Things to Do in Peru
picture of the cover of a sample tour itinerary
  • Get This Itinerary Now! 📬

Tour Added to Wish List

Peru cathedral at night

Things to Do in Peru

There is an abundance of things to do in Peru! The reality of Peru is that there is much more to do than just visit the World Wonder, Machu Picchu. It’s almost as if the activities are endless – whether you like to explore, eat, drink, dance, boat, or hike, there’s a destination in Peru that offers just that. Consider Lima for its exquisite culinary, Lake Titicaca for a boating adventure, the Inca Trail (as well as plenty others) for gorgeous hiking, and Cusco for city sightseeing.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Best Things to Do Peru:

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Machu Picchu Tours

Hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Peru is internationally-known for its hiking opportunities, in particular, the very popular Inca Trail. Part of the Inca Trail’s appeal is the idea that the very route was used by Peru’s indigenous ancestors. As the pilgrimage route to one of the Seven Wonders of the World, Machu Picchu, the Inca Trail attracts not only nature and hiking enthusiasts but history buffs and enthusiasts who are after some of South America’s most significant masterpieces. There are many more incredible trekking trails in Peru beyond Machu Picchu, such as Rainbow Mountain, Machu Picchu Mountain, Cordillera Blanca Mountain, and the Lares Trek.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
woman hiking the inca trail
Peru Adventure Tours

Sandboard in Huacachina, a Desert Oasis

Huacachina is commonly referred to as the desert oasis of Peru. Centered around a lagoon believed to have natural healing properties, Huacachina’s shaded roads, and cozy establishments are perfect for relaxation. Additionally, located in the Ica Desert five hours outside of Lima, Huacachina is a popular destination for dune buggies and sandboarding. Surrounded by extraordinary mountains of sand, the landscape is perfect for riding adventures on the dunes and is impressive to behold.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Huacachina desert oasis
Peru Food & Drink

Experience a Foodie’s Dream – A Culinary Tour in Lima

With world-class restaurants such as Amaz, Central, and Mil, it’s easy to understand how Peru has been placed on the map as one of the top international culinary capitals. Lima’s food scene hosts an exciting assortment of old and new cuisine. Peruvian flavors are influenced by Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, West African, and even Amazonian regional styles.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
ceviche dish in peru
Cusco Tours

Taste the Salt of Maras – a Salt Mine Dating Back to Inca Times

Maras, Peru, situated between Cusco and the Sacred Valley, is an incredibly interesting place, both historically and visually. The Salt Mines of Maras are made up of thousands of individual salt ponds, which date back to Incan times. On a day tour of the Sacred Valley, observe the local families tending to the Salt Mines which are fueled by an ancient spring. Then taste test the delicious variations of salt produced by the local harvesters. Not far from Maras are the ruins of Moray. After sampling some salt, visit the beautiful circle shaped ruins of Moray.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Maras old mines
Lake Titicaca Cruises & Tours

Sail Lake Titicaca, the World’s Highest Navigable Lake

Lake Titicaca is the highest lake in the world, situated in the Andes mountains at 3,800 meters above sea level. Named the birthplace of the Inca Empire, the Lake is host to some of South America’s most prominent ruins and remains an important site to indigenous tribes. Today, the deep-blue waters of the lake are coveted for cruise exploration. Visitors can observe the remarkable natural beauty of the mountainous area, as well as the daily lives of its residents.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Lake titicaca boats
The Essence of Peru Tour

Sleep in a Condor’s Nest in the Sacred Valley

Located in the Sacred Valley of Cuzco, Peru, the exclusive Skylodge Adventure Suites offers you the chance to sleep within a completely transparent hanging bedroom, that allows you to appreciate the impressive view of this magic and mystic valley.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
sacred valley and mountains
Peru Train Tours

Relax on a Train Ride from Cusco to Puno

Explore Peru by train on an award-winning route through the Peruvian Andes. On the Perurail Titicaca Train, travelers can see the beautiful landscapes that makeup Peru as they travel from Cusco to Puno. There will be plenty of stops along the way for photo opportunities and enjoying the many towns/cities on the journey. Upon arrival to the shores of the mystic Lake Titicaca, enjoy the deep blue waters and learning about the floating islands of Uros.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Perurail train passing river
The Essence of Peru Tour

Take a Day Trip to Rainbow Mountain

Getting to Rainbow Mountain is an adventure in Peru. Begin your excursion driving to the trailhead of the hike, passing a few traditional villages and amazing views of the Andes on the way. Upon arrival at the trailhead, enjoy a lovely breakfast with fresh ingredients. After breakfast, the hike will begin from Chillca at 3700m/12139 ft elevation. From here it will be a 2-hour uphill hike to reach the famous Rainbow Mountains. While it is a difficult trail, at high elevation, the views are well worth the journey.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
rainbow mountain on sunny day
Peru Adventure Tours

