the best things to do in peru

Since visiting the great Machu Picchu or enjoying the rainbow mountains in the south. Passing by exotic gastronomy and the fabulous Amazon in the center. To get to swimming with turtles on the north beaches. The things to do in Peru are many! All these places and activities can create unforgettable memories and make your vacation a fantastic one. If you are planning a trip to Peru, Machu Travel Peru has listed some great things that you cannot miss. We invite you to check out all those activities here!

The 23 best things to do in the Andean country on your next vacation

1. Wander by Machu Picchu

the best things to do in machu picchu

No Peru vacation would be complete without first exploring the majestic Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. The Inca citadel was built around 1400 A.D. under the orders of Pachacutec. He was the regent who made important reforms and expanded the Inca empire throughout South America. The citadel’s function was to be the neighborhood for his Panaca. By the way, Panaca means family and relatives of the Inca. Fortunately, The Spanish conquistadors never reached it even though they knew of its existence. So, when Hiram Bingham rediscovered it in 1911, it was almost intact. The beauty and brilliance of the Inca buildings and architecture left him in awe.

Its location is one of the highlights as it is perched on the side of a rainforest mountain. At 2438 m.a.s.l. 75 km from the ancient Inca capital, Cusco. Among different Machu Picchu tours available, try to climb Huayna Picchu, the mountain behind Machu Pìcchu. This experience offers some of the best views of the Inca citadel and its surroundings. Machu Picchu is definitely the number one tourist attraction in Peru.

  • Level of demand: Laid-back
  • Location: 75 km northwest of Cusco / 2438 m.a.s.l. / At the jungle area
  • How to get there?: By train, or doing the famous Inca Trail trekking of 4D/3N
  • Entrance ticket: $40 general ticket / $53 ticket + a mountain climb / There are options for underages and students
  • Schedule of visit: From 06:00 am to 17:00 pm
  • Tips: Always carry your passports and repellent

2. Climb up to Choquequirao

things to do in peru and choquequirao

On the top of a mountain, 44 km southwest of Machu Picchu and 3033 m.a.s.l. is Choquequirao. Also known as the twin city of Machu Picchu, due to the Spanish also couldn’t reach it. Choquequirao has a different architectural style from Machu Picchu, but it is so well-preserved as the wonder of the world. You will be able to check it by walking among its awesome Andean terraces, enclosures, squares, and temples. Even some scholars believe that Choquequirao was a Pachamama ceremonial center and an administrative center. Others affirm that It was a food warehouse and a lookout point of the northern Cusco region.

Of course, every reward takes effort. And to get to Choquequirao, first, the visitor will have to be trekking for 3 days and 2 nights. Who said that everything was easy in this life?

  • Level of demand: Demanding
  • Location: 176 km west of Cusco in car and 33 km walking / 3033 m.a.s.l. / At the jungle area
  • How to get there?: By car (5 hours) + By trekking (4 days with camping)
  • Entrance ticket: $16 general ticket / $9 Students / $7 Underage
  • Schedule of visit: From 07:00 am to 17:00 pm
  • Tips: Always carry your passports / Camp equipment / Trekking sticks

3. Stroll by Cusco

things to do in cusco peru

If you plan to visit Mach Picchu, will most probable and safe thing is that you first pass through Cusco. The Capital of the Inca Empire is definitely on our list of best things to do in Peru. It is located in the Huatanay Valley, over 3450 m.a.s.l. in the high Andes. Its downtown hosted long Inca temples, palaces, and squares (Canchas) among others. Nowadays, Spanish colonial churches are built on these.

Take the time to explore its cobbled streets. Where you’ll see many Inca walls combined with terracotta roofs and adobe houses. These will remind you of ancient Spanish towns. Not in vain, its historic center was declared a World Heritage Site in 1993 by UNESCO. Make sure to visit the Plaza de Armas, the place where the important Inca festivity, Inti Raymi was realized. The surrounding colonial churches such as the Company of Jesus and the Cathedral are mandatory stops, too. As well as, the Qoricancha, the main Inca temple at the height of the Empire that was later destroyed by the conquerors.

