It is impossible to explore everything that Peru has to offer in a single trip to Peru and believe us, the country has much more to offer than the spectacular Machu Picchu ruins.
Of course, Machu Picchu is a ‘must-see’ but there are also other things that you simply can’t miss while visiting Peru. Here is a list of 10 such unique experiences that’ll make your trip to Peru absolutely incredible.
1. Eat in Lima
It is quite rightly said that if you want to truly understand a people and their local culture, share food with them. One of the useful methods to understand the Peruvian culture is certainly through the local food. Do visit the restaurants in Lima for lunch or dinner and taste the delicious local food they serve there. Taste the local varieties of fast food at the famous Bembos, which Peruvians would argue is the best fast food served in the entire world.
Need a few Lima restaurant recommendations? Check out our article “The 8 Main Huariques in Lima.”
2. Swim with Sea Lions
There aren’t many places in the world that can offer this incredible experience. You need to 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 wonderful marine animals.
3. Experience Andean Wildlife
With the presence of 28 different climate zones, Peru is the home of vast wildlife diversity. Alpaca, llama, vicuña, Amazonian dolphins – 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 the Inca ruins at Machu Picchu, the country has yet another famous UNESCO World Heritage Site to offer to tourists – the mysterious 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 cheap prices which 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 “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. Go visit the treacherous world of the rainforest in the Tambopata National Reserve, experience the beautiful Sandoval Lake or the Apurimac River, which becomes the Amazon River after entering Brazil.
7. Visit the Larco Museum
If the histories of pre-Incan and Incan civilizations are your fetishes, you must not miss the Larco museum, which has a huge collection of pottery, gold and silver headdresses and masks, as well as other valuable artifacts of those periods. It is a private collection housed at the Pueblo Libre in Lima.
8. Go Salsa Dancing in Barranco
Barranco in Lima has many renowned salsa clubs where you can experience some great performances of this beautiful Latin American dance form. The dancers are always happy to teach you a few steps so that you can light up the dance floor on your own.
9. Float on the Uros Islands
Built by natives hundreds of years ago, the Uros Islands are an incredible site to visit during your trip to Peru. These floating islands have handwoven houses, boats and even a church constructed from nothing but Tortuga reeds found on Lake Titicaca.
10. Hike through the Andes
A hiking trip in the Cordillera Blanca 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 to Peru.