How many countries can boast such varied habitats as desert, lowland tropical rainforest, glaciers, hilly cloud forests, and high arid plateau, with an attendant variety of wildlife, scenery, and intriguing civilization too?

We reckon that only a select few countries could fit these criteria and we think that Peru matches these criteria best. I had the opportunity to discover this for myself during my first visit there a few years ago and was surprised to find a country well beyond my expectations. Indeed, I think that even the well-travelled individual will find entertainment and delight waiting here. So what are some natural revelations that await the traveler?

1) The Amazon: While it may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of Peru, a whopping sixty percent of Peru is part of the Amazon lowlands and a large portion of that is still thankfully covered with forest as it has long been. I wouldn’t wish to sound “cliché” but one can’t help but feel the exuberance of life here. The dense vegetation can make wildlife viewing a challenge at times but therein lays the fun, as we have the opportunity to become better attuned to the movements and sounds all around us. We also get a chance to view wildlife on the water and from the heights of a canopy tower. Immersed in this environment, one is worlds apart from stereotypical Peru!
 
 

 
 
 
2) The west coast: This part of Peru is in the ‘rain shadow’ of the Andes and it is very dry here...a desert, in fact. The capital Lima in fact lays within this zone but this isn’t readily apparent until one leaves the city, where one finds vast expanses of rocky and bleak-looking landscapes, and even sand dunes in some areas. Nevertheless, there is life to be found here. There are some very large tracts of coastal marsh that are a magnet for Peruvian and migrant bird life, and when we venture to the north of Lima, we even find an area of desert hills is watered by the coastal fog, creating seasonal lushness in a land that might otherwise appear uninviting.
 
 
 
 
3) Cloud Forest Birds at Machu Picchu:
 
Although a goal of going to Machu Picchu is to visit the ruins of this iconic Inca monument, this is just part of the experience. The area, situated in the lush and refreshing cloud forest on the east slope of the Andes, is host to a multitude of gaudy birds that we’ll have a great chance to see up-close at our nearby accommodations. As someone who is prepared to “work hard” to get views of wildlife, this was a veritable holiday for me since many fine-looking birds were easy to see. Viewing is good and the photographic opportunities can be good too!
 
 

 
Prior to my first trip, Peru in my mind was mainly defined by the Inca. However, that is really just one of the elements that make this country interesting. We are proud to present the latest incarnation of our Peru nature tour, which we’re calling “Highlights of Southern Peru” and through which we invite you to discover the different sides of this country. Please click here for more.