Home to exotic jungles, coastal deserts, and the majestic Andes Mountains, a Peru vacation offers an array of destinations to fill any travel itinerary. Whether you’re visiting Peru to explore its historical cities, visit its ancient ruins, discover its natural wonders, or experience a bit of everything, planning your trip intelligently is vital to making the most of your Peruvian visit. Although many only consider Machu Picchu and the nearby gateway city of Cusco when planning a trip to Peru, visitors should not overlook other worthwhile attractions spread throughout this beautiful South American country.
Shop and Dine in the Capital City of Lima
By forming itineraries based solely on visiting Machu Picchu, many visitors pass through Lima on their Peru vacation without fully discovering the beautiful capital city… a common yet unfortunate mistake. As the largest city of Peru, Lima boasts exquisite architecture throughout the city, and many of its elegant churches and buildings date back to the 16th century. The beautiful Miraflores District overlooks the Peruvian coastline and offers boutique shopping, beautiful parks, and upscale dining options. In fact, Lima is an internationally renowned destination for serious food enthusiasts.
3-Day Lima Stopover – Ancient Cultures
Take a Tour of Lake Titicaca
Settled high in the Andes between the borders of Bolivia and Peru, Lake Titicaca is one of the most famous and fascinating lakes in the world. Considered a sacred place by the Incas, Lake Titicaca was heralded as the staging ground for the world’s creation. After visiting its pristine shoreline and exploring its islands, you may appreciate the mythology. The man-made, floating reed islands in Lake Titicaca are also excellent places to buy authentic Peruvian crafts. Lodging is available in the quaint city of Puno, and the historic Puno Cathedral is a must-visit place. Puno is accessible by train from Cusco, an airport located in nearby Juliaca, or from Bolivia. It’s roughly a 50/50 split, where people go to and from Bolivia by vehicle, or a boat service which crosses the entire lake.
Experience the Architecture of Arequipa
The second largest city in Peru, Arequipa is typically used as a home base for exploring nearby Colca Canyon. However, the city is definitely worth exploring. Many of Arequipa’s historical buildings are constructed of white volcanic stone, especially in the city’s centre, or Plaza de Armas. Known as “The White City”, Arequipa is famous for its Spanish-mestizo architecture, and more than 250 of its buildings are historically preserved.
The most famous of these buildings is the Convento de Santa Catalina, and for good reason. Considered a city within a city, the historical religious building is more than 20,000 square meters and home to breathtaking architecture and artwork.
Explore the Majesty of Colca Canyon
A short, picturesque excursion over the Andean plateau, a trip to Colca Canyon is an itinerary must-do for nature-lovers and hiking enthusiasts on a Peru vacation. Only 100 miles northwest of Arequipa, Colca Canyon is twice as deep as the Grand Canyon in the United States, and the sweeping valley views are some of the best in South America. The area’s population also retains much of their ancestral heritage, making this region one of the best places to buy authentic handmade crafts and textiles. The Colca Canyon is also home to the rare Andean condor, and visitors can see the gliding, majestic birds while hiking.
4-Day Arequipa & Colca Canyon Condors
Trek the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
Although there are many destinations in Peru to explore, one can’t overlook the famed Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. From the nearby city of Cusco, visitors can take a bus or train towards the town of Aguas Calientes, which is at the bottom of the hill on which Machu Picchu is located on. Stopping halfway between Cusco and Machu Picchu, you begin the hardest day of the multi-day trek, as it’s mostly uphill on Day 1. The 26-mile trek is one of the most famous hikes in the world, offering scenic mountain views, lush forests, subtropical jungles, and plenty of Incan ruins along the way. There is also a 2 and 5 day version of the trail, as well as a luxury option. In addition, we offer a few alternate treks in different areas of Peru’s Sacred Valley, and fantastic alternative experiences.
Known as the Lost City of the Incas, the mysterious ruins of Machu Picchu is found at the end of the trail. Needless to say, exploring the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu after a beautiful trek through Peru’s mountains is an exhilarating experience.
4-Day Traditional Inca Trail
Over the years, Peru has become synonymous with the Incan civilization and Machu Picchu. Although these are fascinating aspects of Peru, visitors should not overlook the country’s other destination highlights. Whether you’re looking for a budget-friendly excursion, fully escorted Peruvian getaway, or a tailor-made itinerary to fit your interest and budget, we have everything that Peru has to offer.
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