Hey there, amigos! Are you ready to uncover the wonders of Peru? If you’re looking for an adventure-filled destination, Peru should be at the top of your list. With its rich history, stunning landscapes, and vibrant culture, there are countless things to do in Peru that will leave you with unforgettable memories. So, let’s dive right in and explore the best experiences this charming country has to offer!
Table of Contents
A List of the Best Things to Do in Peru
Explore the Real Amazon
The Amazon rainforest in Peru is a nature lover’s paradise. It’s a place where you can truly connect with the wilderness and experience the wonders of the natural world. Venture deep into the dense jungles, where every step unveils new discoveries. Immerse yourself in the symphony of exotic wildlife, spot colorful birds, playful monkeys, and elusive jaguars. Take a boat ride along the mighty rivers, and let the lush greenery and the sounds of the rainforest transport you to a world of awe and wonder.
In the Amazon, you can also engage with indigenous communities and learn about their rich traditions and sustainable way of life. Discover their deep connection to the land and the intricate knowledge they possess about the rainforest. By exploring the real Amazon in Peru, you not only get to witness the unparalleled beauty of this ecosystem but also contribute to its preservation and support local communities.
Find a Way to Machu Picchu
No trip to Peru is complete without a visit to the iconic Machu Picchu. This ancient Inca citadel nestled high in the Andes Mountains is a testament to the ingenuity of the Inca civilization. To reach Machu Picchu, you can embark on a thrilling trek along the Inca Trail, a multi-day adventure that takes you through breathtaking landscapes, cloud forests, and ancient ruins. Alternatively, you can opt for a scenic train ride through the Sacred Valley to Aguas Calientes, the gateway to Machu Picchu.
As you step into this mystical site. Marvel at the precision of the stone walls, the enigmatic Intihuatana stone, and the Temple of the Sun. Take a moment to absorb the energy of this sacred place and appreciate the incredible engineering and spiritual significance of Machu Picchu.
Some of the best tours to Machu Picchu from Cusco are:
1-Day Machu Picchu from Cusco
2-Day Machu Picchu tour from Cusco: Valley
3-Day Machu Picchu tour: Valley + Trek day
4-Day Machu Picchu tour: Valley + 2 days trek
5-Day Machu Picchu tour: City + Valley + 2 days trek
Peru is a gastronomic delight, and eating adventurously is a must-do when visiting this country. With its unique blend of indigenous, Spanish, and Asian influences, Peruvian cuisine offers a diverse and mouthwatering experience. Get ready to tantalize your taste buds with traditional dishes like ceviche, a refreshing mix of marinated seafood, and Lomo Saltado, a flavorful stir-fry of beef, onions, and tomatoes.
Venture into local markets and try street food favorites like anticuchos (grilled skewered meats) or salchipapas (french fries topped with sliced hot dogs). Don’t forget to indulge in Peruvian specialties like causa (a layered potato dish), rocoto relleno (stuffed spicy peppers), and quinoa-based dishes. And let’s not overlook the world-famous Pisco Sour, Peru’s national cocktail made from grape brandy, lime juice, syrup, and egg white.
Get the Most Out of Lima
As the capital of Peru, Lima is a vibrant city that offers a mix of history, culture, and gastronomy. Begin your exploration in the historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage site, where colonial architecture meets modern life. Admire the grandeur of Plaza Mayor, visit the impressive Cathedral of Lima, and step into the San Francisco Monastery with its eerie catacombs.
For art enthusiasts, a visit to the bohemian neighborhood of Barranco is a must. Stroll along the colorful streets adorned with vibrant murals, visit art galleries showcasing the works of local artists, and enjoy the bohemian vibe of this trendy district. And of course, don’t miss out on Lima’s renowned culinary scene. From street food stalls to fine-dining establishments, the city is a foodie paradise that will leave you craving for more.
