Ruins of Incas empire, dramatic landscapes, beaches, and nightlife, Peru has got it all. You’ll always find something to keep you entertained no matter what kind of traveler you are. In fact, there are so many great places to visit in Peru that you’ll have to plan your itinerary carefully. Which is where we come in for help! Check out this list of places to visit in Peru recommended by us!
The country of Peru is located in the western region of South America and shares its borders with Ecuador as well as Columbia in the north and Brazil in the east. There are various age-old cultures in Peru that reflect its historical significance.
Best Time To Visit Peru
If you’re planning to visit Cusco or experience the Machu Pichu trek, the months of May-September is the best time to visit as it is a dry season and people can explore the best attractions of the these cities without any hassle. While summer which starts from December and lasts till March is the wettest season, and there is frequent heavy showers. And from April-October the weather is quite unpredictable here and may vary just like UK.
20 Best Places To Visit In Peru
These 20 top attractions in Peru are nothing less than magical. Take a look at what awaits you there and how can these places make your trip truly unique and unforgettable.
Archeological ruins take center stage in this erstwhile Incan empire. There are many places to visit in Cusco, Peru such as the Inca complex, Sacsayhuaman and Coricancha. You can also explore sites like the 17th century Cusco Cathedral and the vibrant Plaza de Armas that plays host to events and festivals.
This Peruvian city lies amidst the mountains of Andes. Cusco once was considered to be Inca Empire’s capital and therefore is a home to various archaeological remnants. The architecture here features Spanish colonial influence.
Location: Southeastern Peru
Key attractions: Sacsayhuaman, Coricancha, Cusco Cathedral, Plaza de Armas, Sacred Valley, Tambomachay
2. Machu Picchu
One of the most famous tourist places in Peru is Machu Picchu. It’s home to the iconic ruins of an Inca citadel. The best thing to do here is to hike and explore the stunning remains, which are world-famous for their spectacular beauty.
This Incan citadel has been established atop the Andes Mountains of Peru and overlooks the valley of Urubamba river. Machu Picchu was established in 15th century and was abandoned after some time. The dry stone walls attract the most tourists around it.
Location: Cusco Region, Peru
Key attractions: Temple of the Moon, Huayna Picchu, Sayacmarca, Putucusi
3. Lake Titicaca
Nestled between Peru and Bolivia is Lake Titicaca, a gorgeous stretch of water that’s incidentally also the highest navigable water body in the world. It’s also a home to the man-made Uros Islands, which are one of the best places to visit in Peru.
This is one of the largest lakes of South America. Like other places in Peru, this place too has historical significance, as it is believed to be the birthplace of Incas. This is why, one can find a variety of ruins here.
Location: Andes, between Bolivia and Peru
Key attractions: Suasi Island, Isla de la Luna, Puerto de Puno
Suggested Read: Skylodging In Peru: Camping While Hanging Off A 1,200 Feet Cliff
There are numerous places to visit in Lima, Peru. Peru’s capital is a bustling city with colonial buildings, museums, and bars, creating a lively ambience. Those looking for nightlife will find it here in spades. This city lies around the arid Pacific coast of Peru.
The colonial center here has been preserved and still the capital of Peru has been established as a busy urban city. It is one of the largest cities in South America. Historically enriched, this place is known for pre-Columbian art and a cathedral established in 16th century. Since there are so many places to visit in Lima, Peru, keeping it in your itinerary is a must.
Location: Valley of Chillon
Key attractions: Larco Museum, Basilica and Convent of San Francisco, Huaca Pucllana
Suggested Read: The Magnificent Colca Canyon In Peru Will Take Your Breath Away!
The Nazca lines continue to mystify and enthrall. If you love history, Nazca should be your next stop on your trip to Peru. It’s one of the famous places in Peru and is packed with sights to see for a mesmerizing experience.
Located at the southern coast, Nazca is also the largest town in Nazca Province. The name ‘Nazca’ has been originated from the culture of Nazca that used to flourish during the time span of 100 BC and 800 AD.
