Peru
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Things to do in Peru

Things to do in  Peru

Welcome to Peru

From the lush Amazon rain forest to the high-altitude Andes Mountains, Peru packs a topography as diverse as its offerings, weaving colonial architecture, Inca ruins, multi-day hikes, Amazonian wildlife, and culinary diversity into a South American adventure. The iconic Machu Picchu, which must be booked via tour, tops most Peru travel itineraries, as do the surrounding archaeological sites in the Sacred Valley of the Incas and the colonial town of Cusco. A tour guide can unlock the mysteries of the Inca Empire as you trek the trail to the lost city of Choquequirao, summit the Andes on the Inca Trail, bike from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes, and take in the views of Lake Titicaca in Puno. To make sense of the enigmatic Nazca Lines, take to the skies via helicopter or scenic flight. Meanwhile, in the south of Peru, don't miss the view from a volcano in Arequipa. A sightseeing tour of the Peruvian capital of Lima will take you to its colonial center for catacombs, pre-Colombian artwork, lively nightlife, and relics of Inca history, while nearby Miraflores is a popular novice surf spot. In Cusco, opt for a food tour to sample lomo saltado (stir-fried beef), Peruvian corn on the cob, and even cuy (guinea pig); or delve into traditional drinks such as pisco sour cocktails and coca tea. Explorer-types should head to the rainforest—near Iquitos there's a vast mass of wetlands full of wildlife and plant diversity, while the Tarpaca River Walk is ideal if you're after a stroll.

Top 15 attractions in Peru

Machu Picchu

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The lost city of Machu Picchu is the most famous archaeological site in Peru and, arguably, all of South America. The UNESCO World Heritage–listed collection of temples, terraced hills, and plazas was once the mountaintop citadel of the ancient Inca empire. It may now be world famous, but Machu Picchu still hasn't revealed the mysteries behind its construction, function, and eventual demise.More

San Isidro

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San Isidro visitors may overlook its cultural attractions, opting instead for its beaches and shopping districts. But, the enclave’s tree-lined residential streets are home to stately mansions being converted to luxury hotels, high-end boutiques, art museums, embassies representing 40 countries, and the city’s best restaurants.More

Amazon River

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The mighty Amazon River and its enormous, thickly forested basin are the heart of South America and the guardian of 20 percent of the Earth’s fresh water. Visitors from around the globe come to Iquitos to cruise the river’s storied waters and catch a glimpse of diverse fauna both above and below the surface.More

Miraflores

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The swanky beachfront suburb of Miraflores is one of Lima’s most sought-after zip codes. Here you’ll find the city’s best restaurants, shops, and hotels, plus waterfront mansions and high-rise towers. Lovely parks and beaches decorate the area, as well as the ancient ruins of Huaca Pucllana—a pre-Inca temple.More

Nazca Lines

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The enigmatic Nazca Lines (or Nasca Lines) are second only to Machu Picchu as the most famous archaeological site in Peru. The mysterious geoglyphs at the UNESCO World Heritage Site range from geometric shapes and swirls to a hummingbird and monkey. Theories on their purpose include astronomical markers, irrigation canals, and alien messages—an enigma that has spurred intrigue since their 1927 discovery. The spectacular etchings likely date from 500 BC and 500 AD.More

Ballestas Islands (Islas Ballestas)

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A cluster of tiny islands off the Peruvian coast, the Ballestas Islands (Islas Ballestas) are often touted as the “Peruvian Galapagos,” famed for their spectacular variety of birdlife and rugged coastline of soaring cliffs, rocky beaches, and remote sea caves.More

Lima Plaza Mayor

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Plaza Mayor, formerly Plaza de Armas, is the heart and birthplace of Lima. The crown jewel of the city, this UNESCO World Heritage–listed square is flanked by many important buildings, such as the Government Palace (Palacio de Gobierno), Cathedral of Lima, City Hall (Palacio Municipal de Lima), and the Archbishop’s Palace (Palacio Arzobispal).More

