The 10 most Famous Landmarks in Peru.
If you are reading this post, you likely are considering going, or are going, to Peru (great choice!). Peru is a gorgeous country full of mystical wonders, ecological microcosms, and one of the best cuisines in the world. We have provided a comprehensive list of some of the most famous landmarks of Peru in each region you should check out during your visit. Enjoy!
Kuelap Fortress – Chachapoyas.
As the capital of Peru, there are many historical sites worth seeing. At the Plaza de Armas, you can find the historical center of Lima. In the Plaza de Armas, you will be surrounded by wonderful architecture and culturally important buildings such as the Archbishop’s Palace. To see some of the more modern areas of Lima, Barranco is the place to go.
Barranco is a colorful, artsy area with some of the best local eats, museums, and cafes. Take your time when exploring the neighborhood, as the walls are covered with gorgeous murals that will take your breath away. When you get tired from walking around Barranco, try one of the many local restaurants to enjoy some incredible Peruvian cuisine.
This addition to our list is interesting for many reasons, but what stands out the most is how it baffles researchers today. The Nazca Lines are a collection of enormous geoglyphs or designs engraved in the ground. These geoglyphs were created by the Nazca culture around 2,000 years ago and depict plants, animals, shapes, etc. Although we still don’t know why the Nazca Lines were created, they are marvelous. Many tours like this can give you the best view of Nazca Lines.
Cusco is the oldest inhabited city in the Americas and has become a UNESCO World Heritage Site. One of the most important ruins to see in Cusco is the Sacsayhuaman. Cusco was originally designed to be in the shape of a puma, with the fortress being the puma’s head. The zigzag shape you find in the fort is to give off the appearance of the puma’s teeth.
After checking out these ruins, you can take a trip to the convent of Santo Domingo, which was built on top of the ruins of the Inca site, Coricancha. The original building was decorated with gold ornaments and golden disks to reflect the sun’s light. Unfortunately, the conquistadors stripped away all of the original gold. Luckily, Inca stonework can still be seen throughout Santo Domingo.
The lush Sacred Valley is a popular area to see Inca ruins and small villages. Likely one of the unique ruins in Peru, this amphitheater-like area is built out of the ground! We still don’t know what exactly these were used for, but it is an incredible sight. For a more hands-on experience, try visiting Chincheros. Here you can visit weaving cooperatives, where you can work with the locals to do traditional weaving. Many residents work as their ancestors once did, so you’ll get an authentic experience.
If you are planning to travel to Machu Picchu, one of the best ways to get there is via the breathtaking Inca trail. Extending for 26 miles through mountains and forests, you will see the most ravishing views. There are multiple ways to walk through this trail, but you must walk it with a tour guide.
Likely the most famous landmark of Peru, this incredible architectural achievement is worth the hike to get there. It shows the absolute genius of the Inca people and holds proof of their lasting legacy. Some things to note when visiting Machu Picchu
Small islands like Isla Taquile, Uros, and Amanti surround this gorgeous lake. Some of the islands are unique in their approach to tourism. Rather than have outside investors, they have created a local collective where they share the responsibility of tourism. By keeping their hospitality services within the islands, the locals can keep their profits and be sustainable. Take a guided tour throughout the lake to visit these small, beautiful islands.
The Colca Canyon is the third deepest canyon in the world! There is a multitude of activities you can do at this marvelous canyon. Start your morning with a hike to the Cruz del Condor viewpoint to see the immensity of the canyon’s depths. You may even see the Andean Condor, the largest bird in the Americas. If you’re more of a thrill seeker, try white water rafting in the Colca River. You’ll see the canyons most don’t get to see.
These activities can get quite tiring, so take a break in the thermal baths to relax your muscles! Thermal baths are quite popular, so be prepared for many people here.
This structure was built around AD 500 and differed from the Inca style that most Peruvian ruins have. With a fortress, terraces, tombs, and settlements, the Kuelap Fortress is about 1,112 acres big. It is a magically dizzying array of pathways, so try not to get lost. Going with a tour guide will help you navigate the largest stone ruins in the world and ensure you get the most out of your visit.
Located in Huascarán National Park, this breathtaking, deep blue lagoon is likely the best trek in Peru (maybe the world!). It takes about 3 hours to hike to the lagoon and about 2 hours back. You can see incredible views, waterfalls, and creeks on the way there. Although this hike is much shorter than the Inca Trail, taking your time is important, so you don’t get altitude sickness on the way there. There is also an entry fee of 30 soles (~$7.46), so bring some money, water, snacks, and sunscreen!
I hope that this post has helped you decide where to visit while in Peru. Buen Viaje!