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AREQUIPA :: CHICLAYO :: COLCA CANYON :: CUSCO :: LAKE TITICACA (PUNO) :: LIMA :: MACHU PICCHU :: NAZCA LINES (PARACAS) :: PUERTO MALDONADO :: SACRED VALLEY :: TRUJILLO
Dating back to the 16th century, Peru's "White City" sits at the foot of the Mount Misti volcano in the western Andes. Beautiful Arequipa's historic center is a showcase of colonial-era Spanish architecture, built from pearly white "sillar" volcanic rock and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000. A cultural oasis, travelers enjoy the Spanish-influenced cuisine as well as views of the magnificent nearby Inca terraces, and visits to two of the world's deepest canyons, the Valley of the Volcanoes, and several beaches.
Monograms provides travelers access to a Local Host®, so you will have someone on hand to answer those vacation questions pertaining to Arequipa and Colca Canyon in Peru. No waiting in line at the concierge desk or trying to ask your waitress at breakfast directions to the shopping district. Simply ask your Local Host about Arequipa and Colca Canyon and you'll be on your way in no time. Plus, your Local Host will share local Arequipa and Colca Canyon insights and share suggestions for getting off the beaten path, leaving you more time to create lasting vacation memories that are yours alone.
If seeing a beautiful new world is what you seek, you must undoubtedly visit Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
See and enjoy a beautiful geography of mountains that speak to their guests, dream-like flora and fauna, and lively cultures with friendly people. And from the deepest Canyon on the earth, you can see the millenarian “condor” ascend. Do you want to know more? Then come visit this beautiful part of Peru!
A Monastry from the 17th century, now a museum displaying mummies, masks, various objects from missionary travels and a huge library.
Ampato´s Princess, discovered in September 1995. She was an offering to the Apus over 500 years ago. Its discovery astonished scientists due to the conservation of her body.
The Monastry of the Barefoot of San Jose opens its doors to the public as a Museum of Art after 295 years of its foundation. The museum offers a selected sample of canvas paintings, sculpture, goldsmithing, mural painting, furniture and daily use objects.
It represents the civil architecture of Arequipa, built in 1733, with a mixed baroque style. It preserves an emblematic Blackberry tree in its courtyard and has a fascinating collection of colonial and republican furniture.
This market is a historical and monumental patrimony of the city of Arequipa. Here you can see the great variety of products that this land offers. Additionally, you can see the area of “hierberos” with their natural medicine options.
A nice shopping center in downtown where you can find Peruvian handicraft and the best places to buy fine alpaca products. Here you can also find Ilaria, with the best works in Peruvian Silver. Also delight in some snacks at the Coffe Shop.
Founded in the XVII century by Jesuits, here you can also find great variety of Alpaca products and local handicraft.
Founded in 1560 as a rural Indian village, Chiclayo is Peru's fourth-largest city. Known as the "City of Friendship," it offers a sunny and warm climate with pleasant sea breezes. Its Plaza de Armas, the main square, features colonial architecture, stylish cafés, and a 19th-century cathedral. The Mercado Modelo marketplace offers a wide range of specialties, including products of local healers and shamans. Chiclayo's main attractions are the nearby archaeological sites and ruins. In particular, the treasures found in the tomb of the Lord of Sipan, one of the leaders of the Moche culture, rivals those found in King Tut's tomb.
Monograms provides travelers access to a Local Host®, so you will have someone on hand to answer those vacation questions pertaining to Chiclayo. No waiting in line at the concierge desk or trying to ask your waitress at breakfast directions to the shopping district. Simply ask your Local Host about Chiclayo and you'll be on your way in no time. Plus, your Local Host will share local Chiclayo, Peru insights and share suggestions for getting off the beaten path, leaving you more time to create lasting vacation memories that are yours alone.
The city of Chiclayo is known for its traditional cuisine, and the best place to taste it is certainly Sabores Peruanos, a restaurant with modern infrastructure but with all the flavor of Peruvian food.
