Peru is a large country on the Pacific coast of South America, encompassing a desert coastline, tropical rainforest and soaring mountains, each with distinct environments. These offer an exceptional opportunity for travellers to experience a variety of landscapes, an abundance of wildlife, a rich history and archaeological heritage, and the vivacious character of durable native cultures, all within one nation.
Fishing villages, fine beaches, agricultural lands, and Peru's major towns and cities, including the capital of Lima, are interspersed along the narrow belt of desert coastline that stretches the length of the country. The lush Amazon Basin takes up half of Peru and is an ecologically rich area of tropical rainforest that encompasses some of the world's most remote and least explored areas, sparsely populated and for the most part, inaccessible. Separating the coastal desert from the jungle is the splendid Andes mountain range, an endless chain of soaring peaks over 22,000 feet (7,000m) high, and home to millions of indigenous highland people, speaking the ancient Inca language of Quechua, and living in traditional villages with steeply terraced agricultural fields, with their wandering herds of llamas and alpacas.
An interesting history of ancient civilisations, tales of lost cities, undiscovered treasures, and unsolved mysteries make Peru one of the most exciting countries to visit. Travellers can marvel at the sophistication of pre-Colombian cultures and explore the many legacies left by the imperial Inca Empire, particularly the ancient Inca capital of Cuzco. Hiking along the legendary ancient royal Inca highway brings visitors to the awesome, majestic 'Lost City of the Incas', Machu Picchu. Boats transport tourists to the unique floating islands and the traditional world of the island people on Lake Titicaca. Travellers can wander around splendid colonial cities that have preserved their Spanish architecture, look into the depths of the world's deepest canyon, and contemplate the intriguing mystery of the Nazca Lines.
Peru, 'Land of the Incas', offers a stimulating and rewarding travel experience and is one of the most diverse and exhilarating of the South American destinations.