Didem Doğan

Peru: an introduction

Yes, it’s worth going to Machu Picchu! Once a place becomes iconic we may start to loose our interest, however, Peru is one of the richest countries in the world with its archeological heritage and you will learn many things both in an archeological site like Machu Picchu or in the corridors of a museum like Larco Museum in Lima or Pre-Colombus Art Museum in Cusco. Peru is one of the seven places in the world where ‘civilisation’ emerged (like Meso-America, Mesopotamia, Indus, China, etc.). Peru is also a great gastronomical destination; I’ve heard from some travellers that they would go to Peru just to have a ceviche! Arriving in Lima after a five hour flight from São Paulo, I take a cab and head to Miraflores, the decent neighbourhood with chic restaurants and good hotels on the Pacific Ocean. You may spend a couple of days in Lima to visit the old town around the Plaza Mayor, to visit the Larco Museum and to walk in the streets of Barranca neighbourhood. To visit Machu Picchu you will take a one and a half hour flight to Cusco; spend at least a day or two in Cusco to see the old city with its Cathedral, square, Coricancha Temple, the Castle outside the city built by the Incas, Saqsaywaman. You will be quite affected by the altitude so don’t forget to take a pill from a Pharmacy and drink coca tea as much as you can while you are in town; walk slowly, do not rush as your body will not be accustomed to 3400 meters. To go to Machu Picchu take an early train, it will last about three hours (these are special trains for tourists which go slowly between the valleys). There are new regulations for visitor limit to Machu Picchu per day; to climb to the mountain of Huayna Picchu you will need a reservation in advance (maybe months!) since they only accept few people and the latest you can enter is 12.00- it takes about two hours to climb and descend. You can buy alpaca coats/scarfs from Peru, which are high quality, expensive, but they are for life. For detailed guide, continue to read our collection ‘Peru’.