10 Reasons To Add Peru To Your Travel Wish List
Peru is the ideal destination for those travellers looking for an adventure that offers a little bit of everything, from ancient ruins, world class dining, a vibrant culture, diverse scenery and boundless opportunities for adventure.
While in Peru, there is no shortage of places to visit and epic experiences to be had from hiking the famous Inca Trail, watching Andean Condors soar above the Colca Canyon, browsing through local markets with colourful indigenous handicrafts, being memorized by the sheer magnitude of Machu Picchu, canoeing down a river in the Amazon rainforest, dining in world-class restaurants, visiting floating islands in Lake Titicaca, the list goes on and on.
We guarantee you won’t get bored.
Here are 10 reasons (in our opinion) why you should be adding Peru to the top of your travel wish list.
10 Reasons To Visit Peru
1. The City of Cuzco.
Cuzco, the former capital of the Inca Empire, is the gateway to the Sacred Valley and the Inca Trail, but the city itself is well worth visiting. The city boasts several beautiful boutique hotels, restaurants and bars, local markets selling indigenous handicrafts, museums from the history of the country to the coca museum, city squares bustling with activity, the Incan ruins of Sacsayhuaman overlooking the city, and several historic cathedrals. Explore on foot the cobblestone streets of Cuzco and get lost in the architecture, an interesting blend of old and new. Make sure to take it easy upon arrival in Cuzco. It is at high altitude located at 3,350 meters / 10,988 feet.
2. Colca Canyon.
The Colca Canyon, considered one of the world’s deepest canyons, is the perfect place for hiking enthusiasts. Spend your days hiking the mountainous trails with views of the canyon, terraced agricultural fields and green valleys. Keep an eye out for the majestic Andean Condor, the world’s largest flying bird, soaring in the skies above. Soak your sore muscles in one of the area’s many natural hot springs and admire the night sky.
3. Lake Titicaca.
Lake Titicaca is a deep freshwater lake in the Andes Mountains that borders Peru and Bolivia. It is the world’s highest navigable body of water and is reputed to be the birthplace of the Incas. It is the perfect place to navigate by boat the blue waters visiting the floating Uros Islands constructed out of reeds and Isla Taquile, a small island that has remained virtually unchanged over the years. Spend the night and enjoy views of the lake and the snow-capped mountains.
4. Vibrant Culture.
Peru has an extremely vibrant culture that is a feast for the senses. Watch Quechua weavers at work creating brightly coloured textiles. Listen to the ringing of the bells on the Cusco Cathedral while enjoying a coffee and people-watching in the city square. Smell the fragrant aroma of traditional spices while taking a cooking class in Cuzco and afterwards, taste the fruit of your labours. Feel the softness of alpaca sweaters while shopping in a bustling local market. Everywhere you look in Peru the culture is rich and vibrant and the people are extremely friendly and hospitable.
5. Delicious Food.
In recent years, Peru has increasingly become known as a hot spot for foodies to visit and has been named the World’s Leading Culinary Destination. There are several Michelin star restaurants in Lima serving typical Peruvian cuisine with each chef creating their own innovative spin on it. If fancy is not your thing, don’t worry, the food is incredible everywhere. It is fresh, packed with flavour and diverse. Some must-try dishes include ceviche, lomo saltado (beef), and stuffed avocados. For those more adventurous, try cuy (guinea pig) or an alpaca steak. Finish all this off with a pisco sour, the national drink of Peru.
6. The Amazon Rainforest.
The Amazon Rainforest in Peru is teeming with biodiversity and is a great place to view wildlife and a wide variety of unique flower and plant species. Start your adventure in the river town of Puerto Maldonado. From here, jump in a dug out canoe and float down a river to a secluded and rustic lodge. While on the river, look out for caimans, otters and capybaras (the world’s largest rodents) that congregate along the shoreline. Enjoy daily walks keeping an eye out for monkeys, ocelots and toucans. Listen to the sounds of the jungle at night while relaxing at your lodge with a good book.
7. Awesome Hiking.
There are several regions in Peru that are ideal for a hiking vacation such as the Sacred Valley, the Colca Canyon (mentioned above) or the Cordillera Blanca. In the Sacred Valley, hike the 4-day Lares Trail which provides a much quieter experience compared to the famous Inca Trail. The Lares Trail has dramatic scenery with snow capped mountains and emerald green lakes. You also pass through small villages to see how the locals live and get an insight into their culture. The Cordillera Blanca, located in the North of the country near the town of Huaraz, is renowned for its glaciers, lakes and some of the tallest mountains in Peru. There are hundreds of trails to choose from and there is a good chance you will have the hiking trails to yourself.
8. Interesting History.
The history of Peru is extremely rich and there are many sights of interest worth visiting throughout the country. Chances are if you are going to Peru, you are most likely planning to visit Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas. However, there are others places worth checking out as well. These include the town of Ollantaytambo and its fortress on the hill, the Salt Mines of Maras in the Sacred Valley, the ancient Inca citadel of Sacsayhuaman overlooking Cuzco, the mysterious Nazca Lines, and the fascinating architecture of the historic central district of Lima.
9. The Biodiversity.
Peru is considered one of the most diverse countries in the world due to its rich biodiversity. The landscape is extremely varied from the towering Andes Mountains, the Pacific Ocean, the Amazon rainforest, the Sechura Desert, Lake Titicaca, and the Colca Canyon (to name a few). Depending where you are in the country, there is also a good chance of seeing wildlife such as jaguars, alpacas, caimans and scarlet macaws.
Shopping in Peru can be an overwhelming experience. It is a sensory overload. Every town in Peru seems to have a local market full of brightly coloured textiles, pottery, ornate jewelry, wooden carvings, woollen alpaca sweaters and traditional spices. You will want to buy everything. Make sure before buying anything you understand the nuances and good practices of bartering. It will make your shopping experience more enjoyable.