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INCAN SITE MACHU PICCHU IS PERU’S TOP TOURIST DESTINATION BUT KEPH SENETT FOUND THAT THE JOURNEY THERE WAS JUST AS BREATHTAKING
It will take you only ten minutes from the entryway at Machu Picchu to walk to the lookout above the site’s ancient Incan ruins (and another five to vamp for pictures) but there’s more than the mountain money shot to this journey. The estate, which is protected by Unesco, tells twin stories about an extinct empire and the consequences of conquest, and there’s no better primer on Peruvian culture.
Your education begins as soon as you arrive in Peru, touching down in Lima, the “City of Kings”. Though less-known for LGBT life than other South American capitals like Rio or Buenos Aires, it’s worth spending a few days here, either on your way in or out of the country. Miraflores is the most tourist-friendly neighbourhood with lots of shopping and wide pedestrian streets. It’s also a great home base, but don’t be afraid to explore. Nearby Barranco is up-and-coming, and it’s where you can find Picas—an upscale bar and restaurant— and gastro-bar La Trastienda, both owned by newlyout gay Peruvian congressman Carlos Bruce.
Museo Larco is a taxi ride away in Pueblo Libre but well worth the trip. Surrounded by tidy gardens, this museum hosts a superb collection of ancient Peruvian pottery, metal works, textiles, and artefacts, and is even more interesting for its erotic art gallery. An on-site café serves excellent food and drinks; enjoy a ceviche or causa on their sunny terrace.
Your next destination is Cusco, a small city that serves as a stop-off on the way to Machu Picchu but has its own interesting sites including a lively public plaza. If you happen to