Located in Lambayeque, 40 minutes from Chiclayo city, the museum displays more than 1,500 pieces of various pre-Incan cultures, including a priceless collection of textiles and ceramics from Chimú and Vicus cultures. Thousands of gold objects are kept indoors, including copper funerary masks, ceremonial vessels, and extraordinary jewelry necklaces from the Mochica, Chimu and Lambayeque cultures.
Known as the Lost Valley of the Incas and more than twice as deep as the Grand Canyon, Colca Canyon in southern Peru is home to spectacular scenery, beautiful pre-Columbian terraces still cultivated by the locals, and awe-inspiring Andean Condors. Condors' Cross, where condors soar gracefully on the rising thermals, is definitely an area highlight. In addition to the canyon: relax at La Calera hot springs; watch for wolves, vicuñas, flamingoes, and taruca at the Aguada Blanca National Reserve; and maybe join a rafting trip on the Rio Colca for exquisite views from the river up the canyon walls.
Hailed as the capital of the Inca Empire from 1200-1532 AD, Cusco is South America's oldest continuously inhabited city-and its ancient influences are palpable, even today. One of the most visited cities in the country, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is the gateway to Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley. Graced with well preserved colonial architecture, the imposing cathedral and San Blas Church are just two of Cusco's highlights. By simply strolling along the cobblestone streets, layers of history are revealed. Spanish colonial buildings sitting directly atop ancient Inca walls line the plaza, and the city is surrounded by ruins, including the impressive Sacsayhuaman.
Monograms provides travelers access to a Local Host®, so you will have someone on hand to answer those vacation questions pertaining to Cusco. No waiting in line at the concierge desk or trying to ask your waitress at breakfast directions to the shopping district. Simply ask your Local Host about Cusco and you'll be on your way in no time. Plus, your Local Host will share local Cusco insights and share suggestions for getting off the beaten path, leaving you more time to create lasting vacation memories that are yours alone.
Hello my name is Jorge Malaga. What I like about Cusco is the peace it makes you feel. A tour to the Sacred Valley of the Incas on a sunny day is enough to make you relax and enjoy this peace and harmony, in which its people live every day. I really admire this city and its cultural identity that amazes everyone who visits our archaeological sites.
Cuzco’s version of the sidewalk café is the quinta—an open-air restaurant with affordably priced Peruvian fare. Quinta Eulalia is Cuzco’s oldest quinta, and it offers a little history with a lot of food.
Restaurante Illary offers a fine-dining experience in the Hotel Monasterio. Savor the alpaca tenderloin in the sacred setting of this former monastery.
Many will try to sell you what you believe to be 100% alpaca, but you can rest assured that the sweaters, scarves, and blankets at this shop are the real deal.
Handmade silver jewelry is an excellent purchase in Cuzco. If you want to know the name behind your special find, purchase a piece from this local craftsman.
This bustling coffee shop is famous for its ponche de leche, a beverage made with milk and a shot of pisco, and its lenguas, a flaky pastry with a crème filling.
If you can make the steep walk from the Plaza de Armas to this charming neighborhood, you won’t regret it. Panoramic views of the city can be seen outside the artists’ workshops that line the streets of this picturesque area.
There are many handicraft shops in Cuzco. This one is known internationally for its saint figures with elongated necks.
Founded in 1937, this museum houses an interesting collection of masks and other carved items. Its most interesting display is its large collection of dolls.
Cuzco may be the gateway to Machu Picchu, but there are smaller ruins you shouldn’t miss. Water still flows over a system of complicated canals at this amazing site—also known as the Inca Baths.
Raised on Inca foundations by Admiral Aldrete Maldonado in the early-17th century, this home has a magnificent baroque doorway emblazoned with the admiral’s coat-of arms, a large arched patio, and salons with coffered ceilings. It exhibits keros (carved ceremonial goblets), weavings, mummies, and silver and gold figurines, as well as Inca weapons, tools, and ceramics.
Enjoy this area where South American camelidae are bred. Learn about the superb fibers that come from llamas, alpacas, and vicunas. Also learn about the ancient weaving techniques, which are still in use.
