The endless ocean, snow-white beaches, unique flora and fauna can call Peru the highlight of South America. But especially travelers are attracted to the sights of Peru, which has no equal in any other country in the world.
Top 16 attractions in Peru
The lost world of Peru attracts tourists from all corners of the globe. The life of ancient civilizations holds many mysteries and secrets. Many monuments have survived to this day.
The mysterious Inca city was discovered early last century. According to historians, the inhabitants of Machu Picchu disappeared from the face of the earth for no apparent reason. It occupies more than 30 thousand hectares and consists of several hundred structures. The city is located on a hill at an altitude of about 2000 m. The way in which the buildings were erected has not yet been unraveled. Thousands of expeditions are unsuccessfully trying to find the Inca gold that was hidden by the Conquistadorian warriors.
Surrounded by picturesque valleys and snow-capped mountains, Lake Titicaca is well located. The water temperature, even during the cold season, never drops below +11°C. There is a legend that the land of the Incas survived at one time monstrous cataclysms. The human race was on the brink of annihilation. It was from the holy waters of Titicaca that the god Viracoce emerged and created man and woman anew. Supreme rulers at all times came to the shores of the lake as a shrine.
In 2011, divers discovered the lost city of Wanaka underwater. Today you can book a boat tour and explore the underwater world with rare marine animals and white rocks. Photos and descriptions of the sights of Peru, which you can find yourself, will be the best confirmation that the trip was not in vain.
The depth of the most spectacular canyon in the world is 4160 m. Colca is interesting for visitors to Peru for its volcanoes and geothermal springs. The slopes of the canyon are planted by locals especially for tourists. From the observation deck you can watch the flight of condors. The wingspan of these birds is more than 3 meters. In the canyon gorge, you can visit a place with a tropical climate. The unique Oasis, surrounded by snow-capped peaks, is planted with palm trees, and crystal clear water flows in the river.
Surrounded by lifeless sand hills, the Nazca Desert attracts amazing hieroglyphs and abstract figures of various sizes. Due to the arid climate of the area, the lines do not change over the years. Hundreds of scientists from around the world are trying to unravel the cipher of the images. Most of them resemble the drawing of birds, but you can also see the outlines of fantastic animals and people. The greatest mystery is the fact that the ancient Incas could not see the image as a whole, but nevertheless exactly observed the proportions. The estimated age of the ancient creations is about 20 centuries.
The floating islands of Ouros
Among the sights of Peru are the thatched islands floating on the water. The inhabitants of these islands increasingly moved to the solid surface of the earth, but some settlements can still be seen today. The Uros made their conscious choice centuries ago, when the people did not want to obey the Incas and moved to the homemade rafts. Everything is made of reeds here: clothes, furniture, carpets. The plant is even used as a food.
There are more than 40 islands, each with 2-3 families.
City of Cusco
The first human settlements here appeared more than 3 centuries ago. The mighty civilization was characterized by literacy and various skills. The majestic structures of Cusco are built of huge stones. Water is connected to each house. The Incas did not use metal tools or wheels.
The most beautiful buildings of the city of Cuzco are in the center. Among them are the Church of La Compañía, the Church of Santo Domingo, and the Church of Santo Domingo. It is a must to visit one of the museums, which preserved objects of ancient Inca life.
The Ancient City of Pisac
The complex of structures was of great importance to the people of Peru. From the height there was a view of the entire Sacred Valley. From the center of Pisac a stone staircase rises to the mountain slope. Tourists are especially attracted to the Temple of the Sun, located at an altitude of 3350 m above sea level. There are many versions of its origin. Some believe that the temple was created to determine astronomical time, but there is an opinion that the structure served to communicate with the cosmos. Guests of the city note the special energy of the place.
Gokta is one of the twenty most spectacular and largest waterfalls in the world. Its height is 551 meters. It consists of two steps, which makes the flow of water even more spectacular. Locals try to stay away from this place. According to legend, this landmark of Peru is guarded by a mermaid with a golden bowl in her hands, which is guarded by a serpent. When you meet a nymph, you can fall into her disfavor and get a terrible curse. The waterfall is especially beautiful during the rainy season.
Tukume Pyramid Valley
Pyramids are found all over the world. What was the surprise of Europeans when they saw the pyramids built of clay blocks in Peru. The place was the religious center of the local Indians. They came to Tucum to worship the gods. The variety of pyramids is large enough, a visit to the valley will not be boring.
Huascaran National Park
It is the pride of Peru, located high in the mountains, the national park preserves untouched nature. This is how it was seen by the first Europeans who came to the country from the East. Located high in the Andes, Huascaran includes lakes and rivers, forests and glaciers. It is preferable to visit the park with a guide and on horseback.
One of the most picturesque mountain hiking trails in the world. The trail ends at the high mountain town of Machu Picchu. As you move along the trail, your camera won’t stay in the case for a moment. Such stunning views are hard to find in any other country. Tourists will pass through the jungle, overcome mountain rivers and narrow gorges to get to the lost city.
It is considered one of the most arid deserts in the world. Rainfall is so rare here that it can amount to a few millimeters over a decade. The desert itself is not recommended to visit alone, only as part of a group on all-terrain vehicles or buggies. The Paracas Desert is virtually devoid of life, with only the coast inhabited by seabirds and amphibians.
Oasis of Ouakachina
You are not mistaken, Peru has its own oasis, surrounded by high dunes and inhabited by about 100 inhabitants. Oasis attracts tourists with its colorfulness. The lake, surrounded by palm trees and huts, can provide tourists not only recreation but also active leisure. Fans of buggies and sandboarding will be pleasantly surprised by the wide possibilities.
The Ancient City of Chan Chan
The city was a major metropolis, spread over an area of 20 square kilometers. Chan Chan was quite modern and technological. There was its own ventilation system, pools to collect rainwater. The administrative buildings and temples have survived, though without the rich decorations. The Spanish conquerors tried to strip gold from everything they could touch.
Another example of megalithic masonry in ancient Inca architecture. Some scholars suggest that such masonry could not have been made by the Incas with the tools they had at the time of their conquest by Spain. The fortress of Sacsayhuaman is evidence of an older culture. But it is practically impossible to prove anything.
Maras salt mines
Near the town of Maras, for several centuries there is an ancient natural salt mine. Artificial pools located on the tracks are filled with water from a salty spring. The sun causes the water to evaporate, leaving salt at the bottom of the pools. Tourists, if they wish, can help the locals in the process of extraction of salt.
Video overview of sights in Peru
In addition to the above attractions, travelers should visit:
- Manu National Park,
- Balestas Islands,
- Maras salt mines,
- The historical center of Arequipa, the fortress of Saxahuaman,
- Lima Cathedral and Plaza de Armas.
In any case, what to see in Peru, you can find out upon arrival from the locals.