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Exceptional cultural heritage, bewitching landscapes and dream beaches ... Welcome to Peru, to discover the most beautiful stopovers in the country!
In South America, discover a fascinating destination that catches the imagination of travelers: Peru! Cradle of the Incas, the country is full of archaeological sites that we love to explore, imagining to unlock all the secrets and what about its landscapes? A true land of contrasts, Peru unveils panoramas that are as enchanting as they are varied, from the sand dunes to the snow-capped mountains of the Andes Cordillera, passing through the lush green jungle of the Amazon.
Here is an overview with our selection of the most beautiful places to visit in Peru. Have a nice trip…
1. Machu Picchu:
To the question what to do in Peru? The answer is inevitably going to Machu Picchu, one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. This major Inca site can be reached by train from Cuzco or Ollantaytambo, through a hike of several days along the Inca Trail, or by an easy walk from Hidroelectrica.
Very early in the morning, with the brush of your headlamp, climb the steps in the dissipating mist and reach the Porte du Soleil. You will have a beautiful view of these ruins alone. The emotion is guaranteed! The bravest will begin the ascent of Huayna Picchu Mountain to discover the site from a different perspective.
2. The Colorful Mountain Vinikunka:
Those who come in search of the beauty of Peru will find their way to Vanuatu Mountain, also known as “the mountain of seven colors”. Of course, the trek requires being in good physical shape and enduring altitude sickness, but the spectacle at the finish is well worth it. Astonished travelers discover a fabulous colorful picture, the result of the accumulation of several sediments of different colors in the rock.
The oldest city in the Americas, this huge complex is said to have been built over 5,000 years ago! It brings together amphitheatres, pyramids and other adobe structures, and can be discovered in one day from Lima. Treat yourself to the services of a guide to find out more about the Caral civilization.
4. Huascaran National Park:
At the heart of the Cordillera Blanca, the Huascaran National Park has been classified as a biosphere reserve by Unesco. There are mountains with an incredible number of glaciers, lagoons, valleys and other high peaks. It thus offers a range of outdoor activities for everyone, from hiking to horseback riding, skiing or mountaineering.
Huascaran National Park
5. The lagoon 69:
We stay in the Cordilleras region to discover another natural gem of Peru, Lagoon 69, accessible in one day from Huaraz.
By public transport or by car chartered by a local agency, you reach Llanganuco Lake, nestled in the heart of the Huascaran National Park. Let's go for a 3 hour walk! At the beginning very easy, the trail gradually stiffens, but the bewitching landscapes will divert your attention. On arrival, you discover a lagoon with turquoise waters, bordered by high snow-capped peaks.
It is impossible to visit Peru without going through the city of Cuzco, the starting point for a host of Inca sites in the surroundings and which is worth a detour in itself. There are many architectural and historical wonders in the heart of the green mountains.
First stop, Place d'Armes, a true nerve center of Cuzco where the inhabitants like to meet, and which is bordered by the superb Church of the Society of Jesus. Open the doors of the many museums to learn more about the city and Peruvian culture.
7. Lake Titicaca:
Straddling Peru and Bolivia, Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable in the world, stretches over 8,000 square kilometers. Yes, the place is touristy, and yes, it is worth a visit if you decide to visit Peru. Crossing this immense expanse of water is already a journey in itself, but the lake is also full of a thousand wonders: here, the floating Uras islands, built of reeds; there, the village of the community of Paramis, where time seems to have stood still.
8. Canyon Del Colca:
Deep at 3,400 meters, the Colca canyon reveals enchanting landscapes, from terraced cultures to typical villages, including lagoons and watchtowers. Stop at the Croix de Condor, which offers a breathtaking view of the valley below, and from which you may have the chance to admire the vertiginous flight of the birds of the same name.
