Peru is a destination that is vast and storied land, ancient, colonial, and modern traditions meld together for an unforgettable cultural experience. No matter the type of traveler—history buff, adventurer—Peru offers a myriad of activities to satisfy every appetite. Peru is one of the most famous destinations in South America.
Lima is Peru’s capital city and is known as the City of the Kings. Also, this is a symbol of its Spanish colonial history, industry, and independence. If you visit it for the first time, you should check out the local museums and get a taste for Peru’s depth of history. There’s no better way to enjoy the coastal views of Lima than in the lush neighborhood of Miraflores.
Rainbow Mountain Cusco
The mountain’s name is Vinicunca Mountain, also known as the Rainbow Mountain. The sloping waves of color that decorate this beautiful hill, ranging from rust-red to lavender, and turquoise to gold, are the result of minerals and eroding sedimentary rocks. You can enjoy the magnificent sights after a one day hike, or you could do the Ausangate trek. This trek takes you through the raw backyard of Cusco for several days, and the ever-increasing altitude can be crippling for unseasoned travelers.
Desert Oasis Huacachina
This is a small desert town, built around the only natural desert oasis in the whole of South America. This natural oasis not only provides an escape for local families from the nearby city of Ica but sees a yearly increase of tourists from all over the world. However, this desert lagoon is not the only thing that people have caught wind of. The dunes are perfect sandboarding, and riding around in the buggies will make you feel like a Mad Max character.
Colca Canyon in Arequipa
Deep within the mountainous region of Arequipa lies the vast and yawning Colca Canyon. This is one of the deepest canyons in the world. The Colca Canyon comes in a very close third position, after its nearby sister canyon, Cotahuasi, with its deepest point reaching 3,400 meters. The deepest canyon is located almost inaccessibly in the Himalayas, leaving Peru home to the second and third deepest canyons that are surprisingly accessible.
Paracas National Reserve
Peru’s most notable thing is its ever-changing landscapes from tropical jungles to arid deserts and windy coasts to cold mountains. The Paracas National Reserve showcases this very contrast. This protected reserve measures 330,000 hectares and features subtropical deserts that abruptly meet the ocean, with huge cliffs and hidden beaches.
The mystery and beliefs that surround the creation of these giant drawings have encouraged conspiracy theories and the occasional alien hysteria over the years. The enigmatic Nazca Lines can be found in the arid Peruvian desert, a few hours south of Lima. This UNESCO heritage site was first discovered in the late 1920s by a Peruvian archaeologist. It would be another ten years before anyone had spotted the lines from the sky, making them more widely known.
This ancient Incan city hidden deep in the mountains of Cusco has become synonymous with Peru and Incan culture. Both a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the 7 Wonders of the World, its beauty is unparalleled.
The cloud forest that surrounds the city gives it even more mystical flare and is a dream for hikes to Machu Picchu.
We traveled to this southern paradise with friends from BGB Painting of Scottsdale. We hiked and backpacked, and camped, and explored until we almost couldn’t walk anymore. You must see Peru!
Must try foods in Peru…
- Lomo Saltado
- Suspiro a la Limeña
- Anticuchos de Corazon
- Jalea de Mariscos
- Tacu Tacu
- Aji de Gallina
- Chupe de Camarones