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Peru is truly amazing country, with something for everyone. From the Andean mountain ranges to the surfing beaches of the north, to the Amazon jungle, Sacred Valley, Inca Trail, or many Archeological sites. I have no doubt you will find something you love in Peru. For me, it was the landscapes and culture that I fell in love with.
This blog highlights the best of Peru through photos of my favourite spots.
Arequipa was a beautiful little town and a great place to stay if you plan to hike into Colca Canyon, which I highly recommend doing. See my backpackers guide to Arequipa here.
Colca Canyon was my favourite place in Peru. The hike into Colca Canyon is tough but so worth it. I recommend taking the two-day hike through the canyon. Shorter and longer hiking options are available. More information on hiking Colca Canyon is in my Arequipa Destination Guide.
Huacachina is a tiny town built around an Oasis. Tourists generally visit to go on a sand buggy and sandboarding tours. See my Huacachina Destination Guide.
Cusco is the base of exploration into the Sacred Valley and home to any kind of adventure activity you could possibly dream of. I absolutely loved Cusco, there is just so much to do. Cusco is where you will stay to visit Machu Picchu.
Machu Picchu has to be the most popular attraction in Peru, and for good reason. It is an Inca site built high in the Andes Mountains. To this day no one can work out how it was built in ancient times. If you take a tour around Machu Picchu you will hear the many theories, but none are confirmed. Machu Picchu is well worth the visit. If you enjoy hiking, you can take the 4-day trek along the Inca trail. See more on Machu Picchu and Cusco here.
The Sacred Valley is a region in Peru’s Andean highlands, known as the heart of the Inca Empire. Within the Sacred Valley, you will find Cusco, the ancient city of Machu Picchu, Pisac and Ollantaytambo.
From Cusco, you can take a tour into the Sacred Valley for as little as $14. My tour went to Pisac Markets, Pisac Ruins and Ollantaytambo Ruins, pictured below. Different tours go to different places.
See my Cusco destination guide.
Pisac is known for its Sunday handicraft market and hilltop Incan citadel. These are some of the most colourful markets you will find in the world.
Ollantaytambo is a village in the Sacred Valley of southern Peru, set on the Urubamba River amid snow-capped mountains. It’s known for the Ollantaytambo ruins, a massive Inca fortress with large stone terraces on a hillside. Major sites within the complex include the huge Sun Temple and the Princess Baths fountain. The village’s old town is an Inca-era grid of cobblestoned streets and adobe buildings.
Manu National Park
Manu Biosphere Reserve is a sprawling national park in southeastern Peru, spanning the Andean highlands, cloud forest and lowland jungle. Manu National Park is well known for its rich biodiversity, notably hundreds of bird species, including macaws, which feed at clay licks at sites such as Blanquillo.
See more photos and travel tips from Manu National Park
You might also like this post on 22 things to do in Peru, besides Machu Picchu.
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Disclosure: This post on the Best of Peru contains affiliate links.