Peru is a place that offers many experiences both to the tourists who visit and to the locals. The idea of adventure may appeal to some, but not so much to others. Perhaps you are interested in a backpacking adventure with hostel stays, or maybe you prefer a luxurious travel experience with full-time care. However, whatever way you want to explore the tourist attractions in Peru, the country has everything, from snow in high mountains, passing by mystic deserts, tropical beaches, lush Amazon, and arriving at the ancient Inca citadel in the Andes. 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 this magical country.
Greatest Peru tourist attraction to spend with friends
- Cusco city
- Machu Picchu
- The Sacred Valley
- Humantay Lake
- Rainbow Mountain
- Lake Titicaca
- Uros Islands
- Sillustani Chullpas
- The White City of Arequipa
- Colca Canyon
- Santa Catalina Monastery
- The Nazca Lines
- Huacachina Oasis
- Paracas National Reserve
- Ballestas Islands
- Lima city
- Ancash and the White Mountain Range
- Gocta Waterfall
- Chan Chan
- Mancora beach
- Manu National Park
- Tambopata National Reserve
- Pacaya Samiria National Reserve
1. Cusco city
The Imperial City is one of the obligatory stops for those who wish to visit the Machu Picchu complex. But it is also one of the most cosmopolitan and ancestral cities in the world making it the best place among Tourist Attractions in Peru. Besides being considered a UNESCO world heritage site. Cusco is located at an altitude of 3,399 meters above sea level, hence, you may need to relax for a few days to acclimatize.
You can take advantage of the time and get lost in its charming narrow alleys in its historic center between the end of the afternoon and the beginning of the night. Or visit its wonderful colonial churches, mixtures of religious art, and Andean beliefs located around its Plaza de Armas (Main square)
.Also, don’t miss one of the most important tourist sites in Peru and know why Cusco is considered the tourist capital of Peru. And, in case you are wondering if Cusco is safe to travel to, you have nothing to worry about. The main income of this city is tourism; therefore, you will see security measures taken all the time.
2. Machu Picchu
Being able to visit the Inca archaeological complex is one of the most fun things to do in Peru. Thousands of tourists tour the citadel per day, making it the number 1 tourist attraction in Peru. In consequence, if you hope to visit the longed-for Machu Picchu, you will need to reserve your ticket six months in advance at least so as not to miss the wonder of the world. To get to the citadel, you can go by train, plane, or even on a challenging 4-day tour. All options are unique and unforgettable experiences to do with friends. What are you waiting for? Dare to immerse yourself in one of the best tourist sites in Peru. And, in case you didn’t know, Peru is well known for Machu Picchu, its Andes jewel.
3. The Sacred Valley
The naturally beautiful Sacred Valley of the Incas is located near Cusco. This is situated between the Andes Mountains, the valley presents a temperate climate and some of the most beautiful mountain peaks in South America. Besides, the valley has some of the most interesting villages and Inca ruins to visit, as well as a colorful Indian market in Pisac. Definitely, the Pisac town makes Sacred Valley one of the tourist attractions in Peru most visited.
By the way. Are you asking about the security in Peru for your tours? So, rest assured because Cusco, as the capital of tourism in Peru and the other tourist attraction in Peru, has tourism services of excellent quality. All of them include security in its facilities, surrounding areas, and structures like hotels, museums inter alia.
Do you want more examples? Well, Ollantaytambo Town is one of them; a picturesque town that still maintains the infrastructure of ancient Inca Settlement and is located on the lowlands of the hill of the same name. Chinchero is another proof, In its main square, you will see the barter trade of native communities that comes down from the surrounding hills. They barter products like potatoes, corn, and wheat.
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.
Maras, the salt mines are located on the lowlands of Qacawiñay mountain, close to the Urubamba river basin, in the Sacred Valley zone. The current Maras inhabitants extract the salt between March to November (Dry Season) from the mines, just like the Incas did centuries ago. Indeed around 3,000 salt wells form the complex and are ready to receive you with their white pits and saltwater.
It is another great site that forms part of the tourist attractions in Peru. Moray is located in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, to the north of Maras mines. Its tour means a previous step to know all types of Peruvian zone and, why not, do ecotourism in Peru. The circle terraces, that are going down into an enormous earth bowl, have a different microclimate and represent the different eco climates in the Peruvian Andean. The Incas researched the type of corn produced on each terrace and how the climate and altitude affected them. Therefore, It is called The Inca Agricultural Research Center.
