While this splendid slice of South America is no longer a mystery package, Peru is still a country wrapped in mystique. Partly, this is due to the eternal allure of Machu Picchu, the Inca citadel which dreams upon its Andean mountaintop. But it is also down to the geographical diversity of a destination that comes shrouded in rainforest where the River Amazon curls through its south-east, yet is distinctly cosmopolitan where Lima (in chic Miraflores) and Cusco show off their food scenes. Peru is far more than its star attraction.
Less-known gem: Visiting Colca Canyon remains one of the highlights of my career. This geological wonder of southern Peru, often overlooked in the dash to Machu Picchu, is literally breathtaking. You feel the thinness of the oxygen in your lungs as you drive north from Arequipa over sky-high ridges, and gasp as you watch condors flying above it.