Spend a Day with the Condors
Head to the Colca Canyon, one of the deepest canyons in the world, and prepare to be amazed by the sight of the majestic Andean condors in flight. As you watch these magnificent birds soar through the skies, with their impressive wingspans and graceful movements, you’ll feel a sense of awe and admiration. The Colca Canyon offers breathtaking viewpoints from where you can witness this awe-inspiring spectacle, so make sure to bring your camera to capture this incredible natural display.
To make the most of your day in the Colca Canyon, consider exploring the surrounding area as well. Visit traditional villages, such as Chivay or Yanque, where you can learn about the local culture and witness traditional customs. Soak in natural hot springs, go hiking along scenic trails, and take in the breathtaking landscapes that make the Colca Canyon a true gem of Peru.
Hike and Climb Every Mountain
Peru is a dream destination for hiking and climbing enthusiasts. With its diverse landscapes and towering peaks, the country offers endless opportunities for outdoor adventures. Lace up your hiking boots and challenge yourself to conquer iconic mountains like Huayna Picchu near Machu Picchu or Ausangate in the Cordillera Vilcanota.
For those seeking multi-day treks, the Santa Cruz Trek in the Cordillera Blanca and the Ausangate Circuit are popular choices. These treks take you through stunning alpine landscapes, past crystal-clear lakes, and over high mountain passes.
Whether you’re an experienced mountaineer or a novice hiker. There’s a trail in Peru that will suit your abilities and offer an unforgettable adventure. Just remember to pack your sense of adventure.
Discover Another Side of Cusco
Beyond being the gateway to Machu Picchu, Cusco is a city with a rich cultural heritage and a multitude of attractions waiting to be discovered. Start your exploration at the historic center, where you’ll find beautiful colonial architecture blending with ancient Inca ruins. Visit the iconic Qorikancha, the Temple of the Sun, which showcases the remarkable Inca stonework combined with Spanish colonial architecture.
Stroll through the cobblestone streets of San Blas, known for its bohemian atmosphere and vibrant artisan scene. Explore the bustling San Pedro Market, where you can browse through stalls selling local produce, handicrafts, and traditional textiles. Don’t miss the chance to visit nearby archaeological sites such as Sacsayhuamán, Tambomachay, and Q’enqo, which offer glimpses into the ancient Inca civilization.
For a unique experience, venture to the nearby Sacred Valley, where you can explore picturesque villages, vibrant markets, and impressive Inca ruins. And if you’re up for a challenge, embark on the alternative trek to Machu Picchu known as the Salkantay Trek, which takes you through breathtaking landscapes and diverse ecosystems.
Get Your Head in the Clouds
Peru is home to some of the most breathtaking cloud forests in the world. These ethereal realms, nestled in the higher elevations of the Andes, offer a unique opportunity to connect with nature and witness its incredible biodiversity. Explore the mist-shrouded mountains of Manu National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, or venture into the Sacred Valley to discover hidden gems like the mystical Maras salt mines and the agricultural terraces of Moray.
As you hike through these enchanting cloud forests. You’ll encounter a myriad of plant and animal species found nowhere else on Earth. Listen to the calls of exotic birds, spot colorful orchids and bromeliads, and keep an eye out for elusive creatures like the spectacled bear. With every step, you’ll feel a sense of serenity and connection to the natural world that is truly magical.
Read between the (Nazca) Lines
Prepare to be amazed as you uncover the enigma of the Nazca Lines, a series of gigantic geoglyphs etched into the desert floor. These ancient figures depict various animals, plants, and geometric shapes and have intrigued researchers and visitors for centuries. The best way to experience the Nazca Lines is to take a scenic flight over the desert. Its where you’ll have a bird’s-eye view of these enormous designs.
As you soar above the Nazca Desert, you’ll be captivated by the intricate details and sheer scale of these geoglyphs. From the hummingbird to the spider, the monkey to the astronaut, each figure holds a mystery waiting to be unraveled. Although the true purpose of the Nazca Lines remains a subject of debate, their beauty and enigmatic nature make them a fascinating part of Peru’s cultural heritage.
