Luxury South American Tours

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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As one of the most spectacular attractions of the New World, north or south, the ruins of Machu Pichu top most lists of luxury South American tours. They are far from the only attraction in Peru, however. Its many layers of mighty civilizations have left a wealth of history and attractions that continue to amaze and delight visitors.

Luxury South American Tours: Peruvian Stops

To start on something of an odd note, Peru's capital of Lima is perhaps the least interesting. A vast, vibrant, and rather polluted city, it offers striking architecture, marvelous cafes, and great museums. Founded by Pizarro in 1535, Lima became home to the University of San Marcos only 16 years later. Arequipa--with its beautiful colonial houses, surrounding mountains, and nearby Colca Canyon (said to be the world's deepest)--is a great stop for luxury South American tours.

Not too far away is Cuzco, the archaeological capital of both Americas and as well the oldest continuously occupied city. City streets are paved with Inca stone. Among the architectural and colonial ruins within the city are the 1559 cathedral, La Merced church, and numerous ruins--the Coricancha, Sacsayhuamin, Qenko, Puca Pucara, and Tambo Machay.

The hub of the Inca empire that flourished and fell only just before Pizarro arrived in 1513, Cuzco is today's gateway to the ruins of Machu Picchu for visitors on luxury South American tours. High in the spectacular Peruvian Andes, this ancient Incan city stands more than 7,000 feet into the clouds, only a three-hour train trip from Cuzco. Its breathtaking views of the Urumbama River valley are as memorable a sight as you can conceive.

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