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18 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Peru

Peru is a country of history, culture, beauty, and adventure, with a full spectrum of possibilities for travelers. The ancient Inca City of Machu Picchu is one of the highlights of any trip to South America, but there is much more to discover throughout Peru.

You can take a boat trip on the highest navigable lake in the world, look out over one of the deepest canyons in the world, try your luck sandboarding in the dunes, hike in the Andes, or fish for piranha in the Amazon. Other attractions and things to do in Peru include exploring the mysteries of the Nazca lines, walking through ancient ruins in the Sacred Valley, or experiencing modern Peru while wandering the streets of Lima.

The diversity of the landscape, the people, and the experiences here make Peru one of the most unique destinations on the continent. Find the best places to visit with our list of the top tourist attractions in Peru.

1. Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu | Photo Copyright: Lana Law

Perched high upon a ridge, 300 meters above the Urubamba River, the majestic Inca City of Machu Picchu is one of the most dramatic settings of a ruined city anywhere in the world. Almost as impressive as the ruins themselves is the spectacular backdrop of steep, lush, and often cloud-shrouded mountains.

Standing near the caretaker’s hut, looking out over Machu Picchu, the jungle-covered mountains, and the river far below, you can imagine why the Incas chose this place to build their city.

Hiram Bingham came across Machu Picchu in 1911 and believed until his death that it was the “Lost City of the Incas,” first documented by Spanish soldiers in the 1500s. However, historians believe the real lost city of the Incas was at Espíritu Pampa, a ruin Bingham knew of but discounted as being insignificant.

The journey is also part of the experience of visiting Machu Picchu, whether it’s by hiking the Inca Trail or seeing the route by train. In either case, it’s impossible not to be inspired by the scenery. Trains leave from Cusco, Ollantaytambo, or Urubamba to Aguas Calientes.

From Aguas Calientes, the town below Machu Picchu, a bus takes you up to Machu Picchu, about a 20-minute drive along a harrowing switchback road. It is possible to walk up this road to the site, but this is a long, uphill climb and not recommended.

The admission rules are that you must tour with a guide, you must follow a set tour route. You also have to enter the park at a designated time. Be aware that many websites say they sell tickets, but be sure to go to the official site.

The high season is June to August, but the two months on either side of this also see decent weather and can be a good time to visit with fewer crowds.

2. The Inca Trail

The Inca Trail

The Inca Trail

The famous Inca Trail is a four-day hike, which terminates at Machu Picchu, and is regarded by many as the highlight of their trip to Peru. This scenic trail is often more demanding than what many people are expecting, but it’s also rewarding and one of the most popular things to do in Peru.

A couple of different starting points for the Inca Trail exist, but the traditional four-day hike begins at km 82 of the CuscoAguas Calientes rail line. From this point, the trail passes more than 30 Inca ruins and traverses through spectacular scenery. The most difficult portion of the trail is the second day of the hike, with a climb of 1,200 meters in elevation gain and two high passes.

The hike must be done with an agency, and reservations should be booked well in advance, particularly in the high season of June to August.

Some agencies offer a shorter version of the hike, which entails either the last two days or just the last day of the hike. There are campgrounds at intervals along the trail and one at the base of Machu Picchu.

Depending on the type of tour, hikers can either carry their own backpack or have it transported for them. The daily number of hikers and porters on the trail is strictly enforced.

3. Cusco’s Architectural Treasures

Cusco

Cusco’s Architectural Treasures | Photo Copyright: Lana Law

Walking through the streets of Cusco is like wandering through a museum, with history built upon history in this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Inca ruins have been used in the foundations of many of the lovely old colonial buildings lining the narrow roads, showcasing the city’s long history.

The main square, Plaza de Armas, in the city center is home to the Cathedral and La Compania, two equally impressive structures. The square is also a great place to start a walking tour, grab a meal, or people watch during the day.

And while there are countless buildings and museums worth visiting, the church of Santo Domingo, resting on the ruins of the Inca site of Coricancha, is one of Cusco’s must-see attractions.

  • Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Cusco

4. Lake Titicaca

Isla Amantani

Isla Amantani

The sparkling blue water of Lake Titicaca is surrounded by rolling hills and traditional small villages. The lake area is a mix of beautiful scenery and culture that sets it apart from other regions of the country. Sitting at 3,820 meters above sea level, Lake Titicaca is known for being the highest navigable lake in the world.

A boat trip to the islands and surrounding villages is the best way to appreciate the lake. One of the main tourist attractions is the Uros Floating Islands (Islas Flotantes), which sustain small communities of Uros Indians. These are man-made islands constructed of reeds that have sustained a traditional way of life since the time of the Incas.

What you’ll see on tours to these islands is designed for tourism, but it does offer a glimpse into a traditional way of life. The floating islands are only one very small part of Lake Titicaca’s attraction, with the real charm lying in the small villages in the hills along the shores of Titicaca and on the main islands of Isla Taquile and Isla Amantani.

The main gateway to Lake Titicaca is the city of Puno, where you’ll find hotels, restaurants, and travel agencies. There are trains and buses to Puno and flights in and out of the nearby city of Juliaca.

5. Colca Canyon (Cañon del Colca)

Colca Canyon (Cañon del Colca)

Colca Canyon (Cañon del Colca)

Although it was once thought to be the deepest canyon in the world, Colca Canyon (Cañon del Colca), twice as deep as the Grand Canyon, is the second deepest after nearby Cotahuasi Canyon. The canyon reaches a depth of 3,400 meters and is the result of a seismic fault between two volcanoes. At the base far below is a winding river.

The Colca Canyon area has been inhabited for thousands of years and was home to the Collagua, Cabana, and eventually the Inca peoples. Stone terracing along the canyon walls dates to AD 800 and is still in use today.

The canyon is about a four-hour drive from Arequipa. Day trips to the canyon are available from Arequipa but two or more days are recommended considering the driving time involved in accessing the canyon. Besides gazing out at the canyon, there are also hot springs, churches, villages, and Inca ruins to explore. Condors are also a big attraction in Colca Canyon as they soar past the cliff walls.

6. Nazca Lines

Nazca Lines

Nazca Lines

The mysterious Nazca lines are an unusual sight that will leave you with a sense of awe. These huge images on the desert floor were relatively undiscovered until planes flying over the area in the 1920s saw the lines from the air and realized they formed distinct patterns and images.

Until that time there was some recognition of the hillside drawings near Nazca and Paracas, which can be seen from ground level. However, the huge drawings on the flat desert floor are so large that it requires an aerial view to be appreciated.

