Will you be visiting Peru soon? I know; it seems like a distant land. But the further you get from it, the more you realize this South American country has so much to offer and no less than 100 reasons to visit. From Machu Picchu to beaches, ancient cultures, and vibrant cities, there is something for everyone in this country.
The diversity of landscapes, flora, and fauna makes it one of the world’s leading biodiversity hotspots. There is so much more than I could write about this enchanting country — so here are ten reasons why you should visit Peru right now!
- 1 When is the best time to visit Peru?
- 2 Top 10 reasons to visit Peru
- 2.1 Jump on a luxury train to Machu Picchu
- 2.2 The Inca Trail
- 2.3 Ruins and Culture
- 2.4 You’ll See Rainbow-Colored Wildlife
- 2.5 Magical Lake Titicaca
- 2.6 The food is delicious, whether you’re vegan or not
- 2.7 Visit the Amazon Rainforest
- 2.8 Explore Lima
- 2.9 An oasis in the desert – Huacachina
- 2.10 Colca Canyon – the kingdom of condors
When is the best time to visit Peru?
The best time to visit Peru depends on which part of the country you want to see.
February to April is ideal for a trip to the coast. The weather is more pleasant than the rest of the year. The Peruvian coast, particularly in the north, is also a fantastic place to visit during the holidays.
If you’re looking for a low-cost vacation, visit between May and October; this is when you’ll find the most affordable airfare and accommodation rates. The weather remains pleasant during the high season, which lasts from November to January. You’ll also spend 40 percent more money while there.
The southern Andes are best visited between March and November, with the region’s Quechua communities welcoming visitors during summer. If you want an authentic experience, visit between December and February.
Top 10 reasons to visit Peru
I traveled to Peru and fell in love with the country. Here are some of the top reasons to visit this wonderful country.
Jump on a luxury train to Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu is one of the most iconic destinations in the world, but it can also be a bit of a pain to get to if you don’t have transportation.
The Belmond Andean Explorer is a luxury train that travels from Southern Peru to the Urubamba Valley, where Machu Picchu is located. It’s one of the best ways to travel to the site, especially if you’re traveling with a large group. The trip takes about 6 hours, and you’ll be able to enjoy stunning views of the Andes Mountains, rivers, valleys, and more along the way.
If you want to make the trip in style, you can upgrade to the Royal Service, which offers you more luxurious and spacious amenities, like a private room, lounge, dining car, and more. You can also make the night trip to see the gorgeous scenery along the Urubamba river. The Belmond Andean Explorer is one of the best ways to see Machu Picchu and all the Peruvian Andes have to offer!
The Inca Trail
The Inca Trail is one of the most well-known hikes in the world, not just in Peru. It’s a highly challenging trail that takes around 4 days to complete. While it may be an arduous trail, it’s also advantageous, as the trail ends at one of the most iconic sites in Peru: the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu.
Along the way, you’ll also pass through the cloud forests, where you’ll see the diverse species of plants, birds, insects, and more that inhabit the area. The trail is very challenging but also very rewarding. The only downside is that getting permits to make the trail is challenging due to the high number of tourists who attempt it every year.
In addition, the trail is only open during certain months, so if you want to do it, you’ll have to plan your trip accordingly. However, if you manage to get a permit, the Inca Trail is one of the most rewarding hikes in the world, and you don’t want to miss out on it!
Ruins and Culture
Peru is home to some of the oldest civilizations in the world, so you’ll get a sense of history and culture when you visit this country. The best places to explore the ruins and culture of the country are the city of Cusco, the Sacred Valley, and the city of Lima.
If you’ve ever wondered why Peru is so highly revered and known as a travel destination with extremely high potential, it’s because of its colonial cities. The colonial cities of Cusco and the Sacred Valley are listed among the New 7 Wonders of the World. In addition, you may have heard that Machu Picchu is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Still, the colonial cities’ architecture and culture make this part of the country so wonderful. In Cusco, you can explore the Inca Trail, visit the ancient city of the Incas, explore the museums full of ancient treasures, go on a tour to see the Sacred Valley, or get up close and personal with the locals by taking a tour of the local markets.
You’ll See Rainbow-Colored Wildlife
Peru has a wide variety of wildlife, including many birds and other animals. It’s home to an enormous concentration of hummingbirds, which you’ll see swarming around the flowers and feeders in many gardens and parks around the country. You’ll also see various other fascinating birds, like the Andean cock-of-the-rock, the yellow-tailed oriole, and the horned curassow.
You’ll also see plenty of other wildlife, like pink river dolphins in the Amazon, giant blue butterflies, giant river otters, and more. Peru is also home to various marine life, including blue spotted stingrays, hammerhead sharks, and manta rays. You may also see sea turtles, dolphins, and whales in the Pacific Ocean near the country’s coastline.
