The vibrant and photogenic country Peru is a world in itself. With its dazzling Spanish palace, cobblestone streets, salt ponds, archaeological wonders, lakes and landscape Peru has everything that makes a dream destination. It is one of the most underrated travel destinations that promises plenty and delivers even more. Here are nine mesmerizing tourist spots that you must checkout in Peru.
Nazca lines – Geoglyphs of Peru
Do you fancy breaking and deciphering ancient codes? Then you should begin your trip of Peru by visiting the Nazca lines that was recognized as a UNESCO site in 1994. These carvings and designs drawn on the ground in the Nazca desert are believed to have been made by Nazca people between 500 BC to 500 AD. The carvings have seventy designs of animals like monkey, spider, pelican , lizard , whale and also contain flora and fauna. The largest design is about 370 feet long.
Situated in the Southern Sierras, Cusco is the best place to visit if you want to be teleported to the ancient Andrean culture. Cusco was once the capital of the Inca civilization. The cobblestoned streets , archeological sites and the great museums make Cusco a popular tourist destination. Beyond Cusco lies the Sacred valley and the Andrean villages and hamlets. Cusco is now a world heritage site and has established itself as a gateway to Machu Picchu.
Located at a height of 2430 meters, lies the ancient Inca city of Machu Picchu, also known as ‘The lost city of the Incas’. Situated 1000 feet above the Urubamba river, the archeological ruins of Machu Picchu was brought before the world only in 1911. Owing to its high altitude , this place needs some acclimatization before you can explore it. This process begins with your visit to Cusco. The Incas are believed to have started building Machu Picchu during 1430 AD, but abandoned it during the Spanish conquest of the Inca civilization.
If you want a piece of the colonial past of Peru then you must visit Lima. Although the city predates the colonial period, it still holds in itself many mansions, monasteries and churches that were built during the period of Spanish occupation and have preserved their essence despite the transformation and modernization of the city. The Spanish palaces, tranquil beaches and the streets symbolize the history , culture and traditions of this marvelous city of Peru.
Lake Titilica is the highest navigable water-body in the world and is also the largest lake in South America. It is believed to be the place where sun was born. It is also famous for the floating islands created by the Uru people. You can explore the island through boat tours provided by the Uru people who explain their culture and traditions to the tourists in great detail.
Sacsayhuaman is a testament of the amazing engineering skills of the Incans who built the structure. The structure is thought to be the remains of a much larger fortress that was built on the present day structure. The three-tiered walls of the complex were built so tightly that even mortar wasn’t necessary to hold together the construction. You can watch some of the past glory of the Incans being reenacted at this site.
Salinas de Maras
Salinas de Maras or The Salt Pools of Maras lies in the sacred valley of the Incas and predates them. The mirror-like salt pools surrounded by the brown color of the slopes in the valley are a sight to behold. The salt ponds present an excellent depiction of the practices of the bygone era when as salt was used as a currency.
Explore the Pre-Inca Caral Civilization
The Caral civilization is the oldest civilizations of the South American continent and predates the Inca civilization. It has been calculated to have existed during 2600 BC although the complete excavations didn’t happen until the 1990s. You can take a guided tour to this UNESCO site by joining a tour provided by some bus services in Lima.
The Arequipa region of southern Peru is famous for the Colca canyon. Colca canyon is known for some of the deepest canyons in the world, some reaching a depth of around 4160 meters. It is a place of great scenic beauty. Here you can spot the giant hummingbird, Alpaca and the Condor , also known as the Eternity bird. The place is also popular among tourists because of the ancient Peruvian traditions, beautiful handicrafts and the pre-inca agricultural terraces.