A tourist’s guide to Peru
Peru is one of the most popular travel destinations in South America, and it is not hard to understand why. As one of the world’s 17 megadiverse countries with spectacular nature ranging from dry desert climate to humid Amazonian rainforest and with thousands of years of rich archeological history, Peru offers no shortage of amazing experiences for travelers of all types.
If you are planning to visit Peru for the first time, you have probably asked yourself how much time should be set aside to enjoy the wonders of this amazing country. There is of course no straightforward answer to this question, and many people would probably claim that Peru is so rich in unique experiences that you could easily spend months or even years exploring its fascinating nature and history. Nevertheless, taking a year out of the calendar is hardly an option for most people, and it is therefore worthwhile looking at different itineraries that are doable in a few weeks. We have gone over this in a previous blog post, where we suggested for different two-week routes to follow around Peru. To continue along this topic, this blog post provides a more detailed description of some of Peru’s most popular tourist areas.
While this city was previously mainly used as a short stopover on journeys headed towards Cusco, Puno or other destinations, Peru’s capital city has in recent year’s become increasingly popular to visit among tourists. It is not hard to understand why that is. With more than 10 million inhabitants, Lima is a true melting pot of cultures home to a vibrant nightlife, an amazing culinary scene and with no shortage of historic and architectural sights. Whether you prefer to party until late, or stroll through the old town and enjoying its many museums, you can easily spend a week getting lost in this amazing city.
Paracas, Huacachina and Nazca:
The area home to these three gems is located roughly 5 hours south of Lima by car. Whether you prefer to relax along the beaches of Paracas, going sandboarding in the desert oasis of Huacachina or flying over the mysterious Nazca lines, this area of Peru contains no shortage of amazing travel experiences.
Arequipa is Peru’s second largest city and a true gem situated in the south of Peru. Located in a fertile valley at the foot of the Misti volcano its colonial style buildings made from volcanic stone will truly dazzle you and make you feel like being in another world. You can easily spend several days exploring the history and unique cuisine of this amazing city, and if that’s not enough the Colca canyon, offering breathtaking hiking experiences, is only a few hours away from the city center.
Cusco was the capital of the famous Inca Empire and is the number one tourist destination in all of Peru, as it acts as the main hub for doing trips to Machu Picchu – one of the 7 wonders of the modern world. While Machu Picchu is truly astonishing, as evidenced by our large number of blog posts dedicated entirely to this destination, Cusco in itself is a truly amazing city offering spectacular views, unique architecture and an amazing nightlife. Aside from Machu Picchu, Cusco furthermore acts as a hub for visiting destinations such as the Sacred Valley, the Rainbow Mountain, Humantay Lake and many other sights in the surroundings mountain region.
The Peruvian Amazon:
For foreigners, Peru is probably most famous for its mountainous regions and as being the birthplace of the Inca culture. However, being the gigantic country that it is, a major part is also covered by the Amazon rainforest. If you are travelling to Peru and have enough time on your hand, it is worth considering doing a trip to this less explored part of the country. Tours to the Amazon can be arranged from for example the northern town of Iquitos or the southwestern town of Puerto Maldonado.
Puno is a medium-sized city in southern Peru situated at the shores of Lake Titicaca, which acts as the main tourist hub for exploring the lake and its surrounding areas. Being the highest navigable lake in the world, it is well worth setting aside a few days to visit Lake Titicaca and in particular the floating islands of the Uros.