Peru is the perfect country to travel to because of its diverse lands, rich cultures, and warm people. With such a wide range of things to do, it can be pretty hard to plan the perfect trip and tick every must-do activity because everything and everywhere seems to be intriguing and fascinating!
To make the best of your trip to this beautiful place, here are some must-do activities where fun, adventure, wildlife, history, and nature awaits. Read on to discover the must-do activities while traveling in Peru.
Find A Way To Machu Picchu
This Inca ruin is arguably the most popular attraction in Peru and perhaps in the whole of South America. It boasts a 500-year old Inca Bridge, but the most exciting of all are the many ways you could get there.
The most popular way is through the Inca Trail, a four-day walk using the famous stone Inca stairways. You must book this six months in advance, though, because it is one of the most highly demanded trails in the world.
Other alternatives include the Choquequirao trail and the Lares Trek, commonly known as the “people’s trail.” If you want to be different, try the higher and longer Salkantay Trek filled with jaw-dropping scenery and 15 ecosystems on the way.
Explore And Wander Around Lima
Peru’s capital, Lima, is a breathtaking place with its coasts, jungles, and mountains. It is home to more than 11 million people, or 30% of Peru’s entire population. There are many exciting things to do and places to visit while you are in Lima’s wonderful area.
You can visit Miraflores, a beautiful suburb located on the coast, where the main surfing beaches can be found nearby. The stunning coastline walk, lined with shops and restaurants, will surely be a delight to visitors.
Downtown, where you can learn all about Lima’s colonial history, has streets filled with colonial architecture. Tourists and travelers can also take the 90-minute tour of the UNESCO- listed colonial town– all they have to do is show up by the small fountain at Plaza Peru.
Take A Day Trip To The Rainbow Mountain
Located 5000 meters above sea level, the Rainbow Mountain gained its popularity because of its different colors due to the various minerals. Seven main minerals create different shades of color, which do not mix; thus, creating a scenic mountain like a rainbow.
The short hike up the mountain can be challenging, but as you reach the peak where the Rainbow Mountain’s vibrant colors come alive, the trip becomes worth it.
Hiking the mountain can be done via a day trip from Cusco. Tours leave every morning at around five and return the same night. Have your entire day booked for the journey, as the magnificent experience takes a whole day to complete.
Visit The Condors In Colca Canyon
Take a trip to the deepest Canyon globally, the Colca Canyon, located near the southern city of Arequipa in Peru. The Canyon offers many trails to hike, picturesque hot springs, and most of all, lots of Condors!
Condors are one of the largest birds in the world. They visit the same cliff every day, which is named the Cruz del Condor viewpoint– the best spot to watch these majestic birds glide, turn, dive, climb, and soar above your head as they make their way through the canyon.
The Canyon can be hiked on tours or by yourself, but be warned: walking into the deepest canyon means a long steep hike during the return. If you think this isn’t for you, you can permanently settle for a quick day-trip to the Cruz del Condor viewpoint.
Read Between The Nazca Lines
Mysterious figures of people and animals etched into the desert dust, the Nazca Lines have continued to mystify experts. The huge and intricate drawings on the barren landscape of Peru’s coastal desert are believed to have been created by the Nazca people.
These lines date 2,000 years before the Incas, but thanks to Nazca’s extreme environment, erosion had been minimized, and the lines were kept intact.
Travel Back In Time In Arequipa
Called “La Ciudad Blanca” or “the white city” because of its center constructed of white volcanic rock, Arequipa is framed by three volcanoes with a Baroque town center. Arequipa is best explored on the free walking tour, where you can find all the most beautiful streets.
You can find its most impressive buildings in the main town square, Plaza de Armas, with Basilica Cathedral being the most spectacular. However, the Santa Catalina convent comes second, being a labyrinth of cobbled alleys lined by blue and terracotta buildings.
Here, you can also find the Santuarios Andinos, a museum that houses the mummified remains of the 550-year-old Ice Maiden Juanita, one of the young victims offered as human sacrifices.
Trek To The Lost City Of Choquequirao
The Lost City of Choquequirao sits atop a hill, looking imperiously across the vast and thick jungle and mountain peaks. It is more remote and difficult to reach than its cousin, Machu Picchu, similar in style.
Choquequirao is located at the junction of three rivers and requires a challenging two-day hike to reach. Archeologists continually discover new corners of the site, so keep your eyes open as you may uncover a secret Incan treasure on your trip.
Discover Another Side Of Cusco
Over the hills of Macchu Picchu and Inca Trail is the iconic colonial city of Cusco. This city is filled with busy tourists preparing for the hike to Machu Picchu during the summer months.
Its city center is best explored while wandering the small alleys, filled with old Inca ruins built without any glue or cement. Grab a Boleto Turistico del Cusco pass to gain access to 15 key historical sites, then head out to Sacsayhuamán for an overlooking view of the city.
Walk back down through the San Blas neighborhood and enjoy their cheap sandwiches, soups, fruits, vegetables, and falafel. If you want more, head out to the Sacred Valley, where you can visit the historic Inca sites at Pisac, Ollantaytambo, and Chinchero.
Tour The Puerto Maldonado Jungle
Visiting the Amazon forest in Peru is a different experience, and with the many other locations, it can be not easy to decide where to go.
One of these locations is the remote city of Puerto Maldonado, located near the Brazilian border in eastern Peru. Peru’s Amazon jungle is the most diverse, containing many animal, bird, and insect species.
To get to Puerto Maldonado, ride a 10-hour bus from Cusco. From there, you’ll wind your way up to over 5000 meters above sea level before plunging to the Amazon.
Take The Train To Lake Titicaca
Lake Titicaca, the largest lake in South America, is also the world’s highest navigable lake. Believed to be the birthplace of the sun by the Incas, the lake is famous for its human-made islands constructed from tutora reeds.
These human-made islands provide floating homes for the local Uros Indians. The reeds are fashioned into homes, boats, and even rudimentary toys for kids’ entertainment. The best base to explore the islands is through Puno, where you can walk on the spongy surface while witnessing the traditions of people.
Catch the Titicaca train over the Andean altiplano between Vusco and Lake Titicaca for breathtaking picturesque landscapes, llama-dotted plains, and valleys with Adobe villages.
Swim In Mancora
Mancora is best known as a backpacker hotspot because of its good quality surf and vibrant nightlife. The small beach town emanates a laidback lifestyle and chill vibe off its sandy streets.
Outside the town is a giant sea turtle colony with over 300 turtles, which regularly visit the nearby bay in droves. Although people cannot touch the turtles, seeing these beautiful creatures is already a fantastic experience.
Visit The Spectacled Bears In Chaparri
The spectacled bear is the only species of bear native in South America. It is also one of the best-known creatures in the tropical Andes, the character of Paddington, the most famous bear in the world, is a spectacled bear.
The Chaparri Conservation Area is a community-owned and managed reserve that houses spectacled bears. The area covers vertical walls and grassy hills studded with trees and cacti. Chaparri also boasts a wild population of threatened species and a rescue center for animals confiscated from illegal captivity.
Travelers who wish to stay longer can stay at the Chaparri Eco-Lodge and take advantage of the network of trails, excellent wildlife, and bird-watching opportunities.
Indeed, Peru is a captivating place with so many places to visit, and things to do that can leave any traveler exhausted yet delighted. From hiking to swimming and everything in between, you can never go wrong with a trip to Peru.
What are you waiting for? Grab your passports, book those flights, and have the time of your life in the magical and magnificent country of Peru.