Pablo Seminario has been dedicated to the discovery of the techniques and design from ancient Peruvian cultures. Mr. Seminario presents a new art expression providing continuity to these cultural inheritances.
Enjoy this pretty town 35 km (1 hour) from Cuzco along the paved highway to Puno. Its unique church, San Pedro de Andahuaylillas, is the biggest attraction for visitors.
Located a few meters off the Main Square of the fascinating city of Cuzco in an old Inca palace, the new Incanto is definitely worth a visit. Welcoming and contemporary, its varied menu contains more than 80 dishes. The restaurant offers Italian food, pasta, and various specialties from the grill cooked with an original touch and Peruvian ingredients.
On the second floor of a colonial-era townhouse, this restaurant has a unique personality. La Panaderia serves gourmet breakfasts with breads straight out of the oven. The tapas bar is a perfect relaxing place to enjoy a glass of wine and some tapas. The main dining room offers an unforgettable fusion of Mediterranean dishes made with Andean ingredients.
Learn about the history of the Cacao and the chocolate, the Cacao’s tree and its small chocolate factory where the products are made. Enjoy a workshop in the Museum: Roasting of the caco beans, cacao husk removal, grinding of the cacao nibs on a metate with a mano (the way the aztecs did) or with a batang (like Incas here in Peru) Refining and conching of the cacao paste in a melangeur.
Tipon is important for its excellent hydraulic engineering work and it is composed by an agricultural group of platforms with long steps and ducts elaborated in limestone. This impressive system of irrigation is still used in agriculture. Some of the fountains in Tipon must have ceremonial purposes. Tipon is considered an Inca temple dedicated to the water cult. Piquillacta is a national archaeological park with landscapes of great interest. This archaeological Pre-Inca citadel was one of the most spectacular regional centers of the Wari culture. The constructions of Piquillacta are composed by more than 700 structures displayed in a harmonious and symmetric way, with different buildings that should have sheltered a population of about ten thousand people.
It’s located one hour by walking from Aguas Calientes; find a lots of butterflies and birds, maybe orchids at the right time of year.
Located in Cusco city, the exhibition of over 360 archaeological pieces from Machu Picchu that were recently returned by the U.S. Yale University will be held at the newly-renovated Casa Concha. You will be able to appreciate ceramics, stone and metal objects, fragments of bones as well as a nearly complete skeleton of a male between 23 and 25 years.
A tranvia is a vehicle designed to look like the old mule-pulled streetcars that once traversed Cusco. It offers sightseeing through the main streets in Cusco and visits 40 different places in Cusco city.
Shared by Bolivia and Peru, Lake Titicaca is South America's largest lake and the world's highest navigable body of water (over 12,500 feet above sea level). A sacred place among the people who live on and around the lake, Titicaca's memorable attractions include beautiful Taquile Island, known for its outstanding handcrafted textiles; and the incredible Uros Floating Islands, made completely of reeds, which are continually added by residents as the old ones disintegrate to the bottom of the lake.
Founded by Spanish explorer Francisco Pizarro in 1535, Peru's largest city and capital is a fascinating place to visit. Lima's historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is peppered with pre-Columbian temples and remnants of colonial mansions with lavish, Moorish-style balconies. Must-see attractions include the Government Palace, and the San Francisco Monastery and Cathedral of Lima, which are said to be connected by their underground catacombs. Lima is also popular for its beaches (in the summertime) and is celebrated as the "Gastronomical Capital of the Americas."
Monograms provides travelers access to a Local Host®, so you will have someone on hand to answer those vacation questions pertaining to Lima. No waiting in line at the concierge desk or trying to ask your waitress at breakfast directions to the shopping district. Simply ask your Local Host® about Lima and you'll be on your way in no time. Plus, your Local Host® will share local Lima insights and share suggestions for getting off the beaten path, leaving you more time to create lasting vacation memories that are yours alone.