From the air, it is possible to see 70 different plant and animal drawings as well as hundreds of lines and other geometrical shapes. Some of these lines stretch as long as 10 kilometers, and they are spread over hundreds of square kilometers. Most notable among the figures are a lizard measuring 180 meters long, a condor with a 130-meter wingspan, and several others that include a monkey, hummingbird, killer whale, and spider.

Although it is not known exactly who created the lines or how and why, theories hold that the lines were the product of the Paracas and Nazca cultures sometime between 900 BC and AD 600. Why they were created is the subject of much debate. Some of the theories put forward suggest the lines were a type of astronomical calendar for agriculture, an alien landing pad, a running track, walkways joining ceremonial sites, or part of a water cult.

The lines were created by removing the dark surface layer of stones and piling them at the sides of the lines, creating a contrast between the dark stones and the exposed lighter soil below. Flights can be booked in advance or on a walk-in, first-come first-serve basis.

Approximately four kilometers outside of Nazca are the Cantalloc Aqueducts. Built around AD 300 to 600, the aqueducts were designed to provide a year-round water source for the area. They conduct water from the mountain springs down to Nazca by means of underground canals. Some of the Cantalloc Aqueducts are still used by farmers in the area.

Also of interest in the area is the Cemetery of Chauchilla, which contains Nazca remains and mummies.

7. The Sacred Valley

The Sacred Valley

The Sacred Valley | Photo Copyright: Lana Law

Less than an hour’s drive north of Cusco is the beautiful Sacred Valley and the towns of Pisac, Urubamba, and Ollantaytambo. This fertile valley has many Inca ruins worth exploring but is also a peaceful area to spend some time wandering through markets or soaking up local culture.

Among the highlights in the valley are the Pisac Ruins and the Sunday Market in Pisac (smaller market days are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays). Here, you’ll find an amazing selection of local handicrafts.

A little out of the way but worth the trip is the town of Moray with circular terracing used as an agricultural testing area by the Incas. You’ve probably seen photos of the perfectly circular terraces on social media sites and other tourist sites.

Researchers feel that this innovative style of farming was the Inca’s version of a greenhouse. Different levels and different areas had warmer or cooler temperatures along with more or less sun. Moray is located near the small village of Maras and is at a gasp-inducing elevation of 11,500 feet.

While visiting Moray, be sure to stop in and see the salt mines at Salinas. These fascinating mines have been in use since the time of the Incas. The Salinas mines produce a sought-after pink color salt along with traditional white salt.

The intricate set up of the salt mines is the main attraction here. The high-saline-content water emerges from a spring at the top of the mine and is routed through a complex set of canals through square evaporation ponds.

An ideal place to snap a photo is from the top of the salt ponds, where you’ll have the white salt ponds juxtaposed against the backdrop of the green valley in the distance.

  • Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in the Sacred Valley, Peru

8. Ollantaytambo

Ollantaytambo

Ollantaytambo

The ruins and fortress at the beautiful little town of Ollantaytambo should be on your list of places to see when visiting the Sacred Valley. The town is very walkable and fun to explore. Like Pisac, it’s home to an excellent assortment of vendors selling handmade handicrafts.

It’s a photogenic spot with two imposing Inca ruins towering over the village. Take a bit of time to wander up the hill and explore the ruins. Highlights include the impressive Wall of the Six Monoliths and the Bath of the Princess. Nearby are the Terraces of Pumatillis and the Pinkuylluna, an ancient storehouse.

9. Arequipa’s Historical City Center

Arequipa

Arequipa’s Historical City Center

Arequipa, at more than 2,300 meters, is often regarded as Peru’s most beautiful city. Set against a backdrop of snow-capped mountains, the city center is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Arequipa’s main claim to fame is the old architecture constructed of sillar stone, a volcanic rock that radiates a bright color in the sunlight. Most of the colonial buildings in the historic city center are made from this stone, giving rise to its nickname of the “white city.”

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Arequipa is also often a stopping-off point for those looking to visit the Colca Canyon (Cañon del Colca), which is about a four hour’s drive from the city.

10. Puerto Maldonado and the Amazon

Amazon River at Puerto Maldonado

Amazon River at Puerto Maldonado

Just a half hour flight from Cusco, Puerto Maldonado is a key jumping-off point for tours of the Amazon. This is a completely different experience than what you will find in other parts of Peru, with hot humid jungle and a chance to see all kinds of unique wildlife. Caimans, capybara, monkeys, parrots, turtles, and piranhas are what you can expect to find in this part of the country.

The Reserva Nacional Tambopata and the Parque Nacional Bahuaja Sonene are the two main attractions, and they are well serviced by a number of jungle lodges. The Reserva Nacional Tambopata jungle lodges are approximately a one-hour boat ride from Puerto Maldonado. Parque Nacional Bahuaja Sonene is across the river from the Parque Nacional Madidi in Bolivia and takes about four hours to reach by boat. Tours typically range from a couple of days to week-long adventures.

11. Lima’s Historic Center

Lima

Lima’s Historic Center | Photo Copyright: Lana Law

Lima’s Historic Center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city was founded in the 1500s and, although many of the original structures were destroyed, it still holds significant historical value and is a beautiful place to wander around.

One of the most pleasant places to visit in Lima is the main square, Plaza de Armas (Plaza Mayor), in the heart of the city’s historic district. A majority of the structures were rebuilt following the devastating earthquake of 1746. The highlights around the Plaza de Armas are the cathedral on the east side and Government Palace (Palacio del Gobierno) on the north side. Also of interest are the Archbishop’s Palace and the Casa del Oidor.

Leading off the square is the pedestrian street, Jiron de la Union, with shops, restaurants, and the historic Iglesia de La Merced.

  • Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Lima

12. Ica and the Sand Dunes at Huacachina

Ica and the Sand Dunes at Huacachina

Ica and the Sand Dunes at Huacachina

For the sporting type looking to try something a little different, the oasis resort of Huacachina on the outskirts of Ica has just the answer. This picture-perfect, palm-fringed resort town just west of Ica is situated around a lagoon surrounded by huge sand dunes, some of which reach 1,000 meters in height.

People come here to try out the sport of sandboarding. Similar to snowboarding, sandboarding involves surfing down the sand dunes on specially made sand-boards, which can be rented in the area. For the less coordinated, renting dune buggies is another great way to get out and enjoy the landscape.

Ica is slightly higher than the ocean and consequently is not affected by the usual coastal mist like other towns along this stretch. The town has a year-round sunny and dry climate, making it a good place to visit at any time.

