Top 10 things to do in Peru

Peru

Outside of the main tourist spots people will often not speak English, and -trying to be helpful- might give wrong or inexact advice.

Peru is a country.

Peru i/pəˈruː/ (Spanish: Perú; Quechua: Piruw; Aymara: Piruw), officially the Republic of Peru (Spanish: República del Perú, pronounced: [reˈpuβlika ðel peˈɾu] ( listen)), is a country in western South America. It is bordered in the north by Ecuador and Colombia, in the east by Brazil, in the southeast by Bolivia, in the south by Chile, and in the west by the Pacific Ocean. Peru is an extremely biodiverse country with habitats ranging from the arid plains of the Pacific coastal region in the west to the peaks of the Andes mountains vertically extending from the north to the southeast of the country to the tropical Amazon Basin rainforest in the east with the Amazon river.

Peruvian territory was home to ancient cultures spanning from the Norte Chico civilization in Caral, one of the oldest in the world, to the Inca Empire, the largest state in Pre-Columbian America. The Spanish Empire conquered the region in the 16th century and established a Viceroyalty with its capital in Lima, which included most of its South American colonies. Ideas of political autonomy later spread throughout Spanish America and Peru gained its Independence, which was formally proclaimed in 1821. After the battle of Ayacucho, three years after proclamation, Peru ensured its independence. After achieving independence, the country remained in recession and kept a low military profile until an economic rise based on the extraction of raw and maritime materials struck the country, which ended shortly before the war of the Pacific. Subsequently, the country has undergone changes in of government from oligarchic to democratic systems. Peru has gone through periods of political unrest and internal conflict as well as periods of stability and economic upswing.

Peru is a representative democratic republic divided into 25 regions. It is a developing country with a high Human Development Index score and a poverty level around 25.8 percent. Its main economic activities include mining, manufacturing, agriculture and fishing.

The Peruvian population, estimated at 30.4 million, is multiethnic, including Amerindians, Europeans, Africans and Asians. The main spoken language is Spanish, although a significant number of Peruvians speak Quechua or other native languages. This mixture of cultural traditions has resulted in a wide diversity of expressions in fields such as art, cuisine, literature, and music.

Overall rating: 4.9
Country
Typical length of visit: 4 days

Top 10 things to do in Peru

Nazca

Nazca
Nazca is a city and system of valleys on the southern coast of Peru. It is also the name of the largest existing town in the Nazca Province. The name ...

Huaraz

Huaraz
Huaraz founded as San Sebastian de Huaraz, is a city in Peru. It is the capital of the Ancash Region and the seat of government of Huaraz Province. The urban ...

Arequipa

Arequipa
A rich mix of indigenous and colonial culture at the foot of the Misti volcano

Palacio de la Exposición

Palacio de la Exposición
The Palacio de la Exposición is a building located on Colon avenue in downtown Lima, Peru. It was constructed in the 19th century together with the Park of the Exposition ...

Cusco

Cusco
locality

Iquitos

Iquitos
Iquitos is the largest city in the Peruvian rainforest and the fifth-largest city of Peru. It is also the capital city of the Loreto Region and Maynas Province. Located in ...

Puerto Maldonado

Puerto Maldonado
Puerto Maldonado is a city in Southeastern Peru in the Amazon forest 55 kilometres west of the Bolivian border; located at the confluence of the Tambopata and Madre de Dios ...

Colca Canyon

Colca Canyon
Colca Canyon is a canyon of the Colca River in southern Peru, located about 100 miles northwest of Arequipa. It is Peru's third most-visited tourist destination with about 120,000 visitors ...

Puno

Puno
Puno is a city in southeastern Peru, located on the shore of Lake Titicaca. It is the capital city of the Puno Region and the Puno Province with a population ...

Lima

Lima
Lima /ˈliːmə/ is the capital and the largest city of Peru. It is located in the valleys of the Chillón, Rímac and Lurín rivers, in the central coastal part of ...

Manú National Park

Manú National Park
Manú National Park is a biosphere reserve located in Madre de Dios and Paucartambo, Cusco. Before becoming an area protected by the Peruvian government, the Manú National Park was conserved ...

