18 Places to visit in peru – Top Tourist Attractions in Peru
Capital of Peru – Lima city is the capital of Peru.
Peru Currency – Sol is the currency of Peru.
Where is Peru – Peru, a nation situated away in the center of South America.
Peru, a nation situated away in the center of South America, invites with its varied landscapes, fascinating history and lively culture. Discover the nation’s diverse landscape, spanning from lush Amazon rainforests to ancient ruins, all just waiting to be discovered.
Peru invites visitors to set out on an adventure of discovery with its eclectic mix of historic sites, Incredible landscapes and energetic cities. For those who are lucky enough to experience its captivating landscapes, each destination reveals a new chapter in Peru’s rich weaving. Whatever your interests—adventure, culture or cuisine—Peru offers a fully immersive experience that will stick with you long after your trip is over. Let’s embark on a journey through 18 Places to visit in peru that promise an unforgettable adventure.
Table of Contents
1. Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu, often referred to as the “Lost City of the Incas,” was built in the 15th century at the peak of the Inca Empire. Academic speculation about its function ranges from a royal estate to a hallowed ceremonial site. Its meticulous construction, which includes terraced fields, ceremonial plazas and intricate stone masonry, demonstrates the advanced engineering abilities of the Inca people.
The Intihuatana stone and the Temple of the Sun, two of Machu Picchu’s most famous buildings, are examples of the Incas’ close relationship with astronomy and the natural world. Famous as the “Hitching Post of the Sun,” the Intihuatana stone functioned as a celestial calendar and the Temple of the Sun was oriented in accordance with the sun’s position on the solstices.
Through a height of roughly 2,430 meters (7,970 feet), Machu Picchu provides sweeping views of the Andes mountain range. The site appears to emerge from the clouds on misty mornings, adding to the surreal atmosphere created by the contrast of old stone structures and lush green peaks.
Important Information: To make the most of your Machu Picchu experience, plan your visit during the dry season (May to October) when the weather is more predictable. Consider hiring a knowledgeable guide to provide insights into the site’s history and significance. Additionally, secure your entrance tickets and, if embarking on the Inca Trail, make reservations well in advance.
2. Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain
Rainbow Mountain owes its kaleidoscopic appearance to a combination of unique geological factors. The interaction of several minerals, such as iron, sulfur and calcium carbonate, has created an astounding spectrum of colors on the mountainside. Vibrant reds and deep purples blend together to create a mountain that looks like a natural painting cast in the Andean sun.
A journey to Rainbow Mountain, which is located at a height of more than 5,000 meters (16,404 feet) above sea level, will transport you to the Andes’ highest point. Trekkers will typically start their journey in the village of Pitumarca and travel through beautiful scenery, quaint towns and herds of llamas and alpacas.
The hike up Rainbow Mountain is a demanding but worthwhile experience. Hikers travel through a variety of environments, such as rocky hillsides, meadows and alpine deserts. The environment at high altitudes adds a sense of adventure, but to fully enjoy the journey, acclimatization and a steady pace are required.
Best Times to Visit: While Rainbow Mountain is accessible throughout the year, the dry season (May to October) is generally considered the best time to visit. During these months, the weather is more predictable, offering clearer views of the colorful landscapes. It’s essential to pack accordingly, with layers to accommodate temperature variations and protection against high-altitude sun exposure.
Lima’s colonial architecture, historic sites and UNESCO World Heritage Sites all contribute to the city’s rich historical tapestry. Discover the well-preserved colonial buildings in the historic center, which include the magnificent Government Palace and the imposing Plaza Mayor. The city’s landscape is dotted with Baroque-style churches and convents, which add to the city’s historic charm.
If you want to get some of Lima’s contemporary attraction, visit Miraflores, an elegant coastal neighborhood. Explore along the charming Malecón, a boardwalk that stretches out over a cliff and provides sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean. In addition to being a center for modern art, fashionable shopping and cutting-edge dining, Miraflores is well-liked by both locals and tourists.
Lima has earned its reputation as the culinary capital of South America, and rightly so. The city’s food preparation is an attractive blend of regional ingredients, global inspirations and cutting-edge preparation methods. Take a culinary adventure at one of the many internationally recognized restaurants, where dishes like ceviche, anticuchos and causa are elevated to culinary art or visit the local markets such as Surquillo.
Visit the Larco Museum to learn about the pre-Columbian history of Peru. This museum, which is housed in an 18th-century mansion, features a vast collection of artifacts, including textiles, ceramics and gold and silver objects. The lush gardens of the museum offer a peaceful environment in which to consider the ancient civilizations that formerly flourished in the area.
