2020 is the year to find your own path, create your own itinerary and second city your way through Peru. Luckily, the country is full of pockets of awe-inspiring nature and small-town charm for all types of travelers to relish in. Here are just six underrated destinations you must visit.
1. Cañon de Shucto, Junin
You thought the Colca Canyon was the only canyon Peru has to offer? Not so. The department of Junin in the central highlands is home to many underrated destinations but none like the impressive Cañon de Shucto, sitting at an elevation of 3,264 meters above sea level.
Located in the Canchayllo district, within the Nor Yauyos-Cochas Landscape Reserve, the rock formations came to be millions of years ago by water erosion. The rock walls stretch up to 60 meters in height and visitors are able to do experience them through rock climbing or rappelling.
To get to the Shucto canyon you can fly from Lima to Huancayo (the capital of Junin) or take an 8 hour bus ride. From Huancayo, it’s a two hour car ride to Pachacayo, an entryway town into the canyons.
2. Rock Forest of Huayllay, Pasco
There’s more to see than just rocks in Huayllay. But, the rocks are pretty darn remarkable. Forget about the rest of the world and enjoy moments of peace and tranquility while you roam the 15,000 acre park.
There are different routes to get to the forest of Huayllay, one of them being taking a bus to Cerro de Pasco. Check out the other routes and attractions here.
3. Tingo Maria, Huanuco
Did you know Tingo Maria in the department of Huanuco was inaccessible until 1936? Still today, it continues to be a destination overlooked by many travelers. But, if you are in need of nature fix, you should make your way to the Tingo Maria National Park.
One of its main attractions is the large massif, mountain top, that lays as a backdrop to the park, nicknamed “The sleeping beauty” (La bella durmiente) because the top resembles the silhouette of a woman laying down.
The other attraction is the Cave of the owl (Cueva de las lechuzas). Be ready to walk through the dark and damp cave where you’ll find numerous bats and parrots throughout. As with any other part of Peru, but especially in places that are not as frequently visited by tourists, we recommend taking the right safety precautions when visiting Tingo Maria.
4. Tinajani canyon, Puno
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Gigante Torre de Roca en el Cañon de Tinajani, un lugar poco conocido pero realmente es una maravilla, este sitio se ubica en la región Puno ?? . Photo by ? @viajalibre.pe . . #peru#conociendoperu#instagood#instafast#amazing#beautiful#worldtravel#world#mundo#tourism#travel#instatravel#paisajes#visitperu#southamerica#america#universe#universo#nature#naturaleza#photo#foto#explore#adventure#travelinspiration#landscape#holiday#photooftheday
Travelers heading to Puno should give themselves more time in the area than what is needed to visit Lake Titicaca. Just a couple hours away from the city of Puno you’ll find the canyon of Tinajani, a very Instagram-worthy underrated destination.
It’s a 2.5 hour ride from Puno and 1.5 hours from Juliaca. You’ll arrive to the town of Ayaviri and from there go by foot or car just 14km to the entrance of the park. Explore the 200 hectare area full of reddish rock formations surrounding a flat terrain perfect for walking. Look out for chullpas, Aymara funerary towers built for nobles. You may even encounter a few alpacas during your visit.
5. Playa Pocitas in Tuquillo, Huarmey
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?Playa Pocitas – Huarmey ? A tan solo 4 horas de Lima, se encuentra Huarmey(Áncash), ofrece diversas playas de arena fina y aguas claras para disfrutar al máximo durante estos días calurosos. Desde la altura del kilómetro 223 de la Panamericana Norte, inicia la ruta por las mejores opciones para surfear o acampar en Huarmey. ? @daniloqi _________________________ #huarmey #pocitas #playas #perunature #peru #visitperú #discoverperu #sudamerica #visitsouthamerica #southamerica #ancash #exploring #landscape_peru#amazing #photoofthedayphoto #monday #sunset #summer #sunnyday #travelling #travel #traveltoperu #peruvians #igers #experienceperú #exploretheworld #adventure #sunsetstrip #summervibes #travelperu
The Tuquillo beach circuit of Huarmey, Ancash is a must-visit with a drone. Even if you don’t have one to take pictures from above, you should make the 4-hour trip from Lima to enjoy the clear waters and rocky coast of these beaches. Playa La Pocita, or also known as Las Pocitas (not to be confused by the one in Mancora), has rocks that form small pools of water, making it seem like you have your own natural hot tub.
6. The geysers of Candarave, Tacna
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“Convierte tus rutinas en aventuras y tu mirada en paisaje”. . En Tacna encontramos el Valle de los Géiseres, compuesto por un conjunto de puntos donde aparecen afloramientos de agua con temperaturas que sobrepasan los 86°C (186.2°F), produciéndose por ello una gran vaporización a 4300 m.s.n.m. . . . . #igersperu #peru #tacna #igerstacna #tripeaperu #mochiladeviaje #letsenjoyperu #peruanostb #perutravel #peruadventure #tacnageiser #valledegeiseres #peruen360 #experienceperu #gopro #shootperu #telesinperu #goprope #perudestinations
Tacna in southern Peru is one of the most underrated destinations for most travelers. But Candarave, the land of geysers, is one you do not want to miss. A rare occurrence around the world, one that usually happens in volcanic areas, the geysers of Candarave hit 40 up to 80 degrees celsius and have a high concentration of sulfur. The natural area surrounding the geysers is also a sight to behold. You’ll see the yareta, an aromatic flowering found in the grasslands of southern Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina.
Cover photo: @AndaresTacna/Twitter