6 Best Places To Visit In Peru

Peru. It’s beautiful and diverse nature makes it the perfect destination for any adventure goer. Mysterious landscapes, wild Amazon jungles and soaring Andes mountains , Peru harbours bucket-list adventures and experiences beyond your imagination. 

Understandably, most travellers come to visit the country’s most famous sites, such as the extraordinary ruins of Machu Picchu (UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World) and the Rainbow Mountains. These breathtaking sites have appeared in almost every adventure brochure and travel book ever published, and it’s easy to see why.

However, sitting in the shadows of those fascinating attractions, is the real, authentic Peru. Once you have a ticked off the bucket-list moments on Machu Picchu and the Rainbow Mountains, it is time to to fall in love with the country’s traditions. Wind your way through lost jungle-clad civilizations that once gave life to the Amazon, explore their rare and diverse wildlife, soak in the history of Lima and Cusco or immerse yourselves in the idigenous culture and traditional ways on Lake Titicaca. 

Whether you’re looking for a true mountain adventure, a cultured escape with a sprinkle of hiking, or an educated history lesson diving into the country’s ancient traditions and idiginous ways, Peru will undoubtedly deliver with open arms.

However, before we dive into the must-see tourist attractions in Tanzania, first we must cover the important “essentials”.

Essentials

When to Travel

Peru’s climate is extremely varied and dependent on where you go in the country. As a result, it’s difficult to say when the best time to travel is. If you’re going to the desert coast, expect it to be very hot in December to March and cooler from April to November.

If you are itching to explore their mountains and the jungles (including Machu Picchu), the best time to visit is just after the wet season = May – September..

Please note that the trails to Machu Picchu are closed in February when it rains the most, while the trail is at its busiest from June to August.  If you do wish to visit during these months, please take into consideration that Inca Trail permits sell out extremely quickly.

 

Visa Requirements

At the time of writing, citizens of Australia, USA, UK,, Canada, Germany, New Zealand and South Africa do not currently require a visa for Peru. On arrival you’re normally given permission to stay for up to 90 days. 

However, You may need to show your return ticket upon arrival and / or complete a landing card upon arrival. What’s more, you’re staying for  longer than 90 days then you’ll need to apply for a visa before travelling.

For the most up to date information on visa requirements, we recommend you contact the Peruvian embassy in your country or visit (for UK citizens): https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/peru/entry-requirements

WHAT ARE THE NATIONAL LANGUAGES?

Spanish, Quechua and Aymara

WHAT IS THE CURRENCY?

Sol (Peruvian)

TIMEZONE

Peru’s timezone is GMT -05:00

The Must-See Attractions and Destinations in Peru

1. Cusco & The Sacred Valley

Located in the Southern Sierras, Cusco is the original seat of power for the powerful Inca empire and a now sits as one of the most important UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the continent. Today, it holds the title of the archaeological capital of the Americas and is one of Peru’s most-visited destinations. Offering easy access to Machu Picchu and the incredible Sacred Valley of the Incas, Cusco is a must do.

From its Inca, Quechu culture and 16th century colonial architecture, to its narrow streets and colourful locals, this incredible city has a romantic vibe with a distinct European feel (thanks to its Spainish influence). Its colonial architecture, craft markets, museums, and art galleries are outstanding; making it the perfect spot for those wanting to learn about the traditional Peruvian culture.

Cusco’s main square, the Plaza de Armas, is perhaps the city’s most iconic site, while the awe-inspiring Cusco Cathedral that sits on periphery of the square is a close second. Archeological relics, artifacts, and colonial works of art are displayed within the Cathedreal, so you do not want to miss this.

On its boarders, mountains are etched with trekking routes and stunning hot springs. Hidden amongst these mountains quietly sits is the Sacred valley – a region so fertile that the Inca deemed it sacred. As well as bursting with crops, it is a treasure trove of historic sites. The most famous sites is the terraces of Pisac. In Pisac you can see religious, residential, agricultural and military Inca architecture all in one place. Incredible. 

Whats more, some of the most popular activities here are adventure-based – from trekking and rafting to rock climbing. In contrast, the towns of Yucay and Urubamba are fast becoming a hub for spiritual relaxation and meditation. This breathtaking valley offers gorgeous colonial towns, remote villages, colorful markets, and fascinating Incan sites, including the citadels of Chinchero and Ollantaytambo.

Finally, if you have time, check out Choquequirao. Choquequirao boasts some blissfully uncrowded ruins that are deemed to be giving Machu Picchu a run for its money.

 

2. Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu along is the main attraction that drives most people to visit Peru. Considered one of the new 7 Wonders of the World, the majestic Inca City of Machu Picchu is one of the most dramatic settings of a ruined city anywhere in the world. Boasting numerious trekking routes to the top of “The Lost City”, this great archaeological site is tucked 2,430 meters high in the Andes and its eternally enshoruded in mist. 

Known as one of the world most awe-inspiring sights, its easy to see why toursit flock here, year after year. Uncovered in 1911 by archaeologist Hiram Bingham, Machu Picchu’s perfect Inca stonework and rows of terraces surrounded by mountain cloud forests, tumble effortlessly down towards the River Urubamba far below. 