White Water Raft on the Mighty Rio Apurimac
Calling all adventure enthusiasts! Brace yourself for an adrenaline-pumping white-water rafting experience on the mighty Rio Apurimac. Navigate through thrilling rapids, paddle alongside towering canyon walls, and feel the rush of the river as you conquer its challenges. The Rio Apurimac offers Class III to V rapids, providing an exhilarating ride for both beginners and experienced rafters.
Keep an eye out for wildlife along the riverbanks. Such as Andean condors soaring overhead or playful river otters splashing in the water. Whether you choose a half-day excursion or a multi-day rafting adventure. Explore the Rio Apurimac. It promises an unforgettable experience that will get your heart pounding and leave you with lifelong memories.
Celebrate the Spectacular Inti Raymi Festival
Prepare to be transported back in time as you witness the grandeur of the Inti Raymi Festival, one of Peru’s most spectacular cultural celebrations. Held in Cusco, this ancient Inca festival commemorates the winter solstice and pays homage to Inti, the Inca sun god. The festivities include colorful processions, traditional dances, and captivating reenactments of ancient rituals.
Join the locals as they gather in the streets of Cusco, adorned in vibrant traditional clothing, and witness the rich cultural heritage come alive. Be captivated by the elaborate costumes, the rhythmic beats of traditional music, and the reverence with which the Inca traditions are preserved. The Inti Raymi Festival. Its an extraordinary experience that allows you to immerse yourself in the ancient history and spirituality of Peru.
Meet the Mummies of Arequipa
In the charming city of Arequipa, a fascinating experience awaits you at the Monastery of Santa Catalina. This sprawling complex, dating back to the 16th century, is not just a religious site but also a glimpse into the lives of the cloistered nuns who once resided here. Explore the narrow streets, colorful courtyards, and beautifully preserved living quarters that provide a unique insight into the daily lives of these devout women.
One of the highlights of the monastery is the chance to see the preserved mummies of former nuns. These mummies offer a fascinating glimpse into the customs and rituals of the past. As you wander through the corridors, adorned with vibrant frescoes, you’ll feel a sense of tranquility and awe in this peaceful oasis amidst the bustling city of Arequipa.
Trek to the Lost City of Choquequirao
For intrepid adventurers seeking hidden treasures, a trek to the Lost City of Choquequirao is an absolute must. Often referred to as the “sister city” of Machu Picchu, Choquequirao is a remote archaeological site that offers a sense of exploration and discovery. Trek through rugged mountain terrain, traverse steep switchbacks, and be rewarded with panoramic views of the surrounding valleys.
As you arrive at Choquequirao, you’ll witness the grandeur of this ancient Inca city. Its complete with terraced fields, ceremonial plazas, and impressive stone structures. The remote location of Choquequirao means fewer crowds and a sense of adventure. As you immerse yourself in the remnants of an ancient civilization. It’s a trek that challenges both the body and the mind, but the rewards are truly worth it.
Explore the Ballestas Islands
Prepare to be amazed as you set sail to the Ballestas Islands, also known as the “Galapagos of Peru.” These rocky islets, located off the coast of Paracas, are home to a diverse array of marine wildlife. Cruise along the shoreline and marvel at the sight of sea lions basking in the sun, flocks of seabirds nesting in the cliffs, and colonies of playful Humboldt penguins.
Keep your eyes peeled for dolphins gracefully swimming alongside the boat. Cause, if you’re lucky, you may even spot a glimpse of elusive whales in the distance. The Ballestas Islands offer a unique opportunity to witness the incredible biodiversity of the Pacific Ocean. Connect with nature in a way that will leave you in awe.
Take the Train to Lake Titicaca
Embark on a scenic train journey from Cusco to the mesmerizing Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world. As you wind your way through the landscapes of the Andes. You’ll be treated to breathtaking views of snow-capped peaks, rolling hills, and quaint villages. The train ride itself is an experience to cherish, with comfortable seating, panoramic windows, and onboard amenities.
Arriving at Lake Titicaca, you’ll be greeted by the tranquil waters and the floating islands of the Uros people. Step onto these unique islands, made entirely of reeds, and learn about the traditional lifestyle of the Uros community. Explore Taquile Island, known for its intricate textile craftsmanship, and immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage that thrives in the region. Lake Titicaca offers a serene escape and a chance to connect with the local communities in a truly unforgettable way.
