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The Best Things to Do in Peru

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
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...
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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 usesobjects of Peru’s many pre-Columbian civilizations toexplain their differing cultures. Exhibits—representing cultures from as early as 1250...
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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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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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Miraflores, Peru
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...
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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 featureside trips through gorgeous landscapes like Moray, an archaeological site with remarkable concentric agricultural terraces. It’s believed the Incas used these terraces—on which...
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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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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.Travelerswithmore than a week to spend in Peru should plan to visit the beautiful and enormous...
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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...
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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....
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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...
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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...