Bike Ride to Unusual Inca Ruins atop a High Peruvian Plateau

For those looking for an adventure, biking to Maras and Moray, Peru is the perfect activity for you. Travel from the town of Chequereq with an impressive landscape of Andean lakes, snow-capped mountains, and agricultural fields and small villages. Then follow the trails to the Moray ruins, impressive salt flats of Maras, and finish with a sightseeing tour of Cuzco and the Sacred Valley.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
agricultural terraces in moray peru

Things to See in Peru

From the amazing landscapes and adorable animals to ancient ruins and impressive architecture, Peru is a sight to behold. Admire the pink dolphins in the Peruvian Amazon, pet the llamas and alpacas in Chinchero and Ollantaytambo, enjoy beautiful views outside the train windows to Aguas Calientes, and marvel at natural wonders like Machu Picchu.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Pink River Dolphins, Butterflies & Parrot Clay Licks

Though the Peruvian Amazon Rainforest has similar animals to the Brazilian Amazon or Ecuadorian Amazon, Puerto Maldonado hosts the Tambopata National Park and Research Center. There is plenty of research being conducted there. There are a number of Parrot Clay Licks and the Peruvian Amazon has some of the highest diversity of bird and butterfly species. You can also spot the Pink River Dolphins on a river safari.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
pink river dolphin swimming during sunset

Local Peruvian Artisans Weave Masterpieces

For an exceptional weaving experience, travel to the small town of Chinchero, resting at 12,000 feet, not far from Cusco. It is in this town where some of the best Alpaca blankets and clothing are produced. Watch as a local woman in traditional clothing explains and demonstrates how the natural dye is applied to the alpaca fur and then carefully woven into a fantastic garment or cozy blanket.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
artisan cloth at traditional market

Condors Soaring High in Colca Canyon

The Colca Canyon already boasts an impressive natural landscape. However, the soaring Andean condors make it even more unique. The Andean condor is a national symbol of Peru and plays an important role in the folklore and mythology of the Andean regions. Watch as they fly above you on the natural trekking trails of the Colca Canyon.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Colca Canyon and views

The Spanish Influence on Ancient Incan Ruins

Peru’s landscapes are dotted with impressive ancient ruins. When in Peru, you really can’t miss these carefully created structures and the architectural influence of the Spanish conquerors. Make sure to visit the mysterious Machu Picchu, Kuelap, Chinchero, Ollantaytambo, Moray, and plenty of other fascinating ruins.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Incan Ruins on hill

The World’s Cutest Animals (Llamas & Alpacas)

In Cusco and other cities of Peru, there’s no shortage of llamas and alpacas roaming. While they may spit, these animals are some of the most friendly creatures, just waiting to meet new people. Have fun feeding and petting them. If you’re lucky, you might even score a selfie!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
llamas laying in mountain valley

The Sacred Valley

Nestled between Cusco and Machu Picchu, the Sacred Valley is a beautiful area of small towns, Inca ruins and traditional communities. Famous sights include the salt pans at Maras, the Inca ruins at Maras and Ollantaytambo as well as the towns of Pisac and Chinchero. A stay of a few nights here is highly recommended – there are plenty of things to do in the Sacred Valley. Go hiking in the Sacred Valley, mountain bike or explore at a more leisurely pace. It is a good place to visit at the start of a tour of the Peruvian Andes to help adjust to the altitude as it is at a relatively modest altitude in comparison to Cusco.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
local women looking at view of sacred valley

Watch How the Traditional Cocktail, Pisco Sour, is Made

One of the best parts of visiting a new place is learning how to make some of the local delicacies. In Peru, the traditional cocktail is the Pisco Sour. On a culinary tour, watch as an experienced bartender carefully mixes the ingredients (lemon juice, simple syrup, pisco, and egg white) into a refreshing drink. Then, of course, have fun sampling the excellent flavor!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
three traditional pisco sours on table

Ancient Ruins – Sacsayhuaman & Qorikancha

Sacsayhuaman is an Incan citadel a short distance outside Cusco and overlooks the city below. Impressive walls can be seen, made out of massive stone blocks that fit together perfectly. Inti Raymi is celebrated here. Qorikancha – The Golden Temple is another important Inca ruin in Cusco. It was much damaged by the Spanish conquistadors and forms a large part of the foundations of the Santo Domingo convent. Both these sights can be easily visited on a half-day tour of Cusco.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Sacsayhuaman ruins

The Nazca Lines

Nazca Lines flights are the best way to see these mysterious etchings in the desert. The giant geoglyphs over 300 meters in length are thought to have been created as early as 500 BC. The Nazca Lines depict animals and geometric shapes. The meaning and purpose of the lines is not entirely clear with various theories existing. Visit the Nazca Lines and decide for yourself! A trip here can easily be combined with the Ballestas Islands or the sand dunes at Ica.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
aerial view of nazca lines

Festivals & Events

Inti Raymi: The Inti Raymi festival in Peru is an Incan celebration of the Sun God – the most important Inca God. It takes place on the winter solstice in June each year. In Peru, the main celebration takes place in Cusco and ends at Sacsayhuaman – the Inca fortress just outside Cusco. This is a great excuse to visit Peru in June and combine it with a visit to Machu Picchu. You can expect colorful celebrations, pan pipes, and drums. Grandstand seating can be booked at Sacsayhuaman. During Inca times many animals were sacrificed during the ceremonies. Today, one unlucky llama is still sacrificed.