Hello my name is Julio Castro and for many years I worked in the Sales Department of a very large International Corporation. There it was always emphasized that we were not supposed to create satisfied customers because that was not enough. What we were required to do was to produce ONLY delighted customers and that has been my personal philosophy ever since. I am eager to show the many wondrous and beautiful features of Lima, Peru with our guests.
Magic Water Circuit is located at Lima’s Reserve Park, where monumental fountains, laser lights and music are melded in spectacular displays. You will see more than 10 fascinating fountains. It’s the biggest water circuit in the World (Guiness Record). (Available from Wednesday to Sunday).
“Pucllana Pyramid” a magnificent ceremonial and archeological center built in the 4th century a.D. and considered a “Sacred Village” by the Incas.
This museum is located in Barranco, the Museum has one of the best painting collections in Peru with pieces dating back to the 16th century. The paintings from well-known artists are on linen cloth, metal, wood, glass and leather. Antique pieces of furniture, silver, sculptures and textiles are as well part of the collection. The base for the Museum Pedro de Osma came from the personal collection formed by Don Pedro de Osma Gildemeister between 1936 and 1967. He had remarkable knowledge of the Peruvian art and gradually gathered various exquisite objects reflecting Peruvian art ranging from the 16th to the 19th century. All the pieces were kept in the large family house in Barranco, arranged in a tight exhibition (style of the European palace museums in the 19th century.
The fortress was built in 1747 to protect the port from pirates and was the last Spanish bastion during the independence of Peru. Today, it houses an interesting military museum.
This museum is located in downtown Lima and exhibits pieces of the culture of Lima, Inca and Chancay, that took place during the colonial and republican period.
The world’s largest collection of pre-Columbian art is housed in this museum. Marvel at the 45,000 pieces of ceramics, textiles, and jewelry from the Moche Dynasty.
For a bite on the run, this gourmet market is the place to go. Grab a salad or sandwich to go, or if you have the time, linger over the passion fruit tart in the café.
Peru is famous for its ceviche—a dish of seafood marinated in citrus juices and served with roasted corn and onions. Canta Rana serves some of the best in Lima.
For handicrafts made in Peru, this shop in Miraflores offers a unique collection of weavings, ceramics, and silver.
Peru’s most famous cocktail is the Pisco Sour , made from Pisco, a regional grape brandy. You can enjoy one on the garden patio of this watering hole in the Barranco neighborhood. Occupying an old house overlooking the ocean, the setting is as great as the drink.
This neighborhood in Lima holds South America’s largest Chinese community. Visit any number of the neighborhood’s chifas for Chinese cuisine with a Peruvian twist.
You can’t visit Lima without seeing at least one peña—a show at a criollo music club with inspiring vocal and dance performances. This criollo club, named after a famous Peruvian song, offers a terrific show.
It’s difficult to maintain your exercise routine on vacation. It’s even more difficult in a traffic-heavy city like Lima. The biking and jogging paths along the malecón in Miraflores offer a great way to get some exercise and see the city at the same time.
Experience the grandeur of this 1927 hacienda-style hotel. Enjoy afternoon tea under the light of elegant chandeliers as a pianist offers enjoyable background music.
Enjoy the National Museum, where impressive halls exhibit the most important aspects in the development of ancient Peru. Exhibits include replicas of archaeological sites, engravings and dioramas, and an extensive collection of ancient material.
Built around 700 AD as a temple for the worship of the sun god, Pachacamac, it housed an oracle that is believed to be one of the main pilgrimage centers in pre-Columbian Peru and on a par with Cuzco. Pilgrims flocked here from far away to worship Pachacamac, who was believed to be the creator of the world and its creatures. The site includes palaces, plazas, and temples that have been painstakingly restored. The on-site museum has a collection of local relics.
Every major city has its bohemian district—where all the artists and musicians hang out—and for Lima, this district is Barranco. The advantage of Barranco is that it combines all this with being a fashionable beach resort too. Originally a playground and place to spend the summer for the old aristocracy of Lima, the district is a cluster of houses, shops, and restaurants in and around a ravine near a cliff overlooking the beach. In Barranco, it is relatively easy to find a place to sip a coffee or a beer while enjoying a fine view over the ocean.
