Cusco, the Sacred Valley, and Machu Picchu

After spending time among the mountains of central Peru, it’s time to rub shoulders with what looks like the entire continents of Europe and North America on their summer hols, as I head to the country’s most popular city, Cusco.  Home to the most famous pre-Colombian civilisation in South America, it’s the eastern end of the Sacred Valley, a series of mountainous villages that run along the Andes, all the way to the most famous ruin on the continent. Continue reading

Peru’s Mountainous Middle

Following on from my tour of Peru’s historically-fascinating and architecturally-interesting (but not-very-tropical) coast, it’s back into the mountains.  And not just any old mountains either, but the highest peaks in the country, the highest mountain range in the tropics, and some of the highest in the entire Andes. Continue reading

Peru’s Historical-but-not-tropical Coast

One of the things I love unequivocally about Central America is the beach.  The coastline of this part of the continent, from Mexico to Panama, is simply stunning.  On the Caribbean side are the reefs, islands, and cayes of Mexico, Belize, and Honduras (plus more idyllic scraps of land in Nicaragua’s Corn Islands and Panama’s Kuna Yala).  And on the Pacific side are the less-relaxing (but no less-appealing) volcanic grey-black beaches and powerful breaking surf.  Plus, being both in the tropics and at sea level, the climate’s hot and the water’s warm. Continue reading