Mingle with Spectacled Bears in Chaparri
If you’re a fan of adorable creatures, a visit to the Chaparri Ecological Reserve is a must. Located in northern Peru, this sanctuary is dedicated to the conservation of the Andean spectacled bear, also known as the Paddington Bear. Take part in a guided tour and learn about the efforts to protect this endangered species and its natural habitat.
As you explore the reserve, you may spot these endearing bears in their natural surroundings. Watch them climb trees, forage for food, or simply lounge under the shade. The Chaparri Ecological Reserve not only provides a safe haven for the spectacled bear but also promotes sustainable tourism and raises awareness about the importance of conservation.
Best Time to Visit Peru
The best time to visit Peru largely depends on the specific regions you plan to explore. Generally, the dry season from May to September is considered the peak tourist season, offering sunny weather and lower chances of rainfall. This period is ideal for visiting popular destinations such as Lima, Cusco, and Machu Picchu.
However, keep in mind that the weather can vary significantly between regions due to Peru’s diverse geography. If you’re planning to explore the Amazon rainforest. The dry season from May to October is recommended when rainfall is minimal, and wildlife is more active.
For trekking and outdoor activities in the Andes, the dry season from May to September is also favorable. The shoulder seasons of April and October can provide a good balance between weather conditions and fewer crowds.
It’s worth noting that Peru’s climate is influenced by El Niño, a weather phenomenon that can cause unusual patterns of rainfall and temperature. Therefore, it’s essential to check the weather forecast and plan accordingly.
How to Get to Peru
Peru is well-connected to the world through international flights, with the main gateway being Jorge Chávez International Airport in Lima. Several major airlines offer direct flights from various cities around the globe. Once in Lima, you can easily access other parts of Peru through domestic flights, buses, or trains.
If you’re traveling from neighboring countries, you can consider land routes or regional flights. Peru shares borders with Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Bolivia, and Chile, providing opportunities for cross-border travel.
Before traveling to Peru, it’s important to check visa requirements and make sure you have a valid passport. Depending on your nationality, you may be eligible for visa-free entry or need to obtain a tourist visa upon arrival or in advance.
Best Tours in Peru
To make the most of your time in Peru and ensure a seamless travel experience, consider joining organized tours that cater to your interests and desired destinations. Here are five of the best tours in Peru that offer unique experiences and expert guidance:
|Historic City Tour, Gastronomy Tours, Pachacamac Ruins
|Machu Picchu, Sacred Valley, Rainbow Mountain, Salkantay Trek, Humantay Lake, Inca Trail, Ausangate
|Colca Canyon, City Tour, Santa Catalina Monastery
|Lake Titicaca (Uros and Taquile Islands), Sillustani Tombs
|Nazca Lines, Huacachina Oasis, Paracas National Reserve, Ballestas Islands
|Kuelap Fortress, Gocta Waterfalls, End of the World Tour
|Millpu Lagoons, Wari Ruins, Quinua Historic Sanctuary
|Huascaran National Park, Huayhuash, Laguna 69, Pastoruri, Santa Cruz trek
These tours offer expert guides, comfortable accommodations, and the convenience of organized transportation. It allows you to focus on enjoying your journey and making the most of your time in Peru.
Peru is a country brimming with enchantment and adventure, offering a tapestry of experiences that will capture your heart. From exploring the pristine Amazon rainforest to marveling at the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu. Every moment in Peru is filled with wonder and discovery. Whether you’re drawn to the natural beauty, the rich cultural heritage, or the exhilarating outdoor activities. Peru has something to offer every traveler.
So pack your sense of adventure, your curiosity, and your love for the extraordinary. Let Peru embrace you with its warmth, captivate you with its beauty, and leave you with memories that will last a lifetime. Embark on this journey of a lifetime and uncover the incredible things to do in Peru. You’re in for a treat, my adorable friend!