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Thanks to its fascinating Incan history, lush landscapes and South American flair, Peru is on most people’s buckets list, if only for a visit to iconic Machu Picchu. Here’s our breakdown of the five luxury holiday destinations you can’t miss whilst in this fascinating country.

1. Lima
Peru’s capital city is emerging as an exciting destination on its own. Not only a huge financial hub, it boasts some buzzing nightlife, great shopping and a host of colonial architecture to admire.

2. Sacred Valley of the Incas
This is the best place in the country to absorb the modern and historical Incan civilization, learn about the country’s past, and observe traditional culture.

3. Machu Picchu
Recognized as one of the Seven Wonders of the World, Machu Picchu rises dramatically amongst the lush valleys and peaks of the Andes. Seeing this place and walking through what were once ancient streets, loaded with mystery is an once-in-a-lifetime experience like no other.

4. Cuzco
What once was the Incan heartland, Cuzco is no longer the capital of Peru but it is a captivating city, much of which is built on original Incan stonework. Some say it is a living archaeological site and certainly feels that way with the locals wearing their traditional dress.

5. The Amazon Rainforest
Peru offers easy access to the planet’s biggest ecosystem. The lowlands on its edge are great for spotting wildlife such as caiman.

But what’s the best way to travel around the country and see all of these sights? It can only be a luxurious combination of rail and river cruising.

Tour operator Exsus has created an itinerary that takes in these highlights in the way best suited to the terrain: cruise silently downriver through the Amazon rainforest and journey to the Lost City in style aboard an Orient Express-owned luxury train.

On this tour, you’ll spend your first night in the capital city of Lima before flying inland to Cuzco. You’ll send three nights here, in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, staying at the gorgeous Sol y Luna resort. If you wish, you could also join a day tour to go whitewater rafting, do a Peruvian cookery class or visit some of the famous local archaeological sites.

You won’t be able to contain your excitement as you board the Hiram Bingham train through the magnificent Andes to Machu Picchu. After a fully-packed day of exploring this World Wonder, you’ll be able to relax in style and comfort at the Sanctuary Lodge.

The next day, you’ll catch the train back to Cuzco for a three-night stay in the city, sampling fine dining and cocktails on the way. No doubt you’ll enjoy your stay at the Hotel Monasterio – built on Incan stone foundations and regularly named Best Hotel in South America by Condé Nast Traveler.

Your last few days will be spent in the tropical jungle lowlands: a prime wildlife-spotting destination with flora and fauna pointed out from your luxurious boat by on-board experts. After a final night in Lima, you’ll be flying home with memories to last a lifetime.

Photo Credits: Exsus

(Note: This is a paid advertorial post for editorial placement. For further information please see our disclosure page.)

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