When I was at the Luxury Travel Expo last month I had the pleasure of hearing a short presentation from Kim MacQuarrie, a Peru travel expert and author of the book Last Days of the Incas. A few lucky souls will get to spend far more time with him this year actually traveling through Peru: he is leading a tour with Geographic Expeditions that is centered on this history of the Incas.

We now have a lively and informative interview with Kim MacQuarrie posted in our interviews section. He talks about the research that went into his book, the upcoming tours, Incan architecture, and his favorite hotel in the country. As someone who lived with a recently-contacted tribe of indigenous Amazonians and has since covered many parts of Peru that few people ever visit, he knows this fascinating country inside-out.

“One tends to think of Peru in terms of Cuzco, the Incas, and Machu Picchu. But of course, there is much, much more. Around 60% of Peru is tropical rainforest, and large portions of that are virtually unexplored regions. In fact, there are still a handful of uncontacted tribes that roam there.

The long strip of desert on the coast is as dry as the surface of the Moon, with virtually no rainfall whatsoever. The ruins of thousands of years of ancient civilizations are buried there—pyramids, monuments, fortresses, tombs. Pretty incredible, really. In fact, so many pyramids and tombs have been discovered in Peru in the last 20-30 years that people more and more are referring to Peru as the “Egypt of the Americas.” One ancient city that was discovered as recently as 2001 is nearly five thousand years old—the oldest city in the Americas. As old as the Step Pyramids in Egypt.”

See our full Last Days of the Incas interview here.