Peru is a country of enormous cultural and natural wealth. And with so many enchanting landscapes and wonderful archaeological ruins to tour, it’s no surprise that spectacular views abound. From its deserts with sand dunes, its mountain ranges in the Andes, its extensive Amazon region, they all offer something unique and totally different from what you have seen before. Therefore, together with the travel experts of Machu Travel Peru, we have prepared a list of where to appreciate the best views in Peru. You will be able to appreciate both the old and the modern architecture, in addition to its inexhaustible natural wonders.
12 destinations where you can appreciate the best views in Peru
- Huacachina Oasis
- Rainbow Mountain
- Colca Canyon
- Maras Salt Mines
- Moray Ruins
- Lake Titicaca
- Lagoon 69
- Ballestas Islands & Paracas National Reserve
- Sandoval Lake
- Nazca Lines
- Gocta Waterfall
- Machu Picchu
In addition to jungles and colorful towns in the highlands, Peru is also home to deserts that will leave you amazed. Nazca, Huacachina, and Atacama are the 3 main deserts of Peru. Huacachina is a small town that surrounds a natural oasis in the middle of the desert. It could be considered the only natural oasis in all of South America. The Huacachina Oasis is located only about 80 kilometers from beautiful Paracas. The small town has numerous hotel options to enjoy a relaxing stay. As well as a great variety of leisure and adventure activities. From a magical buggy ride through the desert to activities like sandboarding. If you are an adrenaline lover, Huacachina day trips are excellent. Being able to walk to the top of the sand dunes on the outskirts of Ica is one of the most unique landscapes in Peru.
The Huacachina oasis is one of the best weekend getaways you can enjoy. Among the landscapes in Peru, Huacachina offers a few palm trees and a central pond surrounded by small houses. The pond may not be entirely charming, but it is a refreshing alternative to the warm climate of the place. The real surprise is in how the different sand dunes surround this magical corner of Peru. The desert never looked as charming as it does in the Huacachina Oasis. If you are looking to enjoy beautiful views of the desert, we recommend climbing to the top of Cerro Blanco. This is one of the highest sand dunes in the world.
To be able to contemplate the beautiful Rainbow Mountain is to be able to know one of the most popular landscapes in Peru. Rainbow Mountain is another of the most impressive natural attractions in the surroundings of Cusco. This mountain is known for its multi-colored slopes easily visible on a moderate hike. It is located in the Cordillera de Vilcanota at about 5,200 meters above sea level, in the district of Pitumarca.
The tour is highly demanded and you can find agencies and operators offering all kinds of services. You can find everything from whole-day excursions to half-day excursions. The hike also has horse riding options, which makes the route much easier. To get there it is necessary to undertake a hike of no more than 3 hours. The hike itself can be done by any type of public, it is not necessary to be in optimal athletic conditions. The reward of the hike is one of the most incredible views in Peru to observe.
Its peaks and slopes are distinguished by having different layers and stripes of intense colors. The most characteristic colors that are seen are gold, lavender, turquoise, and intense shades of fuchsia. And it is precisely this mixture of colors that gives it the name Mountain of Colors. There is no denying that the color mix will not leave you indifferent for any reason.
If you are a lover of hiking and trekking, the Colca Canyon will fascinate you. The Colca Canyon is a sight to behold, it is considered one of the deepest canyons in the world. Its depth is twice that of the renowned Grand Canyon. This destination has to be at the top of your bucket list. It is located in the southern part of the country, only about three hours away from Arequipa. This impressive area is not only home to some of the best landscapes in Peru, but also the refuge of the Colca Canyon condors. This wonderful specimen can be appreciated and photographed when flying above the canyon. With so many views around the edge, you may be able to appreciate it in flight. And if the condor is not enough, the sunsets in the Canyon are one of the most spectacular views in Peru to photograph.
The Canyon offers some wonderful landscapes in Peru. From beautiful snow-capped volcanoes in the distance to vast plains teeming with alpacas. And if you are lucky, you can even enjoy landscapes flown over by the Andean Condor. The Colca Canyon has an average depth of 4,150 meters. Keep in mind that to cross this fantastic site, you will cross heights between 4000 and 5000 meters above sea level. So it is highly recommended to acclimatize before embarking on the wonderful adventure that awaits you. Be sure to take one of the many Colca Canyon tours, they offer excellent hiking trails as well as luxurious accommodations. This marvelous destination is usually part of a full-day tour or other 2-day tours. The tour involves a number of different activities such as trekking and bird watching.
