(……there is a serious risk you´ll get a crush on this amazing country!)
Think twice before travelling to Peru. Why? Peru is the max! You’ll fall in love with this Andean country, the people, the nature, the food, the festivals, the llamas.. and your life will never be the same!
So think twice before you put your world upside down and plan a trip to the stunning land of the Incas, Peru. We make it easy and give 18 Reasons to think twice before travelling to Peru.
1. You won´t be able to take in all of the richness of this amazing ancient culture in a few weeks only!
Peru´s ancient culture persists in its history, traditions and rich culture. Especially during the months of May and June, there are many local festivals in Cusco for the visitor to participate in. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to be immersed in the culture and see parades, and local festivities, try Peruvian (street) food and have fun with the local people. Examples are Corpus Christi, Inti Raymi, and also the more traditional Qoyllur R’iti.
2. You will be craving the delicious Peruvian dishes after your journey to Peru is over.
Peruvian cuisine has become very popular over the years with many highlight dishes such as the famous fish-dish ceviche and the meat plate with Asian roots, Lomo Saltado. There are many high-class restaurants in Peru, especially in Cusco and Lima. However, you don’t have to go to fine dining to get a great culinary experience and taste the wonderful Peruvian food. Even the Peruvian street food tastes great.
3. You might get too enthusiastic about the mummies!
Did you know that you can actually see a real mummy from Incan times in Peru in the Inca Museum of Cusco? This museum is located in one of the most remarkable colonial houses of the city of Cusco, known as “The Admiral´s House”. Here you can find nine skulls revealing an ancient Incan medical practice known as ‘trepanning’: Inca doctors would move parts of the skulls. Right after the skulls, you will see a tomb-like room with real Inca mummies. There are eight bodies (including two children) and an animal sacrifice.
4. In Peru, you are always on the lookout for these wild and cute animals!
Llamas often walk around Machu Picchu but also on the romantic, cobblestoned streets of Cusco.
The Incas kept domesticated llamas as they were crucial for the development of the Inca Empire due to their meat and fur. The Incas also used the llamas as pack animals because they could easily walk on the mountainous ground and carry a lot of weight.
If you want to take photos of the llamas, it is best to do this in Cusco or, Machu Picchu; it is recommended to enter the citadel early in the morning.
5. Too many kinds of potatoes in Peru? Oh, the horror of having so many options!
Did you know that Peru is the home of the potato? Peru is the birthplace of the potato, and there is an astounding diversity; this ancient root carries a high potential for adaptation to climate change. There are over 4,000 edible varieties of the potato in Peru, mostly found in the Andes regions. In terms of human consumption, the potato is the third most important food crop in the world after rice and wheat.
6. You might forget about your own language talking Spanish all day in Peru!
Amauta Spanish School in Cusco offers Spanish Immersion Courses for all ages and Spanish levels at different locations throughout Peru. You can participate in Spanish language courses in Cusco, Lima, In the Sacred Valley or in the Tambopata Rainforest. Is there a better way to be immersed in Peruvian culture, to learn about and from the people, and take your Spanish skills to a high level? Probably not!
7. So much diversity in Peru will be too much to take for you!
As a result of Peru’s varied geography – ranging from the high Andes Mountains to the Amazon Rainforest to the coastal regions- it has a rich biodiversity. Peru boasts over 1,800 species of birds (120 endemics to Peru), 300 species of reptiles and 500 species of mammals. Some rare species like the puma, jaguar and spectacled bear live in the canopy, so jungle lodges usually construct towers to observe life above. Peru’s main attractions for tourists are the stunningly beautiful mountain trails through the Peruvian Andes, the colourful indigenous culture, and the ruins of the once-powerful Inca empire. Peru’s cultural diversity is evident, both in the characteristics of the Peruvians but also in their folklore, customs, and traditions.
8. There is way too much interesting stuff to learn and see in Peru – that is way too much excitement in one Journey!
Peru´s most famous World Heritage, Machu Picchu, is one of the Seven World Wonders and can be visited travelling by train or by doing one of the beautiful treks to Machu Picchu. Talking about diversity:
Did you know that the Sanctuary of Machu Picchu is considered one of the most ecological places not only in Peru but worldwide? Due to its location between mountains and Amazon, Machu Picchu has 13 life zones in a total area of 32,592 hectares. Machu Picchu has 200 species of orchids, 700 species of butterflies and 400 species of birds.
9. Annoying! In Peru you might actually see one of these outside of the zoo:
You can the most stunning take eco-tours to the Tambopata Rainforest and see all kinds of exciting Wildlife! Peru has three jungle regions that cover almost 60% of the Peruvian territory. The Amazon is very expansive and spreads through many cities in Peru. Check here to see where you can do the best Amazon rainforest.
10. Peru´s Festivals will be far too exciting!
The Re-Opening of the Hand-Woven Qeswachaka Bridge has been celebrated every year in June since Incan Times. You can book a one day tour to Qeswachaka and witness this unique, traditional activity with the locals.
