The “Land of the Incas”, Peru is famous for its ancient sites, the Amazon rainforest, the Andes mountains, its cities and a range of natural and historical gems that you can not find anywhere else. Its rich history is dominated by the Inca Empire and Spanish Colonization. Its spectacular natural beauty with its historical sites make Peru one of the top destinations to visit in the world. Here are the 10 most Amazing Places You Need To Visit In Peru.
1. Puno – Isla Taquile – Uros Floating Islands:
Located on Lake Titicaca, Puno is considered Peru’s “folkloric capital,” because of its vibrant and colourful traditional festivals. The Andean baroque-style Puno Cathedral, the Yavari and the Lake Titicaca which is the world’s highest navigable body of water and one of the largest lakes, are its top attraction. Apart from its picturesque hillside, the Uros Floating Islands are one of the best things to explore in Puno. The Lake Titicaca is home to over 70 man-made islands known as Uros Floating Islands. The islands are crated out of buoyant totora reeds and the Uros people live on them in traditional reed houses.
Another island on Lake Titicaca, Taquile Island is home to 2,200 people. The island is also known as “island of the knitting men” because of the men on the island knit & weave local textiles. From Taquile Island, you can go on to visit the Isla Amantani. Both are very beautiful offering stunning views.
2. Ica and Huacachina:
If you want to explore something different than usual then the desert oasis and the tiny village Huacachina is a perfect destination. Surrounded by sand dunes, Huacachina has the green water Huacachina Lagoon, ringed by palm trees and resorts. The sport of sandboarding is very popular here because of the large sand dunes. Ica has a year-round sunny and dry climate and attractions including Plaza de Armas, Ica Regional Museum and Lord of Luren church.
3. Trujillo – Huanchaco – Chan Chan
Located near the Pacific Coast, Trujillo was founded in 1534. The historical city is known for the nation’s traditional dance, marinera. It has many attractions including the grand Trujillo Cathedral, the blue Casa Urquiaga, the Iturregui Palace. Located in the town of Trujillo, Huanchaco is a popular vacation spot, known for its surf breaks, its caballitos de totora and its ceviche. The ancient site of Chan Chan is located near Trujillo. Before falling to the Incas, the pre-Colombian city was a seat of the ancient Chimú civilization. The vast complex features citadels, Tschudi Palace, temples, plazas, The Museo de Sitio Chan Chan and cemeteries.
4. Nazca Desert:
The Nazca Desert is mostly known for the Nazca Lines. Located in southern Peru, the lines are a group of pre-Columbian geoglyphs carved into the desert sand. The lines create 300 different figures, including animals and plants across an area of 1,000 sq. kilometers. You can see the lines from the top of the surrounding hills. The mysterious Nazca lines were by planes flying over the area in the 1920s. Cantalloc Aqueducts and Chauchilla Cemetery are few of the other attractions in Nazca.
Peru’s largest city not reachable by road, Iquitos is known as the gateway to the northern Amazon. If you want to visit this unique city than you need to hop on a boat or a plane. Butterfly farms, animal orphanages and protected nature reserves dot the river. The city’s Belén district and its major open-air street market and rustic stilt houses are popular attractions. Its main square, Plaza de Armas is surrounded by European-influenced buildings. The city offers a range of activities for its travellers.
6. Lima & Barranco:
Peru’s capital city lying on the Pacific is a sprawling metropolis with an architectural blend of pre-Hispanic, colonial and modern infrastructure. With a rich history and exceptional food, Lima also offers a vibrant culture and lively nightlife and a range of places to explore. The city is dotted with old churches, monasteries, Spanish palaces and of course its beaches are its top attractions. The Plaza de Armas, Catacombs at the Convent of San Francisco, old Lima Centro are few of the attractions you should visit.
Barranco has a reputation for being Lima’s most romantic and bohemian district. It was home to many of Peru’s leading artists, musicians, designers and photographers. The walls are of the city are filled with street art, and the buildings are bright and colourful. It has galleries, museums, and many historical places to explore.
7. Sacred Valley – The Inca Trail – Machu Picchu
Situated in Peru’s Andean highlands, the Sacred Valley is Peru featured ruins of ancient Incan temples & other structures between mountains. It was the heart of the Inca Empire. With the special geographical and climatic qualities, numerous archaeological remains and villages, this site is a must-visit place in Peru. Located close to the Sacred Valley, Cusco and the ancient city of Machu Picchu has many trails in between. The Inca trail is the most popular trail that terminates at Machu Picchu. Located above the Urubamba River valley, Machu Picchu is an Incan citadel set high in the Andes Mountains. The mysterious place is renowned for its advanced dry-stone walls.
8. The Cusco Region:
Once the capital of the Inca Empire, Cusco is now one of the most popular places to visit in Peru. The city is known for its archaeological remains and Spanish colonial architecture. The Plaza de Armas and the Santo Domingo Convent are two of its most famous attractions. But apart from the city, Cusco has a lot more to offers. The regions features of the most spectacular sites in Peru. Salinas de Maras, Saqsaywaman, the Manu Rainforest and the Rainbow Mountain are just a few of its attractions. The Huchuy Qosqo Trek is a great way to explore or just walking through the lanes of the city, exploring the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
9. Maras – Pisac – Urubamba
Located near the Cusco city, in the Sacred Valley, Maras is one of the most unique villages in Peru. The village is known for the Maras Salt Mines. The salt pools dot the hillside. These salt pools can be dated back to Incan times. From the top of the surrounded hills, those salt pools look incredible. A series of concentric terraces, snow-capped Urubamba mountain range and a lot of scenic trails, Maras is a must-visit in Peru. Also located in the Sacred Valley region, Pisac and Urubamba are both known for their historical sites. Lively handicrafts market in the main square of Pisac and the Pisac Archaeological Park, the Intihuatana and Quitamayo gorge are Pisac’s best attractions. Urubamba on the Urubamba River is also a must-visit.
10. Huaraz & Huascarán National Park:
Located in the Callejón de Huaylas valley, Huaraz is home to the snow-capped peaks of the Cordillera Blanca range and the Huascarán National Park. The national park is home to Andean condors, jaguars as well as Peru’s tallest mountain, Huarascán and more than 400 lakes. The stunning Laguna 69 is known for its stunning blue color. The park is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site and a must-visit in Peru. Huaraz is perfect for outdoor adventures.