Peru Top Things to See & Do
Peru Top Things to See & Do-Titiqaqa Lake Peru and Bolivia
Lake Titicaca Is a large, deep, freshwater lake in the Andes. About half the lake resides in Peru and half in Bolivia.
It covers 8,300 square km, sunning 190 km and 80 km across is at 3,812 m above sea level.
The lake has 41 islands, Some of the islands are home to many people.
A narrow strait, Tiquina, separates the lake into two bodies of water. The smaller, in the southeast, is called Lake Huiñaymarca in Bolivia and Lake Pequeño in Peru, the larger, in the northwest, is called Lake Chucuito in Bolivia and Lake Grande in Peru.
The Andean peoples refer to the lake as "The Sacred Lake, and legends say that the first Inca rose from its depths and went out to found the Inca Empire.
At the time of the Spanish Conquest, one of the most important religious sites of the Inca Empire was located on the Island of the Sun.
Peru Top Things to See & Do-Peru Huacachina
Huacachina is a village built around a small oasis and surrounded by sand dunes in southwestern Peru( 4 hours south of Lima, close to the city of Ica).
This oasis was formed thanks to an underground current of water, which generated the growth of plants and trees in the middle of the ica desert.
Huacachina isa natural desert Oasis, Largest sand dunes in South America and this village is home to less than 1,000 local people.
The Legend of Huacachina the oasis originated from the tears shed of a maiden from the town of Tacara who mourned the death of her beloved, a young Inca warrior. After crying for days and nights, the lagoon was created. The girl’s name was Huacachina.
There are lots of things to do to Huacachina, sandboarding, sand skiing and dune buggy rides, pedal boats on the lake and hikes up the dunes to watch the famous sunsets, but the most popular thing to do in Huacachina is dune buggy rides.(The dune buggy rides are usually 2 hours long).
Peru Top Things to See & Do-Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu is a 15th-century Inca citadel, historians believe Machu Picchu was built at the height of the Inca Empire,(around 15th and 16th centuries).
It was abandoned an estimated 100 years after its construction.
In the Quechua native language, “Machu Picchu” means “Old Peak” or “Old Mountain.”
Machu Picchu is often referred to as the “Lost City of the Incas” due to the belief that the Spanish never found the city when they conquered the Incan Empire.
Located 80 km (50 mi) northwest of Cuzco southern Peru, on a 2,430-metre (7,970 ft) mountain ridge.
The Urubamba River flows past it, and creating a canyon with a tropical mountain climate.
The massive architecture of Machu Picchu blends exceptionally well with the stunning natural environment.
The Incas were adept engineers and were able to build the entire citadel of Machu Picchu without using any mortar.
Many of the stones that were used to build the city weighed more than 50 tons.
The stones were either pushed up the mountain by the bare hands of hundreds of men or chiseled from the side of the mountain itself.
There is an extensive network of water channels and conduits, the water runs into the Machu Picchu from the mountains above.
The approximately 150 structures making up this outstanding religious (temples and sanctuaries), ceremonial, astronomical, baths , housesand and agricultural centre are set on a steep ridge, crisscrossed by stone terraces.
The citadel has two parts: Hanan and Urin according with the Inca tradition.
Machu Picchu was declared a Peruvian Historic Sanctuary in 1981 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.
In 2007, Machu Picchu was voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in a worldwide internet poll.
Machu Picchu is open year-round.Peak season is July and August, you should always expect crowds.
The Peru government wants to preserve the sanctity of the famous site. Therefore you can’t show up in a Scottish Kilt, Japanese kimono, or German lederhosen to name a few.
There are only two ways to get to Machu Picchu today. By train from Ollantaytambo or by hiking, these are the only two ways.
At the entrance, there is a stamp for your passport, this is a nice little souvenir.
Peru Top Things to See & Do-Arequipa
The city was founded on 15 August 1540, under the name of "Beautiful Villa of Our Lady of the Assumption" in the name of Marquis Francisco Pizarro.
Arequipa, the stunning colonial era city,often called the “White City,characterized by arched interior ceilings, Arequipa’s architectural beauty.
Its historical center extends over an area of 332 hectares and has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This is apparent in the walls of its streets, buildings and churches, and more than 500 grand colonial-era houses in the historic center takes visitors back to another time.
Arequipa will fascinate and charm you with its rugged volcanoes, Alpacas, and delicious Peruvian cuisine.
Yes! Arequipa’s restaurants are famous across Peru for a range of delicious dishes.
Peru Top Things to See & Do-Cusco
Cusco, is a city in southeastern Peru.
The city was the historic capital of the Inca Empire from the 13th century until the 16th-century Spanish conquest.
Cusco, knowledged as the historic capital of Peru.
In 1983, Cusco was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO with the title "City of Cuzco".
In Cusco, every corner tells a story. Cusco witnessed the arrival of the Spanish.
In these streets time seems to have stopped, every corner offers a piece of history.
The heart of Cusco’s historic center is, without doubt, its main square, or “Plaza de Armas”,Cusco was originally built in the shape of a puma. The square between the legs of the puma is the Plaza de Armas.
The city has become the main tourist attraction in Peru and it is estimated that almost 2 million tourists visit Cusco every year.
The stone walls of the city.
Visit the cathedral, the Jesuit church,
San Pedro Marke- The San Pedro Market is one of Cusco’s largest and busiest markets.
San Blas neighborhood.
The view of sunset over the imperial city.
Visit Sacsayhuaman, learn how local people dye wool to produce colorful typical clothing.
Tour at Qorikancha, the Inca temple over which Santo Domingo church and monastery were built.
Museo Municipal de Arte Contemporáneo.
This museum has exhibitions of contemporary art.
Machu Picchu Museum
The largest collection of Machu Picchu artifacts in the world.
Don't miss Piedra de los doce ángulos (Twelve-angle stone). This one has become a symbol of Cusco.
Peru Top Things to See & Do-The Nazca Lines
The Nazca Lines are a group of very large geoglyphs made in the soil of the Nazca Desert in southern Peru.
Most of the Nazca Lines are between 10 to 30 cm deep and the longest glyph found at Nazca goes for 9 miles.
The Nazca Lines was first discovered in the late 1920s by a Peruvian archaeologist.
Scientists believe that the majority of lines were made by the Nasca people, who flourished from around A.D. 1 to 700.
There are three basic types of Nazca Lines: straight lines, geometric designs and pictorial representations.
The Nazca Lines are perhaps best known for the representations of about 70 animals and plants, some of which measure up to 1,200 feet (370 meters) long.(such as birds, fish, llamas, jaguars, and monkeys, or human figures. There are also various flowers, trees, and other plants – as well as geometric shapes, including triangles, trapezoids, and spirals).
The Nazca civilization flourished in southern Peru between 200 BC and 500 AD.
The mystery and beliefs that surround the creation of these giant drawings have encouraged conspiracy theories.
Scholars differ in interpreting the purpose of the designs, but in general, they ascribe religious significance to them.(According to an Incan legend, the god Viracocha commissioned the creation of the Nazca Lines).
They were designated in 1994 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Some of the Nazca lines form shapes that are best seen from the air.
The best way to see the lines is from one of the 3-9-seater planes flying out of Nazca Peru airport.
Peru Top Things to See & Do-The Colca Canyon
The Colca Canyon is a canyon of the Colca River in southern Peru, located about 160 kilometres (99 mi) northwest of Arequipa. It is Peru's third most-visited tourist destination with about 120,000 visitors annually.
Colca Canyon is one of those places in Peru that has everything.
With a depth of 3,270 metres (10,730 ft),it is one of the deepest in the world. Its length is about 70 kilometres (43 mi).
The Colca Canyon offers travellers the opportunity to get up close and personal to countryside life in Peru.
The green valleys in Colca Canyon are used for agriculture by local farmers following the traditions of the Inkas.