Lima’s bohemian Barranco neighborhood has a laid-back, creative vibe. Explore its vibrant streets decked with street art, go to museums and art galleries and take in the vibrant nightlife. A must-see is the Bridge of Sighs, Puente de los Suspiros, which provides incredible views of the Pacific Ocean.
4. Nazca Lines
The Nazca Lines are enormous geoglyphs, complex designs that range from simple lines to intricate figures of animals, plants and geometric shapes. They are more than just drawings on the desert floor. Their size and the fact that these enormous drawings are best viewed from above are what really amaze me about them. Fly over the Nazca Desert for a breathtaking view of these mysterious formations in all their grandeur.
The Nazca Lines, which date from 500 BCE to 500 CE, have long puzzled scientists. One of archaeology’s biggest mysteries is still the meaning behind these geoglyphs. While some theories propose religious or ritualistic purposes, others suggest astronomical significance. The designs’ accuracy and correspondence with heavenly occurrences add even more layers of intrigue.
The geoglyphs that make up the Nazca Lines are varied and each has an own charm. The Hummingbird, Spider, Condor and the mysterious Astronaut are among the famous characters. The Nazca people had a close relationship with the natural world and a detailed knowledge of the desert landscape, as evidenced by these geoglyphs.
5. Colca Canyon
Colca Canyon is a geological wonder, plunging to depths twice that of the Grand Canyon in the United States. The uncontrolled landscape, sculpted over millions of years by the Colca River, offers an incredible view of terraced fields, lush oases and towering cliffs. At sunrise and sunset, the dramatic interplay of light and shadow highlights the contours of the canyon, producing an amazing view.
One of the main attractions of Colca Canyon is the opportunity to witness the majestic Andean condor in flight. These massive birds soar effortlessly on the thermals rising from the depths of the canyon, their wingspans reaching over three meters. An amazing vantage point for this amazing show is the Cruz del Condor viewpoint.
Traditional Andean villages and terraced fields of agriculture dot the canyon. A glimpse of the local way of life can be had in towns like Chivay and Cabanaconde, where Quechua customs are still highly prevalent. La Calera’s thermal springs offer a tranquil haven where guests can decompress in front of the untamed splendor of the canyon.
Colca Canyon has a variety of hiking trails for all skill levels, so it’s perfect for adventure seekers. Trekking through remote villages and into the heart of the canyon, the well-known Colca Canyon trek showcases the region’s diverse flora and fauna. There is a trail suitable for all skill levels, from experienced hikers to leisurely walkers.
6. Lake Titicaca
Lake Titicaca, at an elevation of over 3,800 meters (12,500 feet), captivates with its crystal-clear blue waters and expansive vistas of the surrounding mountains. Through a surface area of over 8,000 square kilometers, the lake is a biological paradise with a wide variety of plants and animals.
The Uros Islands are a unique and bizarre sight, floating above the surface of Lake Titicaca and made entirely of totora reeds. The Uros people, who have lived according to their traditional ways for centuries, are the citizens of these man-made islands. By taking a boat tour to these islands, visitors can learn about the ingenuity and tenacity of the Uros people.
Taquile Island, a cultural treasure in the center of Lake Titicaca, entices with its terraced hillsides and colorful textile customs. The islanders extend a cordial welcome to guests and are well-known for their beautiful handwoven fabrics. Take a leisurely stroll through the small towns that are adorned with traditional agricultural terraces from the pre-Incan and Incan periods and become fully immersed in the history of the Quechua-speaking locals.
Enjoy the warmth of Andean hospitality, take part in traditional ceremonies and savor authentic Peruvian cuisine while surrounded by the incredible beauty of Lake Titicaca by staying with local families on Amantani Island, which offers an immersive cultural experience.
Practical Tips: When visiting Lake Titicaca, it’s essential to acclimatize to the high altitude gradually. Respect local customs and traditions and be mindful of the delicate ecosystems. Travelers should also consider exploring both the Peruvian and Bolivian sides of the lake to gain a comprehensive understanding of its cultural and natural diversity.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Arequipa’s historic center is a veritable gold mine of colonial-era architecture. One of the best examples of Spanish colonial architecture is the city inside a city, the Santa Catalina Monastery. A window into the city’s religious and historical past is provided by the monastery, with its colorful facade, winding lanes and magnificent courtyards.
The Plaza de Armas, a charming square encircled by colonial buildings and the imposing Cathedral of Arequipa, is located in the center of the city. Through the majestic Misti Volcano in the background and palm trees all around the plaza is a bustling center where residents and tourists come together to enjoy the ambience.
