The most popular Peru tourist attractions may not be as you imagined.
Let me help you enjoy life in one of South America’s hidden gems: a nation of incredible history.
Quick Answer: Peru Tourist Attractions
- Why Visit Peru? – Reasons to Backpack Peru
- Unmissable Major Attractions – Hiking to Machu Picchu
- Travellers Top Tips – Learn More about Travel in Peru
- Get Prepared for the Climate – See what to Pack for Peru
- Travel Insurance for Peru – Staying Safe in Peru
- Backpackers Accommodation – 19 of The Best Hostels in Peru
Peru can be seen as one of the richest countries in the world when it comes to history and culture.
With most of its tourism aimed towards the countries archaeological monuments, this guide will present you with some of the best tourist attractions Peru has to offer.
Peru Tourist Attractions
Of course, with so many nations nearby to visit, you might wonder why Peru is worth your time. If that is the case, let me help you out.
Why Visit Peru?
Some of the reasons why you should visit Peru include:
- An incredible culture and charm: the locals make it so easy to settle in
- Amazing architecture, both man-made and natural, it’a so eye-catching
- Peru has so many amazing sights to take photos and to see true nature
With a trip to Peru, you make sure that you can spend a lot more time enjoying a piece of South America that draws people the world over.
Compared to neighbouring countries Peru is safe for most travelers.
If you want to get help in enjoying your time in the country, though, you will need to make sure that you pick the right things to go and do.
Peru Tourist Attractions
So, with that in mind, let’s look at some justifiably popular Peru tourist attractions!
The Inca Trail
The Inca Trail is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Peru and if you’re well into hiking, it’s probably the best place to start off.
It’s an immensely satisfying location and should give you the perfect trip to follow all the way up to Machu Pichu itself.
It’s become a hiking trail that many explorers love to enjoy and makes sure you can enjoy taking on a variety of different paths: the ‘classic’ path, the ‘mollepata’ path and the ‘one day’ path.
They all offer a unique kind of experience, so I recommend that you try and find time to check out all three if you want to really enjoy this most unique of Peru tourist attractions.
The Inca Trail offers many amazing sights, scenes, and sounds. Some of the most immediately recommendable include:
- Visit the Wayllampampa village, a small village great for a rest
- Take part in the Inca ruins various functions up at Patallaqta
- Visit the various landmarks on the way there, including Conchamarka
If you stick to this, you should find it a bit easier to enjoy some of the sights that might often bypass those who take this kind of trip.
A quick note of caution, though: this is not a Peru tourist attraction for those of limited physical strength.
The draining walk will make sure you have to be physically fit, so I recommend that you spend more time getting prepared for such a journey before setting forth.
Also, make sure that you spend some time preparing the right items to bring along with you.
This stunning path might lead to some truly amazing sights, but getting there is tough.
Ensure you are fully prepared for the challenges to come with a series of items, medication, and equipment to ensure you can reach Machu Pichu without failure.
The stunning Machu Pichu is one of the true landmarks of humanity – a stunning part of southern Peru that is not only one of the famous sites in Peru but also among the highest spots in the world.
It’s a special place to come to and should give you an immediate impression of what life could have been for those who lived here during the prominence of the Inca civilization long-term.
This part of Lima is one of the best Peru tourist destinations.
It’s a fine place to visit, a location that is among the most romantic trips that you could make. You can even visit as part of a day trip if you have time.
A neighborhood to add to your list of popular places in Peru whilst in Lima.
The beach and its waves are stunning, and the sheer range of things to do – aside from mingling with locals – makes it easy to settle in.
As ever, though, keep one eye on your belongings.
The Inca Trail is great but a trip to Playa Mancora is a fine beach to come when you want to relax for the day. It also makes a fun place to come if you wish to take part in some Peruvian horse riding.
Like many beaches in Peru Mancora should make it easy for you to relax and to have some fun, just make sure you come here when the weather is fair; the heat can fair build-up here during the summer months!
Huacachina is one of the popular places to visit in Peru now that become a must-visit location.
These interesting tours are some of the most fun you could have.
I recommend that you come as part of an adventure tour, though, as this part of Peru is so remote that it can become needlessly easy to get lost. Come in a party, though, and you’ll have a truly spectacular time.
The capital of the department of Loreto might not seem like much at first, but it’s the largest city that is not accessible by road.
Nevertheless, this is one of the best places to see in Peru when looking to visit the wildlife of the Amazon.
Take the boat trip needed to come to see this special part of life here on the Amazon River. Just be sure to be ready for the humid weather and challenging conditions which are sure to await you as soon as you arrive.
