Central + South America Peru Colonial Cities, Inca Ruins, River Rafting, Trekking Machu Picchu, GLide ALONG the Amazon RIVer Colonial cities, lakes, mountains, rainforest, ancient ruins and a rich culture combine to make Peru a microcosm of South America and a great introduction to its variety and appeal. While the cathedral city of Cuzco and the dramatic Inca site of Machu Picchu should be included in any first-time itinerary, we always try to pair them with something more off the beaten track to create a truly unforgettable, luxury holiday in Peru. Given Peru’s altitude, you’ll need expert advice to design a well-paced itinerary and, as with all of our destinations, the quality of your guides is absolutely key. With expert planning, you can take a private trek to remote villages and ruins in the Sacred Valley; you can ride on horseback to visit the condors in the spectacular Colca valley; travel by luxury train through Andean landscapes and also spend time on the magical islands of Lake Titicaca or in a remote Amazonian lodge. Stories Places to Stay Highlights Location Stories As every one of the holidays we create is truly tailor-made, all of our clients come back with different and interesting stories. We love to hear from our clients on their return to find out about their most memorable moments. Our Destination Experts are also always travelling to our extraordinary destinations and every trip allows us to refine and add value to our clients' future experiences. ‘The Impossible Photo…And the Best Memory’ Emily Stephenson travelled to Peru on a wildlife adventure exploring the waters of the Amazon rainforest in search of its native pink dolphin. After days of trying to capture these shy creatures on camera, did she finally get that 'impossible photo'? Find out more High Adventure on a Holiday in Peru With its diverse landscapes and wild terrain, Peru really is an adventure playground for extreme sports enthusiasts. Experienced kayak and rafting fanatic Paul Cripps recalls his adventure holiday white-water rafting in Peru. Find out more A Tailormade Adventure to Peru Katie Harper travelled to Peru to explore the different cultural activities this fascinating country has to offer. From a guided culinary themed tour of Lima to discovering agriculture in the potato farming communities of the Altiplano. Find out more A sisterly adventure in Peru Two sisters wanted a memorable and exhilarating trip together. We decided that Peru was the perfect fit for them. The spent precious time together exploring the Sacred Valley and undertaking an off the beaten track trek through the Lares Valley. Find out more Waking up the Urubamba Valley Early one morning Carlos and his guide decided to hop on their bikes and cycle through the Umbamba Valley, they peddled past villages and were dwarfed by the mountains that surrounded them - the perfect way to explore the Sacred Valley. Find out more Trekking in style in Peru When we suggest hiking to our Client Matthew Perkins, he thought it sounded like far to much hard work, however when we explained that they would be accompanied by cooks, assistants, porters and a guide, he knew this was the way to trek in style. Find out more Show All Places to Stay At cazenove+loyd, we have no vested interest in the hotels, lodges, boats, trains and tented camps which we select. We only choose what is right for a particular client. We visit each destination in our three regions on a regular basis and have detailed conversations with our clients on their return so our choices are continually refined. Here are just four c+l reviews. This is by no means a prescriptive list, but hints at what we look for and value in places to stay. BELMOND PALACIO NAZARENAS, CUZCO One of the most exclusive hotels in Cuzco, this former convent and Inca palace is in the perfect location in a plaza behind Cuzco’s main square, making it an ideal place to stay while you acclimatise to the altitude of the Andes. Belmond Palacio Nazarenas has been restored to a very high standard (painstakingly by hand) and exudes a sophisticated luxury. Find out more HOTEL B, LIMA Situated in Lima’s ‘cool’ Barranco neighbourhood, this jewel of a hotel is the capital’s first boutique hotel and just what Lima needed. It opened in 2013 to great hype and has lived up to all expectations. Originally built in 1920 by a French architect, the hotel has been beautifully restored by its current owner who is a huge art lover and also owns an art gallery next door. Find out more INKATERRA, MACHU PICCHU Nestled in the cloud forest below the Incan ruins of Machu Picchu is a lovely sustainable hotel which is part of the well-known Inkaterra brand, also well-loved by us. The cottages are scattered throughout 12 acres of stunning grounds, connected by stone pathways, amidst waterfalls, hummingbirds and an orchid garden with 372 different native species. Find out more SOL Y LUNA, SACRED VALLEY Set in the heart of the Sacred Valley, five minutes outside the village of Urumbamba is Sol y Luna, is by far our longest standing favourite in the area. The beauty of the location is astounding; enclosed by a red-walled courtyard surrounded by mountains and wonderfully colourful gardens, Sol y Luna was designed in order to promote the nature and magic of the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Find out more Highlights For over 20 years we have been creating the best luxury tailor-made holidays, we know our countries inside and out and really know how to get under the skin of each one and the best way to experience them. Exploring the Colca Valley A timeless, terraced valley with a canyon twice as deep as the Grand Canyon, it has one of the best vantage points for viewing condor as they soar on the thermals above and below you. The quiet rural communities and their way of life has been virtually unchanged for centuries. Find out more THE COLONIAL CITY OF CUZCO Cuzco is a beautiful city which is easy to explore on foot. One of the best preserved Spanish colonial cities in South America, it is uniquely built on a pre-existing Inca city. It is full of details and little secrets which are a joy to discover with a knowledgeable and experienced guide. Find out more Trekking in Northern Peru However many times you have seen a photograph, nothing prepares you for the physical reality and scale of Machu Picchu in its mountain setting, clinging as it does to rock and jungle. Avoid the crowds with cazenove+loyd, we know a secret entrance. Find out more Private Tour of Lima Lima is often overlooked by those in a hurry to get up to Cuzco and Machu Picchu, with the right guide and access to some of its private secrets, Lima can be worth a number of nights and, being at sea level, it is a good place to recover from a long flight before the altitude of the Andes. Find out more Location We know Peru better than most. The possibilities are endless and ever-changing. On the map below, we have plotted some of our current favourite places to stay, some c+l highlights and a few pertinent client stories. And you can see if there is a team member travelling in that particular country and link through to them and what they are up to, so you can get them to call you on their return. Best time to visit Peru Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Best time to go Best visited April to October as this is the dry season in the south of the country, so perfect conditions to explore the valleys around Machu Picchu with world-class trekking. The Amazon in the north of the country is better at this time of year too as it is low water season, however the high water season brings pros as you can travel deeper into the jungle on river tributaries bringing you closer to the bird and animal life. Peru combines fantastically well with Ecuador and the Galapagos and make for an excellent combination of culture and wildlife with the latter. It also works well with the Atacama Desert in Chile or the Salt Flats of Bolivia. With direct flights between Peru and Brazil this also works well although does involve a bit more travelling. Meet the Team Central + South America Johnny Milly Chris Sarah We'd love to hear from you Our well travelled Destination Experts have extensive first hand knowledge of their destinations and can open doors that others simply can’t.