Peru at a glance
Brightly colored textiles, dancing devils, llamas, pink dolphins, coca leaves, Inca ruins, colonial cities, huge snow capped mountains, long winding rivers, surf filled beaches and of course the food! And that’s not even close to describing this fascinating country.
Peru is the third largest country in South America and one of the most geographically diverse. With the Andes running down the middle and the Amazon basin and desert Pacific coastline on either side, Peru boasts an exciting mix of glaciated mountains, steamy jungle and sandy beaches that is just asking to be explored.
Although often known as the land of the Incas, there are so many more ancient civilizations. The wealth of archeological sites dotted all across the country is truly mind blowing. From Machu Pichu to Chan Chan, from Kuelap to the tomb of Lord Sipan- there is just so much to learn about! And don’t forget the colonial legacy that can be seen in much of the architecture throughout the country.
Modern day Peru is a country full of contrasts. You can see huge wealth and abject poverty, a strong Catholic faith mixed with indigenous beliefs or global brand names coexisting with local produce and enterprises. There is an amazing mix of cultures throughout the country that has produced a remarkable amount of art, folklore and dances- as you will see if you are lucky enough to experience one of its colorful festivals! The people are strong, hardworking and incredibly friendly- you will be made to feel really welcome here.
And we have to mention the food! This is a topic that Peruvians will never tire of talking about and you will understand why once you have tucked into your first ceviche or lomo saltado or aji de gallina or arroz con pato or tacacho con cecina or… you get the idea- the food is good!
What not to miss in
There is just so much to see and do in and around Cusco that we almost don’t know where to begin! So, absorb some of the energy from the sacred apus because the capital of the ancient Inca Empire is probably the highlight of any trip to Peru.
Machu Picchu, the lost city of the Incas, is quite possibly the reason you chose to come to Peru in the first place! It was recently voted one of the new Seven Wonders of the World and we guarantee you will not be disappointed by this magical spot.
Between Machu Picchu and Cusco, lies a lush valley dotted with ancient ruins and picturesque villages. The Sacred Valley is a destination in itself. Here you can tour terraced mountain slopes, shop in local markets and take in the unreal beauty of the scenery.
With snowcapped El Misti, Chachani and Pichu Pichu volcanoes towering gloriously above, rolling green campiña and sunshine all year round, Arequipa- nicknamed La Ciudad Blanca (The White City) – is one of Peru’s most stunning cities.
Just 3 hours from Arequipa is the breathtaking Colca Canyon, which is thought to be almost twice as deep as the Grand Canyon. Here you find beautiful surreal landscapes with small traditional villages.
Lake Titicaca & Puno
Known as the Folklore Capital of Peru and resting on the shores of the breathtaking Lake Titicaca, Puno is set in the middle of the spectacular wilderness that is the flat altiplano.
The more visited Puerto Maldonaldo and the pristine, but harder to reach, Manu National Park offer great options for riding down chocolate brown rivers with endless green rainforest on either side.
The Nazca Lines series, world-famous in their form, are intriguing in their purpose. Peru is a country full of ancient mysteries and the Nazca Lines are no exception.
Paracas & Ica Pacific Coast
Situated on the arid desert coastline, this region boasts an interesting mix of ancient local culture, spectacular natural beauty and adventure sports that we find really appealing! Beware, there is no way you can escape the sand!
Although visitors to Peru often only pass through the airport en route to Cusco, we think that Lima’s chaotic yet fascinating capital city offers numerous sights and surprises that are well worth discovering! Be sure to make the most of the great culinary offer in the many delicious restaurants that serve amazing food.
What you need
Born and raised in Lima, Matilde has a deep connection with Peru and neighboring Bolivia, and understands the two countries better than most. She initially studied medicine in the Dominican Republic before switching career and returning to Lima to study tourism. Matilde started out as a trainee at Global Encounters and her talents were clearly visible from the start. It wasn’t long before she began to take on more and more responsibility, working her way up to Region Manager and now Operations director of Latin America. Matilde believes that traveling is all about experience, and great travel experiences come from discovering new cultures. She loves her culture and she loves the fact that through her work she gets to share it with others. Matilde’s energy, warmth and enthusiasm make her a fantastic team leader.