The UNESCO World Heritage Sites are places of importance to cultural or natural heritage as described in the UNESCO World Heritage Convention, established by the United Nations in 1972. With Peru’s incredible combination of important history and breathtaking nature, no fewer than 11 locations have so far made it on the list. Below are a few of the most important UNESCO World Heritage Sites to visit on the best vacations in Peru.
One of the most picturesque cities in South America, Arequipa lies in the Andes at over 7,500 feet and is overlooked by the legendary El Misti volcano. The historic center with its almost 500 impressive buildings from the colonial era, most in a white volcanic stone called sillar, is the main draw in Arequipa.
The highest mountain in Peru reaches 6,768 meters and the region around it is the place to see the gigantic Puya Raimondi, up to 10 meter high plants with more than 3,000 flowers in each plant.
The largest national park in Peru at 15,328 square kilometers. It’s one of the most authentic and unspoiled locations in the world as even to this day it’s still fairly inaccessible by road. With over a 1,000 different species of birds, it’s the destination for birdwatchers from all over the world.
(Madre de Dios and Cusco Provinces)
The old peak (which the name literally means in the Quechua language) was built as a summer palace for the Inca emperor in the 15th century, but only became widely known after the first westerner visited it in 1911. That “discovery” by Hiram Bingham eventually turned Machu Picchu into the most visited place in Peru.
Historic Center of Lima
The Plaza de Armas forms the start of any visit and is the location were Francisco Pizarro first founded modern Lima, it is bordered by the Cathedral, City Hall and the House of Pizarro, the residence of the President of the Republic.