NEED TO KNOW
Thomas went to Peru with Sunway Holidays (01-288 6828; sunway.ie).
His 12-day Gap Adventure Amazon to the Andes tour cost €2,579, including flights with Air France from Dublin via Paris.
If you decide to go it alone, the Refugio Amazonas (0051 1719 6422; perunature.com) offers two nights in the Tambopata Nature Reserve from €250, including transport, meals and tours.
Situated in Lima's upmarket district of Miraflores, the three-star Castellana (0051 1408 3335; castellana hotel.com) is a Spanish-flavoured manor hotel with courtyard views. €28pps.
For a budget-friendly base in the ancient city of Cusco, try Hotel Prisma (0051 8422 4412; hotelprismacusco.com) located near the bustle of Plaza de Armes. €20pps
FIVE GREAT THINGS TO DO
Sample Peruvian steaks and Alpaca burgers at the muy trendy Fallen Angel restaurant in Cusco. House music, religious kitsch and great food.
See the website fallenangelincusco.com.
Stock up on winter woollies at the vibrant markets of Pisac City. Shop around for tribal chic or you'll be fleeced quicker than a llama in springtime.
Check out the surf in Lima's Miraflores district. You can hire an instructor from €15. Keep an eye out for dolphins, too. See pukanasurf.com.
Explore the vast waters of Lake Titicaca and the floating villages of the Uros tribe.
Feed the piranhas in the lakes of the Tambopata National Park.
This is the adrenaline junkie's nature fix. Just mind your fingers.