Peru as a travel destination is quite literally dripping in hot spots and must do’s. From shopping for (arguably) the world’s best knitwear to learning about Inca history and of course, visiting the iconic site of one of the 7 wonders of the world, Machu Picchu, Peru is a travellers dream. But as our well rhyming title suggests, there is more to Peru than just Machu Picchu, and we’re here to show you what.
1) Spot a condor at Colca Canyon
When thinking of Canyon’s (a common pastime we’re sure), what comes to mind? Most probably the Grand Canyon. It’s HUGE. But in fact, the Colca Canyon in Southern Peru is more than twice as deep as the Grand Canyon at a jaw dropping 13,650 ft depth. But that’s not all. The Colca Canyon is also home to the magnificent Andean condor, a New World vulture with a wingspan of 3+ metres and weighing in at around 25-30 pounds. Head up early and watch the condors at close range as they ride the morning thermal waves in hot pursuit of breakfast.
2) Catch a wave in Lima
Whether absolute beginner or pro surfer extraordinaire, there is a wave for everyone in Lima. Off-shore reefs for big-wave riders can be found at spots like Pico Alto or Kon Tiki, whilst the best breaks happen around La Herradura, Punta Rocas or Cerro Azul. Opt for a professional surf guide to learn the ropes or go it alone – the beaches are never massively busy so if you fall off and feel like an idiot, no one will know!
3) Grab a Mountain Bike and Ride
With dirt tracks, open fields, mountains and forests galore, Peru is THE place to explore by mountain bike. Supplied with a helmet and lock you are free to explore at your leisure, opting to stay on the road or (more fun) go off-roading to truly get to grips with the beauty of the country. Lonely Planet recommended is Explore Bicycle Rentals in Lima, and make sure you try out the Casta Trail (part of the Inca Trail) for a track that just keeps on going down, and down, and down.
4) If you must, explore Machu Picchu
Going against the theme of this post, you just can’t visit Peru and not go to Machu Picchu. It is STUNNING. Whether following the Inca Trail or taking the easier route and reaching the top via train, going to Machu Picchu is one of life’s must do’s. Top tip? Set your alarm for stupid early o’clock and arrive the same time as the sun (fingers crossed). Trust us, it’ll be worth the effort.
For more Peruvian adventures, take a look at how the sundayfundayz boys got on when they took a trip there: