Whilst Machu Picchu is undoubtedly the crown jewel of Peru, there are many more reasons to visit this varied and beautiful country. Join Operations Manager Joanna Rolls as she shares her Top 5 Alternative Peru Experiences.
Do you love mountains? Wildlife? Great food? Different cultures? History? Archaeology? Trekking? Rafting? Cycling? If the answer to any of these is yes, then Peru could be the country for you. Best known as a destination for trekking the Inca trail, Peru is a country so diverse in its landscapes and activities you’ll need to go back time and time again to do it all. Every year many people trek the Inca trail to Machu Picchu, plus more who visit by train and bus. An awe inspiring Inca settlement straight from a postcard or history book accessible to all, it truly is amazing – however Peru has so much more to offer than just Machu Picchu.
These are my top 5 alternative reasons to visit the beautiful country of Peru.
Number 1: Chivay and Colca Canyon
Colca Canyon is the best place in the world to see the majestic condor in flight. These magnificent birds use the thermals rising from the canyon to glide effortlessly through the air, coming so close you feel you could almost touch them. Although often seen as the heading off spot for Colca, Chivay is not to be missed for its natural thermal pools – a great way to relax.
Number 2: Rainforest and Wildlife in the Amazon
Taking a trip into the rainforest reveals beautiful flora and fauna, different cultures, herbal remedies and night time searches for the red eyes of the caiman. It’s a thrilling place to stay in lodges nestled right in the heart of the jungle. Peru has the second largest portion of the Amazon rainforest after Brazil.
Number 3: Lake Titicaca
If you’re not bouncing around on the man made floating reed islands of Uros then you could be discovering why the women of Taquile have two pom poms on a scarf and whether they are single or married just by the way they wear it. The highest navigable lake in the world, Titicaca is home to some fascinating people and their very different cultures and life styles.
Number 4: Peruvian Food
Many people think of guinea pigs when they think of Peruvian food and, to be fair, it is eaten in many different ways in many different towns and villages. However the real flavour and foodie delight comes in the form of the hot stuffed peppers in Arequipa, the tender alpaca steaks in Aguas Calientes, the beautifully citrus marinated ceviche in Lima and the hearty, warming quinoa soups found all over Peru. If you can find time to wash it all down with a Pisco sour or two then you’ll have a great night ahead.
Number 5: Cusco
Such a beautiful city. Make sure you take plenty of time to explore the markets, the winding back streets, the colonial architecture and amazing restaurants. A great place to wander and just soak up the atmosphere and history in the shadow of the surrounding hills and Inca sites close by.