I’ve been fortunate enough to visit 40 countries on my travels, however I sometimes feel I’ve barely scratched the surface of this amazing world! With numerous adventures across Europe, Asia, the South Pacific and Asia, I am yet to step foot in South America, and the continent is calling my name.
Peru has to be the highest country on my bucket list for 2018, and I am intrigued by the history and culture, the unique cuisine and the breathtaking natural scenery. Whilst I could go on for 1000 reasons why you must visit this fascinating country, for now I will share with you my top 10. Read on to discover why Peru is referred to as “the richest country in the world”, and prepare yourself for an unforgettable trip!
1. Hike the Inca Trail and Visit Machu Picchu
I know this may be a little obvious, but this tourist destination is popular for a reason. Considered by many as one of the most mysterious sites in the world, these ancient Inca ruins are fascinating and the views provided from the top are awe-inspiring. You can see why Machu Picchu was declared one of the New 7 Wonders of the World.
2. Explore the Floating Islands on Lake Titicaca
Discover the indigenous tribes of Peru known as the Uro People and learn more about their culture and way of life. Based on Lake Titicaca, one of South America’s largest lakes, they live on man-made floating islands made of reeds.
3. Visit the Amazon Rainforest
The Amazon Rainforest is the world’s largest tropical rainforest and home to a staggering amount of unique flora and fauna species. The Amazon covers more than 60% of Peruvian territory, and there are numerous activities you can undertake inside the rainforest including a jungle walk, stand up paddleboarding, swimming with pink river dolphins and fishing for piranhas.
4. Sample Local Peruvian Cuisine
Peru has a highly distinctive cuisine that is big on bold flavours and spices. Peru’s national dish (and most famous export) is ceviche – raw fish marinated in lime juice. Another popular local dish is Lomo Saltado (Stir Fried Beef) which combines classic Peruvian ingredients with Chinese cooking techniques. If you’re feeling bold, you must try Cuy (Guinea Pig). It is perhaps a little confronting to some Western tourists who view this animal more as a pet, but this common local meat is succulent on the inside and golden and crisp on the outside.
5. Fly over the Nazca Lines
Located in Southern Peru, The Nazca Lines are a collection of pre-Columbian designs etched into the desert sand. The shapes include geometric shapes, plants and animals and some span over 9 kilometres, meaning it’s best viewed from the air. Experts are still not 100% sure where these drawings came from and why, so it’s a fascinating site to discover for yourself!
6. Check out Lima’s Nightlife and Dining Scene
Lima is Peru’s capital city and is fast becoming a desirable destination in its own right. Their emerging food scene is producing a huge array of world-class restaurants and cafes and is quickly establishing itself as the culinary hub of South America. At night the city comes alive, with numerous live-music venues, clubs and trendy cocktail bars opening up around the city.
7. Discover the Rainbow Mountain
Known locally as Vinicunca, the colourfully striped mountains referred to as Rainbow Mountain are located in the Andes and has to be one of the most incredible geologic features in the world. They are notoriously hard to trek to, so if you’re short on fitness or time, you can see these mountains by taking a day trip from Cusco.
8. Explore Cusco
Cusco, the ancient capital of the Incan Empire, is South America’s oldest continuously inhabited city. Not only is it a fascinating city to explore, but a great place to base yourself for extra adventures such as Rainbow Mountain, the Sacred Valley of the Incas, and of course, Machu Picchu.
I hope this list has piqued your curiosity and you’re planning your very own trip to Peru next year. Happy travels!
This post has been sponsored by Tourism Peru. As always, thoughts and opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that allow me to create content for you!