Natural landscapes, culture, history and mysteries: we've separated 12 places you can't miss on a trip to Peru! Discover the best destinations in the country!
THE Peru deserves to be visited at least once in a lifetime – but we have already said that it will not be enough to discover all its beauties and mysteries. With breathtaking scenery, ruins that record a very important part of history, in addition to imposing monuments, the country is a great pleasure to the eyes and soul.
In partnership with Peru Grand Travel, a Peruvian agency specialized in tours and packages for different regions of the country, we have prepared a list of 12 must-see places to visit on a trip to Peru. The company offers exclusive tours and different possibilities for tourists to choose what they prefer: trails, alternative tours, complete packages, among other options.
Must-see places in Peru
With a charming historic center and surrounded by must-see attractions, cusco, without a doubt, is one of the must-see places to visit in Peru. Located at 3400 meters above sea level, the city mixes Spanish architecture, the result of its colonization in the 16th century, with incredible archaeological sites that refer to the Inca Empire.
In addition to being the gateway for those who want to visit the incredible Machu Picchu, the city also reveals places such as the Inca Museum, which presents details about the life of its former inhabitants, the imposing Cathedral of Cusco, the Plaza de Armas and the Barrio San Blás, which concentrates the vast majority of artisans, plastic artists and bohemians who live in the city.
lime, the country's capital is the gateway for most tourists visiting Peru, so it's worth taking the opportunity to enjoy all the attractions that the country's capital offers – and there are many. The city has an excellent tourist infrastructure, many places to visit and delicious cuisine.
One of the highlights worth visiting is the Magic Water Circuit, located inside La Reserva, a large urban park with thirteen fountains that provide a true show of colored lights. The Miraflores district is also worth a visit, as it is the most bohemian neighborhood in the capital and has great restaurants, as well as bars and cafes. It is a must to walk through the historic center of the city and see the well-preserved buildings, one of the most beautiful colonial complexes in South America.
Despite not being part of the route of many tourists, arequipa, located in the south of the country, should be included in an itinerary through Peru. Very charming, it is known as “ciudad blanca”, since most of its buildings were built in white volcanic stone. With attractions that are divided between well-preserved historical monuments and many activities in nature, the truth is that Arequipa is a unmissable place to visit in Peru.
Churches, large buildings and museums are among the attractions that must be visited, such as the Plaza de Armas, the Monastery of Santa Catarina, the Convent of Santa Teresa and the Museum of Andean Sanctuaries. The imposing Misti volcano, 20 kilometers from the central region, is a symbol of the city's culture, and anyone who wants can go on a two-day trek to the top.
It is practically impossible to visit Peru and not want to know all the mystery and beauty of one of the great wonders of the world today, Machu Picchu. The “lost city of the Incas” has a mystical atmosphere and unique energy that allows visitors to experience one of the most advanced ancient civilizations in history.
The archaeological park, which is more than 2,000 meters above sea level and occupies the top of a mountain with 400-meter abysses, was populated between the years 1450 to 1540. The buildings built with stones that weigh up to 20 tons impress for their architectural perfection, with millimetric fittings, and arouse the curiosity of tourists. Everything becomes even more interesting when you think that the city was hidden in the jungle for four centuries, since it was only officially discovered in 1911 by the North American Hiram Bingham.
Known as the “folkloric capital of Peru”, Puno is located in the south of the country, on the border with Bolivia, and is used as a base for those who want to know the highest navigable lake in the world, Titicaca. With a very present cultural atmosphere, the city overflows with local artistic manifestations such as folk dances, handicrafts, among others.
Despite having historic buildings and museums, its main attractions are by the lake and the more than 40 floating islands, between natural and artificial, which can be accessed by boat. With an area of approximately 8,530 km², there are sections of Titicaca that blend in with the sea, such is its immensity.
You know those scenarios that are even more beautiful live than in Instagram photos? Rainbow Mountain, also known as Vinicunca or Cerro Colorado, located near Cusco, is one of them. Mixing a mystical atmosphere with a unique scenery, the mountain gained fame when it was selected as one of the 100 places you must know before you die in a list released by National Geographic.
