Peru is a history lover’s dream, as well as an outdoor enthusiast’s dream. It’s a culturally diverse nation with a rich history thanks to both its location on the map and the past settlement of the ancient Incan Empire. It’s a major expat destination thanks to its sightseeing appeal and low cost of living, so travelers abound to this unique country. If you’re planning a trip to Peru, make sure and hit some (if not all) of these destinations for the best sightseeing the country has to offer.
The first item on your list of Peruvian sights will have to be the ancient Incan city of Machu Picchu. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it’s also known as “The Lost City of the Incas.” Machu Picchu offers one of the most famous sets of ruins in the entire world, and it’s highly recognizable.
Huayna Picchu is a mountain in Peru’s Machu Picchu district. If you head to Machu Picchu, chances are you won’t miss this mountain. It rises over the Lost City of the Incas and it provides a strenuous yet rewarding climb for those who’d like to make their way to the top to see the vast overlook of the ancient city’s ruins.
Also known as The Inca Baths in Machu Picchu, the Tambomachay is a system of aqueducts, canals, and waterfalls that run through the terraced rocks of the ruins. This is where ceremonies for water took place, during which the Incas would give thanks for flowers and for water’s ability to give life to all creatures in the universe.
Another notable Incan ruin is Moray, which lies in a remote area of the Sacred Valley. These ruins aren’t overloaded with travelers like Machu Picchu, mainly because they are located in a more secluded area and aren’t as well known. Still, this archaeological site is one of the most visually stunning of them all, with a bowl-like depression surrounded by terraced land to make it look like an amphitheater.
Colca Canyon is a river canyon in southern Peru, and it’s one of the deepest canyons in the world. It’s a highly popular hiking destination with views that overlook the countryside. You’ll see terraced agriculture setups that predate the Incas and you’ll come across small, remote villages in your journey through the canyon.
Manú National Park
Manú National Park, or Manú Biosphere Reserve, is a large park in the Andean highlands. It has a cloud forest, lowland jungle, and it’s known for its vast array of bird species. You can travel through the park on boats via the Manú River and take in all that the Amazonian Jungle has to offer.
An island on the famous and enormous Lake Titicaca, Taquile Island marks a tiny spot in the middle of the lake. The island is known for its fine textile crafting, which is done only by the men. These textiles are even protected as a UNESCO world heritage subject. Visit the island to see the traditional Spanish garments that have made the island and its knitting culture so famous.
Santa Catalina Monastery
In Arequipa, Peru, is a famous monastery of nuns of the Dominican Second Order. The Santa Catalina Monastery is on the World Monuments Watch, and certain murals and artwork are being restored. The monastery is an important example of Viceroyal architecture, and different parts of the building were built during different centuries. This makes the convent a showcase of local and colonial styles. While it still functions as a religious complex, it is also a popular tourist attraction.
Kuélap, Peru, is the Ancient Fortress of the Cloud Warriors. Does anything sound more interesting? It was built by the Chachapoyas and is a fortified citadel that was once home to the Warriors of the Cloud. You can still see massive stone walls and hundreds of ruins. The Incas weren’t the only ancient civilizations to live in this area, after all.
The Larco Museum in Lima, Peru hosts a collection of pre-Columbian art and one of the largest displays of ceramic in Lima. The collection includes over 50,000 pots from ancient cultures that were once settled in Latin America. The museum itself is an 18th-century viceroyal mansion built over a 7th-century pyramid.
With all that Peru has to offer, it’s no wonder that it’s becoming such a popular relocation destination. Learn all about Peru’s fascinating history and traipse the jungles and ruins, and you’ll likely want to stay forever…which may not be such a bad idea!
Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AAra_chloropterus_-Manu_National_Park%2C_Peru_-flying-8.jpg