Peru is a land of desert coastline, ancient ruins, and scrumptious seafood. If you’re lucky enough to be planning a trip to South America, here are the top 10 reasons a trip to Peru should be on your itinerary.
No visit to Peru is complete without a tour of Machu Picchu. Built around 1450 and believed to have been a luxurious retreat for Incan royalty, the true purpose of Machu Picchu remains a beautiful mystery. The Spanish never fully discovered the site, which today still sits mainly intact upon misty mountain peaks about 70 miles outside of Cusco. In 2007, Machu Picchu became one the New 7 Wonders of the World. Learn More
This high-altitude lake is famous for its local indigenous communities. The Uros people live on floating islands they hand-make out of water reeds. This unique living situation dates back to pre-Inca times when the tribe fled to the water to escape aggressive neighboring civilizations. Learn More
Photo - Luis Armando Oyarzun
Peru’s festivals and celebrations are an intriguing mix of ancient and modern culture. A few are national, like the two-day celebration of Peru's independence called Fiestas Patrias Peruanas, celebrated every July 28 and 29. Many other are regional, and date back to pre-colonization. The Sun God Festival in Cusco, called Inti Raymi, was an important date on the Inca calendar, and today is the second largest festival in South America. Learn More
Peru’s geographic diversity (desert, mountains, rainforest) contributes to its abundance of distinct wildlife. While traveling across Peru, you’re likely to see everything from tiny Humboldt penguins, to llama-like vicuñas, to pink river dolphins. Learn More
The Inca Trail is the most famous trek in South America. Most people hike the 4-day, 20-mile trail from the Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu. This portion of the Inca Trail winds past numerous ancient ruins and climbs over 3 Andean passes. Learn More
Peru is a dream destination for archaeology and history lovers. Ancient ruins are scatted across the country, and more are discovered every year. Traditions of these ancient cultures have not been completely lost. Over 16% of Peru’s population speaks Quechua, the language of the Incas, and many more continue to celebrate with traditional festivals. Learn More
Called the culinary capital of South America, Peru serves up some tasty dishes. Most are seafood or meat based and fairly mild. The most famous is ceviche, raw white fish that is cubed, marinated in lime juice and seasoned. Learn More
The Sacred Valley is the former hub of the Inca Empire. Today, the region is full of picturesque terraced agriculture fields framed by Andean peaks. It is also home to some of the best ruins in Peru, such as Ollantaytambo and Pisac. Many locals in the small Scared Valley villages maintain traditional practices and sell handmade goods, such as alpaca sweaters. Learn More
Over 60% of Peru’s land is covered by the dense Amazon rainforest. Isolated from the rest of the country by the Andes, the Peruvian Amazon remains untamed. In addition to fascinating plant and animal life, this area also contains a few unique human settlements. For example, the regional jungle capital of Iquitos is one of the largest mainland cities in the world that is not connected to the rest of its country by road. Learn More
Several airlines operate direct flights from the US to Lima’s international airport. Citizens of the US, Canada, UK, Australia and many other countries do not need a visa and are not required to pay a reciprocity fee upon entry—as required by many other South American countries. Once inside the country, air and land travel is relatively inexpensive, safe and easy to navigate.
Have we convinced you yet? Speak to a Destination Expert about curating a tailor made Peru itinerary just for you, or check out our most popular Machu Picchu & Peru tours here.