“Machu Picchu is one of the great wonders of the world, but there is so much more to the country than this famous landmark,” says Melissa Biggs Bradley, founder and CEO of Indagare. “The Sacred Valley reminds me of the Grand Canyon. Plus, Cusco has been called the Florence of South America because of its incredible cultural treasures.” Peru’s rich layers of history include the eras of the Incas and the Conquistadors.
For a well-rounded trip, include a visit to the villages of Lake Titicaca or an Amazon expedition. “To me, Peru offers multidisciplinary magic in a destination that is not as well-known as it should be, but I would suggest it be on everyone’s travel wish list,” says Bradley.
While you’re there: “The Belmond Andean Explorer, the first luxury sleeper train in South America, will begin journeys this May and will make the destination even more family-friendly,” says Bradley. Traveling through some of the highest altitudes of the Andes in three days and two nights, the train will transport visitors from Cusco to Lake Titicaca through the Colca Canyon and on to the UNESCO-World Heritage Site of Arequipa City. You’ll take in sights ranging from cave paintings more than 8,000 years old to traditional dance performances over a private beachside lunch.
Where to stay: In Lima, boutique Hotel B offers beautiful rooms within a restored Belle Epoque mansion in the heart of the lively arts district Barranco. Meanwhile, on the shores of Lake Titicaca, Titilaka features 18 water-facing rooms and access to activities like sailing, cycling and stargazing. Before you board the train in Cusco, Belmond Palacio Nazarenas (belmond.com), housed in a former convent, includes not-to-be-missed regional activities like salsa lessons, tastings of pisco (Peru’s local liquor), and cooking classes teaching the local cuisine.
Bradley never leaves home without: A pashmina. “It can double as a blanket on the plane and a wrap for evenings out,” says Bradley.
Our expert: Melissa Biggs Bradley, founder and CEO of Indagare, indagare.com
Text by: Leigh Crandall