  • Level of demand: Laid-back
  • Location: Historic center of Cusco / 3399 m.a.s.l. / South of Peru
  • How to get there?: From Lima (Peru’s capital) by plane (1 hour) or Bus (24 hours)
  • Entrance ticket: Public areas like streets, totally free
  • Schedule of visit: Public area
  • Tips: take a Coca tea for the altitude acclimatization process on the first day

4. Hike the Inca Trail

the best things to do in peru and inca trail

This unforgettable four-day hike and three-night recovers the same footpath that the Incas used to get to Machu Picchu. For this reason, you will be able to feel the same sensations that the Incas experienced many years ago. Different stairways and stone make up the footpath. In turn, the Inca Trail through charming villages and terraced fields on steep Andean slopes.

The hike begins at km 84 of the railway that leads to Aguas Calientes. And it finishes in the same Machu Picchu. For some, it may be a bit challenging, but the payoff is unmatched. You will have the best views of Machu Picchu at the end of this route. But be sure to reserve entrance tickets at least 6 or 7 months in advance. For those who want to take it easy, there is an option of 1-day trekking. It begins on km 104 of railways to Aguas Calientes. There are options for all tastes!

  • Level of demand: Demanding
  • Location: 82 km northwest Cusco / 2630 m.a.s.l. / Beyond Ollantaytambo
  • How to get there?: From Cusco by train (02:30 hrs)
  • Entrance ticket: $75 General Ticket / This is sold through an authorized travel agencies
  • Schedule of entrance: From 04:00 am to 11:00 am
  • Tips: You cannot do the Inca Trail on your own. It must be done through a travel agency authorized by the Ministry of Culture of the Peruvian Government

5. Visit the Sacred Valley

things to do in peru and sacred valley

If you are going to know Cusco, you have to visit the Sacred Valley of the Incas, too! It’s located 54 km northwest of Imperial City and 2900 m.a.s.l. This beautiful place has a pleasant climate, temperate and warm. Also, it hosts the surprising Pisac handicraft market with its amazing Peruvian souvenirs as well as its Inca ruins. Moreover, don’t forget to visit the enchanting Inca fortress of Ollantaytambo. Its town is the only one that maintains the original Inca structure of streets and houses. Even some current people live there without modifying anything!

Also, the Sacred Valley has Maras. These are an impressive collection of Inca salt pools that are still operated by current local families. Its salt is good for grills, and the pools are close to other awesome attractions like Moray. These are giant circle terraces that go into the earth. Recent studies affirm that the Incas cultivated in each circle a different type of corn seed. This with the finally of seeing the type of corn they produced at different altitudes from the ground. An authentic Agriculture research center in Incas time.

  • Level of demand: Moderate
  • Location: 54 km northwest Cusco / Urubamba point of reference
  • How to get there?: From Cusco by car (01:30 hrs)
  • Entrance ticket: $20 Sacred Valley Tourist Ticket / It is useful to visit all archaeological attractions of Sacred Valley
  • Schedule of entrance: From 07:00 am to 17:00 pm / All the Sacred Valley archaeological attractions
  • Tips: If you are going to visit Machu Picchu, we recommend spending 1 night in Ollantaytambo before going to the Inca citadel

6. Sail on Lake Titicaca

things to do in peru and lake titicaca

Sail on the highest navigable lake in the world. Definitely, it is inside of our best things to do in the Andean country list. According to a Lake Titicaca map, it is at 3812 m.a.s.l. at the southeast of the country, on the frontier with Bolivia. And it is the largest lake in Peru! In the lake, you can do sailing activities like fishing, paddle surfing, hiking, and birdwatching. Also, you can visit awesome islands, like the Uros. These floating islands were built from reeds that grew and floated around the shores, and it is quite a spectacle to set foot on one of those islands because you feel like you’re going to sink!

Taquile and Sillustani are other islands that will surprise you. Each one has local people who have kept their traditions since pre-Columbian times. The men knit handmade hats with different colors according to their marital status, married or single. The women do the same knitting belts. Amazing!

  • Level of demand: Moderate
  • Location: East side of Puno city / 3812 m.a.s.l / South of Peru
  • How to get there?: From Puno port hire a ferry round trip / Per Island the cost is around $8
  • Entrance ticket: $4 Entrance ticket to Sillustani Island / $2 Entrance ticket to Uros Islands/ $5 Entrance ticket to Taquile Island
  • Schedule of entrance: From 07:00 am up to 15:00 pm
  • Tips: Ferries to islands leave very early until 07:30 am. After this time the frequency of trips is scarce. Take it into consideration!

