The Best Tourist Attractions in Peru


Peru is a country with history, culture, beauty and adventure, with a full spectrum of possibilities for travelers. The ancient Inca city of Machu Picchu is one of the highlights of every trip to South America, but there is much more to explore throughout Peru. Visitors can travel by boat on the highest navigable lake in the world, look at one of the deepest canyons in the world, try their luck up the sand dunes, hike in the Andes, fishing for piranhas in the Amazon, explore the mysteries of the Nazca line, walk through ancient ruins in the Sacred Valley, or experience modern Peru while wandering the streets of Lima. The diversity of landscapes, people and experiences here makes Peru one of the most unique destinations on the continent.

1. Machu Picchu

Perched high on a hill, 300 meters above the Urubamba River, the majestic short Inca trail 2 days to Machu Picchu City is one of the most dramatic settings of a ruined city anywhere in the world. Almost as impressive as the ruins they are the spectacular backdrop of steep, lush, and often cloud-covered mountains. Standing near the guard's hut, looking at Machu Picchu, a forest covered in mountains, and a river far below, it is not difficult to imagine why the Incas chose this place to build their city.

Hiram Bingham discovered Machu Picchu in 1911 and believed until his death that it was the "Lost City of the Incas," first documented by the Spanish army in the 1500s. However, historians believe that the truly lost city of the Incas was in Espíritu Pampa, a destruction that Bingham knew but considered insignificant.

This trip is also part of the experience of visiting Machu Picchu, whether it's climbing the Inca Trail or seeing the route by train. In both cases, it's impossible not to be inspired by the view. The train departs from Cusco, Ollantaytambo, or Urubamba to Aguas Calientes. From Aguas Calientes, the city under Machu Picchu, a bus takes visitors to Machu Picchu, which is about a 20 minute drive. It is possible to walk down this road to the site, but it is a long and uphill climb.

To avoid the crowds, the best time to visit the site is in the morning or evening, either before the machu picchu by train arrives from Cusco or after they leave. The peak season is June to August, but two months on both sides also see good weather and can be a great time to visit with fewer people.

2. The Inca Trail

The famous Inca Trail is a four-day climb, which ends at Machu Picchu, and is considered by many to be the highlight of their trip to Peru. This beautiful trail is often more demanding than what many people expect, but also more useful. There are a number of different starting points for the Inca Trail, but the traditional four-day hike starts at km 82 of the Cusco - Aguas Calientes railroad. From this point, the path passes through more than 30 Inca ruins and crosses some spectacular scenery. The most difficult part of the trail is the second day of the hike, with a climbing height of 1,200 meters and two high passes.

Increases must be made with an agent, and bookings must be booked in advance, especially in the June-August season. Some agencies offer a shorter version of the upgrade, which requires the last two days or only the last day of the increase. There is a campsite at intervals along the way and one at the base of Machu Picchu. Depending on the type of tour, pedestrians can bring their own backpacks or carry them for them.

3. Cusco's Architectural Treasures

Walking through the streets of Cusco is like wandering in a museum, with history built on history at this UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Inca ruins have been used on the foundations of many beautiful old colonial buildings that line the narrow streets, displaying the city's long history. The main square, Plaza de Armas, in the center of the city is home to the Cathedral and La Compania, two buildings that are equally impressive. This square is also a good place to start a walking tour, eating or watching people during the day. And while there are many buildings and museums that are worth a visit, the Santo Domingo church, located in the ruins of the Inca site in Coricancha, is one of the attractions that must be visited in Cusco.

4. Lake Titicaca

The sparkling blue waters of Lake Titicaca are surrounded by traditional hills and small villages, offering a blend of beautiful scenery and culture that sets it apart from other regions in the country. Located at an altitude of 3,820 meters above sea level, Lake Titicaca is known as the highest navigable lake in the world, but it is also a very beautiful area where visitors can relax and enjoy tranquility.

Boat trips to the surrounding islands and villages are the best way to appreciate the lake. One of the main tourist attractions is the Uros Floating Island (Islas Floats), which supports a small community of Uros Indians. This is a man-made island built from reeds that has maintained traditional ways of life since the Inca era. What travelers see about tours to the islands is designed for tourism, but it offers a glimpse into the traditional way of life. The floating islands are only a very small part of the attraction of Lake Titicaca, with real charm situated in small villages in the hills along the coast of Titicaca and on the main islands of Isla Taquile and Isla Amantani.

5. Colca Canyon

The Colca Gorge region has been inhabited for thousands of years and is home to Collagua, Cabana, and finally the Incas. The stone terraces along the canyon wall date back to 800 AD and are still used today.

The canyon is about a four hour drive from Arequipa. Day trips to the canyon are available from Arequipa but two or more days are recommended given the driving time involved in accessing the canyon. In addition to looking at the canyon, there are also hot springs, churches, villages and Inca ruins to explore. Condors are also a big attraction at Colca Canyon as they float past cliff walls.                       

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