Peru is an awe inspiring country in South America that is a proud home to a large section of the Amazon Rainforest. It has become an iconic part of South America, and a haven for tourists who want a taste of Latin America. Machu Picchu, an ancient Incan city high in the Andes mountains has also become a tourist hot spot, however the entire region around Machu Picchu, including the Sacred Valley, Inca Trail and colonial city of Cusco, is rich in archaeological sites that are off the beaten track.
Peru is somewhere I'm desperate and dying to go to, and a place I grew up adoring. From The Emperor's New Groove, to Paddington Bear and Monte Carlo, Peru is a place I saw a lot of in children's entertainment as I was growing up, and very quickly Peru became a place right at the top of my bucket list, even age 5. I remember falling in love with the character of Paddington Bear, from deepest darkest Peru, and adored the marmalade loving creature throughout my early childhood. Then as I grew up, I learnt about more places and slowly forgot about the vibrant and exciting South American nation that I once adored. Then in my final years of primary school, around the age of 10, I discovered Meg from the film Monte Carlo. Meg was the typical 'boring' and 'frigid' evil step-sister character, falling out with both her sister and her friend. But there was something I loved about Meg. I loved her the fact that like me, she had a free spirit hidden inside of her, which is especially shown in the final scene where she screams from the top of Machu Picchu, and once again my love for Peru was there. I begged my mum to take me to Peru, and through my love of a silly cartoon bear, I fell in love with an entire nation.
Machu Picchu is the ultimate place to trek to in Peru, and the ancient Inca trail somewhere on every backpacker's bucket list. With nearly one million tourists visiting the famous ruins each year, there is a seemingly endless amount of tour companies to pick from. So as you can imagine, choosing one to go with is a daunting task faced by many travelers, however it can be an easy and even fun task if you know what you're doing.
Tour companies range from minimalist and simplistic to dirt cheap and chaotic to over-the-top luxury, so you need to know what you want to do and how you want to do it. Although this is the case with hundreds of holidays, whether you want to do a South African safari or a cruise around Norway, it's especially important on something like this in order to get your money's worth. The most important thing to do is decide what it is you are looking for. Do you need an easy and comfortable holiday where you can view the sights from a distance, or do you want to trek the mountains and get hands on with the ruins and ancient Incan culture? Once you've done that, research.
I've noticed that families very rarely venture outside of their comfort zones, and soaking up the sun in Turkey seems a lot more popular than trekking in Peru, or even doing anything cultural or adventurous. This may be because people think that Peru would be far more expensive, and in all fairness, indeed it is... but not by as much as you think. The Family Adventure Company offer an all inclusive 15 day experience for just approximately £1600 per person. That's around £100 per day per person, including accommodation, food, drink and experiences. Once you break it down like that, it doesn't cost that much more than your average holiday once you add on your food and drinks and days out.
"Explore some of South America’s most beautiful architecture in Lima before flying to Cuzco and journeying to the cultural highlights of the Sacred Valley. Acclimatize in Chinchero and enjoy a local home stay, then warm up for the Inca Trail trek with a mountain bike adventure in the Andean countryside. Rest up and recharge in the ancient town of Ollantaytambo before embarking on the iconic Inca Trail to the ruined Inca city of Machu Picchu. This 14-day tour encapsulates Peruvian culture and lets you in on the secrets of their ancient civilization."
Luxury holidays are always in demand, and if it's in your price range I don't blame you, after all spending a night in a five star hotel is far classier than it is in a tent. So, If you want the best experience possible, and want to do it in style, The Luxury Peru Travel Company are the company you want to get in contact with. Although expensive, for around $8,750 per person, you can spend 15 days with a one to one guide in five star hotels, eating Michelin star meals from world famous chefs, while still having the opportunity to trek (and helicopter!!) over the famous monuments. And to top it off, they are willing to negotiate hundreds of different deals and offers with you to suit your party's needs.
There are so many options available, it's unreal.