Best places to visit in Peru

Peru is a diverse and captivating country with a rich history, stunning landscapes, and vibrant culture. Here are some top places to visit during your trip to Peru:

Rainbow Mountain Peru

With the new year approaching rapidly, I’m sure we all are adding traveling more to our new year’s resolutions list. If you are reading this post, you likely are considering going, or are going, to Peru (great choice!). Peru is a gorgeous country full of mystical wonders, ecological microcosms, and one of the best cuisines in the world. We have provided a comprehensive list of some of the places in each region you should check out during your visit. Enjoy!


As the capital of Peru, there are many historical sites worth seeing. At the Plaza de Armas you can find the historical center of Lima. In the Plaza de Armas, you will be surrounded by wonderful architecture and culturally important buildings such as the Archbishop’s Palace. To see some of the more modern areas of Lima, Barranco is the place to go.

Barranco is a colorful, artsy area with some of the best local eats, museums, and cafes. Take your time when exploring the neighborhood, as the walls are covered with gorgeous murals that will take your breath away. When you get a bit tired from walking around Barranco, try one of the many local restaurants to enjoy some incredible Peruvian cuisine.


This addition to our list is interesting for many reasons, but what stands out the most is how it continues to baffle researchers to this day. The Nazca Lines are a collection of enormous geoglyphs, or designs that are engraved in the ground. These geoglyphs were created by the Nazca culture around 2,000 years ago and depict plants, animals, shapes, etc. Although we still don’t know why the Nazca Lines were created, they are marvelous to see. Many tours like this one can give you the best view of the mysterious Nazca Lines.


Cusco is the oldest inhabited city in the Americas and has become an UNESCO World Heritage Site. One of the most important ruins to see in Cusco is the Sacsayhuaman. Cusco was originally designed to be in the shape of a puma, with the fortress being the puma’s head. The zigzag shape you find in the fort is to give off the appearance of the puma’s teeth.

After checking out these ruins, you can take a trip to the convent of Santo Domingo which was built on top of the ruins of the Inca site, Coricancha. The original building was decorated with gold ornaments and golden disks to reflect the sun’s light. Unfortunately, the conquistadors stripped away all of the original gold. Luckily, Inca stonework can still be seen throughout Santo Domingo.


The lush Sacred Valley is a popular area to see Inca ruins and small villages. Likely one of the most unique ruins in Peru, this amphitheater-like area is built out of the ground! We still don't know what exactly these were used for, but it is an incredible sight. For a more hands-on experience, try visiting Chincheros. Here you can visit weaving cooperatives, where you can work with the locals to do traditional weaving. Many of the local residents work as their ancestors once did, so you’ll get an authentic experience.


If you are planning to travel to Machu Picchu, one of the best ways to get there is via the breathtaking Inca trail. Extending for 26 miles through mountains and forests, you will see the most ravishing views. There are multiple ways to walk through this trial, but you will have to walk it with a tour guide. Some good tour guides to use are TreXperience, Ultimate Trekking, or Trekero. It will likely take 4 days and 3 nights to get there, so be sure to be properly prepared.


Likely the most famous landmark of Peru, this incredible architectural achievement is worth the hike to get there. It shows the absolute genius of the Inca people and holds proof of their lasting legacy. Some things to note when visiting Machu Picchu:

  • Rainy season is during October through April.
  • With the pandemic, only 75 visitors are allowed to enter per hour. You’ll have timed tickets, which are for about 4 hours long.
  • You need a tour guide to enter Machu Picchu, but there will be plenty outside willing to take you in.


This gorgeous lake is surrounded by small islands like the Isla Taquile, Uros, and Amanti to name a few. Some of the islands are unique in their approach to tourism. Rather than have outside investors, they have created a local collective where they share the responsibility of tourism. By keeping their hospitality services within the islands, the locals get to keep their profits and be sustainable. Take a guided tour throughout the lake to visit these small, beautiful islands.


The Colca Canyon is the third deepest canyon in the world! There are a multitude of activities you can do at this marvelous canyon. Start your morning with a hike to the Cruz del Condor viewpoint to see the immensity of the canyon's depths. You may even see the Andean Condor, which is the largest bird in the Americas. If you are more of a thrill seeker, try white water rafting in the Colca River. You’ll get a view of the canyons most don’t get to see.

These activities can get quite tiring though, so take a break in the thermal baths to relax your muscles! The thermal baths are quite popular, so be prepared for lots of people here.


This structure was built around AD 500 and is much different to the Inca style that most Peruvian ruins have. With a fortress, terraces, tombs, and settlements, the Kuelap Fortress is about 1,112 acres big. It is a magically dizzying array of pathways, so try not to get lost. Going with a tour guide will help you navigate the largest stone ruins in the world, and assure you get the most out of your visit.


Located in Huascarán National Park, this breathtaking, deep blue lagoon is likely the best trek in Peru (maybe the world!). It takes about 3 hours to hike to the lagoon and about 2 hours back. On the way there, you can see incredible views, waterfalls, and creeks. Although this hike is much shorter than the Inca Trail, it is important to take your time still to avoid altitude sickness on the way there. There is also an entry fee of 30 soles (~$7.46), so bring a bit of money, water, snacks, and of course sunscreen!

I hope that this post has helped you decide where to visit while in Peru. Buen Viaje!