7. Explore the Amazon

things to do in peru and amazon

Having a list of funny things to do in Peru is not the difficult part, if not choose them. And the Amazon in Peru is potentially the most diverse section of all and the most beautiful part of Peru. A clear example is Manu National Park, the area with the greatest biodiversity in Peru. It has at least 1,000 species of birds and more than 200 mammal species. You can also visit Sandoval Lake, where dozens of alligators, piranhas, turtles, monkeys, and giant otters coexist.

Moreover, you can travel to Iquitos located in the north of the country. And get to know the exclusive luxury cruises that sail by the Amazon basin. During a cruise journey, you will see abundant wildlife. And if you are lucky, you will see the amazing jaguar and the pink river dolphin! In Tambopata Natural Reserve you can visit the clay licks with hundreds of parrots and macaws converging daily to eat the clay of cliffs. The best of all is that these areas of the Amazon rainforest have adequate hotel infrastructure such as Eco Lodges, and bungalows, among others.

  • Level of demand: Moderate
  • Location: Eastern part of Peru, which extends from north to south
  • How to get there?: From Lima (Peru’s capital) by plane (1:20 hour) to Puerto Maldonado (Manu National Park, Tambopata National Reserves, and Bahuaja Sonene National Park) / By plane (1:45 hrs) to Iquitos (Pacaya Samiria National Reserves)
  • Entrance ticket: $45 general ticket for any National Park or Reserve in the Peruvian Amazon
  • Schedule of entrance: From 04:00 am up to 15:00 pm
  • Tips: It is necessary to have a vaccine against yellow fever. And it is desirable to have a vaccine against Dengue

8. Fly over Nazca lines

things to do in peru and nazca

The mysterious Nazca lines are another attraction that is worth knowing. These incredible geoglyphs have puzzled numerous academics for years. Close to the place, the Nazca pre-Inca culture (to whom the Nazca lines are attributed) was developed. The Lines are 5 hours by car south of Lima. The Nazca city is quiet and has many restaurants and hotels. There are two main options to enjoy the Nazca lines.

The first option is to fly over them. The second one is to see them through an observation tower close there. The last one is practically free, although you only get to appreciate a few geoglyphs. The flights are the best way to appreciate the different geoglyphs. There is an aerodrome nearby with several plane companies where you can buy your tickets directly. The cost of a flight ticket is around $70 for an hour of overflight. Without a doubt, the Nazca lines are the attractions worth seeing in Peru on any trip to the Inca country.

  • Level of demand: Laid-back
  • Location: Peruvian coastline / 445 km south of Lima (Capital of Peru) / South of Peru
  • How to get there?: Interprovincial bus from Lima to Nazca town / 06 hours of the trip
  • Entrance ticket: $15 entrance ticket to Palpa and Nazca lines zone
  • Schedule of entrance: 08:00 am – 17:00 pm
  • Tips: We recommend purchasing flight tickets for the small planes that fly over the lines and thus have a better view of Nazca. You can purchase them in advance through national travel agencies

9. Tour by Arequipa

best things to do in peru and arequipa

This charming city is a sight to behold as it stands in front of a volcano (the Misti) that adorns its background. Also, it is located in the south of Peru, close to Cusco, and Puno. And, its buildings in the historic center are made of white volcanic stone called “Sillar“. Which gives it the name of the “white city”. These buildings combined with the yellow light of the headlights by night, converting Arequipa into a European city lost in South America.

On the other hand, its food, through Picanterias, managed to create a unique universe of flavors, colors, and textures in its dishes that must be tried. Without mentioning the delicious Peruvian coffee that is served there. Its climate is temperate, and make it a charming place to have a nice vacation. Its monastery of Santa Catalina seems to be a small Sevillian town. And it is the most representative attraction in the city.

