Peru is one of those places that you must visit in your life and if you are doing a South America Tour, it is important that you don’t miss out on this truly unique country. So read on to find out more about what makes Peru special and to find out some inspiring ideas for your next trip there.
Lima is the capital of Peru and no Peru Tour would be complete without visiting it. Surprisingly Lima is the second driest capital city in the world after Cairo in Egypt, and this is due to its relatively high elevation. Lima is a must visit place because of its rich cultural heritage that is shared throughout South America, and it offers amazing museums, deeply religious traditions and Latin American soul. Plaza major is a great place to visit as it is the historic centre of Lima and also the place of its birth, the square offers access to many of the attractions of Lima and is a great place to start your journey in Lima.
The Sacred Valley (Rio Urubamba Valley or El Valle Sagrado) is perhaps one of the biggest draw cards of Peru and is located about 15km north of Cuzco. The valley is known for the Inca citadels of Pisac and Ollantaytambo, but there are various other sites to explore in the valley. The valley is also becoming very popular for hiking and other outdoor activities such as rock climbing and rafting. The Sacred Valley really has a lot to offer for every kind of traveller and you can find out some great things to do there at Lonely Planet.
The Inca Trail is without a doubt the most famous hiking spot in all of South America and is frequented by thousands of people each year. The four day trail is only about 40 km in length, but requires serious physical fitness due to the up and down path and changes in altitude. The trail offers amazing views of snowy mountain peaks, forests and a oneness with nature and the surrounding landscape. The end of the Inca Trail rewards the traveller with one of the greatest sights that they will ever experience: Machu Picchu.
Cusco lies in southeastern Peru, close to the Urubamba Valley of the Andes. The city is well known for being the historic capital of the Inca Empire from the 13th to the 16th century, and ceased to be so when the Spanish invaded and conquered South America. Cusco offers many unusual and interesting Inca sites, such as Moray and Saksaywaman. Moray is particularly unique as it is a series of round terraces that are depressed into the earth and each level becomes lower and lower. The exact purpose of the site is unknown and there are many theories as to what it was actually used for.