel at the craftsmanship that enabled stonemasons to do away with mortar and find a quiet spot to contemplate how it came to be abandoned to the jungle for so long.