MARAS SALT MINES
The Maras Salt Mines are one of the photographers’ favorite destinations, and it’s easy to understand why. The hundreds of geometric pools form one of the most curious landscapes in Peru to witness. The different geometric shapes and patterns that the different pools adopt are something not to be missed. The views offered by this site are simply breathtaking. The contrast that can be seen between the color of the mountains and the salt flats is beautiful. Especially when the light reflects off the different salt pools. These beautiful salt flats are believed to have been built during pre-Inca times. The terraced landscape reveals more than 3,000 salt pools that continue to be hand-harvested by local families.
The different pools form terraces on the slopes of the mountain where you can witness a range of colors ranging from white to caramel cinnamon. Being able to visit the different salt ponds is a perfect opportunity to get to know the Sacred Valley and all the landscapes in Peru that they offer. The site is often combined with a visit to Moray, another important archaeological site. Besides, you will have the opportunity to receive guided tours by the same members of the surrounding communities. They will teach you the ancient methods of salt extraction and you can apply the ancient techniques yourself. The salt ponds are a fantastic opportunity to tour the Sacred Valley along with the Moray site.
Located in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, on the outskirts of Cusco, the Moray archaeological site is unique to all other ruins. The ruins of Moray are located just 45 minutes from Cusco. This Inca archaeological site is truly unique compared to the other sites that can be visited. This is because this site is a kind of amphitheater with a clear circular pattern. The ruins have prompted both academics and scientists to investigate the purpose of these ruins. Many researchers believe that the circular terraces functioned as a sort of agricultural laboratory. The different levels of the site simulated unique microclimates. And many researchers believe that the different levels of Moray were used for the study of crops. Since this circular amphitheater had different levels, each of which had its own microclimate.
Each of the different levels could have emulated a unique climate. And between the lower level to the upper one, there is a temperature variation of 27 degrees Celsius. The ruins of Moray are usually part of a half-day tour along with the Salinas de Maras. There are a wide variety of tour operators offering half-day tours of this fascinating site. Do not miss to visit this site and appreciate one of the most amazing landscapes in Peru.
Near the city of Puno, the famous Lake Titicaca is located at an altitude of 3,800 meters. Legends say that Lake Titicaca was the birthplace of the Incas. It is the highest navigable lake in the world and one of the most essential places to visit within Peru. In the lake, you can see one of the most impressive landscapes in Peru, where the blue waters blend harmoniously with the sky. But the Lake is not the only attraction where you can appreciate majestic views.
The Uros islands and the island of Taquile are other wonderful places to visit. To visit the floating islands of Uros and Taquile, you can take a boat from the port of the city. This is one of the most popular tours in the region. The Uros Islands can be seen just over 5 kilometers from the pier. These artificial islands are made entirely of Totora reed, a typical plant of the area. The indigenous people also usually build their boats, furniture, and homes with this cane. A good idea is to choose to spend a night in one of the artificial islands. Being able to live with the Uros community is one of the best ways to learn from them.
In its surroundings, there is also the option of visiting the Sillustani cemetery, one of the most surprising pre-Inca sites in the region. To get the most out of your visit to the lake, be sure to go on a Lake Titicaca tour.
In the Yungay province, northwest of Lima you can find Laguna 69. This beautiful, bright blue lagoon is located at the foot of the snow-capped Chacraraju, at a surprising height of 4,600 meters above sea level. The imposing snow-capped mountains that surround it, make the lagoon one of the most incredible natural spectacles in the Ancash region. If you are going to tour the lagoon, be sure to appreciate one of the best sunsets in Peru. This landscape in Peru is a favorite among all the wonderful destinations to visit.
Lagoon 69 is a large, bright blue lake that can be found at the end of the Valle de la Demanda. This valley is found continuing the Quebrada de Llanganuco. Getting there is usually not an easy task, it is part of a hiking route worth trying. It is a one-day hike that lasts no more than four hours, where you will pass through cold and spectacular landscapes. As a reward, you will get some views of one of the best landscapes in Peru. And as if that wasn’t enough, there is a large waterfall that falls into the lake from one of the glaciers above. A sight without parallel definitely.
BALLESTAS ISLANDS & PARACAS NATIONAL RESERVE
The Paracas National Reserve has one of the most wonderful rugged landscapes in Peru. The reserve has a very particular ecosystem, where a desert coast blends harmoniously with the ocean. The Paracas National Reserve is just a few hour drive from Lima. The region offers some wonderful landscapes with turquoise waters and red sand beaches. And when we mention the Paracas reserve, it is impossible not to think of the Ballestas Islands. These rocky formations are part of the reserve and are one of the best things to do in Paracas. It is one of the main tours to see the great marine diversity that inhabits the place.