9. The Saltworks of Maras:
Notice to amateur photographers, the salt flats of Maras are undoubtedly one of the most beautiful landscapes in Peru. Located about fifty kilometers from Cuzco, in the heart of the sacred valley of the Incas, these ancient salt marshes built on terraces form a shades of yellow of the most photogenic. Guided tours are organized; they give you the opportunity to exchange a few words with the farmers who harvest the salt.
10. The Beaches of Punta Sal:
Visiting Peru for lazing on the beaches is possible! All you need to do is reach the village of Punta Sal, in the north of the country, which nestles with your toes in the sand, on the shores of the Pacific Ocean. In the program? Sunbathe on the bamboo deckchairs, swim in the waves and taste freshly caught fish. In the evening, be sure to watch the sunset while sipping coconut water.
11. Gocta Cataract:
Bucolic atmosphere for this next destination in Peru. Falling from a height of 771 meters, the Gocta cataract in the north of the country is worth a stop. We walk in the heart of a lush jungle where orchids flourish, before reaching a viewpoint, from where we contemplate the fabulous waterfall.
Those who plan to visit Peru most often arrive in Lima, the country's capital. Former colonial city, it has a certain charm, and we like to stroll along its colorful streets, to discover its cultural heritage.
Look up, the wooden balconies are one of Lima's sights! Enjoy a relaxing break in the interior garden of the Santo Domingo Church, before heading to the Central Market, where you will learn about the treasures of Peruvian gastronomy.
13. The Sacred Valley of the Incas:
You can see the most beautiful place in Peru, the sacred valley of Inca. Enameled with archaeological remains, it offers a number of outdoor activities and treks for lovers of nature and old stones. Sacsayhuaman (nicknamed "sexy woman" by the guides to make tourists laugh), with its perfectly interlocking stone blocks, Moray and its terraces in concentric circles and Ollantaytambo, with its ancient cobbled streets, are worth a detour.
14. Nazca lines:
Climb aboard a small plane to fly over the enigmatic geometric designs and figures traced over a period from 500 BC. AD in the year 500 AD. Have fun recognizing the monkey, spider or astronaut.
15. The oasis of Huacachina:
In contrast, there is a desert of dunes near the city of Aka in Peru, which often comes from Lima. Here you can enjoy the sand in your feet but the best is yet to come! Stop at the village of Hwakachina, near the Emerald Oasis, a mirage shining under the sun.
16. The Ballestas Islands:
Off the city of Pisco, an archipelago of islands rises in the middle of the Pacific Ocean: the Ballestas. It has an archaeological reserve, a marine bird, a large population of penguins and Carmonts. From the boat, you will observe sea lions frolicking in the water or basking on a rock, before setting foot ashore and climbing up the cliffs to contemplate splendid panoramas.
17. Pisac Market:
Competing in colors and scents, South American markets never leave travelers indifferent. One of the most beautiful of them is undoubtedly that of Pisac, to be visited as a priority on Sundays. Do not forget your camera.
Wearing their bowler hats and dressed in variegated textiles, Peruvians willingly lend themselves to a souvenir portrait. Wander among the fruit and vegetable stalls to discover the impressive variety of corn and potatoes from Peru.
18. Mausoleums of Revash:
You will first need to reach the village of San Bartolo to purchase entrance tickets on the site. Then, a short walk on the edge of the cliff awaits you, before discovering, amazed, the funeral complex engraved in the rock. It is said to have contained several mummies, all of which are missing today.
19. Manu National Park:
Treat yourself to a deep breath of fresh air as you travel to the Peruvian Amazon, which you discover from Manu National Park.
In the company of a guide, you will explore one of the last wilderness areas in the world, populated by swans, birds and other small mammals. And if you're lucky, you'll cross paths with the lord of the land, the jaguar! At night, you go to flush out ants and colorful spiders by the glow of your flashlight.
20. Chan Chan:
If you have decided to visit Peru for its archaeological riches, then do not miss a detour to the former capital of the Chimu kingdom, Chan Chan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The site is in a remarkable state of conservation, and you will walk among the remains of earthen buildings, which have survived the centuries.