Here is our list of 12 must-see tourist sites that you shouldn´t pass up the opportunity to visit on your trip to Peru.
This Incan citadel was built in the middle of the 15th century on the rocky saddle between Machu Picchu Mountain and Huayna Picchu Mountain. It is located at 2490 meters above sea level on the eastern aide of the Central Range of the Andes in southern Peru. It is the master work of Incan architecture and engineering. Due to its incredible location and the surrounding scenery, along its unique architecture, Machu Picchu is one of the most popular tourist destinations on the planet.
The Nazca Lines
The Nazca Lines are one of the most impressive and important of Peru´s pre-Hispanic legacies. These drawings on the sand were laid out by the Nazca culture in the desert near Ica. The lines are located near the coast between kilometer 419 and kilometer 465, and are composed of enormous, complex geometric figures which represent animals and gods. Some figures are over 300 meters long. The significance of these giant drawings on the desert floor remains one of the greatest mysteries of Peruvian history.
Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable lake in the world. It is located at an elevation of 3812 meters above sea level on the Collao plateau which is a high plain formed in the midst of the Central Andes. About half of the lake is in Peru and the other half is in Bolivia. Lake Titicaca covers an area of 8562 km², and is an obligatory destination because of its famous islands (such as Los Uros, Amantaní and Taquile) and the innumerable tourist sites dotting its shores.
The Amazon River
The Amazon River is the biggest river and carries more water to the sea than any other river in the whole world. Its basin is also the largest river basin on Earth. The river is springs from the Quebrada de Apacheta in Arequipa, Peru. Within its basin many thousands of species of plants and animals make their home. There are also many communities of native people who live along the Amazon and its tributaries.
This is an important pre-Incan archeological site. It is located in the Andes of northeastern Peru in the Luya province. It was constructed by the Chachapoya people, and is a vast archeological complex which includes a monumental artificial platform. Kuelap lines up perfectly north to south, and was built upon the limestone crest of Barreta Hill.
Paracas National Reserve and the Ballestas Islands
This national reserve is comprised of 335,000 hectares of which 117,406 hectares are land. The islands are made up of sandy beaches, small islets of black rock, and countless rocky cliffs and peaks. They are home to more than 300 animal species. These include the Humbolt penguin, and many species of sea birds, fishes, and sea lions. You will also get to view the enigmatic Candelabra of Paracas.
This beautiful lagoon is located in the middle if the desert of Ica. The naturally formed lake is famous for its curative powers. It is surrounded by luxurious tropical vegetation such as bougainvilleas, palm trees, eucalyptus, and huarangos. It is an ideal place to go sand boarding, because the lagoon is surrounded by steep-sided dunes that are a perfect for practicing this sport.
The Colca Valley
This valley is located the Chivay province of Arequipa. It is a famous natural refuge due to its great cultural value, its amazing scenery, and its great biodiversity. Here are just a few of the animals that live in the valley: the mysterious Andean condor, the Peregrine falcon, the swift kestrel, and the vicuña. When you look up you will see the snow-capped Sabancaya and Ampato volcanos. When you look down you can gaze into the vastness of the Colca Canyon.
Choquequirao is called the twin city of Machu Picchu because of its similar architectural characteristics. It is located on the flank of Salkantay Mountain in the Cusco region. It features majestic Incan architecture with terraces, temples, aqueducts, great walls with niches and other enclosures. The site is surrounded by an immense chain of impressive mountains, and the imposing Apurimac Canyon.
Lima has been declared to be part of the Cultural Heritage of Humanity. It is one of the most important cities in South America. Lima is the capital of Peru, and it is also the commercial, political, financial, and cultural center of the country. It is located on the shore of the Pacific Ocean in the central part of Peru.
Cusco is the oldest continually inhabited city in the Americas, and was the capital of the Incan Empire. It is located in a fertile valley in the heart of the great Andean Mountain Range, and is the most visited tourist destination in Peru. There are innumerable attractions in and around the city. Some of these are: Sacsayhuamán, the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, Choquequirao, Rainbow Mountain, and Humantay Lagoon.
Tambopata is a natural protected area located in the department of Madre de Dios. It is known as a paradise of biodiversity. It is full of wildlife, and has an abundance of twisting rivers and infinite forests. Tambopata is an environmental wonderland. One of the focus points is Lake Sandoval where it is also possible to partake in adventure sports such as zip-lining, exploring the canopy of the jungle from hanging bridges, kayaking, and hiking.