Peru is home to numerous archaeological and natural treasures, from striking colonial-style churches to numerous archaeological relics of ancient civilizations. Peru is a rich country in many aspects, so it is not surprising that other places are quite unknown or not so popular with tourists. But with so much geographical variety, it is normal to think that there is much more than what the classic tourist routes offer. That is why, together with the travel experts of Machu Travel Peru, we have prepared a small article about the greatest hidden places in Peru. So that when planning your next trip, you can have certain alternatives no less surprising than other destinations.
The best of Peru: Unknown places and hidden gems to visit
Cajamarca is one of the best cities in Peru and of the most unknown places for tourists. Cajamarca is located in northern Peru, between the Andes Mountains. Its location in the Peruvian highlands makes it an ideal place for a day trip to some of the most famous archaeological sites in the country. Here is where the last emperor of the Incas, named Atahualpa, was captured and killed by the Spanish conqueror Francesco Pizarro and his army. This colonial city is full of tourist attractions. The Plaza de Armas is very large with luxuriant flowers and trees, and you can see many Baroque churches. So if you are planning to travel around Peru, you shouldn’t miss this destination. You can even find some hot springs nearby to enjoy.
Tarapoto is one of the most magnificent hidden places in Peru and is located on the shore of the Amazon rainforest in a laid-back city. The tourism industry in Iquitos has grown so much that Tarapotos has become a favorite spot for ecotourism in Peru. Tarapoto is also known as the “City of Palmtrees” and is an ideal destination to experience mountain biking, hiking, climbing, and activities such as kayaking among others.
Located in northern Peru, near the awesome city of Chachapoyas, the Kuelap fortress is only comparable to Machu Picchu in scope and scale. But compared to its more famous cousin, the fortress receives only a small portion of tourists. A visit to this ruin will make you feel like Indiana Jones or Hiram Bingham discovering a lost temple. Fortunately, the ruins are usually isolated because there are not many people nearby. With so few tourists around, you will have plenty of time to tour the ruins at your own pace. Kuelap was built by the Chachapoyas Culture between 600 AD and 1500 AD. Because of its increasing popularity today, the Kuelap fortress can be considered one of the most popular places in Peru.
Take a bus from Cusco, Huancayo, or Pisco for an unforgettable trip to the wonderful city of Ayacucho, another of the hidden destinations located between the Andes mountain range. You will be able to know a distinguished colonial city with more than 30 churches to visit and a great history in folk art evidenced in its retablos. The Retablos stage from religious scenes to different traditional festivities. They are one of the best souvenirs to take home, and, likely, you will also find them in other regions of Peru. If you are a lover of nature and outdoor activities, in the surroundings you can find the Pampa Galeras-Bárbara d’Achille National Reserve, one of the best Nature Reserves in Peru dedicated to the protection of vicuñas.
Far from the coastal regions of Peru, is the amazing city of Chachapoyas, one of the most promising tourist destinations in recent years. This small market town offers a huge amount of hidden gems and natural attractions to tour and explore. In the surroundings, you can see some of the most incredible waterfalls in Peru, such as the distinguished Gocta waterfall with a height of more than 770 meters.
If you are a lover of hiking, Huaraz will become one of your favorite hidden places to visit in Peru. Huaraz’s scenic landscapes are characterized by its snow-capped peaks surrounded by numerous sparkling lakes. The most popular tours in Peru in the region include hiking to Laguna 69 and the 4-day route to Santa Cruz.
We couldn’t finish this list of unknown places without mentioning the quaint rural town of Polloc. Inside the town, you can find a small but colorful church that is the main attraction of the area. The murals of the Sanctuary of the Virgen del Rosario shine in the sun thanks to its thousands of ceramic and glass tiles that decorate the walls.
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We hope together with the travel experts of Machu Travel Peru to have summarized a little those destinations that are not so popular in the eye of the tourist, but essential for a complete experience within Peru. If you want to know more about our private or group tours, you can consult with our qualified advisors.