The unique topography of Arequipa is influenced by the towering Misti Volcano, which is a component of the Pacific Ring of Fire. Adventurers can hike through the foothills and even try to climb the volcano to get a bird’s-eye perspective of the surrounding terrain.
The cuisine of Arequipa is well-known in all of Peru. Enjoy the signature alpaca meat dishes, arequipeña soup and stuffed spicy peppers known as rocoto relleno. The city’s multicultural past is reflected in the varied culinary scene, which draws flavors from indigenous, Spanish and Afro-Peruvian cuisines.
A calm lagoon with emerald waters that mirror the surrounding palm trees and desert scenery is located in the center of Huacachina. The lagoon is thought to have healing properties and is said to have mythical origins. Tourists can unwind by the water’s edge and enjoy the peace by taking a leisurely boat ride.
Huacachina is renowned for its thrilling dune buggy rides that take you on a rollercoaster-like journey through the towering sand dunes that encircle the oasis. Experience the rush of adrenaline as expert drivers handle the sharp incline, offering the views of vast desert and a heart-pounding experience.
Sandboarding down the dunes is an absolute must for anyone looking for an extra rush of adrenaline. Huacachina’s dunes offer a range of slopes appropriate for all skill levels, regardless of experience level. Admire the size of the surrounding desert as you glide down the golden slopes with the wind in your hair.
Huacachina, in spite of its small size, has a variety of lodging choices, ranging from quaint boutique hotels to rugged hostels. Many lodging options offer expansive views of the dunes, enabling visitors to awaken to the ethereal splendor of the desert oasis.
9. Amazon Rainforest
The Amazon Rainforest, often referred to as the “Lungs of the Earth,” is a sprawling, mystical expanse of biodiversity that captivates the imagination of all who venture into its depths. Spanning across several South American countries, including Brazil, Peru, Colombia and others, the Amazon Rainforest is a treasure trove of ecological wonders.
The Amazon Rainforest is home to an unparalleled diversity of flora and fauna. It supports an astounding variety of life with an estimated 390 billion individual trees, representing approximately 16,000 different species. The Amazon is a living, breathing example of the magnificence of nature’s works, home to unusual plant species with unidentified therapeutic uses as well as elusive jaguars and colorful macaws.
The second-longest river in the world, the powerful Amazon, flows through the center of the rainforest, shaping its topography and preserving its astounding biodiversity. Taking a boat ride down the river allows visitors to experience the rhythmic flow of life that depends on its waters. These watery adventures are enhanced by experiences with pink river dolphins and the attracting sounds of the rainforest.
Adventurers can reach the treetops to fully appreciate the Amazon Rainforest’s vastness. Visitors can experience a thrilling viewpoint by gliding through the forest canopy and seeing life as it unfolds in the upper reaches of the trees thanks to canopy walkways and ziplines. This viewpoint gives one a fresh understanding of the complex and interconnection of this ecosystem.
Despite being a representation of abundance in nature, the Amazon is seriously threatened by illegal activity, climate change and deforestation. Discovering the rainforest also raises awareness of the importance of conservation efforts to save this important ecosystem and the consequences that continuous degradation of the rainforest will have for the entire world.
Practical Tips for Visitors: For those planning to explore the Amazon, packing essentials such as lightweight clothing, insect repellent, and a sense of adventure is crucial. It’s also advisable to travel with experienced guides who understand the intricacies of navigating this vast and sometimes challenging environment.
Cusco stands as a testament to the rich tapestry of history woven into its cobblestone streets and ancient structures. Once the capital of the mighty Inca Empire, Cusco seamlessly blends its Inca heritage with colonial charm and a vibrant contemporary culture.
Cusco was the epicenter of the Inca civilization, and remnants of this glorious past are scattered throughout the city. Presenting sweeping views of Cusco is the magnificent Sacsayhuaman, an ancient Inca fortress with enormous stone walls. Explore the enigmatic Qorikancha, which was formerly the most significant temple in the Inca Empire and was devoted to the worship of the sun god.
It is as though you are traveling through time when you stroll through Cusco’s streets. The magnificent Cathedral of Santo Domingo is one of the colonial-era structures encircling the Plaza de Armas, the city’s central plaza. The city’s narrow streets are lined with shops, cafés and artisan markets that invite tourists to experience its lively energy.
Cusco’s markets are a riot of color and life, providing a window into the everyday routines of the people who live there. A flurry of activity, the San Pedro Market offers an array of handcrafted items, traditional textiles and fresh produce. By exploring these markets, tourists can get a sense of the real Andean culture in Cusco.
