PERU

Nearly twice the size of the state of Texas, Peru is best known for its deservedly-famous Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, which I visited by bike, zip line, and raft this fall. Any country this size offers far more than one tourist site and Peru certainly doesn't disappoint.

Lesser-known and infrequently visited ruins like Choquequirao, offer visitors an opportunity to enjoy 15th century Inca architecture without the crowds. Cusco, where many of the main treks begin, also offers day trips to salt flats, rainbow-colored mountains, and former Inca agriculture labs. Deserts in central Peru offer sand boarding and sand surfing around one of the only true desert oases in the world, Lake Huacachina. The cities of Iquitos (in the north) and Puerto Maldonado (in the south) offer excursions into the Amazon jungle to view monkeys, macaws, parrots, sea otters, and caimans (similar to alligators) close up. The capital city of Lima has grown into the world's gastronomy capital, boasting several of the world's top restaurants. In addition to phenomenal food and culinary tours, the city offers fine museums, bike tours, and spectacular ocean views while serving as a base for day trips to nearby cultural and archeological sites.

I had such a spectacular time in Peru during a month-long visit in September, 2017, that I am planning a group trip there in May 2018. Contact me for more details!

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

The desert oasis of Lake Huacachina

The desert oasis of Lake Huacachina

The leader of one of 90 reed islands of the Uros people in Lake Titicaca

The leader of one of 90 reed islands of the Uros people in Lake Titicaca

Cusco

Cusco

Learning about traditional textile dying and weaving

Learning about traditional textile dying and weaving

Maras salt flats

Maras salt flats

Monkeys eat right out of your hand in Puerto Maldonado

Monkeys eat right out of your hand in Puerto Maldonado

Viewing the daily morning macaw's feast through binoculars

Viewing the daily morning macaw's feast through binoculars

Parade through Cusco

Parade through Cusco