The famous American television and film actor, Dean Stockwell said,
“Going to Peru is, well, if you ever have an opportunity in your life to go there, you should do it because it is absolutely mind boggling.” – Dean Stockwell
We couldn’t agree more, which is why we’re dedicating the whole of February to this incredible and vibrant country in South America. Peru’s diversity and landscapes are truly breath-taking and are waiting to be explored and so, we have selected four stunning Peru destinations which we feel should be included on every travel itinerary to Peru and South America.
Located in the region of Puno in southern Peru and on the border with northern Bolivia is the stunning high-altitude and vast Lake of Titicaca. This beautiful lake is the largest freshwater lake in South America and the highest of the world’s large lakes at a dizzying 12500ft. above sea level.
Shimmering in the sunlight, with its navy blue water supporting the gemlike islands and surrounded by rolling hills, checkerboard valleys and the Bolivian mountains, Titicaca is truly majestic.
The scenery will make any amateur photographer into a pro as you capture the reflection of its stunning surroundings in the calm, tranquil waters as well as the quaint and almost magically floating reed islands. Lake Titicaca also is extremely significant when exploring the Incan legacy and Andean culture in Peru as it is believed that the lake gave birth to the sun as well as Manco Capas and Mam Ocllo, the mother and father of all the Incas. Adding to the overall experience of visiting Lake Titicaca, this exquisite destination has traditional monuments and ruins filled with stories from Peru’s history.
The Colca Canyon
As the second deepest canyon in the world, the Colca Canyon reaches depths of 11,150 feet and is claimed to be almost twice as deep as the Grand Canyon. It is therefore no wonder that the Peruvian novelist and most famous Arequipeño, Mario Vargas Llosa described Colca Canyon as “The Valley of Wonders.” With most travelers visiting Peru to explore the ruins of Machu Picchu, they don’t realize that they could easily add on a visit to the awe-inspiring Colca Canyon.
“The Valley of Wonders.” – Mario Vargas Llosa
Perhaps one of the main attractions aside from the extraordinary vistas is the Mirador Cruz del Condor where you can marvel at the condors rising and floating out of the depths of the canyon with their expansive wingspans against the backdrop of this incredible environment. With endless hiking routes, incredible examples of Inca and Pre-Inca traditions and soaring condors, the Colca Canyon is the perfect place to explore the beauty and energy of Peru’s highlands.
The Peruvian Amazon
The endearing and laid-back jungle town of Puerto Maldonado is located close to the diverse environment of the Peruvian Amazon jungle and its secluded luxury lodges. Peru’s Amazon jungle is an exciting destination for discovery, adventure and exploration and is one of the most untouched rain forest jungles in the world!
Stretching over 50% of Peru yet home to only 5% of Peruvians, the Amazon is a vast area full of surprises and new experiences.
The main draw aside from the diverse range of animal and plant life is the fact that it has retained and conserved its natural heritage making it readily available for you and the future generations to enjoy. Combining river life, jungle trekking, bird and animal spotting exploring the Amazon in Peru is a unique and once in a lifetime experience and is certainly worthy of your vacation time.
No list whether exploring the beautiful of Peru, South America or indeed the world would be complete without the crème de la crème destination of Machu Picchu. It comes as no surprise then that the sanctuary of Machu Picchu which is the most significant legacy of the Inca Empire, features as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Standing at 7,972ft. above-sea level and surrounded by tropical mountain forests, the setting of this Inca city is one of the most spectacular and majestic in the world!
This awe-inspiring and dramatic archaeological site is at its most dazzling at sunrise and sunset where you can’t help but feel the spirituality and magic of this landmark and its history. Although you can admire incredibly detailed photos of Machu Picchu from the comfort of your home, nothing come close to seeing the real thing. You will find yourself mesmerized and staring at the view, marveling at the magnificence of one of the most special places to visit in the world.