Travel to Peru, with a bit of research, can provide you with experiences (yes, more than one) of a lifetime. This South American territory emits a unique vibe, blending ancient wisdom with a modern flare. To celebrate Peru’s Bicentennial Independence, we’ve compiled a list of five reasons that will make you fall in love with the country. Our fellow travelers who have already visited will surely find themselves nodding along with our picks. For those who haven’t, now it’s up to you to organize your Peru trip and see for yourself!
Peruvian food is rooted in more than 5,000 years of culinary techniques and ingredients that highlight the rich flavors. The coast, the Andean highlands, and the Amazon contribute their own influences and local products. Additionally, as Peru’s history intertwined with Europe and Asia, fusions of style and flavor were formed in Lima, making the city a foodie paradise. With a repertoire of more than 490 national dishes, Peruvian cuisine can satisfy any palate. And of course, we had to go with food first.
CULTURAL & ARCHEOLOGICAL SITES
Machu Picchu is likely the first to come to mind; however, Peru boasts 12 Unesco World Heritage Sites in addition to thousands of archaeological sites scattered throughout the country. Over a dozen civilizations from the last 5,000 years have left remnants of sacred spaces, living quarters, and other buildings, allowing us a glimpse into the past. You can even visit Peru’s stunning cultural sites in the heart of Lima's historic city center or in Miraflores at the Huaca Pucllana. Some of our favorites include Caral, the Nazca Lines, Kuelap, Chan Chan, Choquequirao, and Sacsayhuaman.
BIODIVERSE FLORA & FAUNA
Within Peru’s three regions, the coast, mountains, and jungle, you’ll find nearly 100 different microclimates. This translates directly into over 3,000 species of orchids, 1,800 types of birds, and a treasure trove of medicinal plants and herbs folded so deeply into the Amazon that we have yet to discover them. The lush landscapes are teeming with life in what seems to be an infinite spectrum of shapes, colors, and sizes. Head to Tarapoto in the rainforest to see monkeys, manatees, and sloths in their natural habitats. Trek the heights of the Andes to find llamas, alpacas, or the Puya Raimondii, also known as the Queen of the Andes. On the coast, you can even swim with sea lions, see penguins, and, if you’re lucky, get a peek of a passing pod of dolphins.
While we’re on the topic of swimming with sea lions, that’s just one of many adrenaline-stimulating activities you can experience while in Peru. If you like to explore destinations by getting hands-on with your surroundings, you can try paragliding in Lima, ziplining in the Sacred Valley, or sailing through sand dunes in a buggy at sunset. Adventure is never far away when in Peru.
TEXTILES & BABY ALPACA
There’s so much that we love about Peru’s artisan culture, particularly the country’s rich textile legacy. Stretching back thousands of years, the vast knowledge and skill are still discernible in the works of contemporary weavers. In communities like Chinchero, you can admire the process in person and browse among a selection of blankets, scarves, decorations for the home, and other keepsakes to remember the trip. Apart from textiles, the baby alpaca and Pima cotton products are also well worth considering for a gift or to treat yourself.
We hope those five reasons to love Peru inspired you to start planning. See you here!
Food: Restaurants in Lima · Lima Food Tours
Textiles: Textiles · Baby Alpaca · Peruvian Gifts
Cultural Sites: Huaca Pucllana · Caral · Nazca · Kuelap · Chan Chan · Sacsayhuaman
Biodiversity: Peruvian biodiversity
Adventure Activities: Paragliding · Ziplining · Huacachina
SHARING IS CARING :)
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Things to do in Lima that make people fall in love with the city - that's precisely what we're after. We're Lucas and Sam, a Peruvian-American couple who have run the top tour in Lima for the past seven years. It’s no coincidence that the best activities in Lima have to do with Peru’s amazing cuisine. This Kansas City girl and Lima native have lived all over the world in their corporate past lives but they traded in the daily grind for sharing their love of good food, showing off the city’s secrets and meeting awesome people along the way.
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