Now is the perfect time to go to Peru
From the Amazon River Basin to the Andean highlands to the Pacific coast, Peru packs a world's worth of adventure into one destination.
Now new luxury options and a blazing-hot culinary scene are calling fresh attention to this explorer's paradise. "There are so many different layers of experience in Peru," says Alex Malcolm, founder and managing director of the custom tour company Jacada Travel (jacadatravel.com).
"If you're interested in archaeology and culture, food, wildlife, if you want to go hiking — everybody gets something out of Peru." Here, a few suggestions for getting the most out of your Peruvian journey.
An Amazon Adventure
Start your adventure in style aboard Aqua Expeditions' (aquaexpeditions.com) Aria Amazon, a newly renovated 16-suite cruiser that plies the fabled river and its black-water tributaries. Kayak with pink dolphins, hike in search of howler monkeys, and fish for piranhas on the best luxury-safari experience this side of southern Africa.
Lima's Culinary Delights
Take Jacada's culinary tour of the planet's hottest food city, tasting your way through the Surquillo Market before lunch at new local favourite La Picanteria (picanteriasdelperu.com) and dinner at Maido(maido.pe), one of three Lima establishments in the World's 50 Best Restaurants. Retire to your contemporary-art-filled suite at Hotel B (hotelb.pe).
Grand Opening: Explora Valle Sagrado
The Chilean luxury-adventure pioneer Explora has brought its go-farther philosophy to Peru's Sacred Valley with the debut of Explora Valle Sagrado (explora.com).
Opened in July, the 50-room lodge is a chic compound of contemporary wood structures overlooking a cornfield framed by towering Andes peaks, about halfway between the high-altitude city of Cusco and the archaeological site of Machu Picchu.
Guided excursions take guests off the typical trails in this popular destination, with treks to remote mountain lagoons, bike rides along the Urubamba River, and visits to lesser-known Incan ruins. Of course, this being the heart of the Incan Empire, no visit would be complete without a tour of Machu Picchu, which Explora offers as a one-day off-hours trip intended to escape the crowds.
High Point in the High Andes
Explore the ancient Incan capital of Cusco's cobblestoned streets and squares before topping off your trip with the finest pisco sour in Peru at the elegant Belmond Palacio Nazarenas (belmond.com) hotel.