10 Essential Sights & Experiences In Peru
Almost Essential travel specialists for the Andes and Galapagos, make it their job to give people memorable experiences. Here they have kindly put together a list of essential sights and experiences for those visiting the remote North of Peru: the ancestral land of the Incas. Join their Founder Marisol M. in her upcoming trip.
Journey north along on the Pan American Highway from Lima, a route that stretches along the stunning Peruvian coastline, and eventually you’ll reach the city of Caral. Caral is considered to be the oldest city in the Americas and one of the first civilizations that developed independently in the world.
2. Chavin de Huantar
Some of the highest mountains in Peru can be found in the Callejon de Huaylas. Nestled within this regions is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Chavin de Huantar, which contains artifacts and ruins from the Chavin people – a pre-Inca civilization, and the structures here are dated to approximately 1200 B.C. The complex includes temples, plazas and a network of underground corridors, some of which visitors can explore.
3. Punta Olimpica
Punta Olimpica is one of the most beautiful locations in the Cordillera Blanca. Here you’ll discover stunning mountain landscapes and majestic snowcapped peaks (Ulta and Huascaran – Peru’s highest) and glacial lagoons (Cancara and Yanaraju).
4. Llanganuco Lake
Never in your life have you witnessed such an intoxicating shade of turquoise. Here at the mesmerizing Llanganuco Lakes in Huascaran National Park, twin dollops of turquoise water shine brilliantly against the snowcapped spine of Peru’s Cordillera Blanca.
The gorge known as the Cañon del Pato is about as dramatic a place to visit as it gets. The canyon comprises of a largely unpaved, single lane road with over 30 narrow tunnels and towering cliff faces coming face to face – sometimes at a distance as small as 15 meters!
5. The Moche Route
The archaeological site of El Brujo opened to the public in 2006. Located along the well trodden ‘Moche Route’ – this site features tiers of polychromatic friezes that also served as a religious and sacrificial complex. Museo Cao is just a short distance away and contains a variety of captivating artifacts including collections of pottery, textiles, and golden regalia, along with the bones of Moche royalty and human sacrifices.
6. Chan Chan
Chan Chan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the capital city of the Chimu Kingdom which fell to the Incas in the 15th Century. This was the largest city in Pre-Columbina America and it was carefully structured by being split into nine citadels or autonomous units.
7. Senora de Cao
Perhaps the site’s greatest discovery was the Moche mummy of the only known female ruler, justifiably referred to as Señora de Cao, whose remains are also on display in the museum.
8. Utcubamba River
Located in Chachapoyas, the capital of Amazonas, the river Utcumbamba features several opportunities for visitors to enjoy beautiful rivers, waterfalls and hidden pre-Inca tombs in the cliffside. Along the river one might like to visit the Tombs of Revash, which were the collective tombs for the wealthy and powerful of Amazonas society. And the imposing Fortress of Kuelap.
9. Gocta Waterfalls
The majestic Gocta Falls drops 2531 feet, the height of well over two Eiffel Towers and is the third tallest in the world. Enough said.
10. Samiria River and Yanayacu Pucate
Around the Samiria River and its tributaries, an abundance of wildlife hides in the deep rainforest, such as blue and yellow macaws, scarlet macaws, toucans, umbrella birds, monkeys, and river otters, capybaras and more. If you are a wildlife lover then this is where you’ll most certainly want to visit.
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Interested in experiencing some of these sites in Peru? Talk to Almost Essential’s recommended travel experts in the Andes and Galapagos and let them know you’ve been referred to them by us. If you’re really keen you can contact us to be sent one of their Peru brochures..