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Along with neighbors Brazil and Argentina, Peru stands as one of South America's most popular and interesting destinations. Few places in the world have as much to offer visitors as it, featuring diversity in its landscape, culture, archaeology, and history. It is a country where one will find beaches lying near ancient imperial tombs and treasures, not to mention soaring mountain ranges near modern cities like its capital Lima.
As such, tourism makes up a large chunk of Peru's economy - its third-largest industry behind fishing and mining. And the best part is that it is still growing at a rate of 25 percent over the past five years, faster than any other country in the continent. Name it, and Peru has it: adventure, nature, beach, historical, colonial, or gastronomical tourism. No wonder that the satisfaction rate for visitors to the land is a whopping 94 percent.
Land of the Incas
Of course, no mention of Peru would be complete without touching on the subject that is the Inca Empire. Once the largest empire in pre-Colombian South America, it was born right in the country's highlands during the 13th century and controlled a large part of the continent's western portion. Though it only existed for less than a century before collapsing at the hands of the Spanish conquistadors, the empire has become one of the most legendary and mysterious. This was largely because of myths regarding its immense gold wealth, unique architecture, and bizarre traditions.
A tourist's Incan adventure often begins with the empire's heart - its former capital of Cusco. A World Heritage Site, it is visited by more than a million people every year, owing to its well-preserved archaeological sites. Another is the famed Macchu Picchu, which has been given the tag, “The Lost City of the Incas.” Attracting no less than a thousand visitors every day, it has become somewhat of a symbol of the Inca Empire with ancient ruins such as the Temple of the Sun, Intihuatana, and Room of the Three Windows.
While touring the Incan trails may be the highlight of a visit to Peru, indulging in adventure tourism comes as a close second. The country features a ruggedly beautiful terrain, a cauldron of Amazon forests, Andean mountains, and Pacific coasts. Mountain climbing and treks are popular activities here, especially at the 6,768-meter high Mt. Huascaran and the jagged peaks of Cordillera Blanca.
Beach junkies invariably head to the resorts at Lima and Trujillo, while those with surfing and scuba diving itches go to Paracas. Peru is also ideal for fishing trips - the largest lake in South America, Titicaca, shares its borders. Adrenaline junkies can try their hand at paragliding at some of the deepest canyons in the world at Arequipa.
Peru Traveler Advice
Sikkim, a vertical land in India
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An Aerial fiesta in Clark Pampanga
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