Best Places to Visit in Peru

Do you want to know the best places to visit in Peru? Peru stands as a beacon of adventure, culture, and history in South America, beckoning travelers with its rich tapestry of natural wonders and deep-rooted heritage. This country offers more than just scenic landscapes; it is a treasure trove of ancient civilizations, vibrant cultural practices, and breathtaking environments ranging from arid plains to lush rainforests.

As one of the continent’s most popular travel destinations, Peru holds a pivotal place in South American history, having been home to the formidable Inca Empire as well as a series of pre-Columbian civilizations, each leaving behind a unique imprint that captivates archaeologists and history buffs alike. The diverse landscapes and cultural richness make Peru an unforgettable destination for any traveler. This article covers the 7 best places to visit in Peru in 2024.

Things to Do in Peru

Peru is filled with extraordinary activities for travelers. Visiting the famous Machu Picchu is often at the top of the list for anyone touring Peru, but there are other historically important sites that should not be missed, including the Kuelap ruins in northern Peru. Beyond these ancient sites, Peru is celebrated for its stunning natural attractions such as Vinicunca (Rainbow Mountain), Lake Titicaca, and the expansive Peruvian Amazon.

Vacations in Peru are packed with outdoor adventures. The country’s food scene is also a major draw for visitors when creating their Peru tour package, especially in Lima, recognized as the culinary capital of South America. Indeed, dining out in Lima is one of the highlights of visiting the city. Our sample itineraries for Peru can be tailored to suit your preferences, ensuring you can enjoy all these experiences during your trip.

7 Best Places to Visit in Peru

1. Lima: The Capital’s Charm


As the capital city of Peru, Lima serves as the perfect introduction to the diverse offerings of this vibrant country. Situated on the Pacific coast, Lima is a city where history meets modernity. The heart of its historical charm is Plaza Mayor, the birthplace of Lima and the core of the city’s colonial architectural heritage, featuring the grand Government Palace and the beautiful Cathedral of Lima. Not far from the historic center is the Larco Museum, housed in an 18th-century vice-royal building, offering insightful exhibits on over 5,000 years of Peruvian history.

In the Miraflores District, modern Lima comes to life with its upscale shops, beautiful gardens, and cliffside views over the ocean. This district is also renowned for its culinary scene, notably ceviche, Peru’s national dish made from fresh fish marinated in citrus juices. No visit to Lima would be complete without trying pisco, a grape brandy that is a source of national pride, often enjoyed as a pisco sour.

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2. Cusco: The Gateway to the Sacred Valley

Cusco, once the heart of the Inca Empire, is now the gateway to the Sacred Valley and the famed Machu Picchu. This city’s streets and alleys exude a sense of history, with their cobblestones echoing the steps of the Incas. Key historical sites that capture the essence of Cusco include Sacsayhuamán, an impressive fortress with large terraces that overlook the city; Coricancha, once the richest temple in the Inca empire adorned with gold and precious stones; and the Cusco Cathedral, a cornerstone of colonial architecture and art.

A journey from Cusco through the Sacred Valley is like traveling back in time. The valley is dotted with ancient ruins, traditional markets, and quaint villages. Day trips to this region provide insights into the Incan way of life, with visits to iconic sites like Pisac and Ollantaytambo, offering both breathtaking views and a profound sense of history.

3. Machu Picchu: The Lost City of the Incas

Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu, an icon of ancient ingenuity and beauty, sits high in the Andes Mountains, enveloped by lush cloud forests and steep escarpments. This UNESCO World Heritage Site, often referred to as the “Lost City of the Incas,” was unknown to the outside world until its discovery by Hiram Bingham in 1911. The site offers a window into the lives of the Incas with its sophisticated dry-stone construction and breathtaking vistas across a complex of palaces, plazas, and temples.

For those looking to reach Machu Picchu, the Inca Trail presents an exhilarating challenge. This four-day trek, which combines physical endeavor with spectacular natural scenery and archaeological sites, requires preparation and booking months in advance due to limited permits. The best times to visit are from April to October when the weather is typically clearer and dryer.

Access to Machu Picchu can also be achieved via train to Aguas Calientes, the gateway town below the ruins, followed by a short bus ride up the mountain, making the site accessible for those who prefer not to hike.

4. Arequipa: The White City

Nestled in the shadows of the Misti volcano, Arequipa is famed for its gleaming architecture crafted from sillar, a white volcanic stone. This ‘White City’ is renowned for its beautiful colonial buildings that shimmer under the sun, creating a striking contrast against the deep blue of the Peruvian sky. The centerpiece of Arequipa’s architectural wonders is the Santa Catalina Monastery, a sprawling religious complex with vividly painted walls, tranquil courtyards, and a rich history encapsulated within its walls.

Just outside the city, the Colca Canyon offers dramatic vistas and is one of the deepest canyons in the world. It’s a perfect spot for trekking and spotting the majestic Andean condors. Arequipa’s blend of native and mestizo traditions contributes significantly to the Peruvian cultural identity, making it a critical piece of the nation’s rich cultural mosaic.

