With scenery similar to something on the epic scale of Tomb Raider or Indiana Jones – forgotten temples, cobwebbed ancient tombs, sweltering jungles and bejeweled buried treasures – Peru will leave visitors standing in awe. The terrain is just awesome, from glaciated Andean peaks and limitless coastal deserts, to giant sand dunes and picture-perfect volcanoes, this is a destination that has it all. Be sure to pack plenty of spare batteries for that camera.
Peru has everything from natural sites to museums and ruins, historical structures to incredible wildlife – tourists will be amazed with what they can find. For anyone looking to immerse themselves in old civilizations and a totally foreign culture, few destinations can compete.
Machu Picchu and its Inca ruins are continually mesmerizing travelers from around the globe. The ruins are truly one of the most captivating sites on the planet. For those who enjoy hiking, a journey along the Inca Trail that leads to Machu Picchu is an unforgettable and exhilarating experience, and although it’s an almighty four-day trek, the views make it so worthwhile. If that isn’t adventurous enough, how about the chance to lose yourself deep in the jungles of the Amazon-basin rainforest, alongside a professional tour guide? Travelers can also choose to go on a river cruise, or perhaps even lodge in one of the rustic jungle accommodations available.
The Inca ruins are but one of the incredible finds waiting to be discovered in Peru. Other must-see sights include the Chan Chan ruins, an ancient Chimor mud city which is now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site; Chavín de Huántar, another UNESCO site belonging to the pre-Incan Chavin culture which dates back to around 900BC; Lake Titicaca, which at a dizzying altitude of 3821 meters is said to be the highest elevated navigable body of water in the world; Río Abiseo National Park, home to much of Peru’s incredibly diverse wildlife; the Nazca Lines, famous throughout the world for its geometrical figures and giant drawings in the desert sand; and finally Huascarán National Park, Peru’s highest national park, located in the Cordillera Blanca rage of the Andes Mountain.
Also worth a shout is the country’s capital city, Lima, which is a treasure trove of architectural wonders, with plenty of shops and an incredible selection of goods. The Miraflores district alone consists of tons of stores selling local handicrafts, antiques, and silver jewelry. Those in a rush can do one-stop shopping trips in mini malls that offer textiles, ceramics, and souvenirs. Pisac’s Crafts Market is also a popular shopping destination for many tourists. It’s the best place to purchase ponchos, alpaca sweaters, rugs, and other colorful Andean textiles.
When visiting a place so rich in culture like Peru, trying the local cuisine is an essential exercise. The most classic dish from this country is ceviche, which is raw shellfish and fish marinated in hot chili peppers, lemon or lime juice and served with toasted corn, sweet potato, and raw onion. In addition, visitors just have to try an old Andean tradition of brewing Chicha, which is beer created using fermented maize.
Wherever your journey takes you in Peru, you’ll be welcomed by big-hearted folks that tackle their often-unfortunate lot with gusto and a deep lust for life. Small wonder, then, that the land of the Incas is one of the continent’s top picks for adventurous travelers.
Major attractions: Machu Picchu, Lima, Amazon Rainforest, Chan Chan, Chavin de Huantar, Lake Titicaca, Nazca Lines, Rio Abiseo National Park, Cordillera Blanca
Budget for one week: €700
Taxes and gratuity: Tipping is recommended
Official language: Spanish
Area: 496,225 sq mi
- Voltage: 220-240 Volts (U.S./Canada are 110-120 Volts)
- Primary Socket Type: Europlug, Schuko
- Multi-voltage appliances (laptops, etc.): Plug adapter
- 110-120V electronics: Plug adapter + step-down transformer
- Hair dryers, curling irons, etc.: Plug adapter + voltage converter