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perú

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Peru not only evokes images of Machu Picchu and the Inca empire, but is also riddled with archaeological sites, legacy of ancient times when great civilizations bequeathed their art, customs, rituals, wisdom and skills.
It has a complex geography, dominated by the elevations of the Andes Mountains and flows in the Pacific, which set widely different climates and landscapes such as the desert coast, the highlands of the Andes or the rainforests of the Amazon basin, all environments that shape the country as a land of great variety of natural resources.

Caral, located north of Lima was built much earlier than the Incas civilization had flourished; this was the first American expression of a Pre-Ceramic urban settlement with monumental architecture in an area greater than 10 hectares. Later, in the northern highlands, the Chavin (800 – 200 B.C.) achieved big advances in architecture, engineering, and agriculture.
The Moche civilization (200 BC-700 AD), along the north coast, is famous for its realistic pottery and its pyramid-shaped temples. The area was later controlled by the Chimú kingdom (900-1450 AD), building Chan Chan, an immense mud-brick citadel featuring 12-meter-high walls and superb architectural work.
To the South, the Nazca people (200 BC-900 AD) etched the Nazca Lines, an impressive series of figures etched into the desert floor, while graves belonging to the Paracas culture (800 BC-600 AD) have unearthed superb weavings which point to the magical and religious vision that governed the lives of this ancient civilization. Centuries later, the Incas (1300-1500 AD) made Cuzco the center of their empire, building major constructions such as Sacsayhuaman, Pisac and Koricancha. It is here that myth and history merge, where the Inca roads, the towns, people and traditions are a living example of the Andean spirit, sacred and monumental.
The Peruvian population is majorly multi-ethnic and mixed race indigenous to the substrate which has joined European descent, African and Asian; mix of cultural traditions has resulted in a wide variety of expressions in fields such as art, literature, music and cuisine.

LIMA

Lima was founded in 1535 and shortly became the most important city in the Americas. Today, it is home to more than eight million inhabitants and immigrants from all corners of the globe. In the historic centre, placed by UNESCO on the World Cultural Heritage List, you can find beautiful samples of Colonial architecture like the Cathedral, the Convents of Santo Domingo and San Francisco, as well as wood carven balconies. Lima is also a source of culture, demonstrated by the existence of many different museums like the National Museum of Archeology, Anthropology, and History and the Rafael Larco Herrera Archeological Museum, where you can find priceless Incan and pre-Incan treasures.
In the heart of the city are situated great archeological monuments such as the Huallamarca Huaca or the Pucllana Huaca. And, on the outskirts, facing the ocean is Pachacamac, the most important pre-Incan sanctuary on the coast. The beaches are other of the great attractions of Lima, where you can do all types of aquatic sports, sunbathing, or just enjoy the beauty of the Pacific Ocean.
The city offers also a wide variety of restaurants and inviting locales where you will be able to taste delicious dishes, the result of the mixing of European, African, Asian, and Andean cuisines.

CUSCO

Located in the south of the country, on the Basin of Huatanay River and the surrounding hills, the terrain in Cusco is steep, combining the valleys of the Andes with the impressive mountains that descend to the rim of the jungle. Its climate is generally dry and mild. Has two seasons: a dry season between April and October, with sunny days, cool nights and average temperature of 13 ° C, and a rainy season, from November to March with an average temperature of 12 ° C.
The city of used to be the ancient capital of the Incan Empire, it was declared World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO in 1983, and is one of the most important destinations in Peru. Incan buildings are waiting for you to discover them among its cobble-stoned streets, such as the palace of Inca Roca and Koricancha, as well as Andean Baroque structures from the Colonial Period, like the Cathedral and the Church of the Company of Christ. In addition, you can visit the scenic neighbourhood of San Blas where the top artisans in the department have set up their workshops.. Only ten minutes away from the city, there are the enormous walls of the Sacsayhuamán fortress, and a few kilometres from there, you discover the archaeological sites of Qenko, Pukapukara, and Tambomachay, Incan buildings constructed completely with stone.
Also charming are the towns of Písac, Maras, Chinchero, and Ollantaytambo, which are spread throughout the Sacred Valley of the Incas, an hour away from Cusco. From there, it is possible to catch the train to Machu Picchu. However, a nicer way of getting to the citadel is by following one of the Inca Trails, a fantastic network of pathways that snake their way among the snow covered mountains, rivers, and splendid countryside. This is one of the greatest trekking routes in the world, since you find remarkable archaeological sites and areas rich in unique plant and animal species spread throughout it. This magical city has also an exciting nightlife with cafes, restaurants, and bars for every taste.
The enigmatic complex of Machu Picchu, the most important and beautiful inheritance of the ancient Peruvian, is part of the Historic Sanctuary of the same name, which is also one of the few places in the Americas placed on both the World Cultural and Natural Heritage Lists by UNESCO.

