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Also called the Land of the Incas because of its association with the Inca Empire, Peru is considered one of the most stunning and wonderful countries in the world.
It is a country that you must definitely visit once in your lifetime. Because of its rich history, the country is packed with colonial architecture and archaeological remains. It is the mesmerizing natural beauty of the country that has made it an outstanding and majestic travel destination. If you have this keen interest in visiting this beautiful place then here are the best destinations to visit in Peru:
Best destinations to visit in Peru
Lima is the national capital and also the gateway to Peru. Francis Pizarro founded this city in 1535. He was a Spanish conquistador. Because of its age, this city provides a very rich and royal history. It even offers a lively nightlife and vibrant culture. One can even find some ultramodern shopping malls dealing in crafts that people might only have dreamt of. Lima is known for its great beaches and therefore if you are on the lookout of top Peru destinations where you can relax and surf then this city would be the ideal pick for you.
Lima is also called the City of Kings and stands as the symbol of the Spanish colonial industry, history, and independence of Peru. For the first-time visitors to Peru, the must-visit destination, would be the local museums that will offer a taste of Peru’s in-depth history. The museum called Museo Larco features ancient collection of pre-Columbian exhibits of the indigenous people of Peru. The visitors to this museum can enjoy some great delicacies at the on-site restaurant and the beautiful gardens. Miraflores is a lush neighborhood that offers spectacular coastal views of Lima. You can visit this place either during the day or the night when the lights make it a sight worth beholding. Larcomar would be the right place for you to visit if you want to do some shopping.
This is a beautiful strip along the Northern Pacific Ocean located on a high arid plateau. The ever so popular Nazca Lines have their location between the cities of Palpa and Nazca. Developed between 500 BC and 500 AD, there are figures ranging from stylized monkeys, lizards and spiders to simple lines and even human figures. The stable, windless and dry climate of this place has helped in keeping the lines completely uncovered till date. The tour companies in Nazca provide round flights for having beautiful sights of the lines. Visitors can even avail good services at the observation tower that lies along the Pan-American Highway. This tower offers the views of three figures. Considering the mesmerizing beauty of this region, it can rightly be said that it is one of the best destinations to visit in Peru.
Arequipa is also called the white city and it is one of the most commonly visited cities of Peru. It boasts of some of the most beautiful and greatest colonial buildings. Take for example, you will find Spanish colonial architecture throughout the major structures of the city. Arequipa is surrounded by stunning countryside that features beautiful villages giving the city magical scenery. This city also serves as the gateway to Peru’s most precious natural attractions, like the Colca Valley, Colca Canyon, Aguada Blanca national sanctuary and Salinas Natural Reserve. On the whole, it can be said that Arequipa is one of the greatest places in Peru for all those art enthusiasts who want to see colonial monuments and enjoy nature while having great fun.
The topmost attraction of this city is its three beautiful volcanoes located in the Southern Coastal region. The city is a rich blend of Spanish colonial structures and indigenous cultures. The most important center within the city where visitors can find traces of Spanish colonial architecture is Santa Catalina Convent. This is a city within a city mainly because of its colorful buildings, flowers and charming streets.
Lima might be holding the title of being the official capital city of Peru, but it is Cusco that serves as the original seat of authority and power. The UNESCO has declared Cusco to be a World Heritage Site in the year 1983 and it is the beauty of the city that stands proves of the fact that it definitely deserves this title. Cusco is one of the most beautiful cities in Peru, and a perfect place to travel with your dog. From its winding and narrow streets to its 16thcentury and Inca colonial architecture, the city boasts of a romantic environment with an exclusive European feel.
Cusco is packed with some of the most worth visiting places in Peru. However, there is one place that stands out among all the other best destinations to visit in Peru and that is the Inkaterra La Casona. This is a 16thcentury manor house that way renovated into a boutique hotel consisting of 11 suites. It is located in Plaza de las Nazarenas. Traditional Spanish and Incan décor, central open courtyard and cozy features make this place an unforgettable stay for the visitors. Plaza de Armas is the main square of Cusco and is perhaps the most iconic site of the city. It also serves as an important spot for people-watching and leisurely stroll.
The Sacred Valley of the Incas
The Sacred Valley is also called the Urubamba Valley and it serves as one of the best destinations to visit in Peru especially for the ones who want to explore the ruins of Inca and enjoy different outdoor activities. Farmers in this region indulge in the task of tending crops at the Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba. The Hacienda Urubamba offers work to the locals and uses produce from the gardens on their menu. For the ones who are making day trips to Machu Picchu or Cusco, it is important to consider staying at least one night at Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba for exploring the natural beauty of this region.
