Unique Things to Do in Peru

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To make the most of your trip to Peru you should include a few more things in your itinerary apart from just a trip to Lima and Machu Picchu.

Peru has a lot of unique experiences to offer its visitors starting from adventure activities, haunted vaults and one of the loveliest train journeys on the planet.

In this post, we are going to talk about some of the best quirky experiences you can have in Peru.

1. Catacombs of the San Francisco de Lima Basilica and Convent

The crypts of San Francisco which is more popular by the name of ‘catacumbas’ is a series of subterranean vaults constructed underneath the chapels of this church which were in use till the early 19th centuries and served as a burial site for members of the fraternities and brotherhoods. A tour in the ‘catacumbas’ is sure to be a gory one as you will be able to sight plenty of skulls, femurs, and tibias of the monks who were buried here in the past centuries. At least 25,000 bodies lie in the catacomb making it the second largest of its kind after that of Paris.

Circle of bones in the catacombs under the San Francisco Monastery (Photo and Description/ Flickr)

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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, the tiny town of Huacachina with less than 100 residents would make you feel as if you are in a tiny hamlet in the Sahara. Visitors can go there on a day trip from Nazca to watch the sunset on the beautiful oasis. Moreover, one can also engage in some adventure activities such as buggy riding and sand boarding.

(Photo: Huacachina/ Wikimedia Commons)

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3. Lake Titicaca and the Uros People

One of the most fascinating places to visit in Peru, the Lake Titicaca is inhabited by the Uros people who dwell on islands crafted out of living reeds which keep floating around the lake. The Uros people 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 the Uros. Spending a night on the Taquile Island can also be a superb idea.

(Photo: Lake Titicaca/Intrepid Travel Facebook)

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4. Tipon

One of the less explored Inca sites of the country, Tipon which can be reached within 30 minutes from Cusco 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 aqueducts and reservoirs from Inca times.

What makes Tipón an interesting Incan site is the sophisticated water distribution through the agriculture terraces, water running through stone-lined channels and out spouts to different levels and parts. (Photo & description: Wikimedia)

5. A trip in the Belmond Andean Explorer

This luxury sleeper train which would take you from Cusco to Puno in about 10 hours is surely 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 mind-blowing interiors of the cabins are surely going to add a whole new dimension to your experience.

(Video: Facebook)

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Carsten Korch

Originally from Denmark, Carsten returned to Peru in 2002 with his wife and eldest son. He started LivinginPeru.com in 2005, among other ventures in Peru. Before this, Carsten has worked in tourism, living in France, Sicily, and the U.S., and promoted bands like Metallica, Def Leppard and U2 for PolyGram Records (now Universal Music). Carsten loves pisco sours, Peru’s cuisine, and traveling with his family within Peru, a country that he believes is the land of opportunities.