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South America leaves holidaymakers spoilt for choice

Having been lucky enough to travel to plenty of European holiday hotspots as a kid, I was left with a rather nice dilemma once I started to go abroad on my own. I desperately wanted to broaden my horizons and take in new, exciting cultures that I hadn't come across before, as well as sample breathtaking scenery that you just can't find in Europe. South America seemed to tick all the boxes.

The continent is an absolute haven for adventure travellers like myself. The only problem is pinning down just one country to visit, as there is a plethora of choice. I quite fancied meandering down the River Amazon and strolling along the beaches in Rio de Janeiro, but in the end I opted for Peru.

I suppose there was a combination of reasons for my decision and one factor was that I had been hearing amazing things about the capital Lima. Before I started looking for holiday packages, this was a city that sort of evaded my radar, but friends told me it was a thriving place with so much going on. They were right. Anyone who visits Lima is in heaven when it comes to grabbing a bite, as the city is growing a mighty reputation for its gastronomic flair.

However, the main thing that led me to Peru was Machu Picchu. I'd seen pictures of the Incan citadel and felt I had to explore it further. It didn't disappoint. To think this cluster of man-made villages had gone unnoticed until US explorer Hiram Bingham discovered them in 1911 beggars belief. I must admit, it is hard work, but the stunning views that are served up along the Inca Trail on the way to the landmark make the long trek completely worthwhile.

I feel that I merely scratched the surface of what South America has to offer with my trip to Peru. Brazil, Argentina and maybe even Costa Rica will be on the agenda when I book my next excursion. Talk about being spoilt for choice.