Peru offers everything: Inca ruins, breathtaking scenery, beaches, and a vibrant nightlife. No matter what kind of traveler you are, you can always find something to do. In fact, you’ll need to give some thought to your itinerary because there are so many amazing sights to see in Peru.
That’s where we step in to assist you. Here is a selection of our top-recommended destinations in Peru. Peru, a country in western South America, is bordered to the west by Ecuador, to the north by Columbia, and to the east by Brazil. Peru’s long history is reflected in the country’s many ancient cultures.
Top 8 Places To Visit In Peru
There is nothing less than magic at these top 20 Peruvian attractions. Find out what you can expect and how these locations may make your vacation one of a kind.
In this once-great Incan empire, archeological sites play a starring role. See the Inca complex, Sacsayhuaman, and Coricancha while in Cusco, Peru. The Cusco Cathedral, built in the 17th century, and the lively Plaza de Armas, which often plays host to events and festivals, are both worth seeing.
This city in Peru is nestled in the foothills of the Andes. Cusco, which was originally the capital of the Inca Empire, is home to several relics from that time period. The colonial style of Spain may be seen in the buildings here.
2. Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu is a must-see for any visitor to Peru. Famous Inca structures once stood in this area. Hiking and exploring the beautiful remains, which are known all over the world for their breathtaking magnificence, is the finest thing to do here.
This Incan fortress is located in the Peruvian Andes, high above the Urubamba River Valley. After its construction in the 15th century, the Machu Picchu citadel was left abandoned. Most sightseers are drawn to the area because of the dry stone walls.
3. Lake Titicaca
Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable water body in the world, and it is located between Peru and Bolivia. It’s also where you’ll find the incredible man-made Uros Islands, one of Peru’s top tourist attractions.
One of South America’s largest lakes. This area of Peru is also historically significant because it is thought to be the spot where the Inca civilization began. Because of this, a wide range of ruins can be seen in the area.
The fact that so few people visit Caral, an old city that dates back roughly 5,000 years and has been remarkably well preserved, is baffling. This Unesco World Heritage Site, situated in the Supe Valley’s high desert some 3.5 hours’ drive from Lima, predates both ceramic pottery and the Incas.
It marks the beginning of Andean culture, a clear transition from nomadic to urban lifestyles. Urban planning and agricultural techniques of the Norte Chico culture are still evident in the mud-brick amphitheaters, ceremonial rooms, circular plazas, and the remains of six pyramids that can be explored by tourists with the help of a guide.
Kuelap, a walled city in the Amazonas region of northern Peru, has been a fixture on the skyline since the 7th century.
Although being higher in altitude than Machu Picchu and being at least 500 years older than the Inca citadel, the Chachapoyas culture’s (also known as “Cloud Warriors”) fortification is often referred to as the Machu Picchu of the North.
One of the greatest collections of stone ruins in the Americas, the site contains hundreds of circular constructions.
6. The Sacred Valley
The Sacred Valley (Valle Sagrado) is the gateway to Machu Picchu and the heart of the Inca Empire, but many visitors to the area miss out on the many charming villages nestled within the valley that are home to important but less well-known archaeological sites as well as the vibrant cultures of the Peruvian Andes.
Pisac, a hippie hamlet an hour outside of Cusco, is home to an Inca castle on a hill and a thriving handicrafts market. Urubamba, located in the region’s northwest, is a popular destination for thrill-seekers looking to go mountain riding, hiking, or rock climbing. Ollantaytambo, the hamlet next door, is where you’ll find the aptly named Inca fortress.
Huaraz is Peru’s climbing epicenter, defined by Cordillera Blanca, one of the world’s most magnificent mountain ranges. Huaraz is a sleepy adventure town that serves as a jumping off point for a wide variety of exciting outdoor activities. The Cordillera range features verdant valleys, snowy peaks, jade lakes, and pure springs.
It takes seasoned hikers three weeks to climb the 22,205-foot (6768-meter) peak of Huascaran. Day visits to places like Laguna Churup are perfect for those who aren’t quite as daring or who don’t have as much time.
Arequipa is one of Peru’s most beautiful cities, earning the nickname “Peru’s White City” for the prevalence of colonial-era buildings constructed from white volcanic rock (sillar).
The city’s richly colored historical gems, like the 1579 blue and crimson Monastery of Santa Clara and the bright picanteras, are located just beyond the chalky buildings of the main plaza (traditional lunchtime restaurants).
The Ruta del Sillar (Volcanic Rock Road), located on the outskirts of the city within the volcanic ring, details the mining, processing, and everyday life of the people who make use of this resource. Colca Canyon is a popular trekking location in Peru and offers beautiful views of the Andean condor in flight.
Poor Peru. Peru has always been a popular destination for hikers and adventurers, with Lima and Cusco being major draws for tourists and the Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu featuring prominently on bucket lists everywhere.
So that you don’t waste your once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explore the Inca Empire’s birthplace, I have compiled this handy list on the 16 Best Places to Visit in Peru.
There’s a wide variety of landscapes to explore in this beautiful region, from the dust-kicking pampas where the Nazca Lines carve through the earth to the wind-howling summits of the towering Andes and the glistening beaches of Mancora in the north.