Hello bloggers, today I will write about some of the main places to see in Peru, so if you have arrived here because you are planning a trip, or if you are just curious, you are in the right place.
Although I already warn you that Peru is a country with a quite large extension and you will need a lot of time if you want to visit most of them.
In Peru the distances are very long, with very comfortable but very long bus transfers, sometimes exceeding 14 or 16 hours. The most important thing on a trip to Peru is to select which of all these sites you want to visit and organize an itinerary accordingly, otherwise you run the risk that the enormous distances will prevent you from seeing and doing everything you have planned.
Cusco the most beautiful city in Peru
If there is one city in Peru that you can’t miss, it is undoubtedly Cusco. Located at around 3399m of altitude and full of places to see, this place has enough attractions to keep you well occupied for two or three days of travel.
Considered one of the most beautiful cities in the Americas and declared a Unesco World Heritage Site, there is no doubt that strolling around and discovering Cuzco is a must on any trip to Peru.
Strolling through the Plaza de Armas, visiting the San Blas neighborhood at the top of the city, being impressed by the stone of the 12 angles or approaching the nearby ruins of Sacsayhuaman are just some of the things you can do during your visit.
Machu Picchu, the tourist wonder of Peru
When we talk about what to see in Peru, many of us automatically think of Machu Picchu. This wonder of the world is not only one of the most visited places but for many, reason enough to travel to Peru.
To get to know it do not forget to book your tickets and transportation in advance, as they tend to sell out quickly.
If you are one of those who like to walk, you can opt for trekking as the Inca Trail or other alternative routes that in organized tours of several days take you there, the only downside is that they are not very economical.
In case you are on a tight budget you can walk from Hidroeléctrica, an enclave near the town of Santa Teresa from which you can walk along the train tracks and save a little on your trip.
If your budget is medium, taking the train to Machu Picchu is usually the most popular option.
Vinicunca, the Peruvian mountain of colors
Until a few years ago unknown, this mountain near Cusco has been gaining visitors step by step to become today one of the best known and most visited sites in Peru.
Its altitude, at 5100m above sea level, makes it a site not suitable for everyone, due to the possibility of suffering altitude sickness. Normally the most common way to get there is to hire a tour from the nearby city of Cusco, although you can also do it on your own.
The main attraction of the place, apart from the way to get there, are its particular colors, which has given the nickname of the rainbow mountain or the 7 colors, a good place to visit if you have some time in the vicinity of Cusco.
The Sacred Valley of the Incas; discovering the pre-Hispanic culture of Peru
Conformed by different archaeological remains located in the area near Cuzco, the valley of the Incas is one of the most important sets of pre-Hispanic remains of Peru.
Places like Ollantaytambo, Pisac, Chinchero, Moray or the salt mines of Maras are some of the most representative, although not the only ones, and are a walk through the pre-Hispanic culture of Peru. Whether you want to visit them all or if you do not have much time, you have at your disposal a joint tourist ticket with different visiting areas.
Arequipa, the Peruvian white city
Surrounded by volcanoes, Peru’s second largest city, Arequipa, nicknamed the ‘White City’ because of the color of the white ashlars with which most of the buildings in its historic center are constructed, is a wonderful place worth exploring for at least a day, especially if you intend to visit the nearby Colca Canyon.
Among its main charms are its beautiful colonial architecture, named World Heritage Site, which is evident as soon as you reach the central Plaza de Armas and the cathedral, as well as the viewpoints that surround the city and which you can approach to see the panoramic views of the city and its surroundings.
The Colca Canyon, discover Peru’s depths
No trip to Peru is complete without a visit to the Colca Canyon. This place is not only the fourth deepest canyon in the world, but it is also a paradise for all bird lovers, because if walking through it is not enough for you, here you can observe the Andean Condor, a totally unique animal flying over your head.
There are several ways to get to know this canyon, although the most common is to do it in an organized tour, you can also venture on your own, you just need to plan it a little better to get to it.
There are several types of tours, although for us the one that is really worth it is the trekking tour, in which you go down to the bottom of the canyon to sleep in the Sangalle oasis, a paradise in the deepest part of the canyon. The climb back up is tough, but well worth the effort.
The Amazon jungle, a must on any trip to Peru
The great thing about Peru is that you can see different types of climates and totally different regions in the same country. One of the most interesting that you can visit is the Amazon jungle.
You can do it in Puerto Maldonado, where you can immerse yourself in the Tambopata National Reserve or the Manu National Park, both very special places and a very good option for those who are traveling to Cuzco or its surroundings.
Another option is to visit the jungle in Iquitos, for which you will have to take a plane or if you are really adventurous and not in a hurry you can opt for the cargo boat like these guys.
Once there we recommend spending one day getting to know the Amazon and enjoying places like the spectacular Pacaya-Samiria reserve, an experience you will find hard to forget.
Paracas and the crossbow islands, visiting the coast of Peru
That much of the Pacific coast of Peru is a desert is something that many of us are not familiar with when we think of visiting the country, so it is perhaps that this area is one of the most surprising to the traveler.
The national reserve of Paracas and the Ballesta Islands is one of the most interesting places in Peru, especially if you are a bird lover, since here many of them find the ideal environment and are organized in huge colonies that you can meet on an excursion in the area.