13. Pisco and the Ballestas Islands (Islas Ballestas)

Penguins in the Ballestas Islands

Penguins in the Ballestas Islands

The main reason to come to Pisco, about 200 kilometers south of Lima, is to see the nearby Islas Ballestas and the Reserva Nacional de Paracas on the Paracas Peninsula. Almost directly west of Pisco, the Islas Ballestas, sometimes referred to as the “poor man’s Galapagos,” are home to hundreds of thousands of birds, large colonies of sea lions, pelicans, penguins, and dolphins.

Boat tours from Paracas and Pisco, which visit the islands daily, leave in the morning. The full tour takes you past the “Candelabra,” a hillside geoglyph seen from the coast, and then spends a considerable amount of time boating around the islands watching for wildlife. This tour is generally a half-day trip, returning around noon.

The Paracas Peninsula, jutting out into the Pacific Ocean just south of Pisco, is home to the Reserva Nacional Paracas and the largest section of protected coastline in Peru. The shoreline of the Paracas Peninsula supports a huge variety of wildlife, with approximately 200 species of seabirds, two types of sea lions, a rare type of otter, and the endangered Humboldt penguins.

14. Sillustani

Sillustani

Sillustani

Sillustani, outside the city of Puno and not far from Lake Titicaca, is the site of some of the area’s most impressive funerary towers (chullpas). Standing as high as 12 meters, these structures were built by the Colla people around AD 600 to bury their nobility. Entire families, along with food and personal possessions, were buried in these cylinders.

Most of the towers are set in a scenic area along the bank of Lake Umayo, just walk up a hill from the parking lot to the plateau above. The towers stand at the far end of the field with the lake behind. Below the parking lot is a small marshy lake where locals can be seen poling along in their boats, harvesting reeds.

15. Barranco

Barranco

Barranco

The quaint hillside district of Barranco, just south of Central Lima and Miraflores, is a charming area within easy commuting distance of downtown Lima. With unassuming colorful colonial architecture lining the narrow streets and hillside ocean views, the area offers a much more relaxed pace than the city.

The area has long been popular with artists and poets, giving it a Bohemian feel. This is a great place to wander in the afternoon or enjoy a meal, particularly at sunset, at one of the restaurants overlooking the ocean. Besides the atmosphere, the one main tourist attraction in Barranco is the Puente de Los Suspiros (Bridge of Sighs).

  • Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Lima

16. Cordillera Blanca

Cordillera Blanca

Cordillera Blanca

A stunning area of mountains and valleys, the Cordillera Blanca draws mountain climbers, hikers, and outdoor enthusiasts from around the world. The Cordillera Blanca is home to Peru’s highest peak, Huascaran. Also located in the same area of the Andes are sixteen other mountains over 6,000 meters in height.

Getting here takes a bit of work, and you need to be well prepared if you are planning an excursion into the heart of this region. The weather is extremely changeable; it can be snowing one minute and then blazing hot the next.

Some of the most notable treks include the Santa Cruz, the Alpamayo, and the Rurec Shaqsha. The best time to visit is from April through to October.

17. Saqsaywaman

Saqsaywaman

Saqsaywaman

If you are staying in Cusco, an afternoon or day trip to nearby Saqsaywaman is definitely in order. This site with its towering monoliths of rock is located high above the city at a gasp-inducing altitude of 3,701 meters (12,142 feet).

The site is notable for the massive blocks that have been intricately fitted together without the use of mortar. It’s due to this incredible feat of engineering that the fortress walls have been able to survive devastating earthquakes that have destroyed parts of nearby Cusco.

18. Salcantay

Humantay Lake on the trek to Salcantay Mountain

Humantay Lake on the trek to Salcantay Mountain

The spectacular mountain peak known as Salcantay is fast becoming a “go-to” hiking destination in Peru. Towering above the surrounding landscapes, the 20,574-foot-high peak is jaw-droppingly beautiful but fortunately not overrun with visitors.

The easiest way to see Salcantay is hike the Salcantay Trail – a 37-mile (60-kilometer) trek that ends at Machu Picchu. Along the way, you’ll ascend to 15,190 feet (4,630 meters) above sea level at your highest point, an elevation sure to take your breath away. Don’t despair, you can soothe all your sore muscles in the hot springs in Cocalmayo along the way.

17 Best Places to Visit in Peru

Peru is probably one of South America’s most well-known destinations, and the mysterious settlement of Machu Picchu has adorned many a tourist postcard. But while the country is certainly celebrated for the Inca Trail and its ancient archeological site, Peru has so much more to offer than crumbling ruins.

Take your time discovering these Peruvian delights, from pre-Columbian settlements to the modern and traditional cities of the Southern Peru Tourist Corridor. Explore the museums of Lima, soak in the hot springs of high-altitude Cusco, and fly over the astonishing Nazca lines. Here’s a look at the best places to visit in Peru:

17. Chachapoyas [SEE MAP]

Chachapoyas

© Cesar Gavidia / Dreamstime

Set in a scenic yet secluded spot far from the Peruvian coast, Chachapoyas lies high amid the mountains and is the capital of Amazonas. While the city doesn’t have all that much going for it, it acts as a gateway to the stunning natural landscapes and archaeological sites that surround it.

Founded by the Spanish in 1538, the small city is home to a couple of interesting monuments and colonial buildings, with plenty of restaurants, hotels, and tour operators found around its main plaza. From here, you can arrange to visit incredible sights such as the distinctive sarcophagi of Karajia or the ancient stone city of Kuelap – the largest pre-Inca ruins in South America.

There’s no shortage of natural beauty nearby, with mountains, valleys and forests home to a diverse range of fauna and flora, including countless species of brightly colored birds. Sparkling waterfalls also abound: Gocta Cataracts is the pick of the bunch at over 700 meter in height. With so many superb landscapes to explore, hiking and trekking are popular and can be arranged in Chachapoyas.

16. Paracas National Reserve [SEE MAP]

Paracas National Reserve

Famed for its dramatic scenery, wealth of archaeological sites, and beautiful beaches and wildlife, Paracas National Reserve lies along Peru’s southern coastline, some 250 kilometers south of Lima. Encompassed within its confines are marine and coastal desert ecosystems as well as a couple of arid, rocky islands.

While fierce ocean waves pulverize its jagged, crumbling cliffs and deserted isles, its small coves and bays are home to shallow, warm waters perfect for swimming. Its sheltered beaches are also lovely for relaxing on, while sailing and windsurfing are popular pastimes. In addition, many people take boat trips out to the Ballestas Islands to gaze in awe at its spectacular rock formations and the multitude of seabirds, seals, and sea lions living there.

When visiting Paracas National Reserve, most visitors stay in the small town of the same name that lies on the Paracas Peninsula. Here you can find lots of restaurants, bars and hotels as well as tour operators who can take you to see some of the ancient archaeological sites that dot the reserve.

