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Top Peru Attractions

From mysterious Inca sites to cities with South American flair

Lamas grazing in bright decoration

There is so much to see when visiting Peru, it would be hard to squeeze it all into a single Peru trip. Here's a rundown of the most popular Peru attractions, from lively cities to ancient sites that still have the archaeologists scratching their heads.

Have a look at our Peru itineraries for ideas on planning your Peru holiday. Our 10 or 7 day Jaguar includes hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and is an adventurous itinerary packed with hiking, biking, backpacking, and jungle exploration. We also have a trip which incorporates a Lodge to Lodge Trek in Peru, and visits the breath taking Rainbow Mountain, check out our 'Alpaca' trip for more information. If Lake Titicaca is at the top of your list of places to explore in Peru, as well as the salt flats of Bolivia, then take a look at our 'Chinchilla' adventure.

Our 11-day Capybara: Family trip in Peru, is a fantastic way to see Peru on an unforgettable family vacation. Packed with adventure for both young and not so young, we'll see wildlife in the Amazon rainforest, visit Machu Picchu, explore the Sacred Valley of the Incas and sea kayak on Lake Titicaca.

Read more about Peru in your FREE brochure, featuring heaps of travel photos, more detailed maps and tips for planning your Peru adventure.

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is both the most well known and least known of the Inca sites. Since its discovery in 1911, Machu Picchu has been considered one of the world's greatest architectural and archaeological monuments, but to this day, experts cannot agree on why or exactly how this city of stone was built.

Misty Machu Picchu Inca Ruins

Learn more about Machu Picchu

Hike to Machu Picchu

Arequipa

Founded in 1540, Arequipa is Peru's second largest city after Lima. Arequipa gets its moniker "La Ciudad Blanca" (The White City) from its gleaming white buildings made of sillar, which is a light volcanic rock. The city is surrounded by three volcanoes, including El Misti, which is still active. Some of the world's deepest and most spectacular canyons can also be found nearby.

Cuzco (also known as Cusco)

Once the capital of the Inca empire in the 14th century, Cuzco is a fascinating town in Southern Peru full of ancient treasures and modern gems. See the Cuzco Travel Planner for our picks of what to see and where to go.

Iquitos

With about half a million residents, Iquitos is the largest city in the world that cannot be reached by road. Located on the banks of the Amazon river in the Northern Amazon basin, it's the perfect base for exploring the unique wildlife and largely untouched jungle in the national parks.

Lake Titicaca

Lake Titicaca is the largest lake, by volume of water, in South America and sits 3812 metres (12,500 feet) above sea level on the border of Bolivia and Peru. Read more about Lake Titicaca, Peru.

Lake Titicaca, Peru

Lima

Lima is the capital as well as the industrial and financial centre of Peru, so you'll likely start or finish your Peru trip here. Read our Lima Travel Guide for suggestions on where to go and what to see.

Miraflores

Miraflores is the side of Lima the government wants tourists to see and it's not a bad place to spend the afternoon while you're waiting for your flight or have just arrived. This tidy neighbourhood in the capital city of Lima features urban beaches, flower-filled parks as well as upscale shopping and dining.

Nazca Lines (also known as Nasca Lines)

The Nazca Lines are one of the great mysteries that keeps scientists around the world buzzing. No one is quite sure how the Nazca people etched about 300 enormous geoglyphs - line drawings of figures, animals, birds and geometric shapes - into the surface of the red desert rock sometime between 200 BC and 700 AD. Many of the lines are several kilometres long creating precise patterns that are clearly discernible from the air. Why and how continues to defy explanation, but theories have ranged from aliens to art since they were discovered in 1927. Located about six hours by road from Lima.

Puno "Folklore capital of Peru"

Puno is located on the shores of Lake Titicaca, the area surrounding the city of Puno was where the Aymara civilisation, descendents of the Inca, started in Peru. This is an important agricultural and livestock region of Peru where you'll find llamas and alpacas grazing on the immense plateaus and plains. It's also a cultural centre for artistic expression, especially for dance.

