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Tourist attractions in Peru: the 10 most visited places in the country

This nation in South America has plenty of historical and natural riches. From natural beauties like the dunes of Huacachina, Peru to cultural monuments like the globally renowned Machu Picchu in the Andes, Peru offers breathtaking and striking visuals that entice visitors. Should you be heading to Peru?

1. Machu Picchu

Probably the most popular and well-known Peruvian attraction, Machu Picchu is an extraordinary complex from the first half of the 15th century built by the Incas in the Andes Mountains. This site is extremely well preserved and is visited by more than 1.5 million visitors every year since it was selected as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Roaming around in the designed gray stone structures and lying down to admire the enchanting view of the mountains is an eye-opening feeling.

2. Rainbow Mountain

Rainbow Mountain or Vinicunca Mountain is one of the most beautiful natural sights that has become a hot spot in Peru during the recent time. Today, more than a million people visit the mountain every year strictly to behold the variety of colored mineral veins. It is indeed quite arduous to climb up to the summit but the reward that one is bound to get is irresistible.

3. Lake Titicaca

The largest freshwater Lake in South America and the highest navigable Lake in the world is the Titicaca Lake which is shared between Peru and Bolivia. In Peru, Taquile and Amantani are among those islands located on the lake that attracts tourists from all over the country and across the world. They come to get an insight into the culture of the natives living here; to visit the famous Uros floating island; and naturally to admire the breathtaking Andean views.

4. Cusco

Formerly the capital of the Inca civilization, the Cusco is nowadays the primary contact for traveling to Machu Picchu. But the city itself attracts more than 2 million people a year to its Plazas cathedrals temples and museums. Primarily, it is worthwhile to visit Koricancha – the temple of the sun, Sacsayhuaman – a huge fortress, and the central square – Plaza de Armas.

5. Lima

Many international travelers start or finish their Peru trip in Lima – the sprawling and ever-evolving metropolis. There are numerous restaurants, that serve delicious world cuisines; museums; churches; archeological sites; and an excellent nightlife. The main cultural sites to visit are the Larco Museum which houses an astonishing collection of pre-Columbian pieces, the catacombs of the San Francisco monastery, and creative neighborhoods such as the more popular Miraflores and Barranco.

6. Huacachina

This small barren land located in southwestern Peru has now turned out to be a haven for backpackers due to its bizarre features. It is for example possible to go sandboarding at the enormous hills of sand or rent a dune buggy. At night, the Oasis Center is a popular place to go for many people, dancing through the night by the light of the moon and stars at the lagoon.

7. Sacred Valley

The region between Cusco and Machu Picchu is known as the Sacred Valley, this valley is one of the most beautiful places with the added Incan ruins and traditional towns. Places such as the fort on Ollantaytambo, the circular terraces Moray, and the famous handicraft market in Pisac, as the valley is just a stopover on the way to the famous Inca city of Machu Picchu.

8. Nazca Lines

The next ancient Peruvian enigma is located in the desert of the south – the otherworldly giant 2,000-year-old figures called the Nazca Lines. Inscribed on the nature reserves’ barren land are more than 300 gigantic pictures of animals, plants, and geometrical figures, which can only be easily viewed from an aerial view. Most of them go for flight tours just to experience the legendary lines on the horizon.

9. Colca Canyon

Colca Canyon is located in southern Peru; culturally, it is twice as deep as the Grand Canyon which is more popular among tourists. More than a hundred thousand visitors now ascend into the red and green valley by a trek or motor vehicle to observe archaeological sites, native settlements, colonial churches, hot springs, and condor-watching sites.

10. Arequipa

Arequipa is the second largest metropolitan city in the nation of Peru and is known as the “White City” due to many of its buildings being constructed of volcanic rock. A million people visit the city annually to tour the beautiful old town, monasteries, and museums and to make it their launch pad for such activities as tramping through Colca Canyon, climbing El Misti volcano, or heading for Lake Titicaca.

Therefore, if you are planning your next trip to Peru, it is highly advisable to include some of these outstanding attractions in your checklist. From the sky-high citadel of the Incas to the_verticales_ of rainbow colors, there is so much more to see and do in Peru to leave visitors amazed. Within the first few days of your stay here, you will soon get to know why this enthralling country has managed to woo visitors for centuries.

FAQ

What are the top 10 tourist attractions in Peru?

The top attractions include Machu Picchu, Cusco Historic Center, Sacred Valley of the Incas, Nazca Lines, Lake Titicaca, Colca Canyon, Arequipa Historic Center, Amazon Rainforest, Lima Historic Center, and Huascarán National Park.

Why are these attractions so popular among tourists?

These attractions are renowned for their historical significance, natural beauty, cultural heritage, and unique experiences they offer to visitors exploring Peru's diverse landscapes and history.

What is the best way to visit Machu Picchu?

Many visitors take the train from Cusco to Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Pueblo) and then a bus up to the archaeological site. Alternatively, some opt for the Inca Trail trek, which requires booking with a licensed tour operator in advance.

Are there opportunities for adventure activities in Peru?

Yes, Peru offers a range of adventure activities such as hiking, trekking (including the Inca Trail), whitewater rafting, surfing in northern beaches, paragliding in Lima, and exploring the Amazon Rainforest.

What are some cultural experiences to explore in Peru?

Travelers can immerse themselves in Peruvian culture by visiting local markets, attending traditional festivals (like Inti Raymi), trying Peruvian cuisine (including ceviche and Pisco Sour), and exploring indigenous communities.