Access to this colorful paradise is not easy: it takes three hours of walking at an altitude of more than 5,000 meters along a trail with ups and downs, but the challenge is worth it when you catch a glimpse of the impressive mix of colors, a real delight. to the eyes. Formed by a series of minerals existing in the region, which causes the earth to gain layers in different shades, the mountain is even more beautiful depending on the light and shadows, when its colors gain more intensity.
One of the most beautiful scenery in the Andes, without a doubt, is the Laguna Humantay. Located in the Salkantay mountain region, near Cusco, it is one of the highest lagoons in the world, at approximately 5,000 meters above sea level. The walk of approximately three and a half kilometers to the site tends to be a little complicated due to the altitude, but the challenges are clearly overcome by seeing a breathtaking view.
The crystalline water of the lagoon reaches impressive tones that vary between blue and green, depending on the light that falls on its surface, revealing one of the most fantastic scenarios for contemplation and, of course, beautiful photographic records.
Pisac is a small town located 33 kilometers from Cusco, in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. It is known for presenting one of the largest complexes of Inca ruins open for visitation. The archaeological site has several buildings such as tunnels, bridges, aqueducts, cemeteries, as well as an incredible view of the valley and the city.
For those who like to buy souvenirs and souvenirs, Pisaq also offers a market in its central square, which offers typical products of the region, especially handicrafts.
Located 80 kilometers from Cusco and 40 kilometers from Machu Picchu, Ollantaytambo is a strategic and unmissable visit in the magical Sacred Valley.
It is the best preserved Inca city and the only one still inhabited in the region, which enhances the impression of making a true journey through time. However, what makes it one of the must-see places in Peru is its archaeological site, one of the largest complexes of the ancient Inca Empire.
Its imposing stone walls that form a fortress hide true treasures, such as the Temple of the Sun, a building in worship of the superior God of the Incas.
believe, the Inca Trail it is one of the best experiences to live on a trip to Peru. Considered the most famous trail in South America, the ancient path opened by the Incas passes through icy mountains, subtropical jungle, cliffs and many Inca ruins until reaching the sacred valley of Machu Picchu.
The route, which requires good physical preparation and courage to face the altitude, is approximately 45 kilometers long and lasts from 4 to 5 days. For those who want to experience the experience but don't have much time, there are shorter options, some lasting two days.
THE Salkantay Trail it is an alternative to the Inca Trail to reach Machu Picchu and was elected by National Geographic magazine as one of the best trekkings on the planet. There are 68 kilometers divided into 5 days of walking through the Salkantay, until finally reaching the town of Aguas Calientes, the closest to the sacred city.
Although the route does not pass through archaeological parks, the path is stunning and less crowded than the Inca Trail, featuring valleys cut by waterfalls, thaw ponds and incredible rock formations, revealing scenarios practically untouched by man.
Can you imagine visiting an almost twin sister of Machu Picchu, practically deserted, but with just as much historical wealth? This is Choquequirao, or “Cradle of Gold”, in Quechua, located at almost three thousand meters above the impressive gorge of the Urubamba River, and one of the must-see places in Peru. The site is home to almost 2,000 hectares full of mysteries and Inca buildings, of which archaeologists estimate that only 40% are exposed.
Despite the similarity and the inevitable comparison with Machu Picchu, Choquequirao requires a greater effort for anyone who wants to be dazzled by its beauty. The only option to reach it requires a trekking of 4 or 5 days.
However, the privilege of being face to face with preserved and mysterious ruins, in absolute silence, and without having to compete for space with other tourists, is a unique opportunity that is worth any effort.
These are the best places to visit on a trip to Peru, but it is worth mentioning that the country still has several other attractions that are full of culture, magic, mysteries and a lot of beauty.
» Inca trails to discover in Peru
» Hotel in Peru offers transparent rooms perched on a mountain
» Salkantay Trail, one of the most beautiful treks in Peru
» Discover the Colca Canyon in Arequipa, Peru
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