The Inca-walled fortress is located in the north of Cusco. The Incas used Sacsayhuaman as an exclusive neighborhood for the high elite, a ceremonial center dedicated to the Thunderbolt god, and as a military observatory (Due to its strategic location on the top of the mountain of the same name). The Inca goldsmiths cut with extraordinary precision big stone blocks and fitted them to perfection in enormous walls that, if you see from up, resemble bolts of lightning. Today, visitors can still see its structural bases and the magnificent Inca walls.
7. Humantay Lake
The jewel of Mollepata (the town that hosted the lake) is located on the slopes of Humantay mountain, very close to Salkantay snow, northwest of Cusco. Its crystalline waters and the challenge that represents the hiking to reach it made up a complete experience of adventure and freedom for a visitor who wants to do new activities in Cusco. A travel Agency always will be the best option to visit it.
8. Rainbow Mountain
A variety of colors over wavy mountains that go throughout flatlands with an altitude of over 5,200 meters above sea level makes Rainbow Mountain the best tourist attraction in Peru. The zone is located southeast of Cusco and there are two ways to reach it, Pitumarca or Cusipata access ways. Both will show you beautiful landscapes of snow, mountains, and glorious sunshine. Of course, we recommend visiting it in the dry season (from March to November) for those who love trekking challenges.
Choquequirao Archaeological Park is another of the best tourist attractions in Peru and represents the new jewel of tourism in Peru. This fascinating Inca citadel is located between the flanks of the snowy Salkantay and the Apurimac Canyon. It is believed that these wonderful ruins were one of the last refuges of the Incas. Therefore, many scholars consider Choquequirao as the sister city of Machu Picchu. Even, it was built in the same style as Machu Picchu. To visit this astounding place, it is necessary to undertake a hike of up to 4 days, the reward of which is indescribable. Being able to visit this site is one of the best things to do in Peru.
10. Lake Titicaca
Among the list of charms of Peru, Lake Titicaca occupies an important place. It is considered the highest navigable lake in the world and one of the largest freshwater lakes in all of South America. With 12500 feet of altitude and 8710 square kilometers of extension. This incredible lake is the natural border between Peru’s southeast and Bolivia’s northwest, and they share some incredible vacation spots. This destination is one of the best to enjoy Peru with a baby. You can practice boat tours, handicraft fishing, swimming, diving, kayaking, and even Paddle surfing!
11. Uros Islands
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. Therefore, in Peruvian Andes, one of the best experiences among the wonders of Peru is to become part of 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.
12. Sillustani Chullpas
The Colca culture built this Pre-Inca cemetery complex. An ancient human settlement that occupied the Peruvian Altiplano (Peruvian southeast. at the edge of Umayo Lake) around 600 years BC. They buried its most representative authorities in Chullpas or funeral booths. These were types of cylinders of carved stones. In which they situated mummies (Because they mummified their deceased) with all their belongings to be accompanied in the afterlife. The attractions in Peru have dead, traditions, and nature in one place, the Sillustani Chullpas are samples.
13. The White City of Arequipa
Arequipa is the second most populous city and is an unmissable destination for those seeking to know the essence of Peru. The “White City” is another appellative of the city due to the white volcanic stone called Sillar that forms the beautiful architecture of its Historic Center. It is located at a height of about 2325 meters above sea level, within the Andes mountain range. This beautiful city is one of the must-see places in Peru and where you can enjoy many activities. You can visit beautiful cathedrals, museums, craft fairs, to the distinguished San Camilo market. You cannot miss this unique and beautiful city that forms part of the whole tourist attractions in Peru.
14. Colca Canyon
Among the best charms of Peru, we have the extensive, green, and fascinating Colca Valley. This incredible natural area is an unmissable point to visit. But the valley is not the only natural attraction, since this place is home to the majestic and imposing Colca Canyon. The Canyon is one of the most famous and deepest places in Peru. Even, This is deeper than the grand canyon. Without mentioning that it is the fourth-deepest canyon in the world with more than 3200 meters deep and 6,580 square meters. Therefore, there is so much to enjoy in this tourist attraction in Peru, from walks, viewpoints, luxury hotels, charming local towns, and even natural hot springs. You can even observe the Andean Condor in flight as its principal attraction. Of course, realizing the Peruvian weather before visiting it, will be important.