Made of woven grass, the bridge of Qeswachaka spans 118 feet and hangs 60 feet above the canyon’s rushing river. It is among the last handwoven Incan bridges in use. Once a year, the bridge needs to be replaced.
11. What if you get confused by the mysterious origin of these lines?
The Nasca lines on the coast of Peru leave many mysteries to be solved. The Nazca Lines are a group of geoglyphs made in the soil of the Nazca Desert, approximately 500 kilometres south of Lima. They were created between 500 BC and AD 500 by people making depressions or shallow incisions in the desert floor, removing pebbles and leaving differently coloured dirt exposed. More recent research suggested that the Nazca Lines’ purpose was related to water, very important in the desert of coastal Peru. The geoglyphs weren’t used as an irrigation system or a guide to finding water but more as part of a ritual to the gods. Recently, new discoveries have been made when an entire new geoglyph was discovered.
12. What if you relax here and miss your flight home because you never want to leave again?
The Titicaca Lake in Puno is the highest navigable lake in the world, and there are some amazing islands here to be visited, such as Uros, Taquile and Amantani. Taquile is located on the Peruvian side of Lake Titicaca, 45km offshore from Puno. The inhabitants are Taquilenos, and they speak Quechua. The charm is this beautiful area can be felt here at Taquile, where the history has survived in the collective memory of the people; you can find it in the wonderful weavings Taquile is famous for.
13. I think it is better for you not to risk falling into one of these canals built by the ancient Inca…
Tipon is a day trip away from Cusco. The Water Channels built by the Inca Centuries ago still function perfectly today. From Cusco, you can take days to explore the beautiful Inca sites, especially in the surroundings of Cusco (Sacsahuaman, Puca Pucara, Qenqo and more), or book a one day tour to the Sacred Valley of the Incas and get to know the most impressive ones in Pisac and Ollantaytambo.
Read more about visiting Inca ruins and the entrance ticket here.
14. I don´t think you will believe the story of people living on floating islands
The man-made Uros floating islands on Lake Titicaca are fascinating. Visit Puno, and it will take you only a few hours to enter the magical world called “Uros”.
Home to one of the most fascinating indigenous groups on the continent, the floating islands of Uros are a highlight of your Peru itinerary. The Uros are a unique population who migrated to Lake Titicaca about 3,700 years ago. Although tourism has now become an important source of income for the modern Uros people, they must still utilize a number of traditional hunter-gatherer techniques in order to survive.
15. Sunny costal lines and high mountain peaks all in one country. No, that is way too extreme!
There are many high peaks in Peru, among others in the Cordillera Blanca near Huaraz. On the popular Salkantay Trek – a great alternative for when the Inca trail is fully booked or you consider it a bit too expensive – you can see the Vilcabamba mountain range with its highest peak at no less than 6,271 m! The Salkantay is a five-day hike to the Inca Citadel Machu Picchu, with spectacular views of the snowcapped “Apu” Salkantay. It is a magnificent wilderness trek.
16. Peru has a Canyon twice as deep as the Grand Canyon? Impossible!
The Colca Canyon is located at approx 160 kilometres from the beautiful Arequipa in southern Peru. With a depth of about 1000 – 2000 m, it is one of the deepest canyons in the world. The Colca Canyon offers you the opportunity to hike, see picturesque villages with friendly people in typical clothes, spot Andean condors, bathe in thermal baths, un-cover stunning views and much more. The Colca Canyon is a popular experience for adventure seekers.
17. What if you need more time to learn to prepare the perfect Pisco Sour?
Peru’s National Drink is called Pisco. The most famous drink that is made with Pisco is a delicious beverage that will charm its drinkers is called Pisco Sour!
The most important ingredient in this delicious Peruvian cocktail is, of course, the Pisco. Therefore, it is interesting to know a little more about this typical Peruvian liquor.
After the Spanish conquered South America, they imported vine plants to Peru in the 15th century. Because they had grapes left over that weren’t good enough for wine, he decided to use these leftovers in a different product, and that’s when Pisco was invented.
Other ingredients are Lime juice (from one lemon), Egg white from one egg, Syrup (two tablespoons), and ice.
18. Your home country will seem boring to you after you get back from Peru
Peru is famous for its division into Coast, Andean mountains, and Peruvian Rainforest, and this makes it one of the most biologically diverse countries in the world. Peru has 90 different microclimates – climates that are restricted to a small area and are different from surrounding climates. Peruvian culture is a lively mix of Hispanic and native traditions. The Quechua and the Aymara – the two main native groups of Peru – speak their native languages (apart from Spanish). You can make a trip to Peru full of culture and/or history, or make it a fun trip to meet other travellers and relax, spend time on the beach, do adventure trips, hikes etc. Peru is for everyone!
Make the most out of your trip to Peru!