Machu Picchu is a top Peru destination for a reason: It’s a significant cultural site that is breathtaking in its magnificence and everyone should experience it at least once in their lifetime. Any trip to Peru should certainly include a stop by the ancient site. However, if you are focused primarily on these ruins, you are missing a lot of wonderful things that Peru has to offer, as Peru’s cultural history is breathtaking and worth a look.
Top Must-Visit Tourist destinations in Peru
Here are some of the top Peru tourist destinations that you should include on your trip that aren’t Machu Picchu:
1. Salkantay Trek
Salkantay is part of the Cordillera Vilcabamba Mountain range, and it is used as a popular route to get to Machu Picchu. Not only can you see the famed ruins, but you can enjoy a gorgeous hike along the way. Salkantay includes opportunities for zip lining, hot springs, and impressive views of the surrounding mountain range. Those who take this trek into Machu Picchu can also enjoy a visit to the beautiful Humantay Lake where you can enjoy the brilliant view and take in all that this serene, peaceful scenery has to offer.
Choquequirao features ancient ruins similar to those found in Machu Picchu. You can visit the ruins, view the Apurimac canyon (which is twice as deep as the Grand Canyon, and just as beautiful), and tour remote villages. Here, you can learn about Andean wildlife, take a tour of a coffee plantation, relax in hot springs, and more when you visit this popular site. You can trek the region on the way to Machu Picchu, as well. This is an excellent option for those who wish to have an in depth experience on their trip to Peru, as it not only affords you the benefits of the breathtaking scenery, but gives you an insight into the culture as well.
3. Amazon & Inca Jungle
The Amazon Rainforest and Inca Jungle are rich with activities, including rafting, cycling, hiking, swimming, zip lining, and more. This is a great option for those who are more active, as you can enjoy amazing views and witness all kinds of wildlife, including 14 species of monkeys, red and green macaws, capybaras, and more. The Manu National Park is one of the most popular sites in the Amazon Rainforest, and it is located in Peru. You can also tour nearby farms and enjoy coffee-roasting demonstrations, among other activities, giving you plenty to do during your trip.
4. Rainbow Mountain
Rainbow Mountain isn’t just a pretty name. It proves to be an apt one! This beautiful mountain features stripes of red, orange, yellow, blue, green, and shades in between. The bands are even formed in arches. This is an exquisite sight to take in, and one that isn’t typical among other mountain ranges and landscapes. It’s unique nature is perfect for those who wish to see something that can’t be seen anywhere else. During your visit to the mountain and also enjoy views of peaceful lakes and majestic glaciers.
5. The Sacred Valley
The Sacred Valley includes parts of Chinchero, Pisac, Moray, the Maras Salt Plains, and Ollantaytambo. Learn about the rich history and culture of this area while also enjoying stunning views that can’t be experienced anywhere else on earth. The Maras Salt Plains are remarkable salt flats that are both beautiful and interesting. Ruins, ancient villages set on terraces, a historical cemetery, and more are all included in the Sacred Valley, making this an excellent destination for your trip to Peru. As one of the most revered destinations in Peru, The Sacred Valley is the perfect culmination of all that Peru has to offer.
6. The Lares Trek
The remote Lares Trail offers a wonderful hiking experience for beginner or seasoned hikers. You can explore parts of the Sacred Valley, visit cultural sites like Cusco, and even meet with native people who live along the trail. A rural mountain village school is even open to visitors who want to learn more about local customs.
Each of these locales is a destination all to itself, but many visitors enjoy pairing them with their trip to Machu Picchu since each contains a trek to the popular ruins that is off the beaten path. Smart travelers use one of these treks so they can see more of Peru than what’s in every travel guide. They get to learn more about the local culture and enjoy a vacation that’s all their own and participating in a unique experience that is sure to thrill them. Each one of these treks presents an uncommon look into the lives of the locals, as well as all of the beauty that Peru has to offer.
If you are interested in scheduling one of these or other treks through Peru, contact Guiding Peru to learn more. Local guides lead groups of travelers through some of the most beautiful sites in Peru, helping them to see more of the countryside while ensuring that they stay safe and get more out of their vacation. Guiding Peru is the top-ranked Peru tour operator. Contact us today to learn more about our guided tours and find out for yourself why we have earned a reputation as the best.