Peru has long been a firm favourite with adventurers and explorers thanks to its dramatic landscapes, rich history thanks to its Incan ancestors and diverse food offering.
Machu Picchu is of course its most famous offering, with the 15th century Incan citadel attracting thousands of visitors from around the world every year – to the point that the site has a new ticketing system to manage the crowds.
Yet the citadel is just a tiny part of what the country has to offer. Lima is a must-visit for foodies thanks to the diverse cuisine to be found in its restaurants and stalls, while Cusco offers up some very impressive archaeological sites.
Those who don't mind a trek can also explore the spectacular scenery to be found from the dazzling Rainbow Mountain to the Amazon jungle.
There's so much on offer so to give you a helping hand we've rounded up the best places to visit in Peru below…
1. Machu Picchu
The 15th century Incan citadel is Peru's most famous landmark, and it's not difficult to see why.
The fascinating site comprises of heaps of ruins which offer a glimpse into just how the Incans lived, and it's long been the source of mystery as archaeologists and historians have long speculated as to its former use.
Meanwhile, its location high in the Andes Mountains mean that you can also take in some pretty phenomenal views of the surrounding landscape.
Foodies, Lima needs to be on your bucket list. The city boasts an impressive, diverse food scene with everything from street food to swanky restaurants, tailoring to a whole host of budgets.
Seafood is abundant, but you can also find eclectic dishes from guinea pigs to snails. Oh, and a sip of a Pisco Sour (the national drink) is a must.
Lima also offers up plenty of rich history whether you're wandering around the Plaza de Armas or heading to archaeological sites such as Huaca Pucllana or the Pachacamac temple.
3. Sacred Valley
Located north of Cuzco, the Urubamba Valley has everything you could want for soaking up the local culture and history while taking in the breathtaking landscape.
The valley is home to plenty of colonial towns, bustling markets and Inca sites, so there's a good mix of different experiences for the itinerary.
Then of course the valley itself has some brilliant hiking trails to explore the best of the scenery, with plenty of activities such as rock climbing on offer too.
There are plenty of day tours from Cuzco but if you do love hiking it's worth devoting a few days on the itinerary to exploring this beautiful region.
There's heaps to see and do in Cuzco so it's no surprise that the city never fails to be a hit with visitors from around the world.
Take in the jaw-dropping architecture at the Plaza de Armas, take in the incredible smells at San Pedro Market, or simple explore the quirky boutiques to be found nestled amidst the streets.
In the evening, you'll be spoiled for choice thanks to the brilliant restaurants and bars – and revellers won't be disappointed by the nightlife.
5. Choquequrao Archaeological Park
Located on a hilltop in south Peru, this Incan site is similar in structure to Machu Picchu.
There are plenty of ruins including buildings, terraces and chambers, believed to have been used for public purposes and which date back to the 15th and 16th centuries.
The surrounding region is pretty impressive too; in fact, thanks to the wealth of flora and fauna, it's a protected natural area.
6. The Amazon Jungle
You don't need to have David Attenborough's credentials to go exploring the Amazon jungle; there are heaps of guided tours and excursions that offer a glimpse into this utterly breathtaking natural wonder.
If you plan to spend a few days here, try and book a trip during the dry season which tends to fall between May to October.
Peru's second largest city has a UNESCO World Heritage listed city centre thanks to the baroque buildings made from white rock, as well as heaps more impressive architectural feats including a cathedral.
Like Lima, Arequipa boasts an impressive and diverse foodie scene whether you're after street food or fine dining, while the nearby volcanoes make for quite the dramatic backdrop.
One of South America's largest lakes, Lake Titicaca has everything from fascinating Inca sites to beautiful natural landscapes, and of course plenty of brilliant activities on offer such as kayaking.
There are hotels to be found near the lake if you want to stay for a few days – and the lake has plenty of islands which are well worth exploring too.
Wildlife fans will also want to check out the Titicaca National Reserve which is home to rare wildlife including giant frogs.
9. Rainbow Mountain
A day trip from Cuzco, this impressive mountain has earned the Rainbow nickname thanks to the eye-catching colourful rocks that make for the striped effect.
You can take dedicated tours to this picturesque landmark but it's worth noting that you'll want to try and go during the dry season for the best views (between May to October).
Located about a 45-minute walk from Cuzco, this ancient site served as a religious site as well as the setting for battles between the Inca and the Spanish.
You can take guided tours of the site to learn all about the fascinating site, not to mention its location offers up some pretty spectacular views of the landscape.
Source: Read Full Article