Peru

Travel Guide
Cusco showing landscape views, mountains and a ruin

Experience fascinating ruins, bustling cities, magnificent landscapes, wild rivers and the Amazon jungle in the birthplace of the Inca Empire.

From ancient civilizations and colonial heritage to striking natural scenery, wildlife and high-adrenalin sports, Peru has an astounding variety of attractions. You can retrace the footsteps of the Incas, cruise the world’s highest navigable lake, hike across the Andes and surf at glorious beaches. Peru sits on the west coast of South America, nestled between Amazonian rainforests and the Pacific Ocean.

See astounding remnants of Peru’s millennia-old civilizations. The most famous is the mystical Machu Picchu, a mountain-top citadel that was once the center of Incan culture. Arrive here by hiking along the sacred Inca Trail. Visit the archaeological ruins of Chan Chan, the former home of the Chimú Kingdom, or the pre-Incan adobe pyramids in the Lambayaque Valley, better known as Valley of the Pyramids. Gaze in wonder at the mysterious Nazca Lines geoglyphs in the southern Peruvian desert.

Peru’s towns and cities showcase a fusion of colonial history, Peruvian heritage and modernity. Peru’s capital, Lima, has remarkable architecture, a dynamic nightlife and an excellent culinary scene. Wander the narrow streets of Cuzcoto find hidden Inca ruins and indigenous markets. Admire the legacy of Spanish-era monuments in Arequipa. Don’t miss Puerto Belen, a floating village on the Amazon River.

Visit small island communities while you cruise Lake Titicaca, the highest sailable lake on earth. Watch condors glide high up in the mountains that surround Colca Canyon. See colorful butterflies, monkeys and jaguars in Manu National Park. Spot sea lions and flamingos at Paracas National Reservation and the stunning Ballestas Islands.

For adventurous visitors, there’s excellent hiking in the Cordillera Blanca and Cordillera Huayhuash. Join kayaking and white-water rafting excursions on the Apurimac and Urubamba rivers. Try sand-boarding or ride in a dune buggy over the huge dunes at Huacachina Oasis. Surf at palm-fringed beaches such as Puerto Chicama and Máncora Beach.

Explore this large country easily with Peru’s extensive network of cheap and reliable buses and affordable domestic flights. Peru’s fascinating culture, mesmerizing ancient ruins, breathtaking landscapes and wildlife make it an exciting vacation destination.

Popular cities in Peru

Exposition Park featuring a fountain and a park as well as a large group of people
Lima
Known for Dining, Shopping and Museums
Spanish colonial houses, exquisite food, musicians in traditional dress, oceanfront entertainment and fine museums make the Peruvian capital a feast for the senses.

Reasons to visit

  • Plaza San Martin
  • Plaza de Armas de Lima
  • Government Palace
Cusco showing a house, building ruins and heritage architecture
Cusco
Known for Shopping, Tours and Historical
Once the capital of the Inca Empire, this historic city is the gateway to the Sacred Valley of the Incas and one of the most important sites in indigenous Peruvian culture.

Reasons to visit

  • Plaza de Armas
  • Cusco Cathedral
  • San Pedro Market
Machu Picchu showing mist or fog and a ruin
Machu Picchu
Known for Mountains, Hiking and Historical
The sacred Inca city, built high in the Andes and hidden for centuries, is now one of Peru’s most spectacular and popular tourist destinations.

Reasons to visit

  • Aguas Calientes Hot Springs
  • Inca Trail
  • Huayna Picchu
Trujillo which includes tranquil scenes and a sandy beach
Trujillo
Known for Historical, Surfing and Ruins
Perched on Peru’s northwestern coast, this city is famed for its colonial architecture, ancient archaeological sites, beautiful beaches and colorful festivals.

Reasons to visit

  • Trujillo Plaza de Armas
  • Trujillo Cathedral
Uros Floating Islands featuring a lake or waterhole and a small town or village
Puno
Known for Lakes, Islands and Boating
Escape to Puno! Enjoy its lake views, culture, and cathedral.

Reasons to visit

  • Puno Plaza de Armas
  • Puno Cathedral
Arequipa
Arequipa
Known for Temples, Volcano and Cathedrals
Love temples, volcanoes, and museums? Get away to Arequipa!

Reasons to visit

  • Arequipa Plaza de Armas

Popular places to visit in Peru

Peru

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