In the Part 1 article of this article on Peru tours, we presented the first five of what we consider “must-see” travel destinations in Peru. Here, we continue with another five destinations that upscale travelers in particular will find well worth uncovering in this “Land of Hidden Treasures.”
In Part 2, we continue with the following five destinations:
1. Arequipa: The White City
The second biggest city in Peru, Arequipa is known as the “White City” thanks to its unique architecture, which is why the city’s historic district has been a UNESCO-declared World Heritage Site for more than a decade. Its historic district embodies a rich mix of the indigenous and Spanish colonial cultures. Examples of Spanish colonial architecture can be found throughout the city center, characterized by charming streets, and colorful facades, and flower-filled parks. The entire city of Arequipa is surrounded by three picturesque volcanoes, the most imposing being the Misti Volcano, a snowcapped figure that will accompany you throughout the city. Meanwhile, the beautiful countryside is bathed in the picturesque Chilli River. Arequipa’s eternal spring means that any time of the year is perfect for visiting. All of this explains why Arequipa has long been a popular Peruvian tour destination; a charming destination and a well worthwhile destination, Arequipa is also a great jumping-off point for heading to Colca Canyon.
2. Colca Canyon: Scoot over Grand Canyon!
Much deeper than the Grand Canyon, reaching down 4,160 meters, Colca Canyon is one of the deepest in the world and therefore one of the most popular tourist attractions in Peru. From the canyon’s Cruz del Condor viewpoint, you can develop an equally deep appreciation for the immensity of this astounding place, as well as a have chance to witness majestic Andean Condors in flight. Possessing more than the amazing sightseeing, there’s something for everyone here, everything from vibrant culture to extreme sports.
3. Explore the Peruvian Amazon onboard a Floating Boutique Hotel
The Peruvian Amazon is not naturally inviting. Thoughts of impenetrable jungle, poisonous plants, flesh-eating fish, insufferable heat, and high humidity aren’t easy to contend with. In reality, though, this river and region are filled with attractions like its extraordinary biodiversity, fascinating indigenous cultures, and exotic jungle life untouched by civilization as we know it. To open this area up to the more demanding traveler, a tour on an Amazon riverboat allows you to visit these remote ecosystems while enjoying all the comforts, commodities, and services of a 5-star boutique hotel. On a luxury cruise in the Peruvian Amazon, you can enjoy an expansive observation deck, outdoor Jacuzzis, and an alfresco lounge after having trekked into the jungle to meet with remote indigenous communities, listen to howler monkeys, and view parrot clay licks. A Peruvian Amazon riverboat cruise is one of the most memorable times you could ever hope to experience.
4. Ballestas Islands: The “Other Galapagos”
A must-see for all wildlife lovers, the Ballestas Islands are a group of rocky islands located off the Pacific coast near the town of Paracas. Home to thousands of birds and mammals — including penguins, sea lions, Inca terns, and pelicans — this abundant wildlife has earned these islands the nickname of “The Poor Man´s Galapagos,” as they constitute a unique experience for those who unable to travel to the Galapagos. Don’t be put off though; the area possesses some of the most upscale and elegant accommodations you’ll find anywhere in Peru.
5. Nazca Lines
Sitting quietly on a high arid plateau of Peru’s northern Pacific coast is one of the earth’s greatest mysteries. Here you can discover the Nazca Desert, world-famous for its more than 70 ancient geoglyph drawings of animals and other shapes. So large that almost all of them can only be seen from the air, these drawings — called the “Nazca Lines” — are found between the towns of Nazca and Palpa. Created between 200 B.C. and 700 A.D., these range from simple lines to stylized figures of spiders, lizards, monkeys, and even people. Thanks to the dry, windless and stable climate of the Nazca Desert, these lines have remained uncovered up through today. For an incredible out-of-body Peru tour experience, travelers can witness these enigmatic patterns by taking an early morning flight in a light aircraft, or by viewing three of the figures from an observation tower along the Pan-American Highway.