  • Level of demand: Laid-back
  • Location: Southern Peru / 1112 km from southeast Lima / 514 km from the south of Cusco / South of Peru
  • How to get there?: From Lima to Arequipa by Plane (45 min), by bus (15 hrs) / From Cusco to Arequipa (30 min), by bus (8 hrs)
  • Entrance ticket: Entire city, public area. Free
  • Schedule of entrance: Public area
  • Tips: We recommend you visit the Arequipa Historic Center, Mirador de Yanahuara (viewpoint), Santa Catalina Monastery, and the Cathedral of Arequipa

10. Descend into Colca Canyon

things to do in colca canyon and condors

Explore one of the deepest canyons in the world. More specifically 4160 meters deep. It is twice that of the famous Grand Canyon! This canyon is just a few hours’ drive from Arequipa. Thus, while you enjoy your stay within the White City, be sure to take advantage of a couple of days, to visit this canyon.

Beautiful landscapes, agricultural terraces, and different villages with ancient traditions, dances, and unique lifestyles reflect its charm. But the Colca is also the best place to do several treks, swim in incredibly hot springs, stay in luxury hotels, and even enjoy the condor sighting. These Andean buzzards visit the same cliff every day in numbers you won’t see anywhere else. Therefore, take advantage of the different tours that offer this experience. And be sure to witness this majestic bird in flight.

  • Level of demand: Moderate
  • Location: 167 km northwest of Arequipa / South of Peru
  • How to get there?: Interprovincial bus from Arequipa (03:30 hrs)
  • Entrance ticket: $20 General entrance ticket
  • Schedule of entrance: 04:00 am – 15:00 pm
  • Tips: Although you can do it alone. We recommend hiking the Colca Canyon always through a travel agency

11. Sandboarding in Huacachina Oasis

things to do in peru and huacachina

Get ready for funny moments! Just 4 hours from Lima is the incredible oasis known as Huacachina, among the south Peruvian deserts of Lima and Paracas. Its small town is built around a small natural desert oasis, to which healing properties are attributed. That’s why the mud from the lagoon has therapeutic properties, and both tourists and locals cover themselves with it in an attempt to cure their ailments.

But what tourists really travel to this place for, is to enjoy different sports activities, such as sandboarding. Being able to slide in the different sand dunes is a sensation that you cannot miss. There are even buggy riding tours where you can enjoy breathtaking views, a perfect honeymoon in Peru, and sunrises straight out of a movie over giant sand dunes. As you can see, this is an exciting alternative to fun things to do in Peru and you can not lose it.

  • Level of demand: Laid-back
  • Location: 307 km south of Lima / 4 km southwest of Ica (the closest city) / Central coast of Peru
  • How to get there?: Interprovincial bus from Lima (6 hrs)
  • Entrance ticket: Public area / You don’t need tickets
  • Schedule of entrance: Public area
  • Tips: Sand Buggy and Sandboarding are the two unmissable activities that you cannot miss if you are in Huacachina

12. Enjoy the Ballestas Islands

ballestas islands best things to do in peru

The beautiful Ballestas Islands are the perfect place to spot colonies of sea lions, seals, penguins, and countless seabirds. It is in the department of Ica, south of Lima, on the Peruvian coast. And these are part of an extensive protected reserve called Paracas, where you can also enjoy bird watching, and swimming with turtles. The Islands are composed of rock formations where an important marine fauna lives together with numerous birds and the famous Humbolt penguins that follow the Humboldt ocean current from the Antarctic.

You cannot land on the rocky islands, only navigate very close to them and appreciate all their beauty. Also, be sure to try the delicious Peruvian wine after a guided tour in the close city of Ica. Many tours take advantage of the proximity of Paracas to Ica to visit the vineyards and wine cellars of the latter city.

  • Level of demand: Laid-back
  • Location: 234 km south of Lima + 20 km from Pisco to the same Ballestas Islands / Central coast of Peru
  • How to get there?: Interprovincial bus from Lima (6 hrs)
  • Entrance ticket: $3 General ticket entrance
  • Schedule of entrance: All tours to the Ballestas Islands start from 08:00 am to 12:00 pm
  • Tips: Visit them from April to October due to the dry season with less rain and pleasant temperatures, which offers optimal conditions for observing marine life and a more pleasant experience

13. Savor the Peruvian Pisco

things to do in peru and taste pisco

The liquor known as Pisco is the main ingredient in one of the most emblematic and representative drinks of Peru, the Pisco Sour, a fresh alcoholic beverage, of white color, and tastes refreshing and pleasant. Peruvian Pisco (alcoholic grape distillate) has different varieties of grapes adequate to make Pisco: Among them, you find the pure Pisco from Negra Criolla, from Mollar, Quebranta, Uvina, Italy, from Torontel, from Moscatel, and Albilla grape. They are all incredible options that you cannot ignore and pay tribute to the country where the grape distillate was first produced, the Peruvian city of Pisco (founded in 1832). For this reason, if you are looking for a fun night in the Peruvian lands, be sure to try the wonderful cocktails of the Andean country.

