My trip to Peru was centered around crossing Machu Piccchu off my bucket list. Peru is one of the most diverse countries in world with so much to see, therefore it’s a little challenging to narrow my list down. But in this post I share the top 6 things to do in Peru for first time visitors.
TOP 6 THINGS TO DO IN PERU
VISIT THE PLAZA DE ARMAS IN CUSCO
Plaza De Armas is a very large, picturesque busy space that marks the colonial center of the city. It houses the main Cathedral, and several nice buildings, mostly transformed into restaurants, bars, and shops. Several nice little streets depart from here, making it a good start for wandering around Cusco.
DUNE BUGGY IN THE DESERT OASIS, HUACACHINA
Huacachina is a desert oasis located between Lima and Cusco. Huge sand dunes surround the small desert village and they are stunning. The large sand dunes are perfect for adrenaline seekers. There are a number of dune buggy tour companies that offer morning and afternoon tours. Most tours last about 2 hours with the best tours ending around sunset. Witnessing the sunset from the top of a sand dune is an experience I will never forget. I sat in awe as the sun went down creating golden hues over the sand dunes.
Legend has it Huacachina Peru was named after a beautiful princess. The princess, Huacca China, lost her lover and in her sadness she cried tears forming the lagoon and then in desperation turned into a mermaid who still lives in the lagoon. A statue dedicated to this sad mermaid sits overlooking the lagoon.
One of Peru’s most peculiar attractions is the World Heritage Nazca Lines. The mysterious Nazca Lines, located in the Nazca dessert, is a series of ancient geoglyphs. There is a number of geoglyphs formed in different shapes, sizes and wildlife designs. Many theories debate about how they were created, but no one really knows for sure. The best way to view these geoglyphs is by airplane. But, you don’t need to fly to get a glimpse of these interesting lines. A number of bus tours will take you to the dessert to view the mysterious Nazca Lines from the viewing tower. The Viewing Tower provides good views of a few geoglyphs, and I recommend bringing a jacket when viewing the Nazca Lines from the viewing tower because it is incredibly windy.
STROLL THE PARQUE DEL AMOR IN MIRAFLORES
Overlooking the Bay of Lima, the Parque del Amor offers spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean. Parque del Amor ( Love Park ) depicts the sculptor entitled El Beso (The Kiss) by Peruvian artist Victor Delfín. Take some time to walk along the promenade and you will see numerous statues by acclaimed Peruvian artists.
Dubbed one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, Machu Picchu is the most spectacular archaeological Incan site in Peru, if not South America. Machu Picchu really lives up to its name. Set high in the Andes Mountains, Machu Picchu is Peru’s greatest treasure and it does not disappoint.
TREK COLCA CANYON
Located about 4 hours from the city of Arequipa, Colca Canyon is one of the most popular destinations in Peru for trekking. Cola Canyon is the second deepest canyon in the world, and the beauty it possesses is amazing. There are a few villages within Colca valley, but the most popular to visit is the town of Chivay.
There is so much to do in Peru it was hard to keep it to only 6. Here are an additional 6 things you can’t miss when visiting this beautiful country.
Grab Churros from the famous San Francisco S.A.C
San Francisco in Lima has a very good reputation for their churros and it was recommended by a local. These churros were simply delicious. A freshly baked warm churro, sort of like the best sugared donut you’ve had in a long time, filled with a hot caramel filling. (Custard and chocolate are also offered.) All three types are delicious, but I preferred the one stuffed with caramel. Definitely seek out this place if you’re in Lima.
Explore the Rainforest
After Brazil, Peru has the second largest portion of the Amazon Rainforest. Take a boat ride through the river, and or walk through the thick jungle using a machete to clear the path. For a genuine jungle experience make sure to find a reputable amazon jungle tour.
Visit the Ball Islands in Paracas
The Ballestas islands are a small group of islands which sit off the coast of Paracas in southern Peru. Hop on a speed boat to these islands filled with “nature”. This island is filled with flocks of birds all over the islands. Pelicans, gulls, cormorants, and even penguins. In addition sea lions live here as well. Just an amazing view (up close) of the wild life that occupy the rock islands and caves.
Dine at PUNTO AZUL in Miraflores Sample Peru’s Famous Cocktail: The Pisco Sour
After arriving in Lima quite late I decided to dine at Punto Azul in Miraflores. Punto Azul serves healthy portions of quality seafood at reasonable prices and the Pisco Sour was amazing!
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I'm a FOODIE!! I honestly try as many restaurants & foods as I can when I travel. After arriving in Lima quite late I decided to dine at @puntoazulperu in Miraflores. On this visit to Peru I'm really looking to try as many Peruvian dishes as I can such as ceviche, rice with seafood, and and parihuela (a seafood soup). @puntoazulperu serves healthy portions of quality seafood at reasonable prices so I was excited to dine here & they definitely didn't disappoint! Great Pisco Sours and my entire meal was amazing! . . . ~ ( pictured ) The Risotto Punto Azul is a must. Creamy arborio rice cooked in calamari ink, shrimp, shellfish and fish bites. 👍🏽 . . . . . #waitwheressab #iamatraveller #visitperu #limaperu #travelersofinstagram #southamerica #puntoazul #globalwanderers #peruspots #worldofwanderlust #perufoodies #gowaytravel #peruvianeats #mytravelpics #girlswhotravel #travelbucketlist #condortravel #newadventures #helloperu #mytravelgram #peruvianrestaurant #explorethe6
Tour the Ancient Adobe-Brick Huaca Pucllana
A great adobe and clay pyramid located in the Miraflores District of Lima, Peru. Huaca Pucllana is an archaeological site constructed back in the fifth century. You can enter Huaca Pucllana for a pretty low price, and a guided tour is included in the fee.
Visit the Square in Lima
The Main Square of Lima is one of the most important touristic destinations, located in heart of the Historic Centre of Lima. This is a lovely square with some great architecture, government buildings, a nice fountain and the cathedral.
Have you been to Peru? Was anything missed? If so, please comment below
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