Peru has always been seen as a land of mystery and adventure. If you’ve ever seen Indiana Jones, Tin Tin or Paddington bear you’d know what I am talking about. And the fame comes for a reason: this beautiful, exotic and history-rich country has so much to offer those hearts thirsty for new experiences. Peru can give you the memories of a lifetime: from high peaks to deep valleys, from hidden cities to the vast Amazon rainforest, from delicious cuisine and friendly people to unending possibilities for extreme sports. Peru has a powerful way of enchanting the visitor. Here are my top ten reasons to visit the country:

 

1. Machu Picchu:

Yes, everybody has heard of it, and almost everybody dreams about being there. I have visited Machu Picchu twice, and can honestly say it surpasses all your expectations. World Heritage by the UNESCO, one of the world marvels, the lost Inca city takes your breath away when you get to see it with your own eyes. If you’re planning to go there, I recommend you to buy your tickets in advance, especially in high season. Here I tell you how to book the tickets yourself and save money.

Machu Picchu: simply amazing!

Machu Picchu: simply amazing!

 

 

2. Cusco:

The Imperial capital of the Incas, who used to call it the world’s navel. Cusco is a unique blend of Spanish and Inca architecture and stands out as one of the most beautiful cities in South America. Another UNESCO world heritage city, the history, and tradition of Cusco can be experienced in every corner of it.

Cusco's beautiful cathedral

Cusco’s beautiful cathedral

 

3. Peruvian people:

Peruvians are known for their hospitality and for welcoming foreigners warmly. Peruvian people just happen to like foreigners, and the more different you are from them; the more they will like you! Just go to any town in Peru and speak to the locals or wait until they approach you, whichever happens first! Don’t be surprised if you are invited home to eat with them and meet the whole family (and the neighbors!)

Peruvians are friendly!

Peruvians are friendly!

 

 

4. Peruvian cuisine:

Peru is considered one of the top culinary destinations in the world. The fusion of the native and Spanish cuisine gave birth to the Creole cuisine. The mixture of fresh ingredients and tradition gives us delicious dishes such as papa a la huancaina (potatoes in huancaina sauce), ceviche, arroz con pollo (chicken with rice), mazamorra morada (purple corn porridge), picarones (Peruvian doughnuts) and much, much more!

Ceviche is delicious!

Ceviche is delicious!

5. Super food and medicinal plants:

There are lots of them! From theCoast to the Amazon rainforest, the whole country is full of plants known or unknown that can be used to heal and nourish the body. To name a few: Maca, original from the highlands is a potent energizer, natural antidepressant and increases libido and fertility, Cat’s claw, from the Amazon, has anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor and anti-cancer properties, Algarrobina, from the northern coast, has high nutritious and energizing properties.

Maca is a small root that grows in the Andes and is highly nutritious.

6. The Nazca lines:

These huge lines, carved in the middle of the desert southeast of Lima, can only be seen from an airplane. They are astonishingly symmetrical, mathematically perfect and represent different geometrical, animal and plant designs. It is believed that the Nazcas, a pre-Inca civilization, were the ones who made them. How and why did they do it are questions that are still debated. Many like to assign the authorship of the lines to aliens. Take a look by yourself and tell me!

How and why did the Nazcas make these drawings on the desert?

How and why did the Nazcas make these drawings in the desert?

7. The Peruvian Paso horse:

It is a horse breed known for their elegance and smooth ride. The isolation of the horses for hundreds of years and the selection made by the breeders has produced the particular characteristics of these beautiful animals, which can be seen in many places in the country. Trujillo, in Northern Peru, is known as the cradle of the Peruvian Paso Horse.

 

8. Three natural regions – all in one country!

Peru has a variety of landscapes, topography, and climate, which gives origin to an enormous bio-diversity, and limitless possibilities of adventure and discovery. The coast is mild and dry. It consists mainly of deserts and dunes, as well as miles and miles of beaches. The highlands are the Andes Mountains, where you can find dramatic views of high, snowy peaks and deep valleys. And the Amazon rainforest, which makes roughly 60% of the country’s area.

 

Between the highlands and the rainforest in the Cusco region you'll find beautiful waterfalls.

Between the highlands and the rainforest in the Cusco region you’ll find beautiful waterfalls.

 

 

9. The Titicaca Lake:

The highest navigable lake in the world. The place itself is ravishingly beautiful and magical, and it is home to a rich diversity of species. There you will find the Uros community that lives on hand-made reed islands the same way their ancestors did hundreds of years ago.

The Urus community on their self-made islands on Lake Titicaca.

The Urus community on their self-made islands on Lake Titicaca.

 

10. Adventure Sports:

Surf, kayak, rafting, canopy, mountaineering, trekking, rock climbing, mountain biking, paragliding, scuba diving, windsurfing, kite surfing, bungee…you name it! Peru is the right place if you want to get your adrenaline up to legendary levels! If you love watersports, then you should not miss out Mancora, one of the most famous beaches in Peru.

 

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