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A large, mountainous country on South America’s Pacific coast, Peru offers visitors the opportunity to visit beautiful beaches, panoramic mountains and tropical jungle. Most international travelers to Peru make at least three key stops to Lima, Cuzco and Machu Picchu.
Cuzco is nestled high in the Andes, a fascinating mix of Inca and colonial Spanish architecture. Almost every central street has the remains of ancient Inca walls, arches and doorways that serve as the foundation for the colonial and modern buildings. Consider souvenir shopping in Cuzco, as indigenous women, wearing pretty embroidered shawls and with their long dark hair in braids, sell woven blankets and handmade crafts and jewelry here. Pisac, a day trip from Cuzco in the “Sacred Valley of the Incas,” is also an excellent place to purchase hand-crafted items.
For many on a Peru vacation, the Inca city of Machu Picchu is the highlight of their visit. Tour the archeological site with its myriad staircases, terraces, temples, palaces, towers and fountains, and marvel at the fascinating structures that were buried beneath jungle vegetation for centuries, only revealed to the western world in the early twentieth century. There are many hiking options here, but one of the least strenuous is a walk out to the pedestrian Inca Drawbridge along a cliff-hugging trail.