Trip to Peru: Places you should not miss
6 October, 2016
Looking at some old photos, we have realized how much we like Peru, and we want to give you some ideas on what you can do and see there, if you’re thinking of visiting the country. These are five ideas that can help you build a very interesting itinerary that combines nature, archeology, history, beaches and cuisine, to make your trip to Peru an unforgettable experience. It sounds good, right? Well, here we go.
These are our five essential stops you must do in your trip to Peru.
Cuzco – Machu Picchu – Inca Trail
We have to start with Cuzco… Known as “The Archaeological Capital of America”; It is the most visited tourist spot in Peru. Cuzco was the capital of the Inca Empire back in time and also the largest city of it, it was then taken by the Spanish conquistadors. In its streets you can see a peculiar architecture in which the Inca style fuse with the Spanish.
From there, you reach the mystical and enigmatic Machu Picchu, the sacred city of the Incas. The conquistadors never knew it and it was shown to Western culture in 1911. You can reach it by walking the Inca Trail (watch out for altitude sickness) or by train hiring one of the many tours that are available in any of the local travel agencies in Cuzco.
Cuzco and Machu Picchu, are World Heritage because of the beauty and, especially, the historical value of both places. From there you can also access the Sacred Valley, also called Choquequirao. Everything will depend on the time you have on your trip to Peru.
Arequipa and Colca Valley
The historic center of Arequipa, which is also known as the “White City”, is a World Heritage Site because of the architecture of its beautiful white ashlar colonial buildings. If you decide to go there, you can not miss the monastery of Santa Catalina, a must visit and, also, expensive. Other essential visits are the Cathedral and Plaza de Armas.
From Arequipa you can visit the Colca Valley and the Colca Canyon. There you will find mountains, snow-capped peaks and rivers, where you can practice many adventure sports. In addition, these two places are a perfect destination to explore colonial monuments, talk with people and make outdoor tourism.
If you are a food lover you can also enjoy food and taste typical dishes like Ocopa, the Cauche or shrimp chupe.
Lake Titicaca and Puno
You can find Puno on the shores of Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world. This town is right in the Andes and surrounded by a wild nature and breathtaking scenery.
If you are adventurous, from Puno you can also take less conventional routes and visit many islands, live and spend the night with native communities and be in touch with nature at its purest.
It is a large metropolis, also the political, financial and gastronomic capital of Peru. Almost every visitor enters the country through this city but not many people take the time to know it. If you decide to spend a day in the city, you can enjoy the historic center and its beautiful colonial buildings declared Cultural Heritage by UNESCO. The church of the Merced, the Plaza de Armas or the Archbishop’s Palace are a must, and the change of guard at 17.00h at the Presidential Residence is also interesting to see.
Other attractions are the district of Barranco, the Parque del Amor, and if it’s hot, the beach!
One of the best things about Lima is that you can make a getaway to the beach to cool off and enjoy a while. If you’re a surfer, maybe you can get close to beaches that are further south to catch some waves.
Besides walking and visit monuments, Lima offers a variety of cultural and folk shows and plenty of bars and restaurants to enjoy the famous Peruvian cuisine. You can also enjoy cheaper traditional dishes in the stalls or buy souvenirs in the craft markets.
If you love nature, the Paracas Reserve and the Ballestas Islands is perfect for you. You will probably stay in the small fishing village called Paracas and there you can relax or do water sports like surfing, diving or fishing.
From the village you can also make a visit to the Paracas Reserve to meet its most beautiful spots such as the Cathedral, which is a rock that looks similar to the shape of a cathedral, or the beaches Supay or Playa Roja.
Also from the village you can make a day trip to the Ballestas Islands and enjoy the scenery and see a few animals such as cormorants, sea lions and Humboldt penguins among others.
From Paracas, towards Nazca, you can visit the Oasis and dunes of Huacachina. Tours can be arranged in Ica or Huacachina, getting you to know the oasis and then going through the dunes and sandboarding, sort of like skying on sand. Being such big fans of deserts as we are, this is something we recommend doing not matter what. It’s an experience you will love (that’s our personal bet 🙂 ).
And what about the Nazca lines? These lines were discovered in the mid-twentieth century and were made many centuries ago with spectacular precision.
Some studies claim that these lines represent the world’s largest calendar. It has also been proven that the people of Nazca had used this astronomical area to know when did each season start, what was the best time to harvest and when the rains were beginning…
And best of all is that you can fly over by hiring any of the tours offered by local travel agencies. Surely this is something that you will remember all your life. I do not know why but that happened to us. I think I remember perfectly all the micro-flights I’ve done in my travels :).
Well, that’s all! We know that we missed some spectacular spots such as the city of Trujillo or the area of Iquitos and the Amazon: In fact, if what you are looking for is wild nature and adventure and to explore the jungle for a while, this is an area you can not miss. The fauna and flora are awesome, and you can also observe many native birds.
In all these places there are tours and excursions you can share with other travelers to save some money, and Tripsaround can help you find those people. So that’s it, download the app and start saving.
We hope you find this information useful. Of course any comment is welcome.
Until next post in Tripsaround.