  • Level of demand: Laid-back
  • Location: Pisco town, 234 km south of Lima / Central coast of Peru
  • How to get there?: Interprovincial bus from Lima (4 hrs)
  • Entrance ticket: The vineyards where Pisco is produced have no entrance fee, only consumption within their facilities
  • Schedule of entrance: The vineyards in Pisco town have a general schedule of attention from 09:30 am to 16:00 pm
  • Tips: Pisco is close to two amazing attractions Ballestas Islands and the Paracas National Reserve. So, you can program the visit to these three important Peruvian attractions in a few days!

14. Taste the Peru gastronomy

things to do in peru gastronomy

Without a doubt, Peruvian gastronomy has been the most famous thing in the South American country in the last decade. In many countries, this cuisine is situated together with worldwide-recognized options like Mexican, Italian, or Indian cuisine. Therefore, Peruvian food is a mix of local practices and ingredients. In it, we can find indigenous, European, Asian, Italian, and African influences. This is due to the great immigration flow that the country had in past years. Consequently, in the absence of many familiar ingredients from the countries of origin, immigrants modified their recipes using ingredients available in the Inca country.

This is how Peruvians created a vast amount of traditional dishes and recipes. Not to mention the Peruvian desserts, which are truly a delight to the palate. As evidence of this, it has most famous dish is the Peruvian ceviche, a delicacy coveted by many newcomers. In addition to the Aji de Gallina, Lomo Saltado, and much more.

  • Level of demand: Laid-back
  • Location: The majority of recognized Peruvian restaurants are located in exclusive districts of Lima, like Miraflores, Surco, and San Isidro
  • How to get there?: Taxi app from your hotel in Lima is your best option
  • Entrance ticket: Restaurants don’t require entrance tickets, only consumption inside their facilities
  • Schedule of entrance: Generally, the schedule of work of restaurants goes from 18:00 pm up to 23:00 pm and noons from 12:00 pm to 15:00 pm
  • Tips: Astrid & Gaston, Central, Maido, La Mar, and Rafael are some of the best Peruvian restaurants located at the top of the prestigious list of the worldwide best restaurants made by the recognized gastronomy British magazine “The 50 Best”

15. Trek to glacier lagoons

things to do in peru and humantay

If the Inca country is known for something, it is for its trekking activities throughout its territory. The Andean country is crossed north to south by the Cordillera de Los Andes (Mountain range). These mountains create giant rugged peaks, deep canyons, large abysses, and quaint snow. This range mountain, in turn, forms awesome glacial lagoons located over the slopes of giant snows, converting in a factor more of the amazing landscapes of the Peruvian mountain range.

With more than 8355 glacial lagoons, Peru is a Menu as far as glacial lagoons are concerned. Lagoons like Humantay (over a slope of Salkantay snow), and Lagoon 69 (over a slope of Chacraraju snow) are two of the most representative in the country. Of course, to trek them, different adventure sports like trekking, hiking, and rappelling have to be developed before.

  • Level of demand: Demanding
  • Location: Usually on the Range Mountain and White Mountain Range in the Central and South Andes of Peru. In cities like Cusco, Arequipa, Puno, Ayacucho, Huaraz, Ancash
  • How to get there?: Usually, the trekking routes of more than 4 days get and pass by these glacier lagoons
  • Entrance ticket: Each Andean community or national park to which each Andean mountain belongs has its own entry requirements and tickets. It is best to use a specialist travel agency, they will take care of everything!
  • Schedule of entrance: In the same way, each lagoon and Andean zone that hosts a glacier lagoon has its own schedule of entrance. The best is to ask for this information from the travel agency where you will take the trekking
  • Tips: If you want to visit one of these fantastic glacier lagoons, we recommend you do it through a specialist travel agency

16. Climb the Andes

things to do in peru and mountains

One of the great advantages of the Andean country is its extensive geographic diversity. One day you may be hiking on a mountain more than 6,000 meters above sea level and a couple of days later, you may be resting on a paradise beach in northern. Those looking to enjoy trekking in Peru will have countless options such as the Peruvian Andes, the Cordillera Blanca, the Cordillera Huayhuash, and much more.

