7 must see sights of Peru

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. 

1.   Machu Picchu

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

photo by Carlos Adampol on Flickr

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.

5.   Huacachina

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.

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Comments (12)

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  1. Nico says:

    Great list, but it’s a shame to put Machu Picchu twice (I know the Inca Trail isn’t just Machu Picchu, but…). There are some really great lesser known siites and hikes in the Cusco region that often get overlooked. Choquequirao is one such example that could definitely be on the list.

    • Mica says:

      Hi Nico,
      I know, I actually don’t really recommend hiking the Inca trail- its so touristy. I did the Lares trek a few years back and I was blown away. There are definitely many more hiking sites that people don’t visit much and those are the ones to see. Sometimes I feel like one could spend a lifetime walking around Peru!

  2. Katie says:

    Peru has really become a very popular destination. Can’t wait to make it there.

    • Mica says:

      Hi Katie,
      Visiting Peru has jumped to the top of people’s list lately, definitely a place to visit. Hope you can get there soon!

  3. Michi says:

    Beautiful! I’m dying to go to Peru (mostly to eat Peruvian food, hike up to Macchu Picchu, and visit Cuzco!)

  4. Hi Mica,
    Peru sounds so inviting. I know there are a lot of cool places to visit in the country but I will feel happy if I can hit at least Lima, Cusco and Machu Picchu. I have a lot of flights alert on since last year there was a super flight sale from Los Angeles but I didn’t see it.

    • Mica says:

      Hi Ruth,
      Peru is on the top of my list of favorite places. Its hard to visit everything there is so much to see, it could take months to explore properly. I have also recently started setting up alerts to receive flights as well. I’m trying to get to Brazil but the flights are crazy expensive.

  5. Jessica says:

    what a wonderful guide to Peru – would LOVE to visit!!!

    • Mica says:

      Jessica, I miss Peru so much! Please go for me since I can’t be there! We are heading to Turkey and I just read your Turkey post. Sounds amazing!

      Thanks for stopping by,

  6. Andi says:

    I loved Peru and definitely hope to return!

  7. Escapist says:

    Huacachina and Chan Chan do need more exposure, more attention. I’m glad you put them in!
    Machu Picchu is slowly becoming a commercial nest, a business paradise, sort-of-an Andean Disneyland. They even wanted to build a helicopter landing site, aerial tramways… oh, my Lord!