LIMA, Peru, Oct. 28, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Peru, on the Pacific Coast of South America, is home to extraordinary ancient ruins, gorgeous beaches, lush Amazon jungles, spectacular mountains, and more, making it perfect for nature and adventure-loving travelers. It’s also one of South America’s most award-winning destinations for 2021, as informed by PROMPERU, Peru’s Export and Tourism Promotion Agency.
Peru left the podium at the 2021 World Travel Awards South America, weighed down with four awards in a range of categories. It’s no surprise that the continent’s most famous ancient archaeological site, Machupicchu, was named South America’s Leading Tourist Attraction 2021 during the awards ceremony. As a supreme testament to the country’s wide-ranging cultural and natural wealth, Peru was also bestowed with South America’s Leading Cultural Destination 2021 and South America’s Leading Culinary Destination 2021 awards.
Travelers can’t go wrong choosing the country, now honoring its bicentennial, another reason for celebration. With easy connections to the United States from the award-winning international airport, Peru makes for a great getaway option this coming winter season, summer in South America. Must-try nature and adventure-filled vacation activities are spread across the country and include:
Cusco Trekking: The capital of the ancient Inca Empire, Cusco is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the Western Hemisphere and was made a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1983. The city streets retain the skillfully cut Inca stone architecture, preserved in the lower stories of overlaid Spanish colonial structures. Nearby trekking opportunities abound.
One important trail is Camino del Inca, starting near Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley, ending at Machupicchu, South America’s most important archaeological site. The Inca Trail is lined with amazing ruins, hikers making the trek with the assistance of Peruvian guides and porters. There are three different routes, including the Classic Inca Trail (or Four-day Trek) and the Sacred Inca Trail (or Two-Day Trek), both meeting at the Wiñay Wayna ruins to the Inti Punku, the ‘Sun Gate’ offering a first glimpse of Machupicchu. There is also the Salkantay Alternate Trek, the longest of the three, ending at Aguas Calientes at the base of Machupicchu. Other trails include Salkantay Trek (or Salcantay), from a Quechua word meaning “Savage Mountain,” named one of the 25 best Treks in the World by National Geographic Adventure Travel Magazine.
The Ausangate Trek is a 43-mile backpacking trip through striking Andean landscapes. The high elevations start at 12,000 ft, reaching 17,000 ft, passing small villages, glacial lakes, towering snowcapped peaks, and alpaca herds.
Amazon Jungle Trekking: Adventure travelers also head to the Peruvian Amazon, in search of flora, fauna, and birdwatching opportunities. Many tour operators include five exciting options, including Puerto Maldonado and Iquitos, both serving as urban gateways for exploring the deeper jungle. Other destinations on their tours include the Northern Jungle with river expeditions, Parque Nacional del Manu, set in a cloud forest teeming with exotic wildlife. The beautiful biodiversity of the Amazon jungle comes through in the Rainforest Master Hike. Inside of the Tambopata National Reserve, one of the best-preserved areas of the Amazon, this Rainforest Expeditions tour lets adventurous travelers encounter rare and endangered animals.
Aquatic Activities near Cusco: Several companies offer water sports tours with stand-up paddling, adventure rafting, kayaking, and more in the wild waters of the Sacred Valley. The Urubamba River beckons the most adventurous, especially during the December through March rainy season, South American summer.
The Sacred Valley surrounds Cusco and the ancient city of Machupicchu, the heart of the Inca Empire. This fertile farmland is dotted with Spanish colonial villages like Ollantaytambo and Pisac, the latter famed for its Sunday handicraft market and hilltop Incan citadel. Within this picturesque region is the Via Ferrata, a mountain climbing path with a permanently installed safety system, allowing beginners to move through striking mountain scenery with little skill or equipment. Climbers are attached to a steel cable, ensuring their safety, letting them concentrate on the beauty around them normally only accessible to the most skilled climbers.
More details: https://www.peru.travel/en
Urubamba Bicycling: One of the most beautiful vacation spots in the Sacred Valley is Urubamba. The ideal, year-round climate makes it an important destination for adventure seekers offering panoramic views of the valley and the towering peaks of the Cordillera Vilcanota. Adrenaline-spiking adventure options in a once-in-a-lifetime setting abound, from canoeing, mountain biking and horseback riding and more.
Paddling and Kayaking in Cusco and Lake Titicaca: Tucked into the Andes at the border of Peru and Bolivia, majestic Lake Titicaca is the world’s highest navigable body of water. Legend places it as the Inca Empire’s birthplace, and the area teems with archeological treasures and Titicaca National Reserve, sheltering rare aquatic wildlife like gargantuan frogs. The Peruvian city Puno is the main gateway, with tours to this unique destination and its cool, shimmering waters.
Surfing in Lima: With its surfer culture and cliff-lined beaches, metropolitan capital Lima resembles Los Angeles, with Miraflores offering easy access surfing. Close to the heart of the city beneath the towering cliffs of the Costa Verde coastline, the district is full of backpacker hotels ideal for adventure travelers. On the north end, Playa Makaha features rolling breaks, perfect for beginners. Redondo, on the southern side, is great for beginners and intermediates, with consistent year-round left and right reef breaks. Experienced surfers head north to Punta Roquitas and reef breaks La Pampilla, with their reliable year-round swells and lefts and rights.
Other Lima surfer hotspots include La Herradura, in Chorrillos south of Miraflores, where swells with four-meter or 12-foot waves can be ridden for 500 meters or over 1600 feet. Farther south is Villa, for experienced surfers.
With its incredible mix of landscapes spreading from mountains to the jungles to the sea, the adventures awaiting travelers in award-winning Peru are more accessible than ever with several direct flights to Lima from many U.S. gateways.
Image 1: Inka Trail – photo credit Daniel SilvaThe Inka Trail starts near Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley and ends in Machupicchu, South America’s most important archaeological site.
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