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Top Destinations 2017: Peru

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Peru sits at the beating heart of South America, with echoes of a 5,000 year history connecting with glorious wonders of the natural world in a nation famed for its vibrant arts and culture.

From north to south, Peru has some of the most amazing ancient ruins in existence, and they are sure to leave you speechless.

For the traveller looking to test their physical capabilities, Peru offers many chances at hiking through historically important trails and other activities that will not leave you unexcited.

Make sure you have a good amount of open storage to take photos as their will be no shortage of moments where you will be in absolute awe. Be prepared for a life changing adventure, Peru is yours to explore. 

Where to go 

Stretching between Peru and Bolivia Lake Titicaca is home to dozens of islands all with different characteristics. Witness ruins from several different cultures and ancient civilisations as well as fishermen taking to the lake on totora rafts. What is under Lake Titicaca is truly enticing, as there has been a recent discovery of an underwater temple attributed to the indigenous Tiwanaku or Tiahuanaco. 

Also in the southern region is Machu Picchu, one of the more recently accepted new Seven Wonders of the World. This ancient Inca settlement is a truly awe-inspiring sight to behold and is a must-see.

In the northwest head to the Arequipa volcano known as El Misti, and activate the adventurer in you in the Colca Valley where adventure sports such as hiking, climbing and rafting are all possible options amongst stunning scenery. 

Further north in Ancash, in the world’s highest tropical mountain chain known as the Cordillera Blanca is the Huascaran National Park which is composed of 663 glaciers, 269 lakes, and 41 rivers. Beautiful sites are more than plentiful here. 

While in northern Peru, grab a bite in Chaclayo, known for its duck dishes and raw fish meals. This coastal town also boasts a rich history and is home to the Valley of the Pyramids

Iquitos, located in the north on the Amazon River will have you thinking business, as this major Peruvian port served as an important part of the growing economy in the late 1880s with their rubber tapping industry.

There are also beaches and other important establishments along the Amazon river such as the Pacaya Samiria Reserve

What to do 

Learn about the Uru people 

At Lake Titicaca, taking a boat ride is a necessity to appreciate the full aesthetic of where you are in the world.

40 minutes from Puno, where you will most likely begin this boat ride, are the floating islands of the Uru people. See how the Uru use reed construction to maintain their floating homes.

The islands here are truly different in that the biggest of the islands will only hold 10 families, while some of the smaller islands have only two or three families. This is a unique experience and will not last much longer as more Uru people continue to move away from these islands. 

Feast your eyes on a new wonder 

Conquer the Inca Trail in the Cuzco region and end up at Machu Picchu. It will take you on a scenic route to one of the world’s finest wonders.

Along the trail are a collection of sights, some natural and some ancient formed by the Inca. Any hiker will be pleased with the surrounding forests which hold hundreds of species of beautiful orchids and colourful birds.

This trek will take a few days and major will power, so make sure you are up for the task!

Add some excitement to your life at Colca Canyon 

Take a tour in the Colca Canyon, where you will test yourself with rock climbing, mountain biking, zip lining, horseback riding, hiking and off-roading.

Tours will also teach you about the history, culture, and nature encountered along the way in the Canyon. 

Immerse yourself in Chiclayo culture by means of cuisine 

Chiclayo cuisine is not to be missed. There is a variety of foods ranging from lime-juice marinated fish served with onions, yams and corn on the cob to “king-kong” which is a cake consisting of creamed pineapple, egg yolks, and milk custard.

Look for places serving traditional plates like Arroz con Pato, Seco de Cabrito, Chirimpico and Chinguirito. Drinks to look for are Chicha de Jora and Llonque. When you have had your fill, pay a visit to the burial site of “The Lord of Sipan” and gaze into the past in all its glamour. 

Business and beaches in Iquitos  

Learn about the business side of the country in northern Peru at Iquitos, the capital of the department of Loreto. Here you can take a boat ride on the Amazon River and witness how certain ports served different purposes and were more or less significant than the others.

If you want to keep brain usage to a minimum, then go to a number of beaches in close proximity, maybe Tunchi Playa on Lake Quistococha or Santa Clara and Santo Tomás along the Nanay River. These are great places to bring your trip to a close by simply sitting back and relaxing. 

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