Location: Southern Coast Of Peru
Key attractions: Nazca Lines, Museo Maria Reiche
Winter sports and outdoor adventures make Huaraz a popular place to visit in Peru among adventure enthusiasts. There are interesting spots to explore inside the city as well such as Jiron Jose Olaya that holds weekly markets selling regional foods which are some of the unique things to see in Peru.
The city is located in the north of Callejon de Huaylas valley. Huaraz is a capital of Ancash Region and lies 3,000 meters above the sea level. This place is also famous for Huarascan National Park where one can be a witness to jaguars and Andean condors.
Location: Callejón de Huaylas valley
Key attractions: Wilcahuain, Museo Arqueologico de Ancash, Jiron Jose Olaya, Mirador de Rataquenua
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See more of Peru’s history at Maras where the Maras Salt Mines date back to Incan times. It’s located in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, which is itself a major Peru tourist attraction that you can’t afford to miss.
Maras is one of the cool places to visit in Peru and is essentially famous for Maras Salt Mines that is gaining significance since times immemorial. The trails around this place lets you witness picturesque landscapes from all four directions.
Location: Sacred Valley of the Incas
Key attractions: Maras Salt Mines, Moray
8. Paracas National Reserve
Experience the natural beauty of Peru at Paracas National Reserve that provides the migratory birds and wild animals a safe shelter. The reserve also has gorgeous beaches with reddish shores where you can chill and unwind for hours with your loved ones.
This is one of the best places to go in Peru which always find the top spot in the list. This place keeps the animals in their natural habitat and is located in the Ica region of Peru. One can find 65 archaeological sites in this reserve.
Location: Peru, Ica
Key attractions: Paracas Candelabra geoglyph, beaches
When you want to take a break from exploring historical sites and nature, we recommend heading to the resort town of Mancora. It’s a great place to go in Peru with cafes, bars, and restaurants lining the streets.
This town lies in the region of Piura, which is located in the northwest coast of Peru. This place is renowned for Mancora beach which is visited mostly by the surfers.
Location: Piura Region, Northwestern side of Peru
Key attractions: La Poza de Barro, beaches
10. Cordillera Blanca
Round off your list of places to visit in Peru with a trip to Cordillera Blanca, a mountain range that offers plenty of opportunity for hiking. Climbers can also put their skills to the test by summiting Huandoy.
This mountain range is considered to be the part of the larger range of Andes, expanding for about 200 kilometers. This range comprises various peaks that are more than 6,000 meters high. The range even includes about 722 glaciers.
Key attractions: Huandoy, Llanganuco Lakes
Markawasi is considered to be a stone forest and is ideal for the adventurers, as the place gives them the opportunity for hiking in the mountains of Andes. The place is known for its intricate stone structures and is located 6 hours away from Lima.
However, make sure you take a day’s break before coming to this place from Lima, as there’s a chance you would be caught by severe altitude sickness if you travel this far the same day.
Location: Andes Mountain, Peru
Key Attractions: Unique and large rocky structures
This beach town in Peru is located in Trujillo city and is famous for caballitos de totora, ceviche, and surfing. Huanchaco isn’t someplace that would look like a standard beach town to the tourists. The town has been infused with rich history and is located at a close distance to the age-old ruins of Chan Chan.
The historical elements in this place are a reflection of Colonial and Pre-Columbian eras. Therefore, surfers, as well as history buffs, would love this town in Peru.
Location: Trujillo, Peru
Key Attractions: Mount Campana, Chan Chan
In a valley in northern Peru, is this town called the Chachapoyas surrounded by the cloud forest. The town often attracts history buffs due to its rich heritage and is no doubt one of the best places to visit in Peru, South America. The town is a way to archaeological sites and attracts a lot of tourists each year. If you are an adventurous soul, then you can find hiking opportunities in this quaint town of Chachapoyas.
Location: Northern Peru
Key attractions: Gocta Waterfall and Kuélap
This is a beautiful port city in Peru which attracts quite a lot of nature enthusiasts, it being the entry point to the jungles and tribes of north Amazon. If you are visiting Iquitos, then you should not miss the open-air street market of Belen which is one of its kind. Also, one cannot reach Iquitos by road. This city of the world is only connected to it via air and water. So, if you are a road trip person, then you might need to consider other options!
