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Peru Travel Information


A majestic South American nation with enchantment from the busiest Plaza Mayor to the most remote snow-capped peak, Peru provides an abundance of opportunity for adventure and education. Lima, a world capital, dazzles with a blend of colonial charm and 21st century development. Cuzco, the cradle of Inca civilization, holds immeasurable historic significance and maintains a unique cultural legacy to this day. The Sacred Valley’s well-preserved ruins, traditional customs, and fierce local pride make for a cultural visit of a lifetime. And Machu Picchu, the mysterious mountain citadel, is an once-in-a-lifetime treasure. Playing host to this fascinating culture is an exquisite natural setting of lush jungles, jagged mountains, vast deserts, and stunning coastline. Peru is a country to be explored and appreciated, with layers of complexity that keep even the most seasoned of travelers eternally intrigued.

To understand the current cultural and political landscape of Peru, one must look past the arrival of the Spaniards, and even beyond the Inca. A vast landmass encompassing the Amazon, the Andes, and the Pacific Coast, what is now Peru was once home to hundreds of independent tribes, each with its own customs, dialects, and beliefs. With the unification and dominance of the Inca in the 15th century, came stunning advances in architecture, astronomy, agriculture, and government – all reflected in the preserved ruins of Inca cities and ritual sites. This empire grew and grew, swallowing up the tiny tribes of Peru’s hinterland and uniting them in their capital city of Cuzco. Not long after the Inca established their dominance, however, a foreign power arrived. European explorers, missionaries, and militants arrived in Peru in the 16th century, and the two powers interlaced their histories through collaboration, trade, and war. The Spanish ultimately won, taking Cuzco and establishing a colonial capital in Lima. A period of colonial rule ensued, with periodic uprisings from the indigenous communities, until Peru won its independence in 1821 under the leadership of Jose de San Martin. As Peruvian identity was cultivated as a blending of the indigenous with the descendants of Europe, Inca heritage lived on through the influential Amerindian communities, including the Quechua who still represent the largest single group in the country.

Now a modern nation with a diverse mix of cultures, massive natural resources, and key access to the Pacific ocean, Peru’s major industries are mining, fishing, manufacturing, and tourism. Common tensions persist, including those between secular governments, Christian teachings, and Quechua customs, and those between environmental groups looking to preserve Peru’s natural treasures and energy companies looking to maximize development. Sharing a border with Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia, Chile, and Brazil, Peru is a nation infused with plenty of influence from its neighbors, not to mention close contact with Trans-Pacific partners like Japan. This unique geo-positioning is reflected in everything from Peruvian style, to music, to cuisine.

The size of Alaska, with an unrivaled diversity of landscapes and climate zones, Peru is a rich tapestry of South America’s most intriguing elements. Visitors often leave with more questions than answers and a hunger to return and for more exploring.
Damon put together the perfect itinerary for our group of 7 - including grandparents. His knowledge of the region is superb, which is why he is able to create the ultimate trip for your family. From whitewater rafting in Peru to zip-lining in Ecuador, we truly had the trip of a lifetime! I wouldn't go with anyone else!
Carolyn Malloy
Carolyn Malloy
12:40 31 Jan 19
Our trip was fantastic and Micaela with Andean Discovery was great! Every detail was taken care of ahead of time. We just showed up and enjoyed the beauty of South America. I would use them again in a heartbeat.
marc abrams
marc abrams
23:33 23 Nov 18
Thanks to Andean our vacation was a wonderful experience for our entire family of 15 (8 adults and 7 grand kids aged 16 to 9).. The planning for the trip to the Galapagos was well researched; the hotels, guides and itinerary were spot on. They answered our many questions before we departed and there NO disappointments during the vacation. It was the most memorable trip our family has taken.
Mary Ann Fuller
Mary Ann Fuller
18:00 22 Jan 19
Traveling to the Galapagos Islands and Machu Picchu was a dream vacation for my wife. After much research we booked our trip through Andean Discovery. We are so glad we did. Everything went smoothly and our personal guides in Ecuador and Peru were wonderful. I would highly recommend Andean Discovery to anyone thinking of taking a similar trip.
Arnold Miniman
Arnold Miniman
15:29 14 Dec 18
We traveled with our family of 3 people. Andean did a wonderful job helping us select an itinerary that was able to accommodate our various ages. We had no glitches in a fairly complicated itinerary and everything came off as planned. Our local guide in Quito Johanna was terrific. I can't recommend Sacha Lodge more highly. Our experience in Galapagos on the Coral 1 was magical. While the crew of the Coral 1 could have been more charming and smiled on occasion they were helpful, the food was very good and the rooms were kept clean. I have no reservations in recommending Andean Discovery for your South American Holiday
Victor Elinoff
Victor Elinoff
23:26 07 Jan 19
My family toured the Galapagos Islands and Machu Picchu in Peru with Andean Discovery guides and reservations. We had a fabulous adventure! I recommend highly that "superior lodging" be chosen as an option for the best possible room accommodations. The marvelous comfort of the fine hotels Andean booked for us made all the difference.
Kathryn Fulhorst
Kathryn Fulhorst
21:36 08 Jan 19