Peru is one of the most magical places on earth, and that’s not even an exaggeration! From world famous attractions like the Nasca Lines, to the coolest archaeological find ever – the lost city of Inca, and from the snow-capped majestic Alps to 3000 species of potatoes to the purest form of chocolate, to dazzling, intriguing non-stop partying festivals, Peru is breathtaking and fascinating.
It is the bugdet-minded traveler’s dream destination as where else can you take pictures with vicunas, alpacas and llamas and get lost in the thickness of Amazon forests, or go wild at the sight of pink river dolphins?
With over 90 types of micro-climates, this land of the Incans has one of the most diverse climates on the planet. So, go surfing at the world’s longest waves, lose yourself in the world’s highest sand dunes at the Nasca Lines and eat purple corn as you’re blown away at the magnificence if the deepest canyon in the world.
Welcome to Peru!
We have charted out 9 of the best places to visit, with fun things to do and scrumptious things to eat while on Peruvian soil.
Read and be enthralled.
Best Places to Visit – 1. Machu Picchu
The quintessential destination on every single South America travel bucket list, Machu Picchu is one those places that must be seen before you die. Rooted in facts and an enigmatic history, with intriguing rumours and interesting legends, the lost city of the Incans was found after lying undiscovered for hundreds of years. Hiram Bingham was an American explorer who found the Incan citadel on July 24, 1911. Revered as one of the most famous architectural and archaeological monuments, Machu Picchu was built as a palace for Emperor Pachacuti.
The lost city of the Incans is also considered as one of the new seven wonders of the world. You can hike along the Inca Trail and take in some if the most breathtaking landscapes you could ever see, or take the luxurious Hiram Bingham train if you’re not up for walking all the way, and leisurely take in the stunning lush views, which include the inimitable tooth-shaped mountain, the Huayna Picchu, standing behind the Incan citadel.
Fun Things to Do – 2. Bird Watching at the Colca Canyon
Grand Canyon is world famous for its sheer depth and magnitude. But did you know that the Colca Canyon is TWICE as deep as the Grand Canyon? Though it does not have as steep walls, it is spectacular in its own right.
The Colca Canyon harbours the Andean Condor, which is a huge bird with a wingspan of nearly 3.2 meters. It is considered as one of the largest birds in the world. And the best part? You can have a magical experience by watching these beautiful creatures up close.
Scrumptious Foods to Eat & Drink – 3. Cerviche
Peru’s eclectic culinary scene is getting the global recognition it deserves, with wheat-avoiding folks gorging on the super healthy quinoa everywhere. This delicious seafood staple could easily be the official national dish of the land of the Incans. Peruvian chefs soak raw fish in citrus juices and leave it aside as the acidity if the juic works its way on the fish, lending it a beautiful flavour and a chewy texture.
Ceviche is typically spiced with aji pepper and red onions, and is best eaten at lunch with a side of sweet potato.
Best Places to Visit – 4. The Nazca Lines
A group of pre-Columbian geoglyphs that have been etched into sand for over a 1000 sq. kms, the Nazca lines look very cool, almost like wall graffiti, except on sand and with immense historical significance. With over 300 figures of animals and plants, with simple geometric patterns and stylised images, and comprised of more than 10000 lines, this awe-inspiring site is best viewed by air, or from nearby hilltops.
You can easily find tour operators who will take you up to see the Nazca culture’s footprint for a nominal fee.
Fun Things to Do – 5. Go Sandboarding or Dune Buggy Riding at the Desert of Huacachina
It looks like something straight out of the Sahara Desert but Huacachina is a relatably small oasis village in the southwestern Peruvian province.
Tourists are attracted to this dry desert that has loads of water pumped to it from the city of Ica, nearby. It is a cool place to visit and you can have a lot of unforgettable fun by sandboarding and taking buggy rides across sandy dunes.
Scrumptious Foods to Eat & Drink – 6. Aji de Gallina
A delectable Peruvian classic dish that is made with the popular bright yellow aji amarillo peppers, Aji de gallina is sunshine yellow, a tad spicy and an incredibly rich chicken stew. This velvety stew is made with chicken and condensed milk with a creamy walnut sauce, and is served over white bread, that has been de-crusted, or with rice, black olives and yellow potatoes, boiled.
Best Places to Visit 7. – The Floating Islands of Lake Titicaca
Lake Titicaca is the largest lake in South America and it is famous for various reasons. From being the highest navigable lake in the world to being the home of the Uru people, an indigenous pre-Incan tribe that resides on floating islands, which are made up of dried reeds, multiple times and drift over the huge lake. The original reason for the floating islands to be built was a defence strategy against the Incans.
You can go for varied tours of these amazing islands and even stay with local families and gorge on mouth-watering Peruvian cuisine, and truly experience the fun of residing in a floating island.
Fun Things to Do 8. – Celebrate with Peruavian Festivals
The people of Peru love to celebrate as they have a festival for nearly everything! From weeks of water fights and dazzling fiestas in the Carnaval to the celebrations of Cajamarca with feasting, partying, dancing and parades in the months of Februaru and March, to the Fiesta de la Vendimia which is a festival of fruits and has grape-stomping, to the Semanta Santa, the religious festival of Peru that has spectacular processions every day, enjoying the festivals of Peru would be an incredible, unforgettable experience.
Scrumptious Things to Eat & Drink 9. – Chicha Morada
Chicha Morada is a refreshing, unique Peruvian drink that is made by using purple corn or Maiz morado as it is called in Spanish. Purple corn is a native food of Peru and its history goes back to the Incan times. It boasts of many health benefits, with a decreased risk of heart disease and a lower blood pressure at the top of the list.
The thirst-quenching, intriguing non-alcoholic purple drink is made by boiling the corn with cinnamon, cloves, sugar and skin of pineapple.
Deliciously sweet, with hint of spice, Chicha Morada is the one drink that you simply must try before leaving Peru.