Arts & Culture
Peru is a country in South America that is known for its rich history, diverse culture, stunning landscapes and unique contributions to the world. Some of the special aspects that make Peru unique are its ancient civilization, wonders like Machu Pichu and Amazon Rainforest, cultural diversity, cuisine, festivals and textile traditions.
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Where to stay in Peru
Aranwa Sacred Valley Hotel & Wellness
Colonial-style hotel located at an old hacienda with grand suites and a feeling of being away from it all an hour and a half from Cusco.
Belmond Miraflores Park Hotel
This luxury hotel combines personalized service, exceptional dining and indulgent facilities to create the perfect base from which to explore Lima.
$100 food / beverage credit.
Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.
Palacio del Inka, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Cusco
Centuries-old Cusco mansion that embraces Peruvian culture with modern conveniences.
Complimentary round-trip private airport transfer per room, per stay.
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Things to do in Peru
Explore the ancient Incan city of Machu Picchu, one of the most iconic and breathtaking archeological sites in the world. You can take the train from Cusco or Ollantaytambo to Aguas Callientes and then the shuttle bus up to Machu Picchu.
Immerse yourself in the history and culture of Cusco, the former capital of the Inca Empire. Explore its charming streets, visit historic sites and learn about Inca and Spanish colonial history.
Discover the beautiful Sacred Valley, dotted with picturesque towns, Incan ruins and stunning landscapes. It's a great place for outdoor activities like hiking, biking and visiting local markets.
Visit the world's highest navigable lake, Lake Titicaca, and its floating Uros Islands. You can learn about the unique way of life of the indigenous Uros people and explore other islands like Taquile and Amantani.
Explore Peru's capital city, Lima, which offers a mix of modernity and history. Visit museums, enjoy its culinary scene (Peru has renowned gastronomy), and take in the beautiful ocean views along the Miraflores coastline.
Discover the "White City" of Arequipa, known for its stunning colonial architecture, picturesque Plaza de Armas and proximity to the Colca Canyon, one of the world's deepest canyons.
Take a flight over the mysterious Nazca Lines, enormous ancient geoglyphs etched into the desert floor, depicting various shapes and animals.
Trek or take a tour to Colca Canyon, another impressive natural wonder deeper than the Grand Canyon. You might also spot Andean condors soaring above the canyon.
While in the Urubamba Valley, visit the market in Pisac and also the Inca ruins in Ollanta Tambo before boarding the train to Aguas Callientes. In Cuzco I highly recommend taking the trip up to Saqsaywaman, an Inca complex surrounded by walls that were made by fitting stones tightly together without mortar. Right outside the complex, there are a lot of stores selling clothing made from baby alpaca wool and they have some beautiful things.
Places to eat & drink in Peru
Central: A renowned restaurant by Chef Virgilio Martínez that offers a unique culinary experience inspired by Peru's biodiversity and ecosystems.
Restaurante La Rosa Nautica: Miraflores.
Astrid y Gastón: A flagship restaurant by Chef Gastón Acurio, offering a modern take on traditional Peruvian dishes.
La Mar Cebichería: Famous for its ceviche, La Mar offers a variety of fresh seafood dishes.
Cicciolina: A popular restaurant serving a mix of Peruvian and international dishes with a cozy ambiance.
Chicha por Gastón Acurio: A restaurant offering traditional Andean cuisine with a modern twist.
Pachapapa: Known for its traditional Peruvian dishes, this restaurant is set in a charming colonial house.
Inka Grill: Plaza de Armas.
Zig Zag: A contemporary restaurant offering a mix of Arequipeñan and international flavors.
La Nueva Palomino: Famous for its rocoto relleno (stuffed spicy pepper) and other Arequipeñan specialties.
Iquitos (Amazon Rainforest)
Dawn on the Amazon Café: A popular spot to enjoy Amazonian cuisine and flavors.
Al Frio y al Fuego: Offers unique dishes using Amazonian ingredients in a beautiful jungle setting.
Pisco and Cusco
Pisco Sour: The iconic Peruvian cocktail made with pisco, lime juice, syrup, egg white and bitters. Enjoy it in various bars and restaurants.
Chicherías: Try chicha, a traditional Peruvian beverage made from fermented corn, in local chicerías.
Anticuchos: Grilled skewers of marinated meat, often served with potatoes and sauces, can be found in markets and street stalls.
Cevicherias: Look for stalls serving fresh ceviche, a refreshing dish made with raw fish marinated in citrus juices and spices.
Mercado Central de San Pedro (Cusco): Sample local foods and ingredients in this bustling market.
Mercado de Surquillo (Lima): Explore the market's vibrant stalls for a wide variety of Peruvian ingredients.
Patarashca: A traditional Amazonian dish of fish wrapped in bijao leaves and grilled over a fire.
Juane: A dish made with rice, meat (usually chicken) and spices wrapped in bijao leaves and cooked.
Need to Know
Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out my guide, Exploring Antarctica.
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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Peru.