Pining for Peru
Bold statement coming in: I’m declaring 2023 the year for Peru and, heck, why not 2024, too! The short and the sweet of it is as follows: the shadow cast by the pandemic, coupled with political unrest earlier this year, has resulted in a slower return to travel than many other countries have experienced over the past year. Peru at this point however has never been more ready to show the world’s curious the richness within its borders.
In destinations like Lima’s principal neighbourhoods, to the province of Cuzco (which includes Machu Picchu), and on to the Amazon, new hotels are welcoming guests, trains and planes are running, and award-winning restaurants that are usually booked months in advance have spaces at the table. So now is a great time to experience Peru without the crowds – and that’s a currency that’s increasingly precious anywhere in the world. Even an epic destination like Machu Picchu is still receiving far fewer visitors than in 2019.
Epic coastline, lush Amazon rainforest and the majestic peaks of the Andes Mountains give the country a surprising diversity. And beyond the amazing outdoor adventures, its rich cultural heritage affords the opportunity to explore remnants of fascinating ancient civilizations. Peru is justly considered by many the gastronomic heart of Latin America and for the first time in the history of The World’s 50th Best Restaurant, the #1 is in Latin America: Central Restaurant in Lima. The list also includes three other fabulous Peruvian restaurants also found in Lima; Maido, Kjolle, Mayta. If that doesn’t speak volumes, I don’t know what does.
I don’t mean to knock other destinations that are now well-oiled and well-travelled again but as tourists flock in record numbers to classic European destinations, and as famous sites are crowded, streets are busy, and hotel availability is non-existent, why not zoom back out and set your sights on our neighbours to the south where you can take advantage of the current quiet season. Enjoy the benefits of the great availability, value for money and scope to create really special experiences.