It should be absolutely no surprise by now, but pretty much everything about Peru is wonder-full. The people, the culture, the food, the history, the traditions, the scenery – we love it all. So when we’re planning our Peruvian adventure, where do we start?
Every trip has to start somewhere, so we’ve narrowed it down to the seven most amazing experiences to build your trip around. Start here and explore Peru the right way:
Trek the Inca Trail
There’s something about getting to that Sun Gate at the entrance to Machu Picchu that we just can’t put into words. Whether you do the 4-day, 1-day or mini hike from Machu Picchu, conquering the Inca Trail is one of the most picturesque and emotional hikes you’ll ever do.
Walking in the footsteps of the Incas, learning about the history and spiritual meaning of the places you pass through – it can truly be life changing. Take your time and you’ll be so proud of the fact that you conquered all of those steps and struggles along the way. Ultimate bragging rites will be earned.
Visit Taquile and the Uros Islands
Floating in the midst of Lake Titicaca, you’ll find one of the most unique and breathtaking cultural experiences in all of Peru.
The Uros islands have been constructed out of totora reeds, and similarly, most things on the islands are hand-constructed out of either reeds or wool, including the homes, boats and traditional crafts for sale. The people of the islands are almost entirely self-reliant, and their unique culture, personalities and customs are something that will stay with you forever.
Taquile Island is another absolute hidden gem in Lake Titicaca, from the world-class knitting to the authentic traditions, it’s an unbeatable Peruvian experience.
Enjoy a family feast of cuy
When in Rome, do as the Romans do, and when in Peru, celebrate like a Peruvian. During big family dinners and holidays – when we would typically have a turkey or roast – it is traditional in Peru to feast on cuy, the Peruvian term for guinea pig.
Trying cuy is a unique food experience that may not be your all-time favourite, but joining the Peruvians for a real local meal is an honour and one of the best ways to connect with the culture and immerse yourself in their traditions.
Go condor spotting in Colca Canyon
Sorry Arizona, but you’re Grand Canyon has absolutely nothing on the Colca. Not only is it twice as deep, but the landscape is so much more complex and varied than the stunning red rocks of the USA.
Colca Canyon would be amazing enough on its own, but the real hidden gem is spotting the soaring condors who inhabit the canyon. Condors are the biggest birds in the world, and some of the most majestic predators on the planet. Enjoy the views, bathe in the hot springs, and try channeling your inner condor and ziplining across the canyon with your wings outstretched.
Explore and sleep in the Amazon
The Amazon in Peru is just as iconic as the cities of Lima and ruins of Ollantaytambo, but provides a completely different kind of experience. When you leave modern life behind in exchange for the jungle, that’s when you truly come to appreciate Pachamama and our connection to nature.
From canopy hiking and nighttime caiman spotting to piranha fishing, there’s an adventure around every corner in the Amazon. And if you’re looking for a more relaxed vibe, just rotate between hammock hangs and waterfall swims and take it easy.
Walk the Inca Trail with us on Contiki's Ultimate Inca Trail trip
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Wander through Machu Picchu
Whether you travel to Machu Picchu by bus or trek, the journey is only half the fun – once you arrive, it’s all about the wandering. The ancient citadel is one of the most stunning and fascinating examples of historical Incan architecture, and seeing it perched in the clouds amongst the mountains will leave you in absolute awe and bewilderment.
Learn the history from the locals and visit with a llama or two while you’re there.
Learn the weaving traditions
Spending time with the best weavers in the world, working with stunning colours and the softest wool from the cutest of alpaca and vicuña, it’s no wonder why there’s no better wool to wear.
Watch the weavers work and support the local economy by picking up all of the woolly goods you can, for souvenirs and for yourself.