The local people maintain their ancestral traditions and continue to cultivate the pre-Inca stepped terraces, called andenes.
Things to See and Do in Colca Canyon
The Colca Canyon offers stay in oasis,uncover jaw-dropping vistas, and thermal waters, rafting, climbing and trekking,for viewing the immense Andean Condor, and other typical highland animals in their natural habitat, including alpacas, vizcachas and pumas.
There are plenty of travel agencies that offer Colca Canyon trekking in Arequipa. (when you hike Colca Canyon you should be aware of altitude sickness and low oxygen levels).
Peru Top Things to See & Do-Lima
Lima is the capital and the largest city of Peru, is a sprawling metropolis with sights and smells at every turn, Lima offers an extraordinary range of emotions, sensations, colors and flavors around the regal edifices surrounding the Plaza de Armas, among the gnarled olive trees of San Isidro's Parque El Olivar, or along the winding lanes in the coastal community of Barranco.
It is a city you should not miss!
It is located in the valleys of the Chillón, Rímac and Lurín Rivers.
Lima is the second largest city in the Americas, after São Paulo.(the city of more than 9 million citizens).
Lima is home to one of the oldest institutions of higher learning. The National University of San Marcos, founded on 12 May 1551.
One visit to Lima can never be enough.There are lots of things to do, (many for free).
The historic center of Lima,the Paseo de la República, Plaza Mayor and Plaza San Martín, with its distinctive buildings: Government Palace, the Archbishop's Palace, the Cathedral Basilica and the Municipal Palace.
Museo Larco boasts the world's largest private collection of pre-Columbian art. Housed in an 18th-century mansion.
This active archaeological site sits in the middle of the Miraflores neighborhood, dates back to 400 B.C.
The most traditional residential areas of the capital: El Parque del Amor, a privileged spot to appreciate a spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean.
Malecón, these cliffside pedestrian boardwalks offer breathtaking ocean views.
Iglesia y Convento de San Francisco, this church is best known for the network of catacombs located underneath the chapel. The catacombs contain an estimated 70,000 remains dating back to the 17th century, this is one of the most-visited tourist sites in the city.
Every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 12.30pm you can join a 90-minute tour of the UNESCO-listed colonial town. No booking required, just show up at Plaza Peru by the small fountain.
Peru Top Things to See & Do-The Sacred Valley
The Sacred Valley of the Incas, is a valley in the Andes of Peru, 20 kilometres (12 mi) at its closest north of the Inca capital of Cusco, a popular destination for tourists to Machu Picchu.
The Sacred Valley, is one of the most important historical places of South America.
The Sacred Valley is a major tourist destination.Inca ruins are dotted throughout the valley.
With towns such as Pisac and Ollantaytambo, (these towns were used as guards for the borders of the Sacred Valley and helped to prevent attacks) and Salt Pans – Maras and Moray, the Inca ruins of Moray are one of the most interesting and scientists are still baffled as to what the site was actually used for.
A multitude of travel agencies in Cuzco offer whirlwind tours of the Sacred Valley.
Peru Top Things to See & Do-Rainbow Mountain Peru
Vinicunca, Rainbow Mountain, is a mountain in the Andes,located in the Cusco region (requires a two-hour drive from Cusco and a walk of about 5 kilometers (3.1 mi).
Also known as Vinicunca, a word originating from Peru’s native tongue Quechua, which translates to “colored mountain”.
Rainbow Mountain is, as a matter of fact, one of the most beautiful places in South America.
This site - has blown up in popularity in the last few years and is arguably now well on its way to becoming the second most visited attraction in the Peru after Machu Picchu.
The mountain is famed for its natural, (the name comes from the 7 colorful layers) multi-colored beauty at a staggering 5,200m above sea level.
Its famous striped colours, vibrant in the sunshine, are largely due to weathering and mineral deposits.
It was only recently discovered due to the snow melting revealing the hidden gem.
The best time to visit will be in the morning or evening hours, either right after sunrise, or right before sunset.