5. Lake Titicaca: The Highest Navigable Lake

Lake Titicaca is not only the highest navigable lake in the world but also a place of immense cultural significance to the Andean people. Located at an elevation of 3,812 meters, the lake is shared between Peru and Bolivia and is dotted with numerous islands, each with its own unique culture and history.

Among these, the floating islands of the Uros are a must-visit. These islands are made from reeds and are continually maintained by their inhabitants, using traditional techniques that have been passed down through generations. Visiting these floating islands provides a glimpse into a way of life that has remained unchanged for centuries.

For travelers looking for a deeper connection, homestays on Amantaní or Taquile islands offer an immersive experience in the local community. These stays not only provide insight into the daily lives of the indigenous people but also feature stunning views of the lake and surrounding landscapes.

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6. The Amazon Rainforest

The Amazon Rainforest

Covering a large portion of Peru, the Amazon Rainforest is one of the most biologically diverse regions on Earth. This vast green expanse is home to countless species of flora and fauna, many of which are endemic to the region. From giant otters to jaguars and colorful macaws, the wildlife in the Amazon is as varied as it is fascinating. Adding the Peruvian Amazon to your Peru tour packages is a fantastic idea.

Travelers can explore this lush wilderness through river cruises along the Amazon River, which offer a unique vantage point to observe the dense rainforest and its inhabitants. Wildlife spotting, especially at dawn or dusk, is a thrilling experience, with professional guides enhancing the journey by sharing their knowledge of the ecosystem.

For those interested in cultural experiences, visits to indigenous tribes can be arranged, providing insights into the traditional ways of life that have been preserved for generations. Staying in a jungle lodge is highly recommended, as these lodges are often nestled in remote areas, offering guided tours and an immersive rainforest experience.

7. The Nazca Lines

Located in the arid Peruvian coastal plain, the Nazca Lines are among the most mysterious archaeological sites in the world. These enormous geoglyphs, which include intricate designs of animals, plants, and geometric figures, can only be fully appreciated from the air. Air tours are available, providing a bird’s-eye view of these fascinating designs, which have puzzled historians and archaeologists for decades.

Viewing towers along the Pan-American Highway also offer a glimpse of some of the geoglyphs, though they pale in comparison to the perspective offered from the skies. Theories about the lines’ purpose range from astronomical markers to religious or ceremonial functions, but their true purpose remains a topic of debate and fascination.

5 Best Peru Tour Package for 2024

Tours NamePriceDurationDescription
The Inca Journey – Lima to Cusco & Machu PicchuStarting at $9987 Days / 6 NightsThis seven-day journey begins in the urban landscape of Lima and transports you through some of Peru’s most breathtaking sites including Cusco and the Sacred Valley. The trip culminates with a professionally guided exploration of the famed Incan ruins at Machu Picchu.
Machu Picchu Express TourStarting at $3651 DayTailored for those with limited time, this one-day express tour of Machu Picchu starts with an early morning pickup from your accommodation in Cusco to catch a train at Ollantaytambo station.
Machu Picchu 5 Day 4 Night PackageStarting at $6995 Days / 4 NightsOver the course of five days and four nights, this package includes a comprehensive city tour of Cusco, a scenic train ride through the Andes to Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Town), with an opportunity to unwind in the local hot springs. The itinerary features a hike to Machu Picchu, followed by a guided tour of the ancient site. The journey concludes with a train ride back to Cusco and a final night’s stay in the highland city.
Lima to the Highlands JourneyStarting at $1,3909 days / 8 nightsThis nine-day excursion showcases top destinations in Peru, starting with the coastal flavors of metropolitan Lima. The itinerary includes travels to Cusco, the Sacred Valley, and the Urubamba River, culminating in a guided tour of Machu Picchu, set against the backdrop of ancient Inca ruins.
Historical Peru JourneyStarting at $1,75211 days / 10 nightsSpanning 11 days, this journey begins in metropolitan Lima with its renowned coastal cuisine. From there, travel to the ‘White City’ of Arequipa and the deep Colca Canyon before proceeding to Cusco. The trip concludes with the awe-inspiring sights of the Sacred Valley and a detailed tour of the iconic Incan ruins at Machu Picchu.


Peru is a land of incredible diversity and beauty, offering everything from awe-inspiring peaks of the Andes and mysterious lines in the coastal desert to the verdant Amazon Rainforest. The cultural richness of Peru is palpable, not only in its historic sites and festivals but also in the warmth of its people. While popular sites like Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca are must-visits, venturing off the beaten path can lead to equally rewarding discoveries and experiences. We encourage all travelers to embrace the adventure that Peru offers, exploring its many wonders and delving deep into its vibrant culture. Peru is not just a destination; it’s an experience that continues to enchant and inspire all who visit.