Guest post by Gloria Mabery
One of the most diverse and exciting countries in South America, Peru is a place that offers something for everyone. It is especially appealing to those with a real sense of adventure who want to fill their days with exploration and activities, as there is so much to see and do here.
If you are planning a trip to Peru, you naturally want to make the most of your time here, so creating an itinerary is essential. You will find plenty of intimidating activities, from booking Amazon River tours to hiking, surfing, and taking in the stunning natural beauty. There are lots of great places and attractions you can add to your itinerary, so you can look forward to a truly exciting and unique Peruvian adventure.
Places to Add to Your Peru Itinerary
Known as the ‘White City’, this is a place that boasts plenty to explore. The center of Arequipa is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and when you visit you can take in the Colonial architecture while also admiring the stunning volcanic backdrop.
This ancient city holds great historical significance and the historical sites are a must-visit. The mesmerizing churches, cathedrals, museums are numerous and all equally enjoyable. However, if your visiting time is short, here is what you shouldn’t miss:
- Catedrala Basilica on Plaza de Armas
- Museo Santuarios Andinos
- Santa Catalina Monastery
There are also plenty of shopping opportunities to enjoy and many great places to sample the delicious Peruvian cuisine.
Travelers looking for adventure can enjoy a great release of adrenaline going rafting down the Chili River or mountain biking on El Misti mountain. Those that love to spend time in nature, should not miss visiting the nearby Colca Canyon one of the word’s deepest canyons.
When it comes to diverse cultures, this town has it all. The rich history involving the Cajamarca, Incas and the Spanish is still reflected in the culture here. You can enjoy exploring the cobbled streets of the town and taking in everything from stunning mansions to fascinating ruins. The countryside that surrounds the town means you can wander a little further afield to explore friendly and quaint villages.
If you are visiting Peru in February, this is the town to be, as it is the central point of the exciting Peruvian carnival. Cajamarcans take the carnival celebration very seriously and prepare it the whole year-round. If you want to enjoy 9 days of non-stop dancing, partying, drinking, eating, costumes and parades, this is the place to be.
Beware, water fights, paint fights and pretty much anything else that can make you wet and soaking will be included. It’s the perfect place and time to enjoy the true essence of the Peruvian people.
No visit to Peru would be complete without exploring the World Heritage Site known as Machu Picchu. This is an architectural wonder and is famously called the ‘Lost City of the Incas’. It has become one of the must-see sights for visitors to Peru and you can visit at any time of the year apart from February.
There is much to explore here, so make sure you put aside adequate time for your visit. From baths and temples to walking trails and the Royal Tomb, this is a breathtaking expedition you will remember for many years to come.
That pretty much justifies the expensiveness of this trip. Visiting Machu Picchu will require a solid budget for train tickets, entry fees and round-trip bus, but it’s all worth the money.
Desert Oasis Huacachina
Have you ever been to an oasis? Huacachina is a small village built around a small natural oasis in the middle of a desert. This is the only natural oasis in South Africa and in the past several decades has become home to around 100 locals and a welcoming desert village for tourists from all over the world.
It’s located approximately 4h travel time away from Lima, the capital of Peru and certainly worth visiting.
Hidden between high, wind-sculpted sand dunes, Huacachina offers a truly unique experience. Adventure seekers will enjoy exploring the desert and dunes riding on buggies.
Place’s mystical legends and interesting stories on the origin of the small oasis is another intimidating thing that visitors want to explore when in Huacachina.
For those who are into nature and wildlife, the quaint town of Paracas is an excellent place to explore. Paracas itself is very small but famous for its marine life, birds, and other wildlife. You can enjoy taking time out to explore the beautiful fauna by paying a visit to the Ballestas Islands.
On the boat trip to the Island, you will have the chance to see sea lions, baby penguins and a variety of birds in their natural habitat. If you are very very lucky, you might catch sight of baby dolphins swinging around.
Paracas is famous for its large and beautiful Playa de Paracas – the Paracas beach. It’s a great place to unwind, sunbathe and enjoy together with Paracas’ large and noisy pelicans.
Within the Paracas area, you can also visit various pre-Incan archaeological sites featuring pre-Incan culture.
The Rainbow Mountain Cusco
Slopping colorful waves that flow from lavender to red, pink and turquoise to golden, form one of the most magnificent geological features in Peru and in the world.
The colorful hills of Vinicunca mountain are incredibly beautiful. The minerals and eroding sedimentary rocks that form the so-called “Rainbow mountain” offer one of the most mesmerizing sceneries that can be seen around the world.
The spectacular sight over the rainbow hills can be enjoyed by taking a one-day hike. Travelers ready for a more challenging and rewarding adventure can take a several-days track, named Ausangate trek, hiking on the ever-increasing levels of the mountain.
Along the way, hikers will pass small local villages, granite cliffs, glaciers and enjoy incomparably and uniquely beautiful sceneries.
The Rainbow mountain certainly is one of a kind and worth visiting. Needless to say, but, the photos you’ll take there will make the most beautiful profile pictures ever.
Enjoy a Memorable Adventure
Of course, these are just some of the many wonderful places you will find in Peru, so you can adapt your itinerary based on your specific interests. Peru is most notable for its ever-changing landscapes from deserts to tropical jungles, coasts to cold mountains.
No matter where you go, you will enjoy a great combination of excellent hospitality, great cuisine, rich history, and fascinating culture.
This means you can look forward to a truly memorable adventure when you head to Peru for your next exciting vacation experience.
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Johanes is a digital nomad and a web content writer who loves to go on spontaneous travels. She also likes to go camp under the stars and play with her dog and cats.