Cajamarca

Cajamarca
Cajamarca is the capital and largest city of the Cajamarca Region as well as an important cultural and commercial center in the northern Andes. It is located in the northern ...

Paracas

Paracas
Paracas may refer to:Paracas culture, an Andean society that existed in Peru between approximately 750 BC and 100 ADParacas Peninsula, located in the Ica Region of PeruParacas Bay, located in ...

Tarapoto

Tarapoto
Tarapoto, known as the "City of Palms", is a thriving commercial hub in northern Peru, an hour by plane from Lima, situated in the San Martín Province of the San ...

Trujillo

Trujillo
Trujillo may refer to:PlacesColombiaTrujillo, Valle del Cauca, a municipality in the department of Valle del CaucaTrujillo Province , part of the historic republic from ...

Tacna

Tacna
Tacna is a city in southern Peru and the regional capital of the Tacna Region. A very commercially active city, it is located only 35 km north of the border with ...

Huancayo

Huancayo
Huancayo with a rock' is the capital of the Junín Region, in the central highlands of Peru.LocationIt is located in Huancayo Province, of which it is also ...

Piura

Piura
Piura is a city in northwestern Peru. It is the capital of the Piura Region and the Piura Province. The population is 377,496.It was here that Spanish Conqueror Francisco Pizarro ...

Miraflores District, Lima

Miraflores District, Lima
Miraflores is a district of the Lima Province in Peru. Known for its shopping areas, gardens, flower-filled parks and beaches, it is one of the upscale districts that make up ...

Ayacucho

Ayacucho
Ayacucho , also known as Huamanga, is the capital city of Huamanga Province, Ayacucho Region, Peru.Ayacucho is famous for its 33 churches, which represent one for each year of Jesus' ...

Máncora

Máncora
Máncora is a town and beach resort in the Piura Region, in northwestern Peru. It is located in the Talara Province and is capital of the Máncora District. The town ...

Pucallpa

Pucallpa
Pucallpa is a city in eastern Peru located on the banks of the Ucayali River, a major tributary of the Amazon River. It is the capital of the Ucayali region, ...

Ica, Peru

Ica, Peru
The city of Ica is the capital of the Ica Region in southern Peru. While the area was long inhabited by varying cultures of indigenous peoples, the Spanish conquistador Gerónimo ...

Chachapoyas

Chachapoyas
Chachapoyas may refer to:Chachapoyas culture, existed until the 15th century in the highlands in northern PeruChachapoya languageChachapoyas, Peru, the capital of the province with the same name and the Amazonas ...

Ollantaytambo

Ollantaytambo
Ollantaytambo is a town and an Inca archaeological site in southern Peru some 60 kilometers northwest of the city of Cusco. It is located at an altitude of 2,792 meters ...

Lunahuaná

Lunahuaná
Lunahuaná is a small village in the Cañete Province in Peru. The town lies about 187 km south of Lima in the Lunahuaná valley at the bank of Cañete River. Lunahuaná ...

Tambopata National Reserve

Tambopata National Reserve
Tambopata National Reserve is a nature reserve in the Peruvian Amazon Basin south of the Madre de Dios River in Tambopata Province's Inambari and Tambopata districts. It was created on ...

Callao

Callao
El Callao is the chief seaport of Peru. The city is also called Provincia Constitucional , the only province of the Callao Region. Callao is located west of Lima, the ...

Pachacamac

Pachacamac
The temple of Pachacamac is an archaeological site 40 km southeast of Lima, Peru in the Valley of the Lurín River. Most of the common buildings and temples were built c. ...

Pisco

Pisco
Pisco is a colorless or yellowish-to-amber colored brandy produced in winemaking regions of Peru and Chile. Made by distilling grape wine into a high-proof spirit, it was developed by 16th ...

Choquequirao

Choquequirao
Choquequirao , Chuqik'iraw or Chuqi K'iraw , k'iraw crib, cot, also spelled Choqek'iraw is a ruined Inca city in south Peru, similar in structure and architecture to Machu Picchu. The ...

Tumbes, Peru

Tumbes, Peru
Tumbes is a city in northwestern Peru, on the banks of the Tumbes River. It is the capital of the Tumbes Region, as well as of Tumbes Province and Tumbes ...

Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve

Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve
Pacaya–Samiria National Reserve is one of the largest protected areas in Peru with an area of more than 700420000000000000020,000 km², containing a rich eco diversity and being the largest reserve ...

Maras

Maras
Maras or Maraş may refer to:PlacesMaras Maras, Iran , places in IranMaras, Peru, a town in Peru near CuzcoMaraş Maraş, an alternate name for Kahramanmaraş in TurkeyMaraş, ...

Juliaca

Juliaca
Juliaca is the capital of San Roman Province in the Puno Region of southeastern Peru. It is the region's largest city with a population of 225,146 inhabitants . On the ...

Huacho

Huacho
Huacho is a city in Peru, capital of the Huaura Province and capital of the Lima Region. It is located 223 feet above sea level and 148 km north of the ...

Písac

Písac
Písac o Pisac or P'isaq is a Peruvian village in the Sacred Valley. It is situated at the Willkanuta River. The village is well known for its market every Sunday, ...

Taquile Island

Taquile Island
Taquile is an island on the Peruvian side of Lake Titicaca 45 km offshore from the city of Puno. About 2,200 people live on the island, which is 5.5 by 1.6 km ...

Tarma

Tarma
Santa Ana de la Ribera de Tarma is a city in Junín Region, Perú. Tarma is the capital city of the Province of Tarma, and is also called the Pearl ...

La Merced

La Merced
La Merced may refer toArgentinaLa Merced, Catamarca, Paclín DepartmentLa Merced, Salta, Cerrillos Department ColombiaLa Merced, Caldas GuatemalaLa Merced Church, in Antigua Guatemala MexicoLa Merced barrio, Mexico CityLa Merced Cloister, Mexico ...

Moyobamba

Moyobamba
Moyobamba or Muyupampa is the capital city of the San Martín Region in northern Peru. Called "Santiago of eight valleys of Moyobamba" or "Maynas capital". There are 42,690 inhabitants, according ...

Lamas

Lamas
Lamas may refer to:PlacesLamas Province, PeruLamas DistrictLamas, Peru, the capital of Lamas Province and seat of Lamas District Lamas , a parish in Braga District, PortugalLamas , ...

Barranca, Lima

Barranca, Lima
Barranca is a city in central Peru, capital of the province Barranca in the region Lima. ...

Abancay

Abancay
Abancay is a city in southern-central Peru. It is the capital of both the Apurímac Region and the Abancay Province.LocationAbancay is located at an elevation of 2,377 ...

Jaén

Jaén
Jaén can refer to:PlacesPeruJaén Province, Peru, a province in Cajamarca Region, PeruJaén District, one of twelve districts of the province Jaén in PeruJaén, Peru, ...

Lurigancho-Chosica

Lurigancho-Chosica
Lurigancho-Chosica is a district of the Lima Province in Peru, located in the valley of the Rímac River which it shares with neighboring Chaclacayo and Ate districts. It was created ...

Chivay

Chivay
Chivay is a town in the Colca valley, capital of the Caylloma province in the Arequipa region, Peru. Located at about 12,000 ft above sea level, it lies upstream of ...

Amantaní

Amantaní
Amantani is an island on the Peruvian side of Lake Titicaca. According to a 1988 census, it has a population of 3,663 Quechua speakers divided among about 800 families. The ...

Saksaywaman

Saksaywaman
Saksaywaman, Saqsaywaman, Sasawaman, Saksawaman, Sasaywaman or Saksaq Waman is a walled complex on the northern outskirts of the city of Cusco, Peru, the former capital of the Inca Empire. Like ...

Sacred Valley

Sacred Valley
The Sacred Valley of the Incas or the Urubamba Valley is a valley in the Andes of Peru, close to the Inca capital of Cusco and the ancient city of ...

Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu consists of three overlapping trails: Mollepata, Classic, and One Day. Mollepata is the longest of the three routes with the highest mountain pass and ...

Torre Tagle Palace

Torre Tagle Palace
The Torre Tagle Palace is a Spanish Baroque palace located at Jr. Ucayali 363, in downtown Lima, Peru, a couple blocks east of the Plaza de Armas. The palace currently ...

Qurikancha

Qurikancha
Qurikancha , originally named Inti Kancha or Inti Wasi , was the most important temple in the Inca Empire, dedicated primarily to Inti, the Sun God. It was one of ...

