Peru is most famous for Machu Picchu, but has many other historic cities to visit--as well as hot springs and other natural areas.
It's a tough decision to decide what you're gonna do once you're in Peru. This South American country has everything you could possibly do and see while on vacation. They've got exotic hot springs, all sorts of adrenaline pumping sports (including water adventures), historical sites (a world famous mystical one, no less), and shopping.
There appears to be more to Peru than meets the eye, huh?
Lima is Peru's capital city with an architecture that features many colonial balconies with a French influence. Creole food is quite popular--so eat up, there's a lot of sightseeing to do. Don't leave Lima without visiting the Archaeological Museum, Anthropology Museum, Natural History Museum, the Museum of Italian Art, and the catacombs of the Monastery of San Francisco.
For anyone looking to tackle the highest naviagable lake in the world, head to Puno where you're quite close to Lake Titicaca. Just remember that Rainy Season runs from October to April.
Cuzco is one popular spot in Peru. Sure it's got a 16th century Cathedral, and a Renaissance & Baroque designed Convent--but what's really popular is the Chocolate Museum.
It's also quite common to hear all sorts of languages spoken in Cuzco's cafes and pubs--everything from English to German, Japanese to Spanish. Just remember to keep it down in Cuzco's hot springs; one of the 400 found within the country.
Just 80km from Cuzco is Peru's most famous site, Machu Picchu. Do yourself a favor, take the Machu Picchu train through the jungle terrain to get to this mystical site. The train has panoramic windows that afford the most stunning views of the river, trees, rocks, and wildlife for 90 minutes each way.
Machu Picchu itself is not to be believed. Built in the 1400's, it remained virtually unknown until the 20th century. A guide will tell you all about the history of Machu Picchu's Temple of the Sun and its Intihuatana Stone (an Incan astronomical clock) .
Huaraz is also a must do in Peru. The Andes Mountains make a great backdrop against the Rio Santa; and shopping is great at the town's Farmer and Street Markets (get yourself something made with Alpaca wool). Even if all you do is just stroll along the Plaza de Armas (a pretty park with a charming fountain), that's all right too.
No, that's not all you can do--you gotta see the Fortress Chavin de Huantar, built around 1200/300BC. While it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a number of artifacts from this pre-Incan site are in museums in Lima.
In between all these history lessons, try rafting and paragliding in Peru. Or, you can surf, cycle, or mountainbike your way around. Not me, I could just keep riding that Machu Picchu train all day, every day. On second thought--another soak in a hot spring sounds just as good.
Image McKayla Crump