Peru occupies my daydreams with unique regularity. As a fifth-grader I was amazed by a photo of Machu Picchu, and vowed to see the city first-hand. As soon as I was able, I left for Peru. The reality exceeded my expectations. I'm drawn back regularly, but I also retrace my journeys as I shop for groceries or wait for traffic lights.
Peru is larger and more diverse than one might expect. Its territory exceeds the combined area of Germany, France, Switzerland and Italy. The world's longest exposed mountain range—the Andes—divide a dry coastal plain from the Amazon Basin, which covers half of Perú's landmass.
Countless cultures have arisen in what is now Perú. The earliest inhabited sites date back more than 12,000 years. During the last five millennia, complex civilizations built massive cities such as Caral, Chavín de Huantar, and Chan Chan. The most famous of Perú's cultures, the Inca Empire, began its ascent in the 13th century. Over the next three hundred years Inca influence stretched out, eventually reaching present-day Colombia and Chile.
These cultures left more than stonework and gold. Their efforts domesticated potatoes, peanuts, quinoa and tomatoes. Today, Perúvian cuisine is recognized as one of the world's best—a rich fusion of Andean, Spanish, African and Asian flavors.
Perú is also rich in biodiversity. Over 1,700 bird species are found in Peru, as are over 50 primate species, pink river dolphins, jaguars, vicuñas, and hundreds of orchid varieties.
With its diverse climate zones, Peru accommodates year-round travel. Temperatures in each region are fairly constant throughout the year. However, the rainy season in Cusco and Machu Picchu generally extends from December through March, and the Inca Trail is closed for maintenance each February.
Lima's international airport can be reached in about ten hours from New York, Los Angeles or Houston. Trips to Peru are easily combined with visits to mainland Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands, Chile, and Argentina. We organize luxury accommodation, private transportation, and tours with expert guides. Speak with a Mosaico travel planner today at 801.582.2100. We’ll take care of the details.
"In the variety of its charms and the power of its spell, I know of no place in the world which can compare with it. Not only has it great snow peaks looming above the clouds more than two miles overhead, gigantic precipices of many-colored granite rising sheer for thousands of feet above the foaming, glistening, roaring rapids; it has also, in striking contrast, orchids and tree ferns, the delectable beauty of luxurious vegetation, and the mysterious witchery of the jungle."