Ancient Inca city of Machu Picchu is a must-visit for tailor made holidays to South America
When it comes to adventure and excitement on a holiday, it doesn't get much better than trekking through beautiful scenery to discover some astounding ancient ruins.
Peru attracts thousands of tourists each year, all wanting to see some of the relics of the Inca civilisation and if you are planning Latin America holidays, you should have the country near the top of your list.
One of its foremost attractions is Machu Picchu, the iconic ruined settlement perched on top of a mountain in the Andes.
Reaching Machu Picchu is almost as exciting as visiting the ruins themselves, with several days of trekking through the tropical jungle and high into the mountain range required to reach this stunning sight.
Along the way, you may come across a number of exotic creatures if you are lucky, including the spectacled bear - which is now endangered - the pampas cat and the Andean condor.
Sitting at 2,340 m above sea level, this is certainly not one of the easiest places to reach but it is worth all the effort when you look out over the beautifully-constructed buildings that seem to perfectly complement their natural surroundings.
Among the structures you will find here are temples, palaces, houses, baths and farming terraces, offering a fascinating insight into Incan life.
Machu Picchu has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1983 and is described by the organisation as "an outstanding example of man's interaction with his natural environment".
If you are particularly keen to explore a number of Inca sites then you may want to book tailor made holidays to South America to ensure that you do not miss out on any of the places you want to visit.
Before you set off for Machu Picchu, you will stay in the town of Cuzco, which exhibits some signs of its Incan heritage and is an excellent place to prepare for your journey into the mountains.
The entire valley of Urubamba, where Cuzco is located, is home to numerous villages and many other archaeological sites that, while not as impressive as Machu Picchu, are still worth visiting during a trip to the region.