Peru

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Peru: a land of ancient civilisations and folklore, bursting with colour and music and home to some of the world's most iconic sites and natural wonders. Peru is both literally and figuratively breath taking. A good place to acclimatise and catch your breath is the beautiful city of Arequipa. Here you can visit the Santa Catalina Convent and the nearby museum, which houses the Incan mummy, Juanita the 'Ice Maiden'. From Arequipa you can embark on a trip to the 3km deep Colca Canyon, a nesting site for condors who glide on the warm air of the thermals. Peru is synonymous with Andean and Incan culture and any visit to this beguiling country should include Cusco, a remarkable city with its mix of Inca and Spanish culture. Once the capital of the Incan Empire, Cusco is the gateway to Peru's most dramatic highlight: Machu Picchu. Arrive at the Sun Gate at first light for a glimpse of this Inca citadel appearing beneath the morning mist. Peru is also filled with an array of natural wonders including magical Lake Titicaca, the highest lake in the world. The extraordinary Amazon rainforest, with its abundant flora and fauna, is a dramatic contrast to the Andean scenery of the centre of the country and the mysterious Nazca lines carved into the arid desert landscape to the west.

Peru Holidays with A&K 
Our returning guests don't just like Peru, they love it. Absolutely adore it. They've written extensively about its charms, highlighting a visit to the iconic mountain top citadel of Machu Picchu with the renowned Alfedo Mormontoy. The former resident archaeologist revealed small, little known details about the blockbuster site that spoke volumes about Inca life - a perfect match of dramatic location and top-notch insider knowledge.

And that's just the start. They've enthused about a private recital we arranged in a converted monastic chapel where traditional instruments included animal bone and feathers; praised our guide Luis Silvera, a former professional drummer who revealed Cusco's best live music, and recalled an exclusive lunch in a private hacienda overlooking the Sacred Valley with a tour of the owner's wonderful Pre-Columbian art collection, followed by a private weaving demonstration.

A&K knows Peru inside out. Our offices in Lima and Cusco have 35 multi-lingual staff and long-established contacts with the best hotels - lovely and authentic, not just luxury - smartest guides, and specialists in everything from art to archaeology. In Cusco we also have 'guardian angels' on call 24/7 for any requirements. Small wonder we've hosted 11 Presidents, and eight first ladies.

But travel to Machu Picchu and Peru with Abercrombie & Kent and you'll see far more than just the famous Inca site. You'll cruise the Amazon aboard Aria, stopping in at indigenous villages in the teeming jungle. We've received vivid accounts from our returning travellers of feeding baby manatees and spotting caiman in the inky black night (well, if you will tell our guide you're the adventurous type).

It's all waiting for you, but you need a tour operator whose staff really know the lay of the land. Step forward our driver who suddenly pulled over and stopped on a remote road. He'd seen a guest using his mobile and knew the signal would vanish around the next bend. Now that, we'd say, is local knowledge of the highest order.

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