Witness these awe-inspiring attractions in Peru

Peru is a country rich in culture, history, nature and adventure, but beyond the well-known attractions like Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca and the Amazon rainforest, there are many hidden gems that most travellers miss. Here are 10 offbeat travel experiences in Peru that will make your trip unforgettable.

Stand in awe at Huayllay National Sanctuary

This natural wonder is also known as the “Stone Forest” because of its thousands of bizarre rock formations that resemble animals, humans and mythical creatures. You can hike, bike, camp and explore the painted caves and hot springs in this surreal landscape.

See the many-coloured Rainbow Mountain

One of the most stunning sights in Peru is the Rainbow Mountain, also known as Vinicunca, which means “seven-coloured mountain” in Quechua. The mountain’s stripes are caused by different minerals that have been exposed by erosion. The hike to the summit is challenging but rewarding, as you’ll see alpacas, llamas and local communities along the way.

Slide down the sand dunes of Huacachina

Huacachina is a desert oasis surrounded by towering sand dunes that offer an adrenaline rush for adventure seekers. You can rent a sandboard or join a dune buggy tour to glide down the slopes at high speed. You can also relax by the lagoon, enjoy the sunset and sample the local wine.

Discover the hidden city of Choquequirao

Choquequirao is a lost Inca city that rivals Machu Picchu in size and beauty, but receives only a fraction of the visitors. The reason is that it’s only accessible by a four-day trek through the mountains, which makes it a perfect destination for those who love solitude and adventure. You’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the Apurimac Canyon and the chance to explore the terraces, temples and plazas of this ancient citadel.

Flight deals to Lima

Travel back in time at Caral

Caral is the oldest civilization in the Americas, dating back to 3000 BC. It’s also one of the oldest in the world, along with Mesopotamia, Egypt, India and China. You can visit the impressive pyramids, plazas and amphitheatres that reveal the advanced culture and knowledge of this ancient society.

Explore the fortress of Kuelap

Kuelap is a massive stone fortress built by the Chachapoyas, also known as the “Warriors of the Clouds”, who lived in the northern Andes before the Incas. The fortress is perched on a mountain top and surrounded by a wall that reaches up to 20 metres high. Inside, you’ll find more than 400 circular buildings decorated with geometric patterns and animal figures.

Uncover the secrets of Sipan

Sipan is one of the most important archaeological discoveries in Peru, as it revealed the tomb of a Moche ruler who was buried with a wealth of gold, silver and copper ornaments, as well as human and animal sacrifices. You can visit the Royal Tombs of Sipan Museum, which recreates the burial chambers and displays the stunning artefacts that showcase the Moche culture and religion.

Marvel at the cliff tombs of Revash

Revash is another fascinating site of the Chachapoyas culture, where you can see the remains of funeral houses built on the cliffs of a narrow valley. The houses are painted in red and white and resemble miniature villages. They were used to bury the elite members of the society, along with their belongings and mummies.

Fly over the mysterious Nazca Lines

The Nazca Lines are one of the most enigmatic and intriguing attractions in Peru. They are a series of geoglyphs that depict animals, plants, humans and geometric shapes on the desert floor. They were created by the Nazca people between 500 BC and 500 AD, but their purpose and meaning remain unknown. The best way to appreciate them is by taking a scenic flight over them.

Experience the power of Chavin de Huantar

Chavin de Huantar is an ancient ceremonial centre that was the cradle of one of the first Andean civilizations, the Chavin culture. It’s famous for its stone sculptures, such as the Lanzon, a 4.5-metre-high monolith that represents a deity with human and animal features. You can also explore the underground galleries and chambers that were used for rituals and ceremonies.

Hotels in Lima, Peru

ENS Editors

Learn More →