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What to see in Peru

Peru Attractions


If there's one place in South America brimming with fascinating and awe-inspiring attractions, it's Peru. With wonders such as Macchu Pichu, the Colca Canyon, the mysterious Nazca lines, the Coricancha Inca Ruins and Pisco, it's no wonder Peru is one of South America's most popular tourist destinations. The country is a favourite with backpackers and budget travellers and it is possible to travel cheaply if necessary. However, Peru's most famous tourist activity, hiking the Inca Trail, is expensive and must be organised in advance as permits are required and very limited.

Cities like Lima, Cusco, and Arequipa are charming and atmospheric, if a little shabby, with lots of colour and run-down colonial buildings. Peru has an interesting and refreshingly unique cuisine and the restaurant scene in places like Lima is fun to investigate. Lima also has a vibrant nightlife and some decent museums.

A reliable swell, fairly warm water and consistent offshore winds make the country a tremendous surfing destination too, with local surfers generally heading to Lima with its great waves. The north coast in particular has long, empty waves in beautiful locations, plus one of the world's largest left-hand point breaks.

Getting around Peru is fairly cheap and easy with plenty of internal flights operating on an almost daily basis and an affordable and reasonably reliable public transport system. It's advisable to fly between cities when possible or rent a car and explore all this mystical country has to offer, although long-haul bus trips are also an option.


Amazon Basin

Nearly half of Peru lies within the sweltering Amazon Basin, where an untouched rainforest conceals every foot and fang. Believed to be the most biologically diverse region in the world, it's sparsely…

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Cajamarca

Cajamarca is considered one of the best tourist destinations in Peru's northern highlands, with the Andean traditions very much alive and well. It's also where the Inca Empire fell during a bloody…

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Chan Chan

Once the Chimu Kingdom's capital, Chan Chan was home to around 60 000 inhabitants and was wealthy in gold, silver and ceramics. Most of its treasures disappeared with Spanish looters…

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Coricancha Inca Ruins

The sacred complex of Coricancha was considered the centre of the Inca world, with the walls and floors of the Temple of the Sun once covered in sheets of solid gold and accompanied…

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Lake Titicaca

Many Peruvians revere Lake Titicaca as legend says the founders of the Inca rose from its waters. Today, the Uros people live on man-made floating islands, fishing in beautiful carved canoes atop the…

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Machu Picchu

The ancient Inca citadel of Machu Picchu is regarded as the most significant archaeological site in South America, perched high in the Andes. Fortunately, Spanish colonists didn't…

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Marcahuasi

Marcahuasi is a plateau in the Andes, where travellers interested in the mythical side of Peruvian culture will find a wonderful excursion from nearby Lima. The mountains are home…

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Pisco

Pisco is a small port and fishing village, best known for its fiery white-grape brandy. One of Peru's major ancient civilisations, the Paracas established their culture in the…

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Sacsayhuaman

Of the four ruins near Cuzco, Sacsayhuaman is the closest and most remarkable. Spanish conquistadors used it as a quarry during their day, providing many of the materials for the…

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The Colca Canyon

The Colca Canyon is the most popular excursion from Arequipa and the world's second deepest canyon. The picturesque valley is home to huge mountains, grand churches and lively…

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The Inca Trail

The world-famous Inca Trail is the toast of South America's hikes. Constructed as a royal road to the citadel of Machu Picchu, the stone-paved walk ventures deep into cloud forests…

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The Nazca Lines

Nazca is a small desert town in southern Peru, famous for the mysterious lines and diagrams etched into the surrounding desert floor thousands of years ago. Visitors will also…

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The Sacred Valley (Urubamba River Valley)

Known as the Sacred Valley of the Incas, this breathtakingly beautiful and fertile valley stretches between the villages of Pisac and Ollantaytambo. Travellers will navigate it…

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