Give Peru your time, not just your bucketlist
Nine reasons to spend as much time in Peru as possible
Lisa Baird, our Director of Operations, visited Peru this past April. We will be posting her travel journal over the coming weeks, starting with her nine reasons to do more than sprint to Machu Picchu.
Fine Inca goldwork at Lima's Larco Huerra Museum
Don't make the mistake of skipping over Lima, it is not just an international airport hub. Lima is a colorful, bustling city home to friendly and welcoming people, buildings defining the country's history and culture, museums bursting with artifacts, and some of the best restaurants in the world.
Peruvian man at Chincheros weaving market
Peruvians are proud of their country and eager to share it with visitors.
3. Sacred Valley
Town of Pisac in the valley among the very rare flat agricultural lands
The Sacred Valley is an incredible contrast to Lima, filled with old Incan temples and ruins that are breathtaking and help to build a basic knowledge of the Incan civilization before you visit the citadel of Machu Picchu.
Terraces and niches of Ollayntaytambo
Many mysteries surround the sophisticated engineering work that was used to plan and execute the building of the Incan fortresses, terraces, and sacred sites. No matter how many examples of this architecture you visit, it is still unclear exactly how the Incans built the carefully designed walls, how they carved and placed stones (sometimes as tall as 20 feet) so perfectly together, and what tools they used for this building. Every day your appreciation for their advanced knowledge, design ideas and intensive labor increases and you are left wondering "how could they have possible done this?".
5. Coca Tea
Coca tea on arrival in Cuzco
Coca tea is delicious, but the real cure for altitude sickness is relaxation and giving yourself time. Don't rush from Lima through Cusco and the Sacred Valley up to Machu Picchu or you be on your back by the time you arrive. Spend three or four days in Cusco and the valley getting used to the altitude, drinking lots of water, and getting plenty of sleep.
Peru's cilmate zones
Peru has some of the most diverse geography in the world. Just in my two weeks I was able to see four different regions of Peru; the desert (Lima), the jungle (Iquitos), the Andean mountains & highlands (Cusco & Sacred Valley), and the cloud forest (Machu Picchu).
Peruvian food is phenomenal. You could easily spend weeks just trying different traditional dishes from each regions created with their local ingredients.
8. Cuy and Pisco
Pouring El Sarcay pisco
On that note, Guinea pig (cuy) tastes like pork and should be eaten with your fingers, and Pisco Sours are dangerously delicious.
9. Pink Dolphins
Inia geoffrensis sightings are a rare and exciting highlight of an Amazon river cruise aboard Delifin or Delfin II
Pink dolphins (Amazon river dolphins) are real and can be found in the rivers & streams of the Amazon.
A lot of visitors just want to see Machu Picchu to cross it off their bucketlist, but Peru is so much more than just one world famous Incan ruin; it offers diverse beauty in the culture, geography and nature that can be found almost anywhere you look. – Lisa Baird
Join us for an unforgettable in-depth and luxurious exploration of the cultures, history and landscape of Peru:
Center of the Inca Universe
- 11 Days
Lima, Cuzco, Urubamba Valley, Machu Picchu
Mysteries of Peru
- 14 Days
Lima, Paracas, Pisco, Ica, Nazca, Cuzco, Urubamba Valley, Machu Picchu
Cultures of Peru
- 17 Days
Lima, Sipán, north coast pyramids, Chan Chan, Paracas, Pisco, Ica, Nazca Cuzco, Urubamba Valley, Machu Picchu
Above trips may be followed by our Origins of Species Galapagos Islands adventure for a trip of a lifetime.
We have expertise in creating private departures and custom adventures for two to twenty travelers—we can help you realize your dream of Peru. Call or email today!