The South American country of Peru has been a lucrative tourist spot of this region for many years. The country is full of breathtaking landscapes and numerous attractions. From the historic and mysterious relics and fortresses of the ancient Inca Empire, to the magical cloud forests, the snow-clad Andes Mountain- and even the timeless Amazon rainforest – Peru is one gem of a place which needs to be explored. The archaeological remains, the beautiful colonial structures, the jaw-dropping natural attractions- and the diverse ecosystem – each and everything about Peru make it one of the most coveted destinations in South America. There are so many things to do and places to visit in Peru, that exploring the whole country in one go is absolutely impossible. However, to get you started, here is a list of the top seven places which you must visit if you want to make your Peru holiday truly memorable.
The capital city of Peru, Lima stands as a symbol of the country’s ancient history, colonial culture, industry and independence. There are a lot of museums in the city where you can get a taste of the ancient history of this country. Especially Museo Larco has an excellent collection of ancient relics of the indigenous people of this region, before Columbus set foot in these lands. You can also visit Miraflores to enjoy the beautiful coastal views Peru has to offer. The spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean will surely take your breath away. If you are interested in history, you can head over to the ancient clay pyramid of Huaca Pucllana as well.
Machu Picchu is possibly the most famous place to visit in Peru. In fact, most of the travellers visit Peru mainly to experience this ancient site only. This mysterious site is considered one of the New 7 Wonders of The World, so it is pretty obvious that you just have to visit Machu Picchu when you spend your vacation in Peru. The most scenic and memorable way to reach Machu Picchu probably is via the Inca Rail. This spectacular rail journey starts from Cusco or Ollantaytambo, and you’ll get to see some of the most incredible views of the Sacred Valley’s countryside. Remember to book your ticket in advance before you reach Machu Picchu, as only a limited number of visitors are allowed to the site each day. One you reach your destination, explore the beautiful Incan architectures, roam the cloud forests and look out for- the hundreds of species of birds and orchids. Then start hiking through one of the various trails to reach the UNESCO World Heritage wonder that lies above. You can be sure, the Machu Picchu will take your breath away.
If you want to get a bit away from the crowd, then you must take a day trip to the famous Rainbow Mountain while you are in Peru. You can easily visit the mountain from the city of Cusco. The hike to the mountain is quite strenuous, and the elevation is also quite high, but you can be sure that the trip will be worth it. The incredible vistas of this beautifully colourful mountain which you will get to experience will surely blow you away.
Being the land of the Incas, Peru is already famous for being mysterious and intriguing. But the Nazca Desert is the place which you’ll have to visit if you want to take that feeling to the next level. Located along the northern Pacific coast on a high, arid plateau – the Nazca Desert is home to the famous Nazca Lines. The lines look more or less unimpressive from the ground, but take a look at them from above, and you will see huge figures emerging in front of your eyes. From simple lines to huge patterns of stylized monkeys, lizards, spiders, even humanoids – the patterns will surely make you gasp in awe. These mysterious geoglyphs were created between 200 BC and 700 AD, but why or how these huge patterns were created is still up for debate.
The Sacred Valley in the Andes used to be the heartland of the mysterious Inca Empire which used to thrive in these regions thousands of years ago. Situated near the famous ancient city of Machu Picchu, this beautiful valley was favoured by the Incas because of the beautiful geographic location it has and the excellent climate conditions it provides. You will get to see a huge number of ancient archaeological remains when you visit this Sacred Valley. Písac and Ollantaytambo are the two main Inca cities situated in this valley, which you can explore while you are here.
Located at southwestern Peru, Huacachina is a dreamy looking village built around a small desert oasis. Situated just five kilometres away from the city of Ica, this beautiful little village can be easily accessed by taking a short dune ride. The tiny settlement is surrounded by sand dunes, and at the centre lies its own little lake dotted with date palm trees. Huacachina lies amidst the arid desert like a precious little gem, and its fantastic location has made it into a popular destination of Peru. The unique experience of staying at an oasis make this place a must visit one when you travel to Peru. From backpacker-friendly guesthouses to boutique hotels – you will find every kind of accommodation over here, and the nightlife at this tiny village is also surprisingly awesome.
The Peruvian city of Huaraz is a particularly awesome place which you must check out if you want to get away from the urban locations and take a lonely hike to the mountains. From casual hikers to expert mountaineers, Huaraz has something or the other for everyone. The town is surrounded from all the sides by the giant peaks of Cordillera Blanca, and there are a lot of hiking trails through the valley which you can explore while you are here. Don’t forget to visit the Huascaran National Park where you can see beautiful titanka plants and various prehistoric artefacts like cave art and dinosaur footprints.