15. Chan Chan [SEE MAP]

Chan Chan

Lying just outside the city of Trujillo in northwest Peru, Chan Chan is one of the most impressive and extensive archaeological sites in the country. The largest pre-Columbian city discovered so far, it is set at the mouth of the Moche Valley in a desolate and arid spot, not far from the Pacific Ocean.

Once the capital of the Chimu Empire, Chan Chan rose to prominence around AD 850 when palaces, plazas, and temples sprung up. While many of these are now severely eroded as the city was entirely made out of adobe, many fine features, carvings, and friezes remain.

Among the endless sprawl, you can find ten royal compounds, home to ceremonial halls, burial chambers, and palaces. These were the residences of the kings of Chimu, who were buried in their complex when they died. The only one open to visitors and partially restored is the Palacio Nik An, which boasts lovely geometric designs, marine motifs, and awe-inspiring architecture.

14. Huascaran National Park [SEE MAP]

Huascaran National Park

© Renan Greinert / Dreamstime

Set high in the Andes in the Central Sierra region of Peru, the enormous Huascaran National Park encompasses almost the entire Cordillera Blanca. The world’s highest tropical mountain range is home to lofty peaks and arresting scenery, while countless species of fauna and flora can be found within its confines.

Established in 1975, the park sprawls over a vast area and includes a number of mighty mountains. Huascaran– after which the park is named – is Peru’s highest peak at 6,768 meters. Remarkably, more than 600 glistening glaciers are dotted about the upper reaches of the range, and countless alpine lakes and roaring rivers can be found down below.

The Cordillera Blanca‘s sweeping valleys, high plateaus, and steep slopes are home to all kinds of fauna and flora, while ancient archaeological sites are also scattered about. Due to the wonderful scenery and diverse landscapes, the park is a marvelous place to go trekking, mountain climbing and skiing. Wildlife watching is also popular; catching a glimpse of the elusive puma or endangered spectacled bear is an unforgettable experience.

13. Huacachina [SEE MAP]

Huacachina

Lying just outside the city of Ica in the southwest of Peru, Huacachina is a popular place to visit thanks to its surreal location surrounded by dunes. Emerging out of the desert like a mirage, the small settlement is clustered around a secluded oasis, with gently waving palm trees and nothing but sand stretching as far as the eye can see.

Huacachina’s sandy surroundings lend themselves perfectly to all kinds of fun outdoor activities, with sandboarding, quad biking, and dune buggy rides popular pastimes. Clambering to the top of the sifting dunes is also a must for the spectacular views, and sunsets are particularly memorable.

Relaxing around the oasis and taking in the stunning scenery is a lovely way to pass the time, and swimming offers a welcome respite from the searing heat. As it is geared towards tourists, Huacachina has plenty of restaurants, bars, and hotels to choose from, with a few kiosks and shops dotted here and there. Besides its ample adventure opportunities, you can also visit the bodegas and wineries in Ica if you want to sample some delicious local produce.

12. Mancora [SEE MAP]

Mancora

alobos flickr / Flickr

As one of the most hip and happening summer beach destinations on the Costanera Norte along the northern Peruvian coast, you simply have to add Mancora to your bucket list. This slice of glorious sandy coastline stretches for kilometers along one of the sunniest parts of Peru – something that hasn’t been missed by the tourism industry. You’ll find everything from backpackers to swanky beach resorts dotting the sands here.

Apart from the beaches that are worth more than their fair share of relaxation, Mancora has a bustling main street filled with vibrant beach bars, seafood restaurants, and an excellent nightlife scene that livens up after the sun goes down.

That being said, most of the activity here revolves around inactivity; lazy beach days are the order of the day. Those looking for something more active can go surfing in the warm waters, take a seaside stroll from South Beach to Organos or spot seasonal dolphins and whales frolicking in the waves at the main beach. If you somehow grow tired of Mancora’s beach activities, explore further afield – swim with turtles in El Nuro or soak in the hot springs of Poza de Barro.

11. Trujillo [SEE MAP]

Trujillo

Maria Victoria Rodriguez / Flickr

Nestled within a lush valley eight hours north of Lima, Trujillo is celebrated for its photogenic colonial center filled with colorful Spanish mansions, quaint churches, and friendly locals.

Not far from the Pacific Coast, this relatively large city was founded in the 1500s close to the abandoned Chan Chan ruins, one of the largest pre-Incan empires of ancient Peru. Within its impressive once-walled ruins, this Chimor mud city is the largest adobe city in the Americas and boasts a series of religious temples, burial grounds, and royal residences.

But that’s not the only history worth exploring in Trujillo. Visit the 19th-century National University of Trujillo – one of the largest of its kind in South America – that features the world’s longest mosaic, and appreciate the incredible murals of Huaca de la Luna (the Temple of the Moon) that unfortunately showcases human sacrifice. If you’re looking to relax after your days of exploring, you can’t go wrong with the beaches of resort town Huanchaco – don’t forget your sun cream!

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10. Nazca Desert [SEE MAP]

Nazca Desert

The puzzling Nazca lines that crisscross the valleys of Palpa and Nazca have put this part of Peru’s otherwise uninteresting desert on the map. These enormous inscriptions of lines, animals, and other geometric patterns were carved into the sandy terrain by the Nazca people and are believed to have been part of a thousand-year-old holy road. The dry, windless, stable climate of the Nazca Desert has helped keep the lines uncovered to the present day.

The best way to appreciate the magnitude of these geometric lines and shapes is from the air with a flight over the Nazca lines. If you’re hesitant about flying (the costs aren’t cheap!) or you’d just prefer to see them up close, there’s an observation tower along the Panamerican highway where you can view three of the main figures.

Other Nazca sites worth viewing within the desert are the ancient aqueducts known as the Nazca channels. These underground channels are what allow the cotton, potatoes, and fruit plantations in the desert to thrive in this otherwise inhabitable location.

9. Iquitos [SEE MAP]

Iquitos

markg6 / Flickr

Iquitos is the capital of the Loreto region, which encompasses most of the northern reaches of the Peruvian Amazon. Interestingly, a town that was formed initially by a tribe of hunter-gatherers, Iquitos is now the largest city on earth without road access.

While Iquitos is a little tricky to get to – you have to fly or boat in – the rewards are totally worth it. Despite its remote location, there’s a mix of traditional and modern architecture: wooden huts built on riverside stilts contrast with the historic architecture of the central plaza.

Offering an unforgettable escape in the Amazon jungle that feels authentic, visitors can browse the Belen floating market for everything from bananas to crocodile meat. If it’s souvenirs you’re after, the San Juan crafts market is a better bet.

