Ever-active Lucho Hurtado of Incas del Perú, in the same building as the restaurant La Cabaña, organizes most activities. Lucho is a local who speaks English and knows the surrounding area well.
Looming 5822m (19,101ft) above Arequipa, the city's guardian volcano El Misti is the most popular climb in the area. At the top is a 10m (33ft) iron cross, which was erected in 1901. Below the summit is a sulfurous yellow crater with volcanic fumaroles hissing gas, and there are spectacular views down to the Laguna de Salinas and back to the city.
Manu Expeditions are owners of the only tented camp within the national park, and co-owners of Manu Wildlife Center, with more than two decades of Manu experience.
Take an all-inclusive day trip to breathtaking Machu Picchu from Cusco. Visit the world-famous Incan ruins and learn about the city, its history and the people who once lived there.
One of the best ways to visit this area is on horseback from Rancho Santana in Pacora, about 45km northeast of Chiclayo.
This company was founded in 1954 by Carlos Zárate, the great-grandfather of climbing in Arequipa. One of his sons, Miguel, was responsible, along with archaeologists for unearthing Juanita ‘the Ice Maiden’ atop Mt Ampato in 1995. Another son, Carlos Zárate Flores, also an experienced guide, runs this highly professional outfit.
Aqua is the operator of luxury riverboats MV Aria and MV Aqua which have twice-weekly departures into the Pacaya-Samiria reserve. The 40m MV Aqua has 12 vast, luxury suite cabins (each over 22 sq meters) while the MV Aria, launched in 2011, has equally splendid accommodations but in 16 similarly sized suites and an onboard Jacuzzi.
Brujos play a pivotal role in the pueblos of the jungle. A few kilometers north of Tarapoto, in a small jungle village, you'll find the Takiwasi Centre .
A recommended guide is Gilber Reategui Sangama , who owns the boat La Normita in Yarinacocha. He has expedition supplies (sleeping pads, mosquito nets, drinking water) and is both knowledgeable and environmentally aware. He speaks some English, is safe and reliable, and will cook meals for you.
The Madre de Dios ferry , at Puerto Capetania close to the Plaza de Armas, is a cheap way of seeing a little of this major Peruvian jungle river, which is about 500m wide at this point.
Stand down all other pretenders. Cerro Blanco, 14km east of Nazca, is the highest sand dune in the world: 2078m above sea level and – more importantly – 1176m from base to summit, that’s higher than the tallest mountain in England and numerous other countries. If Huacachina’s sand didn’t irrevocably ruin your underwear, this could be your bag.
The eroded geological formations known as Torre Torre (torre means ‘tower’ and some of the outcrops here are thus shaped) lie 2km further up in the hills beyond Cerro de la Libertad. There is a sign and a fairly obvious path. To make a longer route, continue along the ridge keeping Huancayo to your left (west).