History, nature, cultural traditions, adventure, and other factors make Peru the ideal place for travelers who can never get enough of its astounding natural attractions and the hospitality of its warm people.
The Inca country's unique geography includes beautiful beaches, deserts, lakes, forests, snow-capped mountains, and tropical rainforest.
All this —in addition to its cultural heritage, mysterious and impressive archaeological sites, as well as great traditions— turns Peru into an ideal tourist destination.
Below is a list of Peru's 12 must-see attractions.
Peru's iconic destination, Machu Picchu, is a must-see for travelers. The citadel is a sample of Incas' development. This archaeological site is on UNESCO's World Heritage List and is one of the new seven wonders of the world.
Situated in the arid Peruvian coastal plain, some 400 km south of Lima, the geoglyphs of Nazca cover about 450 km2.
They include more than 800 straight lines, 300 geometric figures, as well as 70 plant, animal, and anthropomorphic designs.
While some researchers believe the glyphs were part of an astronomical observatory, others believe they acted as a calendar.
The huge figures can be viewed in full only from the sky.
Over the past years, the Peruvian capital has become a hot destination due to its historical center, museums, parks, gastronomy, and historical sites, making it one of the most interesting places to visit in South America.
Recently, Kuelap has become a tourist sensation thanks to the cable car system implemented in 2017. In fact, the fortress —Amazonas region's most popular tourist attraction— has joined the New York Times' 52 Places to Go in 2018 list.
Peruvian archaeology changed in 1987 due to Lord of Sipan's discovery. His tomb —including ornaments, clothing, and emblems— was found at Huaca Rajada site, thus cementing its position along with other archaeological sites situated in Lambayeque region.
Peru's wonderful Winikunka (Quechua word for Seven-color Mountain), rising at over 5,000 m.a.s.l., is poised to become Cusco's second-most important tourist attraction.
The mountain is accessible from a hiking trail that passes through breathtaking landscapes.
More and more people visit this beautiful place attracted by its natural beauty.
The Chan Chan archaeological complex is another sample of pre-Inca advanced architectural and engineering practices. It is the largest adobe city in South America.
Located in Moche Valley —not far from the beachside town of Huanchaco and Trujillo city— Chan Chan was built between 9th and 15th centuries A.D. and covers an area of approximately 20 square kilometers.
It must be noted the site was included in UNESCO Worldwide Heritage List back in 1986.
Located four hours away from the capital city Lima, Caral provides a journey through the origins of Peruvian culture. It is a great option to understand the origins of Peruvians and enjoy Supe Valley's natural beauty.
The Sacred City of Caral contains pyramids, archaeological remains, the Supe Valley, the Huarango Forest, and agro-ecological orchards.
Its age is comparable to the early civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, India, and China.
This mountainous area, not very far from Cusco City, hosts several archaeological complexes. Hiking along the valley provides a sense of connection with the region's millenary past.
Its flora and fauna captivate visitors as they walk through the rainforest. The Peruvian Amazonia hosts several protected natural areas such as Tambopata, Manu, Alpahuayo-Mishana, Pacaya Samiria, among others, offering a unique experience.
Considered the highest navigable lake in the world, Lake Titicaca is a sacred place for its surrounding population. Popular floating islands are part of this beautiful destination. They are inhabited by descendants of ancient civilizations predating the Incas.
Beautiful beaches like Mancora, Los Organos, Punta Sal, Pacasmayo (in northern Peru), as well as those along the southern and central coast, always draw travelers to their shores. Vacationers can enjoy the sunset, spot whales, and practice water sports.