DI­VERSE, DIF­FER­ENT AND DE­LIGHT­FUL

Asia Dreams - - TOP PLACES TO VISIT IN 2019 IN ASIA -

Set be­tween the An­des Moun­tains, the Ama­zon and the fury of the South Pa­cific, Peru is a fas­ci­nat­ing des­ti­na­tion full of an­cient his­tory and nat­u­ral beauty. Peru might not be the first name on the list when plan­ning your next hol­i­day, but per­haps with its dra­matic land­scape, dy­namic cui­sine and en­thralling ar­chae­o­log­i­cal sites it could be the ideal set­ting for your next great es­cape.

WHERE TO STAY

The capital city of Lima boasts a se­lec­tion of in­ter­na­tion­ally renowned brands like JW Mar­riott, Hil­ton and Sher­a­ton. Away from Lima, Cusco, a city in the Peru­vian An­des and once the capital of the Inca Em­pire, known for its ar­chae­o­log­i­cal re­mains and Span­ish colo­nial ar­chi­tec­ture fea­tures some out­stand­ing ho­tels like the Bel­mond Pala­cio Nazare­nas. A re­stored 17th cen­tury palace and con­vent, this el­e­gant ho­tel of­fers suites set around clois­tered court­yards.

WHAT TO DO

To the north dis­cover the end­less sandy shores of Piura and re­sorts like Man­cora, while to the east sit the im­pe­ri­ous

An­des with their tow­er­ing moun­tains and vast plateaus. Peru is fa­mous for its ar­chae­o­log­i­cal sites with the area around Machu Pic­chu, in­clud­ing the Sa­cred Val­ley, Inca Trail and colo­nial city of Cusco, be­ing par­tic­u­larly rich. A haven for wildlife, Peru has three dis­tinct Ama­zon re­gions, around Iquitos, the Chachapoyas-gocta-kue­lap cir­cuit, with its mummy mu­se­ums and an­cient ru­ins, and the Tam­bopata re­serve famed for its river ex­cur­sions.

WHERE TO EAT

With its un­ex­pected cul­tural di­ver­sity Peru is one of the world's most ex­cit­ing culi­nary des­ti­na­tions and Lima is at the cut­ting edge. Must-try restau­rants in­clude Cen­tral and El Seño­rio del Sulco in Mi­raflo­res, which serve tra­di­tional dishes such as ají de gal­lina, a kind of Peru­vian chicken korma, and beef hu­a­tia, beef slowly cooked by bury­ing the meat with large stones taken straight from the fire. Be­yond the capital the coun­try is awash with fab­u­lous restau­rants, both tra­di­tional and in­ter­na­tional. peru.travel/en-ca

MACHU PIC­CHU

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