Overall, Peru is a great place to see all kinds of wildlife, and you don’t want to miss out on this opportunity while visiting the country.
Magical Lake Titicaca
Magical Lake Titicaca is the most famous place in Peru. It’s the largest lake on the continent, and the cold waters do not exceed 14 degrees Celsius, so it is unlikely to be used as a swimming area. However, if you sail to any of the islands, know that this is the highest navigable lake on Earth, and you can use the ferry and other floating means of transportation (more than 3,800 meters above sea level).
Titicaca has many islands – artificial ones made of natural material and floating ones. The Uros tribe lives on them, and they build not only islands and huts but also decorative boats out of totora reeds, which grow in the shallow parts of the lake.
The food is delicious, whether you’re vegan or not
This cuisine is one of the most diverse in the world. You can find many dishes that respect the country’s rich history, culture, and people. You can also try several exotic fruits, including avocado and camu-camu.
You can go for a breakfast of ceviche, a traditional dish made with raw fish marinated in citrus juices, or a pescadito completo, a fish fillet wrapped in banana leaves with rice and beans.
When you feel like you can’t eat another thing, try some sweet and delicious desserts like alfajores, which are shortbread butter cookies sandwiched with dulce de leche, a caramel made with milk and sugar.
For an authentic Andean experience, you can try anticucheras; deep-fried dough balls made with sugar, honey, and other ingredients.
Visit the Amazon Rainforest
The Parque Nacional de Manu, in the Amazon Rainforest, is one of the best places in the world to see bird species. There are around 500 species of birds here. You can choose from a one-day or one-week excursion.
If you choose the one-week option, you can visit the nearby villages and try their delicious cuisine. For bird lovers, this is a must-visit place. When you visit the Parque Nacional de Los Nevados, you can see the Andean Condor, the enormous bird in the world and a symbol of strength, power, and freedom.
Lima is one of the most liveable cities in the world, and it’s a great place to visit if you want to experience a vibrant city full of great culture and architecture.
It is renowned for its stunning colonial architecture, vibrant nightlife, and stunning beaches. Its bustling streets are filled with markets and restaurants, offering everything from local cuisine to international options. The city has several attractions, including the Plaza de Armas, which sits at the heart of the city. This square has been the location of many events over the years, including declarations of independence.
There are museums, historical landmarks, and outdoor activities such as hiking and rock climbing. Lima is also known for its cultural scene, with art galleries and performances throughout the year. There’s no better reason to visit Peru than this!
An oasis in the desert – Huacachina
Would you like to see a mini-city surrounded by desert? Take a trip to the Huacachina oasis in Peru, just 4 kilometers from the city of Ica.
Huacachina was built around a small lake with palm trees. Here you can rent a room in one of the hotels and indulge in sand madness.
Try sandboarding (i.e., sliding down the dunes on a board). You can take a trip in a particular car adapted for sandboarding (areneros) – the driver will drive you to the top of the dune and then pick you up from the bottom.
Local legend says that the water in the lake has healing properties (some people specially coat themselves with its mud), but the not-so-clean water is a deterrent from swimming. Instead, you can rent water bikes or boats and use the hotel’s swimming pool to cool off.
Colca Canyon – the kingdom of condors
Surely you’ve heard of the Grand Canyon in the US, but have you heard of the Colca Canyon in Peru? Meanwhile, Colca is a canyon twice as deep as its famous cousin and the second deepest in the world (32700 m). Colca amazes with the richness of its landscapes: in addition to the characteristic rocky cliffs, you will see here both steppes and agricultural terraces, even palm trees, ferns, and orchids.
Condors guard the 100-kilometer-long canyon, and these are not just any guards: the Andean condors are the giant flying birds in the world. Their wingspan can exceed 3 meters and weigh as much as 15 kilograms. They can live as long as 70 years but are threatened with extinction.
When visiting the Colca Canyon during your vacation in Peru, you will see condors circling above it. These giant birds impress tourists, residents, and the entire continent. The Andean condor is the national symbol of many countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Colombia, and Peru. The indigenous inhabitants of the Andes believed that condors were related to the Sun.
In addition to condors, in the Colca Canyon, you’ll probably encounter viscachas – rabbit-sized rodents related to chinchillas, and, if you’re lucky – flower-dipping hummingbirds.
Are you ready to visit Peru?
I hope the above list has inspired (or will inspire) you to visit Peru. It’s a country where you’ll see an array of landscapes (from jungle to mountains to desert), where Inca and colonial traditions intermingle, and where tribes live in the wilderness, unaware of these changes.
There are so many things to discover in this country, and there is no way to see it all in just one visit. This article can only scratch the surface of this fascinating country. You will need more than a week to organize a full itinerary introducing you to its rich cultures and breathtaking landscapes.
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