Peru is one of the most exciting destinations in the world and it can truly offer you an experience like no other. As a matter of fact, you would find yourself overwhelmed with the possibilities once you land there. This is why you could find this list handy when you are worried about missing something or when you are not being able to make up your mind on what to do and see first. Here are the top 10 best things to do in Peru.
1. Take the Inca Trail to Macchu Picchu
It might not be everyone’s first priority, but there is probably nothing more majestic and spectacular as Macchu Picchu. This also offers you the opportunity to trek the legendary Inca trail, which is the most adventurous aspect of this trip. With a path so narrow that only a mule can carry you to it, Macchu Picchu is truly worth all the trouble.
2. Witness the Nazca Lines
Among the greatest mysteries in the world, a trip to Peru will offer you a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness the unique Nazca lines for yourself. Maybe an aerial view could inspire you to finally solve the mystery of their creation.
3. Bird Watching in the Colca Canyon
One of the most breathtaking natural attractions in Peru is the Colca Canyon near the town of Arequipa. Reputed to be the deepest canyon in the world, Colca is known for its breathtaking scenery and rich flora and fauna. It is a favorite destination for birdwatchers, especially those looking to spot the Andean Condor, an indigenous vulture species.
4. Indulge in the Huacachina Oasis
A top tourist attraction in Peru, this spectacular and unbelievable oasis will probably prove to be the most surreal dimension of your Peruvian adventure. The oasis is marked by a fresh water lake where a mermaid is rumored to reside. Sandboarding and dune buggying are the most favorite activities there.
4. Explore the Plaza de Armas in Cusco
While there is one in Lima and as well, but the Plaza de Armas or the “Square of the Warrior” in the city of Cusco is really a place worth visiting. The special part about the square is that it was built by the Inca along with the city of Cusco itself. A UNESCO World Heritage Site and a massive historical and architectural attraction, it features landmarks such as the Temple of Coricancha, Cristo Blanco, Church of La Campaňia de Jesus, Cusco Cathedral and the archeological walled complex of Sacsayhuamán.
5. Dig Up Ancient Treasures
Peru is so rich archaeologically that is difficult to cover all the sites in a single visit. If archeological sites are a high priority to your trip then you should plan your itinerary to cover all the essentials from the Chicalayo and Trujillo in the north all the way down to the Sacred Valley. Click here for a comprehensive but short guide to the archeological attractions in Peru.
6. Sailing Tour of Lake Titicaca
Lake Titicaca is situated on the border of Peru and Bolivia and is the largest fresh water lake in South America. The lake features the one-of-the-kind artificial Uros Islands made out of floating reeds and the islands of Isla de la Luna, Amantani and the culturally well-preserved Taquile. On the Bolivian side, you can find Chelleca Island, Suriqui, the home of reed boats, and the sacred Isla de Sol, which will be a part of the tour, features several archeological attractions from the Inca period. The town of Puno in Peru and Copacabana in Bolivia are the most popular starting points for such a tour.
7. Surf at Mancora
If you can’t stay away from beaches for a very long time, then you would certainly find yourself heading to the sandy shores of Mancora. Mancora is a popular beach resort and presents the rather turbulent waves of the Pacific Ocean in their full glory. Surfing enthusiasts would find August to October the most appropriate period to hit beaches such as Cabo Blanco and Lobitos.
8. Conquer the El Misti Volcano
Climbers from all over the world turn to Peru for some demanding challenges. However, if you are not a professional climber, the hike up the El Misti Volcano can prove very satisfying without taking a lot of toll on your body. The volcano is over 19,000 feet high and offers breathtaking spectacles. The town of Arequipa is your starting point for this adventure. Do watch your step.
9. Embark on an Amazon Safari
It would be a total waste to miss the Peruvian side of the Amazon river if you happen to fly to this country. And the best place to start is Iquitos, a riverside city which is the Peruvian equivalent of the Brazilian town of Manaus. You can find plenty of boat tours to the heart of Amazon, where you could live how it feels like to live in a rainforest. A trip to the Manu National Park can also offer you a rich experience. The Peruvian side of Amazon is known as a good site to find the giant anaconda.
10. Collect a Handicraft Souvenir at Pisac Market
While the village of Pisac has quite a few historical attractions to offer you, something that you would not want to miss is its handicraft market. Pisac is not far from Macchu Picchu, so it is not difficult to have it on your itinerary. The main market of Pisac truly preserves the heritage of the indigenous people and the Sunday market is the most popular event. It offers several unique Andean handicrafts that have no equal anywhere else in the world. If you care about taking a part of the Andean world home with you, there is no better place to go.