Explore More Than Just Cusco: Extensions for your Trip to Peru

Cusco is known around the globe as THE place to visit when you take a trip to Peru. But this diverse country has so much more to offer. From stunning coastlines to a desert oasis, trust us when we say you’ll want to extend your trip to experience more. Join us as we journey through some of the other captivating areas of this multifaceted country.

 

COAST
Ica
Ica, where the desert meets the coast. Some of the most unique landscapes you will see in the world, packed into one area. Ica is located in the South of Peru and offers a variety of excursions. Take a flight over the ancient Nazca Lines, ancient pictographs in the middle of desert said to be over 1,500 years old! Pick out the various shapes of animals and marvel at the still unexplained figures in the sand. Take a boat ride around the Ballestas Islands. The se striking islands are dubbed the “poor man’s Galapagos” and for good reason. Witness the endangered Humboldt penguins by the dozens, watch as sea lions swim circles around the boat, and spot a variety of birds from pelicans to boobies. With over 160 species of birds detected on these islands, if you’re a bird enthusiast this trip cannot be missed. If you’re lucky, you might be able to see a marine otter or a humpback whale!But the adventure of Ica doesn’t stop there. Take a trip to Huacachina, a desert oasis that is something out of a storybook. A small town and lake located in the center of sand dunes as far as the eye can see. Pile into a 4X4 and prepare to feel as though you’re in the movie MadMax. Your expert drivers navigate the desert dunes like the back of their hands. Hold on as adrenaline courses through your veins as you fly through the waves of dunes. Drive right up to the edge of some of the largest dunes, which can be up to 100 meters – over 300 feet! Then get ready for the biggest thrill of them all, sand boarding. You can lay down on the board like a sled or if you’re brave enough- stand like on a snowboard! Let your inner child out as you scream and board down these incredibly huge dunes.
Lima
Lima is the largest city in all of Peru. And like any major metropolis, it has a lot to offer. Top of the list has to be the food. Lima holds some of the best food in the entire world. No joke.So experiencing the local cuisine is a must. With endless options of culinary tours, eat your way through the city. Indulge in the freshest ceviche, sip on the deliciously tart Pisco Sour, and if you’re feeling daring, try the traditional Cuy, guinea pig!The surrounding areas of the city posses some ancient ruins, such as Pachacamac and Caral, dating as far back as 200 A.D. Caral is one of the earliest settlements in the Americas.Be awed at the history that these sites hold as you walk around and learn of these ancient locations. Another great activity to do in Peru is to partake in a tour with Alto Perú. Alto Perú is aPeru-based non-governmental organization (NGO) that has been operating for over ten year snow. They share their name with a neighborhood in the Chorrillos district in the capital city of Lima. Alto Perú promotes social inclusion and education for children and young adults and aids them in developing marketable skills to provide promising futures free of crime and violence.There are various trips available that are tailored to all types of travelers. During these trips, you will be able to have an inside look into these communities and see first-hand the work that AltoPerú does and all that they have accomplished. From hiking to historical landmarks and beautiful viewpoints to cookings classes to hands-on community involvement, there is a tour for every one. See stunning sights, meet incredible people, and have fun, all while contributing back to a community in need.
Trujillo
The third most populated city in Peru, this coastal community holds a lot of history. Trujillo is adjacent to two major archeological sites; Chan Chan and the temples of the Sun andMoon. Both of these locations are incredible, world-record-holding adobe constructs. ChanChan is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the largest adobe city in the ancient world. The temples of the Sun and Moon is the largest adobe pyramid in the country. Walk these ancient grounds and learn about the incredible history of Peru.Feeling like slowing down for a few days? Huanchaco is a popular beach town in Trujillo and makes for the perfect place to relax on the coast. Known for its surf breaks, ceviche, andCaballitos de totora – reed watercraft boats used by fishermen for the past 3,000 years! Trujillo makes for the perfect mesh of ancient history exploration and tranquil beach time.
JUNGLE
Iquitos
