Places Not To Miss In Peru
Peru has such diverse landscapes that traveling from south to north can be like stepping onto another planet. The driest deserts in the world run through this stunning country, and trekking through its jungles will amaze you with the diverse display of wildlife. Whether you've got 6 months to explore Peru, or only 6 days to soak it all in, these are some places you should be sure to visit.
Lima is Peru's hip and bustling gastronomic capital, and its historic center was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Go for a stroll through the Plaza Mayor, which is surrounded by 5 important buildings: the Government Palace, the Cathedral, the Archbishop´s Palace, the Municipal Palace, and the Palace of Lima.Lima is the 5th largest city in Latin America, and besides being Peru’s capital, some of its buildings from the colonial era still stand, a feature of these buildings being their prominent balconies.
Puno is Peru's folkloric capital and it lies at the foot of the world's largest commercially navigable lake, Lake Titicaca. At an altitude of 12, 500 feet high in the Andes, this lake is home to a group of people who live on some of the artificial islands which the locals create using floating reeds. Islands are made and remade, and also abandoned. You can even spend a night living with one of the families who lives on these floating islands.
Cusco is my personal favorite- a truly gorgeous antique city, with ancient cobblestone streets, incredible fresh food markets, and ruins galore, the most popular being Saqsayhuaman.Nearby are Tipon and Moray, easily reached by bus. Cusco used to be the capital city of the Inca Empire and it is the most visited city in Peru.
Besides being a traditional brandy drink in Peru, Pisco is also a city- check out where the brandy is produced by visiting a local distillery and spend an afternoon tasting all the different types of Pisco, don't forget to try a Pisco sour.
Manu National Park
The largest national Park in Peru, Manu is on the edge of the Madre de Dios region and Paucartambo. It is home to more bird species than the US and Canada combined. A World Heritage Site, 14 species of monkey alone live here. If you love wildlife, you'll be in heaven in this rich ecosystem.Fairly remote, you'll travel here by bus over muddy roads that seem to be smaller than the buses on top of them, but the rewards for reaching this jungle are great.
Mollendo is not on the touristic radar but it should be if only for its black sand beaches. Locals flock here during holidays and school breaks. The ocean water might be a bit chilly, but you can rent a tent that one of the beach attendants will assemble for you. You can also order a fresh fish lunch from one of the nearby restaurants and they will deliver the food to the beach for you!Explore the nearby abandoned castle before the sun sets and the nearby Mejia Lagoons National Sanctuary is a refuge for migrating birds and well worth a visit.
Machupicchu Town/Aguas Calientes
Aguas Calientes is the gateway to the most famous attraction in Peru, Machu Picchu. This small town has hot springs and a colonial Spanish vibe to it. Touristy but rightfully so, as Machu Picchu remains one of the most fascinating archaeological complexes in the world. Built during the height of the Inca Empire, no one quite knows why this site was constructed but a visit to these ruins is an absolute must when visiting Peru.From abundant fresh fish to delicacies eaten in the Andean highlands, Peru offers something for everyone. Hiking, biking, beaches, history, incredible food and more await in the ancient land of the Incas.