To hike the Cordillera Blanca, with more than 17 peaks, located over 6000 m.a.s.l, is one of the most amazing things to do in Peru. The famous Huascaran National Park is there with activities to practice like rappelling, trekking, and hiking. Special mention deserves the Salkantay, La Veronica, and Ausangate snows close to Cusco and Machu Picchu. Definitely, this country has great mountains and snow to be discovered by those adventurous souls.

  • Level of demand: Demanding
  • Location: Usually on the Range Mountain and White Mountain Range in the Central and South Andes of Peru
  • How to get there?: Treks of up to 4 or 5 days along the Routes of Salkantay (Cusco), Ausangate (Cusco), and Huascaran (Ancash), among others. It is best to hire specialized travel agencies for this type of activity in Peru
  • Entrance ticket: Every Andean mountain belongs to a national park or community, and each has its own entrance fees and tickets. Using a specialized travel agency is the best option because they will handle everything!
  • Schedule of entrance: Each national Reserve, Park, or community that hosts an Andean Mountain has its own schedule of entrance
  • Tips: The Huaraz area in the central Peruvian Andes is the favorite area for expert mountaineers. If you want moderate trekking, the hiking routes around Salkantay, Ausangate in Cusco will be perfect for you!

17. Appreciate the rainbow mountains

things to do in peru and rainbow mountain

These beautiful mountains are 5’200 m.a.s.l. just in the opposite location from where Machu Picchu is located, in southern Cusco. Quechua, the ancient language in Peru, Rainbow means “K’uychi”. However, these mountains take the name of the autochthonous community closest to them. Vinincunca is the name of one of them, and Palcoyo is the other mountain. Both reflect their mineralized grounds to the sunlight, showing an amazing spectacle of colors.

Tours usually start at dawn. On the van tour, you’ll be delighted with the amazing landscapes and cute llamas and alpacas that you can see. At a certain point, you’ll begin hiking for 3 hours to reach the slopes of the magnificent Rainbow Mountains. We recommend doing this incredible trek from April to October, in the dry season. So, you will have sunny days at your disposal, great for good photos!

  • Level of demand: Demanding
  • Location: 139 km southeast Cusco / 5200 m.a.s.l.
  • How to get there?: Interprovincial bus from Cusco to the town of Cusipata (4 hours of travel). Then a taxi from Cusipata to the community of Phulawasipata (1-hour trip), from where you begin the ascent on foot to the same colorful mountain (2-hour walk)
  • Entrance ticket: The local community of Phulawasipata, where the rainbow mountain is located, charges an entrance ticket of $7 for foreign tourists and $4 per national visitor
  • Schedule of entrance: From 06:00 am to 16:00 pm
  • Tips: Wear a windbreaker, trekking shoes, comfortable pants, and a hat. In the heights, the sun burns and the gusts of wind are icy

18. Sunbathe on north beaches

things to do in peru and beaches

Peru is catalogized as the world climate synthesis because one day you can be hiking elevated snow over 4500 m.a.s.l. The next day, you could be sliding down a giant dune in the middle of a desert, or you could rest, taking the sun on the paradise beaches of the north. Precisely, the north Peru beaches offer white and fine sand grains, perfect blue skies, soft winds, contoured and permanent waves, and warm waters all year round.

There, the visitors can practice surfing, waterskiing, paddling, motor-skiing, fishing, and sailing, among others. Real paradises are distributed along the north coast of the country, like Vichayito, Mancora, Zorrito, Cabo Blanco, Punta Sal, Pocitas, and Lobitos beaches, among others. Not in vain, there the Surf was born! All these activities are accompanied by the best hotel infrastructure, travel agencies, and more!