Iquitos is the most famous area of the Peruvian Amazon Rainforest, and for good reason.Nearby to Marañon, the Amazon River’s largest tributary, as well as other neighboring waterways, the Yarapa and Yanayacu-Pucate, taking a cruise from Iquitos will not disappoint.The Amazon, being the most biodiverse jungle in the world, is full of incredible creatures su chas piranhas, anacondas, poison dart frogs, and the unique pink dolphins. Our expert guides know the seasons and land like the back of their hands and are gifted at spotting the sere markable animals. There’s no way to prepare yourself for the night sky you see when on theAmazon River. Layers of stars blanket the sky and enjoy spotting planets and constellations with our hi-tech telescopes. Book a trip to Iquitos and buckle up for some incredible Amazonian adventure.
Puerto Maldonado
Take your Amazon trip to the next level by visiting Puerto Maldonado. It is the gate way city to the southernmost stretches of Peru’s Amazon Rainforest. Enjoy spotting the diverse wildlife that inhabits the area and partake in excursions such as rafting the waterways. Staying on the shore of the stupendous river is a must. Choose to stay on a riverboat and cruise down the Amazon river or taste a bit of luxury on the shore with a stay in a lodge. Puerto Maldonado is located alongside the Tambopata National Reserve, a pristine national park where unique flora and fauna thrive. A trip to Puerto Maldonado is an escape to pure nature, breathe in the clean air as you witness one of the most famous forests in the world.
MOUNTAINS
Arequipa
Although it is the second-largest city in Peru, there is something quaint and small-town about this place. Pass days easily by browsing Antique shops, indulging in the end less restaurants, and visiting museums and churches. Arequipa dubbed the “White City” for the use of sillar volcanic rock in many of its streets, walls, and buildings. This aesthetically pleasing metropolis is littered with colonial-style buildings, churches, and squares. If that wasn’t picturesque enough, the White City is encircled by the snowcapped volcanoes of Misti, Mount Chachani, and Pichu Pichu Peak. There are tons to experience around Arequipa as well. Take a trip to the impressive Colca Canyon, the deepest canyon in the world. Stand on the cliff’s edge at “Mirador de la Cruz del Cóndor” viewpoint and marvel over the massive Andean Condors soar over the crater. Take advantage of this rare opportunity to witness the largest flying birds in the world. With a wingspan as great as 3 meters (that’s 10 feet!), these endangered birds are a sight to see.Experience the tiny villages nestled into the canyon and learn of how they use the plants in the area for medicine, teas, and food.
Chachapoyas
Located in the north of Peru, is another town known for its iconic white buildings and beautiful squares, Chachapoyas. Take in the ancient history that surrounds this city with a trip to Kuelap, and get ready to discover the undiscovered. The ruins of Kuelap might be lesser known than Machu Picchu but this location arguably holds more significance. Kuelap was created by the pre-Incan society of Chachapoya and shows evidence that both the Chachapoya and Incas lived here together. Get educated on the different building techniques used by the two ancient societies. Not to mention the cute llamas you’ll encounter along the way.From the deepest canyon to one of the tallest waterfalls in the world, Gocta Falls is a sight to see. A quick journey from Chachapoyas and you arrive at the little town of Cocachimba where you will begin your trek. Weave through the forest until you hear the roar of the 771 meters (2,529 feet) high waterfall. Crank your neck to try to see the gigantic falls in its glory and be awed by the natural phenomenon.
Puno
Observe the beauty of Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world. Home to a variety of birds and endangered fish, Lake Titicaca is not only stunning, but it plays an important role in Inca folklore. Learn about the mystery and history of this lake. Legend has it that from this lake emerged the first Incas and the founders of the Inca Empire.Navigate the floating islands of Uros, 120 man-made islands constructed of reeds from the totora plant. This plant is used for everything from food to medicine to construction. The islands were built over 500 years ago to defend the ancestors of the Uros people against the conquering of the Inca. See how the modern society of the islands has adapted with items such as solar panels, to preserve their lifestyle on these ancient islands and waters. Truly a fascinating culture to see and learn about.
Peru is one of the most diverse countries on the planet. From culture to food to nature and history, you’ll want to keep coming back to see more. Now that we’ve convinced you that there’s plenty more to see in Peru than just Cusco, reach out to our team to get booking.
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