The Hacienda-style accommodations in this region are nestled right in the center of the sacred valley and they feature several excursions with stays included. There are different hikes that the guests can choose according to the activity level that they would like to indulge in. visitors to this valley can also tour the on-site ecological farm. Visitors also have the option of booking adventurous tours for horseback riding, rafting, hiking, and mountain biking with different agencies operating in the area. Salinas de Maras, Moray and the Ollantaytambo town are some of the most breathtaking locations worth visiting in Sacred Valley.
Machu Picchu is a seminal spot and probably one of the best destinations to visit in Peru. It is one of the main reasons why a large number of people flock the hotels and the other accommodation options in Peru throughout the year. Considered one of the new Seven Wonders of the World, Machu Picchu is a place that will not disappoint you. One of the best and the most memorable ways of getting to Machu Picchu is through the Inca Rail that departs from Ollantaytambo or Cusco. The entire rail journey offers passengers with stunning views of the countryside in the sacred valley. It will probably serve to be the most majestic train ride of your life.
Weather and Accommodation
Machu Picchu enjoys a temperamental weather- warm and sunny one moment and raining and gray the next. This is one place where you can enjoy some stunning views of the native Llamas and the alpacas. There are some great hotels to put up a comfortable stay. Machu Picchu is a natural wonderland that serves as home to more than 200 species of birds and more than 300 species of orchid.
If you really want to make your holidays in Peru one of the most memorable and cherished moments of your life then you must definitely visit the Amazon. This is because the Amazon Jungle is considered one of the best destinations to visit in Peru mainly because of its huge animal reserves and its mesmerizing natural beauty. The Peruvian Amazon is spread over an area of around 60% of the entire country and serves as one of the most biologically diverse regions of the world. If you are visiting the Amazon then you must get all prepared to get very personal and close with creepy crawlers and wildlife. One of the most noteworthy points here is that the well-known anaconda calls the Amazon its home.
One of the most notorious excursions offered at the Amazon is a canopy walk through the treetops of the jungle. Another standout experience for the visitors would be a trip to the Lake Sandoval that features all kinds of caimans, howler monkeys and river otters. Other adventures that the visitors should not miss out on are guided night walks through the Amazon jungle where you will have the likelihood of seeing different varieties of creepy and cute kinkajous and tarantulas. The twilight river excursion is also a never-miss-out-in adventure.
Lake Titicaca has a magical environment and beauty and it is only because of this reason that it is considered one of the best destinations to visit in Peru. At 3, 8000 meters, this is the highest navigable lake in the worldand the largest lake in South America. It is so very big that it almost appears as an ocean. The strong sun and the thin air make the blue colors of this lake radiate more brightly thus creating an unworldly quality. Lake Titicaca is also called the Rock of the Puma mainly because the local communities were of the view that the shape of the lake resembled the shape of an animal.
More than 40 floating islands are found on this lake and these serve as home to the Uru people. It might be a bit surprising to know that these islands are made of reed and it is simply fascinating to visit these islands. However, if you are in the look out of a more authentic experience then try taking a day tour or stay one night on Amantani or Isla Taquile. Puno would also serve as the best place to put up a stay. It is one of the most attractive colonial centers of Peru hosting more than 300 festivals annually. The most popular festival in this region is La Diablada which is a dance festival held in the month of February.
Trujillo, Chan Chan and Huaca de la Luna
Trujillo is a colonial coastal city that serves as a better archaeological center in comparison to Cusco. It developed into one of the most significant colonial trading posts in 1820. Touring the Old City is highly recommended to visitors who want to have a sight of the best destinations to visit in Peru. The Old City features well preserved churches and colonial homes. Nevertheless, the original attractions are found outside town at Huaca de Luna and Huaca del Sol.
Chan Chan lies a few miles west of the city of Trujillo and serves as one of the biggest adobe cities in the world. It also holds the position of being the biggest pre-Columbian city in the Americas. The Tschudi Complex is a massive and well-restored ceremonial courtyard with its exterior walls decorated with waves of fish. Pacific Ocean serves as the backdrop for the stunning beauty of this region.
This place in Peru is also called the Fortress of the Cloud Warriors and is one of the most impressive Chachapoya sites in Peru. It also features one of the biggest ancient stone citadels of America. The Leymebamba Museum and the cliff-edge tombs of Revash are the top attractions of this place.
At present, South America is one of the most well-known tourist destinations in the world. There are many countries in South America that witness a large number of tourists throughout the year. However, none of the tourist attractions in these countries can be compared to the diverse adventures and experiences offered at the best destinations to visit in Peru.