Peru

Overview

Introduction

Lake Titicaca, which straddles Peru's border with Bolivia, is the highest navigable lake in the world—and one of the most beautiful. The Inca ruins of Machu Picchu, which would be stunning anywhere, are truly spectacular in their Andean setting, high above the Urubamba River. And Cusco, once the center of the Incan empire and now a vibrant gateway to Incan ruins, is also high in the Andes.

Yet even at sea level, Peru can leave you breathless. With unspoiled beaches, coastal desert, deep canyons and dense Amazon jungle, its variety of natural wonders is astonishing.

Then, there are the cultural treasures. The contrast between old and new runs throughout the land: Poncho-clad indigenous peoples walk their llamas through modern cities, past Spanish cathedrals built on the foundations of ancient Incan ruins. Giant, stylized designs were etched in the earth by the Nazca—a great pre-Columbian civilization.

Peru is where pre-Columbian culture reached its most graceful peak. Like the Parthenon in Greece or the Pyramids of Egypt, the Incan and pre-Incan ruins of Peru provide an unforgettable glimpse of the genius of a lost world.

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