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The Best Things to Do in Peru

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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.
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Peru
Arriving at the gate at 6:30am, I was extremley excited to see and explore this amazing place. I have been planning this trip for over ten years and the moment was finally here! After entering, the entire mountain range and ruins were covered in a...
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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...
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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 uses objects of Peru’s many pre-Columbian civilizations to explain their differing cultures. Exhibits—representing cultures from...
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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...
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PLAZA MAYOR CENTRO DE, Cusco 08000, Peru
Five minutes after settling into my hostel in Cusco and meeting up with an international contingent of newly found friends from the prior week in Lima, we made our way toward the Plaza de Armas, center of the gone but not forgotten Inca Empire. As...
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Cusco, Peru
Just above Cuzco are four Incan ruins: Saqsaywaman, Q’enqo, Puca Pukara, and Tambomachay. Of the four, Saqsaywaman is perhaps the most astounding, particularly when your guide mentions that some of the huge stones used to build the city walls may...
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Calle Berlin 375, Miraflores 15074, Peru
As interesting as Incan history can be to adults, to kids even the most awe-inspiring sites can start to look like a bunch of rocks. The ChocoMuseo provides a great time-out for children (and grown-ups, too). Exhibits on the history of...
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Espaderos 136, Cusco 08000, Peru
Peru's coffee beans feed a global passion. Learn more about the process behind the brew with a trip to the Museo del Café. Taking part in a two-hour workshop will show you how to identify the best coffee, prepare the...
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The Larco Museum is the starting point of your visit to Peru. It has the largest collection of pre-Columbian pieces in the Americas and tells the history of Peru without being tiresome. That’s a feat in itself, because we’re talking...
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Barranco District, Peru
Barranco, one of the city’s most beautiful neighborhoods, awash in character, is known for an artsy vibe and gorgeous colonial buildings. Cross the Puente de los Suspiros (Spanish for “Bridge of Sighs”) and follow the Bajada de los...
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Miraflores, Peru
Many visitors 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 stroll the pretty side streets. Down by the...
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Diagonal 176, Miraflores 15074, Peru
Kennedy Park, one of Miraflores’s favorite destinations, is a lovely, well-placed garden, especially favored for afternoon and evening strolls, walking dogs, browsing the kiosks, and firing up romances. You’ll see artists at work...
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Playa Pescadores, Distrito de Chorrillos 15063, Peru
If you go south along the shore, past Miraflores and Barranco, you will reach Chorrillos. While not part of many tourist itineraries, it’s a quaint, off-the-beaten-path seaside area offering marvelous ocean views and sandy strolls....
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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...
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Maras 08655, Peru
Tours of the Sacred Valley, and the entire Cuzco area, often feature side trips through gorgeous landscapes like Moray, an archaeological site with remarkable concentric agricultural terraces. It’s believed the Incas used these...
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The stunning landscape of Salineras de Maras features salt pans that are still used exactly as they were at the time of the Incas. As you make your way through the region, you’ll see people doing the backbreaking work of harvesting salt on...
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Pisac, Peru
One of the best things to do while in Cuzco is to visit the Sunday farmer's market in the nearby Andean town of Pisac, taking either a taxi or a more economical bus to get there. The villagers surrounding Pisac come from miles around to sell their...
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Urubamba, Peru
Anyone can go to one of the markets selling woven alpaca goods to tourists—Urubamba is the farmers’ market where locals buy their groceries, the biggest of its kind in the Sacred Valley. On any given day, stalls sell fresh...
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Ollantaytambo, Peru
Ollantaytambo’s namesake archaeological site is one of the best examples of Incan architecture in the region. It’s easy to spend a half day exploring the temples and other structures there, especially if you factor in time to hike...
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Km. 70.5 Carretera Urubamba-Ollantaytambo, Sector Huincho, Urubamba, Peru
Llama Pack, a social project, allows you to experience the breathtaking scenery of the Sacred Valley while hiking alongside llamas. These beasts have been used to carry goods since Incan times, before horses and mules existed in Peru....
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Lake Titicaca
Legend has it that the first Incas, children of the sun, set down on earth at Lake Titicaca, making this a sacred place, the cradle of life itself. Travelers with more than a week to spend in Peru should plan to visit the beautiful...
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Manú Province, Peru
An easy 25-minute flight from Cuzco and you can be in the river town of Puerto Maldonado, the start of a truly unforgettable experience in the Peruvian Amazon. A stay at the amazing Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica ecolodge was my first jungle...
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Unnamed Road, Peru
Colca Canyon, a three-hour drive north of Arequipa, is one of Peru’s most popular and extraordinary tourist attractions. The chasm is over 13,600 feet deep, making it one of the deepest in the world, and more than twice as deep as the...
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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...
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The Nazca Lines are massive geometric and zoomorphic designs laid out in the middle of the coastal desert of the Ica region. These 2500 year old sand etchings are so big that you can only see them from the air. Their origin is a mystery....