Peru in Oc­to­ber has smaller crowds and an Ama­zon River race.

Sunday Star-Times - Escape - - FRONT PAGE -

If you’d pre­fer to see the iconic Inca citadel of Machu Pic­chu with­out a throng of tourists ob­scur­ing your views, head there in Oc­to­ber, in the mid­dle of the aus­tral spring.

Be­ing shoul­der sea­son, you’re far more likely to get that must-have shot of Wayna Pic­chu with­out be­ing pho­to­bombed by some ran­dom.

It’s also drier at this time of year, mak­ing treks through the Ama­zon Basin far more com­fort­able.

In early Oc­to­ber, head to Iquitos, the ‘‘Cap­i­tal of the Ama­zon’’, to watch the world’s long­est river raft race.

Orig­i­nally a one-day af­fair at­tract­ing only lo­cals, The Great Ama­zon River Race was ex­tended in 2006 to cover 190 kilo­me­tres of the river over three days.

Teams of up to four build their own rafts from balsa wood logs and set off in Natua for Iquitos.

Ac­ces­si­ble by air and river, Iquitos of­fers an au­then­tic taste of the Ama­zon – and rain­for­est cui­sine – with modern con­ve­niences.

Eat out at el­e­gant river­side restau­rants, ex­plore float­ing town Be­len’s mar­kets and es­cape to the jun­gle when the mood strikes.

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