Top 5 Places to See in Peru
Peru is not usually a travel bucket list name that comes up. Visitors heading off for an extended South American trip aren't always sure of what to expect from this country - it's not nearly as popular as Brazil, Argentina, or even its neighbor, Ecuador. But Peru, like most South American countries, has a lot to offer to all kinds of travelers – the adventure seekers, history buffs, cultural explorers, foodies, and yes, even those seeking something a little more luxurious than backpacking.
The first name that comes to the mind with "Peru" is probably "Machu Pichu", but that is far from being the only thing to see here (although this wonder of the world shouldn't be missed!). Along with Machu Pichu, here are four other interesting places in Peru that are definitely worth the trip.
Machu Pichu
This is the main reason that thousands of travelers flock to Peru every year, and with good reason. This ancient Inca Civilization city is absolutely fascinating, offering a view into a world from thousands of years ago, and more is being restored every year. Tourists flock here all year round to see these ancient structures, the most prominent of which are the mist-covered Huayna Pichu Mountain, and the plazas, temples and other buildings that were in use during the time of the Incas. 1,000 feet above the sea level, it is not very easy to reach this location hidden among mountains, but it completely worth it - photos do not do this experience justice!

A number of tours are available to Machu Pichu from the neighboring cities, and there are two main ways to get there: via bus and via the Inca Rail. Limited tickets are available every day, so you will need to book in advance. Trips to Machu Pichu are usually a full day long, but this gives you plenty of time to take adequate pictures and learn about this historic site.
The Sacred Valley of the Incas
You'll have to organize some travel logistics to get to the Sacred Valley from one of the neighboring cities (Cusco is the closest airport), as the valley is nestled deep in beautiful Andes landscape along the Urubamba River. The Valley area was the official capital of the Inca civilization, likely because the elevation and proximity to the river allowed for lush crops like maize to be grown. The Valley is littered with archaeological sites and offers a glimpse into Incan agricultural technology. You can get a guided tour, which can take as little as an afternoon or as long as a few days - it's up to you!

This area also offers a number of outdoor activities for adventurers, including horseback riding, hiking, mountain biking and rafting. The picturesque little town of Pisac with its local markets also holds a special attraction for visitors, although it is notorious for having marked-up prices for tourists.
Lima
Lima is not only the capital of Peru, but a historically siginificant city as well, as it was the center of Spanish colonization in Peru and founded by the conquistadors who wiped out Inca civilizations.

To get a well rounded understanding and appreciation for the history of Lima and Peru in general, check out the numerous top-rated museums, including the Museo Larco collection of pre-Columbian art, the Museo de la Nación (which tells the history of Peru's ancient civilizations), and El Museo del Banco Central de Reserva del Peru (which, despite the name, is a museum of culture and history as well as having a fantastic coin collection!) Or, if you prefer to wander on your own, take in the various plazas and gardens in the historical central neighborhood, and admire the restored colonial architecture .

This city is a haven for foodies as well, with restaurants that cater to every kind of pallet, from full-flavored, budget-friendly street eats to hearty breakfasts at the start of your day to some of the finest seafood dinners in the world. There are also plenty of food tours and even Peruvian cooking classes!
The Amazon Rain Forest
Almost 60% of Peru is covered by the Amazon Rainforest, and it is easily accessible from the city of Cusco via a 50-minute flight. The National Geographic Unique Lodge inside the Amazon needs to be booked well in advance, but if you get the chance to stay here you'll have the amazing experience of sleeping in the rainforest and seeing how the wildllife comes to life at night time. The Sandoval Lake near this lodge is home to howler monkeys, otters and caimans, as well as other creatures that aren't found anywhere else in the world. Other activities that you can book include canopy bridge walks that give you up an close and personal bird's-eye view of the rainforest (literally), kayaking, piranha fishing, and river boat cruises.
Plaza de Armas, Cusco
The city of Cusco is also a part of the historical Inca Civilization, and one of the most important cities of Peru. The Cusco Cathedral in this beautiful city was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1983. The Gothic-Renaissance style of the cathedral echoes the churches in Spain that were built during the period of conquest over South-America.You can wander in quietly by yourself to see the beautiful silver and limestone art and architecture (you won't be able to take any pictures, though), or you an pay for a guided tour that will explain the blend of Spanish and Inca cultures in depth.

The Plaza de Armas in Cusco is certainly a tourist favorite; it's absolutely perfect for strolls, having a quick snack, or just for people watching. This is also a great attraction for foodies and shoppers alike, with a number of designer boutiques and world-class restaurants available nearby.
Conclusion
Peru has a lot to offer all types of travelers. Whether you are looking for some adventure, some luxurious one-of-a-kind dining experiences, or you just want to soak up as much of the local culture and history as possible, Peru is the place to be!

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