The isolation of Iquitos is in its favor; the surrounding jungle offers some of the best wildlife watching opportunities in the country. It’s the main base for boat trips along the Amazon River to spot monkeys, alligators, and the notorious anacondas. Visiting the nearby Pacaya Samiria National Reserve near Lagunas is one of the best places for spotting some unusual Amazonian wildlife.

8. Puno [SEE MAP]

Puno

© Steffen Foerster / Dreamstime

Puno is a picturesque hillside port city that forms the natural gateway to Lake Titicaca and the 85-plus Uros Floating Islands – boats depart from the dock every 40 minutes. Set at an elevation of 3,800 meters, high-altitude Puno has a glorious view over the lakes and the island chain.

Because of its easy access to and from neighboring Bolivia and Chile, Puno is a popular tourist trap, yet it provides a more laidback alternative to the upmarket lake islands it overlooks. For one, souvenirs at the lakeside market are far cheaper than you’ll find in Cusco or Lima!

Its biggest attraction is as a departure point for the famous floating Uros islands with boats leaving every 40 min from the dock. It is also a great place to get a feel for the Aymara and Quechua cultures. Some of the most popular things to do include a visit to a llama farm and an overnight stay with a local family. Most of the people who live in Puno are Andean, so there’s an interesting mix of modern and Andean traditions, and you’ll still find many women in colorful traditional dress.

7. Lima [SEE MAP]

Lima

Christian Cordova / Flickr

As Peru’s capital and largest city, Lima is a sprawling metropolis of almost 9 million people. The city was founded in 1535 by the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro and offers a rich history as well as exceptional food, a great sense of culture.

You’ll find modern buildings contrasting with traditional and colonial architecture and orderly slums alongside raving nightclubs and bars. Ruled by the Spanish for three centuries, Lima boasts intriguing Spanish-colonial churches, cloisters, and monasteries – a real treat for history buffs.

Because of its location close to the coast, Lima is a great foodie destination for seafood lovers. A Lima food tour is a great way to taste your way through the city’s authentic Peruvian delights like Ceviche, with a visit to some of the most authentic markets and restaurants in the city.

Whether you’re taking a stroll through the historic heart of Lima Centro and its craft markets or exploring the more tourist-friendly green suburb of Miraflores, which overflows with antique shops and bars, you’re in for something special in Lima.

6. Colca Canyon [SEE MAP]

Colca Canyon

Located in the mountainous Southern Sierra region, Colca Canyon is one of Peru’s most popular tourist destinations. Spanning over 70 kilometers, the world’s second-deepest canyon boasts some spectacular scenery with fascinating Andean culture and nature to discover.

While the sheer size and scale of the canyon are staggering, it is the diversity of the many landscapes that is Colca’s most impressive feature; it encompasses everything from barren steppe and stepped terraces to steep-sided cliffs and rearing mountain peaks. Wherever you go, the scenery is phenomenal, with breathtaking views of Andean condors swirling above the 3,140-metre deep canyon.

Archaeological sites and ruins are dotted about the canyon, while locals maintain their ancestral traditions in their small villages and towns. Many people who visit Colca Canyon start in Chivay before trekking along the scenic rim, past precipitous ravines and death-defying drops, basking in the astonishing scenery and landscapes as they go.

5. Sacred Valley [SEE MAP]

Sacred Valley

icelight / Flickr

Once the heartland of the Inca Empire, The Sacred Valley of the Incas is a valley in the Andes, close to Cusco and the ancient city of Machu Picchu. The valley was appreciated by the Incas due to its special geographical and climatic qualities.

Located in Peru’s Southern Sierra, some of the most popular activities here are adventure-based – from trekking and rafting to rock climbing. In contrast, the towns of Yucay and Urubamba are fast becoming a hub for spiritual relaxation and meditation.

Whichever route you take, there’s plenty to discover along the way. There are gorgeous colonial towns, remote villages, colorful markets, and fascinating Incan sites such as the citadels of Pisac, Chinchero, and Ollantaytambo tucked along this mysterious route.

Take your time exploring the terraced hills above Pisac, making it down in time to browse the village’s famous artisanal market. Check out Choquequirao, some blissfully uncrowded ruins that are deemed to be giving Machu Picchu a run for its money.

4. Inca Trail [SEE MAP]

Inca Trail

Winding through the mountains, over passes, and above valleys with stunning views all the way, Peru’s Inca Trail is one of the most famous treks in the world. The hike takes around four days to complete and starts just outside of Cusco, the former capital of the Inca Empire, with the end-goal being the mythical Machu Picchu – the Lost City of the Incas.

Using ancient stone paths and trails that the Incas themselves laid down all those centuries ago, the route meanders through diverse ecosystems and landscapes. While some parts run next to stepped terraces, others pass by alpine tundra and cloud forest, with plunging valleys and towering mountains lying in the distance. As the Inca civilization was centered around the highlands, you’ll also come across ancient ruins on the way.

Due to the Inca Trail’s incredible popularity, visitors now need to book with a tour operator and can choose between several different routes, which vary in distance and elevation. Hiking the historic trail in the footsteps of the Incas is an unforgettable experience and makes arriving at the majestic Machu Picchu all the more special.

3. Arequipa [SEE MAP]

Arequipa

Located 2,380 meters above sea level, Arequipa is Peru’s second-largest city. Surrounded by volcanoes, including the El Misti, it’s known as the ‘White City’ because its buildings were crafted out of white volcanic rock called sillar from the neighboring mountains.

Unlike many of Peru’s other cities, Arequipa doesn’t have any Incan claims to fame – at least, not in the form of ancient settlements. Its most famous Inca sight is the Mummy Juanita, also known as the Lady of Ampato – an astonishingly well-preserved frozen body of a young teenaged Incan girl who was sacrificed to the gods during the 1400s. She can now be found in the Catholic University of Santa María’s Museum of Andean Sanctuaries.

Examples of Spanish colonial architecture can be found throughout the center of the city. Among the most significant of these is the Santa Catalina Convent, which is often described as a city within a city because of its charming streets, colorful buildings and flowers. Beautiful bridges like the Puente Bolognesi also offer historic value as well as scenic views. The city’s main square, the Plaza de Armas, is a common starting point for many tourists with its shops, restaurants and old churches.

Arequipa is the natural jumping-off point for visiting the multicolored Colca Canyon, one of the top tourist attractions in Peru. Dropping to a depth of 3,270 meters, the canyon is one of the deepest of its kind in the world.

2. Cusco [SEE MAP]

Cusco

Located in the Southern Sierras, colorful Cusco was once the capital of the Incan Empire. Today, it holds the title of the archaeological capital of the Americas. It’s one of Peru’s most-visited destinations, and for good reason: it offers easy access to Machu Picchu and the incredible Sacred Valley of the Incas.

