Awesome alternatives to Machu Picchu: Spring 2010

The recent floods in southern Peru, which affected the Cusco and Machu Picchu regions, reminded us here at Detour of the inherently unpredictable nature of travel.  This is truly a tragic event, but it’s not the time to cancel an upcoming trip to Peru.  Our local operators, PeruRail, and local airlines are helping passengers re-organize their trips so they can visit other outstanding destinations in Peru.  Many of these amazing places would be must-sees in other countries, but they are often overshadowed in Peru because of the famous Machu Picchu ruins.  Travelers often want to see Machu Picchu first and leave little, if any, time to explore off the beaten path.

So whether you’re reorganizing a previously booked trip or considering visiting Peru this spring, it’s a good idea to check out some of these unsung standouts.

1.  The Northern Coast: Trujillo and Chiclayo

Some of Peru’s most fascinating pre-Incan ruins, including the Chan Chan ruins and the Royal Tomb of Sipan, are located in the Northern Highlands and along the coast.  Colonial Trujillo is a charming stop for those seeking culture and surfing.

En route to Chaparri Reserve

2.  Arequipa and the Colca Canyon

Peru’s White City, Arequipa, is a captivating spot, filled with stunning buildings and blessed with warm weather.  Nearby, the world’s second deepest canyon is a great place for hiking and spotting the famous Andean condor.

Arequipa - Santa Catalina Convent

3.  Lake Titicaca

Some of Peru’s most fasincating cultures are located around Lake Titicaca.  A three-day kayaking tour includes overnighting with local families on small islands dotting the lake.  This is one of the best ways to beat the crowds and meet locals.

Kayak Lake Titicaca

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