Peru

Peru is a magical land of stunning contrasts. It’s a country with bustling cities (such as Cusco, Trujillo and Lima) and remote natural wonders (including Lake Titicaca, Colca Canyon and the Amazon).

It’s a country with thriving culture, ranging from the Quechua of the Andes Mountains to the innovative chefs who led to Peru being named the World’s Leading Culinary Destination for the fourth straight year at the World Travel Awards.

In the travel world, you simply can't talk about Peru without mentioning Machu Picchu. 

The great Inca ruins are an absolute must-see – the type of destination that every person should have on their bucket list. The ancient city is a bona fide world wonder, and the surrounding scenery is absolutely stunning as well. Machu Picchu is completely worthy of all the praise it receives. It’s blessed with mystical beauty, historical significance and cultural relevance as well.

This week, International Expeditions Director of Operations, Tara, and Peru Destination Manager, Tracey, are exploring Peru's famed Sacred Valley and Cusco. Here are photos and a notes from their day in touring Cusco.

At its zenith, the Inca Empire was a highly advanced society with an economy based on agriculture, pottery, metallurgy and textiles. By 1533, rumors of Inca cities filled with unimaginable riches had reached the Spanish conquistadors.

While iconic places like Machu Picchu and the Parthenon are hot spots for travelers, lesser known sites across the globe offer insight into our past without the pesky crowds. The Inca and Maya left their archaeological mark on Latin America with fascinating sites that are “must sees” for travel connoisseurs. International Expeditions’ small-group treks take in a variety of these lesser known sites under the guidance of seasoned historian guides.

Peru certainly doesn’t lack for world-class restaurants and its renowned chefs and fresh cuisine are making this country a “must see” destination for foodies. But a few, rare experiences stand out for those who want to combine a memorable meal in Lima with a survey of Peru’s pre-Inca history.

January 29, 2014

The Art of the Amazon Selfie

International Expeditions' own Emily Harley shares the story behind this photo - taken by another IE employee Charlie Weaver. Charlie and Emily traveled aboard our Amazon riverboat Amazon Star (La Estrella Amazonica in Spanish).

A new program in Peru called The National Photovoltaic Household Electrification Program has installed more than 1600 solar panels in the impoverished Contumaza province, with plans to install about 12,500 solar (photovoltaic) systems which would serve approximately 500,000 households. The solar panels are free to the communities.

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A new Andean bird species — the Junin Tapaculo — was discovered in Peru by a University of Kansas graduate student working in Junin, a remote department north of Cusco. The new tapaculo’s range is limited to heavily vegetated band of Andean cloud forest between about 8,000 and 10,500 feet

Following up on leads from fellow birders and ornithologists, Peter Hosner tracked down this new species by following its distinctive vocalization.

Each time I see this photo, captured by Expedition Leader Jorge Salas along Peru's Salkantay Trail, I'm reminded of one famous travel quote in particular:

“Not all those who wander are lost.” – J. R. R. Tolkien

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