Peru is one of the most visited places on the planet and getting more popular every year. The country is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world with the coast, the highlands, and the jungle all with their unique places to visit. So, what are the top 10 places to visit in Peru, you may be asking and that is the best question if you are planning a visit to the Andean country sometime soon. Here we will go through the top 10 and give you some ideas on what not to miss.
Well, no visit to Peru would be complete without a visit to Machu Picchu. The Inca Citadel is located near the city of Cusco, high in the Peruvian Andes an hour’s flight from Lima, the capital of Peru. From Cusco, either you can catch a train, of which there are many, or you can hike also with many variations. Machu Picchu was discovered in 1911 by America Hiram Bingham a Yale professor who was looking for another site when he stumbled across the Inca Citadel. The site was covered in dense jungle vegetation and luckily was never discovered by the Spaniards so it was mostly intact. The magnificence of the Inca builders and the location will be something that will live with you forever.
While you are in the Cusco area, spend some time in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. The valley is full of some of the most naturally beautiful places in Peru. The mountain peaks are spectacular and the valleys have raging rivers running through. The climate is mild which is what attracted the Inca to use the valley to grow most of their food. Not only is the valley naturally beautiful there are also some fascinating Inca ruins to tour. The ruin at Pisaq located above the town has an interesting history and is worth a guided tour. Also located in the Valley is the fortress of Ollantaytambo. Here it is written that the Inca warriors held off the Spanish for weeks and a visit to the site you will understand why.
Why visit Cusco city? Because it is a national treasure. The center of the city was the main Inca Plaza and was 3 times as big as what we see today. The city is full of if Inca foundations which the Spanish built their churches and houses on. The lovely stone streets are worth exploring, as there is plenty to see and do. Visit the many museums to get an idea of the history. Many people who arrive into Cusco never as the city has a mystic pull that attracts people from all over the world.
Puno and Lake Titicaca should not be missed. Lake Titicaca is one of the highest lakes in the world and has an interesting history. The lake sparkles with the sun and the clear blue sky making it appear like a mirror. When you are in Puno, you must take a tour of the lake and visit the Uros Islands. These manmade islands are like nothing anywhere else, the islands were made by the Uros people hundreds of years ago with the reeds that grow in the lake. Today the people remain on the islands and live a peaceful life, living off the proceeds of tourism. Take the time to visit Puno and Lake Titicaca, as it is an important part of your Peru tourist map.
Arequipa is Peru’s second city and what a charming place it is. The city has a dry warm climate and is surrounded by three impressive volcanos. Arequipa is calmer than Lima and has a laid-back atmosphere. The buildings in Arequipa are mainly made of white stone giving Arequipa the name the White City.
Know the typical dishes of Arequipa.
Not far from Arequipa is the Colca Canyon, the second deepest canyon in the world, Colca is set among the high Andes the canyon is at heights that will literally take your breath away. There are hikes available to the bottom of the canyon so if you wish you will need to put aside around 4 days. Not only is the canyon the only attraction, but daily the majestic Condors also put on a show that is to be seen to be believed.
The Capital of Lima, in recent years Lima has had a turnaround. These days most travelers spend at least a few days here. The food revolution draws people from all over the world wanting to try the famous cuisine. The city is a wonderful mix of old and new with the ancient city center and the modern beachside suburbs. The best time to visit Lima Peru is in the summer months, December to March.
South of Lima, around 5 hours traveling in the desert town of Nazca. This quaint little town depends totally on tourism. The main attraction is just out of town; the famous Nazca Lines are located in the desert and can only be seen by small plane. The lines remain a mystery today as to who made the lines and for what reason. On a flight, you will see the monkey, lizard, the spider, and many other of the lines.
Also just south of Lima is the seaside town of Paracas. The town is small but has many wonderful hotels and resorts to spend a few days relaxing. While you are in the area, take the time to take a speedboat ride out to the Ballestas Islands. The islands are home to colonies of Sea Lions that you will see all resting on the rocky islands. Also famous for the birds that call the islands home.
The wonderfully natural Amazon Jungle in Peru. For those who love the jungle, you cannot miss these areas. In the northern part of Peru is the city of Iquitos where the luxurious Amazon cruises leave. Close to Cusco is the area of Puerto Maldonado where you will find many jungle lodges where you can explore the Amazon with experienced jungle guides.
I know I said 10 but we have to mention and if you have the time, you should travel to the North of Peru and see the north coast. There are some famous ruins like Chan Chan and Señor de Sipan. However, what attracts most people to Northern Peru is the wonderful beaches and the great surfing waves, some of the best in the world.
We hope we have given you some insight into what you might want to see and the best places to visit in Peru and a Peru travel guide. Book a trip to wonderful Peru today.