Top 10 Reasons To Visit Peru
By Leah Freeman-Haskin
Peru is a rich country where past, present, and future live together and can be seen through the architecture, people, and traditions. Ancestral civilizations exist among vibrant and modern cities. If you are considering a trip to Peru, here are 10 reasons to help you make your decision.
1. Culinary Scene
For the sixth year in a row, Peru has been named the World’s Leading Culinary Destination thanks to its use of bold flavors and traditional spices. From quinoa and potatoes to alpaca and pork, Peruvian cuisine can be divided geographically into three branches: seaside, mountain, and rainforest. According to michelin.com, the term “pachamama’ is a perfect example of the Peruvian’s respect for their natural surrounding. “According to the native language, “pacha” means earth while “manca” can be translated as pot. An earth oven is created to cook spice-marinated meat and potatoes. The food is covered with hot stones on the ground.”
2. Machu Picchu
The Lost City of the Incas should be on your travel bucket list and is undoubtedly one of the top reasons to visit Peru. Standing around 8,000 feet above sea-level, in the middle of a tropical mountain forest, this iconic Incan archaeological site offers a peek into history with epic hilltop views, agricultural terraces, and elaborate stone constructions. You can enjoy a guided tour by a local expert with 4-day excursions starting at around $900.
Cusco, Peru is located in the Andes mountain range in the south of Peru. Here, you can view ancient temples and cities where the Inca once ruled the undisputed archaeological capital of the Americas.
It goes without saying that Peru is a historical gem and a must-see destination for anyone who is passionate about history, cultures, and ancient civilizations. With beautifully conserved ruins, a trip to Peru is like walking back in time.
The Nazca Lines are a collection of giant geoglyphs—designs or motifs etched into the ground—located in the Peruvian coastal plain about 250 miles south of Lima, Peru. According to history.com, the 2,000-year-old lines were created by the ancient Nazca culture in South America, and depict various plants, animals, and shapes.
6. Lake Titicaca
This lake is located at 12,500 feet above sea level in the Andes Mountains of Peru and Bolivia. Ruins on the lake’s bottom (where the remains of a temple were discovered in 2000), on its shore, and on the islands attest to the previous existence of one of the oldest civilizations known in the Americas.
This city is not as well-known as some of the other historical sites throughout Peru, but some Peruvians regard Arequipa as the most “important” city in all of Peru due to its historical significance.
Due to its proximity to the Amazon Rainforest and Andes Mountains, Peru boats an incredibly diverse natural habitat. Throughout the country, there are over 1,800 species of birds, 500 species of mammals and 300 species of reptiles. Rare species include the puma, jaguar, spectacled bear, and pink river dolphins. The poison dart frog is native to the Amazon rainforest and one of the most poisonous species in the world.
Peru is a country where you can travel in luxury or very cheaply depending on your budget and destinations. Backpackers can rent guesthouses for as low as $4 per night and you can eat cheaply at local street food markets throughout the country. With so much natural beauty, there are ample free activities from beaches to mountain hiking.
Peru is home to many picturesque beaches. Playa Roja, located south of Lima, gets its name from the red sand that sits in beautiful contrast to the deep blue ocean waters. Mancora is another stunning beach that is a surfers paradise boasting more sunny days than Arizona. Punta Sal, located in northern Peru with year-round warm weather and soft sand beaches, is considered by many as the most beautiful beach in Peru.