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Rediscover Peru

Written by  Lisa Loverro

LATIN PERU
Peru burst onto the worldwide culinary scene a few years back and has not stopped growing in popularity ever since. Along with its contemporary art scene and thousands of years of interesting history, not to mention the Amazon and Machu Picchu, it’s time to rediscover this beautiful country!
While the greatest number of visitors in the first half of 2015 came from Chile, Colombia and Mexico, representing 37 percent of the total number of arrivals, the United States’ progress during this time period is currently retaking the lead as Peru’s largest market for inbound tourists. With considerable growth over the previous year, the USA now contributes to 16 percent of the total number of visitors.

For Foodies
Named as one of the world’s leading culinary destinations by the World Travel Awards, the capital city of Lima is home to Central (www.centralrestaurante.com.pe), one of the best restaurants in South America, and also considered one of the four best in the world. With that said, it’s no wonder that in recent years a visit to Peru has meant more than a trek to
Incan ruins.
In Lima, visitors can stroll through the artsy neighborhood of Barranco with its dozens of galleries and museums, or walk the area known as Miraflores, with miles of manicured parks bordering a coastal bluff. Book your clients a room at the Westin Lima hotel (www.libertador.com.pe), home to Maras restaurant, another outstanding culinary offering featuring one of Peru’s most celebrated chefs, Rafael Piqueras.

For History Buffs
While the food scene has most definitely flourished here, history lessons abound within the city limits, and there is no better place to learn about pre-Columbian culture than with a visit to the private Larco Museum, set within a beautifully landscaped garden. There are over 10,000 years’ worth of fascinating artifacts, taking you on a journey to discover ancient civilizations that extend well beyond the Incan empire.
After discovering all that Lima has to offer, instead of a flight up to Cusco, suggest a visit to the coastal towns in northern Peru. A quick flight to Talara (via LAN Airlines) and short drive thereafter will land you in Máncora, home to KiChic (www.kichic.com), a boutique beachfront hotel. KiChic is the perfect spot for anyone wanting to unwind and tune out the distractions of everyday life; perfect for the yoga-loving crowd, beach lovers and nature enthusiasts.

For Adventurers
For your athletic clients who want to stay active but are not interested in trekking the trail to Machu Picchu, suggest the new 3-day “Sacred Heartbeat” adventure through the Sacred Valley, offered by the Tambo del Inka and Palacio del Inka hotels (www.libertador.com.pe). Day one, a moderate four-hour mountain bike ride guided by Libertador’s activity specialists will take them through villages and fields in the Sacred Valley, nestled within the Andes Mountains. The day continues with a visit to the legendary Maras salt mines, then returning to Tambo del Inka for a gourmet lunch. On day two, guests will experience a high intensity guided hike with a pack of llamas through the Valley of Pumahuanca. This trek includes a picturesque picnic and takes guests through ravines, waterfalls and archaeological remains alongside a friendly community of llamas, all the while learning about the sites and biodiversity of the Sacred Valley. The third and final day allows guests to enjoy a guided 4-hour kayaking experience on either Huaypo or Piuray Lake followed by a gourmet picnic. Returning to Tambo del Inka, they’ll relax in the hotel’s world-class spa. Rates for this adventure start at $943 per person (excluding accommodations) and include three days of transfers, guides, snacks and equipment.
www.visitperu.com

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