Explore a mix of world-famous attractions
Celebrate like an Inca at the annual Inti Raymi festivities
With festivities held in honor of Inti, the Sun God and the winter solstice, Inti Raymi or the “Festival of the Sun” dates back to the Inca Empire but remains a significant celebration held in Cusco each June. Spectators pile into the city’s cobbled streets to participate in a dramatic recreation of this ancient festival, with huge processions and revelers dressed in traditional Inca clothing who perform traditional rituals, including the staged (just staged!) sacrifice of a llama.
Watch the artisans at work in Ayacucho, the Peruvian capital of craft
The attractive colonial city of Ayacucho, tucked high up in the Andes Mountains, is best known among Peruvians as the country’s craft capital. Here, a proud artisan tradition holds strong. Everything from retablos, wooden alter decorations filled with intricately crafted models made from gypsum mixed with cooked potato, to textiles with “3D” designs can be bought directly from the artisans or at the city’s various craft markets.
Catch some rays at Punta Sal, the northern coast’s prettiest beach resort
White-gold sands and warm, crystalline waters characterize Punta Sal, an idyllic beach resort considered one of Peru’s very best. Just a 30-minute drive from the increasingly crammed backpacker-haven of Mancora, this exclusive beach is a picture of serenity and the place to sink your toes into the sand under the shade of a palm leaf sun umbrella. Outside of summer, you can expect to have this slice of paradise all but to yourself.
The richest assortment of ancient ruins in the world
Machu Picchu, the Lost City of Incas, is perhaps the most famous archaeological site in all of South America. This UNESCO World Heritage Site encompasses a collection of temples, plazas, and terraced hills shrouded in mystery—nobody’s sure why they were built and eventually abandoned.
The ingenuity of the Inca civilization is on full display at this ancient fortress, built during the 15th century. Surrounded by terraced hills, the complex shows off classic Inca city planning, with fine examples of stonework. The fortress was the site of the Incas’ greatest victory against the Spanish during the wars of conquest.
While the ruins at Pisac were originally thought to be a fortress, archaeologists now think they were likely used as a religious site, observatory, and residential area. Often overlooked by visitors making a beeline for the Inca Trail and the area’s more popular ruins, travelers might find themselves practically alone among the ruins or taking in the sweeping views from the top of the archaeological site.
What our clients saying about us
It is difficult to put into word the meaning of our trip to Peru. We feel so blessed to have spent time with so many wonderful people. It was the perfect balance of volunteering, getting to know the Peruvian culture, outdoor exercise and history lessons.
Would definitely travel with intrepid again. Everything was so much better than expected! Good sized tents, food was excellent, guides were fun and knowledgeable and very respectful of the culture. Loved it!
Definitely train when you do the Inca Trail, it is difficult and very tiring! Be prepared to wake up early and trek high altitudes and huge distances.