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Why recommends seeing less in Peru

May 15, 2014 OTA News No Comments Email Email

Less is more: Why recommends seeing less in Peru’s new 2 minute travel guide to Peru argues that a tour simply ticking off each the country’s biggest draws means you miss some of the country’s most engaging features – its vibrant culture, remote communities and world-class gastronomy.

Better known for the Inca Trail, Machu Picchu and a host of jagged Andean peaks, it’s very easy to view a trip to Peru as a check-list of lost Incan delights. However for a much more authentic and enriching experience the new guide recommends seeing less instead immersing yourself in each place for longer, avoiding some popular tourist destinations completely.

The guide argues that the ‘Nazca Lines’, a field of mega glyphs which can only be seen from above by light aircraft and attract tens of thousands of tourists per year  are one of its most overrated experiences. It says “for the modern traveller on holiday in Peru, that means an exceptionally environmentally unfriendly flight; a large fee for 30 minutes in the air; and a high chance of sickness as the plane banks left and right to allow views out of both sides.”

Instead the guide highlights the hidden valleys, jaw-dropping canyons and welcoming Quechua communities, which all lie within a stone’s throw of Peru’s major attractions and make off-the-beaten track adventures accessible for even the least adventurous traveller. Getting off the well-trodden “Gringo Trail” is easy if you know how; here are’s tips:

  • Don’t fly straight out of Lima to Cuzco – instead spend a couple of days in Peru’s underrated, eclectic capital and sample its world-class restaurants and booming Peruvian gastronomy.
  • Take a daytrip to Titicaca’s Islands and you’ll miss its most atmospheric sight; the sun rising over the sacred lake. An overnight stay instead will give you a chance to explore without the tourist hordes, and experience an authentic culture that hasn’t changed for centuries.
  • Quechua culture is quite rightly a popular tourist draw, but markets along the “Gringo Trail” are too often chock-full of mass-produced, inauthentic goods. Instead try the Rosaspata Market in Cusco; it may be slightly rough around the edges but you’ll get a taste for a real, traditional Peruvian market, and all its foodie delights.
  • Stay at a homestay, it’s not only the best way to put your money straight into a very local community but in a country so vast, is also the best way to access some of its best hiking routes and remote communities. And you’ll receive a very warm welcome – especially in the highlands where local people thrive on sharing their homes with guests.

The 2 minute guide to Peru is one of a series of open, honest travel guides currently being produced by  A full list of guides can be found at

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