Semana Santa: Semana Santa is the week leading up to Easter and is an important time throughout South America including Peru. There are religious celebrations throughout Peru but some of the largest and most interesting areas in the Andean city of Ayacucho. There are parties, fireworks and folk dancing as well as solemn processions.

Vendimia Festival: While not as famous as in some larger wine-producing countries, Peru has a Vendimia Festival in celebration of the grape harvest. It takes place in Ica in March each year and can be combined with a visit to the Nazca Lines. The two-day Ica Vendimia Festival includes parades and grape crushing. The grapes are used to produce wine and pisco – Peru’s famous brandy.

Food & Drink in Peru

Peruvian cuisine is popularly regarded as the best in all of South America. With influences from Europe, Asia, and West Africa, as well as their own indigenous communities, including the Incas, it is no wonder Peru’s cuisine has dominated South America and the international community. Popular dishes make use of Peru’s natural abundant resources, including their seafood, corn, 3,000 varieties of potato and quinoa, and even delicacies like the guinea pig. Sampling the country’s national drink, the Pisco Sour, and dishes like ceviche and Lomo Saltado are a must in Peru.

Is Peru Safe?

Yes, Peru is a safe country. However, as in any destination, it is advised to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions where you can. Throughout South America, pickpocketing and petty theft are common. We recommend using a money belt and avoid wearing flashy clothing to prevent being a victim of petty crime. Also, leave valuables at home or in your hotel room safe.

Cusco and smaller towns throughout the country are popular with tourists and safe. In larger cities, like Lima, certain neighborhoods are best avoided like Los Olivos, Comas, Vitarte, and El Agustino. However, our tours do not visit these neighborhoods, as they are located far from tourist areas. Additionally, all our tours include professional tour guides, and we will arrange all transportation, transfers, hotels, and tours that we know personally and recommend highly. Learn more about travel Safety in Peru.

Best Time to Visit Peru

In South America, the seasons are reversed from those in the northern hemisphere. The best time to visit Peru is the winter (June – August), as this is when sites like Machu Picchu, the Amazon, and the Andes are most accessible. The weather is dry, warm, and clear. During this time, prices will spike and everything from tours, flights, and accommodation will be in high demand. For those that opt for the summer season (December – February), sites will still be open, with far fewer crowds and better pricing. Summers on the coast, including in Lima, are known to have spectacular weather, perfect for the beach or walking the quaint streets. However, certain activities may be closed at this time or be more difficult to access with the heavy rain levels, like Andean trekking trails and Machu Picchu.

What is Peru Known for?

Once the home of the powerful Inca Empire, Peru is dotted with historically significant sights and continues to be excavated for ruins by archaeologists. The top of every tourist’s to-do list in Peru is the new world wonder Machu Picchu. Beyond significant ruins, Peru is famous for its impressive hikes and unique flora and fauna. With natural wonders like Vinivcuna, also known as Rainbow Mountain, Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in South America, and the Peruvian Amazon, there are endless opportunities for outdoor activities. Additionally, the country is praised for its cuisine, with Lima named the culinary capital of South America.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Thinking About Visiting Peru?

Contact a Peru Travel Expert

We Love to Talk About Vacation Ideas!

Thinking of traveling to South America? We take your South American travel dream and make it a reality. Every fully custom South America trip is planned by your own expert personal Travel Consultant.

Contact Your Travel Expert

Create Your Own Custom Tour

Click your preferences: Destinations & Activities. Be as specific or general as you like - or click Help Me Decide! We'll spice it with hidden gems & personal tips to create your perfect trip.

Choose Amazon destinations (optional)
Choose destinations (optional)
Choose Bolivia destinations (optional)
Choose Brazil destinations (opt)
Choose Chile destinations (opt)
Choose Colombia destinations (optional)
Choose Ecuador & Galapagos destinations (optional)
Choose Paraguay destinations (optional)
Choose Patagonia & Antarctica destinations (optional)
Choose Peru destinations (optional)
Choose Interests
Choose activities
What category of accommodation?

You can choose more than one!

When would you like to go?
for
How many travelers?
age groups
age groups
Review my trip summary
destinations

activities

accommodations

when

who

Highly recommended - Phone: We ❤️ to talk! A brief chat with your personal Travel Consultant helps us create your perfect trip!

">
Hooray! Thanks for Sharing!

If you have an additional 30 seconds we’d love to learn more about you…

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Custom Form Blue Popup

  • Including accommodations, transportation and activities/tours.
  • One Moment Please

    We are matching your tour idea with the right Travel Consultant
    who will be in touch shortly.
    Thank you for your request!