Peru is a place that offers many different experiences both to the tourists who visit and to the locals themselves. The idea of adventure may appeal to some, but not so much to others. You may just want a backpacking trip and stay in hostels or you may also want to travel in style and be looked after all day. However, whatever way you want to explore Peru, the country has something for you. Therefore, together with the travel experts of Machu Travel Peru, we have prepared a short article about how to explore Peru. With so many alternatives available, it is necessary to guide ourselves a little about everything there is to enjoy in Peru.
How to explore Peru the right way
- Starting your trip in Lima
- Continuing to Paracas
- Fly over the Nazca lines
- Visit the White City of Arequipa
- Explore Lake Titicaca
- Discovering the Imperial City of Cusco
- Relax in the Sacred Valley of the Incas
- Visiting Machu Picchu
- Finish your adventure in the Amazon
STARTING YOUR TRIP IN LIMA
On any trip to Peru, you will arrive in the capital of Peru, Lima. The Peruvian capital is where all international flights usually land. Lima is located on the coast of Peru and has many interesting attractions that you must explore. In the historic center of the city is where the government buildings are located and every day at noon there is a changing of the guard at the Presidential Palace. Also located in the center of the city is the church of San Francisco, one of the most important religious buildings in the center. The church houses the oldest cemetery in South America and you can see the bones on display in the church’s catacombs. The church also has a library that houses a collection of Spanish chronicles on display. Make sure you don’t miss the beachside suburbs in Lima, like Miraflores or Barranco, home to fashion and a really cool art scene. These suburbs have some of the best restaurants in Peru. And when we talk about the cuisine of Lima, it is something that is really worth trying. Make sure you visit Lima during the summer in Peru, as you will have the opportunity to enjoy the beaches like other charming places.
CONTINUING TO PARACAS
Traveling south from Lima, you will arrive in the coastal city of Paracas. Paracas is the starting point for tours of the fascinating Ballestas Islands. These rocky islands are home to thousands of birds and sea lions, among other animals. The different routes surround the islands where you can see the birds from very close. Although it is forbidden to disembark on the islands, the route surrounds them very closely. But the islands are not the only thing you can enjoy in this region. Paracas is also home to adventure activities such as sandboarding, kitesurfing, and even paragliding. Together with the different luxury hotels with sea views, they make Paracas one of the best destinations to enjoy a honeymoon in Peru.
FLY OVER THE NAZCA LINES
If you continue your journey further south and in the coastal desert of Peru you will find the small town of Nazca. The main attraction of the small town is the famous Nazca Lines, one of the greatest tourist sites in Peru. Etched into the desert floor, these ancient geoglyphs form one of the great mysteries of Peru. Note that you must take a flight to get one of the best views. The purpose of the lines remains a total mystery that has given rise to numerous theories. To know these theories it is a good idea to visit the renowned lines along with the museums around.
VISIT THE WHITE CITY OF AREQUIPA
After having witnessed the beautiful Nazca lines, you can continue to Arequipa. Arequipa is the second most populated city in Peru. It is located in the desert region of southern Peru. Arequipa is an attractive city built primarily with locally sourced white stone. The city has three volcanoes that appear on its horizon. In itself, the city is a pleasant place to spend a few days since there is no rainfall for most of the year. Dare to take a tour of the Colca Canyon from Arequipa and see one of the deepest canyons in the world. Knowing Arequipa and its surroundings is one of the best ways to explore Peru. Make sure that the White City is within your Peru itinerary.
EXPLORE LAKE TITICACA
Travel inland from Arequipa and the Colca Canyon and arrive in the high Andean city of Puno. This beautiful city is located in the southernmost part of Peru. The city of Puno is famous for Lake Titicaca and the wonderful islands of the Uros. The Uros people made these islands centuries ago to escape the mainland and the warring tribes. Did you know that the islands are made entirely of reeds and that they are replenished every six months? That’s right, from their boats, houses, and even schools they are made up entirely of reeds. This cane so essential for the life of the Uros grows in the surroundings of the islands. One of the best experiences of tourism in Peru is to become part of the experiential tourism and live a day in the life of the Uros. If you are looking to explore Peru, you cannot miss this enchanting and magical destination.
DISCOVERING THE IMPERIAL CITY OF CUSCO
North of Puno in the Andes is the Inca town of Cusco. Here it is said that it was the heart of the Inca Empire and vestiges of its construction skills can still be seen. When the Spanish arrived in the 15th century, they dismantled the temples of the Incas and built churches on the foundations. Cusco will remind you of an ancient European city with its terracotta tiles and churches. Even numerous places still have the ancient Inca foundations, giving the city a unique charm. Take advantage of your stay and enjoy the numerous traditional Peruvian food that there is to try in its different restaurants.
RELAX IN THE SACRED VALLEY OF THE INCAS
Near Cusco is the naturally beautiful Sacred Valley of the Incas. This is located between the Andes Mountains, the valley presents a temperate climate and some of the most beautiful mountain peaks in South America. The valley has some of the most interesting Inca ruins to visit as well as a colorful Indian market in Pisac. There are even numerous traditional towns where many of its inhabitants continue to speak Quechua, one of the languages in Peru. In themselves, the different landscapes will be a spectacle to observe. Added to the incomparable peace, it forms an excellent refuge to relax for a few days. It is even at a lower altitude than Cusco, making it a better place for acclimatization. To explore Peru in its most beautiful corners, you have to know the Sacred Valley.
VISITING MACHU PICCHU
From the Sacred Valley, you can take advantage and head towards Machu Picchu. Travel by train from the Valley to the town of Aguas Calientes. Once in Aguas Calientes, it will be necessary to take a bus to the citadel of Machu Picchu. Machu Picchu is the most popular place to visit in Peru and one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. See the variety of luxurious hotels near Machu Picchu to make your stay an unforgettable one. Inside the hotels they accept dollars, so you don’t have to worry about money in Peru. Also be sure to book your tickets in advance, as they run out very quickly.
FINISH YOUR ADVENTURE IN THE AMAZON
If you are a nature lover, you cannot miss exploring Peru within the Amazon. The Peruvian Amazon rainforest comprises 60% of the entire territory. Stay in the many jungle lodges that are scattered around the area, some totally exclusive and luxurious while others are more classic. Opt to fish for piranhas or even choose to take a luxurious cruise on one of the largest rivers. The jungle is one of the most incredible places to visit in Peru. If you love luxury cruises, travel north of Peru to Iquitos, where many cruises on the Amazon River depart. Visit local communities and swim with the pink dolphins. Dine in luxury every day and experience some of Peru’s best food prepared for you by chefs. The varied and numerous tours in Peru that include the jungle are many, make sure you meet them all.
“THE BEST AND MOST BEAUTIFUL THINGS IN THE WORLD CANNOT BE SEEN OR EVEN TOUCHED, THEY MUST BE FELT WITH THE HEART.”
We hope together with the experts of Machu Travel Peru to have been of great help. If you are looking to explore Peru in-depth, it is a good idea for you to know these incredible destinations. Obviously, this is not all that the magical Andean country has to offer, but they are some of its most interesting destinations. If you want to know more about our tours throughout Peru, you can meet our qualified advisers.