Top 10 things to do in Peru
Friday March 05, 2021 - Posted by admin
Peru is one of the world’s most bucket list-worthy countries for reasons that span much further than just iconic Machu Picchu. That’s why it is a dream destination for a Spanish Immersion program in abroad!
From the famous ruins of the Incas to its beautiful coastline, the Amazon rainforest and mysterious Nazca lines, there is so much to see and do in Peru. Check out our list of Top 10 things to do in Peru.
Peru is the third largest country in South America after Brazil and Argentina, so it can be hard to choose where to go. However below is a list of 10 things that you really won’t want to miss while learning Spanish in Peru. Fortunately, you can choose between four different Spanish schools in Peru: Lima, Cusco, the Sacred valley of the Incas and the Amazon.
Top 10 things to do in Peru
1: See Machu Picchu
This is a no-brainer. A visit to this quintessential South American tourist site should be on everyone’s list. However you get to it, whether you hike the fabled Inca trail or take a train or bus, Machu Picchu more than lives up to its reputation as one of the most spectacular sights on Earth. Watching the sun rise as dramatic rays of light creep over the ruins and the clouds slowly part is a particularly thrilling experience. Bring a Kleenex – you may get a little weepy.
2: Take a hike, literally.
Peru offers some of the world’s best hikes, and of course that includes the legendary Inca Trail. The challenging 4-day, 43km trek combines beautiful mountain scenery, lush cloud-forest, subtropical jungle and thousands of butt-burning, original Inca steps. But the Inca Trail isn’t the only way to get to Machu Picchu. Two great alternatives are the Lares trek which takes trekkers through the Lares Valley and closer to the indigenous Quechua people; and the Salkantay trek, taking you over the breathtaking snow-capped Salkantay Mountain. You can also check out the Huayhuash (pronounced why-wash) Circuit north of Lima — a 7-day trek passing glacial lakes, snow-topped peaks and rugged paths; and Choquequirao, an 8-day trek to one of the most remote Inca ruins west of Cusco.
3: Explore the Amazon rainforest
Did you know that Peru has the second largest amount of Amazon Rainforest after Brazil? The Peruvian Amazon covers 60 per cent of the country and teems with nature and biodiversity, creating a unique and diverse ecosystem when combined with the mighty Andean Mountain range and Pacific Ocean. The two main entry points into the Amazon Basin from Peru are Iquitos and Puerto Maldonado. Jaguars, anteaters and tapirs still roam the forests, huge anacondas lurk in the swamps, caimans sunbathe along riverbanks and capybaras, which look like a giant guinea pig, forage in the water for aquatic plants. Many indigenous tribes still live scattered throughout the Peruvian Amazon too.
4: Top thing to do in Peru: Visit Colca Canyon
Whether you hike it or look down at it from a viewpoint, the Colca Canyon should not be missed. Along with its spectacular scenery, the Colca Canyon’s claim to fame is that it’s twice as deep as the Grand Canyon in the United States, though the walls are not as vertical or dramatic. The canyon landscape comprises a green valley and remote traditional villages with terraced agriculture that predates the Incas. The region is also well known as the home of the rare Andean Condor, an enormous bird with the largest wing span of any land bird, at 3.2 meters.
5: Tour the Floating Islands of Lake Titicaca
Located between Bolivia and Peru, Lake Titicaca is one of the most fascinating lakes in the world. It is situated at a very high altitude, at over 3800 meters above sea level, and is famous for its floating reed islands. There are many different islands, but the most famous are Uros, Taquille and Amantani. Almost everyone hops aboard a boat to visit at least one of several ancient island-dwelling peoples who will welcome you into their homes wearing colourful clothes and friendly smiles.
6: Sand board the giant dunes of Huacachina
Just 8km away from the city of Ica, in southern Peru, lies the picturesque desert oasis of Huacachina. It is built around a small natural lake and surrounded by enormous sand dunes that stretch several hundred feet high. This Peruvian desert oasis has become an increasingly popular tourist attraction for adventurers drawn to sand boarding and high speed dune buggy rides, which is both mega fun and terrifying at the same time!
7: Fly over the mysterious Nazca Lines
The next item on our list Top 10 things to do in Peru is one of Peru’s big mysteries. No one really knows how they were made or why, but these strange lines etched into the Nazca Desert are one of Peru’s most intriguing sights. The mysterious Nazca Lines are a series of giant, ancient geoglyphs that range from wildlife to geometric designs. If you want to try to figure out for yourself how and why the geoglyphs were created, the best way to do it is from the air. You can book airplane tours of the Nazca Lines from Lima, Ica and Nazca.
8: Discover the Sacred Valley of the Incas
The Sacred Valley is a beautiful stretch of small villages and ancient ruins spread across broad plain and rugged mountain slopes northwest of Cusco. The magnificent Inca ruins found from Pisac to Ollantaytambo and beyond are some of the finest in all of the Americas. Most people visit the Sacred Valley as part of an organized one-day tour which includes a visit to the market at Pisac, a stop for lunch in Urubamba, a visit to the beautiful Inca village and fortress of Ollantaytambo and a stop at the Quechua village of Chinchero. For sure a magical place to spend a week, learning Spanish. The Sacred Valley is one of the Top 10 things to do in Peru.
9: To do in Peru: Catch a wave in Mancora
Head to the Pacific coast to the beach town of Mancora for great surf and a chilled out atmosphere. While not as picturesque as other beaches in South America, Peru’s best sandy beach stretches for several kilometers and is definitely worth the trip, especially if you love surf. This popular resort town is the place to see and be seen along the Peruvian coast.
10: Get up close to wildlife at the Ballestas Islands
Dubbed the ‘Poor Man’s Galapagos’, the Ballestas Islands near Huacachina are a great place to see marine animals in their natural habitat. The islands are accessible from the beach town of Paracas (near Pisco) by a boat tour which lasts around two hours. You’ll see many birds including pelicans, penguins, cormorants and Peruvian boobies. It’s also common to spot sea lions, turtles, dolphins and whales. Next to the Amazon Rainforest, the Ballestas offer the best wildlife experience in Peru.
Here ends our list Top 10 things to do in Peru. It is far from complete but it gives you a good impression of what to do in Peru while learning Spanish. Peru is a country to explore, you will never be bored. A great destination to study Spanish in Latin America!