Barranco

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Barranco is an atmospheric, seaside neighborhood in Lima known for its street art and hip, bohemian culture. The area was once a summer playground for fashionable Limeños and is full of old colonial buildings. Small cafes and artist-run boutiques buzz during the day, while bars and dance define the area at night.More

Cathedral of Lima (Catedral de Lima)

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Lima’s main cathedral is located within the city’s UNESCO World Heritage Site on the lovely Plaza Mayor, a square marked by palm trees and grand palaces. Over the years, earthquakes spurred rebuilding and refurbishments of the Cathedral of Lima, adding baroque and neoclassical elements to the original colonial adobe structure.More

Historic Centre of Lima (Centro Historico de Lima)

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Thanks to its designation as a UNESCO World heritage Site, the historical center of Lima is immaculately preserved. Encompassing the area between Plaza de Armas and Plaza San Martin, the core includes the majority of the city’s outstanding colonial attractions and palm-fringed green spaces, all within easy walking distance.More

Colca Canyon (Canon del Colca)

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Plunging 13,650 feet (4,160 meters) down, Peru’s Colca Canyon is officially one of the world’s deepest canyons—with a breadth of activities to match. Visitors opt to visit this off-the-beaten-track attraction for its opportunities for adventure in a stunning natural environment, its large population of Andean condors, and its pre-Inca historical sites.More

Huaca Pucllana

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Lima is dotted with sacred ruins and ceremonial sites known as huacas. Located in the coastal Miraflores neighborhood, the Huaca Pucllana complex, with its towering stepped adobe pyramid, is one of the city’s largest and most important ancient monuments. Built around 500 A.D, it was once an administrative and ceremonial center of the indigenous Lima Culture civilization.More

Aguas Calientes

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If you're visiting Machu Picchu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, there’s a good chance you'll pass through the small pueblo of Aguas Calientes en route. This gateway town to Peru’s famous Incan ruins sits nestled in a valley of cloud forest, where a series of natural hot springs gives the town its name.More

Inca Trail

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South America's most famous trek is an unforgettable way to reach the lost Inca city of Machu Picchu. Along the way, the four-day trek takes hikers past three Andean mountain passes, Inca ruins, and views of the snow-capped Andes, culminating in a stellar sunrise over Machu Picchu—a UNESCO World Heritage site—from the Sun Gate.More

Lake Titicaca

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Lake Titicaca, glistening atop the Andes Mountains, is a tourist attraction, spiritual oasis, and cultural hub all in one. It is also South America’s highest (at 12,507 feet/3,812 meters) and largest (at an astounding 3,230 square miles/8,366 square kilometers) lake, as well as the highest navigable lake in the world.More

Trip ideas

What to Pack for Machu Picchu

What to Pack for Machu Picchu

How to Spend 2 Days in Cusco

How to Spend 2 Days in Cusco

How to Spend 3 Days in Lima

How to Spend 3 Days in Lima

Top activities in Peru

Machu Picchu Day Trip from Cusco
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Machu Picchu Day Trip from Cusco

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US$349.00
Rainbow Mountain with ATV's

Rainbow Mountain with ATV's

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Classic Inca Trail 4 days to Machu Picchu
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Eco Jungle - 3 Days / 2 Nights

Eco Jungle - 3 Days / 2 Nights

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Private Machu Picchu Full-Day Tour from Cusco
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Private Full-Day Best of Lima Tour
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Lima Ultimate Peruvian Food Tour

Lima Ultimate Peruvian Food Tour

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US$89.00
Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

