Peru is a country located in South America and is one of the oldest countries in the world. The population of Peru is diverse and multicultural and includes Amerindians, Europeans, Asians and Africans. The main dialect of Peru is Spanish, however some Peruvians speak Quechua or Aymara, which is spoken by a smaller group who have settled around Lake Titicaca and in neighboring Brazil.
Peruvian culture has been greatly influenced by the Spanish and Amerindians. Though throughout the years there has also been influence from the African, European and Asian ethnic groups as well. Nowhere is this influence felt more than within the cuisine that is served in Peru. With the country producing over two hundred different species of potatoes, this is a staple in many of the dishes. With the climate being so diverse and various, there is an abundant array of plants and animals available for eating. Peruvian cuisine has only recently received acclaim due to the wide variety of spices, ingredients and techniques.
At 12,530 feet, Lake Titicaca is the highest navigational lake which provides sustenance
to the thousands of farmers that live and work the area. Lake Titicaca hold remnants of the of the Spanish Conquistadors attempt to take over and erase the Incan and Pre-Incan culture. The lake is so large that it has waves and is the most sacred body of water in the Incan Empire and now provides a natural boundary for Peru and Bolivia.
The country of Peru offers some of the most breathtaking hiking and trekking in the world. It is home to some of the highest peaks in the Andes Mountains and which are alive with tropical life and beautiful crystal blue lakes. The Inca Trail is one of the most celebrated in all of South America. Following this historic route leads to the sacred Incan city of Machu Picchu.
Machu Picchu is an impressive and magical sight to behold. It is perhaps one of the great achievements of the Incan civilization and is one of the greatest places to visit on a trip to Peru. It lays tucked in between two Andean Mountain peeks at 7,000 feet above sea level. It lay hidden for hundreds of years until the ruins were discovered by Hiram Brigham in 1911. Towering high above Machu Picchu is Huayna Picchu and it overlooks the mountain from the north, the original path is the one the Inca took and will allow visitors to experience life through the eyes of the past.
Another popular attraction is Cusco, Peru, and the Sacred Valley of the Incas. It is located on the Vilcanota and Urubamba River valley, ten miles south of Cusco. This entire area was the heart of the Inca civilization from the 14th and 15th century. Many of the residents in this valley live life much in the same way as the previous inhabitants. Tourists also find the city of Plaza de Armas quite intriguing, which in Incan times was the apex of the empire and twice the size it is now. The outside of the plaza was ornately decorated with white sand containing bits of gold, silver and coral.
There are several hotels and resorts located in Peru. Cusco offers hotels that range from one to five-stars, such as the Hotel Terra Andina, the Del Prado Inn, the Hotel San Agustin El and Hotel Libertador Palacio Inka. While in Machu Picchu tourists can find suitable accommodations at the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge Peru Orient Express, the Inkaterra Machu Picchu or the Hatuchuy Tower Machu Picchu Hotel. Machu Picchu, is a small town and has no taxis or cars and everything is within walking distance. However, there is a train station that will take travelers to any of the major cities and other locations they wish to travel to. Peru is a country that has a very diverse and ever-changing climate, it offers travelers a way to get away from it all and enjoy all the best nature has to offer.