In a country proffering so much to travellers (stunning scenery, wildlife, archaeology, architecture, history and gastronomy are just the standards you can expect) knowing where to start planning your first trip to Peru can seem an impossible task. So, to give you a hand, I’ve compiled the list below of 5 unmissable Peruvian experiences.
1. See the Andean Condors in Colca Canyon.
First, spend the night star gazing from a natural hot spring bath or the candlelit patio of your casita at one of Colca Canyon’s fabulous lodges. Then, make the trip to viewpoint Cruz del Condor to see these magnificent birds soaring just a few feet over your head before a backdrop of impressive canyon and mountains. Patience will get you some incredible photographs.
2. Do a homestay on Isla Taquile in Lake Titicaca.
The peaceful tranquillity of this protected island in the middle of Lake Titicaca is something you will always remember. These lovely, shy people will cook delicious trout from the lake for you in their simple homes, or you can DIY and camp under the stars. Exploring the little island searching for hummingbirds and watching the inhabitants go about their lives is a true privilege.
3. Hike to Machu Picchu (of course).
It is simply impossible to be underwhelmed by Machu Picchu. No matter if you’ve seen a thousand photographs before you see it in real life – you will be astounded. The feeling inspired by the view over the site from the top of the hill is truly indescribable; a sheer exhilarating joie de vivre. I love it when you get that honoured feeling; “I am so lucky to be here”.
4. Spend a few days exploring Cusco.
Cusco is my favourite city in Peru. Aside from being the gateway to some of the country’s most exciting destinations, it’s a city full of fun, activity, tradition, history and beauty. There is so much to see and do here, as well as just walking around independently and taking it all in. Cusco by night is great fun, with a cornucopia of restaurants and bars in which to indulge.
5. Do an adventure sport/activity in the Sacred Valley.
Surrounded by some of the most beautiful scenery I’ve ever seen, the Sacred Valley of the Incas is the perfect place to go for an adventure. Be it a gentle hike, enjoying the sounds, sights and smells, or a white water raft or downhill mountain bike; it depends on your preferred level of activity. End a thoroughly enjoyable hike with a delicious meal at one of the gorgeous little market villages dotted around the valley. With all this and so many more discovered and undiscovered delights awaiting you in Peru, what’s stopping you?!