Built by the Spanish on the ruins of age-old Incan temples and palaces, The heart of the city is the main square, the Plaza de Armas, which is surrounded by restaurants, cafes and churches. The colorful San Pedro Market is nearby with vendors selling Quechua handicrafts like alpaca textiles, painted pottery, ceramics and Peruvian dolls as well as fresh produce and drinks.

Just outside the city limits is an important Inca site known as Sacsayhuaman, an enormous walled complex constructed of large limestone boulders. The site is an ancient engineering marvel because of its accurate alignment with annual solstices and its ability to withstand earthquakes.

The city is brimming with culture – it’s the center of Quechua culture in the Andes – and its mountains are etched with trekking routes and hot springs. Strolling the city streets with its colonial architecture, craft markets, museums, and art galleries has a timeless feel to it.

Because of its high-altitude location 3,400 meters above sea level, altitude sickness is a risk in Cusco, so make sure you allow time to acclimatize before making your way here.

1. Machu Picchu [SEE MAP]

#1 of Best Places To Visit In Peru

Pedro Szekely / Flickr

Machu Picchu is anyone’s Peruvian highlight, no matter what you’re visiting this South American country for. Tucked 2,430 meters high in the Andes, this abandoned ancient Incan city seems to be eternally enshrouded in mist. In fact, it’s so well hidden that it remained undiscovered for centuries – earning it the nickname ‘the Lost City of the Incas.’

The site was eventually discovered by an explorer, but even then, only by accident. In the years since its discovery, it’s become one of the most yearned-after bucket list spots in the world. This means it doesn’t come without the crowds, so be sure to plan your trip well in advance. Some of the most popular ways to reach these crumbling Incan ruins are by trekking the Inca Trail or the Salkantay Trail. For those who prefer not to ascend on foot, there is an easier route by train.

However you reach the site, you’ve got plenty to do when you arrive. Explore well-preserved buildings that include houses, temples, fountains and baths in addition to agricultural terraces and evidence of an irrigation system. You can also admire the surrounding views from the Sun Gate, the gateway to Machu Picchu from the famous Inca Trail, and climb either Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain for a bird’s eye view over the enchanting valleys.

Map of Peru

© OpenStreetMap © MapTiler © Touropia

Top 25 Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Peru

South America has long been a backpacker’s paradise and Peru has seen a rise from a hidden gem to a must-see travel destination over recent years.

With an eclectic mix of history and nature and some truly jaw-dropping sights, it is a country that offers something for everyone, from my time spent travelling around in this incredible country, here is my choice for the best and most beautiful places to visit in Peru…

1. Cusco – one of the best places to visit in Peru

Beautiful Cusco city in Peru

Cuzo Peru Streets

While the city is mainly used as the gateway to one of the Seven Wonders of the World, it has plenty to offer. Cusco is actually at a higher altitude than Machu Picchu and is used to get acclimatized to the thinner air. The cobbled streets pave the way towards a place rich in history.

You should hike or bus your way up to the Cristo Blanco for a stunning view of the city, explore the interesting markets, and chill out in the beautiful Plaza de Armas.

All this before you take a tour for a look at some awesome Inca ruins like Sacsayhuaman, Choquequirao and Pisac. Cusco is not to be underestimated or overlooked.

2. Rainbow Mountain – listed by National Geographic in the top 100 places to visit before you die

Rainbow Mountain Peru

Rainbow Mountain Range Peru

Rainbow Mountain, also known as Vinicunca, Winikunka, or Montaña de Colores, the latter meaning Colorful Mountain, is an iconic and spectacular attraction located in the Andes Range on the road to Apu Ausangate.

It derives its name from its 7 distinctly colorful layers that are present due to the weathering mineralogical composition.

This mountain used to be covered by glacier caps until recently (due to global warming). Now, its vibrantly striped slopes are visibly exposed and have been listed by National Geographic in the top 100 places to visit before you die.

Beautiful Rainbow Mountain and the Andes by 4k drone…

3. Machu Picchu – the most famous and most beautiful places and activities in Peru

Machu Picchu Peru

Machu Picchu hill top ruins

It might be a cliché, but there is a reason why clichés exist. Yes, thinking about Peru is synonymous with Machu Picchu but that’s because it’s truly incredible.

Whether you take the train from Cusco or push yourself with the Inca Trail, the view when you get there is breathtaking.

Arrive early morning and, on a good day, you can see the sunrise from the sun gate while you should try to take the opportunity to climb Huanya Picchu as well.

4. Lake Titicaca – a stunning lake to explore in Peru and one of the top attractions in the country

Lake Titicaca South America

Lake Titicaca Boats

The train journey that you can take from Cusco to Puno is a 10-hour trip through rural Peru to the banks of Lake Titicaca that is considered one of the world’s great train journeys.

Undoubtedly a beautiful journey, but back at Lake Titicaca and this is your chance to see a fascinating and mystical lake, the largest in South America. Recent discoveries on the Bolivian side show that there is plenty of mystery left here yet.

5. Manu National Park – a must-see attraction to explore in Peru

Manu National Park

Manu National Park Peru

The massive 1.5 million-hectare Manu National Park is a world-famous epicenter of biodiversity. A meeting point for the Tropical Andes and the Amazon Basin in Southwestern Peru, the national park has unique natural vegetation that grows in tiers from 150m up to 4200m above sea level.

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The flora ranges from diverse Andean grasslands to mountain cloud forests and pristine rainforest, and plant diversity runs in thousands. The lower tropical forest is home to an astronomical array of fauna.

There are over 1000 vertebrate species, including at least 200 species of mammals and more than 800 species of birds. Among the mammals are the Giant Otter, 13 primates species, and 8 felids, including Jaguar, Puma, and the endangered Andean Mountain Cat.

Manu National Park also has unparalleled variety in terms of altitude, microclimate, soils, and other ecological conditions. This vast, isolated and still roadless region has been spared from most human impacts, maintaining its original, natural state.

6. Salinas de Maras – a stunning and unique natural attraction to explore in Peru

Salinas de Maras

Salinas de Maras Peru

The famous Salineras de Maras is a beautiful place located in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, near the town of Maras. This spectacular landscape is made up of more than 3 thousand small pools carved into the mountainside.

These pools are fed by an underground hypersaline spring that originated 110 million years ago during the formation of the Andes Mountains.

The high salinity makes this water saltier than seawater but also offers incredible natural therapeutic salts rich in magnesium, calcium, potassium, and silicon.

The salt wells and crystal formations create a breathtaking contrast of colours that make this location truly picturesque and a must-visit.

