Outstanding for me would be the Inca citadel of Choquequirao, the Chachapoya site of Kuelap, located on the Amazon cliff, and the Huayhuash hiking trail. For hikers, bird watchers, photographers, history buffs, and spiritual travelers looking for both solitude and a wondrous spectacle, there is something in everyone. You don’t have to be Ironman-ready to get to the most remote corners: a cable car in Kuelap that opened five years ago means that visitors can save all their energy for gasping and marveling at the majestic masonry and condors .
The change here is slow but steady, and another mini-revolution in recent times is the way Lima’s foodie scene has spread to many other cities, from laid-back Trujillo on the coast to the beautiful âwhite cityâ of Arequipa in Inland. Chefs and chefs take great pride in the fact that foreigners from far richer countries have heard of ceviche, causas, pisco, papa a la huancaÃna – and even roast guinea pigs – and tasted the delights of the Andes, Amazon and Pacific Oceans.
Tickets for Machu Picchu are in great demand this year. While the ancient Inca citadel received around 5,000 visitors a day before the pandemic, only 3,400 tickets will be available in 2022 and visits will be limited to just four hours. That means that while it will be more difficult than ever, those who do get in can expect less crowds and more space to enjoy the iconic site.
The Peruvian people are a rich mestizaje – or mixture – of different ancestors, cultures and traditions. There is a collective awakening to the fact that this mix is ââthe country’s greatest strength. As the West works to decolonize museums and history, it could learn a thing or two from this former colony.
How it goes: Latin Routes (020 8546 6222; latinroutes.co.uk) offers a 10-day highlight Peru vacation, including stays in Lima and Cuzco, trips on the Belmond Andean Explorer and Hiram Bingham trains, and trips to Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca. From Â£ 4,899 per person including all accommodation, tours, select meals and domestic flights
India, the most fascinating, colorful, chaotic, spiritual and life-affirming country in the world, rewards the curious and open-minded – especially when you visit its small towns and villages, where so much is still made by hand.
After a few months of total lockdown, the country has reopened, but foreign tourists only trickle back. To some extent, domestic travel has been stepped up to support the tourism industry, but the tour guides have had a tough time. Some have taken advantage of the pandemic to expand their knowledge and are now offering themed walks and drives that focus on food, craft villages or fringe communities. South India specialist Storytrails (storytrails.in) has also put together videos and podcasts for those who miss their annual India fix. There is also good news from India’s national parks: the numbers of tigers and birds are said to have increased and even the Sariska reserve in Rajasthan now has 23 tigers, including four young animals.
For a trip to India after the pandemic, I would recommend exploring the more rural south of Rajasthan. A real treat is a stay at the newly opened Six Senses Fort Barwara near Ranthambore National Park. The hotel’s design, surrounded by battlements from the 14th century, respects the authenticity of the fortress; The spa and wellness center is a modern take on the life that was lived in the women’s quarters a century ago.
To the south is Bundi, my favorite city in Rajasthan, which spreads like a pale blue skirt beneath the magnificent Garh Palace, which was redesigned during the lockdown to reveal rooms painted from floor to ceiling with India’s finest murals.
To the west, Castle Bijaipur is one of the most favorable places to meet a royal family and a good starting point for guided hikes, horse riding and bird watching from its wooded landscape.