Cusco’s UNESCO World Heritage status reflects its commitment to preserving its cultural heritage. In order for future generations to continue to be amazed by Cusco’s wonders, efforts must be made to preserve the authenticity of historical sites and promote sustainable tourism.
11. Paracas National Reserve
Paracas National Reserve emerges as a mesmerizing testament to the stark beauty of the desert meeting the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean. This unique ecological sanctuary, often hailed as Peru’s “Little Galapagos,” offers a captivating blend of arid landscapes, diverse wildlife and a rich cultural history.
Paracas is renowned for its dramatic coastal scenery, where rusty-red cliffs meet the cerulean embrace of the Pacific. Numerous plant and animal species find refuge in the reserve’s diverse range of ecosystems, which spans from rich oceanic habitats to arid deserts.
Dubbed the “Galapagos of Peru,” the Ballestas Islands, located just off the coast of Paracas, are a biodiversity hotspot. Animal life abounds on these rocky outcrops, with sea lions, penguins and numerous seabirds among them. A close-up look at these interesting animals against the incredible backdrop of the islands’ natural rock formations can be had on a boat tour.
Engraved into the sandy hillsides of the Paracas Peninsula is the mysterious geoglyph referred to as “El Candelabro” or “The Candelabra.” This enormous figure, which has the appearance of a three-pronged candlestick, gives the surroundings an atmosphere of mystery. Its origin and purpose are still unknown, adding to the mystery and legends of the area.
Paracas is famous for its distinctive red sand beaches, a result of the high iron content in the surrounding rocks. Warm colors and expansive views of Playa Roja and Playa Lagunillas attract tourists, offering an oasis for unwinding and reflection.
Huaraz is a haven for mountain enthusiasts, offering access to two of the most spectacular mountain ranges in the world—the Cordillera Blanca and Cordillera Huayhuash. These ranges captivate both nature lovers and thrill-seekers with their untamed paths, turquoise glacial lakes and snow-capped peaks.
Renowned for its vibrant colors, Laguna 69 is an amazing glacial lake and one of the jewels of the Cordillera Blanca. This natural gem is reached after a strenuous but rewarding hike through incredible high-altitude environment. Here, guests can amazed at the reflection of surrounding peaks in the immaculate waters.
There are many hiking and trekking options in Huaraz that are appropriate for different skill levels. All of the trails, including the Santa Cruz Trek, the Huayhuash Circuit and day hikes to panoramic viewpoints, offer visitors an immersive experience amidst the incredible Andean highlands’ natural beauty.
Chavin de Huantar is a must-visit location for history buffs. The ruins of an ancient Andean civilization can be seen at this archaeological site, which has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Peru’s rich pre-Columbian past can be understood through the elaborate stone carvings and ceremonial plazas of the Chavin civilization.
Lakes of Huascarán National Park are home to the Llanganuco Lakes, Chinancocha and Orconcocha. A peaceful and beautiful scene is created by the lakes’ vibrant blue colors and the surrounding forests’ shades.
13. Manu National Park
Manu National Park stands as a testament to the incredible biodiversity and natural splendor of the rainforest. Spanning over 1.5 million hectares, this UNESCO World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve is not only one of the largest protected areas in the world but also a sanctuary for countless species of flora and fauna.
Manu National Park is well known for its unspoiled natural environment. The park is home to a staggering variety of plant and animal life due to its diverse ecosystems, which range from high-altitude cloud forests to lowland tropical rainforests.
Manu is a botanical paradise with over 15,000 species of plants identified to date, including rare orchids and enormous hardwood trees. Every hike in the park is a botanical adventure because of the diverse flora that results from the park’s varied elevations.
A wildlife enthusiast’s paradise is Manu. There is an amazing variety of wildlife in the park, which includes well-known species like tapirs, giant otters, jaguars and the elusive harpy eagle. It is a veritable ornithologist’s paradise, with over 1,000 bird species visible to birdwatchers.
The park is traversed by the Madre de Dios River, which offers access to unmatched Amazonian experiences. Travelers can take boat rides through the complex system of waterways, seeing wildlife along the riverbank and taking in the peace of the rainforest.
14. Inca Trail, Peru
The Inca Trail is a historic hiking route that winds through the Andes and leads to the exciting Machu Picchu. This 26-mile trail offers more than just a hiking route; it’s a journey through history as it winds through cloud forests and variety of ecosystems.
The UNESCO World Heritage Site, Machu Picchu is the ultimate reward for those who have completed the Inca Trail. You’ll be in wonder of this ancient Incan citadel sitting on a mountain ridge as soon as you emerge from the Sun Gate. Discover the complex stone structures, terraced fields and mystical aura surrounding this archeological marvel.