Sail to the islands of Callao. First see the yachts, warships, and merchant ships at anchor in Callao Bay. Then sail over "El Camotal" into the open sea, and observe sunken and stranded ships. Pass the Isle of San Lorenzo—with its long history going back to pre-Columbian times. There are fishing boats at work and many colonies of sea birds and Humboldt penguins. The farthest point on the trip is Palomino Island, home to a large number of seals and sea lions. In a wetsuit, you can swim among them, as they have no predators—it is an unforgettable and emotional moment. Then start your voyage back through impressively shaped islets and rocks.
No more than 25 km to the south of Lima is a little-known hacienda where you can experience nature on the coast, ancestral customs, links with the Inca past, and the incomparable Peruvian paso horse. (Only Tuesday)
This warm and chic modern, colonial dining room is hidden discreetly on a busy side street leading to Parque Central in the Miraflores district. The restaurant has high, white-peaked ceilings and orange walls decorated with colorful modern art—the products of local art students. At the back is an open kitchen, where one of the owners, Gastón, can be seen cooking with his staff. The place is sophisticated but low-key—a description that could fit most of its clients, who all seem to be regulars. The menu might be called "criollo-Mediterranean" with a light Peruvian touch.
Hidden high in the Peruvian Andes is one of the most enigmatic sites from the ancient world-the legendary "Lost City of the Incas." Invisible from below, Machu Picchu was completely self-sufficient, with natural springs and agricultural terraces to sustain the people who called it home. Among the remarkably well preserved structures are palaces, temples, baths, storage rooms, and about 150 residences. Little is known about the Inca's use or daily life here, but many believe one of Machu Picchu's primary roles was as an astronomical observatory. Today, this extraordinary place is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New 7 Wonders of the World.
Monograms provides traveler’s access to a Local Host, so you will have someone on hand to answer those vacation questions pertaining to Machu Picchu. No waiting in line at the concierge desk or trying to ask your waitress at breakfast directions to the shopping district. Simply ask your Local Host about Machu Picchu and you'll be on your way in no time. Plus, your Local Host will share local Machu Picchu insights and share suggestions for getting off the beaten path, leaving you more time to create lasting vacation memories that are yours alone.
I’m passionate about working as a tour guide in Machu Picchu because it gives me the opportunity to appreciate this wonderful country, its culture, nature and traditions. I love my job because every day I get to show the world how great and unique my home country, Peru is, and my favorite place – Machu Picchu.
Known as the "Riddle in the Sand," the mysterious Nazca Lines are a collection of about 300 large ancient geoglyphs etched in the Nazca Desert near Peru's southern coast. Some measuring as large as 660 feet across, the figures range from simple lines and geometric shapes to more intricate designs resembling birds, animals, fish, and humans. Who built them and what was their purpose? Some argue they make up a giant astronomical calendar. Others say they're a landing strip for UFOs. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, many scholars ascribe religious significance to them and believe they were created by the Nazca people between 400 and 650 AD.
Situated in southeastern Peru in the Amazon forest just west of the Bolivian border is Puerto Maldonado, capital of Madre de Dios and the gateway to the Amazon Jungle. Home to some of the most pristine primary rainforest in the world, the area features many nature attractions, like Tambopata National Reserve, Manú and Bahuaja-Sonene National Parks, oxbow lakes, and clay licks, where hundreds of parrots and macaws perch to eat clay every day. Visitors have a great opportunity here to encounter some of the world's most flourishing plant life and fascinating wildlife, including endangered giant river otters, tapirs, maned wolves, caimans, monkeys, jaguars, ocelots, 575 bird species, and 1,200 species of butterflies.
The Sacred Valley of the Incas, or Urubamba Valley, is situated between Cusco and the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu. It was an important region for the Incas, and numerous archaeological ruins can be found throughout the valley. With its numerous rivers, it served as a major agricultural point for the Inca Empire and even today, it continues as an agricultural center for native Andean crops such as corn. It is a jumping off point for visiting Machu Picchu, and other nearby ruins include those at the old Incan town of Ollantaytambo, with its impressive examples of Inca masonry. Pisac sits at the eastern end of the valley and is famous for its market, where visitors can bargain for local goods.
