In the footsteps of the Incas – 7 Remarkable places to visit in Peru

Decide to travel to Peru and you will be presented with an iconic treasure trove of once-in-a-lifetime experiences including mythical ancient wonders, stunning scenery and welcoming cities.

Inspired by a touring holiday showing off the best of the country, here are 7 places you need to experience firsthand in Peru.

1. Arequipa

Arequipa

With three volcanoes nearby, the city of Arequipa is surrounded by impressive peaks, the first thing you may notice on a visit to the city.

Dating back to colonial area and founded by explorers, this Peruvian city is a fantastic stop on any tour of the country.

When in town, be sure to visit the city’s historic centre and the Monastery of Santa Catalina de Siena.

The Historic Centre has been UNESCO-listed for a number of years and offers the chance to explore and admire some rather unique buildings and streets.

Here, colonial settlers brought their own ideals and techniques to the native population, resulting in a fusion of different styles and disciplines.

With lovely colourful buildings, you’ll be forgiven for wanting to stay a little longer to explore Arequipa. The heart of the centre is undoubtedly the grand Cathedral.

As well as beautiful, the cathedral hosts some fantastic exhibits detailing over 400 years of history relating to the Cathedral and surrounding city.

Related Holiday – Peru – Footsteps of the Incas

2. Cusco

Cusco

Andean city Cusco is the former capital of the Incan Empire.

Over the years, the city has changed dramatically, incorporating influences from Spanish colonists and other European settlers.

This high altitude city is renowned for the various ruin sites found in and around it.

Be sure to visit Sacsayhuamán and Coricancha, both Incan ruins that will broaden your knowledge on the former South American empire.

It is hard to imagine how the Incas built some of their structures, particularly the former temple Sacsayhuamán, a structure so effective it was repurposed as a Spanish fortress.

Also known as the ‘Temple of Sun’, Corincancha was the most significant temple in the entire Incan Empire.

Unfortunately, the walls, originally decorated in gold, were stripped by colonists. You will still leave the area impressed by this very important structure.

Related Holiday – Peru – Footsteps of the Incas

3. Colca Canyon

Colca Canyon

Colca Canyon is walker’s paradise. A deep canyon offering spectacular trails with the views to match, Colca Canyon is rich in greenery and its rugged terrain conceals some pleasant surprises.

Travel even a little around the valley and you will encounter some nice villages and towns, particularly the town of Chivay.

This Andean valley rivals the natural beauty and landscapes often found in Asia.

Related Holiday – Peru – Footsteps of the Incas

4. Lake Titicaca

Lake Titicaca

Close to the Bolivian border, Lake Titicaca is one of the largest lakes on the continent.

In local culture, passed down generations, the sun is said to have been born at this huge lake.

Around the waterline, the native population live on floating homes and use fantastic hand-built boats to go about their daily routine.

Over 100 man-made islands have been launched into the lake and are now home to the thousands of people that live on the lake.

Lake Titicaca is actually shared between the nations of Peru and Bolivia.

Related Holiday – Peru – Footsteps of the Incas

5. Lima

Lima

The city that also goes by the name ‘the City of Kings’, capital Lima is a truly historic city that dates back to the time of the Spanish Conquistadors.

A stop by Larco Museum and the Government Palace are musts when visiting the city. Like valuable, shiny treasure? Us too.

At the Larco Museum, you can view (sadly not take home), some immensely valuable and important Incan relics and treasure.

This carefully collected and preserved collection of artefects allow you to admire the craftmanship of the ancient Incan people.

Related Holiday – Peru – Footsteps of the Incas

6. The Sacred Valley

Sacred Valley

Once the heart of Incan Empire, the Sacred Valley is home to an abundance of amazing cultivated landscapes. Located relatively close to the city of Cuzco, the Sacred Valley draws visitors from all over the planet.

Tucked away amongst the Andes, the valley is packed with eye-catching features for miles around.

Related Holiday – Peru – Footsteps of the Incas

7. Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

Globally known Machu Picchu is one of the great wonders of the world.

Found in Andes Mountains, the crowning glory of the Incan Empire is an architectural wonder, using some cutting edge building techniques at the time (15th century).

Mysteriously abandoned by the Incas, Machu Picchu was once home to hundreds of people.

Once abandoned, the site lay in secret for hundreds of years, only known to locals, before being formally discovered by an American explorer, Hiram Bingham.

Crucially, it is believed that Spanish settlers never found the site, leaving it relatively unspoiled.

Presumably left behind by the Incas, Llamas have prospered in this harsh environment and today are rather curious of and used to visitors that pop by for a visit into this iconic area.

Visit Peru

Learn more about our fantastic Peru holiday here.

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