Peru off the beaten path

Experience Peru off-the-beaten-track with a local expert
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What to do in Peru?

On these pages you will find ideas for a trip to Peru to help you prepare for your trip. All these ideas are there just to get your imagination going; you can alter, mix and match them as you please. Your local agent will help you create a unique and unforgettable trip, just for you! Peru has three distinct parts, each with its own character: the Pacific coast, which is the most densely populated; the Andes range, with the highest mountain being the towering Huascarán at 6,768 metres; and the Amazon, which covers the largest part of the country. If you’re going, start with the must-see: Machu Picchu – fortunately not found by the Conquistadors – rediscovered in 1911. You should visit it at dawn to see the ruins shrouded in mist. This extraordinary site still clasps a few secrets to its bosom. Not far away, the Andes range draw ramblers and trekkers to magnificent landscapes. The ultimate rambling experience is the Inca Trail through exceptional archaeological sites. During your stay in Peru, you must stop in Cusco, the former capital of the Inca Empire. The Spanish erected their buildings, especially religious ones, over Inca constructions which they systematically destroyed, only sparing their characteristic foundations, which are still visible today with their large, perfectly cut and fitted stones. A voyage out of time awaits you in Cusco.
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When to go in Peru?

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Start planning your off-the-beaten-track trip to Peru

Millions of visitors come to Peru every year to see major attractions such as Machu Picchu and exciting cities like Cusco. But Peru, sitting on the west coast of South America, has so much more to offer. Getting off the beaten track in Peru gives you the chance to see lesser-known highlights.

What’s the best way to travel off-the-beaten-track in Peru?

Getting off the beaten track in Peru means heading away from the usual hot-spots of Lima, Cusco, Machu Picchu, and the Sacred Valley. Accessing off-beat attractions can sometimes require a little extra effort and know-how, but it will be well worth it and the rewards will be great. Many little-visited places can be reached by car or by pre-arranged guided tour, though to reach the Amazon jungle in the north of Peru, you’ll need to fly into the small city of Iquitos first.

Best off-the-beaten-track activities and experiences in Peru

Peru's off the beaten track experiences are as diverse and impressive as the country itself, from high-altitude treks to tranquil islands, and the incredible biodiversity of the Amazon.

Visit the ancient citadel of Kuelap

Tucked away in the remote north of Peru is Kuelap, an ancient citadel that was built around the 6th century, making it three times older than Machu Picchu. The ruins can be visited by hiking from the nearby town of Chachapoyas.

Discover the sanctuary of Qoylloriti

Located in the same region as Machu Picchu, but far less frequently visited, is the Qoylloriti Sanctuary, where the Qoylloriti pilgrimage takes place every year. This sacred festival is linked to Catholicism but has its roots in ancient Incan traditions.

Visit the islands of Lake Titicaca

Lake Titicaca is well-known for its natural beauty, but for a lesser-known treat, visitors should head to Taquile Island. This small, quiet island has no cars and no phone signal, and is the ideal spot to experience authentic Peruvian culture.

Hike the Amazon jungle

In the far north of Peru is part of the vast Amazon jungle. Here visitors can hike in Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, where they can admire diverse flora and fauna, including pink river dolphins.

See the sarcophagi at Karajia

The impressive sarcophagi at Karajia, a remote mountain near the city of Chachapoyas, are the legacy of the Chachapoya people. The Chachapoya once controlled a nation in the Amazon cloud forest and left behind these mesmerizing painted statues on the cliff face.

Tips for planning an off-the-beaten-track adventure in Peru

When traveling off the beaten track in Peru, altitude is a major consideration. Much of the country is mountainous, and some of its remote destinations can be found above 8,000 or even 10,000 feet. Visitors should take time to acclimatize to these heights, and watch for symptoms of altitude sickness.

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