My recent trip to Peru has totally convinced me how amazing this country is and I am not only talking about Machu Picchu, although I have to admit that Peru was not on my radar before I learned about Machu Picchu. Even though I didn’t get to visit most parts of Peru, but from what I’ve seen, I hope the photos will convince you to visit this amazing country soon.
The vibrant capital Lima has a lot to offer, from the beautiful beach to historical centers to world-renowned cuisine.
Peru is known as South America’s food capital. Some of the world’s best restaurants are in Lima and they are way cheaper than what you would pay in the US or Europe. Central, World’s No.4 restaurant, is located in the posh Miraflores. Astrid & Gaston (pictured above), is the World’s No.33 restaurant in 2017 and offers an impressed 17 course meal for about 130USD. Besides fine dining, signature food in cheaper restaurants like ceviche, roasted chicken, guinea pig, stuffed pepper, chifa, etc are worth trying. Don’t forget the exotic fruits, they are everywhere and taste amazing.
Cusco is known as the gate way to Machu Picchu but it’s a really cool place in itself. The whole city has a historical feel to it unlike Lima. Walk around this high altitude city and you will find numerous historical sites such as Twelve Angled Stone, Sacsayhuaman and Tambomachay. There is also a chocolate museum that offer chocolate making classes. I LOVE chocolate so that was the cherry on top of my Cusco experience.
The Inca trail is definitely the highlight of my entire Peru trip. No I’m not talking about Machu Picchu itself, but the 3 days it took to get there. If you want to learn more about the Inca history and culture and see some cool archeological sites that nobody else will ever get to see, you should come to Peru to do this. Also, if you are new to camping, this is probably the best way to experience camping because there will be people carrying your things and tents and cook for you – STRESS FREE!
Ok you know this one was coming. Machu Picchu is the No.1 tourist destination in Peru and perhaps the entire South America. If you don’t do anything else in Peru, you gotta come here right? I’ve talked a lot about hiking there but there is a way easier path – a 3.5 hour luxury train ride from Cusco, hiking free!
One cannot talk about Peru without talking about these cute animals. The picture above is an alpaca, which is different from a llama, which is more commonly seen in photos. Both are cute and fluffy and soft, but in my opinion alpacas are much cuter. Llamas have a longer neck and will spit at you. These animals roam freely in Peru (even at Machu Picchu) so you will get a lot of photo ops with them.
The landscape in Peru changes drastically from one region to the next. Lima is by the ocean so you get the nice beach but most of the country is in the Andes mountain. If you love nature and beautiful landscapes, this is the country for you.
There are numerous hiking trails in Peru besides the Inca Trail. If you are a big hiking and camping person, then you would love Peru. There are many day hikes you can do and everything can be arranged easily. Want a challenge? Try hiking at 15000ft+ altitude and see if your cardio holds up.
I had never heard of Peruvian salt mine before I came and I was surprised at how cool this place is and how close it is to Cusco. Take a tour here and learn more about the 3 different stages of salt making and buy a bag of the renowned Pink Salt to bring home.
Is this one of those alien creations? Nope. This is an Inca laboratory. Incans were extremely intelligent people and had some amazing technology back then. One of the technology they had was building these “laboratories” in terraces so each terrace can create a different microclimate for crops. They then will learn at what altitude and what environment different crops grow the best. There are also numerous Inca archeological sites in Peru besides Machu Picchu that are worth visiting.
A mountain made of rainbows? This mountain got popularly in the recent couple of years thanks to Social Media. It’s an easy day trip (or a 5 day hike) for those who dare (the summit is 17000ft/5200m).
Convinced? Pack your bag and book a flight to Peru!