Machu Picchu and Inca trail panorama, Peru. Photo by Martin St Amant.
Peru’s ancient Inca civilization was largely wiped out by the arrival of the Spanish in 1532 but their remaining ancestors in modern day Peru are known as the Quechua, the same as their language.
On the map above you will see Cusco and the nearby ancient ruins of Machu Picchu (aka Machu Pichu and other variations). Cusco was the capital of the Inca Empire that stretched into both Ecuador and Chile.
This country is supremely and exquisitely varied, bizarre, vibrant and spectacular, not only South America’s most colourful, diverse and fascinating country but arguably the world’s most striking tourist destination.
Peru is culture overload champion but historically fascinating too, with Inca versus Spanish stories scattered throughout the Andean areas in addition to Inca remnants.
Key targets for Peru tourism are the landscapes, ranging from the lush Amazon Rainforest through the arid Nazca desert and its very strange graphics to the high plains, trails and Lake Titicaca amid the magnificent Andes mountains.
Sensational architecture can be found in Lima, the ‘White City’ of Arequipa, Cuzco while Machu Picchu is simply stunning in location and sophisticated construction, particularly if you are staggering in off the Inca Trail.
All this and the people are brilliantly colourful, the food interesting, the weather’s good if you pick the right month and generally Peru tours are cheap. More Peru Travel pictures and information.
Sacsayhuaman fortress above Cusco, Peru. Photo by Martin St. Amant.