Peru is an incredible destination, combining thousands of years of history and ancient civilizations with some truly breathtaking natural scenery. Traveling to Peru is no longer a hassle, with many commercial airlines such as Taca Airlines making regular direct flights. Peru has managed to adapt well to increasing tourist trade while maintaining the magic that originally attracted travelers.
Machu Picchu has become one of the most recognized destinations on the planet when people talk about travel. The iconic imagery created by such stunningly well preserved ruins, perched amongst the mountains, is enough to set even the most experienced traveler dreaming. It may be becoming cliché, but it remains an absolute must if you travel to Peru.
2. Plaza de Armas, Cuzco
Found at the centre of the historic sector in the Incan capital Cuzco, the plaza was once the culturally centre of life in the capital. The Plaza is smaller than its original size, and now houses two beautiful churches – the cathedral and church of La Compania.
3. Nazca Lines
In the 1920s, during the first aerial observations of the area the Nazca Lines were spotted in full etched into the floor of the Nazca Desert. Ranging from simple lines to complex iconography they remain a simple and impressive monument to ancient ingenuity.
4. Chan Chan
Over a thousand years old, the largest pre-Colombian settlement in South America once covered over 12 square miles. Once thought to house over thirty thousand habitants, there are still well preserved walls, statues and chambers to be found at the site.
Situated around a tiny oasis in the midst of the desert, Huacachina is a town that boast a miniscule population of just a few hundred. Huacachina was once an idyllic getaway for the wealthy elite of Peru, now days it is more commonly a holiday resort for international tourists. In recent years the lake has suffered with shrinkage due to aggressive water tapping by local companies, Huacachina has responded with a plan to artificially pump additional water into the lake – so there should be no need to worry about this attraction disappearing too soon!
6. Lake Titicaca
Lake Titicaca is the highest, still possible to navigate, lake above sea level. A bit of a mouth full, but an impressive achievement none the less! Stunning views can be found in abundance here and trips on the lake are easy to find. You’ll find islands constructed from reeds on the lake that it’s possible to visit and even stay on overnight.
7. Inca Trail
This one is more of a plan for a whole trip than an individual sight to see, but if trekking is your thing then the Inca Trail could be for you. The trek more often than not ends at Machu Picchu, so you can do two things off our list at the same time! If you suffer with altitude sickness consider the local remedy – chewing coca leaves, doesn’t sound too bad a medicine does it?
As you can see there are so many things to explore in Peru, it could take years! I’ve lived there on and off for the last 3 years and I’ve still never been to Chan Chan. That suits me just fine, when I return I know I’ll still have many places to discover.