Beyond Machu Picchu, Cusco and the Inca Trail, Peru offers many more incredible tourist attractions
People travel from all over the world to see Machu Picchu and Cusco, and to experience the Inca Trail. But many travelers are unaware that Peru offers many other must-see destinations that they can book as part of a more complete Peru vacation. Below, our own Peru travel experts offer some of their top Peru vacation tips:
Rainbow mountain – Cusco: In the Andes mountains of the Cusco region, in recent years this stunningly beautiful geological feature has begun to attract more and more visitors. Alternating bands of colorful sedimentary rock unveiled by erosion form the perfect backdrop for one of the most spectacular selfies you will ever take, and the mountain can be accessed easily from the city of Cusco in one- or two-day all-inclusive excursions.
Uros floating islands – Puno: South of Cusco, the city of Puno is the starting point for excursions on Lake Titicaca, the lake held sacred by the Incas. In Puno Bay, the Uros islands are a series of floating platforms made from local reeds, which the ancestors of today’s inhabitants first built centuries ago, as a way of escaping from other more dominant ethnic groups on the lakeshore. In recent years the people of the Uros islands have begun to offer travelers the chance to overnight on their artificial islands and learn more about their unique way of life.
Colca Canyon – Arequipa: In the Andes mountains beyond the elegant city of Arequipa, Colca is one of the world’s deepest canyons. Colca can be reached on one- or two-day excursions from Arequipa, and this breathtaking destination offers fabulous scenery, contact with traditional Andean communities, endless trekking and hiking options, and the chance to spot Andean condors!
Paracas National Reserve: The seas off Peru’s desert coast are among the most fertile in the world, and this richness means they are filled with an incredible variety of marine fauna, including sea lions, dolphins, Humboldt penguins, Peruvian boobies, and an extraordinary variety and number of other seabirds. One of the most popular attractions within Paracas National Reserve is the fauna-rich Ballestas Islands, accessible from the town of Pisco as a half-day excursion. The natural abundance of this coastal habitat led to the emergence and development of ancient civilizations, and today vestiges of the Pre-Inca Paracas culture are admired in many of the world’s greatest museums, in the form of the unsurpassed beauty of their textiles.