Peru is often tourists' first choice for holidays to South America. A vacation to Peru is generally a cultural holiday, based around visits to Inca ruins, though there are also ancient towns, jungle lodges, beautiful lakes and dramatic scenery in which to explore.
Highlights of Peru Vacations
Cuzco is the old capital of the Incas and a fascinating tourist town in which to spend at least three nights. The best hotel in Cuzco is the Monasterio Hotel. Consider that Cuzco is high in the Andes, and travellers will need at least two days to acclimatize, especially if the plan on trekking the legendary Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. The spectacular Inca ruins at Machu Picchu are everyone's highlight of their vacation to Peru. Easily accessible from Cuzco are the numerous jungle lodges in the area of Puerto Maldonado, to where tourists can fly directly from Cuzco. There are also jungle lodges in the Amazon region around Iquitos which is in Northern Peru, though it takes longer to get to Iquitos from Cuzco (you would need to overnight in the capital city Lima). Lima itself has little to offer tourists apart from it's old colonial centre as well as some fine restaurants and nightlife. Two of the best hotels in Lima are the Miraflores Park and the Country Club Hotel. Another of Peru's highlights is Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world. Consider travelling by train from Cuzco to Puno, which is next to Lake Titicaca. Our advice would be to book a hotel not in the town of Puno itself, which is rather unattractive, but to book a lakeside hotel out of town such as the Libertador or the Casa Andina Private Collection hotel. From Puno one can travel through the dramatic landscapes of the Colca canyon (where the Colca Lodge is the best hotel) to the pretty colonial town of Arequipa.
Acclimatization on Peru Vacations:
Peru is a highland country - travellers often overlook the importance of acclimatizing to the altitude. If you want a highlights of Peru vacation, it's best to visit the travel destinations in the following order so as best to acclimatize, and to save the real highlight, Machu Picchu, for the end of your trip: Lima, Arequipa, Colca Canyon, Lake Titicaca, Cuzco and finally Machu Picchu.
Beach vacations in Peru:
There aren't really any amazing beaches in Peru, though you might consider heading to Mancora. Equally, there is nowhere easily accessible to use as a beach add-on for your Peru vacation. It is a flight of many hours to anywhere with a decent beach, but you might want to consider the Galapagos Islands, Rio de Janeiro in Brazil or flying to the Caribbean.