  • Level of demand: Laid-back
  • Location: 1,165 km from Lima north / 216 km from Piura north / North coast of Peru
  • How to get there?: If we take a reference to Mancora beach (the majority of north beaches are close to it), you need a direct flight from Lima to Piura (02 hours) and an interprovincial bus from Piura to Mancora (03 hours)
  • Entrance ticket: The beaches are public areas. So, these don’t require entrance tickets
  • Schedule of entrance: Public areas
  • Tips: The beaches of northern Peru have a beautiful climate 365 days a year. Any time is perfect to visit them!

19. Swimming with turtles

things to do in peru swimming with turtles

Continuing on the Peruvian coast and reviewing our list of the best things to do, we find the amazing aquatic fauna that lives on the Peruvian coast and the turtles are the main hostesses there. Happily, our marine friends are used to human contact and let themselves be seen. Many of them even make room for you to dive and swim between them, inviting us to be one more.

As you can imagine, the experience is so meaningful and profound that many visitors consider it the best part of their vacation here. Usually, the tour lasts half a day, and many groups meet at the Mancora (North Beach) port to begin the experience. Definitely, swimming with turtles is one of the best things to do in the Andean country, and it is a crime to miss this experience.

  • Level of demand: Laid-back
  • Location: Taking a reference to Los Organos beach / 1,151 km Lima north / 167 km Piura north / North coast of Peru
  • How to get there?: If we take a reference to Los Organos beach, you need a direct flight from Lima to Piura (02 hours) and an interprovincial bus from Piura to Los Organos (02:30 hours)
  • Entrance ticket: The beaches are public areas. So, these don’t require entrance tickets
  • Schedule of entrance: Public Area
  • Tips: You cannot do the sea turtle watching on your own. You have to hire the services of a specialized travel agency. They will provide you with snorkels, and diving equipment and take you to the appropriate area to spot these cute little animals

20. Watching whales

things to do in peru whale watching

If you think that whales could only be seen close to Antarctica and in front of the Chilean south coast, you are mistaken. Every year, the whales migrate from the cold waters of the Antarctic to the warm waters of the north of the country to reproduce or give birth. If you are lucky, you will see them from the same coast. However, the best form to look at them is to take a tour on a boat or yacht, entering a few kilometers out to sea.

Usually, these tours offer the assistance of a qualified Biologist, sonars that allow you to listen to the song of the whales, and other security implements. We recommended taking this tour between August to October. During this period, you will have a high possibility of seeing someone. It is estimated that up to 2,000 whales arrive per season at the beaches of Órganos, Cabo Blanco, and Punta Sal. So, Take advantage of this amazing activity in the Inca country.

  • Level of demand: Laid-back
  • Location: Taking a reference to Los Organos beach / 1,151 km Lima north / 167 km Piura north / North coast of Peru
  • How to get there?: If we take a reference to Los Organos Beach, you need a direct flight from Lima to Piura (02 hours), an interprovincial bus from Piura to Los Organos (02:30 hours), and a fast boat from Los Organos Beach to 50 km offshore
  • Entrance ticket: Public area
  • Schedule of entrance: Public area
  • Tips: We recommend doing this tour in the company of a travel agency. They will provide you with a fast boat, lifesaving equipment, and the explanations of an expert Tour Guide who will explain the lifestyle of these fantastic animals

21. Overfly in Paragliding

things to do in peru and paragliding

Lima is also the place of a beautiful range of cliffs that contemplate the Pacific Ocean from the Barranco, Miraflores, and Chorrillos districts. Precisely, the lighthouse of the Peruvian marine is located over the Miraflores cliff. Around this lighthouse, there is located a tour operator specializing in paragliding.

You will be able to overly the beautiful Lima cliff called Costa Verde (Green coast) in Paragliding. Getting the best views of the sunset in Peru. But don’t worry, you will do it with an instructor guide who will be driving the Paragliding. Also, you will get a previous hour of instruction for balance on the paraglider. The tour costs $80 for around 1 hour of overflying, but this will depend on the season and the hour that you want to spend overflying the Costa Verde. Believe us, having awesome views of Lima and its beaches from the air, and feeling the sea breezes on your face, is priceless.

