Peru is defined by endless desert coastline, rugged mountain scenery and vast swathes of dense Amazon Jungle. The people of Peru are a proud nation with a rich heritage reaching across the millennia, amongst them the ancient cultures of Inca, Chimu and Chachapoya civilizations. It was once home to the most powerful and dominant empire in the continent. Its capital city is pushing the boundaries of gastronomic excellence, and is officially recognised to have some of the world’s best restaurants.
Peru is epic! Where will you go first?
The latest guide to Machu Picchu: the history, attractions, when to go, tickets, shuttle buses, hotels, hikes, Aguas Calientes, facts & facilities […read more]
A comprehensive guide to Cusco: highlights, hotels, maps, eating out, arts & entertainment, BTG tourist ticket, getting around, Spanish Schools […read more]
An in-depth guide to the Sacred Valley: Pisac ruins & market, Ollantaytambo, Maras, Moray, Tipon, Chinchero, hotels, restaurants, getting around […read more]
A complete guide to Lake Titicaca: Floating Uros Islands, Taquile, Amantani, the City of Puno, hotels, dining out, Virgin of Candelaria festival […read more]
A guide to Lima: things to do and see, museums, archaeological attractions, hotels, insider’s guide on the best restaurants, Mistura food festival […read more]
Everything you need to know about Peru’s Amazon Jungle: Tambopata, Manu, Iquitos, Pacaya-Samiria, Lodges, Amazon River cruises […read more]
A guide to hiking in Peru: Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, Salkantay, Lares, Choquequirao, Santa Cruz, day treks in the Sacred Valley […read more]
A comprehensive guide to adventure activities in Peru: rafting, horse-riding, mountain biking, quad bikes, sand boarding, sand buggies […read more]
The Must See’s & Do’s
You could easily spend several months traveling around Peru, and still not experience everything it has to offer, so here is our suggestion on the must See’s and Do’s whilst in Peru. The Inca citadel of Machu Picchu located on the edge of the Amazon jungle, 4 hours from the City of Cusco is a definite must for anyone traveling to Peru. Once a country retreat for Inca Pachacuti, Machu Picchu (meaning – Old Mountain) was never discovered during the Spanish conquest of Peru. Abandoned by the Inca’s and left dormant for hundreds of years, Machu Picchu was brought to the world’s attention when the American explorer Hiram Bingham, who stumbled upon it in 1911. Perched high above the Vilcabamba Valley and set against a back-drop of incredible Andean mountains, a visit to Machu Picchu is as memorable as it is spectacular. This is the most popularly visited attraction in Peru however there are also several other fascinating ruins and hidden destinations. If you’re interested in experiencing a few different sectors of Peruvian culture and history rather than simply seeing Lima and Cusco, we suggest you take a bus rather than flying straight. For this, we strongly recommend taking Peru Hop‘s route along the coast. This route also ascends progressively which will give you some important time to acclimatise to altitude, adjust to thinner air and help prevent altitude sickness in Cusco.
Cusco, a colonial Spanish city built on top of ancient Inca foundations is certainly worth a few days to explore. Once the capital of the Inca Dynasty, the city’s streets are littered with the remains of ancient palaces, temples and elaborate shrines. Nowadays, Cusco is a modern metropolitan hub of activity well developed for tourism, brimming with hotels, bars, shops and fancy high-end eateries. About 1 hour north of Cusco is the picturesque Sacred Valley of the Incas. A long fertile valley encapsulated by snow-capped mountain peaks, the Sacred Valley is home to several must visit attractions including: Pisac Ruins – a sprawling mountain top Inca ruin with well-preserved buildings and intricate water features, Pisac Market – a famous indigenous market where locals sell everything from baby alpaca blankets to oven cooked guinea-pig, and Ollantaytambo Ruins – a mountainside fortress and one of the last strong holds of Emperor Manco Inca. The classic 4 day Inca Trail is also a number one draw for adventure travellers. Following a network of ancient stone highways, the Inca Trail offers one of the most spectacular opportunities to experience off-the-beaten track Inca ruins, nature and mind-blowing Andean scenery. For booking the Inca Trail or any of the other treks to Machu Picchu, we strongly recommend taking a look on the www.findlocaltrips.com operator comparison website.
Finally, no trip to Peru would be complete without sampling Peruvian cuisine. Now considered to be one of the leading countries in South America for gastronomic excellence and slowly becoming recognized on an international level, Peru will surprise you with its innovative and tasty cuisine. Heavily influenced by its Asian, African and European roots, and combined with unique (and often unheard of) ingredients, sampling some local dishes should definitely be on your Must Do List! One such dish is Ceviche, made with strips of fresh fish cooked in a mix of spicy aji and lime juice, served with sweet potato and corn. Another tasty dish is Tacu Tacu, rice and beans cooked together and flavoured with aji panca and garlic, often served with an Asian style beef stir fry over the top.