Monograms provides traveler’s access to a Local Host, so you will have someone on hand to answer those vacation questions pertaining to Sacred Valley, Peru. No waiting in line at the concierge desk or trying to ask your waitress at breakfast directions to the shopping district. Simply ask your Local Host about Sacred Valley and you'll be on your way in no time. Plus, your Local Host will share local Sacred Valley insights and share suggestions for getting off the beaten path, leaving you more time to create lasting vacation memories that are yours alone.
I’m passionate about working as a tour guide in Sacred Valley because it gives me the opportunity to appreciate this wonderful country, its culture, nature and traditions. I love my job because every day I get to show the world how great and unique my home country, Peru is, and my favorite places – Machu Picchu and Sacred Valley.
On this perfect nature walk, you might encounter butterflies and birds, even orchids at the right time of year. A private nature reserve located 4km from Machu Picchu Pueblo (Aguas Calientes), where you can walk into bio diverse gardens to learn and enjoy. You’ll understand and appreciate the restoration, conservation and preservation of the habitat of hundreds of species of flora and fauna in a vulnerable state, due to many factors such as climate change and human impact.
The Peruvian Paso horse has been bred in this region for centuries and they are known for their smooth gait even while traversing the terraced landscape of the Sacred Valley. At Wayra Ranch in the Sacred Valley, see a demonstration on these beautiful horses and traditional folkloric dances performed with the horses. You can even take a quick ride on one of the horses if you are adventurous!
Peru is known for its Alpaca wool so you really can’t go home without any. Many vendors in Peru will try to sell you what you believe to be 100% alpaca, but you can rest assured that the sweaters, scarves, and blankets at “Alpaca’s Best” are the real deal.
Tipon is important set of Inca ruins known for its excellent hydraulic engineering work and it is composed by an agricultural group of platforms with long steps and ducts elaborated in limestone. This impressive system of irrigation is still used in agriculture. Some of the fountains in Tipon have ceremonial purposes. Tipon is considered an Inca temple dedicated to the water cult. This is also a great spot to try Cuy, a traditional Incan meal of guinea pig.
Definitely a must see in the Sacred Valley are the salt mines. A stroll through and you’ll be amazed at how the Incas built this maze of hand-made channels that divert saltwater springs into the exposure of the sun. Once the water evaporates, the salt is collected to be sold – an ancient old tradition still in use today. Beyond the engineering, the views from the mines are breathtaking!
Founded in 1534 and now Peru's third-largest city, Trujillo is located in North Peru near the Pacific Coast. Its city center features colonial architecture, churches, and mansions with wrought-iron window railings. It was once capital of the Chimu Kingdom (900-1400 AD), and archaeological sites from the Chimu are particular highlights. Nearby is Chan Chan, once the capital of the Chimu Empire and the largest mud citadel in the ancient world. Other notable sites include archaeological remains from the Moche period, including El Brujo and the temples of the Sun and the Moon.
Monograms provides travelers access to a Local Host®, so you will have someone on hand to answer those vacation questions pertaining to Trujillo. No waiting in line at the concierge desk or trying to ask your waitress at breakfast directions to the shopping district. Simply ask your Local Host about Trujillo and you'll be on your way in no time. Plus, your Local Host will share local Trujillo, Peru insights and share suggestions for getting off the beaten path, leaving you more time to create lasting vacation memories that are yours alone.
Designed by renowned artist Gerardo Chavez Trujillo, the museum attempts to show the evolution of the toy since pre-Inca until today. Visiting the museum will surely bring your childhood to your mind.
The famous Trujillano painter, Gerardo Chavez, settled in the outskirts of the city – a place of rest and relaxation and shows part of his artwork.
Located in the city center is the most traditional cafe in town and the ideal place to enjoy the traditional "Asturian hotcakes" accompanied by a cup of hot chocolate. These are served starting at 5 pm.
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