  • Level of demand: Moderate
  • Location: Miraflores Navy Lighthouse (Green Coast) / 15 km from Lima south
  • How to get there?: From any point in Lima take a Taxi app to get to Miraflores Navy Lighthouse
  • Entrance ticket: Public area
  • Schedule of entrance: The cost to do Paragliding is around $80 to $100 per person per 1 hour or less
  • Tips: We recommend hiring this experience with an authorized travel agency, such as the one next to the Peruvian Navy lighthouse, in Miraflores

22. Sleep in air capsules

best things to do in peru and sky lodge

Imagine being suspended 1,300 feet, inside one of 4 giant transparent capsules attached to the cliff of one of the mountains that form the Sacred Valley in Cusco. Even more, imagine spending a night there. Well, Sky Lodge makes it possible. But don’t worry, inside each transparent capsule, you will find comfortable rooms, and armchairs, a dining room, curtains, a complete bathroom, besides thick transparent laminates that form the capsule and retain heat. Of course, to get there, you will do, first, 1 hour of rappelling, always monitored by the Sky Lodge team.

The service includes lunch, dinner, and breakfast, besides transportation from your hotel in Cusco to the Pachar zone in Sacred Valley, where is located the capsules. The cost to book one capsule for 1 night goes from $400, but every penny is worth the wonderful experience of spending the night suspended thousands of meters above sea level in the Sacred Valley of the Incas.

  • Level of demand: Demanding
  • Location: Pachar zone, in the Sacred Valley / 56 km northwest of Cusco
  • How to get there?: From Cusco, you can take collective cars that have daily frequencies to Ollantaytambo (Pavitos Street hosts the car stations). Take one and inform the driver that you want to get off in Pachar. Well done!
  • Entrance ticket: The domes are operated by a travel agency. So, you need to book with them one of these domes to enjoy it. You don’t need any entrance tickets
  • Schedule of entrance: The domes do not have a rigid Check-in schedule. As they are accessed by rappelling or Zip Line climbing, it is suggested to enter the domes taking advantage of daylight
  • Tips: If you have vertigo or suffer from dizziness at considerable heights, we recommend not taking this experience

23. Wander by Kuelap

things to do in peru and kuelap fortress

If you think that the Incas were the only great culture that inhabited ancient Peru, you are wrong. Before the Incas, there were awesome cultures occupying different zones of the country. One of them was the Chachapoyas.

They occupied the northeast jungle between the XI to XVI centuries, and built an astonishing citadel in the middle of the jungle, over a hill of more than 3,000 m.a.s.l. Nowadays, these ancient ruins are called Kuelap, and their architectonic style, carved stone, alleys, and squares remind a lot of Machu Picchu. History, beauty, and nature will be waiting for you in this citadel. To get it is necessary to take a cableway and pay the entrance for 8 $ per adult person.

  • Level of demand: Laid-back
  • Location: 1263 km at Lima north / 106 km south of Chachapoyas (the main city closest to Kuelap) / Jungle area
  • How to get there?: From Lima, take a flight direct to Chachapoyas (02 hrs). Then, take a collective bus heading to Nueva Tingo town (01 hours). Finally, take a cableway heading to the Kuelap fortress (20 min). Or, climbing to Kuelap doing hiking (04 hours)
  • Entrance ticket: $8 General Entrance Ticket to Kuelap
  • Schedule of entrance: 08:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and from 2:45 p.m. to 6:00 p.m
  • Tips: It is located at 3,000 m.a.s.l. So, acclimatize your body well, drinking coca tea and spending at least one day in the city of Chachapoyas, before starting the tour


As you can see, the Andean country is home to endless fun activities. Believe us, 7 days will be insufficient to know all the charms that the Inca country has. We recommend around 15 days to visit the entire Andean country. As we said before, the difficult thing is not to find fun things to do in Peru, but to choose them. And this list only offers a glimpse of everything you can do in the Andean country. Together with Machu Travel Peru and our long years of experience, we know how to have a fun time. We invite you to rest, savor, refresh, and venture into the treasures of “The Land of the Incas”.

Peru has so much to offer, that it can be hard to know where to start. With many years of experience in the tourism sector, Machu Travel Peru is happy to help with anything regarding your trip to Machu Picchu and any tours around it. Make your Machu Picchu experience an unforgettable one!