There is life beyond Machu Picchu: 8 wonders of Peru that you must visit
|Cristina during her solidarity trip to Peru
When we first visited Peru, we had an obsession: visit Machu Picchu. And the experience was incredible, but... Now that we have traveled the country of the Incas several times, we can say it: there are other places that are MUCH worth it and that, in addition, they are not so exploited, so you can visit them calmly and without crowds. We share our 8 favourites!
1 Guided tour of Cusco
There are many companies that organize guided tours of the historic center of Cusco. We did a Free Tour and the experience was very good. We spent almost two hours touring the cobbled streets of the city and learning about the history and legends that many of its buildings and nooks hide. We recommend it!
2 Excursion to the Sacred Valley
They say that this place retains a special energy, due to its height, the mountains that surround it, the strange figures that the ravines draw with the sunlight... This was the heart of the Inca civilization, and is made up of rivers, ravines , archaeological monuments and indigenous peoples. An excursion will take you to the main enclaves (Písac, Urubamba, Ollantaytambo, etc) and will make you understand how the Incas related to nature and the elements.
|The cobbled streets of Cusco have a lot of history behind them.
3 Lake Titicaca
It is the highest and navigable lake in the world, declared Natural Heritage. It is located in the Puno region and is shared with the neighboring country of Bolivia. From Isla del Sol, in the Bolivian part, you can spend the night and have spectacular views of the lake.
It is a beautiful city located to the south. It is not even half as famous as Cusco, but it has nothing to envy. If you visit it, you cannot miss the Santa Catalina Monastery, a city within the city!
|Arequipa at night is spectacular.
5 Colca Canyon
Very close to Arequipa. We went one day with an excursion and it was well worth it! Looking out into the canyon is spectacular and you can spend hours watching the slow flight of the condors. Very close to there you can visit some hot springs.
6 Paracas and Ballestas Islands
It is a nature reserve on the coast. There you can see hundreds of birds, sea lions... and sometimes penguins!
|Life in the Iquitos jungle has a different rhythm.
Welcome to the Jungle! Getting here is quite an adventure. There are only two ways to do it: either by plane or on a cargo ship, where you know when you are leaving, but never when you are going to arrive! We chose this second option and spent three intense days crossing the Amazon, watching incredible sunsets from our hammocks. Once in Iquitos, you can go on excursions to the jungle.
8 Chan-chan and Trujillo
It is an archaeological zone located near Trujillo, in the north of the country. It is the largest pre-Columbian adobe city in America, built by the Chimúes, and the second in the world. It was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1986. When we visited it, we could not believe that it was not known because it impressed us as much as Machu Picchu. Its narrow streets full of almost intact geometric figures tell you about how life was lived on the coast of Peru before the arrival of the Spanish. We loved it!
|Gerard during his solidarity trip to Cusco
But... don't forget about solidarity
Culture, adventure, nature, history, beach, jungle... Peru has it all and we recommend 100% that you visit it, but we encourage you to do so in solidarity! In addition to knowing the wonders of the country, you can collaborate with:
- A solidarity school in the Cusco center
- an educational project in the Sacred Valley, in the midst of nature
- An educational support center Quechua-speaking boys and girls in the neighborhood of San Jerónimo, in Cusco
- An NGO that offers training and recreational activities to minors in the Collana community
- A little school in the jungle, near the Amazon