Traveling to South America is one of those items that often appear on a person’s bucket list. Let’s face it, South America is filled with incredible history, architecture, natural beauty, raw landscapes, it is home to the Amazon jungle, and a whopping 42 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. When choosing the ideal destination for that first-time visit to South America, Peru is often top of the list thanks to its massive list of sights, adventures, tours, and beauty, which was what attracted Javier Burillo when he first visited.
Here we’ll break down the list of what you need to see and do when visiting Peru for the first time so that you’re guaranteed a trip of a lifetime.
If it’s natural beauty and scenery you’re after, Arequipa will have you in awe as this colonial-era capital of the country is surrounded by three massive volcanoes. In contrast to the raw scenic beauty, the city itself features a large variety of baroque-style buildings that have been made with white volcanic stone. The Plaza de Armas is an absolute must-see, as this is the central square of Arequipa and features stunning palm trees and colonial-era churches.
For history buffs out there, a visit to Cuzco is an absolute must when heading to Peru. This is the old capital of the Incan empire, so its roots run deep and it has extreme importance, not just in Peru but all of South America. The colonial architecture, cobblestone streets, friendly people, and crowds of tourists all make this an incredible city to tour. Don’t forget to also check out the local artisans, restaurants, and shops for an authentic feel.
Lima is, of course, the country’s capital city and can be found on the Pacific coast. It’s an interesting mix of colonial architecture and modern buildings since this is, in fact, a city-center. There are plenty of ways to enjoy the city on your own, or you can make the most of your visit and book a guided city tour.
Book an Adventure Tour
Then there is the adventurous side of Peru, which tends to be the items you see on people’s bucket lists. Traveling to the Amazon or experience Machu Picchu in person is almost unimaginable, but sure enough, a visit to Peru can make that happen. Many companies specialize in tours of both of these regions, providing travelers with a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Treks to the Amazon often include hiking, kayaking, exploring the flora and fauna, and of course, the animals of the rainforest.
With Machu Picchu, it’s all about history since this is a 15th Inca site that sits almost 8,000 feet above sea level. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. You are surrounded by jagged cliffs and mountains, lush green vegetation, and a mist that tends to sit there permanently. This city was almost completely forgotten about until the 20th century, which adds to its mystery and allure.
Plan Your Time Wisely
When it comes to planning your trip to Peru, it’s all about prioritizing what sites and attractions are really the most important to you, as one trip is never going to seem like enough.