It’s impossible to explore everything the country has to offer in a single trip. Nevertheless, there are things you must do in Peru to make your trip worthwhile.
Machu Picchu is a definite must-see, however Peru has much more to offer than ancient Inca ruins.
Here is a list of 10 unique experiences that’ll make your trip to Peru absolutely incredible.
1. Eat in Lima
It is rightly said that if you want to truly understand people and their local culture, share food with them. As such, one of the best ways to understand Peruvian culture is certainly through its booming gastronomic scene. To taste a bit of what all the diverse regions in Peru have to offer, the capital city is full of options.
Visit restaurants and markets in Lima to take a culinary journey during lunch or dinner. If you need inspiration, check out our restaurant reviews.
2. Swim with sea lions
There aren’t many places in the world that can offer this incredible experience.
Take a boat from the port of Callao to the nearby Palomino Island, which is the home to a colony of sea lions. Take your swimsuit and go snorkeling in the sea in the close company of these playful marine animals.
3. Experience Andean wildlife
With the presence of 28 different climate zones, Peru is home to a vast wildlife diversity. There are alpaca, condors, spectacled bears and pink river dolphins, to name just a few.
Peru boasts a long list of 1,800 species of birds, 500 species of mammals and 300 reptiles along with countless amphibians and insects.
4. Soar over the Nazca Lines
Besides Machu Picchu, the country has yet another famous UNESCO World Heritage Site to please tourists: the alluring Nazca Lines.
Fly over the Nazca desert in southern Peru to see below the gigantic, white linear designs carved into the rust-red ground.
5. Bargain at the Cusco handicraft market
The market sells colorful indigenous textiles in the form of tablecloths, bags, leg warmers, sweaters and more at prices that are always negotiable.
This is an excellent place to buy souvenirs for your family and friends back at home. Need a few tips on how to bargain at a Peruvian market? Watch the video: How To Bargain in Peru with the Vagabrothers.
6. Venture into the Amazon
While in Peru, don’t forget to get a taste of the Amazonian landscape and climate. It is arguably one of the most impressive things you must do in Peru.
Go visit the wild world of the rainforest in the Tambopata National Reserve to experience the beautiful Sandoval Lake or the Apurimac River, which becomes the Amazon River after entering Brazil.
7. Visit the Larco Museum
If care to learn about Peru’s rich history, specifically pre-Incan and Incan civilizations, you can’t miss the Larco Museum.
The museum has a huge collection gold and silver headdresses and masks, erotic pottery and other valuable artifacts of those periods. It is a private collection housed within the district of Pueblo Libre in Lima. Consider having lunch at their restaurant after your visit.
8. Go salsa dancing in Barranco
The Barranco district in Lima has many renowned salsa clubs where you can experience the beauty of this Latin American dance firsthand.
Clubgoers are always happy to teach you a few steps so that you can light up the dance floor on your own. Try out Sargento Pimiento, which has salsa nights every Tuesday. Qincha restaurant and bar with ocean views provides free salsa lessons Thursdays at 9pm.
9. Float on the Uros Islands
Built by natives hundreds of years ago, visiting the Uros Islands are one of the things you must do in Peru.
These floating islands have handwoven houses, boats and other buildings – like a church and health center – all constructed from reeds found on Lake Titicaca.
10. Hike through the Andes
Hiking through the Andes is a clear go-to on our list of things you must do in Peru before you leave the country.
A hiking trip in the Cordillera Blanca (via Huaraz) along a picturesque route surrounded by deep azure lagoons and the silver peaks of the Andes can be one of the most amazing experiences of your trip.
What’s on your Peru bucket list?
Cover photo: AmaraPhotos.com
This article has been revised and updated from its original publication on June 23, 2018.
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