Thinking about traveling to Peru? Well, you already know that Machu Picchu is our must-see, famed archaeological site, but where else should you go in Peru? Even experienced travelers find it challenging to plan a trip to Peru - there is so much to see! We have compiled a list of our top destinations to ensure that your trip to Peru is one you will never forget.
5 Top Destinations Beyond Cusco & Machu Picchu in Peru
You will most likely fly in and out of Lima, and we encourage you to spend a few days to explore our vibrant capital city. Explore the famed colonial churches, take a walk along Playa Redondo and watch the local surfers catch waves. Be sure to indulge in some lomo saltado and pisco sours at any of our many famed restaurants. Peru has been awarded ‘The Best Culinary Destination in the World’ at the World Travel Awards (the Oscars of tourism) for the six years in row. We promise that, ten years from today, you will remember raw fish ceviche as much as you remember Cusco. We're partial to all things Amazon, so our favorite Lima restaurant is Amaz, featuring fare from the jungle !
Amazonian fare served at the restaurant Amaz, in Lima.
2. Lake Titicaca
The largest lake in South America, and the highest navigable body of water, Lake Titicaca, is located half in Peru and half in Bolivia. The main attraction are the man-made islands constructed by the Uros people, over 40 which float in the Lake. We recommend visiting the island of Amantani, which is off the main tourist track. The wonderful Isla Suasi hotel can be accessed by way of Amantani and its one of our favorite places!
The town located in the high Andes has been referred to as ‘Peru’s Adventure Capital.’ Hikers will be awed by beautiful snow capped peaks and turquoise lakes. Huaraz sits at 3000 meters (9800 feet) of altitude, so visitors should be factor in acclimatization time!
Huaraz can act as a jumping off point for multi-day trekking tours or a hub for multiple day hikes. Our favorite is the nine day Huayhuash trek - if you can’t do the full nine days, hire Miguel Lopez to organize the trek and tell him to lead to you up to Mitucocha. It will take a total of four days - this will allow you to see the highlights. And, be sure to have some choclo con queso (Andean corn with goat cheese) at Conococha.
Views from the Huayhuash trek in the Andes.
Nazca is famous for the eponymous lines - it is worth splurging to see the lines from above, and puzzling over how the ancient Nazca people were able to create these enduring geoglyphs. When in Nazca, visitors can also visit sand dunes called Cerro Blanco and take advantage of the super dark sky to stargaze. Our tip: consider using the quaint town of Paracas as your jumping off point to view the lines.
Nazca lines, seen from above.
5. The Amazon
Sure, we’re a little bias - but the Peruvian Amazon is truly one of the most spectacular corners of the planet. Peru is one of the last great remaining wildernesses on the planet, especially our vast Amazonian forests (did you know: over 60% of our land area is in Amazonia). Guests can explore our hectares upon hectares of pure virgin forest and enjoy unbeatable wildlife sightings including jaguar, peccaries and colourful macaws. The Amazon is also home to indigenous groups - one of which, the Ese Eja, Rainforest Expeditions partners with. This means that our guests at Posada Amazonas, can experience daily life from the Ese Eja perspective, which includes fishing and cooking. Rainforest Expeditions is proud to support scientists learning about the Amazon - for our guests this is a true highlight. When visiting Refugio Amazonas, guests can see the harpy eagle nest. At Tambopata Research Center, guests can chat with macaw scientists at the bar.
Jaguar spotted at Tambopata Research Center.
As you can see - there is a lot to see in Peru! Have we convinced you to add the Amazon to your Peruvian itinerary? Even if you're just beginning to dream of your trip to Peru, click here to chat with one of our Rainforest Experts. The sooner you get in touch with one of our Rainforest Experts, the sooner we can help you find great travel deal.
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