One look at a photo of Machu Picchu is likely enough to persuade you to visit Peru, but we’ll go ahead and give you eight more reasons just in case. Whether you’re a staunch historian or an adrenaline junkie, a nature lover or a bit on the woo-woo side, there’s a reason on this list that will appeal to you. We guarantee it because Peru’s just that multifaceted. Here are Explorandes’ 8 reasons to visit Peru:
- The Adventure Sports
Mountain biking, rock climbing, whitewater river rafting, paragliding, zip lining, kayaking, surfing, and four-wheeling…the list of adventure sports on offer in Peru is long and vast. So long and so vast that we could never list all of the adventure possibilities here in one neat paragraph. But you get the idea; Peru is an active adventurer’s playground.
- The Nature
Peru is home to wildlife-dense Amazon, ice-capped Andean mountain ranges, and plenty of Pacific coastline (1,500 miles of it to be exact). In one perfectly planned Peru trip, one could realistically scale frozen peaks, trek steamy jungle trails, and take a dip in the Pacific. We’ll bet you can’t do that at home.
- The Gastronomy
Peruvian gastronomy is world-renowned and award-winning. From the country’s famous ceviche to lesser-known regional bites like rocoto relleno from Arequipa and juanes from the Peruvian Amazon, everything you sink your teeth into will leave you wanting more. It’s just that good. With every new city you visit in Peru, the flavors shift, making for quite the foodie adventure.
- The Pre-Columbian Ruins
With Machu Picchu on a bit of pedestal, it’s easy to overlook the countless other pre-Columbian ruins that grace Peru’s diverse landscapes. Have you heard of Kuelap, the Chachapoyas fortress at the crest of the Amazonian Andes? Or Choquequirao, the sister site to Machu Picchu that’s three times the size of the better-known citadel? Or even Sacsayhuaman, the stone fortress set atop a hill that overlooks Cusco? There’s more than a few reasons to visit Peru if it’s pre-Columbian ruins that you seek.
- The Biodiversity (flora and fauna)
With so much geographical diversity and a healthy slice of the Amazon to its name, Peru is a land of extreme biodiversity. Orchids pop out of lush cloud forest and cacti poke their thorny heads out of Peru’s dry desert and canyon landscapes. Spectacled bears roam the forests around Machu Picchu and condors soar on the Colca Canyon thermals. There’s plenty to see on the flora and fauna front while traveling Peru, both in the Amazon and beyond, too.
- The Treks
Peru is a trekker’s paradise. Its boundless mountain trails and recovered Inca-laid paths extend past vistas so spectacular you think you’re dreaming. The best hikes and treks in Peru can be found near Huaraz, the unofficial trekking capital of Peru, while the Sacred Valley is a close runner-up with its various treks to Machu Picchu. And we’d be amiss not to mention Arequipa’s canyon treks and multi-day hikes up volcanoes. Tempting, right?
- The Living Culture
Peru is one of those rare places where the past is still palpable. Festivals, rituals, and ways of life that date back centuries are still practiced and celebrated today. Traditional clothing is still worn in many of the more rural regions and ancient languages are still spoken as first languages in many parts. It’s a living culture that’s accessible to all who visit Peru.
- The Mysticism
Sacred mountains, plant medicine, and coca leaf readings are just a few of the more mystical elements and rituals alive in Peru today. Peru’s indigenous populations still cling to their ancient spiritual traditions and beliefs and spiritual seekers flock from far and wide to sample it, understand it, and appreciate the ancient and living culture as its still practiced today.