Trip Reviews

  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 938 reviews)

    Simply Awesome

    Incredible doesn't cover it. This trip gave a truly comprehensive Patagonia experience. Congratulations must go to whoever designed the sequence/structure. Each day presented us with a never-to-be-topped experience, promptly upped a notch the next..for the FULL trip duration!! No faults with accommodation, meals, transportation etc. Jay was absolutely awesome (I'll be running out of superlatives soon). Personable, great leader, communicator and guide. No problem ever became a problem. He and his brother Gem made this a real ILE (incredible life experience). Still don't know how he managed to arrange for the variety of weather and wildlife. For anyone thinking about doing this trip - don't think, DO. And I would recommend Active adventures!
    Justin de Beer Review Image
    – Ontario, Canada
    Condor, December 2017
  •   4.23 out of 5 (from 275 reviews)

    Ecuador

    We had an amazing week in Ecuador. Each day was a new adventure, and the scenery was beautiful. The best part was Jhayro, our tour guide. He was knowledgable, personable, and genuine. We could tell that he wanted us to experience how special Ecuador is.
    Ryan Quale Review Image
    – Minnesota, United States
    Tapir, September 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 938 reviews)

    Worth every penny!

    As someone who mostly travels independently, the thought of signing up for a two week organized group trip was rather intimidating but after reading all the reviews for Active, I thought I would give it a try... and I am so glad I did! Active Adventures made everything flow effortlessly- from the second I signed up until we were dropped of at the airport. The itinerary for the Condor trip is phenomenal, covering lots of different areas of Southern Patagonia and highlighting the most beautiful places. The W trek was one of the highlights of the trip and was even more enjoyable thanks to our guide, Cem, who was a wealth of knowledge about the flora and fauna and brought such a fun energy to the group. Additionally, our tour leader, Zac, had such a positive spirit, strong sense of humor and passion for his work that showed during our two weeks getting to know him. He was so well organized and made sure everything was lined up so we could relax and enjoy our downtime- including nailing a birthday dinner and cake! Would highly recommend this trip and organization to anyone in the future!
    Laura Postles Review Image
    – Pennsylvania, United States
    Condor, December 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 938 reviews)

    Awesome

    Just returned from two weeks travelling with Active Adventures in Patagonia and it could not have been better. The scenery was spectacular, the days and evenings varied and interesting and we ate and were treated like royalty. Everything was first class on our trip including our tour leader Arturo Rojas who was professional and just awesome in every way. We had a group of 15 trekkers and we very quickly became fast friends. I'm sure there are many companies out there but from my experience I don't think you can go wrong with Active Adventures. I'm already looking forward to my next trip with them.
    Bill Murphy Review Image
    – Massachusetts, United States
    Condor, January 2017
  •   4.50 out of 5 (from 1973 reviews)

    Re-energised

    This trip was certainly "active". The Lares trail was my highlight and pushed me to the limits. It was wonderful to share this trip with such an amazing group of people of all ages. The guides were superb.
    Anne Oliver Review Image
    – Western Australia, Australia
    Jaguar 2017, July 2016

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Why travel with Active Adventures?

Above all, we aim to be amazing hosts. We're proud of our kiwi roots, and our professional, warm and relaxed style of running trips around the world is unforgettable.

We're VERY picky about who we select to work in our team, and we have people from all over the world lining up to guide our trips. So we get to hire the absolute BEST in the business.

As soon as you get off the plane, we've got all the details of your vacation covered – top notch meals, comfortable transport & accommodation, amazing guides and INCREDIBLE service.

Whether you’re new to adventure travel, or you’ve never travelled in a group before, you’ll find yourself arriving home positively different from when you left.

With our small groups (no more than 14), you'll get to know our team, your fellow travellers, and have the flexibility and freedom to do as much (or as little!) as you like.

It's all about getting there under your own steam – on foot, in a sea kayak, or by bike. What better way is there to experience mind blowing scenery? If it's your first time, no worries – our expert guides have got you covered.

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