CHRIS PARROTTBEN LINEETIENNE VAN CAMPLima..Cusco.Machu PicchuPERUTrujillo..ChiclayoBRAZILBOLIVIA020 8747 8315 / journeylatinamerica.co.uk bookings, consultant advice and additional information 123 máncora beach You might not have thought about a beach wind-down in Peru, where much of the coast is inhospitable dry desert and the sea is ice cold. Not so on the relatively undeveloped northern Pacific coast: the sea is still nippy but here you can relax in the sun under the palms in a warm sub-tropical environment. Close to the little town of Máncora (fly to Tumbes or Piura) are several small-scale laid-back resorts, with simple accommodation, close to yawning surf-strafed beaches which reflect spectacular blood-orange sunsets. Laze in your hammock or dip into the pool to recharge your batteries before the long flight home. The living archaeology of the north 14 days, 12 nightsLima 2 nights, Cusco 3n, Machu Picchu 1nt, Cusco 1n, Trujillo 2n, Chiclayo 2n, Lima 1n.Day 1 Daytime flight to Lima, transfer to your hotel in Miraflores. Day 2 Morning visit to the ruined palaces and temples at pre-Columbian Pachacamac and the Museum of Archaeology. A guided tour of colonial Lima and the outstanding Museo Larco follows in the afternoon. Day 3 Fly to Cusco and transfer to your hotel for 3 nights. Rest of the day at leisure. Day 4 Guided tour of the city and nearby Inca sites. Day 5 Full day tour of the Sacred Valley of the Incas, including the Inca sites at Pisac and Ollantaytambo. Day 6 By train to Machu Picchu. Guided tour of the ruins. Overnight at a hotel in riverside Aguas Calientes. Day 7 Opportunity to return to the site before returning by train to Cusco. Day 8 Fly to Trujillo via Lima. Day 9 Visit two huge Moche pyramids, the Huaca del Sol and de la Luna, and the Museum of Archaeology, with lunch at the fishing village of Huanchaco. Explore the 9 compounds built by the Chimú kings at Chan Chan (left). Behind the adobe city walls, decorated with friezes depicting wildlife and abstract designs there are palaces, temples, workshops, residential streets, burial tombs and storehouses. Day 10 By road along the desert coast north to the port of Chiclayo. Day 11 Visits to Sipán, the Tumbas Reales Museum, Sicán Museum and the ancient city of Túcume. Day 12 Fly to Lima. Day 13 Fly to the UK, arriving day 14. Prices from £1,823pp (standard); £2,534pp (superior) based on two sharing, excluding transatlantic flights. Daily departures from the UK Below Impressive adobe structures in the ancient city of Chan Chan.Below left These days, local women in northern Peru are more likely to wear synthetic-dyed acrylic fabrics - but the hats typical of the region endure.Below right The bright sarcophagi at Karajía overlook a fertile valley - it's a half-hour scramble on foot or horseback to get this close.
casa andinaLake TiticacaShimmering in the crisp translucent light of a sunny day, this high-altitude sapphire lake is not only a magnificent sight but reflects the confluence of several influential indian cultures. A national reserve, it is home to a cornucopia of wildlife, especially birds, while human activity based on llama grazing and fishing has colonised its shores and many of its claw-like peninsulas and seventy islands for centuries.The lake is shared between contemporary Peru and Bolivia. Remains of older occupation are still in evidence and visitors flock to the funereal towers of the Colla people at Sillustani and the floating reed islands of the Uros. The people of vehicle-free islands such as Taquile, Amantaní, Suasi and the Islands of the Sun and the Moon defend their traditions and rural way of life, while welcoming visitors with a low-key hospitality. Spend a couple of nights on Taquile sharing the simple home of a local family; on the Island of the Sun at the rustic Posada del Inca in Bolivia (p132) or the upmarket Casa Andina Private Collection on Suasi (left).The lake's fringes are well-populated and the fertile land supports many small farming communities. For a really authentic experience you can visit the friendly Quechua Indians of The Uros Islands: we really appreciated being welcomed to the Islands and having their way of life explained to us. JL, london124 Peru