In the Ballestas Islands, you will see a large number of birds, penguin colonies, and many sea lions. And if you are lucky, you will be able to see even the killer whales peeking to the surface. After your wonderful tour, you can choose to enjoy the many seafood restaurants that are around. And with the different luxury lodging options, there will be no doubt that this is one of the most magical places in Peru.
This is a lake formed years ago by the changing waters of the Madre de Dios River. Sandoval Lake is considered by certain specialists as one of the best and most attractive lakes in the Peruvian jungle. The lake is one of the best places to enjoy bird watching. Within the lake, you can see one of the largest populations of giant otters, which are in danger of extinction. You can also get to observe the Black Cayman and the Paiche fish. Dare to appreciate one of the best landscapes in Peru.
Lake Sandoval is located in the Tambopata National Reserve. The Lake is shaped like a half-moon and occupies an area of about 3 kilometers long and 1 kilometer wide. It also has a depth of about 3 meters. In general, the waters of the lake have pleasant temperatures. Sandoval Lake is found in a place of almost 3,000 square kilometers where flora and fauna are the true protagonists. The Lake is a perfect place to enjoy a relaxing vacation outside of the daily routine. Inside the lake, you can enjoy a wide variety of breathtaking views and endless fun activities. Sandoval Lake can be enjoyed in one of the different Peruvian Amazon tours, where you can get to know this region in depth.
Among all the places full of mysteries, Nazca is one of its greatest exponents. The Nazca Lines can be found a few hours south of Lima. These are a series of ancient geoglyphs that were made on the red sand of the Ica desert. You can find hundreds of geometric designs, lines, anthropomorphic figures, and representations of animals. These can be up to 250 meters long and are best seen from a flight in the air. These engravings are believed to have been created between 500 BC. and 500 A.D. Many scholars claim that they were made by the Nazca culture. But its function and creation remain a mystery to academics.
And being able to enjoy a flight over the lines will give you an idea of why they are one of the most enigmatic places in the Andean country. You will not only be able to appreciate the hundreds of figures, if not some wonderful landscapes in Peru. These lines are one of the most promising sights in Peru, so better take advantage of our Nazca lines tour, where you can have a close-up view of them.
The Gocta Waterfall is one of the highest waterfalls in the world. The 771-meter waterfall has two falls, and its second free fall is among the highest in the world. The Gocta Waterfall is located about 700 kilometers from Lima, very close to the towns of Cocachimba, San Pablo, and La Coca. About 20 kilometers from the Amazonian province of Chachapoyas, you can find the magical Gocta waterfalls. It was discovered relatively recently, being known only to the locals around.
These falls are visible from the neighboring town and have been known for years. But its popularity was not until recently when in 2006 a German expedition found it. It was discovered relatively recently, being known only to the locals around. There were some legends and traditions that if the villagers revealed their location, it would unleash a curse on the city. So the location remained a secret for a long time among the locals. In recent years it has become quite popular, so they have improved the surrounding infrastructure. To appreciate this amazing landscape in Peru, it is necessary to enter the remote region of the Amazon.
No list of landscapes in Peru would be complete without including this magical destination. The Inca citadel does not need any introduction. The Wonder of the World attracts thousands and thousands of tourists who seek to photograph its famous landscapes. Machu Picchu is usually one of the most prominent destinations in most tourist trips. These ruins are elegantly located on the flattened top of a mountain in the Peruvian Andes. Both its constructions and its views offer an unparalleled beauty of the passage of man. At the top of the Inca citadel, you will have some of the best views of Peru at your disposal. And this rare sight can be found at your fingertips.
The lost city of the Incas remained hidden for centuries among mountains and thick vegetation. It was not until 1911 that an American explorer discovered this architectural wonder. The different ruins, the surrounding mountains, and the incredible valley below make up one of the main tourist attractions in Peru. The best way to appreciate the best landscapes in Peru is through the Inca Trail. This route involves crossing amazing stone paths, valleys and mountains, lush forests, Inca ruins, and finally the citadel. If you are going to visit Machu Picchu, be sure to book your tickets in advance. Within a Machu Picchu tour, it is not necessary to book your tickets, we will do it for you.
“WHEN LOOKING AT AN EXTRAORDINARY LANDSCAPE, THERE ARE NO QUESTIONS, NO ANSWERS, NO DESIRES, NO PLANS, NO WORRIES, NO PAST, NO PRESENT, NO FUTURE; THERE IS ONLY A DEEP SILENCE, ONLY A GLANCE!”
We hope together with the travel experts of Machu Travel Peru to have been of help. Remember that these destinations are just some examples of all the sights in Peru that you can find. Be sure to include some of these wonderful destinations on your next trip to Peru. If you want to know more about our tours, you can consult with our qualified advisors.