Not only one of the best places to go in Peru for hikers, but Rainbow Mountain is also a geographical wonder and the kind of location that should immediately inspire you to see more.
It’s a truly satisfying place to come, but again I recommend that you come as part of a group. The conditions are demanding, so having support there nearby is recommended.
However, with the influx of tourism at the Rainbow Mountain, there has been a negative impact on the local area.
It’s always worth knowing the environmental impacts of tourism before making a decision to visit a new location.
Cusco, a part of the old Incan Empire, is for me, one of the most beautiful places in Peru. It’s a truly fun place to come.
It can take some getting used to, but it’s a fun place for you to be able to take on some interesting trail hikes.
Just be ready to get used to the interesting geography, as it can be quite a hard place to navigate without assistance.
You’ll be glad to know there are many day trips from Cusco on offer.
So, don’t be afraid to hire a tour guide if you find it hard to navigate the various hikes.
Salinas de Maras
This beautiful town in the Sacred Valley is one of those historical places in Peru that is well worth your time coming to visit.
It’s a beautiful place and the kind of location that offers many interesting hikes, trips, and journeys to take on.
Be sure to visit the Sacred Valley of the Incas; it’s a stunning landmark that will make you immediately appreciate the cultural importance of this particular location.
Peru Travel Tips
With every travel guide, I write on layer culture my aim is to give some practical travel tips that you can make the use of right away.
If you are heading to Peru soon, no doubt you’ll have more than your fair share of things to consider.
In this guide, I’m going to give you some useful ideas on what to pack for Peru.
Peru is extremely welcoming and has many good options for you to pick from when it comes to buying items.
From reading about the different tourist attractions in Peru you may have already gathered that you will be entering a South American nation that can feel very different indeed from the norm.
Outside of other South American countries, Peru is a location with a very unique culture and climate. Wondering how do people dress in Peru?
The good news is, on arriving you’ll see that (outside of indigenous cultures), there’s no real etiquette when it comes to clothing in Peru.
If you choose to come here, you’ll quickly realize just how diverse Peru is. It’s got its fair share of mountainous regions.
Best time to go to Peru
The Mountains in places are where the altitude gets extremely high – indeed, some of the highest settlements in the world in terms of altitude exist in Peru. Just look at places like Ausangate for example.
However, you will also find that the main problem you will have with Peru is bringing enough of everything.
Given the temperature challenges that can exist here, as well as dealing with the sheer scale of the altitude, you will need to make sure that your pack is well prepared.
In terms of what to pack for Peru, one problem you will likely run into is that you’ll need to get used to the rapidly changing weather taking place.
Arguably no other nation on the continent can have such drastic, dramatic changes in the weather over such a short space of time.
Thanks to the climate and the layout of the country, it can easily go from being extremely warm to bitingly cold.
Or, humid and dry to damp and wet – within a matter of hours.
Not to mention the stark contrast between the weather in Peru in June compared to December.
For that reason, it pays to make sure that you know what to pack for Peru so you can always be prepared.
What Pack for Peru
For anyone who is serious about going to Peru, then, the below ideas should make it a bit easier for you to get everything ready so that you can handle Peru all-year-round.
- Strong, sturdy boots
- Leather base, rubber soles
- Waterproof hiking boots
If you want to make sure that you can easily enjoy the whole experience, then you should look to pick up a pair of waterproof hiking boots.
These will help you to get through the muddier parts of Peru, especially if you happen to be visiting Peru in December during the humid, rainy seasons. See my guide to hiking shoes if you prefer a lightweight shoe.
- Lightweight sleeping bag
- Keeps you warm in winter
- Easy to store/put away
Perfect for those who are looking to rest and relax a touch during their journey, this sleeping bag is easily one of the best pick-ups you could get.
You can click here to choose the perfect backpacking tent or if not, maybe you just need a decent sleeping bag to get a good nights sleep?
A strong and stylish sleeping bag that fits someone up to 6’2” in size and offers great heating making it ideal for cold weather camping trips in Peru.
- Great for hydration
- Tough, resistant exterior
- Quick-release shoulder straps
When you are going on a large trek around Peru, one thing you will soon notice is that you need a lot of water to combat the humidity and the like.
This easy to use hydration pack makes it simple for you to carry up to 1.5l of water with easy access to the water shoot to take drinks when required.
- Comfy merino wool socks
- Lifetime guarantee provided
- Great for Peruvian hikes
With the help of these easy to wear socks, you should have little to no issue in enjoying a more comfortable hiking experience. These are very strong, secure cushion socks that feel good and fit the feet perfectly.
Excellent for anyone who wishes to try and make their hiking experience a bit more comfortable, especially in colder parts of Peru.
