Peru is a land of tradition and ancient beauty. Can you find trendy restaurants, rooftop bars, chic hotels, and other contemporary staples of cosmopolitan cities around the world? Yes, of course, particularly in a few of Lima’s most developed neighborhoods. But chances are, if you’re coming to Peru, you’re not looking for the shiniest, newest attraction. Instead, you’re looking for adventure, for history, for beauty. And you’re in luck, because Peru will not disappoint.
From the lush Amazonian rainforest in the north to the dramatic desert-backed beaches in the south, Peru is a naturally gorgeous destination without having to try at all. Here are 4 of our top places to visit if you’re on the lookout for true beauty while vacating in Peru:
It goes without saying, yet must be said, that Machu Picchu is a magical place. It’s the kind of destination every world traveler dreams of, and no serious adventurer can consider life complete before paying a visit. Located high up in the mountains over the Urubamba Valley, the views are just the icing on the cake. You will be amazed at not only the stories of love, labor, and demise, but of the energy in the air as you learn about this ancient Incan city.
Located in the coastal desert of southern Peru, the incredible Nazca Lines are a mystery that we will perhaps never fully understand. Were the dog, hummingbird, astronaut, and other figures designed as part of an advanced irrigation system or a method of communication with the gods? While we don’t know the answers, their undeniable beauty and magnitude makes an impression on any visitor. Take a flight in a 4-person plane to see these giant geoglyphs–which span up to almost 900 feet in diameter–in all their glory.
With its white sand beaches, teal-blue waters, and eerily shaped sand and rock formations, Paracas makes for a fine destination if you’re looking to relax in the sun. But, in our opinion, the real draw is the wildlife. If you’re lucky, you’ll see blue-footed boobies, Humboldt penguins, flamingos, sea otters, and turtles during your visit. A boat-based tour could lead to whale and orca viewings, and the most spectacular sight of all is watching a colony of sea lions bathing in the sun.
Iquitos lies deep in the heart of the Peruvian Amazon and is reachable only by airplane or boat. The Amazon River runs directly along the the city, bringing with it an abundance of wildlife and stimulating a perpetually vibrant and lush scene. In some neighborhoods, residents live in floating homes, which adds to the historical feel of this growing city which each year strives to become more and more modern. The city is surrounded by water and there is no distinguishable dry season, with rain falling many more days than not. Temperatures average around 89 degrees year-round, so you can expect the full jungle experience–lots of humidity, rain, and sweat–when visiting this remote destination.
As you venture outside of Peru’s capital city, Lima, you’ll find English speakers harder and harder to come by. Speaking Spanish may not only add be essential in finding a great deal on a hotel or booking your river boat tour through the Amazon, but it will also enable you to learn more about the warm and giving people of Peru. If you’re ready to learn Spanish, contact us and we’ll get you set up with private or group lessons right away.