Our mouths dropped open the first time we saw the beautiful flight of pelicans at the water’s edge, and the colonies of sea lions that abound on the islands, a spectacle that we did not expect to see in Peru but that surprised us very pleasantly.
Peru’s Cordillera Blanca, a destination for trekking enthusiasts
The central massif of the Peruvian Andes is one of the most spectacular places you can visit in this part of the world. This mountain range, full of imposing snow-capped peaks, glaciers and lagoons is the perfect destination for all mountaineering and trekking lovers.
Huaraz is the gateway to the area, the most touristic city with probably the best views you will find in this country, surrounded by peaks on all four sides, including the Huascaran and the national park of the same name.
From here you can take advantage of nearby hiking to visit lagoons such as Laguna Parón or Laguna 69, and even trekking for several days such as Huayhuash.
Nazca, flying over Peru’s most famous Nazca Lines
Flying over the Nazca lines is the main reason why most travelers come to this southern Peruvian city.
These geoglyphs are still considered a great mystery, and the most common way to visit them is on a light aircraft flight. The flight has a cost of about 80-100$.
Huacachina Oasis, dune surfing in the Peruvian desert
Very close to the Paracas National Reserve, at the foot of the city of Ica, is the well-known Huacachina Oasis.
If you have never been to an oasis and you imagine them as in the movies, this place will not disappoint you because it is exactly like that, water and palm trees in the middle of the desert.
This has not gone unnoticed by tourists from half the world, who flock to this place to go down the sand dunes on a surfboard or ride them in noisy buggies at full speed.
The place is still curious to visit, although it is true that the overcrowding and the type of activities that are carried out can throw many back to consider it of little interest, although it can be fine if you have time to spare as a passing destination on your way to Arequipa. visit peru
Lima, Peru’s “gray” city
Peru’s capital, Lima, is a rather gloomy city that you may well avoid on your trip. While it is true that most trips start or end here, it is a good place to have an initial contact with the country and get acquainted with its gastronomy.
Nicknamed “Lima the gray” for its usually cloudy skies but without rain, you can take advantage of your time here to stroll through some of its neighborhoods such as Barranco and taste the Pisco Sour in one of its bars, which will make your time in Lima fly by before heading to your next destination. visit peru
Trujillo, adobe and surf in northern Peru
Quite unknown to many, Trujillo is an important city in northern Peru, and a very good place to visit if you are passing through this area. Located near the equator, it is known as the city of eternal spring in Peru for its constant temperatures throughout the year.
The main attraction of Trujillo is to visit Chan Chan, the main adobe city in the world, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
But you can also complement your time in Trujillo and knowing its beautiful historic center, full of colonial sites or go for a dip in one of its beaches like Huanchaco, known by all surf lovers. visit peru
The fortress of Kuelap, visiting the Chachapoyas culture
Peru has so much to offer to travelers that it never ceases to surprise you wherever you go, and one of the examples of this is the fortress of Kuelap. Not everything pre-Hispanic in Peru corresponds to the Inca empire, and this fortress built by the Chachapoyas, one of the civilizations that populated this area of Peru, is one of the jewels that are still preserved today in the country.
Located high up, it is considered by many as one of the most beautiful places in Peru, but to get there you will have to make a long journey to Chachapoyas, located practically in the Amazon of northern Peru.
Gocta Waterfall, Peru’s best waterfall?
Considered as the third highest waterfall in Peru and one of the highest in the world, it is still ignored by most of the tourists who visit the country every year.
This place is in our opinion one of the most spectacular in Peru. Reaching it is obviously not easy and only the adventurous who dare to walk about 2 hours through the jungle will be rewarded with the beautiful views of its double waterfall, more than 700m high and the powerful sound of its waters crashing against the rock.
Lake Titicaca, a classic on trips to Peru
Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable lake in the world, at an average altitude of almost 3800m above sea level. Part of its waters are in Peru, while the other part extend into neighboring Bolivia.
The main attraction for which tourists come to its waters, is to know some of its islands, such as the floating islands of the Uros, in our point of view too much commercial showcase, although you have others that are much more worth knowing and that in our opinion are much more original and sustainable, such as the island of Amantani, where you can spend a night staying with a family in the area.
Tarapoto, the most comfortable jungle in Peru
For all those who want to visit the Amazon jungle, but without the need to go into deeper areas and preserving certain comforts uncommon in other places like Puerto Maldonado or Iquitos, Tarapoto is a good place to spend a few days of exploration.
Here you can go deep into the Alto Mayo jungle, visit waterfalls such as Ahuashiyacu, go spelunking in the Diamond Cave or simply take a walk around the well-known and visited Blue Lagoon. A quiet place to spend a couple of days if you are traveling through the northern regions of Peru.
Turquoise Waters of Millpu, the best natural pools in Peru
The Peruvian city of Ayacucho is a very interesting place to visit, not only for the beauty of its buildings and streets but mainly for the proximity of the beautiful turquoise waters of Millpu.
This set of about 20 natural pools are one of the most spectacular places in Peru and if you visit them at the right time (from May to September) you will find the beauty of its turquoise waters in its pure state. To reach them from Ayacucho you can choose to do it on a tour or take the bus to Circamarca and walk about 30 minutes to find them.
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