Peru's Top Ten Tourist Destination
Below, in alphabetical order, is a brief description of 10 of the most-visited tourist destinations in Peru
Arequipa city is widely known as the "Ciudad Blanca" (White City) for its beautiful colonial homes, churches and monasteries constructed of a white ashlar that is unique to the zone. Historical Centre of the City of Arequipa, which was recognized by the UNESCO as a Cultural World Heritage Site, is surrounded by a beautiful countryside. You may also visit the nearby Colca Valley and Colca Canyon, Valley of the Volcanoes, protected natural areas as Salinas and Aguada Blanca and the Mejia Lagoons. Arequipa is an ideal destination for those interested in colonial architecture, living culture and in spectacular outdoor natural beauty, biodiversity and outdoor adventure.
Chiclayo was a simple village of Indians and mestizos in the road between Lambayeque and Zaña in colonial times. It had the good fortune, however, of being in the center of an important Pre-Incan archaeological area, the site of recent spectacular archaeological discoveries such as the Lord of Sipán in Huaca Rajada, The Lord of Sicán in Batán Grande and the pyramids of Túcume. The Museo de Tumbas Reales de Sipán (Royal Tombs of Sipán Museum) and Sicán National Museum, housing a collection of incalculable worth, has made these discoveries accessible to all. Chiclayo has thus become Peru's second destination, after Cuzco, in terms of archaeological and historical interest. Chiclayo, also known for its highly-regarded sorcerers and healers, is located on Peru's northern coast .
Cuzco "The Archaeological Capital of America"; it constitutes the biggest tourist attractiveness in Peru, and the most visited one. Cuzco, was the biggest city and capital of the Inca Empire and then taken by the Spanish conquerors; today it has an architecture that fuses the Inca with the Spanish style. Their people conserves with pride its customs and traditions. It is also the forced step to know the mystic and enigmatic Machu Picchu Inca City that the Spaniards never knew and was discovered by the occidental culture in 1911. Cuzco, as Machu Picchu, for its historical value, and for its beauty is considered Cultural World Heritage Sites. The Sacred Valley of the Incas, Choquequirao, beautiful places and the Inca Trail are waiting for you. Also, the Manu National Park, the best wildlife destination in the Amazon, Natural World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
An ideal place for those lovers of the nature & biodiversity tourism and the ones who want to feel an intimate contact with the virgin nature of the Amazon rainforest; from the Iquitos city you will be able take a tour program in Jungle Lodges located in full jungle, and for the most adventurous and fearless you can arrive to the protected natural areas as Pacaya Samiria National Reserve or Allpahuayo Mishana National Reserve, with exuberant flora and fauna, and you can take contact with Amazonian aborigines or take a cruise in the Amazon river, the New 7 Wonders of Nature.
Puno is located in the Andean highland and beside the Titicaca the highest navigable lake in the world inhabited by the Uros people; Amantani and Taquile islands are recommended places to visit. Earth of the legendary Aymara people, and the Tiahuanaco Culture. It is the folkloric capital of Peru. Beautiful landscapes and colonial and pre-inca architecture. It offers excellent alternatives for the archaeological, living culture and nature & biodiversity tourism.
The capital of Peru is a great metropolis; normally it is the entrance door to the country. You will be able to enjoy and know its historical centre with beautiful colonial constructions declared Cultural World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the best museums in Peru, some pre-Hispanic archaeological places as Caral the new Cultural World Heritage Site (June 2009), and a great variety of live concerts, cultural shows, folkloric, centers of amusement, luxurious casinos and game houses, and rich culinary tradition.
A unique place in the world, full with mystery and mysticism, wonderful forms of immense figures and lines, of spectacular perfection, work of a very old Peruvian civilization, the Nazca Lines, Cultural World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Also you can visit the pre-Inca archaeological complex as Cahuachi, Estaqueria, Chauchilla, Cantayoc and geoglyphs of Palpa.
The desert and the sea come together in spectacular landscapes in Paracas. At shore of the Pacific Ocean is an excellent ecological destination for the nature lovers and birdwatchers, the Paracas National Reserve. It also offers cultural historical attractiveness and it is a good alternative to pass relaxed moments excellent for the nautical sports as windsurf, katesurfing, scuba diving, deep sea fishing and more, visit the Ballestas Islands.
Natural paradise in Amazon basin. Located between the basins of the Tambopata and Madre de Dios Rivers, the reserve covers an area of 274.690 hectares and is found in both the Madre de Dios and Puno departments. The wealth of its biodiversity is immeasurable, and scientist have already registered 632 bird species, 1200 butterfly species, 169 mammal species, 205 fish species, 103 amphibian species, and 67 reptile species. The vegetation is typical of tropical regions. Also the Bahuaja Sonene National Park.
The capital of the spring, city of old colonial lineage, very near Chan Chan, capital of the Chimú Nation (XII Century) one of the biggest cities build with mud in the world, declared Cultural World Heritage Site by UNESCO, archaeological pre-Inca places as Huaca La Luna and Huaca El Sol, and new discoveries in El Brujo and the Lady of Cao. Trujillo is known as the "City of Eternal Spring". Is also famed by the traditional celebrations of the National Contest of Marinera (Festival de la Marinera), the International Festival of Spring, Competition of "Caballos de Paso" (Peruvian "Paso" horses), Exhibition of "Caballitos de Totora" and more. An excellent destination for the archaeological and historical tourism.
For the proximity among certain destinations, you can plan the following recommended circuits: (Start point: Lima)
- Arequipa - Puno - Cuzco (The golden triangle)
- Cuzco - Puerto Maldonado / Tambopata
- Trujillo - Chiclayo (Moche Route)
- Paracas - Nazca - Cuzco
- Paracas - Nazca - Arequipa