Imagine majestic mountains, floating down the great Amazon River and lay your eyes on one of the seven wonders of the world. These sights and so much more can be yours as you experience Peru on your South America Tour.
The amazing country of Peru lies in South America’s western coast. The country’s topography is sectioned off into three parts: the Andes Mountains, the tropical Amazon rainforest, and the coastal region. All the areas offer distinct beauty and charm.
Peru accommodates both the luxury traveler and the backpacker. Many of the cities in Peru are modern and offer upscale lodging, fitness centers, Wifi, swimming pools, and even casinos. As for the backpacker, Peru hosts a wide array of bed and breakfasts and economy lodging. Let us not forget the food. The food is spectacular.
While taking your South America tour experiencing incredible beauty and history, Peru is a must-see. Let us take a journey through Peru to give you a small glimpse of what you will see as you experience Peru for your next travel destination.
The largest city in Peru is placed in the valleys of Chillon, Rimac and Lurin rivers. This metropolitan city of more than 9 million people is known as Lima. While Lima has a large population, the city is spread out in such a way that you do not get a crowded feeling while visiting most places in the city.
Shopping is a high point while visiting Lima. You can choose from bargaining with the locals at the artisan markets or shopping in luxurious shopping centers. The Miraflores district is a great place to shop in Lima. Make sure you go to the Larcomar to find excellent upscale shopping and even entertainment. Lima is a fun place to shop and a great place to eat authentic Peruvian dishes.
History is a fascinating trademark of this unique city. The historic district is full of things to see fountains, amazing architecture, and history containing cathedrals. While you are in Lima, do not skip the Plaza San Martin.
While the city of Lima has plenty to keep you busy, there is also more to experience just out of the town a bit. You can head to the Islands to the Paracas National Reserve. You can take a relaxing boat ride to the islands and see many different species of wildlife at the marine sanctuary.
On your way to the island, you may have the exciting experience of seeing the Peruvian boobies. The native boobies dive straight into the water headfirst, like a torpedo to get their next meal. It is a fascinating sight to behold. Or you may watch the sea lions play in the water or sunbathe on the rocks or the sandy shore. As you are enjoying your boat ride, do not forget to look into the water for the little Humboldt penguin heads to pop up. They are cute creatures.
Once you arrive at the islands, there is more fun in the sun. You can try out sandboarding on South America’s giant dunes. If sandboarding is not your idea of fun, hop in a dune buggy and ride the desert coastal landscape enjoying close-up encounters with marine life for fun. No matter what you choose to do on the island, you will enjoy your day.
These are just a few of the highlights from the fantastic city of Lima. There is so much more to do like bike tours, visiting the pre-Inca ruins, the bridge of Sighs, and so much more. After enjoying the best of Lima, let us move on to our next Peruvian destination.
Iconic Cusco and Finding the Lost City
What was once the capital of the Incan Empire is now an incredible place to visit. While the Incan rule is gone, the culture and history that it left behind are thriving. The famous Plaza de Armas is the cultural center point of the heritage of the city. The Great Incan square offers the perfect opportunity to reflect on the history and the glory the Inca’s experienced during their rule.
While visiting the area of Cusco, it is an excellent time to visit the Sacred Valley, also called the Urubamba Valley. The journey to the valley can be as short as a day trip, or you can stay a day or two hiking the history-rich ruins. You can choose the difficulty of the hike you would prefer, tour guides off tours with different activity levels.
Before leaving the valley, be sure to visit Machu Picchu, the UNESCO World Heritage Site that majestically peers over the valley. The site is believed to have served as a spiritual retreat for royals and nobles of the Incan era.
The royal city stands at over 7,000 feet on the Andean Mountain Range and offers breathtaking views of the Urubamba Valley below. This once-lost city in all its splendor has scenic terraces, massive solid stone walls, and brilliantly designed ramps that take you from one place to another.
Maras is another unique destination in the Sacred Valley. The Maras Salt Mines date back to the Incan times. A little bit out of the city and down a canyon, there are thousands of crystal white salt pools on the hillside. While observing the salt evaporation process, you can enjoy just another picture-perfect view of the Andes Mountain Range.
Before leaving Cusco be sure you taste the traditional food. Try a dish of adobo which is made with pork and chicha (corn beer). Sample the stew made with lamb and vegetables called timpu. Or Chiricahua which is a sampler plate of potatoes, meat, corn, and the rocoto pepper. Do not leave without tasting the local culture.
We have just touched the tip of the mountain as far as sights to see in the Andes. We need to get moving on our journey to the next destination Iquitos.
Rainforest Jungle Extravaganza
A visit to South American is not complete without trekking through the rainforest. Peru’s port city of Iquitos is known for being the gateway to the jungle. Amazon River passes through the city grab yourself a canoe ride and head to the jungle lodges for a few days.
As you are gliding down the vast Amazon River keep your eyes looking for a flock of brilliantly colored parrots. Often you will find them feasting on the clay at the sides of the river bed. If your eyes miss them, do not worry because you will surely hear the noisy birds talking while they are eating the mineral-filled clay. If you look closely in the nearby trees, you may see a python or other snake looking to have its next meal too.
After finishing your astonishing visit to the rainforest jungle, spend some time in Iquitos. The city of Iquito also hosts a manatee orphanage. You can have a chance to see the cows of the river up-close. The orphanage also offers an extraordinary experience of feeding the little orphaned manatees.
The city of Iquitos offers accommodations that range from backpacking to upscale. While visiting Iquitos visit the sizeable open-air market so you can purchase what you need as the locals do. Be sure to stop and see the brilliantly colored butterflies at the local butterfly farm. This farm and animal orphanage is one of the best in all of Peru.
Iquito also offers a unique floating village you can visit. The village and market of Belen is truly a unique place in the world to visit. The people of the village travel by boat and must continually raise their homes from sinking into the water.
What a fantastic Peruvian journey this has been, but the journey does not stop here. Actually, for you, the journey has just begun. Now that you have heard about Peru, it is time to take a grand South America Tour of the coastal country of Peru.
You must experience Peru. You are going to love Lima. The history, delicious food and impressive architecture are worth the visit. Taking a trip to the island is just an extra added feature that you are going to love about Lima. The famous Cusco in all its glory with the Sacred Valley, the once-lost city of Machu Picchu, the salt pools and the magnificent Andes Mountain Range are all waiting for you. Your rainforest jungle extravaganza is waiting for you. A rainforest is a magical place with all of the monkeys, jaguars, sloths, and birds. The plant life is also very fascinating to see because it is so large and full of life. The rainforest will be a highlight of your trip.
Get out your passport, because it is time to explore this fantastic country in South America. Start making your travel arrangements now to fly into the Jorge Chavez International Airport (LIM) and start your adventure in the beautiful country of Peru. The locals are friendly and kind are waiting to host you in their picturesque home. You deserve to experience a South American adventure that you will remember for the rest of your life.