When you think of Peru, you can almost hear the sound of the quena, the haunting Andean flute. Its music calls to mind the mystical nature of the country, the lost cities of the Incas, and the deep Amazon rainforest with all its flora and fauna. Whether you choose to hole up in a top hotel on the beach or to trek the Inca Trail, conditions can be as luxurious or as primitive as you like, so take plenty of time to plan this honeymoon of a lifetime. It is possible to see most parts of the country in a week or two, but you may choose to focus on one or two cities.
Your Peru Honeymoon: Where to start
The capital city of Peru is Lima; it is a logical place to start your exploration, and it has the country’s only international airport. Consider the Miraflores Park Hotel, where you can book a honeymoon package that includes champagne, a one-hour massage session, and late (6 p.m.) checkout. If you stay in an executive suite, your bath experience will include scented candles around a Roman tub, rose petals, and aphrodisiac salts, and you will be served seasonal strawberries covered with dark chocolate.
From your hotel, venture out into the surrounding area to see the various Inca temples – including the Pachacamac shrine, about 25 miles outside Lima – and other historic sights, or to visit museums (the National Archaeology, Anthropology and History Museum is a must-see, as is the Larco Museum with its outstanding collection of pre-Columbian artifacts and gold and silver pieces). Also stop at the city’s Historic Center (a World Heritage Site), and take in some of the area’s arts and crafts shops and restaurants.
Peru Honeymoon: Have an adventure!
After you see the city sights, you may be ready for some honeymoon adventure travel. Take a flight from Lima to Cuzco, which lies just over 350 miles to the east. Here you can experience an amazing four-day trek on the Inca Trail through the jungle and cloud forests to Machu Picchu, one of the most spectacular ancient cities in the world. Or, go north to Iquitos, a city located on the banks of the Amazon River. From here, you can embark on a week-long cruise of the Amazon, stay in a jungle lodge, or explore a jungle walkway elevated almost a hundred feet off the ground in the forest canopy. Almost all excursions into the Amazon rainforest include visits to local villages where you can get an up-close view of Peru’s native inhabitants.
In southern Peru, set out from Arequipa on an honeymoon adventure to the Colca Valley, where you can see Andean condors and hike in a canyon deeper than the Grand Canyon of the U.S. Arequipa itself, in the foothills of the Andes, offers many opportunities for climbing its volcanic rocks and mountains, or for simply exploring the colonial city. Southeast of Arequipa is Lake Titicaca, where you can explore the lake, the islands, or the beaches.
Other adventure options in Peru include treks by llama or alpaca, horseback excursions, mountaineering, and river rafting. Mountain biking can be spectacular in Peru, and you will also find some of the best surfing spots on the planet along the coast.
Peru Honeymoon: Attractions
Besides its amazing biodiversity, Peru offers a plethora of cultural arts and attractions. Its folk art and textiles are amazing, so don’t miss an opportunity to browse the local markets for a chance to pick up some stunning examples. In addition, Peru plays host to a variety of annual festivals, including the Wine Festival at Ica (March), the National El Paso Horse Competition, just south of Lima (mid-April), the Inca Festival of the Sun in Cuzco (June), and the International Spring Festival, centered in Trujillo during the last week of September. Religious festivals occur throughout the year, including the Lord of Miracles celebration (October), which features a huge procession of believers that crosses the city of Lima.
You will also want to try the local cuisine, even though there is Americanized fare available at most hotels. Adventurous palates can taste everything from stewed or roasted guinea pig to llama jerky to fabulous ceviche, a dish that Peru is famous for. There is also a vibrant club scene in many parts of Peru, with some of the most popular establishments centered in Lima. Miraflores and Barranco are nightlife hotspots in the city, and you can find everything from discos to jazz clubs here.
Whether you spend your time being pampered at a high-end hotel, or choose to get out and hike and explore, your Peru honeymoon will provide unforgettable memories as you start your married life together.