Whether before or after your Machu Picchu adventure, make the most of your trip and be sure to include a few of these unique things to do in Peru.
Peru has a varied list of authentic experiences to offer visitors. And we’re not just talking about Machu Picchu. Starting from adventure activities, haunted vaults and one of the loveliest train journeys on the planet, there are plenty of unique things to do in Peru.
In this post, you’ll find some of the best original Peru attractions to fill out your itinerary.
1. Catacombs of the Church and Convent of San Francisco
The crypts of San Francisco (more commonly referred to as the catacombs) are a series of subterranean vaults constructed underneath the chapels of this church.
They were in use until the early 19th century and served as a burial site for members of the fraternities and brotherhoods. Rediscovered as recently as 1943, the remains of 70,000 lie beneath this Lima monastery.
A tour in the catacumbas is sure to be a memorable one as you will witness plenty of skulls, femurs and tibiae of the monks who were buried here in past centuries. Be sure to take a long look as photographs are not allowed.
2. Huacachina Oasis
Many travelers in Peru make it to the ancient geoglyphs of the Nazca Desert, but most of them fail to include the magical oasis town of Huacachina in their itinerary.
Nestled in the middle of one of the driest parts of the planet is the tiny town of Huacachina. A day visit or overnight stay can make you feel as if you are in a tiny hamlet in the Sahara, as this town has barely more than 100 permanent residents.
Visitors can go there on a day trip from Nazca to watch the sunset on the beautiful oasis. Moreover, one can also engage in adventure activities, such as buggy riding and sand boarding.
3. Lake Titicaca – Uros Islands
One of the most fascinating places to visit and must on your list of things to see in Peru is Lake Titicaca.
Lake Titicaca has a few inhabited islands, some of which are called Uros. The Uros people live on islands crafted out of living reeds. They were forced to move to the lake when the Incas expanded into their area.
These days, plenty of backpackers head to Puno from where they take a local boat to the floating islands of Uros. Spending a night on Taquile Island can also be a superb idea.
One of the less explored Inca sites of the country is Tipón. Located within 30 minutes of Cusco city, this site has a lot to offer its visitors.
One of the most architecturally impressive ruins of the Sacred Valley, this is a relatively tourist-free area where you can witness the marvelous Inca terracing, beautifully designed water channels, and even some ancient aqueducts and reservoirs.
5. A trip in the Belmond Andean Explorer
This luxury sleeper train takes you from Cusco to Puno in about 10 hours. The Belmond Andean Explorer is arguably one of the best ways to enjoy the jaw-dropping views of the Peruvian Andes.
You will get to cross many breathtaking towns and natural wonders on your journey from Cusco to Puno and Arequipa while the extravagant interiors of the cabins are surely going to add a whole new dimension to your experience.
Add these places in your list of things to do in Peru, and you are won’t leave the country disappointed.
Cover image of Lake Titicaca: Good Free Photos
This article has been revised and updated from its original publication on March 6, 2018.