Below are the main tourism destinations of Peru
Known as the White City for its beautiful white-stone buildings, and featuring baroque churches and mansions from the colonial period, Arequipa has been placed on the World Cultural Heritage list by UNESCO.
Arequipa is surrounded by Peru’s volcanic mountains and is closely located to one of the deepest canyons in the world, the Colca Canyon.
The canyon landscape is home to the Andean Condor and comprises a green valley and remote traditional villages with terraced agriculture that predates the Incas.
Once the heart of the Incan Empire, Cusco now draws tourists from around the world to experience the peace, magic and energy of this sacred region set amongst majestic snow-capped peaks of the Andean Mountains.
Stroll the cobble-stoned streets of Cusco to explore the Incan buildings like the Koricancha and the palace of Inca Roca, as well as Andean Baroque structures from the Colonial Period like the Cathedral and the Church of the Company of Christ.
You can visit the picturesque neighbourhood of San Blas where the best local artisans have set up their workshops and are an expression of living traditions.
This magical city also has an exciting nightlife with cafes, restaurants, and bars for all tastes. After exploring the sites of Cusco, why not share a table and a glass of chicha at a local Picantería?
More than 400 years ago, the Spanish conqueror (“conquistador”) Francisco Pizarro named Lima the City of the Kings (“Ciudad de los Reyes”).
The breathtaking beauty of the Andes mountains, the colonial houses, the beautiful churches, works of art, the Inca ruins, the vibrant food and music scene, the colourful festivals all make a leisurely stay in Lima a must!
MACHU PICCHU, PERU
For many visitors to Peru and even South America, a visit to the ancient Inca city of Machu Picchu ranks at the very top of their bucket list.
In a spectacular location, this awe-inspiring ancient city was never revealed to the conquering Spaniards and was virtually forgotten until the early part of the 20th century when rediscovered in 1911 by Yale archaeologist Hiram Bingham.
Now, at Machu Picchu you, too can explore the fantastically-built palaces, temples and courtyards, as well as the flourishing neighbouring hillside.
While the Inca people certainly used the Andean mountain top to erect many hundreds of stone structures from the early 1400’s, legends and myths indicate that Machu Picchu (meaning ‘Old Peak’ in the Quechua language) was revered as a sacred place from a far earlier time.
Whatever its origins, the Inca turned the site into a small (5 square miles) but extraordinary city. Invisible from below and completely self-contained, surrounded by agricultural terraces sufficient to feed the population, and watered by natural springs, Machu Picchu seems to have been utilized by the Inca as a secret ceremonial city.
PUNO & LAKE TITICACA, PERU & BOLIVIA
Lake Titicaca, straddles the border between Peru and Bolivia high up in the Andes Mountains at an elevation of 3,812m. It is one of South America’s largest lakes and the world’s highest navigable body of water.
Said to be the birthplace of the Incas, it’s home to numerous ruins which can be explored from Puno and on the islands of the lake.
In addition to Inca ruins found on the islands and shore of Lake Titicaca, a temple structure was also recently found at the bottom of the lake.
Over forty islands are sprinkled throughout Lake Titicaca, a majority of them are inhabited. The largest is the Isla del Sol (island of the Sun) on the Bolivian side. On this one island alone you will find over 180 ancient Incan ruins.
The Uru people, descendants of a much more ancient culture than the Incas, continue to live on Lake Titicaca on floating islands. These islands, along with their homes and boats, are made entirely of reeds that grow along the shore of the water.
Serene, sacred, and steeped in rich cultures past and present, the beautiful Lake Titicaca is easily one of South America’s most beautiful destinations.
SACRED VALLEY, PERU
If Cusco was the heart of the Inca Empire, the Sacred Valley bore the arteries that fed its people. Travel through time as you journey through two important Incan archaeological complexes: Pisac and Ollantaytambo.
Pisac is 33 kilometres northeast of the city of Cusco, east of the Vilcabamba Mountains. The city’s architecture features a blend of Inca and Spanish, granting it an ancient and modern feel. The main square is a palette of colour with local artisans setting up their stalls there to sell their crafts, clothing and accessories.
Ollantaytambo is one of the most spectacular sites left by the Incas, mainly because of the massive size of the stones used in its walls and its architectural layout. Archaeologists claim it was a military, religious, administrative, and agricultural centre.