Whilst we cannot physically transport you to our destinations themselves at present, we would like to offer you a little virtual escapism. We do hope that they will be a welcome distraction as we sit out these extraordinary times, and act as an inspiration for your next adventure.
In our eleventh (can’t believe we’re on eleven!) Isolation Escape we invite you to take a journey through the Land of the Incas, Peru. One of South America’s most beguiling countries, Peru boasts mesmerising landscapes, colourful and diverse culture as well as its captivating and well preserved ancient historical sites. Shrouded in mystery and rich in tradition and adventure like no other, awaits.
Logically we begin our journey through Peru in its lively capital Lima, spilling over with proud history, a prized gastronomic scene and a beautiful collision of cultures. Nestled between the Andes and Pacific, while the ocean provides admirable surf and magical sunsets, the city itself is bursting with UNESCO World Heritage colonial treasures, museums and markets, while vibrant bars take pleasure in serving visitors Pisco Sours, the country’s signature cocktail.
Moving to the very south of Peru we arrive, 3,830m above sea level, at the immense Lake Titicaca, the world’s highest navigable body of water, sitting astride the border of Bolivia and Peru. Located at the northern end of the endorheic Altiplano basin, high in the Andes, it’s western Peruvian segment rests within the Puno region. Its city of the same name is a provincial trading hub, and the country’s “folkloric capital,” thanks to its ancient holidays lasting for days, marked with vivacious music and dancing. Known as the birthplace of the sun in Andean belief, the entrancing deep blue lake is surrounded by Titicaca National Reserve, sheltering rare aquatic wildlife such as giant frogs. The surrounding landscape has been marked by its inhabitants over the centuries from the Pukara, Tiwanaku and Collas and the more recent crumbling cathedrals and checkerboard farms, where crops are still planted and harvested by hand.
Travelling north we arrive in Cusco, undoubtedly the archaeological capital of the Americas, South America’s oldest continuously occupied city, a melting pot of centuries of influence, where elaborate cathedrals hover over mysterious Inca temples. Gateway to some of Peru’s most iconic sites, Cuzco leads first to the Sacred Valley, ideal for exploring by bicycle between local market towns and ancient citadels such as Pisac, Moray, Ollantaytambo and Chinchero. It is however, the mighty Machu Picchu, set high in the Andes, above the Urubamba River valley, which truly takes one’s breath away. Constructed in the 15th century and later deserted, the continent’s most famous site, it’s exact purpose still unknown, was all but forgotten until the early 1900’s.
Our journey through Peru concludes in the north, where the Amazon emerges from the mountains, slicing through lowland jungle, and spreading out through powerful tributaries, which nourish the land hosting one of the most colourful and diverse ranges of flora and fauna on the planet. An area of intense natural beauty, the rainforest comprises 60% of the country’s land mass, its enormity and density having long protected its indigenous communities (making up just 5% of the country’s population) and exceptional wildlife from external eyes.
If you’d like to start planning a holiday to Peru while waiting for this storm to pass, please drop us a line and we’ll be delighted to send you further information on this colourful and contrasting country.
“A prophet once said ‘Don’t tell me what a man says, don’t tell me what a man knows. Tell me where he’s traveled?’ I wonder about that, do we get smarter, more enlightenment as we travel? Does travel bring wisdom? I think there is probably no better place to find out than Peru.”
— Anthony Bourdain