Peru and Ecuador have both changed immensely in the last two decades. Infrastructure is now of a good quality and is constantly improving. Internal flights are available between all major tourist attractions and good quality cars will transport you around the local areas. Travel agencies employ excellent local guides who know the history, language and culture of the country and can ensure passengers have everything they need.
Hotels in both countries range from the basic to complete luxury. There are the usual international brands and also lots of unique boutique options. It is possible to stay in old haciendas, colonial properties and even Inka sites. For those who like to pamper themselves there are also some beautiful spa resorts.
Sailing around the Galapagos islands will always be a real treat but make sure you get the type of boat you want. They range in size from large, with over one hundred passengers, to small with just a few cabins. Larger boats mean larger groups when you disembark for trips to see the animals. Most of the boats visit the same islands so it really is about group size.
Many of the animals and plants seen on a trip reflect this process. For example, the marine iguana which has evolved a system to filter salt from seawater. Other species of iguana do not have this because they live in areas with fresh water. Depending on the time of year it is possible to see an almost bewildering number of different birds, marine animals, land dwellers and plants.
Peru is a country with almost unparalleled diversity. It has the driest deserts, deepest canyons and most biodiverse jungle. It also has the ruins and relics of a great number of ancient civilizations, it would keep Indiana Jones occupied for years. Along the coast are lots of unexplored archaeological sites and the hills are littered with lost cities and Inka ruins. The Nazca lines, Chan Chan and Sipan are all increasingly popular.
To get there passengers usually stay in the closest city, which is Cusco. This is worth a trip on its own. The old capital of the Inka empire is a unique place where ancient Quechua culture meets the modern world. It has lovely museums, modern cuisine and endless shopping opportunities. From there, a train takes visitors down the sacred valley to Aguas Calientes which is close to Machu Picchu. In Cusco it is now possible to see a number of artifacts originally found at Machu Picchu. They were taken to the United States many years ago but have now been returned and are on display.
South America has really improved its image as a tourist destination. There are top class hotels, first class transport and wonderful restaurants for those seeking a luxurious holiday. Visiting some of the worlds top attractions is easier than ever with online agencies ready to tailor a trip to your taste.
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