Wealthy Santiago is Chile’s cultural hub and cosmopolitan capital. Ride the funicular up Cerro San Christobal and admire the views across the surrounding countryside before descending to the cafes, restaurants and bars of the lively Bellavista district. Las Condes, nicknamed Sanhattan, is the place to go to search out a hot deal in the best malls in town.
5-7,San Pedro De Atacama
Explore the breathtaking scenery that surrounds this oasis in the Chilean desert. Conical snowcapped volcanoes frame a landscape of delicate salt flats, scorched river canyons, atmospheric geysers and turquoise mountain lakes. This is nature at its most raw, with a dramatic beauty that commands your attention and fills your dreams.
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
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
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.
4h21m to Machu Picchu
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.