7. Oasis of Huacachina, Atacama Desert – a beautiful hidden gem to visit in Peru

Atacama Desert Oasis

Oasis of Huacachina Peru

Tucked between sand dunes in the world’s driest desert lies a geological marvel, a flourishing fertile lagoon enveloped by tall palm trees.

Around the oasis sprung the town of Huacachina and attracted tourists to take advantage of the oasis’ supposed healing properties.

This magical destination is beaming with tourism and activities. The only desert oasis in South America, Oasis of Huacachina, offers extraordinary adventures and extreme sports. Like sandboarding, dune buggy rides, flight rides over the Nazca Lines, and more!

8. The Andes Mountains – one of the best things to do in Peru

The Andes Mountains Peru

Andes Mountains - beautiful places to visit in Peru

The Andes is the longest mountain range in the world and boasts some of the highest peaks, the world’s highest volcano, ruins of ancient civilizations, and the source of a malaria treatment.

Created over 50 million years ago, when the South American and Pacific tectonic plates collided, it is a collection of numerous mountain chains that were joined together in what is called orographic knots.

Over 9000km long the Andes span along the western coast of South America through Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia. In the southern and northern tips of the continent, they tumble into the sea forming scattered Caribbean islands of Aruba and Curacao.

The Peruvian Andes hold the largest gold mine in the world, Yanacocha, and are known for their impressive biodiversity in climatic zones and countless species of mammals, reptiles, fish, birds, and amphibians.

Activities along the Andes include climbing to hiking, white water rafting, cycling, skiing, stargazing, and more.

9. Lima, National Capital – a wonderful city to explore in Peru

Lima Street Peru

Lima - places to visit in Peru

Shrouded in history, and sprawling with metropolitan life, Lima, the capital of Peru, has an incomparable chaotic charm.

Due to its huge size, Lima accounts for one-fourth of the total population of Peru.

Converging cultures and trends by its people, Lima is filled with Spanish-influenced architecture and colonial-era riches, stately museums, baroque churches, chic art galleries, and a buzzing nightlife.

Lima is rightly hailed as the gastronomic capital of Latin America because of the culinary genius of its incredible gourmet eateries and establishments.

10. Tambopata National Reserve – an amazing thing to do for nature lovers

Wildlife in Peru

Tambopata National Park

A crowning jewel of the Amazon Rainforest and a must-visit spot for nature lovers, the Tambopata National Reserve in Southeastern Peru is thriving with history, ecology, and diversity.

The vast habitat comprises lowland Amazon rainforest, riverine forest, oxbow lakes, and three rivers. The numerous species of butterflies, birds, mammals, other animals, and trees make this reserve one of the most diverse places on Earth!

Further, the Reserve and the surrounding area has been home to indigenous Ese Eja People and has preserved its cultural richness.

11. Lost City Kuelap – a unique ancient city that was rediscovered in 1843

Kuelap - best places to visit in Peru

Lost City Kuelap Peru

Located in northern Peru on the slopes of the Andes, the ancient city of Kuelap contains some of the most amazing architectural structures in the world.

Built between the 6th and 16th centuries in the Chachapoyas civilization, the fortress lies on a ridge overlooking the Utcubamba Valley and remains over 10,000 ft above sea level.

You take a picturesque cable car/gondola ride to the site. With its majestic monument and historic culture, Kuelap is popularly known as the Machu Picchu of the north and is quickly becoming just as popular!

12. Arequipa – one of the most beautiful cities to explore in Peru filled with amazing historical attractions

Beautiful Arequipa Peru

Arequipa - places to visit in Peru

Known as the White City thanks to its unique architecture, Arequipa is the second biggest city in Peru.

Characterised by a skyline dominated by imposing volcanoes, the eternal spring means that any time of the year is perfect for visiting the city.

The charming destination boasts buildings mainly made from volcanic rock and the Historic Centre has been a World Heritage Site for more than a decade. Arequipa’s Basilica Cathedral is an iconic sight and it is a great start before heading out to the Colca Canyon.

13. Floating House at Iquitos – a hidden gem to visit in Peru

Iquitos Floating House

Floating House at Iquitos

The Barrio of Belen is situated in the outskirts of the largest market in Iquitos. This area is one of the poorest and most chaotic in Iquitos. The area has a flight of stairs that open into a busy market that sells things, mostly fruits like bananas at cheaper prices.

In the dry season, you can walk through the smelly streets and look into apartments and businesses but in the monsoon, the first stories will be submerged in water.

You can witness people going around and selling products by boat from the second story up.

To see the rest of the barrio, take a boat taxi around the river to find floating houses tied to poles during the wet season and houses on stilts during the dry season. While not the most glamorous the Floating Houses are definitely an interesting and intriguing site to see.

14. Lake 69, Huascaran, Huaraz – a stunning natural mountain lake which is one of the best destinations in Peru

Lake 69 Peru

Lake 69, Huascaran, Huaraz

A truly exemplary hike, Laguna 69 offers one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. This site is truly extraordinary not only because of the beauty of the lake but also the scenic hike that leads to it.

Lake 69 sits at the feet of a gigantic glacier, Pisco Peak at an elevation of 15,000 ft. Located in Huaraz, the hiking and trekking capital of Peru, this high-altitude one-day hike is not steep but the altitude makes Laguna 69 a slightly challenging hike.

15. Sacred Valley – a wonderful beauty spot and a must-see place in Peru

Inca Circular Terraces

Sacred Valley Peru

The Sacred Valley, or El Valle Sagrado, as it is locally known, lies in Río Urubamba Valley at the mountain foothills north of the town of Cuzco. This ancient valley is a hidden gem full of marvel and wonder.

This secluded pocket in the Andes thrives with scattered towns, traditional villages, bustling markets, and significant ruins, namely the famous Inca citadels of Pisac, Ollantaytambo, and Chinchero.

Besides the incredible culture, the valley offers a multitude of Adrenaline activities like rock climbing, trekking, and rafting.

16. Colca Canyon – a famous Peruvian landmark to explore

Colca Canyon Peru

Colca Canyon Peru

Colca Canyon in southern Peru is recognised as one of the world’s deepest canyons. With River Colca running east to west and its slopes on both sides steep and rocky, the canyon displays stunning waterfalls formed along the slopes.

With no road at the bottom of the canyon, the views are more mesmerizing than ever!

The landscape is made up of a green valley spotted with terraced agriculture from remote villages. The canyon is popularly visited as a trekking site and the river is known for rafting.

From vibrant culture to extreme sports there is something for everyone and, of course, the Cruz del Condor viewpoint is the pinnacle where you can get a great appreciation for the grandeur of this astounding place alongside the chance to witness the majestic Andean Condors.