There are other routes that suit varying tastes, but the traditional Inca Trail usually takes four days. While the one-day trek is ideal for those with limited time, the Salkantay Trek offers a more strenuous and less crowded experience.
An enjoyable and safe trek requires acclimatization to the high altitudes of over 13,000 feet. To acclimate to the altitude and experience the cultural diversity of this ancient city, spend some time in Cusco before traveling.
15. The Sacred Valley
The Sacred Valley is a mystical expanse that weaves together breathtaking landscapes, ancient Inca ruins and vibrant indigenous culture. This sacred region, also known as the Urubamba Valley, is a tapestry of history and natural beauty.
The Andes is a huge mountain range that cradles the ruins of the Inca Empire and the Sacred Valley is the entrance to it. This valley, surrounded by high peaks, serves as a precursor to the incredible views that await visitors traveling to Machu Picchu.
In Pisac, where the lively Pisac Market beckons you to lose yourself in a rainbow of colors, begin your exploration. By showcasing their handcrafted jewelry, textiles and pottery, local artists provide an insight into the rich artistic traditions of the Andean people.
The town of Ollantaytambo, with its historic stone buildings and terraces lining the hillsides, is a living example of an Inca citadel. Ascend the Temple Hill steps to get a broad perspective of the town and the valley below, which is evidence of the Inca civilization’s highly developed engineering abilities.
Thousands of salt pans tumble down the mountainside at the Maras Salt Mines, forming a crystalline white checkerboard. It’s a surreal sight. Discover the age-old techniques for extracting salt that have been handed down through the generations.
Ollantaytambo’s advantageous position wasn’t by accident. The town was vital to the Inca Empire’s defense against possible invaders, acting as a fortress and a center of ceremonial activity. The massive stone terraces that flow down the mountainside are an engineering wonder that demonstrate how well the Incas adapted the environment to suit their needs.
Ollantaytambo is a live Inca citadel, in contrast to many other archaeological sites. You will discover a town that has changed while still paying homage to its historic foundations as you meander through its winding lanes and past its beautifully preserved structures. The Inca people’s descendants live among the ruins of their ancestors, fusing the past and present in a way that is singular.
The Temple Hill, a massive site in the center of Ollantaytambo, enthralls tourists with its enormous stone terraces and complex stonework. A journey into the spiritual and architectural achievements of the Inca is offered by ascending the steps to the summit, which is more than just a physical ascent.
One of Ollantaytambo’s architectural treasures is the Sun Temple, a building honoring the Inca sun god Inti. The Incas had a great respect for celestial forces and a close bond with nature, which is reflected in the carefully carved stone blocks of the temple and the ritual fountains that surround it.
17. La Merced, Peru
La Merced is a gateway to the Amazon rainforest’s extraordinary biodiversity. As you go on guided tours through the surrounding reserves, you’ll be able to take in a kaleidoscope of colors and sounds and discover rare flora and fauna such as vibrant orchids and elusive jungle creatures.
The aromas of traditional Amazonian cuisine and exotic fruits fill the air at the town’s bustling markets, offering a sensory feast. In this jungle haven, interact with amiable locals, savor delicious tropical cuisine and take in the colorful tapestry of daily existence.
La Merced offers heart-pounding activities for thrill-seekers. The surrounding landscapes are a playground for those looking for an exciting experience in the middle of nature, from discovering hidden waterfalls to going river rafting.
Set out on an enthralling voyage down the Amazon River, where boat tours reveal the mysteries of the rivers. See vibrant bird species, meander through meandering tributaries and take in the splendor of the largest tropical rainforest on Earth as you cruise through it.
18. Paron Lake
Parón Lake is one of the highest lakes in the area, situated at a height of more than 4,200 meters (13,780 feet) above sea level. Snow-capped peaks like Pirámide, Chacraraju and Huandoy form an amazing backdrop that evokes the feeling of being in a postcard.
The glaciers high on the neighboring mountains have melted, creating this amazing glacial lake. The lake’s turquoise colors are evidence of the mineral-rich runoff, which produces a dynamic visual display depending on the sun’s angle.
Parón Lake is surprisingly accessible despite being located in a remote area. Arriving at the trailhead after a picturesque drive through Huascarán National Park allows you to witness the lake’s beauty through a moderate trek. Alpine flora adorns the journey itself, offering a taste of the natural wonders to come.
The massive Huandoy Massif, a collection of ambitious peaks rising above 6,000 meters (19,685 feet), is part of the same domain as Parón Lake. The already amazing vista is enhanced in grandeur by the majestic giants’ reflection on the lake’s surface.