It is said that every place on the planet has something of interest and Peru is no exception with its natural, cultural and human legacies.
You will be amazed by the sharp contrasts of the forests and deserts of the coastal regions; the deep ravines and snow-capped mountains of the Andes; the densely forested slopes and plains of vegetation of the Amazon jungle.
Beautiful beaches, deep caves and some of the longest rivers on the South American continent exist in Peru.
Travel along ancient paths that wind through the diverse terrains of Peru. Take the opportunity to observe endangered species in their natural habitat. See vegetation that is used in modern day medications, as well as vegetation that is still used today by the locals for medicinal purposes.
Peru's population is filled with diverse racial backgrounds. This results in a multitude of ancient, creative and colorful folk art. Travelers can join in celebrations of music and dance, and listen to people relate the history of their ancestors.
Visit local villages and farms. See how the people manage to grow crops in the highlands, jungles and coastal regions.
After a visit to Lima, travel to Cusco in the ancient sacred valley of the Incas that dates to the 15th century. It will leave you in awe. Cusco is known as the archaeological capital of the Americas.
In 1983, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization declared Cuzco a World Heritage site.
Machu Picchu, 74 miles north of Cuzco, is known by many as a mystical place that exudes vital energy. It is also known as the Lost City of the Incas.
Located 70 miles north of Cusco, it is accessible by rail, then bus to the ancient site. It takes about four hours to travel there from Cusco. The site is 7,872 feet above sea level. In 1983 UNESCO declared Machu Picchu a World Cultural and Natural Heritage site.
Lake Titicaca, the world's highest navigable lake, is at an altitude of 12,500 feet. It is 10 hours by train ride from Cuzco. A visit to the lake would be an archaeologist's or environmentalist's dream come true. It's also a great experience for bird watchers.
Now if your love of travel is linked to your stomach, you'll be happy to hear Peru's cuisine will delight the most demanding palate.
Peru is known to have the best seasonings and spices in the Americas.
Because of the diverse nationalities, European, African, Asian and, of course, native Peruvian, many dishes have been created with this unique blend in mind. The food is also a part of its folklore. When you complete your gastronomical delight savor a glass of Pisco, a white grape brandy distilled from fresh local grapes or try a Pisco sour, the country's signature cocktail.
We recommend an escorted tour when visiting Peru. With such a vast area and much diversity, traveling with the specialists will transform your dream to reality.
Kate Fowkes is a travel consultant with Gadabout Travel in Melbourne. She can be reached at (321) 253-3674 or www.cruisetraveltours.com.
Gadabout Travel also has an office in Sebastian, (772) 589-0633.