17. Ancient Inca Circular Terraces at Moray – one of the famous Inca ruins near Cusco and a must-visit attraction

Sacred Valley - places to vist

Based in the Sacred Valley, this ancient site is unlike any other. These Inca ruins look like a Roman amphitheatre but are, in fact, an agricultural research laboratory.

Though the precise use of these marvelous circular terraces is unknown, some believe these ruins were used to experiment on different crops at various temperatures.

Irrespective of their purpose, these terraces are truly a wonder to witness.

18. Huascarán National Park – a Peruvian beauty spot filled with famous mountains and scenery

Huascaran National Park

Huascaran National Park Peru

The amazing Huascarán National Park is situated in an idyllic setting, surrounded by glaciers and their rivers, studded with turquoise lakes, filled with a vast diversity of plants and animals, and housing 33 historic archaeological sites.

This 13,000 sq mile of heaven on Earth includes the world’s highest tropical mountain range and the Puya Raimondi plant that grows up to 12 meters in height.

Besides the cloud-scrapping mountains, the high-altitude plants, the tropical glaciers, and Elysian water bodies, the national park is renowned for its exotic wildlife like the spectacled bears, giant hummingbirds, South American camels, and mountain cats.

Its unbelievable terrain and well-balanced ecosystem makes it a national park like no other.

You can also find guided tours for boating, hiking, climbing, camping, and other activities.

19. Piura – a perfect for a great low-key beach vacation in Peru

Piura - places to visit in Peru

Piura Beach Peru

All the way up the Northern Coastline you find beautiful beaches for relaxation. The adventurous nature of a trip around Peru makes the beaches at Mancora, Punta Sal or Tumbes well worth a visit for a wind-down.

Not convinced? Well, Ernest Hemingway stayed at the fishing village of Cabo Blanco for over a month whilst filming for ‘The Old Man and the Sea’ and if it was good enough for him then you can bet it is worth a visit.

20. Chachapoyas – an incredible historic attraction to visit and explore in Peru

Chachapoyas Peru

Chachapoyas Peru

Located in Peru’s misty selva alta, the high jungle, the Chachapoyas landscape combines the harsh, jagged edges of the mountains with the lush, verdant jungle.

This isolated region receives few visitors, probably due to the fact that it takes two full days of overland travel to get there.

But if you do go, you’ll be able to see world-class sites like the Pre-Incan ruins of Kuelap, perched on top of a jungle-covered mountain, or take a hike to Gocta Cataracts, one of the tallest free-standing waterfalls in the world.

21. The Amazon – an incredible landmark filled with unique wildlife that draws tourists from all over the world

Amazon Peru

Wildlife in Amazon Rainforest Peru

Going to the jungle is one of the most memorable experiences you could ever wish to have.

From peaceful evenings looking at stars, listening to bullfrogs and searching for alligators to eventful days trekking through the rainforest, meeting tribes and listening to howler monkeys the usual three or four-day trips are filled with excitement.

It is worth classing the Amazon as a whole for this because while most people head to Iquitos before going, Puerto Maldonado is widely believed to be more aesthetically pleasing from a city perspective.

Travellers also sometimes opt to volunteer in the programs are organized in this extraordinary country and Maximo Nivel offers projects both in and outside of the city centre. This gives volunteers the opportunity to serve in both urban and rural communities.

22. Oxapampa – a unique and interesting tourist attraction

Oxapampa Peru

Oxapampa Peru

A German village in the middle of the Selva Alta in Peru is bound to be an interesting destination. It was the middle of the 1800s when poor living conditions in Central Europe when 10,000 colonists came to virgin lands.

Many people travel there for the festival Selvamonos but while being just seven hours away on Google Maps, the bus ride from Lima is a 15-hour slog.

However, when you get there, the food is great, the people welcoming and the surrounding areas with waterfalls and the beautiful green countryside are perfect for camping and hiking.

23. Huacachina – a fun thing to do here is go sandboarding!

Huacachina Peru

Huacachina Peru

Ever been sandboarding? If not, then make your first time in Peru. Huacachina can probably be best described as a novelty, the blue-green laguna and a backdrop of huge sand dunes is a beautiful site. It is the definition of a tourist town and is worth a visit.

Take a dune buggy ride up and down the dunes before getting out to sandboard from top to bottom. It’s an awful lot of fun but getting back up is an effort!

It is an easy trip from Lima to the closest big city of Ica and from here you can get to Nazca and Paracas which are other popular destinations.

24. Río Abiseo National Park – a jewel in the Peru tourism crown!

Rio Abiseo National Park

The Rio Abiseo National Park is one of Peru’s 12 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and the most remote, placed between two rivers on the Eastern slopes of the tropical Andes in North-Central Peru.

Located within the park are 30 culturally rich pre-Columbian archaeological sites spanning eight millennia of human history and dating back to 6000 BC. There are also 7 climate zones and a whole world of wildlife.

The park is known for its vast range of approximately1000 known plant species, 13 of which are endemic, and most importantly the rediscovery of the thought-to-be-extinct Yellow-Tailed Wooly Monkey.

25. Paracas National Reserve – one of the most astonishing places to visit in Peru

Paracas National Reserve-Peru

Paracas National Reserve Wildlife - Peru

Located in the region of Ica in Peru’s South Coast, this beautiful reserve is home to an extensive species of wildlife including dolphins and sea lions that consists of a desert and a marine ecosystem.

This place is heavily protected as its main aim is to maintain conservation and sustainable use. Furthermore, there are still remains of the Paracas heritage in the area which needs to be preserved.

One of the most popular tourist attractions in the reserve is to have a boat trip where you can visit the archipelago Ballestas Islands which will last two and a half hours.

You can also try the open-air tented picnics where you can have a romantic dinner and witness one of the most romantic sunsets on earth!

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Ever since he was knee-high to a grasshopper Michael has always been a sucker for an adventure. Growing up he was lucky enough to live in a handful of exotic far flung locations including Hong Kong, Pakistan, Kenya and Tanzania and since then he’s continued his taste for seeking out new cultures. So much in fact he now travels the world as a trading digital nomad, exploring everything from the sizzling street markets in Bangkok to random back alleys in Sri Lanka and everything in between! He also has a special fondness for Cohibas, street food, playing carrom, and fine wine and knows his clarets from his chiantis. He counts Cuba, Amsterdam, Indonesia, Cambodia and Italy as his favourite destinations.

Source https://www.planetware.com/tourist-attractions/peru-per.htm

Source https://www.touropia.com/best-places-to-visit-in-peru/

Source https://globalgrasshopper.com/destinations/south-america/10-beautiful-places-visit-peru/

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