3 Places to Experience Peru's Amazon, Desert, and Mountains

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					3 Places to Experience Peru's Amazon, Desert, and Mountains

Peru is a large country that covers a fantastic range of geographical
varieties. Because of this, it takes much time to truly gain a sense of
it all. Weeks alone could be spent just in Peru's northern and eastern
Amazon rainforest of which the mighty Amazon River feeds all life that
resides there. In the dry central coastal and desert regions in the west
alongside the Pacific Ocean, visitors can find sand dunes thousands of
meters high and home to thousands of species of exotic wildlife. Then
there are the Andean highlands that stretch the country's entire length
that give way to some of the most picturesque views of crystalled
mountains and sparkling lakes in the world.

So how is a traveler to see all this? Here are 3 great locations to get
you started with all the geographic treasures that Peru has to offer:

1. Iquitos (Amazon rainforest) - No trip to Peru is complete without
venturing into the Peruvian Amazon. Iquitos, the largest city in the
world that can only be accessed by water or air, lies isolated deep in
the exotic rainforest between three rivers: the Nanay, the Itaya, and the
Amazon. Many excursions into the jungle can be organized out of Iquitos,
such as canopy walks among the treetops, nature tours to see a
fascinating myriad species of tropical plants and animals, and waterfall
visits to swim in some of the most remarkable pools of water in this
"land of waterfalls." At night, dine in the city of Iquitos for a taste
of what the Amazon has provided for its people for centuries, some of
which cannot be found anywhere else in Peru.

2. Nazca (coastal desert plain) - Located about 5 hours south of Lima,
Peru's capital, alongside the coast, this small, remote town was
virtually unknown before the discovery in 1930's of what came to be known
as the Nazca Lines nearby. These massive geoglyphs carved into the arid
Nazca Desert take the shape of animals such as hummingbirds, llamas,
lizards, fish, spiders, monkeys, and more, some of which span more than
650 feet in length. Anthropologists are still unsure of their original
purpose, though it is believed the ancient Nazca people created them
around 400 AD potentially to communicate with the gods. Other theories
include the designs' role in religious ceremonies or a result of
developed manmade flight technologies. A visit to see the Nazca lines can
typically be included in even the most basic Peru travel packages and
even some Machu Picchu vacation packages (which is just a short trip
further south).

3. Cordillera Blanca (high Andes Mountains) - If you get tired of the
country's heat, make way to the highlands of the Andes mountain range
also known as the Northern Sierra. This set of 663 mountains is the
natural barrier between the tropical rainforest to the east, and the
coastal region to the west just 60 miles away. The snow-draped beauties
command the azure sky and, between them, play host to over 250 lakes, 40
rivers, and 30 archeological sites. Trekking is a popular activity here,
of which most trips are conducted around June to August.

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