15. Santa Catalina Monastery
Behind ancient Sillar walls, it is hidden colorful passageways, cozy little squares, and ornamental fonts of a monastery that was founded in 1580. Its purpose was to host the daughters of the city’s most distinguished families. The parents paid an expensive dowry for the admission of his daughters into the monastery. Of course, having a woman in the monastery was a sign of prestige for the family. Unfortunately, the monastery closed in 1970 and, since this year, opened to those who want to take a walk through its rooms and charming passageways. Undoubtedly, this is the best local religious wonder among all attractions in Peru.
16. The Nazca Lines
No list of attractions in Peru would be complete without mentioning the mysterious Nazca lines. These are a group of ancient geoglyphs and a mysterious culture drew them in the middle of the desert many years ago. They are located in the Nazca Valley, near the Pacific Coast. Historians claim that the inhabitants of the Nazca Culture created more than 370 geoglyphs between 200 AD. and 700 A.D. The best way to appreciate them is through an airplane flight. Learn about the different theories and legends that surround this mystical and mysterious site. Note that you must take a flight to get one of the best views.
17. Huacachina Oasis
Huacachina is an oasis situated in the middle of the desert. Wavy dunes, palms, and crystalline water that it’s born from the subsoil invite the visitor to take a rest in one of its hotels, resorts, and restaurants located around the oasis. As you can see, among the attractions in Peru, this is the only one that includes an oasis in the middle of a desert. Undoubtedly, a recommended stop for those who want to enjoy Ica. Also, a dune buggy ride or surfing by its wavy dunes can be the best option to spend an afternoon around there!
18. Paracas National Reserve
Among your things to do in Peru, the Paracas National Reserve cannot be missing. This treasure is located in the south of Lima, in Ica political department. The Marine protected area covers around 3350 square kilometers. Moreover, it’s 65% of its territory belongs to the sea. And the other 35% is made up of islands and riversides.
Paracas National Reserve is considered one of the richest and most rare ecosystems in the world. This is no small achievement because Paracas hosted more than 200 species of birds, 16 different types of mammals, 10 types of reptiles, and 193 species of fish. The Paracas National Park is the best marine representative of tourist attractions in Peru. It is an ideal place to enjoy different beaches, adventure activities, and observe wildlife.
19. Ballestas Islands
The Ballestas Islands are a group of rock formations where you can see abundant wildlife. These islets of rocks are in front of Paracas Bay, 230 kilometers south of Lima. Seal diving, sea lion watching, and even whale watching can be developed during your visit here! Also, the Ballestas hosts the famous Humboldt penguin, the only one who prefers the sand and rocks to the snow! In addition, the guano birds, such as the Guanay, the booby, the tendril, and the pelican abound in the area. For all these reasons, the visit to the Ballestas islands should be the only one in which you are in direct contact with marine wildlife, without stained glass. Simply wonderful!
20. Lima city
On any trip to Peru, you will arrive in the capital of Peru, Lima. The Peruvian capital is where the government palace is located and 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. This is 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 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.
21. Ancash and the White Mountain Range
Ancash is a Peruvian political department located in the north of Lima. Its capital city receives the name of Huaraz. Along with Cusco, this city can be the best example of a Peruvian Andean city. With its cold and dry weather, its location of 3000 meters above sea level, and its picturesque alleys. Jirón Jose Olaya stands out for its regional food market and made up one of the tourist attractions in Peru for gastronomy in the Andean.
Close to Huaraz, the White Mountain Range stands like chains of mountains and snows with 16 peaks of more than 6000 meters in height. The Huascaran is its highest snowfall with an altitude of 6757 meters above sea level. Therefore it represents the highest mountain in Peru.
Of course, a good deal of snow experiences like climbing, hiking, and mountain biking can be enjoyed on its slope. But wait a moment, always is important to take a look at the best time to visit Peru. And pay attention to the White Mountain Range climate, too. However, you will nothing have to worry about it because we have indispensable advice, the dry season, between March to November. Remember it!