Location: Loreto, Peru
Key attractions: Casa de Fierro, Belen, and Quistococha
Pisac is a quaint village in southern Peru. One can explore the ancient temples here. It is a great archeological site. The markets have quite a lot of handicraft items in Pisac. So, you can take home souvenirs from the South American trip from here. The environs are lovely here in Pisac and the views spectacular. If you are planning a trip to South America, then this place should definitely be on your list!
Location: Calca Province, Peru
Key attractions: Awana Kancha, Pisac Market, Ccochahuasi Animal Sanctuary, and Lord of Huanca
Suggested Read: This Island In South America Is The World’s Most Dangerous Place
16. Pacaya Samiria National Reserve
One of the largest reserves in Peru, the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve exhibits surreal views of the forest reflecting on the water’s surface. Home to an extensive number of various species of flora and fauna, this national reserve is one of the popular places to visit in Peru.
One can spot bright colored birds, different species of monkeys, beautiful orchids, luxuriant vegetation, and much more. The best way to take a look around this national reserve is via a tour on the cruise.
Location: Calle PV. # 12 Tibilo Villa, Lagunas 16551, Peru
Key attractions: Howler monkeys, macaws, pink river dolphins, capuchins, toucans
17. Manu Rainforest
Allowing visitors to witness the magnificent Amazon Rainforest, Manu Rainforet or National Park houses plenty of marvelous wildlife. The rainforest attracts hundreds of colorful macaws by virtue of salt-rich clay licks.
Manu Rainforest is one of the amazing places to visit in Peru that enables the travelers to witness river otters, tapir, and other beautiful creatures of the forest. This forest is nothing less than a paradise on earth for nature admirers.
Location: Calle Plateros 373-a, Cusco 08002, Peru
Key attractions: Jungle lodge, otters, tapirs, jaguar, macaws
18. Cloud Forest
Located at such a high altitude that one can witness the clouds passing in between the lush greens, Cloud forest is home to a diversity of animals and flora. With an amazing stay named Cock of the Rock Lodge, Cloud forest is home to the national bird of Peru of the same name.
This location also gives travelers an opportunity to visit the dancing ground that showcases fascinating, colorful and showy dance of the birds.
Key attractions: Capuchin, woolly monkeys, bromeliads, orchids
Suggested Read: Skylodging In Peru: Camping While Hanging Off A 1,200 Feet Cliff
19. Colca Canyon
One of the locals’ favorites, Colca Canyon is the second deepest canyon in the world. The canyon exhibits picturesque sceneries and mesmerizing features along with intriguing remnants of Incan. Colca Canyon has plenty to offer including great lodges, amazing walks, cultural experiences, and much more.
Location: Chivay, Peru
Key attractions: Locals in traditional Andean dresses, spectacular views of the canyon
20. Ollantaytambo Ruins
A place that exhibits rich history of Incan battle perfectly, Ollantaytambo Ruins is the destination where Incan won a battle against the Spanish invaders. This location was used as a royal estate during the 15th century.
Sitting in the Sacred Valley by the Patakancha River, Ollantaytambo was the last stronghold of Incan during the war. The rugged and rocky structure of this location makes it one of the good places to visit in Peru.
Location: Southern Peru
Key attractions: Ruins and history of Incan battle
These places to see in Peru are surely one of their own kind and so impeccable that they can add wonders to your international trip with TravelTriangle So, don’t think, save your dates, book, and head out right away! Know of more places to visit in peru? Share with us in the comments below!
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Frequently Asked Questions About Places To Visit In Peru
A. Apart from gaining all the popularity because of Machu Picchu as well as Incan trail, Peru is also famous for Ayahuasca ceremonies and Shamans in Amazon.
A. You can make the most of your trip to Peru by exploring the prominent cities. You can even make your trip more fun by indulging in activities like hiking and trekking in the adventurous trails of various mountain ranges.
A. You can try the savory dishes like Peruvian Primer, Aji de Gallina, Papas a la Huancaina, Cuy, Causa, and Ceviche to name a few.
A. Whether Peru is cheap or not depends on the kind of accommodation and transfers one chooses.
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