Top 4 Travel Destinations in Peru

Although the semester may have just started and traveling to exotic countries probably isn’t the top priority on your mind, I firmly believe it’s never too early to start planning a well-deserved vacation. If Latin America is next on your travel bucket list, then Peru is a must-see destination chock full of mystical ruins, delicious cuisine, and generous locals who will make your travels a once in a lifetime experience. Stay tuned if you need some guidance to begin planning your Peruvian adventure!

  1. 1. Lima

    When planning any trip, a good place to start your travels is the nation’s capital. Lima is a great introductory course, so to speak, to what you will be experiencing throughout your entire stay in Peru. What’s especially interesting about this city is that you will find towering skyscrapers right next to ancient ruins, with a montainous, picturesque backdrop looming over them. In the heart of the upscale region, Miraflores, you’ll find a high-end outdoor shopping mall called Larcomar with coastal views of the Pacific Ocean. Pre-Incan ruins, such as Huaca Pucllana, are just a short drive away through winding highways adorned with Peruvian eateries and sleek hotel complexes as well. Lima is truly a city that has it all, and it’s a great place to adjust to your new surroundings and begin an eventful vacation in Peru.

  2. 2. Mancora

    In case you are considering booking a tropical island vacation instead of traveling to Peru, it would be helpful to know that Peru shares a coast with the Pacific which can only mean one thing - beautiful beach towns! Mancora is a great place to visit if you want a break from all the city life or ruin viewing and are in need of some lounging around on what feels like a tropical island. From the palm trees to the warm waters, this place is everything you need to take a vacation from your actual vacation. Take a walk down the main street and go souvenir shopping, or maybe relax and eat some delicious seafood by the beach. Oh, and did I mention Mancora is known for its spectacular whale watching? Just a short drive away can bring you to incredible boat tours that feature close up viewings of humpback whales traveling in their pods during July through early October.

  3. 3. Cusco

    Sitting high up in the Andes Mountains lies the city of Cusco, Peru. With restaurants and shops built into the mountains, this city is definitely one unlike Lima or Mancora. It is home to some of the most incredible Incan ruins side by side with Spanish influenced architecture as seen in the Plaza de Armas, the city’s central square. Here you can find tons of places to shop from local vendors and eat traditional Peruvian cuisine, which by the way is infused with an Asian influence and a Spanish flare. Learn how sweaters are made from alpaca fur and maybe buy one of your own, or stroll along the beautiful cobbled roads and stop at a cafe for a warm cup of coffee. One thing that you should be warned of, however, is that the altitude in Cusco is among the highest of all the destinations you will probably travel to, so prepare to take time to adjust to your new surroundings. You may need to chew coca leaves and breathe from oxygen tanks if you are really having a hard time adjusting, but once you get acclimated you will be sure to have a wonderful time wandering the streets Cusco!

  4. 4. Machu Picchu

    One of the most extraordinary sights that you absolutely cannot miss during your stay in Peru is, of course, Machu Picchu! There’s a reason why this mystical place earned its spot as one of the eight wonders of the world - it truly is one of the most breathtaking places on this planet. Words cannot describe the energy you will feel when you make it to the top where the ancient fortress still stands, and seeing the ruins up close will make you question how the Incas physically built a place so massive. Not to mention, no one really knows the exact purpose of the citadel and how the Incas built it, but that makes it all the more mysterious. Also, if you’re worried that you’re going to have to get intensely fit to hike all the way up to the ruins, have no fear, they now have buses that will transport you up the windy roads to get to the very top. A little disclaimer -  as amazing as Machu Picchu is, if you are deadly afraid of heights this destination will not be the easiest to venture through. There will be some moments where you are walking along the side of the mountain with a direct view down to the plummeting terrain below. Nevertheless, fear of heights should not stop you from experiencing such a monumental piece of Latin American history that is Machu Picchu.

While you may not have time to visit all of these places on your Peruvian adventure, pick and choose which destinations call to you and get ready for an exciting trip ahead! Peru is one of the most underrated travel destinations that has something for everyone. So book your flight and look forward to a well earned, end of the semester journey to Peru!