Peru is a popular destination with intrepid travellers and globe trotters, with hoards visiting to this beautiful part of South America to hike the Inca Trail and marvel at the ancient wonder that is Machu Picchu. But do you know what else Peru has to offer?
Whether you’re about to jet off or about to book your dream Peruvian adventure, here are 7 of the must-see places you need to visit (including some of the most under-rated destinations).
Once the capital and founding place of the Inca Empire, most people visit Cusco to reach the Inca trail, but it has more to offer. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Cusco was built by Spanish conquerors on top of the original Inca city. It’s filled with temple remains, beautiful architecture and an array of tourist attractions (including Matchu Picchu), as well as incredible Peruvian cuisine.
The city and surrounding area of Nazca are popular with tourists, with many flocking to see the Nazca Lines – ancient drawings that stretch 200 miles across the Peruvian desert. While you’re here, visit Cahuachi. Covering almost 400 acres, as this is still an active site with archaeologists continuing to excavate the area, making it an itinerary-must for history lovers.
3. Rainbow Mountain
Located in the Peruvian Andres, Rainbow Mountain (or Vinicunca), is the perfect spot for the ultimate vacation Instagram photo. Located in Ausangate, the peaks here are pigmented with hues from terracotta and fuchsia, to teal and mustard. Take a trek to find Rainbow Mountain, so called for it’s multicoloured appearance. Then set a timer to get the perfect picture.
Hiking through the Peruvian desert, the desert oasis of Huacachina is probably the last thing you’d expect to see. A small settlement, here you’ll find a stunning turquoise lagoon surrounded by palm trees. The lake here has many stories, from the legend that says it was once a mirror, to those who believe it has healing properties.
5. Boiling River
Continuing with water, the Boiling River is like something from a sci-fi film. With temperatures that reach more than 200 degrees and located in the Amazon Rainforest, it’s the biggest geothermal river in the world. At near-boiling temperatures, this river is lethal, but this natural phenomenon is well worth a visit.
6. La Cueva de Las Lechuzas
Also known as the Cave of Owls, La Cueva de Las Lechuzas is located within the Bella Durmiente mountains. A dark and extensive cave, it’s home to thousands of nocturnal birds that communicate using echolocation like bats, so you’ll hear a range of clicks and chirps as you explore. Just don’t stay too long, as the fungus in this cave could damage your lungs.
7. Gocta Waterfall
Want to see one of the tallest waterfalls in the world? Then you have to visit Gocta Waterfall in Utcabamba Valley. Relatively unexplored until 2006, Gocta Falls is a place many tourists miss from their itinerary. But at twice the height of the Eiffel Tower – approximately 2,500 feet tall – it’s well worth the hike.
The question shouldn’t be whether or not to visit Peru, it’s when, and how do we get there. Why not round up some of your closest family or friends and charter a private jet. It’s easier than you think, with the Private Fly, Jettly or any of the other new apps available.