The Kuelap Fortress could be described as one of the most amazing attractions in Peru. This pre-Inca city is surrounded by an extensive wall made of stone blocks. It is believed that it was built by the Chachapoyas culture around 1000 to 1400 A.C. to later be occupied by the Incas themselves. It is not usually very visited by tourists as it is far from the common routes. Indeed, it is located over rainforest mountains north of Peru. To reach the fortress, you can make an unforgettable trek route. Or take a cable car that ensures an unparalleled view of the northern Peruvian jungle. For all these reasons, it is one of the places in Peru that is worth visiting. If you plan to solo travel in Peru, this magical fortress will take your breath away.
23. Gocta Waterfall
The Gocta waterfall is surrounded by lush vegetation in the middle of the Amazon and very close to the Kuelap fortress. This 771-meter-high waterfall is considered the third-highest waterfall in Peru and the fifteenth-highest in the world. It was discovered relatively recently, making it a novel and mysterious natural wonder. The footpath to reach these wonderful waterfalls is another unforgettable experience. Undoubtedly, a tourist attraction in Peru that is worth knowing.
24. Chan Chan
The ancient city of Chan Chan means a look at the past. The largest mud city in the world was built by the Mochica culture (A pre-Inca culture) around 850 AD. The Peru tourist map situates in Chan Chan on the northwest side of Trujillo’s modern city, at Lima north. More than 60,000 people came to live between its big mud walls until the conquest by the Inca Culture in 1470 AD. Natural accidents like floods, high tides, and extreme rains had to erode its walls. Today, some bases and foundations of its structures can be viewed.
25. Mancora beach
If you are traveling with friends, then you cannot miss this destination for anything in the world. Máncora is where to go for a relaxing vacation and the main point for young people and lovers. This beautiful destination is full of fun, tourism, beautiful landscapes, crystal clear waters, and unparalleled beaches.
Máncora is known for its high-quality waves. All surfers long for the arrival of summer to ride them and enjoy a very active nightlife. In case you don’t know how to surf, they offer courses all the time at a very comfortable price. For lovers or newlyweds, there is the beautiful option of walking to Las Pocitas. This is a slightly more exclusive area for those eager to enjoy a sunset. Therefore, Mancora is the best beach representative inside tourist attractions in Peru.
Regarding surfing, some believe Peru has some of the best surfing beaches in the world. Mancora with surfing opportunities all year, with tubular, high peak, and bell waves along most of the coast is a real paradise for surfers. Also, these other beaches in Peru are considered to be the best for catching waves Cabo Blanco, Lobito’s, Chicama (this beach has the longest wave in the world), Huanchaco, Pacasmayo, and Los Organos, with various types of accommodation available to pass your surfing holiday.
26. Manu National Park
The Manu National Park is located in the eyebrow jungle of Cusco and is the best example of biodiversity in Peru. The National Park is the most amazing of all attractions in Peru. Due to great biodiversity with more than 200 species of mammals. Without mentioning 1005 species of bird (A perfect place to do bird watching). Also, more than 4000 species of plants were identified. The park is divided into three sectors. The first one is the National Park which is restricted to visitors and tourists. On the other hand, the native tribes and park guards are allowed here. The second one is the Reserve Zone, in which Travel Agency groups and some authorized researchers can take a walk through its rainforests zones. The last one is the Cultural zone which allows any kind of visitor.
27. Tambopata National Reserve
The Tambopata National Reserve is one of the most amazing areas of attractions in Peru. Inside a great variety of plants, wildlife, and a great number of unique ecosystems in Peru are conserved. Like more than 648 species of birds, 108 mammal species, among others. Being able to get to visit this reserve is one of the best things to do in Peru. It is a perfect place to connect with nature and observe wildlife. The Reserve is also an excellent opportunity to experience ecotourism in Peru.
28. Pacaya Samiria National Reserve
The national reserve is located in the Amazon in Peru. Specifically, it is in the Loreto department, in the northeastern. Its great rainforest zones and quiet rivers that cross throughout hectares of flora and fauna define Pacaya Samiria. Also, luxury cruises, swimming with pink dolphins, or enjoying the amazing Peruvian jungle food in Iquitos are the most important characteristic of the Pacaya Samiria National reserve
“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 tourist attractions in Peru, it is a good idea for you to know these incredible destinations. Of course, 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.