MACCHU PICCHU

The city of Machu Picchu is one of the most important tourist attractions of Perú. Discovered in 1911 by the American explorer, Hiram Bingham, this city is considered as one of the most extraordinary examples of picturesque architecture and engineering in the world.
The city of Machu Picchu itself was built at the top of a granite mountain. The Incas, using clever engineering techniques, were able to carry heavy stone blocks up the mountain side, and once there, they used their excellent masonry skills to produce amazingly polished stones that fit together perfectly.

INCA TRAIL

The Inca Trail is a vast network of trails built by the Incas that integrated the main administrative and religious centres of their empire, what they called the Tahuantinsuyo. One of these trails connects the city of Cusco with Machu Picchu.
There are various trekking options offered, depending on what the traveller wants. One of them is the eight day trip, requiring that the traveller is in good physical condition, in which you ascend the slopes of Mount Salkantay. There is also a one day trip option, allowing you to fully appreciate the experience of journeying along the route without having to struggle on a seriously demanding trek. Its chief stopping point is the Wiñaywayna archeological site.
The most popular choice is the four day trek, where the trail cuts through unbelievably beautiful landscape, due to several different ecological tiers, and passes by archaeological sites built by the Incas; it has earned the reputation of being one of the world’s most excellent trekking destinations. The trail crosses mountain passes that hover around altitudes of 4,000 meters, like Warmiwañusqa (4,200 m) and Runkuraqay (3,860 m), descends to 2,000 meters (eyebrow of the jungle), takes the trekker on rather long staircases cut in the mountain side, and passes through tunnels that reach 20 meters in length. This section begins at Piskacucho, at the 82nd kilometer of the Cusco – village of Machu Picchu railroad.

NAZCA

Just two hours from Ica, 50 square km of desert floor were covered centuries ago by vast drawings, figures of mammals, insects and deities. The Nazca Lines, discovered in 1927, are the most amazing legacy left by a culture that flourished in 300 BC. They are a series of complex designs, some up to 300 meters long which can only be seen in their exact dimension from an altitude of at least 1,500 feet. The question remains as to how they crafted the drawings, since the Nazca culture is not believed to have been capable of manned flight. So, what technology they used and what purpose the lines served?
There are plenty of theories regarding these mysterious etchings, ranging from landing strips for aliens to a giant seismograph. The most credible one was provided by María Reiche, a German researcher who dedicated her life to studying the lines. Ms Reiche believed the lines were part of a vast astronomic calendar where the figures marked different solar phases. Ms Reiche, affectionately nicknamed the Angel of the Plains by the local residents, was the first to discover the ancient technique of digging into the dry desert floor and covering the track with stones brought from distant sites. The natural plaster existing in the area helped to preserve for thousands of years the drawings.
The Nazca Plains (there are four areas in total: Palpa, Ingenio, Nazca and Socos) lie in the department of Ica, 460 km south of Lima. This lines that decorate the desert floor have been declared a Mankind Heritage Site by UNESCO, and the ancient mystery of the figures still waits to be unravelled.

PUNO

Puno, on the shores of Lake Titicaca, was the territory of the Tiahuanacos (800 A.D. – 1200 A.D.), the utmost cultural expression of the Aymara people that established in what is today Peru and Bolivia. Both the Incas, who took over these lands in the fifteenth century, and the Spanish, attracted by the mining industry, left an important Colonial legacy throughout the entire area.
Today, the city of Puno is the folklore capital of Peru and the site of the Feast of the Virgen de la Candelaria. In the outskirts, you can visit the fabulous Chullpas de Sillustani, a complex of impressive burial towers built by the Kollas; Juli, well-known for its beautiful Colonial churches, Llachón, a community that still maintains its old customs and cultural expressions; Lampa, with its vice royal church, and Pucará, famous for its pre-Inca pottery and the “toritos de Pucará” that the artisans create from clay.
The lake contains many islands where inhabitants live as their ancestors used to in custom and tradition. The Uros are an example of this; this people live on “floating islands” that they have artificially made completely out of totora reeds, and they navigate in their traditional boats also made out of the same material. Taquile, Suasi, and Amantaní are known for their residents’ kindness, their ancestral skill in weaving, their pre-Columbian constructions, and lovely countryside. The Titicaca National Reserve (36,180 hectares) protects extensive stretches of totora reeds and various species of plants and animals.

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