- Comfortable and lightweight waterproof
- 100% polyester lining
- Omni-tech waterproof design
Ask anyone who’s already been, what to wear in Peru and they’ll tell you, you need a jacket. Something lightweight and waterproof. You’ll find it nice and easy to feel warm and safe when you are traveling, pick this up.
Peruvian weather can change with a click of the fingers, and this is one of the reasons why you should have a waterproof with you at all times. This is essential to pack for Peru and will make sure you can handle the change from sun to showers.
- Great at higher altitude
- Protects chapped lips
- Vitamin E and green tea
Great for your lips and your body in general, this must-have SPF25 lip balm will help to add much-needed protection to your lips when traveling in Peru.
High temperatures and high altitudes can dry out your lips, but this helps to avoid that problem from forming, to begin with. Simply apply 30-minutes before heading out into the sun.
- Perfect for colder weather.
- Comfortable cap and scarf
- Acrylic knit /w fleece-lining
The weather in Peru in December can get nippy. If you want added protection when heading up into the higher altitudes and into the colder parts of the country, then this scarf and hat set is just what you need.
It should offer some valuable protection from the elements, ensuring that you don’t need to feel discomfort for any more than a moment. Great for all-day hikes and walks.
- 130db volume provided
- Very easy to hear
- Works in/out water
If you want to make sure that you are heard if you ever get into trouble, then this safety whistle is a must-have. When looking at what to pack for Peru, such a tool like this is very important.
It helps you to be heard from afar so that you can be rescued if you get lost, stuck or otherwise hurt.
It’s a commonly used safety whistle across the globe and offers a simple choice to be heard underwater or above water. Perfect for avoiding putting yourself into precarious situations in Peru!
When trying to decide what to pack for Peru, you have a lot of decisions to make and a lot of thinking to do.
I understand that your packing list is very personal to you, however, I recommend that you consider the importance of at least one of the products mentioned.
Whether it’s deciding what to wear in the Peruvian Amazon, choosing the most reliable waterproof tent for camping, or which boots to carry for that torturous hike up to Machu Picchu.
What Not to Pack for Peru
Depending on how experienced you are with packing, there’s definitely a list of things you probably should not pack for Peru.
However, as each traveler has their personal choice and is free to bring what they like I can only suggest.
If you’ve read some of my travel gear tips you’ll know I talk about only carrying the essentials.
Always carry a packable down jacket even if it’s not waterproof, and leave extra space in your backpack.
When traveling to Peru it’s a great idea to have extra space as you’ll find some of the most beautiful textiles and gifts that you’ll more than likely want to take home.
My first time traveling to Peru I made the mistake of carrying too much and had to leave some of those magnificent knit hats, sweaters and other souvenirs that today I regret not picking up.
Trust me, you will not be stuck on what to buy in Peru once you get there.
Books about Peru
Interested in learning more about Peru and it’s culture? Here are some books that may interest you:
- The Peru Reader: History, Culture, Politics – This book has a good selection of articles and provides a good background for visiting Peru, especially if you had limited knowledge beforehand.
- Peru – Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture – A small pocket-sized book all about the customs with a focus on the past history of Peru.
- Diary of an Amazon Jungle Guide… – A real diary and real look at life in the Peruvian Amazon. You find detailed descriptions of animal life, botanical documentation
- The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide – When thinking of travelling to Peru for spiritual enlightenment this book will help you go deeper in your journeys.
- Masters of the Living Energy: The Mystical World of the Q’ero of Peru – A great resourse for anyone who is interested in learning about the Andean Cosmology and its practices.
There you have some great reads if you wish to learn more about the Peruvian culture before you head out on your adventure.
Travel Insurance for Peru
Peru is a very diverse country and unless you have a specific purpose i.e doing the Inca Trail, there is no one best time to visit per se.
When you do, however, it is wise to ensure you are covered by a reliable insurer.
I always recommend backpackers and travelers (no matter who you are) use World Nomads Insurance for fully comprehensive cover.
If you are due to travel soon, you can get a Get A Free Quote by clicking the link or the image above and filling out your details – that way you’ll get instant cover from the exact date that you choose.
On many occasions World Nomads has provided me with reliable insurance cover for travel in Latin America and the rest of the world.
Of course, with so much to consider, I recommend that you take a closer look at each Peru tourist attraction mentioned.
With so many things to do in Peru besides Machu Picchu you should be spoilt for choice.
Not all of these will be 100% suitable for the challenges that you face.
As such, you should make sure that you pick from the list above to ensure that you can travel without the same fears that others may have.
Finding a Peru tourist attraction from the above list, though, should be easy – regardless of your typical preferences for adventure!
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