Looking for quick tips to plan your next trip to Southern Peru? Check out the top 10 things you cannot miss for your itinerary!
"Little by little one walks far" - Peruvian Proverb
1. LIMA, the lively capital of Peru, with its historic colonial center (namely visit Plaza the Armas, the Cathedral and the nearby Monasterio de San Francisco) as well as the modern neightbourod of Miraflores with the Garden of Love overlooking the ocean.
In the night, do not miss the show of lights and music at the fountains of the Circuito Magico de l'Agua (http://www.circuitomagicodelagua.com.pe).
2. a boat tour to the BALLESTAS ISLANDS in front of Paracas to see the seals, sea lions, penguins, pelicans and many others type of birds.
If you have time, spent at least half day in the nearby Natural Reserve of Paracas where the desert meets the ocean!
3. The HUACACHINA OASIS in the Ica Desert to see huge dunes of gold sand and only for the brave to try the Dune Buggy and Sand Boarding!
4. The misterious NAZCA LINES...a series of enormous geoglyphs depicting animals, plants, geometric drawings created by pre-Inca people...it is still today a mistery how they were able to create them without having the possibility to fly over them ! The best way to see the lines is with the turistic fly over them or as alternative there is a mirador to see a few of them.
5. AREQUIPA, la ciudad Blanca ...here do not miss the Plaza the Armas with the Cathedral, the Iglesia de la Compania with its panoramic rooftop and the cloister , the colorful Monasterio of Santa Catalina and the scenic Yanahuara mirador with an incomparable view on El Misti volcan (5800 m) and Chachani volcan (6057 m)
6. The majestic COLCA CANYON, one of the deepest canyon in the world.
From here in CRUZ DEL CONDOR is it possible to see the condors fly over the canyon...very impressive!
In this area, you can see also the typical andean landscape, many giant volcans (Sabancaya volcan 5976m erupts continuously!), the lagoon with pink flamingos at Lagunillasas well as some tiny traditional villages (namely Yanque and Maca) and many llmas, Alpacas especially in the Reserva Nacional de Salinas e Aguada Blanca ....awesome!
7. TITICACA LAKE, the highest navigable lake in the world at 3800m.. the best way to visit it is to take part to a full day boat tour in the lake with stops to its main islands.
Namely, do not miss the scenic walking in TAQUILE ISLAND to observe a wonderful landscape and learn how a typical peruvian family lives and works.
Last but not least, the FLOATING ISLANDS DE LOS UROS, very pictoresque little islands constructed continuously adding a yellow reed (totora) that grows in the lake. In each Island lives and works an enlarged family...they are very nice and friendly with travelers and proud to show you how they live and their handcrafts
8. CUZCO and THE SACRED VALLEY
Cuzco was the ancient capital of the Inca empire and today is famous for the colonial buildings and the nearby Inca Ruins (Sacsaywaman, Qenqo, Puka Pukara and Tambomachay). In Cuzco, apart wandering in the nice central streets of this town, do not miss Plaza the Armas with the Cathedral and the Coricancha Temple with the Convent of Santo Domingo (or so called The Temple of the Sun, the most important temple in the Inca empire). Very pictoresque the San Pedro market and for a cultural moment, interesting the Inca Museum. A curiosity on Cuzco: in the past the city was planned to have the shape of a puma, accordingly to the traditional Inca division of the world in 3 levels: condor (the upper world/the sky )- puma (the human world) - snake (the lower world/underground) !
Just outside Cuzco it surely deserves a visit the SACRED VALLEY and namely the traditional village of CHINCHERO, the impressive SALINAS DE MARAS with their 3000 pools of white salt situated at 3000 m, the unusual Inca ruins of MORAY consisting of several terraced circular depressions used as agricultural laboratory for the adaptation of different species cultivated at different altitudes, the ancient well-preserved Inca Fortress and temple of OLLANTAYTAMBO!
9. the incredible and stunning RAINBOW MOUNTAINS: if you are more interested in an easier hike not surrounded by a crowd of tourists but with equally stunning views, try Palcoyo instead of the most known Vinicunca, as we did!
For more details on the differences between PALCOYO and VINICUNCA have a look to our dedicated post on these places!
Historically Peruvians have the cult of the nature, the so called Pachamama ... so after a wake up at 4.30, 3hours by car and 1hour of walking at 5000m in lack of oxygen surronded only by the sound of the wind... you will arrive in this natural paradise and you can only thanks the Pachamama to have given us a such wonderful and unique place!
10. last but not least MACHU PICCHU, one of the 7 wonders of the world and the symbol of Peru! The best preserved Inca city that we can see today!
To discover more about these places, read also our articles dedicated to Peru and have a look to our posts and stories dedicated to Peru dated August/September 2019 on our Instagram page @2intour
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