Top Destinations

Top Destinations

Recent reviews from experiences in Peru

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Great way to see Nazca...
Jane_B, Nov. 2022
2 Day Tour from Lima: Nazca Lines Flight, Paracas, and Huacachina
Great way to see Nazca lines!
star-5
Our English tour guide...
Renee_E, Oct. 2022
Lima City Walking Tour with Pick-up & Drop Off Small Group
Our English tour guide was Amadeo.
star-5
Great way to explore Peru
Kayleigh_S, Oct. 2022
Full Day Paracas Ica and Huacachina from Lima All Included
Great opportunity to see a lot Peru in just 1 day.
star-5
Perfect day trip to Machu Picchu
Durga_J, Oct. 2022
01 Day Tour to Machu Picchu The Inca City
We had a wonderful tour in English.
star-5
Excellent Introduction to Lima
IAIN_S, Oct. 2022
Half-Day Lima City Sightseeing, Cathedral & Santo Domingo Convent
Our guide was very knowledgeable, personable and spoke excellent English.
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Paracad & Huacachina
Lisa_M, Oct. 2022
Desert Oasis, Sandboarding and Mini-Galapagos - 1 Day Tour from Lima
We saw 2 fantastic towns and did 2 fantastic activities.
star-5
Definitely take this tour!!
Lauren_M, Aug. 2022
Lima City Walking Tour with Pick-up & Drop Off Small Group
It was a perfect way to see the major sights and better understand the history of the city.
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True Local Experience
Kathleen_F, Jul. 2022
The Fisherman and Ceviche Culture of Lima Tour
This half-day tour was a great way to see and experience local culture.
star-5
Great quality
Mishu_G, Jul. 2022
Full Day Paracas Ica and Huacachina from Lima All Included
I took multiple tours in Peru to visit different places with different tour companies.
star-5
A must take tour!
Nancia_L, Jun. 2022
Paracas, Ica and Huacachina with Buggies and Sandboard (From Lima)
This was a great tour, the tour guide was great, the activities were excellent, and the different restaurants we visited, the food was delicious.
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An ideal Peruvian food experience
JackMartin_K, Nov. 2022
Lima Ultimate Peruvian Food Tour
As a bonus we also got to visit an art gallery, some of the murals of Barranco and the Bridge of Sighs.
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A perfect way to explore different parts of the city in half a day!
Rachel_D, Nov. 2022
Lima City Tour. Pre-Hispanic, Colonial and Modern Tour.
We also got to see a vast library of books dating back to the 15th thru 17th centuries that were kept by the monks.
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Wonderful day trip from Lima!
Samantha_Y, Nov. 2022
Marcahuasi Hiking in Lima
Carlos has worked on building a relationship with local community and it was really cool to see how invested he was in their success.
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A super fun day with smooth & nice arrangement of activities 😄
Iris_H, Nov. 2022
Amazing Nazca Lines, Huacachina Oasis & Dune buggy in the desert (full day trip)
Overall, the activities were nicely arranged and hassle-free.
star-5
Seamless, memorable - this tour is a must !
Angela_S, Nov. 2022
2-Day Tour: Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu by Train
This tour made planning and preparing to see Machu Picchu and parts of Peru absolutely seamless.
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Now this is what all excursions should be like!
Chin_L, Nov. 2022
Lima, the city of the catacombs!
I won't repeat here the long list of tourist attractions that we visited; suffice to say the highlights of the day were the catacombs at the San Francisco Church and Monastery; the introduction to Peruvian food, including an actual sampling of their delicious churros; and the various presentations made by Athenas.
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Amazing tour with some caveats
MohammedW_Z, Oct. 2022
Desert Oasis, Sandboarding and Mini-Galapagos - 1 Day Tour from Lima
There tour guides will switch between English and Spanish frequently so you have to follow along closely.
star-5
Amazing!!!
Isabella_O, Oct. 2022
Mahu Piccu FUll day
The only thing that we weren’t aware of was that after the pick up from the hotel we had to take the shuttle and train without a guide so that worried us a little bit but the train personnel were nice and helped us figure out where to go and what to do.
star-5
Highlight of the Peru trip!
Judy_Z, Oct. 2022
Rainbow Mountain in Quad Bike
And then to see the Rainbow Mountains- WOW!
star-5
Good option for people who don't want to do the 4-day hike
Jinsong_Z, Oct. 2022
2 Day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
His English is the best among the 5 tour guides we had in Peru.
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All about Peru

Currency
Peruvian Sol (PEN)
Time Zone
PET (UTC -5)
Country Code
+51
Language(s)
Spanish
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