The Best Things to Do in Peru
Collected by AFAR Editors , AFAR Staff
Beyond heavy hitters like Machu Picchu, the Inca Trail, and Lake Titicaca, Peru offers endless opportunities for exploration. From museums that showcase pre-Columbian art and national parks in the Andes Mountains, to Indian markets, salt flats, and lesser-known towns, there’s much to discover in this fascinating country.
The reason most come to Aguas Calientes, or maybe even Peru at all, is Machu Picchu. The world-renowned Incan site, perched high above town amid dramatic mountains, is one of the best ways to appreciate the Quechua people’s greatness, since the...
Huayna Picchu, 08680, Peru
Huayna Picchu is the landmark peak at Machu Picchu from which the classic, shot-from-above postcard photos are typically taken. While the views are spectacular, of course, the trail is not easy, studded with precarious, sometimes uneven stone...
Plazoleta Nazarenas 231, Cusco 08000, Peru
A sister institution to the Larco Museum in Lima, MAP is one of the best museums in Cuzco. The museum usesobjects of Peru’s many pre-Columbian civilizations toexplain their differing cultures. Exhibits—representing cultures from as early as 1250...
Santo Domingo s/n, Cusco 08000, Peru
This Cuzco corner presents a notable juxtaposition between ancient Incan and Spanish colonial architecture. Since the Incas worshipped their sun god, Inti, above all others, this temple in their imperial capital was the most important of the...
Manyvisitors to Peru stay in Miraflores, and for good reason:The neighborhood is where you’ll find most of the better hotels, as well as the top restaurants. Get off main streets to strollthe pretty side streets. Downby the ocean, walk the Malecón...
Ruta Santisimo Downhill 2, Chinchero, Peru
One of the first stops outside of Cusco was on the Anta plain at 12,375 ft. The 16th century ruin of Chinchero is rumored to be the birthplace of the rainbow. I would be hard pressed to argue those refractions of light could have a more beautiful...
Manú Province, Peru
When thinking about the Amazon Jungle, Brazil may first come to mind—and rightly so, as the largestportion of the rain forest is indeed in that country. However,the Amazon also makes up 60 percent of Peru’s land.Experience this fantastic landscape...
Calle Roca Fuerte 245, Urubamba, Peru
Let the Urubamba River set your course during a thrilling rafting adventure along the Ollantaytambo rapids, available through the Belmond. The river helped form what is now the Sacred Valley, and along the way you'll not only sense its power, but...
Aguas Calientes, Peru
The 2.5-hour walk to Mandor Waterfalls starts out from the town of Aguas Calientes and follows railroad tracks along a river, past homesteads and orchards to the cloud forest. While the falls are not as dramatically high as some, the hike is easy...
Jr. las Mercedes, Bagua Grande, Peru
At 9800 feet (3000 meters) above sea level, this is one of the Chachapoya culture’s most important archaeological sites, a military fortification protected by stone walls as high as 65 feet (20 meters). The compound includes traces of over...
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