Peruvian Destinations You Don’t Want to Miss

A trip to Peru will be filled with historical, cultural, and geographical diversity. One day you will explore Inca ruins and learn about the indigenous history, while exploring the Valley of Volcanoes the next.

Make Peru your next travel abroad destination if you want to explore a land where ancient and colonial history meet modern traditions and produce an unforgettable experience.

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

For many, Machu Picchu is the driving force that brings them to Peru. The area is considered one of the new 7 Wonders of the World, and it lives up to the title. Take the Inca Rail from Cusco or Ollantaytambo. Train passengers will catch wonderful views of the Sacred Valley on their way to the site.

The iconic hilltop consist of large 15th-century Inca city ruins with many structures and terraces.

To visit, you will need your entrance ticket to Machu Picchu before your trip in order to regulate the amount of people who visit each day.

Click here for our guide on living in Peru!

The Inca Trail

The Inca Trail

The trail itself is a four-day excursion, ending at Machu Picchu, and is highly regarded as a reason to spend time abroad in Peru. The scenic trip is more demanding than people expect but many people find it very rewarding. Though there are several entry points to the trail, the traditional hike begins at the Cusco-Aguas Calientes rail line.

While on the trail, you will pass 30 Inca ruins and through some picturesque scenery.

To take the trip, you must be accompanied by a guide, and reservations must be done in advance. High season for the trip is from June to August.

Cusco

Cusco

While the official capital of Peru is Lima, Cusco was the center for political power during the Inca empire. The city offers beautiful 16th-century colonial architecture, narrow winding streets, and a romantic European atmosphere.

The most iconic site in the city is the main square, called the Plaza de Armas. Here you can take a leisurely stroll and watch as people go about their day, or enjoy the collection of shops and restaurants. Near the square sits the Cusco Cathedral where you can enjoy relics, artifacts, and colonial works of art.

If you have a free day, take an all-day trip from Cusco to the Rainbow Mountain, a high elevation hike that is worth the time!

Arequipa

Arequipa

From Lima, you can take a trip to Arequipa, a city with an extraordinary backdrop of volcanic peaks. The city sits at 2335 meters above sea level and boasts a wonderful appearance. Local white stone from the surrounding mountains have been incorporated in the city’s architecture, playing a large role in naming Arequipa a UNESCO World Heritage site.

In the area you can explore Colca Canyon and Cotahuasi, as well as the Valley of Volcanoes.

Lake Titicaca

From Arequipa, visit Lake Titicaca, the world’s highest lake!

The area surrounding the lake is well known for its folk dancing and Andean music. Visitors can stay on one of the lake’s islands and experience the traditional life of an Andean household. Puno is the main town. This austere city is cold with rarefied air.

Lima

Lima

The capital city, also knows and the City of Kings, stands as a symbol of the country’s Spanish colonial history, independence, and industry.

Visitors can get a taste of Peru’s history at local museums. Museo Larco features a collection of ancient, pre-Colombian exhibits of the indigenous people.

For picturesque coastal views, head to Miraflores and visit the Parque del Amor, offering wonderful views of the Pacific Ocean. Then, visit the clay pyramid of Huaca Pucllana to surround yourself with the city’s history.

Lima is also a center for shopping and food.

The Sacred Valley of Incas

SacredValley

Also known as the Urubamba Valley, the Sacred Valley is where you want to go to explore Inca ruins. The valley is a simple day-trip from Cusco or Machu Picchu, but it is highly recommended visitors stay a night or two to fully explore the region.Consumer Resource Guide

In the valley you can explore the Salinas De Maras, a series of 3,000 salt pans that are filled by an underground spring. After that, you can head to the ancient site of Moray, just three miles away. The bowl-like impressions in the earth are believed to have been used as Incan agricultural labs.

The Amazon

Sixty percent of Peru is covered by the Amazon, featuring some of the most biological diversity in the world. Here, you can find yourself up close to some of the intriguing wildlife. The anaconda calls the Amazon home.

One of the more popular experiences you can have is a visit to Lake Sandoval, home of river otters, caimans, and howler monkeys.

Guided night walks are offered through the Amazon jungle, as well as nighttime river excursions and canopy walks.