The journey itself is of equal importance and an essentail part of visiting Machu Picchu. Whether it’s by hiking the famous Inca Trail, taking the Salkantay route or seeing the route by rain, Machu Picchu is a once in a lifetime experience.

3. Rainbow Mountains

The Rainbow Mountains rose to fame with the increasing growth of Instagram. Its unmistakable seams of red, yellow, and orange (actually there are 24 different colours embedded along the face of the mountain itself) took the tourist industry by storm and is now arguably the second most visited attraction in the Peru after Machu Picchu.

It’s rainbow-like appearance is created by the sediment of minerals throughout the area giving the mountain rainbows of life. Surprsingly, this site was only recently discovered due to the snow melting revealing the hidden gem that’s still considered holy by many until this day.

This site – which is also known as Montaña de Siete Colores, and Montaña de Colores – presents a hard climb. Sitting at 5200 meters in elevation, which is over 17,000 feet (only slightly lower than Everest Base Camp and the Annapurna Circuit‘s Manang Pass in Nepal), Altitude sickness can be a serious thing for all those to climb to the top. With that said, the hike itself is not particularly difficult and is 100% worth it (just make sure you have given yourself a few days beforehand to acclimatise). 

If you are in Peru, you will kick yourself for missing this incredible climb.

Climb Machu Picchu & The Rainbow Mountains

Peru - it's beautiful and diverse nature makes it the perfect destination for any adventure goer. Mysterious landscapes, wild Amazon jungles and soaring Andes mountains – Peru harbours bucket-list adventures and experiences beyond your imagination.

4. Lima

Known as the City of the Kings, Lima is Peru’s capital city. The sprawling metropolis of 9 million people is a powerful symbol of its Spanish colonial history, industry, and independence.

Boasting exceptional food and a great sense of culture, Lima also offers spectacular views of the Pacific ocean. Stroll through Parque del Amor, feast your eyes of the ancient clay pyramids of Huaca Pucllana and indulge in the incredible atmosphere of this magnificent city.

Due to its deep history, it is important that all first-time travellers visit the top local museums. If I had to recommend one, I would suggest seeing Museo Larco. Its ancient collection of pre-Columbian exhibits of Peru’s indigenous people also boasts beautiful gardens and an on-site restaurant.

What’s more, Lima’s modern buildings offer an interesting contrast with its more traditional and colonial architecture and orderly slums. Ruled by the Spanish for three centuries, Lima boasts intriguing Spanish-colonial churches, cloisters, and monasteries that should not be missed. 

However, even if history isn’t your thing, Lima also offers fantastic nightlife and houses of the best nightclub scene in the country.

Lima is a city for everyone!

5. Lake Titicaca

The sparkling blue waters of Lake Titicaca acts as the centring eye to the rolling hills and tribal villages that surround it. It is safe to say that Lake Titicaca will blow your mind. 

The Inca strongly believed that the Children of the Sun and Moon emerged from the waters of Lake Titicaca to found their empire, and the magical atmosphere of this place makes that easy to believe. 

Sitting high up at 3,800 meters, Lake Titicaca it’s the world’s highest navigable lake (although it looks more like an ocean). The high altitude and strong sun give the lake an almost unworldly quality as colours shine brighter and more spectacular than ever. 

Many local communities live on the waters; with the lake boasting over 40 floating islands made from man-made reeds. These islands have been home to the Uru people for centuries and is very much steep in history and authentic culture. 

Although trips to these islands are designed for tourism, it does offer a glimpse into the traditional way of life. The most charming and authentic thing for travellers to do is to spend the night with a family on Isla Taquile or Amantaní -although the most popular tourist attraction is the Uros Floating Islands (Islas Flotantes), which sustain small communities of Uros Indians.

The best base is the city of Puno, which is also known as the main gateway of the lake. Puno boasts attractive colonial center and hosts an incredible 300 festivals annually, the most famous being the dance of La Diablada in February.

6. The Amazon

The magnificent Peruvian Amazon covers nearly 60% of this beautiful country and is one of the most biologically diverse areas on the entire planet. 

On jungle walks, river cruises and mountain hikes, the wildlife extravaganza is utterly incredible –  so get ready to get up close and personal with a heap of diverse creatures and thousands of unheard of creepy crawlies. 

From one of the world’s smallest monkeys, the pygmy marmoset and the world’s largest rodent (the capybara), to giant otters, pink river dolphins, alligators, anaconda, and jaguars, the Amazon is will simply blow your mind.

If we had to give one bit of advice, we would probably tell you to visit Lake Sandoval. However, other not-to-miss adventures are the guided night walk through the Amazon jungle, the canopy walk and the twilight river excursion.

One of the easiest ways to get to the Amazon is by plane from Cusco to Puerto Maldonado—a quick, 50-minute flight. 

Other Top Destinations

Arequipa and the Colca Canyon

Nazca Lines

Ica and the Sand Dunes at Huacachina

We really hope this has helped and if you wish to ask any more questions or simply want to contact us, please do at:

info@gokotravels.com

Climb Machu Picchu & The Rainbow Mountains

Peru - it's beautiful and diverse nature makes it the perfect destination for any adventure goer. Mysterious landscapes, wild Amazon jungles and soaring Andes mountains – Peru harbours bucket-list adventures and experiences beyond your imagination.

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