Why Peru Tops Our Travel Wishlist This Season

For decades, Peru was best known as a faraway destination for explorers, botanists and scientists. Now, as roads and rail improve and a hotel and restaurant scene blossoms across the South American country, its unique, remote beauty is open to anyone with a sense of adventure.

Macchu Pichu

 

Some of the most famous spots on Peru’s tourist trail include the abandoned citadel Macchu Pichu and the Incan Trail, but we suggest taking a trip a little off the beaten path to the Colca region and the thriving city of Arequipa. This region is one of vast, sweeping panoramas, UNESCO heritage sites, and local artisanal crafts which have been nurtured for centuries.

Even better, travel companies such as brand to trust Aracari Travel can cherry-pick experiences and accommodation which will ensure your visit is as luxurious and sustainable as it is invigorating.

 

How to travel

Book a one or two-night trip on the incredible Belmond Andean Explorer – a plush sleeper train complete with its own spa – which weaves its way along one of the highest train routes in the world to Arequipa. By road, Aracari Travel has created dedicated itineraries which allow you to explore the city and the dramatic landscape of the neighbouring Colca region, home to the second deepest canyon in the world.

Belmond Andean Explorer

 

What to do

Arequipa is a bustling city surrounded by volcanoes. Called the ‘White City’ thanks to its chalk-white colonial architecture, you can explore monasteries, dip into cafes and even travel out to Ruta del Sillar, the quarry from which the city’s volcanic stone has been carved.

Beyond the city, the Colca region plays host to beautiful wildlife, Spanish colonial churches and dramatic Andean passes. Aracari has created special access hikes throughout the Colca region, allowing just one or two groups a day. These include a newly introduced hike to Chimpa Fortress, an alternative way to see the Colca Canyon. Or hop on horseback and take the Colca Peru hike to Canocota Canyon, the lesser-visited equivalent to the Colca Canyon. Make sure to look up, too, as you’re walking: giant condors can often be spotted sweeping overhead.

Arequipa

 

Where to stay

After days of city exploring, one-of-a-kind train journeys and canyon hikes, you can rest up in luxury at one of a growing number of Peru’s sustainable, high-end retreats which are springing up in the region. In Arequipa, try Casa Andina Premium, a stylish hotel which is a mash-up of old and new architecture. Beyond the city, stay at Colca Lodge, which is home to private thermal baths and pre-Incan grass terraces. Or visit Belmond Las Casitas, a peaceful luxury retreat nestled in the foot of the Colca Canyon. 

Belmond Las Casitas

What to drink

Don’t leave without sipping on an iconic Peruvian drink: Pisco. Aracari Travel offers a one-day trip out of Arequipa to explore the off-the-tourist-trail vine-growing region where this grape-based spirit is produced. You’ll follow the entire production process before visiting some local bodegas to sample the finished product.

 

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