Peru is a fascinating country to visit. From the beauty and history of Machu Picchu to its cities filled with colonial architecture, there is plenty to see and do. And from a more practical way of looking at things, by being in Peru you can more quickly improve your Spanish. There is little better way to get to grips with a language than having to speak it all day every day! So where should you start your adventures if you are heading for Peru, where there are opportunities for learning Spanish wherever you go? Here are some of the best places to visit.
We cannot start a list of top places to visit in Peru with anything but the incredible Inca ruins of Machu Picchu. The site sits on a mountain range at about 8,000 feet in height, giving visitors both a step back into history and the perfect vantage point to look at the natural beauty all around. Tourists have been coming to Machu Picchu for years, intrigued by the Incan history and legends. Whether you are interested in learning more about the human sacrifices said to have taken place here, or find out about agriculture and the terraced fields of Machu Picchu, and everything in between, you are going to be in awe of this location. And to turn your adventures here into an impromptu Spanish lesson, you could join a tour guide completely in Spanish. Are you packing yet?
Cusco was once the original seat of power for the Inca empire, and yet another place in Peru you really have to go. As a UNESCO site of world heritage, walking through Cusco’s winding, narrow streets taking in the architecture which dates back to colonial sixteenth century Cusco, can feel like a walk through history itself. For a quiet afternoon you could find yourself a cafe in the Plaza del Armas, indulging in nothing but a spot of people watching. Or you could invest in a pass which will give you access to fifteen of the most historic sites in the city. You could wander through Cusco’s boutiques and galleries, or spend your evenings trying out bar after bar. The locals here are used to tourists whose Spanish isn’t quite perfect so you will have a sympathetic ear if you want to give your Spanish a try!
As the nation’s capital, Lima is a must for places to visit in Peru. Lima is a symbol of the country’s independence alongside a monument to Spanish colonialism. The streets are filled with buildings and traditions old and new, meaning you won’t really have time to be bored when visiting Lima. You could spend a day looking at museums filled with Peru’s history, like Museo Larco. If you want to spend some money, head to Larcomar for shopping. El parque del Amor is the place to go if you want views of the Pacific Ocean, romantic quotes as you explore a sprawling park, and a giant statue of two lovers embracing to get some selfies in front of. And with more restaurants and cafes than you’ll have time to visit but a thriving nightlife, Lima will probably capture your heart and make you want to stay a little longer—and practice your Spanish, of course! So why don’t you?
If you’re looking for a place in Peru that is a little off the beaten track and quieter than the major cities, Tarma is definitely worth a look. Sprawled down the sides of the Southern Sierra, Tarma is filled with Spanish-style bungalows and quaint trails for you to explore. The Festival of Flowers in September is worth a look alone, filled with the vibrant colors of flowers from around the region. And Tarma has plenty to do for history lovers as well; Tarma was one of the first hill stations in the Andes established by conquistadores, so you have about 500 years worth of history to discover! With ruins, caves, lakes, waterfalls, and a distinctly quieter pace of life than other places typically attracting tourists to Peru, you really can’t go wrong with Tarma.
Excited to start exploring the incredible country that is Peru? We hear you! We are offering scholarships for students looking to improve their Spanish skills. Visit our language travel scholarship page to find out more!