Historic Centre of Lima

Historic Centre of Lima
Located principally in the city centre or Cercado de Lima and Rímac areas, the Historic Centre of Lima is among the most important tourist destinations in Peru.FoundationThe ...

Cusco Cathedral

Cusco Cathedral
The Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption of the Virgin, also known as Cusco Cathedral, is the mother church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cusco. The cathedral is located on ...

Municipal Palace of Lima

Municipal Palace of Lima
The Municipal Palace of Lima is a public building that serves as headquarters of the Metropolitan Municipality of Lima. It is located on the street Portal de Escribanos, block 3 ...

Moray

Moray
Moray is one of the 32 Local Government council areas of Scotland. It lies in the north-east of the country, with coastline on the Moray Firth, and borders the council ...

Balconies of Lima

Balconies of Lima
The Balconies of Lima are cultural heritage built during the Spanish colonial regime as well as in the republic era in Peru. Most of them were built in the late ...

Tambomachay

Tambomachay
Tampu Mach'ay is an archaeological site associated with the Inca Empire, located near Cusco, Peru. An alternate Spanish name is El Baño del Inca .It consists of a series of ...

Museum of the Nation

Museum of the Nation
The Museum of the Nation is one of two major museums of Peruvian history in Lima, Peru. It is much larger than the other main museum in Lima, the Peruvian ...

Huchuy Qosqo

Huchuy Qosqo
Huchuy Qosqo is an archaeological site north of Cuzco, Peru. Its name is Quechua for "Little Cuzco." It lies at an elevation of 3,600 meters , above the 3000-meter high ...

Pikillaqta

Pikillaqta
Pikillaqta , "flea place", hispanicized and mixed spellings Piki Llacta, Pikillacta, Piquillacta, Piquillaqta is a large Wari culture archaeological site 20 km east of Cusco in the Quispicanchi Province.Pikillaqta is a ...

Archbishop's Palace of Lima

Archbishop's Palace of Lima
The Archbishop's Palace of Lima, the capital of Peru, is the residence of the Archbishop of Lima, and the administrative headquarters of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Lima. It is ...

Sanctuary of Las Nazarenas

Sanctuary of Las Nazarenas
The Sanctuary of Las Nazarenas is a church in Lima and is the site of the Peruvian catholic procession of the Lord of Miracles, Señor de los Milagros, who is ...

Church of the Society of Jesus

Church of the Society of Jesus
The Church of the Society of Jesus may refer to: ...

Palace of Justice, Lima

Palace of Justice, Lima
The Palace of Justice is the seat of the Supreme Court of Peru. It is located in the Lima District of the city of Lima, capital of Peru. Construction started ...

San Pedro

San Pedro
San Pedro is the Spanish language form of Saint Peter. It can refer to:PlacesArgentinaSan Pedro, Buenos Aires ProvinceSan Pedro Partido, a partido located in ...

Museum of Sacred, Magical and Medicinal Plants

Museum of Sacred, Magical and Medicinal Plants
The Museum of Sacred, Magical and Medicinal Plants was a privately owned museum located in Cusco, Peru. The Museum was established in 2011 as a non-profit organization. The mission of ...

Walls of Lima

Walls of Lima
The Lima city walls were built by Viceroy Melchor de Navarra between 1684 and 1687 to protect Lima against attacks from pirates and privateers. They included 34 bulwarks and eleven ...

Museum of Italian Art

Museum of Italian Art
The Museum of Italian Art is a public museum in Lima, Peru, under the administration of the National Culture Institute. It's the only European arts museum in Peru.

Escuela Nacional Superior Autónoma de Bellas Artes

Escuela Nacional Superior Autónoma de Bellas Artes
Escuela Nacional Superior Autónoma de Bellas Artes del Perú” is a fine arts school in Lima, Peru. It is located in Barrios Altos, a suburb of Lima District. It was ...

Pucusana District

Pucusana District
Pucusana is a district in southern Lima Province in Peru. It is bordered by the Pacific Ocean on the west, the district of Santa María del Mar on the north, ...

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu
A 15th century Inca city sitting on a mountain ridge above the Sacred Valley, and the most famous icon of the Inca civilization