Peru Attractions

If there's one place in South America brimming with fascinating and awe-inspiring attractions, it's Peru. With wonders such as Macchu Pichu, the Colca Canyon, the mysterious Nazca lines, the Coricancha Inca Ruins and Pisco, it's no wonder Peru is one of South America's most popular tourist destinations. The country is a favourite with backpackers and budget travellers and it is possible to travel cheaply if necessary. However, Peru's most famous tourist activity, hiking the Inca Trail, is expensive and must be organised in advance as permits are required and very limited.

Cities like Lima, Cusco, and Arequipa are charming and atmospheric, if a little shabby, with lots of colour and run-down colonial buildings. Peru has an interesting and refreshingly unique cuisine and the restaurant scene in places like Lima is fun to investigate. Lima also has a vibrant nightlife and some decent museums.

Getting around Peru is fairly cheap and easy with plenty of internal flights operating on an almost daily basis and an affordable and reasonably reliable public transport system. It's advisable to fly between cities when possible or rent a car and explore all this mystical country has to offer, although long-haul bus trips are also an option. Travellers should ensure that they use reputable bus and taxi companies as the road safety record is not good in Peru and there have been incidents of robbery by fake taxi drivers.

Lima Cathedral

Plaza Mayor and Plaza San Martin

A long pedestrian street crowded with shoppers, vendors and sightseers connects Lima's two main plazas (squares) to each other. The heart of the old town is centred on the striking Plaza Mayor, or Plaza de Armas, gracefully colonial with its bronze fountain and old...  see full details

Church of San Francisco

Church of San Francisco

The most spectacular of Lima's colonial churches, San Francisco is a striking white and yellow building with twin towers and a stone façade. It was one of the few buildings to survive the devastation of the 1746 earthquake and is famous for its underground...  see full details

El Candelabro, near Pisco, Peru


Pisco is a small port and fishing village, best known for its fiery white grape brandy of the same name. It also boasts the origins of one of the major ancient civilisations in Peru, the Paracas culture, who left an astounding collection of...  see full details

The Nazca Plane, Peru

The Nazca Lines

Nazca is a small desert town, named for the Nazca civilisation that came after the Paracas culture, and it is a major attraction due to the mysterious presence of the lines and diagrams etched into the surrounding desert floor. It also has some...  see full details

Coricancha Inca Ruins, Peru

Coricancha Inca Ruins

Coricancha is a Quechua word meaning 'Golden Courtyard', but the Inca stonework is all that remains of the ancient Temple of the Sun, which was once the most important temple in the Inca Empire, dedicated primarily to Inti, the Sun God. The walls...  see full details

Sacsayhuaman, Peru


Of the four ruins near Cusco, Sacsayhuamán is the closest and the most remarkable. Its proximity to Cusco and the dimensions of its stones caused it to be used as a quarry by the Spanish conquistadors, providing building material for their colonial buildings in...  see full details

The Sacred Valley, Peru

The Sacred Valley (Urubamba River Valley)

Known as the Sacred Valley of the Incas, this fertile valley of breathtaking beauty stretches between the villages of Pisac and Ollantaytambo. It is coursed by the winding Urubamba River, watched over by ancient Inca ruins perched high on the hilltops above, and sprinkled...  see full details

Chan Chan

Chan Chan

In the 15th century, Chan Chan was a huge city, the largest in pre-Colombian America. The capital of the Chimu Kingdom, the civilization fell to the Incas not long after. What remains of this vast adobe city outside of Trujillo is an active...  see full details

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

The ancient Inca citadel of Machu Picchu is regarded as the most significant archaeological site in South America and one of the finest examples of landscape architecture in the world. Nestled high in the towering Andes, on a saddle between two peaks, is...  see full details

Colca Canyon, Peru

The Colca Canyon

The most popular excursion from Arequipa is to the Colca Canyon, one of the deepest canyons in the world, and twice the depth of Arizona's Grand Canyon. The Colca valley is extremely picturesque, dominated by huge mountains, with little villages and a distinctive traditional...  see full details